Saturday 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween!

Well here I am again saying that yet another week has passed!! I've been travelling out bush again with my job most of the week, we have had a hard drive failure (thank goodness most stuff was backed up on the portable drive!) and, to top it off, I'm still having allergic reactions to "something" - or actually somethings as I am suddenly getting hives for the first time ever as well as a swollen numbed face!But it is Halloween and I thought it would be good to share some recent art for Halloween aficionados! Both are small canvas boards and stamps are of course by Oxford Impressions. More art tomorrow - I'm still reloading software etc so that I can function properly so this is just a quick little post!

Saturday 24 October 2009

An ATC Trade

This month Anne Lugherini from France (still no blog to my knowledge) and I traded ATCs again - Anne makes the most amazingly detailed cross stitch ATCs and this one below is no exception!

My ATC for Anne is at the top of the post and is another Twinkling H2O painted background. I've used a partial image of one of the Stampin'Up stamps I've recently invested in. plus some favourite background type stamps. I like the silhouette look for a change but I outlined it with white gel pen for a bit of "pop"!

Today I am working on my "flowers" ATCs for a small group exchange. I just love spring and flowers just keep springing to mind whenever I start working on something at the moment!

My October Calendar Girl Postcard

This month's Calendar Girls inspiration was a bit tricky for me (see below for the Alphonse Mucha image we were using as inspiration) and I couldn't see past the circle element so I decided not to beat myself up about it and to just go with it! I've appliqued hand-dyed silk in orange and lime green to a piece of dyed muslin and then couched fibres and stitched and beaded until I was happy with the result! And yes the half circle is as wonky as it looks on screen as I really wanted it to look a bit free-form (although maybe not quite so...)

PS I've been away a lot with work, had family visiting and then had some computer issues, hence the blog hiatus! Plus I've been reading lots of escapist books...

Saturday 10 October 2009

Halloween ATCs

By Meagan

I am not a big fan of Halloween - maybe because I didn't grow up with it and maybe because I'm actually pretty easily spooked but over the last couple of years I have enjoyed making some Halloween themed art. I just don't go for the really macabre stuff! A group of four of us in Kalgoorlie have started monthly trades (the first round are shown here) and this month Renaye chose Halloween as our theme.

Both by Renaye

Anyway Renaye made two ATCs for each of us (bit of an indication about how much she loves Halloween) and I haven't caught up with Christine yet but I just had to share the results of our exchange so far. The first ATC at the top of the post is by Meagan and the next two are by Renaye (neither have blogs unfortunately). Renaye is even running a special kids' Halloween craft event at her shop "Keepsake Krafts" - wish I still had little kids I take!

This one is mine. It started with an experiment when we decided recently to try making Annette Husband's"Opals Paper" - vilene with various colours of Opals (thick embossing enamels) ironed onto it. I used orange and purple Opals (must have been thinking Halloween subconsciously!) - they have fancy names but I forget what they are. I added some orange Starburst Stains to cover up any white patches. This is what it looked like before I cut the vilene into ATC sized pieces.

Once it was cut up I used StazOn black ink to stamp my Oxford Impressions tree and tiny bat images onto the vilene. The image was patchy as the Opals surface is not ideal as a stamping surface (noting however, that it is ideal for stamping "into") so I used a permanent black marker to fill in the gaps. I added the checked ribbon and black German scrap sewing the vilene to a strong mat board base. I rubbed the black scrap and ATC edges with orange acrylic paint and then covered the rest of the ATC with several coats of clear UTEE as I didn't have any of the clear (Franklin) Opals. This was the least successful of the four ATCs so I kept it for myself but I forgot to take a picture of the others before trading them. The glossiness was more even on the other ones. I'd definitely try the vilene/opals technique again for a different sort of background - see here for information on the technique.

PS A couple of nights ago I happened to check my blog stat counter and the number of hits was sitting at 59999 - I thought it was pretty freaky but I guess it would have even been more so if it had been 60000 just as I looked. Have to say thanks to everyone for continuing to visit - I know I post a lot less often now that I am travelling so much with my job!

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Some ATCs

For some reason I got the urge to play with water colour paints on the weekend and I especially enjoyed painting up a whole pile of ATC backgrounds on lovely textured watercolour paper. These simple ATCs are the end result of some of these backgrounds (using those magic little Twinkling H2O pots of paint and lots of water misting) plus some doodling, punched or cut paper shapes and a little bit of sewing. Sometimes simple is SO much fun. PS The cards have a lot more sparkle than shows on-screen!

The big flower one is for a trade with Jen but the other two are available if anyone wants to trade and I would love to make more!! (I have the backgrounds already painted.) Just leave a comment or email me...

And this totally gorgeous and very vibrant ATC is the result of my recent trade with my blogging friend Sephi. I think she inspired the colours in my ATC for Jen!! Have a look here for some detail photos.

Sunday 4 October 2009

A Thought or Two...

This week I had the thrill of receiving a complementary copy of the latest Stamper's Sampler magazine as I had two cards included in it in the feature on using serviettes/napkins.

These are scans of the magazine cover (isn't a nice cover!) and the two pages that include my cards (and yes I have sliced off the side of one of my cards in the scanning process!). As I LOVE using serviettes in my art, I had intended to send in lots of cards for this issue but I just didn't get myself organised enough and just made these very simple floral ones.

Anyway, getting the magazine in the mail and having the thrill of finding my cards inside made me think about the whole publication thing so I thought I would share my thoughts. When I first "discovered" Somerset Studio many years ago I was relatively new to stamping and I was instantly smitten. I just adored the magazine and chased down all the back issues, including out of print ones. After some time I decided to be brave and submit a couple of cards and when they were published I was just over the moon (major understatement) and so motivated to keep going! So I set myself the target of making something for each issue using the theme for each issue's call for submissions. I did this for several years and I can honestly say that the thrill of getting something published really didn't fade! Nowadays I only submit to Stampington magazines if I have the time and if the theme stimulates some ideas but that early decision to try for publication really did end up giving me a lot more confidence in myself and my art/craft and opened up lots of other doors.

PS My arty mate Annette (up in Darwin) is having an amazing give-away on her blog so pop over if you would like to be in the running for an etched metal house that she has made!

Thursday 1 October 2009

Vintage Fabric 4x4 Swap

Tonight I thought I would share the results of the little "vintage fabric 4 inch square" swap.

This one is from Carole in New Zealand -

This one is from Annie here in Kalgoorlie -

And this one is from Ann in the Netherlands -

And these were mine (as posted on my blog ages ago as I got enthusiastic and
made them early for once!) -