Creative ideas come "out of the wild" growing like yeast. Enjoy a meander around my creative pursuits - art printing with stamps, sketching, photography, baking, gardening...

22 September, 2011

WOYWW 120 - something good about round numbers

Greetings All.

There's something I like about round numbers - 120 is another stick in the sand. Thanks for all the lovely messages from last week. The shelving with all my sets of drawers isn't as tall and imposing as the wide angle camera lens leads you to think. Everything is in reach..... even though I've just discovered that I'm an inch shorter than I was ten years ago. I am sooooo PEEVED with my disorganised low spine. We've had another acute episode of pain this week past but I dealt with it quickly and was back in the pool today with no ill effects. 

Check out what happens with this Wednesday desk hopping over at Julia Dunnit's blog. She is the hub of this glorious wander through other people's craft spaces.

Now for my desk. This week is an extension of last week's ideas which produced a birthday card for a member of my family who is very keen on indigenous plants and landscapes.

You can see the experiments at the back and the successful version on the work pad.
 I wanted to create a moonlit scene with a white ghost gum as the feature using Versamark with 'Pastel' Judikins EP. It gives the almost translucent white effect without using silver. I used a StampScape of the moon and clouds. Torn paper and Distress Inks did the rest.

Final card with dry embossed message at the side ~ with love.

That was fun, and worked out well in that I think the Birthday girl will like it.

I'm a bit late this week but will be getting to as many blogs as I can. Best of times,

14 September, 2011

WOYWW 119 - Cleared the decks

Greetings again WOYWW-ers. This funny acronym is about visiting people's desks using Julia Dunnit's blog as the launching pad. Pop over to see by clicking HERE.

I decided on more photos than talk tonight. You will recall that the Wildcards desk looked as though it had a wild night last week so I'm starting with the clean-up project. It's been a major case of pull everything out, look it over, and decide where it will go. I'll just show you the final effect rather than the agony on the way. Here are the drawers, labelled. I don't need a map to find things.

Next, the card stock drawer...

A mixture of card stock and paper is more visible.

And the library of books, projects, magazines, stock lists...

This is a little alcove that contains many treasures.

And finally the librarian, supervisor, mischief maker, and general grumpy bum... the Magic Puddin' who sits above the books. He is part of my generation's childhood, from a book of the same name by Norman Lindsay. A fantastic story about the vicissitudes of the Perfessional Puddin' Owners as they battle the Perfessional Puddin' Thieves with the help of an incurable optimist called Bunyip Bluegum. I made him out of two puddin' basins (the apostrophe is important in relation to this larrikin) and a beanie made of brown handspun wool.

The Magic Puddin' - he is a cut 'n' come again Puddin'

Now for the desk which has an experimental picture on it using picture stamps to create a moonlit scene with a brightly lit settler's cottage. The cottage is resist embossed with clear EP. At the end, I ironed off the EP to settle it into the picture. I have an idea to develop based on the opening screen of a recent TV show, and this is the beginning. More about it through the week I hope, visitors and back pain permitting.

Moonlight over the bush cabin

I mentioned my little red buckets on the rounds to someone last week and here they are on their Lazy Susan. They keep lots of small tools very handy.

The Red Bucket Brigade

Hope you enjoyed this little tour.
Happy days,

11 September, 2011

Later, Same Day...

P.S. Here are the two and a half fruit loaves out of the oven and cooling, tempting all passers-by with their aromas and beauty.

The Family Photo! L to R: Hazelnut and child, spiced Fig and Cranberry.

I glazed the top of the bread with a coat of milk and sugar which gives them the shiny surface. From past experience, they need to be kept in air-tight container to stop them going sticky on top.
Thank you Carola, Di and Carole for your lovely comments.

Carola, I'm certain that one can use sourdough with any kind of flour. One of the loaves I made was truly delicious, made in the Vienna loaf style with 1 part wholemeal spelt and 3 parts strong white flour. I added half a cup of soft grain mix. It was very popular with the family. If you want to give it a go, I'm happy to send you the instructions and coach you through growing the starter. Yay! A new kind of coaching is born.

Di, I had such a chortle at your post - thanks. And Carole, I do want to see you on a magic carpet! Woo hoo!


Ooo-la-la, I Love My Dishwasher

Well, Betsy is on a roll again. This time we (she and I) are making fruit loaves which are busy growing in the living room where it's warm. For those of you who don't know her, Betsy is my recently born sourdough starter. She lives in the refrigerator most of the time but she needs feeding every few days with water and flour, and her job is the make my sourdough bread rise to heavenly heights and divine flavour.

