Monday, August 31, 2009


I was visiting the lovely Eliza's blog and she pointed me in the direction of Jo James' blog, so I had to go and see her creations. Her dolls are wonderful and she is celebrating her 200th blog post by giving away an art doll and some patterns.

So go and check it out by clicking on this link to find out more -

"We say that a girl with her doll anticipates the mother. It is more true, perhaps, that most mothers are still but children with playthings."
~F. H. Bradley~

Friday, August 28, 2009

Medieval & Winter ATC Swap

A quick post today as I'm getting organised to go away for a weekend of crafting.

I met up with some ladies for an ATC swap at a lovely cafe yesterday. There were two themes this month, the monthly theme of Medieval and the quarterly theme of Winter.

My Medieval ATC is based on the 'heretics' and burning of the witches of the time. The first layer is a seviette background in grey tones, with 3 colours of paint added with a brayer - white, grey and black. I rubbed a wooden skewer into white and red paint to add the lines, glued a bit of red German Scrap along the base and rubbed a black metallic rub around the whole perimeter.

The Winter ATC started off with a piece of Basic Grey patterned paper from last year's christmas range ... I love the wintery cool colour of this paper. I stamped the trees with pine cone coloured ink and went over the top of it in the same position with a glue ink pad and added white flocking ... it's difficult to see in the picture but it's all soft and fluffy looking. I inked around the edges in a Nagara Mist coloured chalk ink.

I went for a walk the other day with my husband and look what we found under a large tree ... a tiny little nest. It's just the cutest thing and really small, it fit in the palm of my hand. It's quite amazing to see all the little bits and pieces the birds place inside a nest to make it all comfy for the eggs ... it's a shame they didn't stick this one in the tree very well.

I'm off to a weekend of crafting up at Mt Tamborine this afternoon, so I look forward to catching up on everyone's blogs and creations when I return on Sunday .... have a great one.

"Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it."
~William Feather, 1889-1981, Writer~

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Art Sisters - AOTM

The time has come to complete my monthly creation for the Art Sisters Yahoo Group Art of the Month project. This month I post to Jacky and Samm posts to me ... both amazing artists so take the time to visit their blogs. I always look forward to when the end of the month comes near, so I get to see what amazing creations everyone on the group has made. I was also happy to find that Jacky loves birds, nature, fabric, collage and all colours, which allowed me free reign for my creation this month.

This time I decided to alter the cover of a notebook that I'd bought recently at the Scrapbooks Etc Trash & Treasure. The cover was burgundy, which I quite liked, but you can't see any of it on the end product. I started with cheesecloth glued onto the cover, then a serviette over the top of that so there was a fabric texture. I coloured the serviette with Olive and Creme de Cocoa glimmer mists and found it was too dark, so added another nest from the serviette with a piece of white paper underneath so you could actually see the detail. I used Patina and Spanish Copper Rub 'n' Buff around the edges as well as copper foil tape and german scrap along the bottom.

The chipboard bird is covered with paper from an English / Japanese dictionary with the definition of bird. It has been coloured with Walnut Ink, coated with crackle medium and once dry Espresso alcohol inks to accentuate the cracks. The microscope slide has a feather stuck between the two pieces of glass, again with copper foil tape and aged with Patina & Spanish Copper Rub 'n' Buff, held in place with rusty wire. I was a little disappointed that my microscope slide cracked, but then felt the "rustic-ness" of the broken glass added to the piece.

It'll be in the mail this week to Jacky, so I hope she likes it.

"Out of difficulties grow miracles."
~Jean de La Bruyère, 1645-1696, French Writer~

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Favourite Holiday Photo

Sometime ago I posted a picture of a photo onto our local newspaper's website ( that I'd taken when Ferg and I went camping on Fraser Island, then yesterday Ferg emails me to say he'd done a search of our name online, and up pops our photo.

Here's the link to access our photo and 19 others that says are a "selection of the best travel photos" -,21592,5028152-5007153-10,00.html. Or if it's no longer there, here's a picture of it on the page.

"It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things money can't buy."
~George Lorimer, 1867-1937, Editor of Saturday Evening Post~

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ATCs and Home Page Honours

I have finally finished my ATCs for the Handmade Crow or Raven swap, hosted by Sheree Rose through the Advanced ATCs UK Yahoo Group. A lot of the cards I've seen made so far are so diverse, there have been crows and ravens made in the style of steampunk, zetti, handpainted and hand-drawn and more ... so I really wanted to do something different.

