Friday, December 29, 2006

Wonderful Christmas Presents & more atc's

I was lucky enough to receive one of the absolutely wonderful Artgirl pendants from the "uber-talented" Jenny Crossley (hey Crozza!!!).....isn't it just fantastic!

I also received through the post another of Sulea's creations.....thankyou Sulea.....true to form - another masterpiece! Here it is....

Lucky me.....I got stamps for Christmas!!!!! Two of the beautiful clear plates from Michelle Ward (greenpepperpress). I've mentioned her stamps before, just love 'em. Just so I wouldn't get too comfortable thinking about doing canvases only for the time being, I thought I'd better do some atc's. So I used some of the background paper that I made at my last atc class (Tim's very technical "smoosh" technique) using two of my favourite colours in the distress range - peeled paint and weathered wood - I created these ones with my new stamps.

Here are another couple of atc's that I made after reading a very inspirational new book by Bernie Berlin called Artist Trading Card Workshop (I bought mine through

The one with the spooky eyes & great red Artchix wing is insulation tape background, stamped with a gate image, then embossed with a stylus to define the image....rubbed over the whole thing with black paint then wiped off straight away leaving the paint residue in the depressions. Looks really good in real life...much shinier than you see here.

The second one is a magazine image, dry-brushed with gesso, out-lined with fine point sharpie pen, coloured with Twinkling H2O's. Took a bit of time this one...probably not something I'd do often but I like to try things at least once....well, most things anyway! lol

Both these techniques are in Bernie's book along with about a million others (so I'm prone to exaggerating!), absolutely love this book - buy it - save the animals! To understand this statement, here's Bernie's blog link, - it'll explain all. Here's the link to the book on Amazon -

Okay, an update on my next class at Scraptivate on the 6th of January '07. We're doing watercolour crayon & watercolour tube paint techniques. I've had a play with a new Mona stamp using one of these techniques...kinda wanted to see how it'd look in different colour combinations...what do you think? My favourite is #2 - the red and blue one with the wire across her face.

Had enough sitting at the computer.....books to read.....tea to's "wine-time"!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Canvases

The texture paste on the other two canvases dried and I finally got around to working on them. I have always loved the colour that is on this first one above - Jo Sonja's Celadon and I particularly like it with the base of Titan Buff, shadows of Burnt Umber and a touch of Bronze (all Golden paints). The word "enchant" is embossed onto a piece of mica, which I then glued onto a thicker piece of board that had a script stamp stamped in gold ink onto a couple of layers of antique gold embossing powder.

There is also a little bottle hanging on the side - this has a piece of gothic script rolled up inside as well as a cemetary angel statue picture in there as well. It's wrapped in wire and attached to a fishing hook thingo.....(note to self....improve your vocabulary in '07!!! lol) This really needs to be seen in person and I struggled to get a decent photo of it so you could actually read the word as it needs the light to hit it in just the right way!

I really liked how the butterfly transparency turned out over this little girl's face on this second canvas! Wasn't sure how it was going to go as I adhered it with Dimensional Magic just around the edges but then coated the whole transparency with the DM....don't you just hate that it goes on opaque and you have no idea if anything is going to bleed or whatever??? The words down the bottom are a little hard to read from this scan but it says "Colours speak all languages". I'm not really a colour person but couldn't resist this particular combination of vibrant transparency with the softer pinks and yellows of the paint. Besides....this one is going to is a "colour-girl"!

These are two more Christmas gifts and I'm now on the hunt for more of these fantastic little 4" x 4" canvases.....must go and ring The Art Shed in Myaree to see if they have any more left.....I feel a canvas phase coming on....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Creating the cream/burgundy canvas

To answer Sulea's question about how I did the cream/burgundy canvas... I started by painting the canvas with Golden's Titan Buff. Then I glued down a torn strip of script paper down the right-hand side with Golden gel medium (soft gel - matte). Next came the stamping using a flourish stamp from one of my new Michelle Ward rubber stamp plates - the Juliet one ( I used my red Stazon inkpad for this step. After that I used the gel medium to glue down the picture of the little gypsy girl, coating her with the gel medium too.