Betsy after making a contribution of 500g of yeast goodies.
 What a bubbly thing she is - just needs her lid on now and goes back in the refrigerator for the next round of baking with a feed in two or three days. I found this lovely red bowl for her which is actually an el cheapo microwave rice cooker. The brilliant thing is the lid which has a valve in it that you can open or close. Leaving it open allows Betsy to digest her food and let the gases escape without having an explosion of cement in the fridge. (Hope this isn't getting too personal for you).

Today's sourdough loaves are spiced fig and cranberry fruit loaf, and hazelnut and fruit loaf. I'll post a photo of them when they leave the oven if they work out okay.

Of course, after all this culinary activity, there are bowls, cups, dishes, dough hook, spoons, scrapers and stuff everywhere. Not having had a serious dishwasher in my adult life (I had a very small dinky washer that didn't like big stuff) it is such a wonder to shove everything in the machine and press the button. Hey presto, the Maid is doing her secret work and I love her for it.

You know, there's a little coffee shop in Main Street which serves fruit loaf in a really lovely fashion, lightly toasted and served on a small wooden board. Beside it is a good sized rounded spoon of marscapone drizzled with a zigzag of local honey. There's a little spreading knife, and with an excellent cup of coffee, it's bliss on a stick!

More later,

07 September, 2011

WOYWW - 118

This morning I was hustling to get a birthday card made for a friend who is musical. I have to give credit to Ikki over at her Cuttlebug Cupboard where I was browsing and found the idea with a music theme. I want to develop some more cards with this masking technique, a bit like the Christmas card I did last year although that was more of a stencil style combined with masks.

A music them in blue-reds and lavenders

To colour the background of the centre-piece, I used matt card masked with Post-It notes and coloured with Colorbox chalks. These were applied with Colour Duster brushes. The stamp is heat embossed with Judikins cabernet twinkle then it is matted onto burgundy metallic card. The card stock is white hammered card which is distressed with Ancient Page coral red, then the music is stamped with Marvy wine.

In addition to acknowledging Ikki, I have to give credit to Shaz in Oz for the idea of using polished stones to frame the card for photography. I have a bird bath full of rocks in the garden and took time to use it this morning.

Where is the desk, you may ask? Afterall that's what this weekly Wednesday wander is all about - to know more, slide over to Julia's stamping ground. And here's the desk a moment after the card was finished buried beneath metres of stuff from the table and the floor in favour of some serious (meaning complex and boring) work.

I can't wait to get my hands on this lot!

I had to make a large space for organising Tax Time papers. Don't mind the Tax, just hate the paper trail (unless it's multi coloured and beautiful). So the table was clear and the desk piled high with lots to be sorted, stacked and stowed tomorrow.

Just home from the subscription cinema night after seeing a lovely Italian film called "The Sky is Red". Scrumptious kids, superb actors. Beautiful night, tonight... clear sky, bright moon, perfume everywhere. Five million star accommodation.

Kind thoughts,

03 September, 2011


What a day. I went to the Weed Busters morning at our local shopping village. Two local groups that work to restore and protect natural reserves in the area had local weeds on display. I belong to one of these groups, and we gave information about how these weeds grow, how to control them and why that's important. Watching people realise that sometimes the pretty things are space invaders of a bad kind, and it's interesting to speculate about whether they will engage with taking action. We have a few new members from the morning which is great, not to mention having lots more information 'out there'.

The weeds and the weed busters

And I fed the sourdough starter tonight for baking more bread tomorrow or the next day - depending on how it develops. Even within half an hour of adding water and flour it begins to make bubbles.  In an 80/20 ratio, that is 80% fresh flour and water and 20% starter from last time, the yeasts start to grow. The bubbles appear v-e-r-y slowly. I watch and watch, roaming the surface and finding a pin sized bubble that wasn't there before. Soon it's the size of a small bead. Tomorrow morning the whole thing will look like a gigantic sponge that escaped from the Barrier Reef. This will be the rising for two more loaves and a small amount will be 'fed' and live in the refrigerator for next time. Betsy is already two weeks old. Sourdough starters are often given names, and may live for many years I understand.


