Thursday, February 24, 2011


Since I said this blog would be a record for me of all that is happening in my life, I thought I should note here that my creativity is somewhat stymied at the moment by news of the terrible Christchurch earthquake disaster 22 Feb - New Zealand is in a state of national emergency as people flee the damaged city and reports come of heartbreaking damage and a rising death toll. This is a shot of the Christchurch Cathedral (Image by Don Scott/The Press) For people not in NZ, here are some photos from Day 2 - I keep going to during the day to see what is happening, and of course it is constantly on our TV screens.
I woke up really early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. My mind keeps coming back to the terrible losses there - of the rising toll of people dead and missing, of destroyed infrastructure and the enormous task of rebuilding, of people dislocated and frightened...
our family was flooded out of our home in the terrible events of February 2004 and this current disaster reminds me of that sick-to-the-stomach feeling of leaving our home not knowing when we would be back, seeing all that we had worked for lying under water, not knowing what would be recovered or when, and then the sense of unreality as days passed and we saw the magnitude of the disaster for everyone else at the time.
The thoughts of NZ are with the people of Christchurch, and for anyone reading this blog who is personally touched by this disaster and/or knows people/family who are, know that we are all thinking of you with love and compassion.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Little bits

Sometimes I find myself being hugely creative and able to show you lots...this is not one of those weeks! I have been thinking about my tyvek painted piece from the last post - thinking about burning and melting options, and it is amazing what a change of orientation can do to your view of a piece. Have had a bit of play with our next Mixed Media Melange lesson - collaging and painting on vinyl. This is held up to a white wall - it is pretty cool, though nowhere near finished yet.Hopefully more to share with you soon...
In the meantime - I love the art of Adolphe William Bouguereau. Click here for google images.
And I have been thinking about more fabricy things again, so it was timely to find this YouTube tutorial by Lesley Riley creating a fabric collage book - it is really nice to watch someone else's process.

Friday, February 11, 2011

In Progress

The next of the Mixed Media Melange projects. This link is to the finished art that Julie demonstrated (and the piece that initially made me fall in love with doing the course).
The base is fabric tyvek- mine was a rather large piece (76x51cm).A variety of solid and sheer papers and fabrics collaged down first - the mixture included scrim, decorative paper serviettes, special papers, net, sheet music, dictionary pages, ribbons, coffee filter (used first and then dried), organza, and some neutral cotton fabrics.
Acrylic paint added with water to create beautiful blendy effects. This is still very much in progress because there are bits I'm not happy with. I love the overall colour balance/blends, and some of the effects of the colours with the textures showing behind are awesome.However, some of the fabrics didn't completely stick down - I wish I had used a brayer as a final step. It also turns out that the fabrics that didn't completely stick/bubbled are the least interesting in next step is to think about it, and consider what else is to be added to fix the bad bits. Obviously stitching will occur - but I also need to think about adding more layers of fabric and/or embellishments of some kind. Not sure what yet but I will keep you posted on progress. Advice like this is what I am doing a class for after all.
Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sharing the love

A lot of linky blog love for you today because I haven't shared much of that with you lately :-)
I have been reading
Loving the latest Art Journaling magazine :It has a lot of lovely work in it which makes me just want to run off and try the techniques. Included is Roben-Marie Smith who is greatly inspired by Dina Wakley - and it shows in the work featured in this publication :-)
I ordered the digital publication of this - also a goodie to have, and featuring some of my favourite artists. Go here if you want your own.
This book was a good discovery at the library. Click on the cover to go to the Amazon preview. The introduction poses interesting questions around perceptions about quilts and their place in the art world. Some fantastic quilts/fibre art featured in here. My fav new or re- discoveries were Deirdre Adams, Karen Kamenetzky, and Margot Lovinger. I was happy to see Robbi Joy Eklow in there too.
I have been watching We own them all on DVD now and are up to watching Season 3. My husband and I can watch this together and both find it hilarious :-)
I have been creating
Another simple image transfer - this time a photocopy (not a newly made one either) onto a painted page : go here for the YouTube instructions.
And I am gathering materials for the next lesson for Mixed Media Melange....mmmmm sheer lovelies.
If you need some new project ideas or a new challenge
Brand new and exciting website : - has a lovely free mixed media e-book
And this free e-publication has lots in it too :
There is also a new crusade for this month from Michelle Ward - they are worth checking out to do yourself, or to check out the people who participate.
If you want to take an online class
I think I may have mentioned Mixed Media Melange before ;-) Join in anytime now
And I am also tempted by ALL of these :
Kiwi Carole has another online book class coming up which looks divine : April - Dec 2011
An online festival : The Artful Gathering is coming in July where you can take courses for a month
And you may remember I have had some past fun with spray paints and stencils, so this mixed media course by Roben-Marie Smith (yes the chicky from the Art Journalling mag above) is a great temptation - Mixed Media Mayhem Online - Ahhhhh - check out the slide show : open now
If you just want to look at some lovely stuff
Here's a very cool and different textile 'take' on the sketchbook project by Carol McFee
And another stunner (gorgeous in its 'bloodiness'!) by Carolyn Saxby
Beautiful in an entirely different way - go to Teesha Moore's latest absolutely stunningly gorgeously composed and colourful journal pages
And let's finish with this very pretty post from Alisa Burke at CHA - love the butterflies (CHA is a tradeshow for vendors in the states from the Craft & Hobby Association)

