Friday, 9 December 2011

The Stampers' Sampler Cover Girl!!!

This was in the mail yesterday... that's my card on the front cover.  What a thrill!!!

and a two page spread inside!

I have so much news to share from the past month or so, and I'm nearly on holidays, so I shall catch you up on what's been happening in my little world really soon! 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Bloom - PDCC106

'Bloom' - a pink silk cuff

I've been happily at play this morning, experimenting with more free motion sewing... I still find it a real challenge to get my hands and machine in sync, but there is only one way to improve my skills, so I continue to practice when I have the oportunity and time.  I've been wanting to work with this gorgeous soft pink silk since I've purchased it and felt like doing a bit of beading today too!  The latest Play Date Colour Challenge #106 gave me a little more direction (adding yellow & grey), it grew like topsy and I taught myself how to make these sweet yellow flowers along the way! 

Stage Fright - Inkurable Stampers

'Stage Fright' ATC

Have you ever had a sudden onset of 'stage fright'?  Was it a one off experience or is it an ongoing/forever kind of thing like it still is for me?  Aparently, when I was in Year One, I suffered from such a severe case of 'stage fright' that I never did manage to get up on the stage  that night.  My mum told me the story, a very long time ago and I don't remember much of the details... I think I may have been an angel in a Christmas play... it's times like these I wish mum was here to ask!  I have no conscious memory of this event... the blurred memory of mum's story causes me to think that she tried all manner of things to get me up there on the night and nothing worked!  As a teacher of Year One's now, I find myself in a similar position to mum... convincing some kids that they really can get up there and do it, just the way we practised.  Most manage it and occasionally it's too much for some... but hopefully they will learn to be brave and conquer the fear enough to get up on the stage and perform.

Orange, Purple and Green is currently the challenging theme at Inkurable Stampers.  I struggled to get started with this piece until I found this ARTchix collage picture, she was my starting point and I enjoyed setting the scene with Oxford Impressions new plate 'Vintage Circus'.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Technology - Holding It Still

'Holding It Still' Postcard

It's postcard swap time again and I'm pretty pleased that mine is completed well in time (for a change).  November's theme is technology. And my, how the technology for photography has developed over the years!  I got my first camera when I was about 11 or 12.  My parents bought it for me so I could take photos whilst on a school camp - I still remember the precious excitement of having my own camera.  I'm pretty sure I still have those first photos tucked away in a safe place and I know when I look at them again many good memories will come flooding back. 

Today, I totally love having a digital camera!  It's so nice to not have to worry about the expense of film and to just keep snapping away until you get a more than decent shot!  The only thing to worry about now is my computer crashing before I've backed up all of my photos, because it's pretty rare for me to print them.  Earlier this year I thought I'd lost all my photos on my computer... yes, I had a very big melt down, but thankfully my techno-wise friend came to my rescue and nothing was lost!  Hopefully I have learned my lesson to back them up!

The camera is a Kaisercraft rub on and pretty much else is from Dark Room Door (the photobooth photos and great range of photography themed stamps).  The film strip is pretty old... I have a LOT of it... one of my friends cleaned out her garage before she left the country and found tins of filmstrips from her earlier teaching days.  I was totally thrilled when Trish handed over two tins of it to me!!!

Monday, 31 October 2011

A Piece of Jarrah

So this pretty little dressform piece was originally just a lump of wood, a piece of jarrah, an offcut from my friend, Amanda's new-ish decking.  She generously handed over a box of jarrah offcuts to me, thinking that they might come in handy one day... and about a year or so later, I pulled out a piece and played around with it over the weekend.

I'm not overly confident working with paint, but I want to be, so I used the slap it on and see what happens approach!  At the same time I painted the wood, I also slapped on the same colours on an old playing card - not thinking I'd use them together.  But in the end they worked so beautifully together and I'm not sure I would have known what to do with a painted piece of wood without the playing card.

Now I can't wait to have some more time to play some with more lumps of wood!