31 August, 2011

Nice to join in WOYWW again - 117

Hello again. Good to be back WOYWW at last - I've missed this circle with Julia Dunnit at the hub. If you want to know more visit the Stamping Ground every Wednesday. I've been very busy but am well and content with life in case some wonder where the blazes I've been.

But first the desk...

Paperfic purchases and Christmas accents

As you will know from my previous post, I went to the Paperfic Show last Saturday and bought a few goodies. Stands to reason that my purchases might encourage certain activities. I bought the Creatables die-cutters which are light blue and cut out two sets using the Big Shot. These Christmas cut-outs will be lovely for decorations, for cards, and for grand-daughter activities when she comes to stay.

The set on the right are cut out of 250 gsm card which was nearly too heavy. The set on the left are embossed with Judikins Aegian Silver, a fine Gold EP, and some deep blue EP combined with aqua PearlEx powder. I sprayed it with workable fixitive and feel quite pleased with the result.

Other things of interest might be some bottles of Liquid Pearls and part of the Tim Holtz film strip die-cut all of which came from Paperific. On the left side of the photo above the heat tool, is a piece of blotchy stuff which has somehow migrated to my craft desk. It is a slice of zebra rock from the Kimberley area in the north west of Australia. It's fascinating how the distinct colours occur in stripes throughout the very fine sedement and remain discrete as it turns to stone. Because it is such fine sedementary rock, the cut cross section is exceedingly smooth - one of my favourite keep-sakes from travelling up north some years ago.

Now I could do with some suggestions for interesting things to do with egg whites. I have passionfruit icecream churning in the background as I write and egg whites stranded in the refrigerator. Any ideas gratefully received.

Yours as ever,

28 August, 2011

I'm Sprung!

From yesterday's post about the sourdough, I was sprung by my friend Jenny who was demo-ing at the Paperific Show yesterday. She knew where I was!!!  Great to see her there amongst the crowds of traders, make-and-take demos, and folks looking, learning and buying. One lady drove a few hundred Km with her DH who called himself Treasury. He was impressed with the demo from my friend Jeanette, so I think some picture stamps were on the agenda.

Now the sourdough saga continues. This morning the starter had developed into a nice bubbly sponge so I decided to use the lot and make three loaves. One is a fruit loaf with mixed spice, a little malted grain flour and a fruit soak. The next is just plain white bread flour, and the third is mainly white strong flour with a third wholemeal spelt and half a cup of soft grain mix.

Fruit loaf, white and light wholemeal dough almost doubled in size.
They have all been knocked down and are proving a second time which takes longer than with bakers yeast. The kitchen smells great.

This morning, I had a lovely visit to the monthly Farmers Market which is all produce. Came home with lots of vegetables, olive oil from French Island the other side of Mornington Peninsula, and fruit, much of it grown locally. Oranges come from Mildura but the brambleberries (for home made icecream), apples and pears are local. There are local meats, baker's delights, and sea food.

The star of the show was Brownie, a black cow who was milked at the market for on-the-spot butter and buttermilk. I brought home a small pat of butter and the butter milk will become pancakes tonight. Some of the kids couldn't believe their eyes, whilst others were laid back and knowledgable.  And for Pete's sake, I didn't take my camera. It was still in my bag from yesterday's journey.

LATER THIS AFTERNOON:  after the baking is all over and cooling, it LOOKS good but how will it meet the taste test?  I've got so much bread in the house now! The big clean-up is done - strangely, there were little globs of cement on the kitchen floor.
Three loaves, two tins and a pizza stone.
Well, the fruit loaf is just cool enough to try and the temptation is too great. Some of Brownie's butter makes is just great. The loaf is very moist and has a different texture from yeast bread. Very more-ish. Feeling very pleased with my first attempt at sourdough bread and now the challenge is to keep the starter alive and well for the weekly loaf or two.
Oh yum,

27 August, 2011

Froth & Bubble After Being Away

Can't believe how busy the last couple of months have been... singing, gardening (weeding), preparing tax, and experimenting with yeast baking. I've made quite a lot of bread, good yeasty pizza bases and fresh pasta which isn't yeasty of course but delicious.

But here's the froth and bubble!

I decided to have a go at making my own sourdough starter last Monday. I fed it each day, and because I can't bear to discard three quarters of the brew each time I feed it, I kept it and started a new pot. Now I have starter to give to the whole neighbourhood, let along friends, and it's very lively!

While I was out today, it grew and grew.