Whew - Hope you made it all the way through with me!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Neutral hanging

Next project from my Mixed Media Melange online course. We were challenged to work with a neutral palette. This was a hard one for me since I am usually all about colour :-)
First layer - papers glued over canvas paper. Painted with layers of neutral paint (I prefer the white to the titanium buff colour since I had such a dark collage layer). Not very excited by it at this point. Amazing what an image and some stitching and tags can do :-) Machine-stitched down each side - left hand fancy programmed machine stitch - right hand is my fav free-motion swirly stitch. . "Create" stamped onto fabric and then stitched to hanging and free-motioned around the words and up to the heart. Some of the tags were dyed with walnut ink - then stamped, or drawn on, some dried flowers applied, and others with punched flowers. And here it is hanging in situ on my arty room door - and now I love it.Fantastic course - you should join us.....Tyvek tomorrow - can't wait.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fairy Shoes

Tomorrow my Gran turns 100! She is lucky that her birthday is on Waitangi Day - this is a public holiday in NZ so she has always had a holiday for her birthday. The good news for me is that I still have a way to go to get to middle-age if I follow her lead :-)
I wanted to stitch her something special to mark the occasion.
First a hand-made card and stamped envelope - I thought I would follow a fairy themeHer fabric treasure box is the same pattern which I used for my Mum's 70th presentAnd inside - fairy shoes. I have been wanting to make some for a while. Although they look quite big in the photo, they only measure 9cm from toe to heel. I hope she can use them to wander down memory lane... Thanks to Annette Emms for publishing the original pattern in a magazine some years ago - if you want to make some, the pattern is now available from her Etsy store

Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Mixed Media Melange experiments

At last I had a chance to play today with the ideas from the 1st lesson of my Mixed Media Melange online workshop. This lesson was about playing with our limited colour palette, and then adding interference or iridescent paints to see the different effects. It was fun to just play and I tried a few things I haven't tried before or haven't done in a while. Am posting the pages with just acrylic paint first, and then with the addition of the interference or iridescent paint.Fun with bubble wrap on this one, and nice to use foam stamps again - I overstamped with the iridescent green. My first time using interference violet paint. The effect is just like the colours you get when you blow bubbles in the sunshine. I think the gold highlights work well on this one. Not my fav, but I now have a liking for that silver iridescent paint. Now we're in my preferred colour palette :-) Love the interference paint on this one - through sequin waste.There hasn't been much stitching lately on this blog, but the present for my Gran's birthday is mainly stitched and I promise to share it with you on the weekend.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Calendar update

Happy February everyone - kids are back to school tomorrow after summer holidays and I am quite looking forward to getting back into routines again...I will miss staying in pj's until after 9am and I am not looking forward to getting back to school lunches and the morning rush, but I have a few projects to work on this month, and my Mixed Media Melange workshop which will finally get some devoted time tomorrow.
I finished my January calendar pagesI haven't worked out how to load pictures in blogger that you can click on to enlarge, so here are a couple of close-ups of the base pages and the finished. They look quite different now they are embellished and covered in writing. I wonder what February will hold This month I went with paper. We have a calendar of art work by Alphonse Mucha in our kitchen so I was inspired to use one of his paintings as my inspiration - this one is called "Summer". I will title it February when inspiration hits!
Don't forget to check out the other calendar pages on flickr
Or you can get to the other blog entries from here
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