All these gorgeous stamped images are from Oxford Impressions Dress Forms and Corsetry rubber plate.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Life's Moment - PDCC105

'Life's Moment' ATC

Seeing this ATC, now complete, makes me want to sit with a lovely cup of tea (in a beautiful tea cup) and contemplate what is indeed 'Life's Moment'?  Is there one defining moment that surpasses all others?  We reflect upon many of life's special moments over a cuppa, don't we?  The special moments that have already occured and the ones we are looking forward to.  The moments that are life changing and impact upon us in significant ways...

The current colour challenge at The Play Date Cafe #105 has got me thinking...

Do you have a 'life defining moment'?  Or many?  One that stands out far above the rest?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Home and Family

'Art House'

It was a purely playful day in my 'art house' yesterday!  I've recently taken to calling my abode the 'art house' because my friend, Julie once commented to me that she often wonders what I'm up to in the 'art house' when she sees my car at home!  It's kinda stuck... and it's kinda true.  There isn't a designated 'art/craft space' at home and my supplies/creating do tend to creep into all corners of the place.  Okay, let's face it, they've taken over the house really!

I guess it doesn't matter too much, I live at home alone, except for the occasional spider that has to pretend to be interested in what I'm saying, if it wants to continue to stay where it is!  I mostly come unstuck on a Wednesday evening, when I've only got a couple of hours to make things look a little respectable for the Home Group ladies!!!  Yes, I whizz around trying to find places for everything and at least have somewhere for everyone to sit (oh and a pathway to walk to the couch)!  Nobody seems to be too bothered and they keep coming back, so I'm thankful they are a very understanding bunch, who are more interested in relationship building, rather than perfect housekeeping. 

'Cherish Your Family'

I grew up with fairytale dreams, like most young women at the time, naively thinking that I'd meet the man of my dreams in my mid twenties, get married, have children (I wanted at least 5 kids) and live happily ever after... well, that's not quite the plan God had for my life (and I often need to remind myself - His will, not mine).  It's been an extraordinary struggle for me over the years to not have this dream come true!  I still have my moments when I wallow in self pity, but I am also reminded that I am extraordinarily blessed.  My immediate family, next of kin are a great source of joy and love, as too are members of my extended family - Aunts/Uncles and cousins I love to spend time with.  And then there is the blessing of God's family... too many brothers and sisters in Christ to count... what a family tree I have been woven into.

Family, cherish them!  (Yes, even when they drive you crazy.)

Saturday, 22 October 2011

On Turning Four...

Last month, my nephew Sean, celebrated his fourth birthday!  When asked what kind of cake he would like for his birthday, his simple request was that it would be green!  He had green cupcakes to share with his friend at the first party, but it was green and a few other colours for the family one.  A scrumptious, colourful Fredo Frog icecream cake.

The only problem to overcome with an icecream cake is in fact, 'brain freeze'!

I had a fun time shopping for the birthday boy and it was all things'Toy Story' from me.

Right down to the costuming...

and rocket... 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0....... Blast Off!!!!

Sean (or should I say 'Woody') took Buzz on all kinds of adventures that day!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

I 'Love' To Play

'I Love To Play'

I love to play... well actually it would be more accurate to say that I'm learning to love play.  I nearly gave up on this piece and had to keep reminding myself that if it came to nothing it didn't matter... it seems I put too much pressure on myself to produce something even when my intention is to simply 'play to my hearts content'.  How do I get to the point of just enjoying creating for the fun of it???  Any suggestions???  Hmmmm, thinking about this, I think I could get some great advice from the 6 & 7 year olds I work with everyday.  I think I'd better ask them about my dilemma tomorrow!

See I can't help myself... I seem to need to find purpose in what I've made.  The piece I showed you a few days ago (which scanned way brighter than it is in real life back then), has become the cover of a creative journal I'm currently using.  It's kinda nice to have it on the cover because it's reminding me to approach my creative time in a new, fresh way.... well at least that's what I'm attempting to do!

I wonder how long it will take for me to find something to do with my newest piece, 'I love to play'?  Only time will tell I suppose.