What a hoot. Tomorrow I expect to have a bread-making spree and visit the Farmers Market. If you're interested in the ingredients for this living ferment, I'll be happy to post it. Of course there are as many recipes and magical mysteries as there are bakers but this one has given me a splendid start.

I must say it's a pleasure to be back to my blog, and in touch with those who have taken an interest in the past. Spring is here, and the late winter wattles are in full bloom. The freesias smell heavenly, and there are buds everywhere. Best wishes to you all.

Life's good,

05 July, 2011

Winter time sunshine

I'm having a few days away in warmer weather. The first three days on the Gold Coast (south of Brisbane) were changeable and showery but quite a pleasant temperature. The Gold Coast resort is such an odd place with wall-to-wall hotels and restaurants. Quite boring really but fascinating enough for a short stay. I stayed in a resort hotel which provided conference rates, sharing an apartment that was quite large. It was like an icecream cake really.

We were on the first floor above the restaurants.
Then we collected a car at the airport and drive to Brunswick Heads in northern New South Wales where the weather was glorious... Shorts and sandals and beach-combing. Nothing happening on the work desk until next week when I'm back to the real winter at home. Meanwhile freshly caught prawns, locally grown vegetables and salad, and local wine thrown together at 'home' in this lovely cabin. It will just have to do! (Happy sigh)


15 June, 2011

WOYWW - 106 and I'm back

I've had a wonderful weekend. We have a mid-Winter holiday to celebrate the Queen's birthday June when her birthday is in April. I have no idea of the origin of this but I suppose we could call it a little Antipodean madness. I spent my long weekend at the Melbourne Festival of Choirs. It was great fun.

The last two weeks have been very rackety with computer problems and rehearsals galore but here I am again. See my previous post.  Anyway, it's lovely to be swanning around the desks again, and if you're not sure what it's about, lob over to Julia Dunnit's blog and check it out.

Yesterday I called in to Paper Squared, my local paper craft shop and bought a great wood grain stamp from Hero Arts. I think it could be used for all kinds of compositions. Here's what I did with it this morning on scrap paper - ignore the messy pink bits that don't belong.

Wood grain becomes rough floorboards or weather boards.
On the right is a box of hand-made paper and envelopes that I bought at the same time. At the back of my working space are four bottles of liquid graphite in different colours. I bought them in a book shop that has some art materials and ther're quite new to me. Not sure what I'll do with them yet but a few swipes with a brush are very interesting.

07 June, 2011

What WAS on my Workdesk Wednesday?

Heavens to Pete! Have I ever had a drama or two with blogger, with my computer, with installing new anti-virus software.

Hope you have all enjoyed the PIF celebration for the 104th episode of WOYWW. I'm just getting going and decided to do a retrospective post which I hope at least a few folk will visit. I regret not being on the PIF circuit however "them's the breaks" as they say in the classics.

Bosisto's Eucalyptus Oil. Good for cleaning and stuffy noses.
Here is the clean desk. When all else fails, go back to what has worked in the past and in my case it's eucalyptus oil which is brilliant on so many stains. The inks on the desk that wouldn't come off with alcohol or stamp cleaner were no match for the eucy oil.
Do you know the silly old riddle that goes... What did the sheep say to the shearer? Eucalyptus!  (u clipt us)    (Groan)

Happy days. Will be back to WOYWW as soon as possible.

27 May, 2011

Dear Oven

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

You prove the dough
And bake my bread to perfection.
You grill and roast, braise and toast.
The meals you make defy correction.

And dear Oven
How do I hate to clean thee? Let me count the ways...

Erm... ah... mmm...

Aauuugghhhh! Clannad keeps me sane

Three thousand
Seven hundred
And Thirty-Eight
And a half (which is putting on the rubber gloves) ways do I hate to clean thee.

Thank goodness it's done! Now coffee is in order.

25 May, 2011

WOYWW 103 and a sample of Autumn.

Greetings all. It's desk hopping time again. To find out more about this Wednesday whimsy, hop over to Stamping Ground.

This week there isn't a great deal happening. In fact there's more going on my head, bothering myself about what to do for the PIF, but I'm hoping that something will eeeeemeeerrrge.

What you see this week is the beginning of some ideas around the Olde Post Card stamp I bought recently - some travel themes from amongst the rest of my stamps and other accoutrements.

Travel themes

I've been playing with the brayer, a film strip stamp and a tyre tread stamp today. I want to include some real photos of my own, and there is also a vintage camera stamp in the drawer that has potential. Watch this space, as they say.

