Monday, December 22, 2008

French book page, Family canvas & a sock monkey!!!

The theme for this month's Creative Soul Retreat book challenge is "All things French". Of course Eiffel towers are the first thing that pops into my mind when thinking of France, or rather, Paris, but I wanted to do something a little more .....well, just a little "more". So here is my page and I'm debating whether to add some word, or rather just one word....REVOLUTION! I like the softer colours of this page and doing a little collage for a change is refreshing. There is mica over the face of Louis XVI in the little metal frame and some embossing in a beautiful pale pearl blue, as well as some swarovski crystals and a metal embellishment under Marie Antoinette. It wouldn't be complete without the hordes in the streets and the guillotine!

I've also made a canvas for my mother-in-law for Christmas, using a picture of my husband's family when he was a small boy, including the dog Smithy! I made the frame by using foil tape adhered to chipboard and then running it through the Textile plate of the cuttlebug, rubbed it over with Burnt Umber paint and then wiped most of it off immediately. I do love how the distressed look contrasts nicely with the foil tape for this technique. The picture itself is my faux tin-type style. There's also some white German Scrap, some texture paste, glimmer mist (sand dune and dew-drop colours), a metal key and the words are the Olivia font (cuttlebug). Gwen doesn't "do" computers so there's no chance of her seeing this before Christmas so I'm safe posting it here.

Last night was our staff Christmas party at Natalie's house. We did a secret santa gift swap and I received a wonderful Pandora jigsaw piece charm for my bracelet(s) from my partner Jenny. It went straight onto my bracelet and I love how wonderfully full my bracelet(s) - yes, I have 2 - are looking. My secret santa partner to buy/make for was the delightful Mel. She is such a joy to work with as she's always so happy and skips about and is a good pal to boot! I bought her a little angel rubber duck (she collects rubber ducks), one of the new speckle brushes that Tim Holtz has been using on his 12 tags of Christmas, some bird stencils from coffee break designs and I also made her a sock monkey!!! I know she loves quirky and boy did she become attached to the sock monkey! It was carried around all night with her, draped over her shoulder or sitting on her lap. I was really pleased that she loved it and it was secretly nice to do a little bit of sewing and stuffing again....don't tell anyone though!!!

Christmas greetings to everyone and for some of us, 2009 can only get better!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bleach technique atc's and a big thank you!

Yesterday I had intended to get into my studio for the first time in a week and a half and do some creating. I had plans for getting stuck into my "All Things French" page for the Creative Soul Retreat book challenge that I'm taking part in.....but everyone knows the saying about the best laid plans going awry. I was a little worried about getting in there and starting to "think" about the times Joan and I would spend in my studio just playing around with stuff and then it would just spiral into a pity party that I don't have her with me any more. Consequently, it wasn't until about 4pm that I forced myself out there to at least just do some atc's with a technique I love and one that's quick and easy but still looks beautiful.
So here are the two Bleach Technique atc's I made yesterday and I've promised myself to get started on the French page on Saturday morning before I do a class in the afternoon.
I think I explained how to do this technique in my last post about bleach? Not sure, can't be bothered looking so I'll quickly explain it again anyway. Stamp on the smooth side of black cardstock with clear embossing ink, and emboss with clear embossing powder. Note - not all black cardstock will work with bleach, I know Bazzill does! Paint sections of the embossed image (or alternatively, the entire card) with ordinary household laundry bleach, dry with a hairdryer. Notice how much lighter the colour of the card becomes while the embossed bits stay black. Different cardstocks will bleach different colours. Next, colour in your images with Twinkling H2O's and a waterbrush (aquabrush with a reservoir of water), let dry and marvel at the shimmer of the H2O's and the contrast to the black of the embossing and black card (if you've left any!). You can also leave the card just bleached with no added colour. I did this here on "flighty".



