Hello readers and welcome to my new subscribers.
No doubt some of you will have been wondering what’s up with my extended absence from posting. Firstly, I’m not sick or injured, lol. I just gave myself permission to go off and do something else for a while. No blogging, Very little blog hopping. I have no commitments to design teams so I just quietly went in pursuit of other things for a couple of months. To refresh. Refocus. Re-energize. So what have I been doing? LOTS!
First up, September was the start of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere. This is one of the farm peacocks at the bottom of the steps, showing off his new tail feathers. In another couple of months they will be moulting and with 11 males on the property that’ll be a lot of peacock feathers getting dropped and collected. I don’t do anything with them but they just call to be picked up and bunched up. Spring means breeding season for snakes and we’ve also had a few of those at the bottom of the steps too. Yikes! One of the other things I’ve really enjoyed doing is going to some local craft fairs. I steered away from papercrafting and went exploring and discovering what other talented crafters where creating.
I bought my first lot of Distress paints to try out. Ummm…….we’re not really getting along so well. It all started off badly when I tried to remove the lid like a Distress Stain bottle, unscrewing the black portion instead of snapping of the clear portion. I have a huge Seedless Preserve splotch permanently preserved on my carpet and shoes I was wearing that day. LOL Definitely need more time to experiment with those. What I can say from the little I’ve tried of them, is I love the smooth finish of the dry painted surface.
I always keep October clear for the Splitcoast Stampers Hope You Can Cling to Challenges, which I participate in every year. The card above was as of my most viewed uploads and one of my personal favourites. It was made from my stash of inked and coloured tags. The birds and foliage die is a recent purchase I had made with winning vouchers and promotion codes, from Tim Holtz and Simon Says Stamp earlier this year. Thanks guys! And I now have another box of cards to send off to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane for the Pink Ladies.
And what happened to 12 Tags of 2013? I’ve had a go at doing the tags for the previous two months, but haven’t liked anything I’ve done on that score. But with sunshine and butterflies to chase I wasn’t going to dwell too much on my shortcomings. I’ve given myself to the end of the year to get my tag wall complete. Sometimes you just gotta know when to step back. My muse and I met up on other projects.
You can be sure to hear from me soon as I attempt to catch up on my tags and get back into a challenge or two. See ya then.
Hello readers. Flooding rains have kept us on our toes and away from work for most of this week. I was starting to feel overwhelmed and down about the worry of it all. Lydia, always upbeat, suggested I should stamp MORE! And so I did. And I used the current Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge to use a stamp that we love but don’t use, to kick start a journal page.
This is the end result of my stamping session. I pulled out some old favourites from my stamp collection and set to work. But somewhere towards the end I was cleaning some excess ink off of what was meant to be an acrylic resist technique and ended up wiping away my design. What!?! This mixed media thing can be full of surprizes when you least expect it, but it’s great for learning more about my supplies and how they interact with each other. As I found out on this page. I think the ‘mistake’ occured because my first layer of colour onto the gessoed page was water colour crayon, or maybe it was the gesso. I dunno! More play time is needed to get to the bottom of this mystery.
For the keen eyed I can show you a peek into what was left of some of my stamping before I wiped most of it away. I wanted to make a background with that circle medallion stamp stamped with acrylic paint. I’ve completely forgetten who made it, I’ve had it so long and I haven’t used it in years. I’ve gone back thru my archives and discovered it was May 2009 when I last used it to make THIS CARD. While I delving into my older stamps I also came across some texture/pattern stamps I had ordered of ebay many, many moons ago. They look to me like they are cut up pieces from a larger stamp design, so it is anyones guess as to who made them. I used a sunray pattern to fill in some spaces between the circles.
Do you have a stamp you love but whenever you use it it just doesn’t quite hit the mark? For me it has always been this Hero Arts stamp of the butterfly. Nothing wrong with the stamp mind you, just the person holding the stamp, lol. I think this is the the most pleasing thing I’ve made with it. I stamped the image with acrylic paints too. And I still only own two colours of paint so my butterflies had to be blue. All these stamps definitely need more lovin’.
As mentioned earlier we’ve been having flooding rains here. This is what was left of creek crossing after the first lot of rains a month ago.
The repair works get started and then the next flooding rains come down and cause more damage. On good days we can get our 4WD’s up to the house if we drive thru the creek. But we are in a habit of leaving our vehicles on the town side of the creek (you can see parked just beyond those fence posts) and walking the distance between the house , some 400m. We have more chances of walking across the damage than driving most days. We’re looking forward to sunnier days!
It’s Not Hard To Resist is the name of the second installment of the new Mix Ability Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers, but now I’ve started my art journal I can’t resist working this challenge into it. I love resist techniques and my two most favourite stamping resists would have to be heat embossing and acrylic paint. I think five out of my last six projects have used either one or the other, or both! I’ve used both techniques on this journal spread.
I started my page by applying a light covering of Pan Pastels, clear embossing some stamped designs around the edge and than applying another layer of Pan Pastels in a different colour. My original intention was to keep working with that idea but the middle of my spead got very messed up. So I gessoed over it and had a rethink about what I needed to do to finish this. Tim Holtz tissue paper seemed like a good cover up so I ripped a piece off, stuck it down and coloured it with Lindy Stamp Gang stains. Ahhh…..yes!
