Monday, May 28, 2007

A sea-change

I spent the past weekend with my hubby, having a break, 3 hours drive south of Perth, right in the heart of probably the best surfing territory in Australia - the Yallingup / Margaret River area. No art was made but visually, it was beautiful and relaxing, which can't hurt one's mind when it comes time to slip into creative mode once again. We visited the Ollo Bello Olive farm - absolutely BEAUTIFUL tasty treats available to purchase there - the green pesto is wonderful but we ended up buying a jar of the Sesame Date and Lime Chutney. We also dropped in at the Margaret River Cheese Factory and of course, the Margaret River Chocolate Factory....yummmmmmmm. A few pics follow...

Caves House where we stayed......beautiful!!!

This is the view from our was a little overcast on this morning so you can't see the beach, but between the trees where it dips down is the ocean......sunsets at night....glorious!

Yallingup Beach.....

Funnily enough, next weekend I'm driving back down to this same area for stamp camp weekend.....can't wait for that one! A whole 3 days of fun & frivolity with 22 other like-minded girls.....I'm sure there'll be some arty stuff to post after that, and just maybe some great pics of other "exploits"....behave yourself girls! lol

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Circus chunky page & gesso/mag atc's

When I was younger I was totally into reading all of Stephen King's wonderfully spooky books. One that particularly stayed with me was "It". Evil clown from the sewers....stuff that kids nightmares are made of. I know that some people are scared of clowns, I'm not, but as our chunky theme this month for the Altered Book Club is Circus, I thought I'd re-visit the nasty world of evil clowns. I can't wait to see all the varied pages that the girls in this group come up with....I've seen Nat's and it's wonderful! So here's mine....front...

and back....

Yeah, I know.....bad, nasty, evil clowns....sorry, I just don't see them that way, especially as my pet nick-name for my husband for over 25 years is "Clown"! He particularly laughed at the "Evil clowns need love too"....thinks it may become his catch-cry. hahaha

Yesterday at the atc class I taught we did the gesso & magazine image technique from Bernie's book. The girls were not particularly looking forward to this class as it meant more than just cutting out an image and sticking it down....they actually had to draw and call upon their own ideas & inventiveness which had them reaching down in the depths of their creative souls (sounds like a "moving" After being shown the basics, off they all went to fabricate their own little piece of art.

All was going well until one of them (who shall remain nameless....."L"!!!), decided that the nose she had drawn looked suspiciously like a particular male appendage. Of course, she was ready to bin it but I told her she had to try to resurrect was rather funny...had the other girls in stitches. But resurrect it we did, see if you can pick which one it is! Below are the atc's that the girls did in class. Some are not quite finished, need some embellishments, and maybe a couple of words but you'll get the gist of promised girls, no names on them ;-)

Something that I try to point out in my classes is you won't produce fantastically perfect atc's in a class where you're learning a technique for the first time. This is a jump-off point, you go home and if you like the technique, you do it a few more times, hopefully put a couple of examples into your own "technique book" that you keep. Not all techniques/styles are liked by all people but the more you expose yourself to different things, the easier it is to work out what is your own "style" and what sits comfortably with you. End of lecture! lol

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Clear word sheets & new atc

I'm in the process of working on my circus pages for our Altered Book Club....trying to replicate the background technique of the atc called "Pursuit" in my last post, the one with the sticks & the bird. Consequently I've not had much time today to get much other art done, though I did get the raffle atc made for our class on Saturday. This time I'm teaching a technique from Bernie's wonderful Artist Trading Card Workshop book, magazine images & gesso....I'll try & remember to take the camera and take a picture of what the girls do in the class and then post it here! Here's the raffle atc...

Many times I've been asked where I get my clear words that I use on a lot of my atc's, the answer is I do them myself. So I've made up 3 different sheets for sale with between 80 & 120 words on each sheet, they are in 3 fonts with different words on each sheet. Not particularly themed, just words that I like! The sheets are $3 each and all you need is to use your craft knife and your ruler to cut a single word out then peel off the backing sheet and it's all ready to go onto your atc, or altered book, or, as in the "Pursuit" atc in the previous post, onto a little metal charm! They are sticky so no need to add glue, gel medium, double-stick tape etc. The sheets are approx. 14cm x 10cm, so they'll fit into a normal envelope for postage which will keep the cost down. Postage to the States should be only around $1.95 (normal letter rate for Australia - under 50grams), Australia of course should only be .50c postage. If anyone is interested, you can contact me on the email addy on my says "contact me"....duh ;-) Here's a sample of one sheet....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's day play-time

So what else do you do on Mother's Day than take time for yourself for an arty play-time....after the obligatory (& enjoyable!) visit with the M-I-L & my Mum. What did I get??? A box of chocolates, a huge bunch of flowers and the cd by My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade...haven't had a chance to listen to it yet though, looking forward to that! That was all this morning.....this afternoon????!!!

Only time for atc's today, first a couple of Sheer Heaven transfers (yes, again!) as I showed the girls in our Art Tarts Club how to do these on Friday. No girls, I'm not going to spill my guts about the unsavoury things we discussed, and laughed uproariously about, though be nice to me, or I might!!! hahaha

I had a visitor in my last couple of atc classes, a girl who used to be a Perth-ite but is now an Eastern States resident, Linda Baldock. She gave me a set of wings and asked me to make an atc for her which I did's ready to post over to you Linda, when you get back & send me your snail mail addy it'll be on it's way ;-)

While making the above atc I used one of Michelle Ward's tree branch stamps (those sticky looking things down the that "sticky" or stickey"???), I was cleaning the stamp off on a scrap piece of paper, I liked how overstamping created a little forest of tree branches. I happened to have on my table a background atc that I had done a while ago using multiple layers of embossing powder & acrylic paints, overheating so they bubbled to create a very textured look & feel. I THINK this is how I did it anyway....must check up on that!