I've been extremely touched and overwhelmed by the support via comments on this blog, personal emails, cards and phone calls from friends - both real and internet, on the loss of my best friend Joan. Her funeral was last Friday and it was a beautiful service at Pinnaroo which has a lovely natural bush setting with kangaroos and a wonderful backdrop through the huge glass windows at the chapel looking out onto a bush garden. While the service was happening, there were 2 lorikeets playing in a huge gum tree and also 2 white cockatoos bickering over something only a few feet away from the lorikeets.
Any time during the service I found it all getting too much I'd raise my eyes to the birds and concentrate on them skylarking around. I'm sure they were sent to keep me grounded and focussed on supporting Michael, Hayden and Holly. I'll leave you with one more picture of my friend, I'm actually having this one blown up and made into a canvas for Michael and the kids for a Christmas present. I love the colouring of this picture and how serene she looks.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Just Joan"

How do I type I sit, fingers poised and I don't know where to start. Some people are lucky enough to have a once-in-a-lifetime friend who touches your soul and shares all your deep, dark secrets, who loves you no matter what. My best friend, my confidante, my partner in crime, the girl who I grew up with from the age of 12 and has been my constant much so that some people have said "you 2 are joined at the hip!", is such a person in my life. She has been a part of my extended family's life for 37 years and they have all been touched by her joy for life, her gregarious spirit and her passion for her family and her friends.

So here I sit, Sunday morning, knowing that tomorrow morning her life support machine is going to be turned off and that will be more coffee pop-ins, no more sharing our hopes and fears and just plain silliness.

Joan was the person that my Dad gave his trip to when he was too unwell to go, just a short 6 months ago. He was so pleased that he could do it as he absolutely knew how much she would enjoy it and he felt she really deserved a wonderful holiday with myself, my husband, my Mum and my Auntie and Uncle. Dad would call her "Just Joan" or "Joanie", she was his 2nd daughter.

Three and a half years ago she beat breast cancer. Two mornings ago (Friday 28th Nov), she suffered a heart attack and consequently a stroke starved her brain of oxygen for 20 minutes. Her wonderful husband found her and he and their 17 year old son performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. The Doctor said "catastrophic brain damage" yesterday when we went in for a meeting with them.

So she'll forever be 49 years old and we are all totally shell-shocked and devastated to be losing such a huge part of our lives. Her husband and children will need to be so very strong to get through this. I feel like I have lost a huge part of me and I grieve for what will never be, us growing old and crotchety together.

At least I can be of some practical help for Michael with the funeral arrangements, having done it only 2 months ago for my Dad. Life's such a bitch sometimes and it makes you wonder at the fairness of it all. A stupid Aussie quote keeps popping into my head from years ago, think it was Austentayshus (sp?) that said it....."how much can a Koala Bear?". Not too much more I can tell you.

Of course, you go on, for family and friends and to help keep the memory of a true soul friend alive. I sit here again for minutes, wondering if I should push "publish post", but I just can't pretend that all that happens in my private world does not affect everything I do here. Celebrate your friendships, things can change in an instant, love, friendship and companionship with others around you is everything.

Love you Joan, forever and ever.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brushless Watecolour atc's, Beeswax atc & Tagged

I've been tagged by Keron, Stampgram and Bevlea so I'm supposed to reveal six quirky things about myself. Hmmmm....think I nearly got myself into serious trouble last time I revealed things in the "reveal 7 things about yourself" so I'll either be very careful, or I'll throw caution to the wind and blab all....haven't decided yet, read on to find out which it is! The delightful Viv also tagged me with a similar award, the Kreativ Blogger.....

and Di (Lady Di) tagged me with the I Love Your Blog award...(one I've been lucky enough to receive previously.....I know, I know.....what a show-off!!! lol)


Here are the rules...1. Link to the person who tagged you.2. Mention the rules.3. Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.4. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.5. Go to each person's blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged.

Now for the "tagged" responses...