I love using the Lindy Stamp Gang Starburst Stains. The colours are great and the shimmer factor is amazing. I splashed the stains onto the tissue and spread them around with my fingers. Finger painting is so fun! Then I goofed up again when I went to trim off the excess tissue paper and managed to lift large portions of it off the page. Luckily collaging and art journaling are very forgiving. I decided to try out a pot of Claudine Helmuth Studio Matt Multi-Medium to stick it back together. I’ve had this stuff for months but have never got around to using it. Oh, this stuff is good! Not only does it work well to stick papers together, but I like to use my fingers in when I’m on a roll and this stuff didn’t gum up my skin as much as others do.
I then stamped some Stampers Anonymous images with a white acrylic paint onto the tissue. When this was thoroughly dry I sponged on some Distress Inks and wiped the excess off of my images to reveal the white again. I stamped a sentiment and called it done.
In other news, I’m starting work with a new company this week. I’ve endured a very lean six months of work and things didn’t look like they were ever going to improve when we received word that a major contract was lost. I fortunately ran into a client from a few years ago and he advised me of the company they were now using to outsource their work and suggested I throw my hat in with them.
My son Luther has just completed Basic Training at Kapooka for the Australian Army and did his March Out on 1 Feb 2013. I wasn’t able to go, which upset me greatly. I’ll even admit I completely fell to pieces the day before his big event. I was inconsolable. But on the day my thoughts were all for him and my daughter Audrey who got to share in this proud moment. This is a photo of them together after the parade was over. Audrey surprized me this weekend with a beautiful, large, framed official photo of Luther. You may guess I cried all over again, lol. I’ve been blessed with some wonderful proud mum moments recently.
Life is good!
Oh wow, has it really been one week since the last post. I feel like a long time has passed since I was here.
Audrey had a successful surgery and is now home recovering and healing. The procedure lasted 6 hours, she was in ICU for nearly 36 hours and then two more days in the wards before being sent home. The surgeons are confident they have done everything surgically possible to give her the best outcome for improved functioning of her mouth, the rest is now in the hands of the Orthodontist to hold everything in place while everything heals and sets.
I’m back at work again, which feels wonderfully normal. My hearing is improving everyday and I really notice the difference when I’m at work. I’m heading back to the city again and I’ll be bring Audrey home with me so she can have a peaceful and relaxing convalesence out in the country. She wants to snuggle up and watch videos with me when we get home – sweet!
Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.
Hello everyone, and thanks for all the thoughtful comments and well wishes for this week.
My operation to restore my hearing in my right ear went well. And as expected, I was able to hear as soon as I woke up. I wouldn’t say the hearing was normal though, but as each day passes it does seem to get better. There are some sounds that are amplified in the ear canal which are out of proportion to other sounds. For example when I go for a drive the wind passing outside the car is amplified in my ear canal, and at first I wasn’t sure if I was driving with all windows and doors open. Imagine if you will, the sound you hear when holding a sea shell up to your ear, but greater. Or the really wierd one was when the toilet was flushed, and I could see the water swirling around, but the noise of it was right up next to my ear drum, as if I was underwater. And blocking my ears doesn’t diminish the sound in anyway either. Weird. LOL. Thankfully those noises are getting lesser as things are settling down.
One of the things I’m not allowed to do is blow my nose and I have to avoid sneezing while the ear is healing. Without even thinking I naturally went to clear my nose. Oh dear! I wont do that again for another week I’m sure. And you know what, sometimes I just want to cry just to releive some tension, because it’s been a big week and I’m just a girl, but I dare not because the first thing I’ll want to do is grab a tissue, and of course blow my nose, lol. So I’m stifling a good cry which I’ll have to save up for another time.
And that brings me up to today, which is Friday. Later on today my Daughter has her reconstructive surgery. She is in good hands and all your prayers are appreciated. And I need the strength, will and determination to not cry. Breathe deeply. Aaahhhhhhh.
I’ll report back after it is all over.
So, here I find myself on a Sunday evening, sitting quietly at my computer wondering what to blog about this week. This past week has been unusually full of life outside of the craft room. Looking back over the week, I recall Wednesday evening being the last true quiet time I had. Since then my time has been taken up with sleep, work and visitors. I doubt I had 15 minutes true rest in the past few days, apart from bed time. Would you believe I even crawled away during my lunch break on Saturday to find a place a catch some much need rest/sleep? I could have grabbed some shut eye on a pile of jaggered rocks and still found comfort there, lol.
So the upshot of this is that I’ve got nothing to show you today. Anything I may have completed, with my Creative Chemistry 101 course earlier in the week, I never got a chance to get photographed. But despite my lack of time to experiement with techniques, or even watch the last part of the course videos for week two, I’ll have a life time access to all the class content to catch up. In truth, my head is still back in week one, with all the stuff I learnt then and ideas I still want to test from that week. I’ll be having fun for weeks, playing and learning.
I’d like to say I’ll be back with a mid week post, to fill in for todays post, but I better not test fate. Sometimes life just goes into overdrive and you just have to run with it. I love being busy, but I do manage to get a good balance of quiet time into my busy-ness. My main objective these next couple of days is to get the balance back, and unburden myself of all the stuff I feel I don’t need to carry with me into the fresh, new week.
See ya all soon. Cheers.