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.