1. I have avoidance issues with cleaning things like my pantry or linen cupboard - if I leave them long enough I have a wonderful husband who does them! (slack or what!!!)

2. I have skinny fingers, my rings won't fit on the same fingers as mine of girlfriends who are much thinner than me.

3. I dislike top 40 music on the radio, give me HIM, The Rasmus or My Chemical Romance anyday!

4. I've had the same very best girlfriend since I was 12 (hiya Joan!!!).

5. I'm not a seafood person, the only thing I like out of the ocean comes on surfboards. {grin}

6. I sleep in what has been termed "the death pose", flat on my back with my hands crossed across my chest. I've been a back sleeper for decades, it's one of the reasons I don't have many wrinkles on my face.....oh, and good genes from my Mum! lol

Bored yet????

So I've done the first 3 of the requirements but I'm going to be a huge piker and not pass it's SO difficult to choose between the blogs in my favourite blog list, they are there for a reason you know! Definitely go check out the girls who have tagged me though, they are not so slack as me and have some wonderful eye candy and insightfulness on their blogs.

Saturday's class is Brushless Watercolour as I said a couple of posts ago, here are another couple of atc's using this technique. These are both made with the Lyra watercolour crayons. Love this first one, it's my favourite - using Michelle Ward's stamps from the Rough Draft rubber plate. The little moon up the top left was made by using a round stamp with clear embossing ink and brushing Pearl Perfect Pearls over it so it shimmers nicely but is very subtle! I also coloured the top part (the sky) with a couple of pale colours of Twinkling H2O's and then stamped some stars and embossed them with silver.

"beyond the city gates"...

and "heal"... (it's difficult to see the word "heal" on the silver metal tab, but it is there!)

Next is another beeswax one that was a half-finished sample from the atc Tuesday night class last week.


Stay creative at this festive time of year, it's the only way to retain your sanity as the shop's get busier and the kids start going ballistic with holiday fever and if you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet.....get going!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Multitude of Mixed Media & Skagway!

This post has, as the title suggests, a multitude of mixed media.....

First up is my book challenge page for the Creative Soul Retreat. The theme this month was "A few of my favourite things". Of course, I couldn't get out of my head the Gary Larson cartoon where (from memory) there is a couple of detectives in a guys house, he's dead on the floor, on shelving in the room there is "bright copper kettles, warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string" and one detective is saying to the other... "These must be a few of his favourite things!"...... So what I did was to think about some of my favourite things (techniques) and I came up with this page.

Each square has a couple of my favourite things on it.
(top row, left to right)...
Old Germanic text and Micaceous Iron Oxide (a Golden paint - gorgeous!),
Gothic transparency image over foil tape,
Textured fabric with metallic thread wrapping,
(middle row, left to right)...
Canvas Paper with Rinse Aid Resist background & Metal wings,
Texture Paste and Silver Rub'n'buff,
Shrink Plastic with HIM stamp, Swarovski crystals and German Scrap,
(bottom row, left to right)...
Black Corrugated cardboard with black onyx mica glitter & embossed cuttlebug shape,
Foil tape and my tracing wheel to make the little track marks,
Webbing spray in both white and black and metal cogs.

Hmmmm.....the book page above looks suspiciously like the new inchie canvas class that I'm teaching in December at Scraptivate! Even though they may look similar, they are obviously different (to the trained art-eye!!!). lol The girls in this 4" x 4" inchie canvas class have a choice of doing either a Crimson/Black/Silver one, or a Blue/Cream/Burnt Umber canvas. Here's the blue one...

...and the crimson/black/silver...