Are you taking time to play?  If so, let me know what you've been up to, as I'd love to know what you've been experimenting with!

On a very exciting note, today I had an email from Stampington and I am going to be a cover girl in a couple of months!  So happy :)

Monday, 17 October 2011

New Beginnings

'New Beginning'

Today begins with a new school term (without the students mind you!).  But I don't think that's what this piece is all about?!  Recently I've been reminded how important it is to play.  I was at a conference for early childhood teachers last month and they were emphasising the importance of play for children... which of course was nothing new to me... but isn't it important for all of us?  I know when it comes to creative time at home, I almost always have an agenda, a deadline and challenge that I want to complete. Usually there is a list of things 'to do'... never is there time to just play, experiment, explore... 

Well yesterday, being the last day of holidays, I thought it was time to give play a go!  I worked on this piece alongside making Secret Garden, whilst a layer was drying there, I'd mess around with this... no agenda, no plan, no purpose... just pure PLAY and let me tell you, it was PURE joy!!!!  I was even courageous enough to try free motion stitching without practicing, just did it (because there was nothing to lose).  That was a lesson in itself... but I'm pretty pleased with how that word 'begin' worked out!  It's a bit rough and in the middle of stitching it, I did wonder if it would legible...  I've learned some new things in this process of play and that is always a wonderful thing!

May I encourage you to PLAY to your Hearts Content today :)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Secret Garden

'Secret Garden' ATC

I've been struggling to get this ATC together for months and my co-swapee has been waiting VERY patiently for this... I just didn't know where to start.  Originally I wanted to do layers and layers of flowers/foliage, but  didn't quite know how to begin.  For some reason today felt like the day to just get on and do it.  There are a number of layers in this, starting with some hand written text (the contents of which will remain 'secret').  The bird and flowers were originally deep pink felt, so it was fun altering that!  The ARTchix image and key were never in my plan, but prior to adding them, it just looked like I'd designed a background.  The word is by Collections.

It feels good to complete this piece and it's taken hours to manage it, but I have learned a few new things in the process and that is always a bonus!

My holidays are nearly at an end and I would love to hide out a little while longer in this 'secret garden'!  Instead, I'm off to pick up a painting I purchased two weeks ago during the 'Great Southern Art Trail' and then spend time with an amazing friend before we sing our little hearts out at a singing rehersal.  Now isn't that a pretty wonderful way to end a holiday?!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Being There

'Being There' Postcard

September's theme for the postcard swap group was 'Home'.  As I was making this postcard for my friend Trish, I was influenced by thoughts of her recent move to a new country with her husband.  I know it's been a great adventure for them... culture shock, language barriers and a new home that isn't quite like their old one... new jobs, new friends, new discoveries.  It's been a challenge as they've adjusted to many changes.  I've loved seeing photos sharing how they are turning their new house into a home.  I'm especially glad, that as a couple, they truly know how to 'be there' for one another.

There's lots of gorgeous Paperbag Studios rubber stamp imagery here, a collections clock and I experimented a little with my new bottle of picket fence distress stain.    

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Angelic Wings

'Angelic Wings' Postcard for Jan

Gosh it feels so good to get back here... it's been too long since I last posted... so many things have happened... Sean's 4th birthday, Fathers Day, two trips to Perth and a lovely creative weekend away with two very special friends, art swaps... hopefully some memories will be posted here very soon!

In the meantime, I've managed to catch up on some postcard making for a swap group.  The theme for August (yes August!) was Trees.  I dived into my wonderful collection of Paperbag Studios stamp images - some of my all time favourites actually!  Once I made the background I knew that this piece needed a little forest fairy - she is a transparency from ARTchix Studios - words are by Collections.  It was so nice to put my sewing machine to work to add some finishing touches.  There is a twig hand stitched near the top too!

Totally feel like going for a little meander through the bush to look for evidence of forest fairies and perhaps I will do just that, if I can get over my fear of coming face to face with a snake!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Happy Fathers Day, Dad!

