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...

31 January, 2011

A Blog Face-lift

I decided to make some changes to this blog because the template is playing up and it looks different on different computers. I also wanted to give it a more Summery look.  It's plain but I like the watery background like the sea.  I've been really enjoyed some swimming this week as it loosens up the back muscles and I feel a new woman. I hope you like the new look.


28 January, 2011

Got the Key, Nowhere to Go...

B*****. (You can decide what that stands for) The back pain has meant that I took the "sensible" option and cancelled my Motorcycle Learners Permit Course today. Legally I can't ride anywhere until that is completed. I did start it up and have a little tootle up the drive on the day of delivery though. Crikey, I do hate being sensible.

Look at Moi! (No helmet, gloves, jacket, boots - tch, tch).

I'm really looking forward to the sense of freedom together with concentration and excitement of keeping my wits about me. Now I think of it, that is exactly what I loved about scuba diving.

Of course, my friends are heaving with laughter about this. "Oh great," they say, "You can bring fresh muffins around to the Estuary weeding group on Fridays." Or "Are you coming to choir practice on it?" Ha! I'm just going to take myself on photography expeditions and down to the beach - blowin' in the wind.

Miles of smiles,

27 January, 2011

WOYWW No. 86.

It's Australia Day today and lots of folks are driving around with flags on their cars. One of my favourite singers was given an award and generally there is a sense of national pleasure and of course, continuing debate about whether to become a republic or not. I have a house guest staying and we're eating in so we can see the tennis and avoid the cops after a glass or two with dinner. We had T-bone steaks on the barbecue, a monumental salad, and a deep velvet Coonawarra shiraz, 2002. Just bliss on a stick!!!

What's on my workdesk today is not particularly inspiring really - rather more of the same as last week. I was showing my visitor the little compressor and how I've used it with alcohol inks. The interesting thing I discovered is that this technique of chasing the ink around the gloss card to make "splats" is much better on cheap card.

Splendid Splatters, Copic refills, Inchies to play with.

Someone gave me some card which didn't work too well with the felt applicators because it isn't clay coated gloss. When I played around with ink droplets on the cheap stuff, they went everywhere in tiny rivulets because they took longer to dry, and they're quite interesting. In the photo I used Adirondack Butterscotch, Espresso, and Stonewashed.

You see? It's no wonder we're all hoarders. You never know when something you think is inferior will be just the ticket!!! If you want to see more workspaces, visit the good Mrs Dunnit who is the epicentre of Workdesks.

You will also notice in the top left corner a bag of new purchases including some inch squares in different colours. Really I don't care about the colours and will probably cover them but I have another interest at the moment about Inchies. Have you seen "all in an inch"? I love some of the things here. I'm also refilling some of my Copic pens without the little tweezers - very painstaking.

Happy days,

22 January, 2011

Speaking of Storage...

I find the posts about storage really interesting so I hope this is of interest to you.

At the right hand end of my desk, being a right-hander, this little set of shallow drawers is invaluable for my small tools. When I picked it up for $25 at a wholesale art supplies store, it was labelled for pastels, but is very suitable for all my small tools. 

The drawers have compartments and the top two are quite shallow - knives, cutters, punches, tweezers, various pencils, pens and brushes. In the bottom drawer which is deeper, I keep slightly bulkier things such as scissors, paper folder, short rulers, and things for poking and roughening.

On the top I put the quick-grab things relevant to the project such as the stamping buddy, Krylon gold leaf pen, embossing tray, glue stick and brayer.


20 January, 2011

WOYWW Number 85 (and #3 for me)

I'm very late in posting after being away and then nursing a painful low back for a few days. Damn!!!

I took the photo late on Wednesday afternoon, thus the glass of something red that does me good ;-)  If you want to see lots of good workbenches go to Julia's Stamping Ground.

This is really another experiment which I enjoyed and the challenge for me is always to follow through with some finished cards. I love adventures but have to be pretty disciplined to finish a batch.

An exercise in masking and air-brushing

You might notice starting at the top left, The Slice machine with which I die-cut the mask for the exercise. The stencil is on the left cut from a sheet of acetate which I think was the cover from a course booklet that I threw out. There is a can of repositionable glue (dreadful word) to help the stencil stay in place against the onslaught of the air-brush. On the right hand side is my dear little compressor and the Copic pens I used in a variety of greens and then purple for contrast. It's a masking technique exercise rather than an aesthetic creation.

I want to add that this not really a good activity for indoors as I'm sure I've inhaled an unpleasant amount of Copic ink. I usually do this sort of thing outside on the terrace where I have a big table. Noble things are done in the name of art - or silly!  Lol.