I thought that the little branch stamp would look really good on this background so I used my black stazon, stamped the forest, then the bird stamp (also Michelle's) on the atc. I also did a stamp of the 3 eggs (whose???? Michelle's of course!) on shrink plastic, coloured the back of it lightly with some gold coloured chalks, cut it out, shrunk it down, attached it to a piece of chipboard that had been painted with Paynes Grey acrylic and wiped over with Treasure Gold in Green Amber colour. Added wire to this & a couple of brads, as well as a little metal tag down the bottom with "pursuit" on it. It means "The pursuit of a bird in the hand...." Oooooooo....deeeeeeep ;-) So here it is, crappy scan, should've taken a picture, flat battery ;-(

Hope you all had a great Mother's Day....I did ;-)

Monday, May 7, 2007

The big reveal & 7 vegetables

Weird title, I know! A certain someone called into the shop today and told me that delivery of her new product will be tomorrow so I can now post the pictures of what I was teasing you all with a few days ago. The "certain someone" is the lovely Julie van Oosten, and the product is a fantastic new house chipboard product. Below are some photo's of what I made using Julie's new Collections product...
Here are the 3 panels showing a little more detail...

It was all painted with Golden Payne's Gray, with some Golden Micaceous Iron Oxide painted in various areas to add some mica shimmer. Texture paste was added to the two large frames on the end panels as well as the smaller frame in the middle panel. After this was painted with the above paints, I also added some silver Treasure Gold to pick up the highlights. The middle panel has an angel transparency mounted on 3 of those small frames with the crackle background way down the bottom so when you look at it, there's a real depth to it. This middle panel is stamped with Brilliance Platinum Planet using the wonderful "Printed Matter" plate from Green Pepper Press (LOVE Michelle's stamps!).

On the 3rd panel above you can see one of the fantastic white wings that we now have in the shop for sale! (We also have matte red ones too!). Contact Natalie if you're interested in them. Click here for the link to the ebay store where they are.

I also did another single panel using this kit, more in the vintage style, though once again using a transparency...

Now to the 7 vegetables.....I didn't actually get to my studio on Sunday, instead I made some soup, a chocolate cake and vegged out for the rest of the day. As I was making the soup, my son who lives over East called me up, he & his girlfriend were out food shopping and he asked me, "Mum, what's in that 13 vegetable soup you used to make, we want to make it for dinner and we're ready to buy the 13 vegies, can you text me what they are and I'll ring you for instructions when I get home". Goodness knows where he got 13 vegetables from??? It is, and always was, only 7 vegetables, don't suppose I should complain, it's the best way I know of to get 7 different kinds of vegies into your kids in one matter WHAT their age! So in case you want to know, here it is:


1 onion

1 potato

1 zucchini

1 sweet potato

1 carrot

1 parsnip

1/2 butternut pumpkin

750 ml water

2 chicken stock cubes

1 x 400ml can lite coconut milk

dash nutmeg (optional)

Peel all the vegies except the zucchini (just wash that well), chop into chunks about 1-1/2" square, place all vegies & the water & chicken stock cubes in a large saucepan. The liquid won't cover the vegies, don't worry. Put the lid on and bring to boil, turn down and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the pumpkin goes in easily. Take off the heat, process either in a blender a cup at a time or, as I do, use a stab blender straight into the pan. Make sure it's all nicely pureed. Pour in the can of lite coconut milk and add a little nutmeg if you like.

That's it! So simple, only takes around 1/2 hour all up from start to finish. Let me know if your kids like it!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

a little music....

After doing a search on youtube for some HIM clips, think this'd have to be one of my favourites of theirs.

Fantastic song, great visuals (isn't he just!!!), love his tatts too!

It's early-ish Sunday morning and I'm going into my studio to have a play, just thought some of my pals might like a little tasty morsel to start their day.....mmmmmmmm. If I make anything worth a damn, might post later.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Day of the Dead & moooooo

A quick post before work.....below is my chunky page (4" x 4") for our Altered Book Club swap, this month's theme is Day of the Dead. The bit in the middle that looks grey is actually the foil tape that has been stamped, painted and rubbed back to leave the paint in the crevices. That leg is an authentic Mexican Milagros that I bought from a very nice vendor from Mexico (obviously!) over the Internet, even though the language barrier was a little weird, I got what I wanted and he was happy with the payment, so all was good ;-)

This is the back of the same chunky page with another quote I've had for a long time, just waiting for the right time to use it. I think it suits the little happy guitar-playing skeletons.

Some of you may have heard of these next things.....moo cards! Click here to find out what they are all about. I received them within 6 days of ordering them from the States, darn fast and OH SO CUTE!!! Now you know I don't like cute, but for these....I'll make an exception ;-)

Edit: mistake, they are from England rather than the States, check this link:

They are just about the same size as a microscope slide, it has my details on the back so I can include one when I do a swap or use it for a little business/personal details card. You get to choose which pics you want, whether you want 100 all the same or various - I chose 8 different ones so have 12 of some and 13 of others. There's a box thing on the set-up screen that you slide over your picture so you get to have just the portion of the picture that you want on them. The card they are printed on is really nice too, silky smooth and quite substantial. Love this personalised sort of stuff!

Edit: I should've mentioned that the cards below are images from my atc's that I've made....that's what I meant when saying you could choose which pics you choose from your own pics.

Time for work......