Then it was a matter of using some acrylic paint in a burgundy/reddish shade to colour the edges along with some Golden Burnt Umber for some depth. I tend to dry-brush these colours on along the edges so you don't have too much colour. I used the Titan Buff to dry-brush slightly over the canvas in parts - you can see some on the girl.....this tends to drop the image back into the canvas rather than have her looking "stuck-on".

Lastly it was a matter of attaching the coins on the chain up the top, the picture hook thingy with the dangley metal heart and the metal "Hope" word was attached to some of that Etal metal fabric stuff in a gold/brass colour. That's it....really simple....I have another two half-baked for tomorrow - just waiting for the texture paste to dry and I'll try and post them when they're done.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Canvas

I was in my studio this morning pondering on a couple of Christmas presents that I wanted to make....shall I do a box?....maybe a triple-hanging atc magnet?...decorate one of my little paper-mache houses? Then I came across my canvas stash....really must stop buying these and actually start USING them! So I pulled out a couple of 4" x 4" 's and rummaged through my images to get the creative juices happening. Two images immediately leapt out at me and these two canvases are the result....hope the recipients like them. Now my dilemma is - which one do I give to which person???

(I'll tell you a secret - my trick for making stuff that you INTEND to give to someone else and then you really, really like it and want to keep it for yourself.....have it displayed in a place where you see it all the time - in my place it's the family room on the sideboard. This way, when it comes time to hand it over, you've looked at it that often that it's easier to "let go" theory anyway! lol)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another example

This is another example I made this morning for the class today - using the little tiles from the Collections the versatility of these little tiles....I have a box full of them that I've made just as inspiration means I can just whip one out and stick it on to a background that works well with the colours in the tile. Great way to use up little images and try out various techniques! Love the colours (or lack there-of!) in this one. The class went really well today again, we even had cake AND champagne.....what more could you want!!! The girls just blow me away with their enthusiasm and versatility, give a bunch of girls the same stuff and it's really surprising what they come up with!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Distressed atc

So here's the other distress atc for Saturday's class. Once again it's done using the distress inks (vintage photo, tea dye, peeled paint & a touch of walnut stain) "smoosh" technique that Tim taught us when he was here back in May of this year. Then this piece is overstamped and two of the Da Vinci tiles mounted onto Julie v O's (Collections) chipboard squares which are foam-mounted to raise them off the atc.

On the "L" square up the top left, I used a crackle stamp and distress powder in vintage photo to get that great cracked look. I also used a little 7 Gypsies round thingey (best description I can give!), this has a stamped "a" in it then coated in the Ranger crackle. Love that stuff!!! This one is called "La Luna".

Seeing how I mentioned the "T" word (Timbo), just thought I'd stick this pic in of Dawn the prawn, Tim and moi from his most excellent workshops that he had here in Perth this year.....hope he comes back...what a wealth of knowledge this bloke has....and he's a top fella as well! (yeah, I know, we were both a little *star-struck* it looks like I'm ready to bop Dawnie in the nose!)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Post-party, new atc & fantastic mail!

Well the hubby's 50th surprise party went off without a hitch! To say he was "surprised" is putting it mildly.....after the first few people had arrived I told him to expect about 30 more, his response..."I didn't know I HAD that many friends!" Much reminiscing, eating, drinking, catching-up, drinking, back-slapping and then some more drinking. Ever-responsible drank and drove! The hit of the night was the compilation dvd that I had made of his life that I mentioned in the previous post, it ran on the tv all night and I'm sure everyone viewed it at least once, hoping to spot themselves....albeit a much younger "self"!!! lol

Nuff about private stuff....though I will make one more SO looking forward to eldest son coming home for Christmas on the 22nd of December. He's in the air-force and we only see him once a year for a few weeks, hmmmmm....wonder if I can still tell him what to do??? What do you reckon???