I started my ATC with a serviette, which I painted with a brayer in 3 different colours (MM Shopping Bag, Golden Raw Sienna & Red Oxide). I then stamped some branches with StaZon Timber Brown. I printed a picture of a raven and covered the body and a separate wing with black glass shards. The beak and legs were done with a black dimensional paint and I used an adhesive gold diamante for the eye. When the glue was dry, I covered the glass shards with Dimensional Magic and then stuck down the wing on top so it looks dimensional. A rusty old bottle cap with the word Raven coloured in walnut ink added in the right hand corner and it's ready to be sent off to the USA.
As I was checking my swap details on AATCUK Yahoo Group, I noticed my Postage People ATC made it on the home page ... I wonder if it's because I've used a stamp with Queen Elizabeth's head on it?? It doesn't matter how many times I feature on the home page, I still feel really good when my card gets chosen.
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it."
~John Ruskin, 1819-1900, Artist and Author~

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some more ATCs

Here are a couple of ATCs I made recently. The first one "Dance" I made for a live swap a few months ago, but I hadn't finished one off for me, so now that I've done it I can show you how it turned out. You'll never believe what I used as the background ... I always use a 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock as my backing sheet when I paint, glue, stamp or emboss, so I can keep my desk relatively clean. After 6 months of using the cardstock, it looked so awesome I decided to make it into ATCs ... I couldn't have gotten this effect if I tried. Every ATC had a slightly different background, of course, depending on what technique I was doing on that part of the sheet.

The next ATC I made for a swap hosted by the gorgeous Tanya (does beautiful work, but doesn't update her blog very often). A group of us met today at our local shopping centre and traded our cards over a nice old chat. I love that there is no theme for this swap, so I finally got a chance to try the Postage People technique that I learnt from Marion B via a You Tube video (see embedded video at the end of this post).

In the video, Marion B used a postage stamp over an image she stamped herself, but I don't have that many rubber stamps so ended up finding a drawing of two ladies, that I shrunk down so that the postage stamp would fit and then I printed it out on a laser printer onto watercolour paper. I then used my watercolour pencils, that I haven't used in a very long time and hand coloured the whole thing in. To finish off I used gold rub 'n' buff around the edges, some german scrap along the bottom, a Scrapware chipboard crown inked in gold, a journey circle stamp in gold over the edge of the postage stamp and finally I made the words "We are not amused ..." into a rub-on. I had so much fun making this 'postage people' ATC that I may have to do some more.

"You are not powerless about anything. When you get a vision and then find alignment with it, you ARE powerful. And then amazing things begin to happen around you..."

Friday, August 14, 2009

National Marriage Day

Apparently yesterday (Thursday, 13th August 2009) was "National Marriage Day". Apparently volumes of research has been done to demonstrate beyond doubt the positive contribution that intact, stable marriages make to the wellbeing of children and society. Marriage is the key. We all could consider investing in it now if we are to deliver the best opportunities for the children in the future. So spread the news ... marriage is good for you, good for your children and good for society.

A friend of mine and fellow life coach, Jill Brown, has written a nice little "food for thought" blurb on the topic, if you're interested in some tips on keeping a marriage working, so feel free to visit her blog - Perhaps you could leave a comment on what works in your marriage or if you're not married, what you've noticed works in the relationships you've had contact with.

I must say that I'm blessed to have a wonderful husband that loves me, supports me and is willing to communicate with me when needed. I do, however, work at our relationship and ensure that I don't take the things he does for me for granted, I make sure he knows how much appreciate him and the things he does. All relationships need good honest communication and respect, which I believe leads to a happy fulfilling life shared together!

"It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters."
~Mother Teresa, 1910-1997, Albanian-born Humanitarian and Missionary~

Friday, August 7, 2009

Art Sisters - AOTM

This is the second month I joined in on the Art Sisters Yahoo Group's Art of the Month concept and I was extremely challenged this month. I was to create a piece of art to send to Karin and her preference in colours is 'purple, deep red, blue, lilac, most colours except brown' and her likes are 'quirky/odd, 'grungy', texture, colour' ... well of course I love grungy, texture and colour, so that part was easy ... but no brown?? everything I do has brown on it ... so it was kind of fun to have a go at doing grungy without using brown.

So here are some photos of the wall hanging I made for Karin ... again I used Jen Crossley's pre-cut chipboard frames (did I tell you I just love these). I started by sticking down a serviette (which happened to be a dark pink colour), next I added 3 different colours of paint with a brayer - first MM Shopping Bag, then Golden Raw Sienna and finally Red Oxide. I stamped over the whole frame in black Stazon then added Gold and Patina rub 'n' buff around the edges, finishing with a two step crackle medium. When that was dry I went over the whole frame with Slate coloured Alcohol Inks.

