Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm in love ...

... with BEESWAX!

Today Kyla and I drove over to Mary Strong's house (who I met through the PaperArts Yahoo Group) to learn how to make ATCs using Beeswax. It was so generous of Mary to allow us to use her premises, her experience and her Beeswax. I had the best time and the pictures of my very first cards using this technique are below.

I never thought it would be so easy to use, you just heat up some wax into an old small saucepan, then brush hot wax all over the card, quickly stick some thin paper (tissue paper, dress patterns, napkins, old book / music papers are perfect) on top of the wax, then brush more wax over the top and keep layering the papers until you cover your card. Heat up the wax on your card with a heat gun to melt the wax under the paper as you go as the paper absorbs more wax and sticks better. If the paper is too thick, it can be difficult to melt the wax under it to stick it properly, so may need to keep trying. Wait for the wax to harden slightly and if anything lifts up like a corner of the image for instance, just press with fingers to stick it. If you don't like what you've done, heat the wax and remove it. You can wax ribbons, flowers, threads, fibres, buttons ... just about anything would be my guess.

I am so happy with the results that I'm going out to buy some of my own beeswax this week so I can create more and may even do a whole set of cards to bring along to my next swap or for 1 on 1 trades.

My favourite ATC that I made today is in the middle with the little girl. The first 2 were done on white cardstock collaged with various tissue papers, dress patterns, text & music papers. The third one is done on a teal card with a white handmade piece of paper containing flower petals. The images I used were a gift I got from someone overseas ... I know I said it before, but I just love BEESWAX.

Life is a journey and love is what makes the journey worthwhile you will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
~ Henry Drummond ~

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Creations and other things ...

I've managed to complete 3 sets of ATCs over the past few days for swaps that are due:
  1. the first one has the title "When I Kissed the Teacher" and is for a Song Title themed swap through Addicted to Scrap.
  2. The next one is an intuitive watercolour for an ATC_World swap based on Bernie Berlin's Artist Trading Card Workshop book. My watercolour ATCs were done with the same colours with wet-on-wet and all turned out really similar but just looked like blobs of colour, so they are all sunsets and probably not as creative or intuitive as they could be. I used watercolour pencils (without water) to provide some definition.
  3. The last one is also part of the Bernie Berlin's Artist Trading Card Workshop swap and the technique is watercolours on baby-wipes and using them as backgrounds. I also added some glimmer mist, to give it a different effect. As the baby-wipes had little bear pictures on them, I decided to tie that in with the theme of the card.

I received another Pay-It-Forward ATC in the mail today from Kris Hagan in Indiana, USA. This brings my total to 10 received ... it's like winning the WTA all over again, I'm really enjoying these little surprises that keep arriving in the mail.

My niece Alexis turned 2 on Tuesday and we had a party for her on Saturday, here's a pic of her with her face painted eating flower shaped fairy bread ... she's just way too gorgeous.

Until next time ... keep creating and laugh as much as you can.

"I live by this credo: Have a little laugh at life and look around you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations. Even in your darkest moment, you usually can find something to laugh about if you try hard enough."
~ Red Skelton, 1913-1997, Comedian

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We're getting a puppy

Ferg and I went for a drive out to Rosewood (around 1.5 hours away) on Sunday with mum and dad who are visiting from Sydney, to have a look at a puppy that we're thinking about buying. Of course we fell in love with the little things and have decided to take one of them. The puppy is only 3 weeks old at the moment, so we need to wait at least another 3 weeks before we can bring him home. The breed is an Australian Working Kelpie and we hope that the 7.5 acres we live on will keep him busy ... apparently they're quite active. I'm so excited ... can't wait to bring the little boo home. In the picture below, the puppy we're getting is on the left:

A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the house, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often."
In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again."
All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?
~ Japanese Folktale ~

Lovely gifts in today's mail ...

I received 3 envelopes in the mail today all containing ATCs ... my perfect kind of mail. Firstly I received 5 cards from the House Shaped ATC swap hosted by Tammy Hixon through ATC_World and I think they're all stunning creations. I received cards from Sharon McAllister in the UK, Vonda Roberts, Penny Duncan, Sue Young and Resi Shetler all from various states of America, to join cards made by locals Kyla & Sarah. I was so worried that I wasn't going to receive these ATCs as Kyla & Sarah received their cards last week and we all live fairly close together ... but they did turn up and definitely worth the wait.

Next I received 2 Pay-It-Forward ATCs from the USA. The first one is by Lisa Goldman in California and the other is by Lynne Larkin from Illinois - two wonderful ATCs that have a very special place in my collection.

Talent is only the starting point.
~ Irving Berlin, 1888-1989, American Composer and Lyricist ~

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pay-It-Forward ATCs

Yesterday I received not one but two beautiful ATCs from the USA as part of the Pay-It-Forward email I sent out recently. I was so thrilled to receive these cards, especially since I sent out 6 ATCs to people and have now received 7 back, so I now have more than I sent out ... it's just so exciting.

The first card is from the lovely Shelly R Sessions in LA and it's called "Vixen". She's such a talented artist and I'm really loving the email conversations we have from time to time ... it's so much fun communicating with like-minded creative people in other parts of the world. The other card is called "Madame Butterfly" is by Anita Lingenfelter from Tampa, Florida. I don't know her through any groups I'm involved with ... but feel like I have a small little piece of her, which is so wonderful.

The most amazing thing happened on Wednesday night ... I went along to my monthly Mastermind Meeting and one of the ladies that comes every month (Hilary) brought her friend Denise along again who is visiting from the UK. Denise came to one of our meetings some months ago and at that meeting I happened to bring along my ATC collection to show everyone what I was up to. Well Denise brought with her all the way from the UK 2 ATCs that her 75 year old aunty made, which were a gift for me!!! How incredible is that, I met Denise once quite a while ago, showed her my ATC collection, she went back to the UK and found out her aunty makes and trades cards as well and brought 2 ATCs back for me ... I was lost for words at her amazing generosity and the fact that she even remembered. So here are the cards I received ... I'm still astounded ... it's just incredible ...

