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...

28 February, 2012

Thank You Sandee

Well, what a pleasant surprise. Thank you to Sandee for the Liebster Blog Award. I hope I do the right thing with this, as I'm not very well informed about such things. I've had a scout around for some idea of the "rules" for responding to your lovely compliment. It's been great to meet you around the Wednesday Weekly Workbench wanderings.

Here is my list of ten blogs that I very much like to visit and that have fewer than 200 followers, and I understand that these are the criteria for the Liebster. I must add that there are many more peeps than five whose work I admire, however they many followers. The blogs listed below are owned by people who I find interesting and interested in conversation as well as sharing a little of their art or other pursuits, and wisdom. I have really enjoyed our shared comments. Thank you all.
Here are two blogs that have more than 200 followers but I love their work

I hope you will put the logo on your blog, even if it's not the first time, and add another five blog addresses for others to visit and follow your blog. BTW I listed ten in error - this exercise is not that onerous and it's my mistake to put ten although I love them all.

It's lovely to be part of a community which has its own moving boundaries within which people get to know each other. Thanks for this ethereal friendship.

Miles of smiles,

27 February, 2012

Google DIS-connect

It seems we're going to lose Google Friends Connect for non-Blogger blogs at the end of the month, and then altogether in due course. This is a great pity - I really like the dashboard and the activity centre that it provides.

Have a look at this link from Kate Palmer (if it works):  Ah Nuts - thanks Google :O(

The important thing is to remember who your connections are, particularly if they are using WordPress or TypePad. I gather that Mr Linky has put up an application called Linky Connect which will be an adequate substitute. Might even be better so I'll be looking into that.

26 February, 2012

Bracken Sun Umbrellas

The rain has come at last. It's nearly 8 o'clock and the day has been very hot and humid. I'm done in!

You know that line from a song that Noel Coward sings, "Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun"? Well I reminded myself of it today. Went and played in the vegetable garden, clearing out the old roquette, and putting in cos lettuce, celeriac, dill, coriander, vietnamese mint, and marigolds. The lower bed looks very good now.

This is the lower bed. Marigolds in foreground, bracken fronds protecting the seedlings.

You may be wondering, what on earth bracken 'umbrellas' might be. Well bracken is a ground cover with course fronds that grows in bush woodland areas. We have quite a bit in the bush part of our garden. It is very hardy and the cut fronds last for four or five days as umbrellas for the seedlings when it's very hot.

The bracken is growing on the right of the picture.

I'm quite pleased with my rhubarb patch this year. We've had a few excellent batches of apple and rhubarb with breakfast, or served as a crumble.

In the foreground is a comfrey plant which I grow for healthy compost. The rhubarb is behind.

I put two snail traps out. We avoid using poison so as to protect the blue-tongue lizards. Instead the traps are partly filled with beer. The slugs and snails fall in and drown in a glorious malty stupor. Sounds good anyway. The traps do work but need consistent attention. Let me know if you'd like to see a photo of  a blue-tongue. Mrs Blue lives under a rock near the terrace and has had young ones each spring since we came here.

The trap with a good head of beer. It is sitting in the soil, then the lid goes on
with a slit for the slimey ones to crawl through.
Here's the reward at the end of the day. The breeze often comes off the sea from the west or south-west, and the terrace is a great place for a comfortable flop with drinks and the newspaper or a book.

Hope you enjoyed this little view of the gardening slice of my life. More on paper art on Wednesday if not before.

Happy days.

25 February, 2012

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

A few years ago, I discovered Phryne Fisher stories in an airport book shop. Phryne is pronounced 'Fry-nee' and she is a splendid hero who has experienced just about everything in her twenty-six years including poverty, wealth, and WW1 horrors. In a light manner, lots of local history is explored through these stories, not to mention some themes around social justice ideals and the changes for women following the Great War.

It all takes place in 1928 in Melbourne when Phryne arrives with great style and a special task. Kerry Greenwood, the author, has paid great attention to detail both historically and geographically, and in many of the books she has listed her reference materials. The stories are a wonderful read, light and easy and great fun. I have enjoyed exchanging just a little email correspondence with Kerry including identifying the landmarks in Melbourne and some musing about how well it would work for the screen.