So here's an atc that I made at work yesterday as a sample for the next atc class being held this Saturday (16th), it's called "Distress & De-stress"...using the ever-popular distress inks and distress powders and Julie v O's (Collections) fabulous little chip-board squares as well as the absolutely beautiful Da Vinci tile sheet (Design Originals). If the words look a little blurry it's because I've mounted the tile up the top right onto mounting foam and it never scans really well when you do that.

There is another different version that I have left at work but I probably won't get this one scanned as it'll be the raffle one for the atc class. If I remember to bring it home tomorrow I'll scan it and get it posted.

I've had a wonderful mail week this week, received a funky atc RAK from Julie H which she used the "pencil & stencil" technique as seen in Somerset Studio (May/June '06).....

Last week at SAJ's Dawn the prawn gave me a little envelope and said here's a Christmas card for you...upon opening it, not only was it a card but a fantastic stampboard key fob (well, that's what I'm calling it anyway!) in the same the girls would say....absolutely faaaabulous! Here 'tis...

To top it all off, I received another two Christmas cards this week, one from another "artzy-tartz" - Bevlea - alas, this one is at work so will have to scan it when it comes home, trust me, it's fantastic! The second card was from Charmaine from SAJ's...a new member to SAJ's but an old hand at stamping. It arrived with the most wonderful calligraphy done on the front of the envelope and when I opened the card, it's all written in the most beautiful calligraphy inside as well. Now you have to all promise that you won't read the personal message.....only admire the wonderful writing.....promise??? okay, here is the front and the inside.....(hope this is okay with you Charmaine.....beat me next time I see you if it's not ;-}....)

Okay, one more......a couple of weeks back our ABC group (Altered Book Club) had our final get-together for the year and one of my very best pals - Jenny G, gave me this awesome card....what a great treat.....all the girls got one - obviously with their own face on it, though I am glad that I didn't get the one with the hairy legs!!! hahahaha

Now I have worn my fingers almost to the knuckles, I'll go.....

Saturday, December 9, 2006

New ATC & sshhhhh, a secret

Each fortnight I make up an atc that is used as a raffle in the classes I teach at's todays one....were doing good ol' Credit Card Technique (cct) for backgrounds and also using Julie's (Collections) chipboard pieces for embellishing. Love that stuff!!! This atc is entitled "Heartbroken 4 U".

Now to the secret part......I have to rush home from class this afternoon as I'm throwing a surprise b/day party for my hubby who turned 50 on Thursday. He knows that 10 people are coming at 5.30pm - the usual suspects - but he has no idea that another 50 are going to turn up at 6.30pm!!!

Another little thing I did was spend 6-1/2 hours scanning 150 pictures and making a slideshow with music that will run on our tv during the night - it's looped so it will just keep playing over and over - takes about 1/2 hour to run right through once. Lots of great photo's from when he was a baby through to all the usual kids stuff - holidays on Rottnest as a kid, playing with the family dog (Smithy), dirt-bikes and then road-bikes (this is when I came on the scene!), all the years working for Telecom in the bush, setting up the mobile phone operations (he's a sparky). All the way through to the birth of our boys and the obligatory pictures of them, including the youngest dressed in a suit for the Year 12 ball and the oldest dressed in his Uniform for his graduation from the Air-Force.
I'd love to show you the very extensive safety gear for the early years working for Telecom up north in the bush.....Work-safe would have a heart-attack if they knew how they dressed.....jocks (undies) and steel-cap workboots and that was it!!!!!! oh, plus a great tan!!!!! hahahaha.......hmmmmm......might just have to post one of these anyway....he never reads my blog

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

New classes coming up

The new class roster has just been finalised at work (Scraptivate) and I've now moved into the realm of night-time teaching as well as during the day! Some people can't do the day time thing, so I'll be doing the atc classes once a fortnight at night as well as the fortnightly day ones. My atc classes are going really well which I'm pretty happy about.....nice to spread the word about these little treasures that can be so addictive and perfect for those who like to try out different techniques but don't want to spend a whole heap of time on larger projects and not like the final result!