Take care,

P.S.  Thank you to those who asked whether I am affected by the floods. No, I'm not happily although I drove through a fair amount of water to get to my Singers Festival but it was passable. I live east of Melbourne in Victoria, and the flood areas are in the Central and North-west of the State.

19 January, 2011

The Singers Festival

Home from the Singers Festival which was WONderful! It was full of up-lifting music, hectic, and very sociable. There were about 150 people from all over the State who attended special workshops and concerts. In between times we had lovely meals, great coffee and conversation about our best sessions in local cafes. Some people were challenged by flood waters on the way there and I heard some interesting tales about the lengthy detours to get there.

Most exciting for me was a couple of workshops with the women who will direct the 2011 Melbourne Millennium Chorus. This is an annual Winter event when 300+ people form a community choir. They rehearse the program designed by the directors for that year for ten weeks and then give three concerts in town. It's a stupendous experience - my first time last year. These women work hard to make beautiful noise; they are skilled and exacting so I hope to learn a lot and have great fun.

18 January, 2011

A Tick on the Bucket List

Y'know that list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket? Well I just put a tick on that list.

I bought a motor bike! It's red!!!

My new postie bike - Honda CT110 outside the shop

I have wanted one for years and years, and last Summer I had a push bike with an electric motor powered with a rechargeable battery. It was a joy to ride but bit by bit, its performance has deteriorated and now, it's a heap of expensive junk that doesn't go anywhere. I must add that walking long distances is diminishing these days because of arthritic pain of one kind or another.

What I have purchased is what we call in Australia, a Postie bike. The postal delivery is done on these small, tough motor bikes. Now that I no longer live in the city, I want a motorised bicycle to take me to the village for milk, the beach for a swim, or the Estuary to take photos. I'm so excited about delivery next Thursday and then getting my Learners Permit the following day.

As they say, you won't see me for dust.

13 January, 2011

WOYWW - 12th Jan, 2011

In haste as I'm going to a Singers Festival in country Victoria which will be great fun...even under an umbrella.  Still time to wizz over to Stamping Ground for this week's contribution to What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

I've been making a birthday card for a nature-lover in my family. The stamp is a lovely one which was in the journal catch-up picture from last week. It's the foot prints through the sand dunes which I coloured with Marvy Markers and the Colorbox stylus.

Birthday card in the making. Stamp positioner and guillotine are favoured tools.

At the bottom left corner are two of my favourite tools, a small old fashioned and very accurate photography guillotine, and a chunky clear stamp positioner which still has the seagull stamp on it. I will post some more details about the card next week.

Thank you to everyone who left kind comments last week. I'm really chuffed that you came along to have look. There are so many of us that I haven't managed to get to everyone. It will no doubt be a movable festival but I will certainly try to reciprocate.

Cheers dears,

08 January, 2011

Mess Ain't Mess

I've decided that the Angel of Mess really reigns supreme in other parts of my life such as the garage rather than in my art room. The apparent disorganization is really very well arranged for the work of the moment and I know where everything is. Since looking at WOYWW desks, I've decided it's not mess, but detail that ebbs and flows with each project. When there are three overlapping projects, it reminds me of a Venn diagram in which the overlap might be a source of new ideas. Tertia's desk has given life to these reflections.

I think we do ourselves a disservice to give the work space bad press. Of course, all of life is pretty disorderly, i.e. unpredictable, and my desk is merely an unpredictable landscape to my visitors. What adventures this group offers!

Keep the landscape changing,

06 January, 2011

WOYWW - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, first for the New Year

This is my first contribution to WOYWW although I have been following the posts during the year. I have become familiar with some of the people here and their work which is most inspiring. Apart from the interest and pleasure, I think it will be a happy discipline to do this each week, regardless of whether I post something.

This week, my desk is a New Year desk. It's been tidied (although you may not know that from this photo) and all the dust devils have gone. I'm catching up with my art journal for the last month or so of activity. What you see is the journal on the left hand side with Christmas card experiments showing their development and what I learned along the way - both the fern design and the seagull.

Journal and latest experiments waiting to be written up.

There's a sample of gift wrap that I created with plain gold paper and air-brushed Copic inks onto it using Tim Holtz Fence and Branch Tree Alterations die-cuts as masks. It was much admired but I must confess that it's not a good use of expensive inks when it goes directly to the recycled rubbish bin (except this bit that I rescued).

At the bottom on the right of the photo, there is a little boab tree which I had thought could be fun for Christmas. The boab is done with Distress EP, the background air-brushed and the star is faux enamelled brass. I didn't use it in the end but might take that a bit further for something else.

Finally, the label-maker is in evidence and everything that escaped through the year is being 'branded' you might say!

Happy and creative 2011 to all,