Saturday, January 31, 2009

Making New Friends ...

A few of us locals got together yesterday for an ATC Meet, Greet, Create & Swap at Scrapbooks Etc, along with the lovely Sheree Rose who we got to know through a couple of overseas Yahoo Groups - ATC_World (where she is a moderator) and Advanced Artist Trading Cards UK . Sheree is Australian but spends half her time living in the US with her husband and the other half in Australia. It was so wonderful to put a face to a name and she patiently showed us all a few ATC tricks and some wonderful techniques.
The ATC Meet, Greet, Create & Swap Group

Back Row L to R: Diana (Me), Sheree Rose, Pam Prosser
Front Row L to R: Kyla De Ruiter, Mercia Poree & Sarah Walker

After saying our hellos and checking out each other's collections we all placed a bag of supplies to make one ATC in the basket and chose one each. We then got our heads down and started creating an ATC out of someone else's bits and pieces. A couple of hours later, we were all emerged with one completed ATC (I think that was the fastest ATC I ever made) and then we swapped that ATC as well.

I ended up with this lovely ATC by Pam using Sarah's supplies.
I had a great time creating and chatting with everyone, as well as getting to know Sheree a little better.

"The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are. If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you are helpful, the world will prove loving and friendly and helpful to you. The world is what you are."
~Thomas Dreier, Author~

Friday, January 30, 2009

Blog Candy Gift ...

I'm noticing more and more that very talented artists are holding Blog Competitions and giving away art creations that they've made ... and one of my favourite artists (and a lovely person) Kate Crane held a Blog Candy Giveaway just recently and I was the very lucky girl that WON!

Kate's beautiful art creation arrived in the mail this week and it has had pride of place on my desk ... not to mention that I keep bringing it with me everywhere I go to show it off to fellow artists and everyone else I meet!!

The details when you see this book in the flesh are fabulous ... the painted surface is shiny; the background is embossed; the vibrant colours; the lovely little heart on some text paper with a piece of mica; the stitching; the itsy bitsy buttons ... it's a truly wonderful creation and I love it. Thank you, thank you Kate!

The photos are courtesy of Kate's blog (I hope you don't mind me borrowing them Kate!!), I felt they did the Notebook justice!

Now, to bring myself to use it ...

Like I said earlier, I've been a very lucky girl and have also won another art creation on Kelsey's blog this week ... apparently she sent it on Friday, so when it arrives I'll gladly show it off ... watch this space.

"I live a day at a time. Each day I look for a kernel of excitement. In the morning, I say: 'What is my exciting thing for today?' Then, I do the day. Don't ask me about tomorrow."
~Barbara Jordan 1936-1996, Lawyer, Educator and Politician~

Monday, January 26, 2009

Zodiac Swap

It's taken me ages to finish the ATCs for the January themed Zodiac Swap through the Scrapbook Cupboard. I decided to go with my own star-sign "Pisces", even though there was a suggestion to make an ATC of all participant's star-signs - but I just knew I wasn't going to have the time to do that, as we have Ferg's mum visiting from Ireland and we're out and about so much, I'm not getting much crafting done.

I started this ATC with some scrap cardboard that came in the ATC sleeve packets, which I cut down to ATC size, I then put them through the Cuttlebug, thereby creating the dot textured background. I painted the background with Making Memories glaze paints in Sky Blue and Emerald green, then spritzed with Sapphire and Spring Mint Glimmer Mists - love that colour combination. You can't really see the background effect in the picture, but they shimmer beautifully when turned in the light.

I then found a couple of images of fish through google, added a fish hook with fibre and punched the words out on my trusty dymo.

I'll be handing these in tomorrow ... even though they were due on the 25th January, but seeing as that was a Sunday and today is Australia Day and the shop was closed both days, I figure I'm not really late!!

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."
~Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish Artist~

Happy Australia Day ...

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated every year on 26th January, the day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia.

Australia Day is an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia, so most businesses do not operate ... although in recent years, most retail outlets and restaurants do now open.

When we lived in Sydney, Ferg and I would always go into the city with friends as there was a food and wine fair held in Hyde Park. We'd have our fill of foreign foods and then make our way to a pub at The Rocks, drinking and laughing the night away.

Now that we're on the Gold Coast, we'll be going to a friends house for a good old Aussie lamb on the barbie ... that'll make Sam Kekovich happy (check out the videos below) ...