Thanks to permission from Dawn the prawn, I'm also going to teach the Microscope Slide Shrine that we all learnt from her at Sally G's InkRedibly RT stampcamp earlier this year (....and a FINE time was had by all....whoever thought that shot glasses could look so absolutely fabulous painted with alcohol ink....once they were empty of course!!!). I have a couple of really good movies of the conga line and a few other things that occurred around 2am!!! Love the jammies girls.....hahahahaha

So here's a couple of pics of the shrine that I made at camp...

You can check out the Scraptivate web-site (at the top of the blog) in the next few days for the listings of the new class timetable....if you want.....

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Christmas hordes

A normal Christmas lunch for our family is over at Mum's place with about 45 other relatives, all gathering for a big sit-down hot lunch with the usual fare - baked ham, chicken, pork, roast potatoes...all the vegies, various desserts etc. etc. This year it's not brother is living at Mum's place with his partner so there's not the usual amount of space to set up tables & seating for 45 people. So in her usual super-organised, very efficient way, Mum has arranged for a scaled down version to be had at my house!!! Only 22 people and we're changing the hot vegies for salads, still with various meats & potato gratin and desserts.

To get into the spirit of Christmas (which I might add has been sadly lacking on my part - don't think I'm the only one though!!!), I've made some Christmas placecards for the guests.......

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Transfer Technique

I recently read about another transfer method that I had to try as I'd like to teach transfer techniques at Scraptivate and as we sell the Matisse Gel Medium, I'd like to use that. The technique is by Jonathan Talbot (another transfer technique guru, along with Lesley Riley), here's what I did....

Covered a piece of script scrapbook paper with Matisse Gel Medium (gloss), cut out an image of a girl and coated that also with the Matisse medium - taking care not to get any of the gel medium onto the back of this picture. Let both of these pieces dry. Then I coated the dry script paper receiving surface with the medium again, pressed the image face-down and burnished them together. Let this piece dry. Then using a wetted-finger started to gently rub off the white backing of the image, it rolled and balled up, kept doing this until the image became clearer. You may not get all of the "bloom" (the white stuff) off but most will come off, I then coated it again with the gel medium and this seems to get rid of most of the bloom. That's it! Works a treat! Though you do need an image with some light coloured parts to it - as you can see you can't see the script through her hair as it's black. Try it - nothing to lose - it's only a bit of paper!
Speaking of paper, I use normal copy paper for printing the images but I do prefer using the Nopa paper (from Officeworks) for printing my images. It's around $20 for a ream but it's beautiful paper - very satin-like feel to it and a little thicker than normal reflex copy paper.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Doing Lunch

On Friday I went to lunch with my pals from the Art Tarts Club (get it??? Art Tarts Club - A.T.C.??? - well I thought it was good!). We went to the Marrakech, a Moroccan restaurant in Subiaco, wonderful food and even better company. We exchanged Christmas presents and there was much oooohhhing and aaaaahhhhing over them as each selection was unwrapped. We also exchanged our atc's as this is what we're supposed to do each month - we set a theme and make atc's for everyone in the group.

This month's theme was "paint chip samples" so we all had to visit Bunnings (or similar - though there's not much else BESIDES Bunnings these days!!!!), gather some paint sample cards and using the name as inspiration, create atc's using the card as the background. These are my 2 - Cityscape and Hot Mama. The Stazon works wonderfully on this slippery surface and I love how stylish the zetti buildings stamp look! Speaking of love.....I love this group of girls, they are so supportive and funny and talented and arty! I'm definitely glad that we are all friends and I look forward to our next project for 2007 - an atc book using the letters of the alphabet as themes.