While I was on an arty roll over the last couple of days, I also made a card for the Inkurable Stampers Challenge. This time the we had to use both a bottle cap as well as some beads in our project AND it was a Christmas theme. Well, you just KNOW that I have loads of Christmas themed stamps with reindeer, Christmas trees, Kris Kringle and the like.....NOT!
This was a bit of a challenge for me, but heck, that's what challenges are supposed to be dummy! (me dummy, not you dummy). Last month I was lucky enough to win a gift voucher from Barb at the Stamping Queen and I promptly chose one of the fabulous Stampotique stamps - Prom Queen. I already have Glimmering Hope and Girl with a Lunchbox so now I have a sister to join the other 2! Here she is in all her glory......warning....please don't take offence at the quote on the's something I have NO control over. I blame my Dad and my brother for my warped sense of humour. Definitely not my fault!

(see how keen I was to get this photographed? the glue under the crystal is not dry!!!)

I had intended to include some of my remaining mega-trip photo's but there just seems to be too much other stuff here...what the heck, it is my blog after all and if I choose to bore you with some pics, so be it! Skagway here we come.....

We had the 2nd big highlight of our trip in Skagway, a journey on the White Pass Scenic Railway, if you go to Skagway this is a wonderful train trip. It's also the only time I've ever actually been snowed on....and they DO look like individual little lacy things when the snowflakes land on you!!!! On the flats, not much snow....

a "bit" more snow....
Here we are at the end of the rail journey, ready to start the bus trip back. Beautiful scenery, yes, it was cold! From left to right, Mum, me, Ev, Pete and Joan, Grant was the photographer.

There was a fabulous building in Skagway that's being constantly repaired with driftwood, the way it was originally done. Wonderful! Do the 3 little pigs come to mind????

...and just in case you forgot how we got around on our mega-trip....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beeswax atc's, Canvas & Card

Tonight's atc class is a favourite of most people who try this technique...beeswax! You can use either a Ranger Melt Pot, just a heat gun or my favourite - the Clover Mini Iron with the little triangular shaped head. I use beeswax that is unbleached, it comes straight from the honey supplier so it smells so wonderful when heated and is a beautiful honey colour. I also use wax crayons to add a little colour to my beeswax work too!

Here are 2 samples for tonight's class , the first one is the raffle atc.


The next one started out as a transfer of a girl over some script paper, then I applied the beeswax and crayons over that as well as one of the Collections frames. It's a little more work when you are applying something a little thicker to a beeswax work, like the chipboard frame below. You just have to apply enough beeswax to form up around the edges to hold it in place and also some beeswax over the top too. If you apply too much it is easy to scrape back and smooth over again either with the heat gun or with the Clover Mini Iron.
"Silent and withdrawn"...

A while ago I was asked by Cardmaking, Stamping & Papercraft magazine (an Aussie publication) to take part in their stampers challenge. The stamps were from Rachel Grieg's Darkroom Door Series and it was the Doors set that I was sent for the challenge. Here is a card that I made and also a 4" x 4" canvas. These stamps are beautiful on gloss card as they are photo stamps so they come up really well on the smooth surface. I also used black onyx mica glitter on this card too, unfortunately it just doesn't show up how much it sparkles!

This is the 4 x 4 canvas, note how the bolt looks so realistic and 3d! The darker image mid-left is the same door stamp from above but it has been stamped on shrink plastic and shrunk.

These should be appearing in the next issue.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brushless Watercolour atc's & a Canvas

On Saturday I'm teaching my Technique Book #2 again so it won't be an atc class as per normal. My next atc class is on Saturday the 29th of November and I thought I'd get a jump start on this one - Brushless Watercolour. I use 2 methods for this, both Lyra watercolour crayons (LOVE THEM!!!) and Ranger Distress Ink Pads. They give a slightly different look but are both as easy as each other.

Firstly, let me say that I just googled "Reseda Odorata" and I know these plants look nothing like the image on this atc below. I just used the wording because it said yellow, orange and green flowers and it worked with the image. Please don't put the "plant police" onto me. ;-)

"Reseda Odorata"...

Now a couple using one of my favourite Stampers Anonymous stamps. The first one is a diptych - 2 separate atc's, with some micro beads and mica for extra dimension. The mica is over the wording on the right hand side, it's why it looks a little grey.