The image was stamped on a transparency and behind it is cheese cloth coloured with glimmer mists that I stuck onto patterned paper that looked like the alphabet a child would write in their school book. I then used a 3-hole pamphlet stitch that I learned through Dorothy Simpson Krause's book on Book + Art as a decorative border across the bottom and to create the hanger at the top. To finish off I added a rusty old key, an old fuse (that I bought off Jen Crossley) and a rusty bottle cap that fit a clock face in perfectly.

Jo Wholohan sent me the most wonderful handmade hand-painted doll, that I will just treasure ... it's just beautiful and admire those that can create such beautiful objects from scratch.

Jo's doll on a log in front of our chiminea.

Here's how big the doll is, it sits in my hand nicely.
"People who say that life is not worthwhile are really saying that they themselves have no personal goals which are worthwhile. Get yourself a goal worth working for. Better still, get yourself a project. Always have something ahead of you to look forward work for and hope for."
~Dr. Maxwell Maltz, Author of Psycho-Cybernetics~

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Artistic Endeavours of Late

I've been so busy making and creating art of late, that I finally made time to post some pictures on my blog.

Addicted to Scrap ATC Swap
One of our local Scrapbook shops, Addicted to Scrap, is closing it's doors this weekend so our monthly ATC swap will now be held at a cafe instead ... I don't mind too much, 'cause we still get to catch up with the girls and nothing beats a good coffee made at a cafe ... it is a little sad that the shop will no longer be there though. The theme for our July swap was "red" and "ribbon", so I excitedly went through my old stash of ribbons and happily started sewing away. I found a picture of a Blythe Doll with beautiful red hair on the Hasbro Site (I think) and here is my finished product.

ATC for "Red" and "Ribbon" themed swap.

Scrapbook Cupboard ATC Swap
We had a "live" swap on Saturday at the Scrapbook Cupboard and the good thing about this monthly swap is there's no "theme", so we can make whatever tickles our fancy. To make my ATC this month I used a ready made matte-board frame that I bought at a show recently through a company called Papertole Australia. I stamped the top and bottom edge of the frame, added some Asian Papers and a picture of a young Geisha Girl, added a charm and voila quick card ready for the swap. I also tried using Shellac Varnish because I'd noticed some artworks with a lovely rich warm colour and wanted the same effect on this card, but when I used the ready made product I'd bought it just soaked in, made everything wet, didn't change the colour or look of the card and really smelled ... so may need to try the flakes next time.

Young Geisha ATC using pre-made matte board frame.

Advanced ATC UK Yahoo Group
I'd joined a "Tales of Camelot" swap through AATCUK hosted by Alison Brandist and the theme I chose was the Fisher King. I used another one of those pre-made matte-board frames, but this time decided to paint it to tie in with the background. I used the head of a fish for my Fish-er King, but my husband proceeded to tell me that he thought it looked like and eel ... he's probably right, but it's too late ... they're done and they've been sent to the UK.

Fish-er King ATC ... or is it the Eel-er King?

I have also created a piece for an Art of the Month project through another Yahoo Group, so will post some pics soon.

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882, Poet and Essayist~

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A family birthday

Our beautiful (fur) baby, Beau, celebrated his first birthday on Friday and I was set to spoil him. I was considerate and got his first annual heartworm injection done the day prior, so he wouldn't remember his birthday in a negative light. Had a bit of trouble at the vet though ... our normally placid Kelpie didn't like the vet giving him a once over so growled a bit and gave him a warning nip so was promptly placed in a muzzle before the actual needle. Apparently, Beau has "behavioural issues" (according to the vet) and I need to do more training with him ... I thought I trained him well, he didn't actually draw blood now, did he?

Anyway, onto all the spoiling ... Ferg and I took Beau to the beach for the first time as his birthday treat. We're in the middle of winter here and Sunday was 23 degrees celsius ... an amazingly gorgeous warm day ... so of course there were at least 50 other dogs on the beach (a little bit daunting for mum, I must say). Beau was a trooper though, he was so focussed on his one love (a bouncy ball) it was like there weren't any other dogs on the beach at all. I think he had a fantastic time, so I'll stop with the chat and get onto the pics ... ciao for now.

Beau and me on his birthday.

Patiently waiting for the ball to be thrown.

Beau really wanted to get his ball, but wasn't sure about going into the water.

After a bit of coaxing on the lead with Ferg, Beau willingly went into the surf to get his ball.

This cute little fluffy number, had her eye on Beau and chased after him for a while.

All wet and covered in sand ... this is the life.

Time to go home ...

"Every dog MUST have his day."
~Jonathon Swift~