Ain't she fabulous? Crime, feminism and fun go well together here.

Well, now she and the ABC (national broadcaster) have done it! Last night was the first episode and it was terrific. The characters are so well cast, and Essie Davis is stunning as Phryne. Indeed I love 'em all. The production detail matches the accurate work of the books really well, and it's great to see shots of Melbourne's old buildings with all the modern signs removed - even lines on the road. I've included the link to the ABC web page and suggest that you click on web extras tab to see three interesting short videos about the production.

ABC TV web page link to Phryne Fisher

If I've piqued your curiosity, I hope you enjoy this bit of off-topic interest created in my home city.
Yours as ever,

22 February, 2012

WOYWW No 142 - simplicity works

Last week I wanted a bereavement card and as sometimes happens in the design process, the idea stayed the same but the outcome turned a corner.

I was looking through my stamps and one took my eye as it has many times - it's a favourite of poppies which seemed suitable for remembrance. So here it is. In fact there are two versions and the finished one is just right for this occasion I think. As you can see, the berry branch design is still on the desk and there's more to do with that.

First version of poppies

I stamped the poppies on water colour paper and embossed with black fine detail EP. Coloured the flowers using a Colorbox applicator and Marvy Markers and then matted with pale green metallic card and edged with Marvy metallic pen. I like it but it's not right for my friend...

Next version is on the same paper but embossed with Seafoam White EP then coloured in a similar way. Matted on metallic pink card with 'Thinking of You' embossed with the same white EP under the poppies.

If you're wondering about this desk inspection, hop over to Julia D who started this funny acronym and visit a few workbenches to share ideas with other desk-hoppers.

Thanks for coming by last week and especially to those who left wonderful comments. I felt a bit overcome at times, and very encouraged.

Enjoy the week and miles of smiles.

15 February, 2012

WOYWW 141. A New Project or Two

What a week. It's been cool one day and hot the next, had someone to stay, and family business to attend to. My main creative project this week is a bereavement card which says what I mean... Thinking of you rather than Sympathy in yards, feet and inches. Don't mean to sound grumpy, but I'm not really one for moping much, and the truth is that I do spend time thinking about lost love ones and those who are close and feeling the loss most of all.

Well, here's the card in the planning alongside a couple of other small things I've been playing with.

L to R: The Slice machine, a couple of lay-outs for a square card; tissue tape flower.
 The stamp is nameless but is a pretty spray of leaves and berries which I have masked with a sticky note and some florist tape. Just using black ink, I have stamped a couple of different pattern combinations and then coloured them using hi-liter pens to help with visualising the effect. So far, I like the right hand one.

The label is cut out with the Slice from some blue spattered paper that was air-brushed. 'Thinking of You' is embossed with creamy white EP called 'Sea Foam'. I think it could look fine across the top corner threaded on some silver blue ribbon.

At the top of the picture is the funny little bow-maker which I bought at a Show last year. It's great fun and very effective. Then on the right-hand side is a flower made with Tim Holtz tissue tape. I punched out the centre and painted it with the Krylon pen, then touched up the edges of the pleated petals with gold as well.

Well that's it for now. If you wonder what this desk-hopping about, follow this link to Julia Dunnit at the hub of it all. Enjoy a little transcontinental leaping.


02 February, 2012

WOYWW No. 139

I can't believe we're a month into the New Year and that means I haven't posted on my blog for four months! Somehow, the time has raced past me with so much happening, excluding my creative time. I've missed it so much, and enjoyed making my greeting cards for Christmas and the New Year. Even though they were an imperative, they were also a great excuse to be creating rather than putting it down the priority list. I'll put up a back-dated post about them.

I missed sharing comments with friends too. If you wonder what this desk-hopping about, follow this link to Julia Dunnit at the hub of it all.

For now, here is my first birthday card for 2012.

The hammered card stock makes a square card with two features. At the top left hand is foil coloured with alcohol inks and dry embossed with birds in tree folder. Light sanding brings the edges of the embossed pattern back to silver. At the bottom right is a favourite quote from poet Rabindranath Tagor stamped with green Staz-On on gloss card. The edges are shaded with Colorbox chalk inks and a colour duster. Inside, the message says "A little bird told me it is your birthday".

Best wishes to all,