2nd ATC Class

Yesterday I taught my 2nd atc class at Scraptivate, we did a technique that I've called "Flames, Stamps & Alcohol Inks"'s an oldie but a goodie. It's really fantastic to see the girls in the class so interested and enthusiastic about learning these techniques. It's probably the best thing about teaching - passing on the info that I've picked up and seeing the excitement when they've completed their atc. One of the girls was going to file her two atc's away in the round filing cabinet (the bin!) as she was working on them as they weren't doing what she wanted. I convinced her to persevere with them and with a little guidance from me and a lot of imagination on her part she rescued them and was totally happy with them in the end. Something has to suck really, really bad for me to bin it and think I've probably done this less than 5 times since I've started making atc's nearly 2 years ago. I don't consider there are too many "mistakes", only opportunities to apply a little lateral thinking to remedy a "disaster" ;-}
I also make an atc before the class using the technique that we'll be learning and I do a raffle for this atc.....the girl who won it yesterday was so excited it seemed like she'd won the Powerball Lotto Jackpot all on her own!!! A humbling experience....I was thrilled that she was so thrilled .

The Dream atc is an example from yesterday's class technique.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

dire warnings

I received an email today from a dear friend (you know who you are!!!) warning me about lead in my lipstick that would lead to breast cancer. I know that everyone who has email and "friends" in their address book gets these warnings. You know the ones......your hair will fall out, your teeth will turn black and people will be able to smell you from 5 blocks away if you use a plastic spatula on Fridays & Sundays!!!!!! When you get these, you can always check out their *authentic-ness* (not really a word) on this cool little web-site (if you forget it - just google "urban legends" and the snopes site will come up). If you have a spare few minutes you can just peruse their files, some real crack-ups amongst them!!! lol
I thought the above atc sort of goes with the above that quote!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

couple of newies

I thought I'd just put a couple of new pics up of things I made today, two are atc's and the third is a fridge magnet thingo that I've made for some girlfriends for Christmas pressies.....ssssshhhhh.

Love using my old 2nd-hand novels for throw-away lines for atc's...such a great resource - this is what I used on the Medieval atc. The Gargoyle quote I printed out myself - this particular one is a Sheer Heaven transfer with watercolour crayons to colour the rest of it. Easy transfer technique...fool-proof!

The fridge-magnet is the thing with the fishing swivels and that great cemetary stamp from Michelle Ward ( - think the plate is called "Graven" current favourite!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Just had to post this atc that I made using the new Ranger crackle accents. It's so simple to use and I love the effect, will definitely be trying this out on a few more!!! The background is a library card that was in a bunch sent to me by a yahoo group pal from the States - they were from the old system pre-computer days when all books were listed on these cards. They were destined for the tip when she rescued them and posted them to all who wanted 'em!

A new technique

The top pic is an atc that I made using the new technique ( old technique that I didn't know about but with a "twist"). I'm going to be teaching this next weekend at the store where I now work. I teach atc classes every 2nd Saturday - I also work there 3 days a week as well. I was looking for more office work when this job fell into my lap, serendipitous! It's a scrapbook/paper-arts store called Scraptivate ( located here in Perth....great shop, lots of goodies!

I'll also be demo-ing this technique at SAJ's in early December for those of you going, another local stamp store that has excellent get-togethers once a month with a great bunch of girls!

The 2nd pic is another atc that I made using the same technique, but without the "twist"...

KO - OK?

So I've joined the fray... thinking up a name for your blog is probably the hardest part so I thought I'd start there. Earlier this year I was working for a company that required workmates to witness just about all aspects of your work which required you to learn their initials. Using the tried & tested method of "word association" made it much easier for John Dickson became "Jack Daniels" which was JD, Alan Jones was "apple juice" which was AJ, and so on. My initials are KO which I immediately thought should be "knock-out" which was associated in my mind with boxing - as in - flat-out on the floor! But then someone pointed out they might think "she has tickets on herself" so I quickly changed it to "I used to have dyslexia but now I'm KO!" blog name is KO - OK?