I'm about to head out to the airport to meet Dad.  He's been in the big smoke this week to have an op.  He's recovering really well and is looking forward to being with the family today.  We're heading out to the farm to have lunch with my brother and his family.  I'm looking forward to catching up with my nephew too.  He's turning four in two weeks and wants a green birthday cake!

Here's a different stylised photo taken by CS&P team... I loved seeing this photo too.  In the end the first photo made the cut!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

'The Lazy Susans' Exhibit

'The Lazy Susans'

A collection of paper arts pieces made by my artful friend Susan and myself.

We have a sign 'The Lazy Susans' that went up after this photo was taken and I'll add a photo of that later if possible.

Unfortunately, I have no expertise in taking night time/flash photos, so they are not as clear as I would like, but this photo gives you an overall picture of how it looks.

I totally love Susan's Christmas tree.  I wonder if she would notice if it went missing?!
I accidently left my shabby chic door outside at home the day we were setting up and wondered if that might have gone missing before I got back home to rescue it!

I'm so glad I did buy these dusty old fly wire screens for $1 each last year, although at the time I did wonder what I needed them for.

Susan's gorgeous bunting was the perfect finishing touch for our exhibit!

It was really lovely to visit other exhibitors work last night and enjoy and wonder in the creative abilities of other members in my church. God has blessed many with amazing gifts and talents indeed!

Oh, and the concert was a fantastic experience too!  Once again wonderful gifts and talents were shared.  I particularly loved seeing my neice singing a solo, at the ripe old age of 12!  Such a joyful experience!  I was suitably nervous about performing and finally managed to relax and really enjoy singing with my band by the fourth song! 

Friday, 2 September 2011

1st Exhibition - Sneak Peek

My local church is 'Celebrating Creativity' this weekend as, we reflect upon with wonder, our awesome Creator God.  The church is hosting an Art/Craft exhibition and there is also an official opening concert tonight.  My friend Susan and I are participating in our first ever exhibition, which we've entitled, 'The Lazy Susans'.  This is a sneak peak of our table and I'll add more photos over the weekend.  We had a lot of fun setting up yesterday and I was amazed at how beautifully our work blended together.

Oh, did I mention I'm singing at the concert tonight too?  I'm singing with an amazing group of gifted muscians and singers, so am currently very excited and a little nervous.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Art-filled Weekend... Here We Come!

Jhodi Bennet, Debbi Baker and Me!

Here we are, in 2007, at the Artistic Journey retreat in Fremantle.  I just love these girls to bits!  I can't believe it's taken us this long to have another weekend together!  We're off to our secret, secluded location this afternoon and planning on having lots of artful and fun moments.

Silly me, had this photo taken with my lovely Michael DeMeng necklace hanging backwards!  All you can see is the computer chip that his stunning artwork was built upon.  I must take a pic of the front and share it with you soon!

But for now, it may be a little quiet here on the blog, as I think I'll have very limited internet access over the next four days.  Have a great weekend and if possible make art too! 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Published - Copper Poppies

As seen in Cardmaking Stamping & Papercraft Vol 14 No11

A number of years ago, I was able to go to an Artistic Journey Retreat with my friend Jhodi in Fremantle and it was there that I met and made a new wonderful friend, Debbi.  All three of us shared a hotel room together at the retreat and had a fabulous creative time with some great classes and amazing tutors.  Jhodi, Debbi and I are having a little retreat of our own this weekend and we're making it an extra long weekend.  I'm so excited to be able to spend time with these two very talented, encouraging and generous women.  I think we're in for a fantastic and fun-filled time!