Thought I'd share a couple of garden pictures. It's very pretty at the moment with lots of Australian native plants in flower at this time and the deciduous trees showing great colour this year. The previous owners planted crepe myrtles, Mongolian Pears (no fruit) along the drive, and a couple of ornamental cherries. Because of better rain this year after ten years of drought, there are more sugars in the leaves. The cold weather has made the sugars create more intense pigments in the leaves so it's been more showy. Not so good when we have drought years.

Along Cherry Lane, lavenders and grevilleas flowering
Crepe Myrtle in front of the terrace
Yesterday, a rainbow on a grey day
Hope all is well with my visitors. Thanks to all who drop by. I really enjoy your comments and love to call on as many as I can manage.


19 May, 2011

An Inchy Card

With all my tidy up activities, I have lots of pieces that are either unfinished or didn't suit my purpose at the time. My current challenge is to use them by finishing or altering them for new cards in stock.

This is a general purpose card that I punched from one of my experiments for a Christmas card design using the Maiden Hair Fern stamp. The inch squares are mounted on fuschia metallic card and then lettuce green matt. The little tag is actually a sticker - I'm using those up too. Embossed with my old fave, verdigris EP. Died the ribbon with Distress Stain peeled paint.

Here's a little hint that you might find useful. My best tool for threading string/ribbon through small holes is a tiny latch hook used in crochet and tatting. Sometimes, a fine wire needle threader is useful too, especially with very fine thread.


WOYWW No. 102

Dear me, I missed WOYWW 101 last week and I'm nearly doing it again this week which is partly because there is a lot going on here. Mostly it's about the recording of stock/stash and the big lag in doing my creative journal and record of experiements. So that's what is on the desk this week. BTW, hop over to Julia Dunnit's Stamping Ground to see what the desk show'n'tell is all about... art and friends.

A page in the making
I've been keeping a record of experiments since I began making cards some years ago. I have put up a post of it before however, this is the desk top at present. This was the development of my Christmas card last November - you can see how behind I have fallen.

Pages inserted in chronological order.
I've started using different coloured pages and distressing the white pages for a bit of interest. In the early days they weren't as arty-farty but then I didn't have the skills either.

Have found lots of pieces that I've done nothing with so they are waiting to be put to good use too. Don't wait with baited breath though. You might turn blue.

Cheers dears,

16 May, 2011

Thanks & Winter "Face-lift"

Went to the doc today and The Thumb is doing fine. Got a new dressing, no skin broken, just keep it dry and safe while I wait for it to heal. Thanks for your lovely commiserations. All things considered, I'm really lucky and so glad I managed to help put out the fire.

The Winter weather is here and very welcome for my part. I love having fires (in the fire place), putting on warm coats, and rough seas so it's time to change this blog to match the season. I don't think the Autumn look was so good. I loved the grapes in the background but the dark overlay was getting me down and it didn't do justice to the photos.

Happier with this warmer colour scheme and the arty font. It reminds me of mulled wine, so I'll have to break out the easy recipe which makes a syrup to keep in the fridge. All that's required is to warm equal parts of it with some red wine whenever the occasion calls for it.


15 May, 2011

When a Burn is a Pain in the Thumb

Went to help with a fund raiser yesterday. We had a sausage sizzle outside a large hardware store and unfortunately things caught fire including the canvass shelter. I was taking the money - a sociable thing to do with time to say "Do you know our organisation? Would you like a leaflet? Do check the web site...very interesting." We were going well until the cook shouted "Fire!"

Someone said she couldn't get the fire extinguisher out of the cradle. The long and short of it is that I released it and put the fire out but in the process, burnt my thumb on someone's melted jacket which stuck.

OOOOOH-AH. Put that hand in a plastic bag of water and drove to the doc with the other. Thank goodness for an automatic car (my first ever).

A Blistering Business! 
The doc didn't want to know because I didn't have an appointment, they had no ice in the place, and the nurse put lashings of burn cream on it and a floppy dressing that threatened to slide off. Went home to wash off the nasty powder from the extinguisher, then to the chemist for good advice and a decent dressing.

Now I have a strange arrangement with fore finger playing at being a thumb, and thumb sticking up in the air, erm, like a sore thumb! Not painful today but a Bloody nuisance at the craft desk, AND I get out of doing the dishes.

There might be just a large blob of bandage on my desk next Wednesday. Huh, huh, huh.

