Saturday, January 30, 2010

Calendar Challenge - February

I went over to my friend Tanya's place last night for an arting and crafting night of fun and finished my February Art Calendar for Kate Crane's 365 day Calendar Challenge (for more details visit this post - or join her flickr group - ).

This month I chose "tropical" colours of lemon, lime and watermelon as my calendar base because February in Queensland, Australia encounters very tropical weather.  Further up the north coast of Queensland it's monsoonal at this time of the year, with heavy rains, winds and heat ... it's not as extreme down on the Gold Coast, but we do experience some amazing intense storms and heavy rain during February.

The background is a yellow patterned serviette / napkin with a wash of colour in yellow and pink.  The green paint was applied with a brayer.  Some use of punchinella large yellow circles and then smaller pink ones.  Tim Holtz stamps down the left hand side and top right corner, Heidi Swapp mask alpha's and then pieces of matching scrapbook paper, that will get altered more as the days go by.

I've had a blast updating my January calendar every day ... it's not very creative, but I'm having fun with it all the same.

"Every instance of heartbreak can teach us powerful lessons about creating the kind of love we really want."
~ Martha Beck, American Sociologist/Therapist/Author~

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Flat Stanley meets some wildlife ...

Today Flat Stanley went into Dreamworld's Australian Wildlife Experience and met a few famous Australian animals. 

He was a little hesitant getting so close to these Kangaroos, but they seemed to be pretty relaxed on this hot Australia Day. One of them even let him go for a ride on his back.

Flat Stanley got up close and personal with two real Koala's, the one of the left is Allira and the other one is Jamaica.  He was a little concerned being so close to Allira because she wanted to have a little nibble of his head, but the game keeper distracted the Koala so a photo could be taken and Flat Stanley got away in one piece.

And he also had an opportunity to visit the Australian children's entertainers through The Wiggles World:

It seems Flat Stanley just can't stay out of trouble ... might be time for him to make his way back home to Texas.

All in all a fun day out on the Gold Coast for Flat Stanley.

Happy Australia Day!

It's the anniversary of the First Landing in Australia today, when in 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip arrived at Sydney Cove from Great Britain with a fleet of eleven convict ships.  We celebrate this special day nationally by having a day off work and getting together with friends for a good old Aussie barbie ... which we'll be doing a little later on today.

Even Google gets into the Australia Day spirit:

So I hope you all enjoy your day and here's Sam Kekovich's Australia Day message ... that is becoming somewhat of a tradition now every year:

"They who came here in chains, who were lashed while they worked in convict gangs at Port Arthur. They who like many others were driven through starvation or oppression from their home-lands to the shores of this new country, Australia. They, who for a multitude of reasons that hopefully, I or my children will never witness or experience, decided not to harbour grudges or discontent but rather to look to the future. They who embraced this country as their own and said; "let's get on with it, this is a new land, this is our home."
~Dennis O'Keeffe - Musician~

Monday, January 25, 2010

Flat Stanley's visit ...

Allison, a girl in Texas is doing a school project to learn more about other countries around the world and she has coloured in a Flat Stanley picture and sent it to my friend Brenda Grace in Western Australia (visit this post for more information ).

Anyway, Ferg, Beau (the dog) and I went out on the weekend with Flat Stanley and showed him some of the attractions the Gold Coast had to share:

Flat Stanley met Beau, a real Australian Working Kelpie:

... and loved the colours and texture of the Australian Eucalypt Gum Trees::

It was so hot and Flat Stanley really wanted to go for a swim with 3 year old Alexis, but was afraid he might disintegrate, so just hung out for a while:

On a trip to Surfers Paradise, the flagged area of the beach was absolutely full of people:

Main Street of Surfers Paradise, Flat Stanley is just loving hanging arounds:

The tallest residential tower in the world ... Q1:

Flat Stanley visited 2 out of 4 theme parks, here's Dreamworld:

Which also has Whitewater World:

... and The Drop ... scaaary:

Movie World is just around the corner:

and Flat Stanley felt a little homesick when he noticed the Australian and US Flags flying side-by-side:

These signs are quite common around Coomera, as the area is a very important Koala precinct:

Flat Stanley sent an email off to Allison today and will be visiting Brisbane soon, so will take a few more pics and then be on his way back to Texas.

"Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always try to be a little kinder than is necessary?"
~James Matthew Barrie, 1860-1937, Author of Peter Pan~

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A little bit of creativity ...