Monday, January 19, 2009

Blog Play ...

Blog-land is full of fun things to do and I was attracted to this one that my friend Shelly posted on her blog. The game is to Go to the "Pictures" file of your hard drive. Choose the sixth folder. Now, open the folder and choose the sixth picture from that folder. The picture that comes up is the one you are to post.

The photo that came up is of our beautiful puppy Beau and it was taken on 27th September 2008. He was 8 weeks old in this photo and we would have been in our family for just over a week. The little darling is chewing on an old pair of Ferg's socks ... I just think he's the cutest thing.

We just went away this weekend with Ferg's mother-in-law up to the Sunshine Coast and I was suffering from separation anxiety being away from my baby ... he's 2 weeks shy of turning 6 months old and is now 15 kgs and really big so it was quite nice to visit a photo of him when he was an itty bitty thing.

"Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well."
~Josh Billings, 1818-1885, American Humorist and Lecturer~

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Naked Lady ...

I finished my ATCs for the Naked Lady swap through Addicted to Scrap due at the end of January.

This ATC is quite different to what I normally do, for instance, it's off-white and lately I've been using a lot of colour especially red & copper ... I've used pieces of tulle, fabric & lace and had good intentions of sewing these on, but was afraid the cardboard might be too thick so just used gel medium to stick them on instead. I nearly left the edges plain, but I kept thinking the ATC wasn't finished so I used Spanish Copper Rub 'n' Buff and although it just looks like a brown edge, if you tilt the card up to the light you can see a copper sheen, it quite subtle.

I used a translation web-site for the words "Dame Nue", which are supposed to say "Naked Lady" in French, but whether this is true or not, I have no idea ... still, I thought it could be right, so I used it.

What a grand thing, to be loved!
What a grander thing still, to love!
~Victor Hugo, 1802-1885, French Poet/Dramatist/Novelist~

Happy Birthday ...

It was the lovely and talented Shelly's birthday yesterday and I'd made her an ATC to celebrate this occasion about 2 weeks ago, but couldn't post a picture of it until she'd received it of course.

She's a bit of a fan of Gerard Butler (and after watching Tomb Raider again last week I can see why ... he's quite easy on the eye) so I used a picture of him as the focal point of this card and did the transfer technique, which is quite unpredictible although I quite like the 'rustic-ness' of how he turned out.

"Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world."
~John Evelyn, 1620-1706, English Diarist/Writer/Gardener~

Friday, January 9, 2009


Some of the members of ATC_World started posting pictures of their Gargoyle ATCs and I thought they were awesome, so at the last moment I decided to play even though my mum & dad have only just left to go back to Sydney and my mother-in-law arrived on Monday from Ireland (the great thing about overseas travel is jetlag ... so I've been able to duck away into my craft room a little bit and finish my ATCs)!!

Here is my Gargoyle ATC with the title "Grotesquerie" ... I borrowed that word from one of the Anne Rice Vampire Chonicles books about the Vampire Lestat ... isn't it a cool word!! The dictionary definition is - (1) grotesque character; (2) something grotesque; (3) grotesque ornamental work - perfectly describing gargoyles I thought.

They're now on their way to Vonda in Michigan USA ... hope they turn up by the deadline on 23rd January.

"One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again."
~Abraham Maslow 1908-1970, Psychologist~

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Angel re-done

I felt that my Angel ATC really needed a bit of wing showing behind the shoulder that's cut off. I didn't have any more German Scrap wings to use for that little bit, so I cut some wing bits out of some cardstock and made them up . It looks a little dodgy, but I think it's better with it there ... my eye kept being drawn to the empty space.

I'm off to the airport to pick up my husband who's been in Sydney for 3 days and tomorrow we pick up his mother who's flying in from Ireland ... so there might not be a lot of creating or blog postings happening over the next month ... or maybe I'll be able to duck away from time to time!! Watch this space.

If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.
~Chinese Proverb~

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Angel ATCs

The December theme for the Stampers Hut ATC swap is Angels and it's lucky the shop closed down for the Christmas / New Year period because I only just got them finished today. There's also a new blog created by the talented ladies that host the PaperArts Yahoo Group called 2cre8art and every month they are going to post a creative challenge. This month's challenge is Peeled Paper, so I decided to incorporate the two and kill two birds with one stone.