Yours as ever,

05 May, 2011

Just called in to my local paper craft store.

Soooooooo innocently, I just called in...for a little look around, you know. Well I was passing the door and there's always parking, not to mention a little time up my sleeve.

Screw heads are both slotted & Pozidrive

Managed to spend a few $$$ on tapes - Tim Holtz tissue tape, and some of the Japanese Washi tapes that were road-tested in a local Stamping & Card-making magazine recently. Also bought some screw head brads designed by Karen Foster, and a few very small tags for gifts or to embellish cards. The brads will be great for boysy cards.

Enjoyed my little shop,

04 May, 2011

WOYWW, a Century

I reckon a hundred episodes of What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday is cause for celebration as a warm-up for the two year anniversary and Pay It Forward party coming up soon.  Details of this desk display is all about is over at Julia Dunnit's blog. She's the Desk Jockey par excellence.

New Stash

This morning I came home from the water aerobics class to find my order of bits & pieces in the front porch. Good-o!! What's on my desk today then, is some recording of what I bought and putting where I can find it, or more importantly, see it.

You can see Grunge paper (just), the Tim Holtz post card anthology and the strange mixture of skull & crossbones, birds in flight, and flourish. I bought it for the birds. There's a Whimsy post card, an Alterations Edge, and the whirlygig which started it all. Everything is listed and dated, and by the time you read this, it will all be put away.

Happy days,

01 May, 2011

The Dargo Trip

Just to let folks know who are interested, I have finished putting some photos on the Dargo Trip page. Hope you enjoy it. And yes, that's me in the bush hat. It's made of good rabbit felt and has saved me a lot of sunburn as well as keeping my head warm in the cold. The only good thing about rabbits is a fine felt hat!

Picnic lunch on the Roof of Oz.
Miles of smiles,

30 April, 2011

First Home-baked Bread for a While

Been busy, been away, been like a bee in a bottle. Whatever it is, I haven't baked bread for too long.

What a gorgeous day. Went to the pool for the water aerobics class, then got taken with a domestic urge. Lots of job-ettes and making the bread which is half and half strong white and wholemeal with a soft seed mix.

Kneaded and ready for proving.
Proof number one.  I love punching it
down to go again.

Slashed, proved again, ready for HOT oven
and shot of steam.

Time to cool but not too much, and ready for tea and a slice with raspberry jam or butter and Vegemite. Yes, the dreaded black stuff. Yum! Ever tried it swiped on green apples? Very good, even if an acquired taste.


Oh, and home plum jam is pretty good too. What a smarty!
Miles of smiles,

29 April, 2011

Card for Kate

Here's my card for Kate's birthday which I had on the desk on Wednesday this week. I played with a few combinations of the floral stamps and changed the format from vertical to horizontal. I added the chook wire as a background to give the whole arrangement a rustic feel and it seemed right to tie a tag on the fence.

You will discern the use of Distress Inks for shading (shabby shutters and broken glass) and the main design is done with Marvy Matchables which I love to use. The tag is punched out of manilla card and I used some little stencil letters which I also bought at Paperific.

The feature is mounted on burgundy metallic card on which is stamped a leafy scroll in silver with Judikins Kaleidescope EP. I mounted the whole on square hammered card stock and shaded the edges with aged mahogany.

Inside I stamped with the same embossing combination one of my favourite messages which is a shade mischievous, "Birthdays are good for you. The more you have the older you get."

Hope you like this little composition. Do give me a comment.

Miles of smiles,

27 April, 2011

WOYWW No 99.

Well I'm back from the Dargo High Plains a bit early. There was a dental drama in the party - not for me I'm happy to say. I just did the driving yesterday and the drama was on the way to being resolved today. Pity that the holiday was cut short by three days, but the country was spectacular nevertheless, and five days felt like ten on the roof of Australia - or nearly. I may put a little photo essay on another page so keep an eye open if you're interested. We explored some interesting pioneer sites from gold rush days and it took us along some harem-scarem bush tracks, one of which went up 650 metres in four Km. That's a climb, with rocks all the way and great fun. I even put the air locker to good use in places.

On my desk last night was a almighty pile of completely irrelevant stuff dumped there in the haste of departure. Today, I'm making a card for my niece for her birthday on Mayday. :-) I remember when she was born in 1982; now she's a corporate lawyer, an honours science graduate, and has a great capacity for enjoying life.

