Sunday, September 27, 2009

The week that was ...

We've had quite a week in Queensland, on Wednesday a dust storm that smothered New South Wales made its way to us. We were hit with strong winds and low visibility on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. On the roads everyone was driving with their head lights on as if there was a big storm or misty.

I was reading in the newspaper that on a normal day we might have around 10 micrograms of particles per cubic metre of air and a bushfire might generate 500 micrograms. The levels on Wednesday soared to 15,400 micrograms per cubic metre of air in some areas ... that’s just incredible. The Bureau of Meteorolgy said the storm in NSW was the worst in 70 years, if not the history of the state. It’s all due to the fact that we just haven’t had much rain in the last 6 months, so the drought ravaged country areas have been really affected by these fierce winds.

I have received some cool photos of the dust storm via email from my sister in Sydney and also some from our local area, so check them out:

A picture of the Sun when I was in Underwood, Brisbane.

The M1 freeway travelling back from Brisbane to Gold Coast.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge.

A view of Kings Cross, Sydney.

I have made a couple of ATCs for two local swaps this week. The first one is for the Addicted to Scrap swap and the theme was Italian Renaissance, so I used up a stamp I had in my stash that I hadn't used before. I love the quote on this stamp by Da Vinci "Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful more simple or more direct than does Nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous."

Leonardo da Vinci

This ATC was made for a face-to-face swap and I've used the images from Itkupilli Etsy Shop - - I picked up this link from Jade Adams who made an ATC using these creepy doll images ... I think they're divine. I think I might choose a new backgroud from Itkupilli for my blog ... I'm off to check them out now.

"All our dreams can come true - if we have the courage to pursue them." ~Walt Disney, 1901-1966, Cartoon Artist and Producer~

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happenings and creations ...

My love affair with paper started when I was quite young (I much preferred stationery as a gift than toys or clothes) and then after years of studying and working, it was rekindled again when I discovered scrapbooking 8 years ago. This love affair has evolved into anything mixed media and the last 18 months has seen me use more products and techniques than I ever imagined possible, in making ATCs.

Last weekend I went away for a crafty / arty weekend and for the first time in ages I was back in the swing of scrapbooking. I still go to my local scrapbook shop at least 3 times a month to do a scrapbook class (so I get through my photos) and the last year has seen all the layouts piling up because I haven't added photos, or a title, some embellishments or journalling ... so it felt really really good to finish a bunch of layouts from a holiday taken overseas in October 2007. I'm still not completely done with the whole trip, but I feel organised and have printed all the photos and now just need to complete the finishing touches.

So here are some pictures from the weekend ...

Here I am doing some scrapbooking.

We awoke to a cool misty morning Saturday.

I shared a cabin with Sandra & Jill ... same one as last year.

A local deli ... my coffee saviour over the weekend.

I left early on the Sunday to attend my niece's 3rd birthday party, but on the way home I couldn't resist the "markets" sign and had to stop in. They had loads of stalls with vintage pieces and I bought this old Italian book and ruler.

My niece Alexis, 3 years old, with her Barbie birthday cake.

Me and Alexis.

My nephew Harry has to get in on the action too.

Here's my latest ATC creation for the Fan Swap through Advanced Artist Trading Cards UK Yahoo Group. I've scanned each individual blade before I put the whole thing together and added embellishments. The theme for this piece is the "Evolution of Life" and it encompasses major experiences in one's life such as birth; education/attainment of knowledge and skills; sharing of life with a significant other; acquisition of a home, car or even having children; then the end / a funeral. I am sending my creation to Suze Urquhart in the UK.

The beginning / birth.

Attainment of knowledge / skills.

Sharing life with another.

Acquisition of house, car or having children.

A funeral / the end.

The fan all together.

A close up of some of the detail.

I received my fan from Heather Fenn-Edwards also in the UK and it's just fantastic. Heather hand made the dragonfly embellishment and is going to be published with this beautiful bead-work, so I'm one of the first to see it.

ATC Fan by Heather Fenn-Edwards.

The amazing dragonfly.

Beautiful bead-work ... a skill that escapes me.

Lovely fibres and beads.

"Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them, for they're always there."
~Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, 1898-1993, Author of The Power of Positive Thinking~

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blog Awards Galore

I recently received not one, but two blog awards ... both from lovely and creative ladies. The first one is from Kate in the UK:

and the other award is from the lovely Barb in Wagga Wagga, NSW Australia:

For the award from Barb, I'm supposed to list 5 things that I love and choose 10 of my favourite blogs, so other than my beautiful husband, my friends and relatives my top 5 things are:
  1. My fur-baby, Beau ... I never knew how much love I could give a dog until I owned one.
  2. Creating art and trying new techniques.
  3. Going to a craft fair, recycle centre or a flea market with my fellow arty friends and a great find at either that I can use in my art.
  4. Taking in the wonder of nature, whether on our property, beautiful vistas discovered on trips or just the sound of the ocean.
  5. A glass of good red wine and good conversation ... nothing beats it.
And I send both awards to the people listed below, if they choose to accept them:
  1. Kyla - beautiful art ... if only she'd update her art more often.
  2. Shelly - a gorgeous person and great artist, I'd love to see more of her creations more often.
  3. Nic - another beautiful creative soul
  4. Marion B - such inspiration and the postage people queen.
  5. Samantha - such a diverse variety of art.
  6. Elizabeth - such a giving soul and more great art.
  7. Jo - an amazing painter and creator of art dolls.
  8. Jen - artiste extraordinaire.
  9. Kathy - fantastic artist.
  10. Lynette - such talent ... and personality
  11. Kate - I'll be sending the 2nd award as her art is just beautiful.
All fantastic artists in their own right and even if they don't accept blog awards, I want them to know that I love to visit their blogs and look at their art.

Thanks ladies for thinking I am deserving of these awards.