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.