The ring-a-rosey posey for Kate. Tiny butterfly from cat food foil will be blue.
You can see how this is taking shape, I hope. At Paperfic last month, I bought these little "peg" stamps (over on the right) to use for floral patterns. I've just used matt card stock and Marvy Matchables which I love. Earlier this year I found refills for them thanks to a supplier in Queensland. Back to the card, I think I'll add some pearly spray, glossy accent and/or Stickles. These little florals are very pretty and the ways to combine them are endless.

Hop over the our favourite Desk Jockey, Julia to see what this looking at desks on Wednesdays is all about.

Happy days,

21 April, 2011

WOYWW No 98...nothing for a while

Just a quick note to say that there's not much on my desk, but travel on my mind! I'm heading for the Dargo High Plains where the coundtry is beautiful and cold. Am I mad to be camping in this weather? The temperatures in the high country are around 5 to 10 degrees. The scenery and the fresh walnuts will be fantastic and if it's too, too fresh we'll move along to the coast. Here's the scene...

Trailer and tent set up on a previous trip.
Enjoy the desk hopping and I'll be back in a couple of weeks. To find out more about this desk travel, visit Julia Dunnit and have fun.

Happy days,

13 April, 2011

WOYWW #97 - and Under It

This week, Dixie got under the desk to stake a claim to the recycle paper box. As usual, she made herself very comfortable, and talked to me every so often.

The supervisor keeps watch from below rather than above.
And my desk (on top) is a bit of a hotch-potch this week. Well actually it's two desks, and many activities which are not of great artistic interest.

Getting my Record of Purchases up-to-date. It has got quite out-of-hand since Paperific, and the completion of house projects that needed my attention. I like to keep a list of what I have bought and usually put the stamp images on the same page. I have a new clothes line installed near the laundry at last - we don't have a drier because they gulp huge quantities of electricity and the clothes smell lovely when dried outside. It's nice that we're not snow-bound so it's possible to hang everything out.

Finishing off some inchies to become cards and go into stock. I'm really low at the moment and stooped to sending birthday "uncards" from an internet site. Better to do that than nothing.

More on the organising front... I want a record of dies and embossing folders, and here's the start. You might notice at the top of the picture, there are a couple more of the little paper clay moulds waiting for paint. One is a shell and the other is a ginko leaf. More of these soon.

Thanks for coming by. Please continue the journey at Mrs Dunnit's Desk which is where this all begins (if this is your first visit to What's on Your Workbench Wednesday).

Enjoy the week ahead.

09 April, 2011

Jasmine's Birthday Project

I mentioned in my Paperific Post, that I had bought the big hardware die for the hinge. Well, the project has come together today and I'm really pleased. Jasmine, or Jazzie as we call her, is my step grand-daughter who is about to turn eight. We asked her what she would like for her birthday and she said she'd like some treasures. That set me thinking about a Treasure Chest, not the pirate variety because she's really interested in spies at present.

Treasure chest detail of hinges, tag with lucky charms.

At my local paper shop, I found a little tin box with rounded lid like an American lunch box. I took the handle off the top, and added the ring bolts at each end. I put an undercoat of gesso, then Jo Sonja gold acrylic. Once dry, I distressed it with black soot, and added the hinges made of grunge paper. I found they wouldn't stick on with Accents or Diamond Glaze, so got the big guns out of fridge storage - 3M Scotch weld super glue. This stuff is a bit hard to get, and is to be used with great respect. I went to some trouble to get it to mend the tent last year and I know it's easy to glue fingers onto things you don't want be stuck to.

The Treasure Map

I made a treasure map out of and old manilla folder and did lots of Distressing things to it. It fits neatly into the lid of the chest with $10 behind it.

The treasure chest and treasure

Now it's full of glitter pens, a very small art journal, tiny jelly beans in tiny Tupperware, a mini packet of chocs, and some tissues with $50 notes printed on them. I also made a tag to write Happy Birthday on and attach a tiny chines coin, a silver star, and weeny key.

Can't wait to see her face. We've got some other art materials which she'll love too, including a refill for her Xyron sticker machine.

Smiles, Ros.

07 April, 2011

WOYWW - Something different from Paperific.

If you read my last post, you'll have some idea about the Paperific Show last weekend. This week, I made a couple of little things with the papier mache clay which is malleable for some time and cures as it dries out overnight.

I have used talc as the mould release - one would use corn flour when using the moulds with icing for cake decoration and candle holders.