Keep well, until next time.

"Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous - not just to some people in some circumstances - but to everyone all the time."
~ Thomas J. Watson, 1874-1956, Founder of IBM ~

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back from the craft retreat

Well I had a fantastic (quite cool) weekend up at Mt Tamborine, crafting with fellow enthusiasts. I mostly spent my time with friends Jill, Sandra and Sarah crafting at the same table and bunking in the same room. I arrived at 5pm on Friday and once our accommodations were in order and dinner was eaten, started scrapping until at least midnight. I had quite a restless night's sleep on the first night, being in new surroundings and having some really loud snorers in our room / cabin (even though I had ear plugs), so only ended up having around 3.5 hours sleep. I was up at 6.30am embracing a whole day of creating and after breakfast scrapped and created ATCs all day, only stopping for food breaks. We had a pyjama party on Saturday night, so it was quite fun dressing up in our PJs. I went to sleep a little earlier on Saturday night (around midnight) and as I was so exhausted from lack of sleep from the night before, managed to get around 6.5 hours sleep ... barely heard any of the snoring, although the ear plugs did help this time. Sunday was our last day at the craft retreat and after clearing our room, packing the cars and eating breakfast I continued crafting until 1.30pm when everyone started packing up the main room and clearing out.

Our cabin that 7 ladies shared (2 bedrooms).

Our Craft table.

L to R: Sandra, Me, Jill & Sarah at the PJ party ... don't say it, according to Jill I've got "pooh" on my PJs!!

All-in-all I was really happy that I completed 8 double scrapbooking layouts and 2 single ones that have been living in my work-in-progress folder for quite sometime. I also managed to finish my "Under the Sea" ATCs for the Scrapbook Cupboard swap due on 25th August and made a start on my "Song Title" (When I Kissed the Teacher) ATCs for the Addicted to Scrap Swap on 28th August, my "Orange" ATCs for the Stampers Hut swap due at the end of the month and the Watercolour ATCs for the ATC_World swap which I need to send off by 25th August at the latest. I feel like I might be catching up a bit now ... finally.

I found out today that my Create-a-Challenge layout that I submitted to Scrapbooks Etc last month came in second, still pretty good ... can't win every month hey!

I received in the mail yesterday an ATC from Kate Crane in the UK as part of the Pay-It-Forward ATC chain and it's absolutely stunning, she's such a talented artist - what a wonderful surprise. So far I've received 5 back after sending 6 out and hopefully I'll receive the 36 that I should get from it ... but if not that's ok too. I've got 5 amazing new cards in my collection anyway.

"You are the masterpiece of your own life; you are the Michelangelo of your experience. The David that you are sculpting is you. And you do it with your thoughts."
~ Dr Joe Vitale ~

Friday, August 15, 2008

Musical Angel ATC

Well I finished another ATC on Wednesday, just in time for handing it in on the due date yesterday (Thursday, 14th August). This ATC is for one of the Scrapbook Cupboard's swaps and the theme is "Music". I love how the angel's wings turned out - I bought these through a great web-site called Ruby St Designs and am really happy that I found a project in which to use them.

I'm signing off now as I'm off to Mt Tamborine this afternoon for a girlie weekend of crafting, fun and laughs ... and must get all my gear organised.

"I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change."
~ Jim Rohn, Author and Speaker ~

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WTA ATC Received

I received a lovely surprise in the mail today with a WTA ATC from Susan Guzy from New Jersey in America. I love anything vintage and although it's quite difficult to see in the picture, she's put the whole card together using beeswax - a technique I love the look of and must try at some point.

I'm off scrapping all day tomorrow so will finish a set of ATCs due on Thursday and will post before the weekend. Then on Friday night I'm travelling to Mt Tamborine for a Craft Weekend and will be back by Sunday afternoon ... I'm hoping to get at least 1 month ahead on ATCs that are due so that I won't be getting them finished just in time. It's going to be so much fun crafting all weekend ... can't wait.

The more you let go and get yourself out of the way of the process of creation the more natural it is, the more effortless it is, and the more fun.
~ Hale Dwoskin ~

Saturday, August 9, 2008

After my office hiatus ...

I'm back - I took some much needed time out and decided NOT to enter my office for a week!! I kept being drawn to it as I walked past the closed door ... but managed to keep away and ... spend time watching some movies I'd taped that I'd been meaning watch; re-read the Stephenie Meyers Twilight Series (4 books that I just could not put down) and spent quality time hanging out with my beautiful husband. I have now ventured back into my office and have caught up with all my emails (especially the 15 ATC_World digests with up to 25 emails per digest!!). I also figured out how to use my new scanner, so am ready and able to start updating my blog again.

I have received some lovely surprises in the mail this week: firstly the Keep-It-Going swap hosted by Faye through ATC_World arrived, as well as 4 ATCs from the Pay-It-Forward chain email I sent recently. The Pay-It-Forward ATCs I received are all from the USA, from Valerie Brincheck (2), Sheree Rose in Montana and Pamela Gladson in Oregon - very exciting to get these wonderful artworks from overseas.

Last week I finished a set of ATCs for the live swap at the Scrapbook Cupboard on Saturday and was very excited to be able to use all the bits and pieces I had already in my stash, rather than going out and buying new things. The background of this ATC is made with alcohol inks I did at a class at The Stampers Hut - I just love how they look.

Angels have no philosophy but love.
~ Adeline Cullen Ray ~