I've only been back at work 2 weeks after having a lovely 2 weeks holiday and have started feeling really run down, so haven't done too much creating.  But when the weekend comes, look out ... I'm suddenly on fire and all motivated ... funny how that happens.  So here's a couple of things I've been up to lately:

I've finished the cover of the altered board book I worked on with a group of girls in Brisbane in 2009.  The theme for this altered book was "Imagine" and I wanted a simple, but rustic cover for my book.  The only thing I'm going to do now is add tags with the techniques used on each spread and the book will be finished.

I've also started our next altered book project with the same group and this year I've chosen to document the year of my birth - 1969.  The book I'm altering is a Dutch and English dictionary that I especially went searching for, due to my ancestry being Dutch.  I'm so excited with this project and the research is so much fun.  Here's my first layout and it's on the song that was top of the charts the day I was born.

Here's my latest ATC for the face-to-face swap held on the third Sunday of every month in Helensvale.  I'm on a mission to use up my collection of napkins as they're taking over my craft area, so this set of ATCs used up 4 of them in the background and I really like how it turned out:

I got together with Pam yesterday and got a little arting and crafting done and finally started this piece for the Paper Arts Yahoo Group Spooky Book Page lottery.  They're holding this lottery because one of each page was held back from the swap for another participant who did not send their pages in.  So far there are only 2 or 3 players, so I think I'm in with a chance.  There were a few rules to follow, the page had to be 5 x 7 and the other criteria was you must use itkupilli images (  The skull with the candle on the top of my tree was made by Kelley Smith at this blog ... and I thought it was perfect to be at the top of my Spooky Christmas Tree.  There's a bit of lace and crushed velvet ribbon all sewn on with Pam's sewing machine and Pam hand cut out my tree in about 1 minute, much better than what I could do.  The "blood" is red dimensional paint and all the skulls are tied on with red DMC thread.

On the home front, Beau has found a new friend ... I thought it was a lovely dog from the neighbouring property until we were advised it's our Neighbour's pet dingo!!!  You can imagine that we're not encouraging this dog to hang around the house ... not with 2 young children around ... although he does seem good-natured!!

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."
~Josh Billings~

Monday, January 4, 2010

Calendar Challenge

My friend in the UK Kate Crane started up an Art Calendar Challenge (which I did not sign up for) and everytime I checked out her blog I was in awe of her beautiful calendar creations ... so yesterday I thought I'd have a play in my journal and see what happened and here's my calendar:

I had an existing A4 Visual Arts Diary in which I'd already created some pages from a workshop, so decided to keep using the same journal.  I started with a light blue patterned napkin, added a wash of yellow and added orange and red paint with a brayer.  I decided to go with bright colours for January as it's Summer and hot here in Australia.

The next layer was stamping with flourishes and patterns around the edges in brown.  I used Heidi Swapp mask alphabets for January and temporarily placed the 4cm x 4cm squares, which I cut out of ordinary white printer paper, then sprayed the whole thing with terracotta glimmer mists.  My plan had been to lift everything up and voila finished calendar ... but the glimmer mist colour wasn't dark enough to make out the letters and the squares didn't show up enough either, so I used the outside edge of the mask alphbets and inked inside with brown so the month could be read easier and permanently adhered the plain paper squares with a bit of ink around the edges.

I have to say, the calendar thing is kind of addictive and although I haven't "officially" joined the challenge and committed to creating a calendar each month, I really like the idea of recording a few words on my happenings every day ... I could be hooked!

"For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice."
~T.S. Eliot ~

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year ...

Hope everyone had wonderful New Year's Eve celebrations and are ready to start afresh achieving goals and having fun.  We had a quiet night with a dinner at a restaurant and managed to watch the local fireworks at 9pm with my niece and nephew ... didn't quite make it to midnight, must have had one too many wines!!

Here's a couple of ATCs I finished for some swaps whilst still on holidays ... just a few more projects to complete and I'm up to date.

Spring ATC for Addicted to Scrap Swap

Donald "Fauntleroy" Duck ATC for Addicted to Scrap Disney Swap.

Letter from a Lighthorsman for AATCUK Vintage Correspondence Swap, hosted by Kyla.

"Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer, with never a thought of sorrow; The old goes out, but the glad young year comes merrily in tomorrow."
~Emily Miller ~