Moulds used to make a cameo and frangiapani. Twinklings H2O and water brush used to colour them.
These little things are light as a feather when dry and remain somewhat pliable. There are lots of different moulds and I'm looking forward to putting them on cards and gifts. I will experiment with air-brushing, spritzing or spattering, and embossing. I have no idea how the paper clay will take heat.

I seem to be too busy with lots of other things. Thank goodness there is always interesting stuff to do, think and invent. If you want to see more creative invention, pop over to Julia Dunnit who is Desk Central and take the trip around other folks' desks.


03 April, 2011

Paperific Show - walk all day, 5 cm shorter.

I've been really looking forward to this show so it was easy to take off  early to get up to the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds by 9.30 AM. It's not as big a show as the Quilting and Craft Show for instance but I really enjoy the emphasis on paper arts. I walked for six hours and left at the point when I felt shorter in the legs and tired to a smash!!

I like talking to folks I've connected with over time such as Sammi from Mad for Markers who knew me even though we've only met once face-to-face - what a remarkable memory she pun intended. Caught up with everyone from the Stamp Trap, Alisa and Shell from De-signs Made by Me, and Glenice, Trevor and Jenny. All good, very happy!!

I came away with some regular bits and pieces, stock items like reinkers, good gloss card stock and so forth. Also bought a few interesting things, some of which are in the photo.

Some of the stash from Paperific.

You can see a number of stamps to create pictures with, both StampScape (not shown) and Eclectic Images, and the little alphabet sets were a good price and gave some good ideas. I've been looking for the Holtz/Sizzix die for hardware because I'm making a project for Jasmine's birthday - more about that. Jeanette Trappet at the Stamp Trap had some homilies in an unmounted sheet. Completely new to me, is the little red moulds which I can use to create little items from either paper clay or icing as they are made from food quality material. The paper clay has me very intrigued so watch for some more photos soon.

Overall, it was great to attend, but I think I notice a trend away from technique and artistic skill. There is more hum-drum techno invention on the part of the money-makers which is very creative of them. The easy ride like using stickers and endless commercially printed papers, is very seductive and can shift us away from our knowledge and use of media. I asked one fellow about any interesting ways he uses Copic pens that he was selling, and he had little to tell me.

It's quite a debate that rages in my mind. Knowing that it's contentious to be saying such things, I think this dumbing down is noticeable in some magazines too. I'm bored to snorts with my local magazines full of prissy printed papers and really enjoy the UK Craft Stamper even though it takes six weeks to get here. I never want to stop using stamps as an art printing process in combination with all the wonderful media available and techniques to explore.

It's good to stimulate my dreamscape in lots of directions.

23 March, 2011

WOYWW no. 94 - 23rd March.

I can't believe we're nearly a quarter of the way through the year. The full moon the other night was just huge and glorious. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to say I was over the moon about it, being the closest it gets to this part of the Earth in quite a long period. That was a shocker...

Well  down to WOYWW business and looking around desks of artists connected with Julia Dunnit at Stamping Ground. I like to think of her as the Desk Collector. Hop over there and enjoy the journey.

Zoom in on the Dine lid to see the dragonflies!! Maybe.
Notice the Holtz cogs at the back, and the lavender which is plentiful now.
This week on the desk is a continuation of the inchies exploration that I started last week plus some experimenting with the foil from the cats' dinner containers. There are two kinds of foil. The lids which peel off are quite light weight and mat finish, whereas the containers are slightly heavier and shiny. They need quite a bit of care in the cleaning - it would be no good to give someone a card that had something fishy about it! LOL
A woman's work is never done.

This little feature below is the light mat foil embossed in the Big Shot, then inked with Ranger alcohol inks - sailboat blue and citrus. I trimmed it with guillotine then rounded the corners with the dear old Carl corner punch I've had for years. Note: the Zutter punches are great with thick card but they jam on aluminium.

Robin from the Inkadinkadoo Spring set.
I put the bird inchy in the centre - I think I can improve on it, but it goes with the embossing. It is covered with clear crackle paint, and then I out-lined the bird with a fine calligraphy pen so save it from being antique bland.

Well that's it for another week. Looking forward to visiting as many folks as possible. There are now so many that I've adopted the idea of dropping in on every fifth link plus my followers and the folk I follow. Over time I hope to see pretty much everyone. Full of admiration for some who are always there including, of course, Julia D.

Bliss-ings all,