Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Wrecking stuff

The boys claimed to have no homework, and it was a nice sunny say ... so what else could we do?

Turns out they did have homework, so there was a lot of scrubbing brush action, followed by some serious book larnin'. As I say, a nice day.

All of this came from my new book, "Wreck This Journal" by Keri Smith. One page is a target, with instructions to throw a ball, or something, dipped in paint at it. We keep three solid rubber balls around the house for just that purpose.

And the book - was my anniversary present! 15 great years, and he's clever enough to locate a wonderful present like this!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Mixed Media Monday - Wings

Here's my small canvas for Mixed Media Monday. The challenge was "things with wings" - an easy topic for me, I thought. I'm a birdwatcher from way back. I used to go out birding and everything!

And wow, I actually used a canvas I had painted a base coat on YEARS ago. No, starting the canvas does NOT make it easier to proceed. In fact, it was taking up room in the cupboard, looking like it was supposed to be kept... I'm so glad it's been turned into something now!

The button tin was out because Jonathan needed gold buttons for a school project - so of course I used a button.

Green Gold, by Golden, is my favourite colour of paint in the whole wide world.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Great Bouncing Oppportunity

Every family knows how important bouncing is. