Monday, September 29, 2008

Bleach atc's, a canvas and Birds....and to close

I sat at my computer for several minutes wondering how to start this post. Do I just jump right in showing my next atc technique for my class, maybe show the canvas that I made while Dad was in hospital that a friend thought was a reflection of my mind-set at the time? No......I finish off the chapter of these previous few posts by saying what a (insert - sitting at my computer again staring at the screen)....I want to say "wonderful" but it sounds funny....... funny strange not funny haha, funeral we had for my Dad. So many people from early days in his life as well as many, many friends he and Mum made over the years as well as our large family. Over 300 people attended and about half of these came back to my house for the celebration of his life. A few tears but mainly very funny stories of times spent with Eric.

"Thankyou" doesn't seem to be a big enough word to convey how much I appreciate those of you who have left comments and sent personal emails (& cards) expressing their feelings and warm thoughts to myself and my family. Each day is a new one and I'm sure that one day I'll be able to remember my Dad with something other than the tears that still well up in my eyes. Okay, enough now...... Dad would NOT see the funny side of a keyboard getting soaked with tears and making little splish splash noises......he did love his technology!

I'll let you in on a little secret that I've discovered - art is therapeutic!!! I'm sure no-one else has worked this out but now it's out there.....spread the word!!!!! lol My next class on Saturday is Bleach atc's. I know there is the normal way, stamp into bleach that has been soaked in paper towels on a little plate then stamping onto your card stock. I'm going to be doing the other method - painting in bleach. Mainly because I don't have many (read - any!!!) large open-type, simple design stamps. Here are the samples - note, not all card stock will bleach! Trial and error is the key to this technique.

"a dress form" - tan coloured card stock, image bleached out and re-coloured with Twinkling H2O's. "collector" - bleach painted onto tan card stock, image stamped then re-coloured with chalks.

"vision" - red card stock, stamped then parts bleached out and recoloured with Twinkling H2O's. (Not my favourite colours but I wanted to show that you could do something bright if you like!)

"insectology" - black card stock, parts of the stamped image bleached out and recoloured with Twinkling H2O's.

"flighty" - black card stock, stamped image bleached out and no other colour added - this is always a surprise as to what colour the card stock will turn with the bleach!

In March next year I'm attending a retreat in Melbourne, Creative Soul Retreat (you can click here to go to the book challenge). An event I'm REALLY looking forward to, I'm booked to have classes with Bernie Berlin and DJ Pettit and I'll get to meet up with some of the girls I've gotten to know through this little box on my table. Gotta say, I love the Internet!!! Some of us are taking part in a monthly challenge, you are given a theme and then you make a page for a book that you'll put together yourself. It's not for swapping, it's for keeping!!! Bonus!!! We take the book along to the retreat so we can drool all over everyone else's creations one night, between sips of wine and bites of cheese of course! Here's my page, "every year".

I used white paper that had been sprayed with Glimmer Mists in Turquoise and Graphite, then sprayed with some black webbing spray. Stamps are from Michelle Ward's clear stamp sheet called Bird Sanctuary and have been stamped with Stazon. The blue/green bird in the front has been stamped onto a piece of white gloss paper that was first coloured with Pine Needles Distress Ink, then cut out and mounted on mounting foam for dimension. The white in the feathers were added with a white gel pen, black german scrap down the bottom with some Patina Rub'n'buff and finally a quote printed on vellum and attached to a bit of the same Pine Needles coloured gloss card stock. 3 brads up the top right complete the piece.

Several weeks ago I was given the RIP cuttlebug die & folder as part of my design team project at Scraptivate. The timing was not intentional (with Dad ill), it was just that it was a fairly new release and I'm the first person that Natalie thought of to do something with this, I'm SOOOO not the person to give anything flowery to from the shop! Here's the canvas which is soon to be a class at Scraptivate in December (if you're in Perth and you're interested!).

Friday, September 19, 2008


My Dad died at 8.30am yesterday (Thursday 18th September). It was a shock to lose him like that, especially as the surgery had gone so well and he'd escaped the stroke & death possibility, that the surgery held. He spent 5 weeks in ICU at Royal Perth Hospital and had nothing but praise for all the doctors and very dedicated nurses who looked after him.

They had shifted him to the coronary care ward on Wednesday as he was having such difficulty getting any sleep in ICU with all the lights and noise that it requires for that place to operate. He'd had his trach tube taken out on Tuesday of this week and was in good spirits and so happy again to be able to talk to his many visitors that went to see him on Tuesday evening. Everyone was so positive about how he was going and how well he was looking and sounding.