Here's the finished ATC and if you want to see how I did the background, I've scanned it every step of the way and posted the pictures below. I received the image of David Borneanaz in an email from the very talented Linda Baldock and he looked so hot in the picture I just had to use him in my "Angel" themed card ... considering he was also the vampire "Angelus / Angel" in the television series a few years ago.

Finished ATC
Step 1: To do the Peeled Paper technique, I basically stuck down pieces of printed paper all over my base - I chose 5 different papers and made sure there were no straight edges in the centre of the page. I used a glue stick to stick my papers down because that's what the technique called for and I actually added the papers to ATC sized bases instead of a large base that can be cut down afterwards. Once all the papers were stuck down, I trimmed the edges and then stuck masking tape down in some areas and ripped off to remove some of the paper / text - hence 'peeled paper'.
Step 2: I painted over the paper in red and dabbed paint off in some areas to reveal the text.

Step 3: I painted over the base colour with Making Memories Copper Glaze paint. Again I've dabbed some of the paint off.

Step 4: Add a little watered down black paint in some areas and rub off quickly with paper towel.
Step 5: I added a little Making Memories Ruby Glaze Paint over the black to tone it down a little.
Step 6: I've used a Tim Holtz splatter stamp with clear ink and embossed with red powder because my Angel is really a vampire and I wanted it to look like blood in the background. The embossing is actually not part of the Peeled Paper technique, but I added it because I like texture.
Step 7: I've inked around the edges in StazOn Timber Brown Ink and painted the German Scrap Swan wings that started off white with similar paint colours as the background, red and copper. I then used black rub 'n' buff and some gold rub 'n' buff on top to tone the black down a little.
In the final stage I added the words "Angel of the night" which I'd painted in the ruby glaze paint and inked around in the StazOn Timber Brown. You can still see some of the words from the original text through the paint, although it's difficult to see in the scan, but if you want to see more, just water down the paints and dab more off before it dries.
"Angels are messengers, but sometimes we misunderstand their language."
~Linda Solegato~

Some Christmas Candids

Beautiful Beau in his Santa hat ... not really into hats it seems, he couldn't wait to get it off his head and into his mouth.

Nearly there ... I want that pompom!

Got it!

Finally, got it off!

Now I can relax ... someone thinks they're king of the bed!

Ferg & Di

Dad (Opa to Alexis) & Sylvia

Mum (Oma) & Alexis

Sister Sylvia & Dave (DH)

Brother David

Niece Alexis ... what a cutey-pie.

Oooh, there's presents under the tree ... Alexis discovers that Santa's been to visit.

Don't you just love the sparkles on my toes ... a gift from my beautician.

I love this time of the year, when the trees on our property lose their bark and the colour underneath is so fresh and vibrant.

Another day comes to a close.
"Each moment of the year has its own beauty ... a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Italian Renaissance

I started and finished my Italian Renaissance ATCs today for a swap through the Advanced Artist Trading Cards UK Yahoo Group because it was such a hot day today (39 degrees celsius I believe) and I just wanted to stay in my air-conditioned office instead of being outdoors.
I had so much fun making these ATCs ... I think the messier and dirtier I get the more fun I have. The image I chose is a painting by Antonio Pisanello called Portrait of Ginerva d'Este (1433-1438) that I found through Google Images to be on a page dedicated to "Head Taping". So the title of my card is "In Fashion - Head Taping" and then I used a free translator on the net to convert it into Italian and it became "Alla Moda - taping dei capelli". Now, I am not sure if the words or grammar are correct, but I think for the purposes of this card it'll do.

So in accordance with the Head Taping theme, I covered an arch shaped ATC in masking tape as my first layer, then painted with red and yellow ochre. I stamped a couple of definitions stamps of "original" and "create" in black and painted over this in a ruby glaze paint. Next layer is copper glaze paint dabbed onto sequin waste in various spots. I stuck down my words and embossed a flourish arch that covered the entire card in Alison Ellis Design Antique Sand embossing powder.

To finish off I inked the edges and a bit of the embossing with Timber Brown StazOn, added the german scrap and the image that had been painted with Crackle Medium.

I have to say I didn't have to wait long for each layer to dry ... in this heat I barely need to use a heat gun to melt the embossing powder ... ok maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
~Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519, Italian Painter and Sculptor~