  At the Artistic Journey retreat in Fremantle, I was able to participate in a jewellery making class taught by Nina Bagley.  She is a fabulous tutor from the US and if you're ever able to do one of her classes I would highly recommend her!  Nina taught us some fabulous techniques, including a number of ways to make use of 'copper mesh'.  In our enthusiam to want to play further with copper mesh, Jhodi, Debbi and I all bought more!  Well mine sat around for quite a while until one day I thought about stitching and stamping on it!  That's how this project started... I even made a little handbag for this project!  And I've used it on the odd occasion too! 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

10 Quick Cards

' 10 Quick Cards' as seen in Stamping Cardmaking & Papercraft Vol 15 No 10

I'm having the loveliest of times catching up with wonderful 'old' friends at the moment, so at there isn't time to play in my 'studio'.  I've got a very creative long weekend coming up this weekend, with some very special artful friends, so hopefully there will be more current work to show you next week!

In the meantime, here's a set of cards I made using the Cricut and gorgeous Heather Bailey rub-ons.  Sweet and simple!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Home For The Weekend - PDCC95

'Home For The Weekend'

Oh the bliss and sweet joy of a day spent at home on the weekend! 
This Saturday was a home day.  A stay in your pyjamas all day and play at home, kinda day.  So that meant I got to play along with the artists over at The Play Date Cafe Challenge #95.  See the inspirational photographs below.

It was a great feeling to finally put ink to this Stampington rubber that has been sitting on the shelf for a while.The Tim Holtz die was the starting point and then it grew like topsy.  I can hear my heart whispering (might even be shouting) to make sure I have time at home on the weekends!

Well I have yet to do my packing... and some of the planning I was talking about yesterday.  I now have a touch of European envy and am pondering if/when I may walk upon the streets of Paris?  I know my friend will have an amazing time and I can't wait to hear all about her travel adventures.

Anyway, I'm having myself a little adventure today.  I'm meeting up with a long time friend and her family - they have travelled right across the other side of the country to visit me.  We are all staying together in a accomodation unit near the beach.  I'm heading there straight after work today, which means I REALLY need to get packing!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Live In The Moment - Grungy Monday 20

'Live In The Moment'

It's a 'Distress Stickles Party' over at Grungy Monday Challenge 20.  It's pretty hard to pick up the effect the Black Soot Distress Stickles has left on the scan of this tag, but I can assure you there's a dab of it here and there on the flowers at the bottom of the tag and a large dollop of it on the bird.

And here are more words speaking to my heart today...  'Live in the Moment'!  I have a crazy, busy few weeks heading my way, filled with lots of special people and exciting events. I've got quite a bit of packing and planning to do (you know, the boring stuff) and because there are a number of things all happening at once, I need to take to care to 'live in the moment' and not be too caught up with concerning myself with what is coming up next, or it will all be such a whirl-wind that I won't remember any of the extra special moments.

So today's beautiful moments that are heading my way are... spending time with my adorable nephew, catching up with a friend (who is leaving soon for a holiday to Europe - so excited for her!) and a singing rehersal with some awesome muso's for a concert in a couple of weeks time.  Oh and packing for two trips away in this coming week!!!

I hope too, that today, you may be able 'Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering'.  I'll do the same and hang out the washing now, because that kind of moment isn't really worth remembering.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Let Your Heart Lead The Way

Inkurable Stampers has a new challenge out for this month - it's a sketch challenge.  I have had very little time to create in the past couple of weeks (and I'm getting twitchy), so I thought I'd start with a challenge this morning to get 'kick started' for the long list of creative 'to do's' that are needing some attention this weekend!  I thought this would be a quick way to start - well in the end, that wasn't the case, but it has lead me to really begin to ponder the sentiment I used for this card, which just might be a good thing!  I pretty much pulled this sentiment out, with very little thought, because I imagined it would fit on the label just perfectly.  Now I've finished this card, I'm actually thinking a bit deeper about it's meaning.  I do have a tendancy to be led by my head... looking at the pros and cons of a situation, weighing everything up - and taking an awfully long time to make a decision.  I think it's a protective thing... perhaps it's been born out of fear or the consequences of making a bad decision?  Anyway, I don't know that being led by your head, well my head at least, is always a good thing either.  It may well be time to 'Let My Heart Lead The Way' for a change!  So that is the challenge I have given myself for the immediate future, to allow my heart to lead the way a little more and I'm going to keep a record of how I'm going in this card.  Have you got a challenge or two like this that you're working on?  Is there some kind of fear or boundary that you need to overcome or break?  If you're brave enough, let me know what it is and how things are working out for you.
I've used Basic Grey papers from the 'Porcelain' paper pad collection, the label is by Spellbinders, heart punch by Carl - onto which I added a layer of black soot distress embossing powder and starlight silver brilliance ink.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Published - Little Birds

I really loved working with this gorgeous plate of stamps by Oxford Impressions...