Mum called me at 5.38am yesterday morning and said the hospital had called to say he'd deteriorated and we'd better come in. When we arrived the Doctor's said they had done tests and he had developed a lung infection that he was really struggling with. They decided to put him on antibiotics to see if it would shift but when we walked into the room we were shocked to see how he was struggling to breathe. His oxygen saturation was supposed to be around 92-96, it was down to 60 and his heartrate was around 138 beats per minute. He couldn't talk but we could see that he was in great distress trying to hang on.

Ultimately, he just couldn't battle on any longer and his heart that the surgeons had repaired so wonderfully just couldn't take it any more. So we go on, with wonderful memories of a great man who touched so many lives.

As you can see in the photo above, his love of funny moments (& silly hats) started early in his life, that's my Dad in the right with the man who would become my Godfather on the left. This photo was just before he met my Mum and he died just 2 months short of their 50th wedding anniversary. Luckily we have a huge family and there is so much love and support for us(particularly Mum as she has 4 sisters and 4 brothers). We plan on a happy, celebratory funeral for him next Thursday, as was his wish.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Technique Book #2, some trip pics.....and my Dad

Next Saturday I have a full class of girls who are going to do my Technique Book #2. This is a marathon effort learning 5 techniques in 4 hours and putting the book together that displays it all as well. Technique Book #1 went really well and is here if you'd like to take a look. As in the Technique Book #1, I've included full instructions for each technique. This time I've gone for beautiful brown, rust, cream and little big of moss green for the colour theme of this book. The girls know I'll never do a bright, primary colour scheme...just not me!

Before I show you the pictures, big news!!!!!!!!........I've finally worked out how to make EVERY picture clickable in my blog. Apparently when you upload an image in your Posting page and then move it down to where it belongs in the writing, not all of the code gets transferred. So now I have to upload the picture in "Compose", go to "Edit Html", "cut" the code string by right-clicking, then "paste" it where it belongs amongst the wording. This way all the code stays put and each picture will be clickable. Just takes another few minutes to do to every picture...bit of a drag but at least it works!

Cover of Technique Book #2

Foil Tape...


Peeled Paint...(I made sure I credited Claudine Hellmuth's Collage Discovery Workshop book for this it!!! Though I always make sure I write my own descriptions and not copy others words.)

Smoosh & Masking...

I did several pages for the Smoosh technique and added them to the book so the girls will be able to add their favourite colour combinations, remembering of course to write the colours on the back of each page so they can replicate it if they want.

Contents Page...
Back cover....(don't you love that Cosmo Cricket faux wood paper!!!)

Time to continue some of my mega-trip pictures. Ketchikan was our next port of call, a lovely little place though a little brisk for my liking! Joan and I visited one of the museums there and saw some wonderful old totems as well as fantastic displays of native Indian life set out in full size displays. This is where I bought my fabulous mask!!! They also had the most amazing Russian Dolls for sale in several stores, yes....we bought some of those too!

Creek Street is a wonderful boardwalk that winds it's way along the Creek in the centre of town. Lovely little period shops line both sides and it's a truly picturesque place.

Heritage Totem Museum...

Russian Dolls in shop window...

Pretty, mountainous and cold!!!...

Masks from the Totem Heritage Museum...

Now for news on my Dad (I have some family members overseas who visit this blog to see how he's doing so I like to include a picture so they don't forget what he looks like!). He had his tracheotomy tube taken out yesterday lunchtime and Grant and I went up to see him at around 3pm and he was SOOOOO grateful to the nurse who took it out. He lovingly called it "that mongrel thing" when referring to the tube and it was really good to hear his voice again. Then I got a phone call from my Mum this morning saying Dad had a really rough night trying to breathe without the ventilator so they made the decision to insert the trach tube again at 7am today. I'm sure he's really pissed off at having that thing in there again but given a choice of breathing and not.......well, I know what he'd opt for!

Just to show you that he definitely still has his funny genes still working, here's a picture of Joan and Dad last Sunday when we went in for a visit. Yes, that's his "sick bag" on his head and no, it didn't have anything in it!!!

So unfortunately it looks like he'll be spending more time in ICU as one of the only patients actually awake in there he keeps his nurses on their toes. His first sips of water after they took the trach tube out was to be at 5.30pm last night but he asked his nurse if he could forgo that and wait until the party at 11pm when the beer would be arriving!!! lol

Tomorrow is Father's Day and we're going for a visit with him first thing, but I have to wait in the waiting room as I have developed a cold and definitely don't want to pass it onto him. So I'll be making him a card tomorrow morning for my husband and son to take into him (along with the new Jeffrey Deaver book)......I have a PERFECT picture of him to use for the card and I'll post a picture of it when I next blog. Think he'll get a kick out of it!