"Dragonfly #1 & #2"...

and another, "winged"...

I have been asked quite a few times by the girls in my class about this next stamp. It's called Girl with a Purse and is by A Stamp In The Hand but it is discontinued. Good luck finding it if you like it....try ebay!


Last Saturday I was a student in a class at Scraptivate instead of the teacher!!! I took a class with the lovely, bubbly Mel. It was her Starlight Fairy Canvas and I loved it, colour washes, lyra crayons, Jo Sonja Gold Dust, a beautiful image....what's not to like! The girls all did different colours but as I'm a sucker for Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, that's what I used for the sky and then Burnt Umber for the ground.

Yep, only those two colours, apart from the shading with the lyra crayons in black and dark brown. Doesn't the stamping around the edges make it look like a theatre set, it does to me anyway! What you can't see is the Jo Sonja Gold Dust. This is a gel medium that has big flakes of gold/orange glitter suspended in it that dries to a matte finish so it is much more subtle than say sprinkling glitter over a gel medium. Because the glitter flakes are coated by the matte medium, it tones down the sparkle effect. This is an 8" x 10" canvas (or 20cm x 25cm if you prefer).

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mega ATC Post!!!

I've been going a little ballistic with the atc's in my studio over the last week or so. Some of these are also being sent to some friends (& new friends) as "surprises", they'll just have to see what they get! When I teach my atc classes I also end up with half finished atc's from doing the demo of the particular technique for that class. So feeling particularly inspired to create of late, here are a slew of atc's....I wonder if there is a particular word for a grouping of atc's....maybe an "attack of atc's"??? My favourite would be "a murder of crows", wonder why I like that one??? lol

These first 3 are the Faux Tin Type technique with the wonderful borders made with the cuttlebug embossing folders. Love using this with the foil tape, looks fabulous in real life and unfortunately because of the reflective nature of this tape, you can't really get the full effect of how this really looks like a Tin Type picture unless you see it with your own eyes. One cool technique!!!

"Madam Lash"...

This one below is from the Peeled Paper Technique background class. Another cool product I used on this particular atc (that you also can't see!) is the Ranger Antiquities Frosted Crystal embossing powder. I used it to completely cover the image , it makes the image appear like it is behind frosted glass, also with a similar knubbly (???) feel to it. Nice stuff! I just used an clear embossing pen to colour the image and then dumped the embossing powder over the top.

This is another of the Webbing Spray Resist atc's from the last Saturday class. I also used the NEW METALLIC BROWN GERMAN SCRAP that we sell at Scraptivate..... this stuff is a beautiful colour and I've lightly rubbed Patina Rub'n'buff over the top to co-ordinate with the beautiful blue of the background colour. (I also used the metallic brown German scrap on the atc above too but rubbed a little renaissance gold rub'n'buff on that one!) Gotta love that shrink plastic too - the quote is on shrink plastic.


Resin Fresco technique, "Prettiest"... (more shrink plastic - the quote again)

Last Tuesday night was Watercolour Crayons & Watercolour Tube Paints atc class. Here are some samples of that class. The first one "Soul Seeker" was the raffle atc which was won by Charmaine. Charmaine commented that she never used to do dark-style art before she came to my classes.....hehehehe, another convert!!! lol What??? More shrink plastic??? The heart!!!


"Weird odd art"... (no shrink plastic on this one below, just fun foam)

Last couple coming up...this next one is one of the atc's that's gone postal today, hope she likes it and I hope she doesn't think I'M weird!

Finally, a foil tape background atc for a special friend. I used Jo Sonja black texture paste in the tube to go around the edge of the image and then a little silver rub'n'buff on it to highlight the texture, I was happy with the effect and will definitely be doing that again. Of course I've used black texture paste plenty of times in the past but never to just go around an image - I like it! Also, fun foam heartagram (HIM) with silver rub'n'buff.
"Love hex"...

The End!