The Bird's Nest

along with some beautiful Kaisercraft papers.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sing Out

'Sing Out'

So there's a little story behind this ATC...  My friend Amanda challenged me to make a card using this small piece of wood (that had somehow attached itself to my scarf) and her gum wrapper (that I rescued just before she tossed it in the bin)!  I was awake in the wee hours this morning and put this piece together just for her!  Not sure if she'll like it, but hopefully she'll be a little impressed with what you can do with 'junk'!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Published - For The Grandparents

As seen in Cardmaking Stamping & Papercraft Vol 15 No 1.

This card was designed to give to Grandparents in celebration of the birth of a Granddaughter, but could easily be adapted for a Grandson.  I've used the Cricut machine to create this card.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Spotlight - TMTA Circle


Over at Think Monday Think ATC the challenge for the week is 'Circle/Round'.  The focal image is from ARTchix Studios.  Circles were made from sequin waste, cardboard tube, sequins, gemstones and a Stampington postal stamp cube.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

TPDCC #93 - Fleur


The Play Date Cafe Challenge #93 (see photo below) is the inspiration for this ATC.  I've used some ARTchix collage papers, gesso, sequin waste (as a stencil) and Brilliance ink pads to create the background.  Stamped images:  Stitched trim (Oxford Impressions), Postal stamps (Stampington) and 'Four-Leaf Clover' (Stampington).

It's been wonderful to start the weekend with a touch of creativity!  I hope you get some time for creative and inky fun this weekend too - if that's what your heart would so desire :)

Friday, 5 August 2011

She Sells Seashells - TMTA Transparent

'She Sells Seashells' ATC

The current challenge at Think Monday Think ATC is 'transparent'.  A scrap of bubble wrap inspired this ATC!  I used a section of bubble wrap to print ink onto the background paper.  For the foreground, I popped the bubbles to help flatten the texture, stapled it to the ATC and added a little gesso and ink to the lower section of the bubble wrap.

All stamped images are from Dark Room Door's 'Seashells' stamp set and the lovely collage image is by ARTchix studios.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Singer Sewing Machine

As I mentioned recently, I am participating in small postcard exchange group this year.  The theme for June was 'Victorian'.  I was having trouble finding inspiration for this theme and resorted to using 'Google' for some assistance!  I discovered that the Singer Sewing Machine scaled for home use was patented in the Victorian Era (1854) by Isaac Merritt Singer. When I came across this useful information I finally knew which direction to take! And lo and behold, I had the perfect images in a new Oxford Impressions plate I had received recently, Sewing Notions.
There's quite a bit of layering of papers and paint and ink and tissue tape (another new love). This piece is almost completely flat, except for one little black safety pin. All the other sewing notions are stamped... I'm surprised that I didn't use any other 3D notions or fabric or trims or ribbon, but well, I haven't!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Life's Journey - Grungy Monday 18

'Life's Journey'

Grungy Monday 18 challenges it's participants this week to incorporate techniques from Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas...(Day 8).  I focused on two of the techniques, 'baking vellum' and 'water flicking'... both something I haven't tried quite like this before.  I couldn't find plain vellum at home (although I'm sure I have plenty somewhere), so I used a patterned one instead and it didn't seem to affect the result.

All stamp images are by Tim Holtz.  I stamped a map of Paris onto the vellum and coloured it with 'tattered rose' and 'milled lavender' ink.  I then continued working around this colour palette for the rest of the piece.

I'm thinking I might just use this tag then next time I get the oportunity to jump on a plane and visit a new part of the world!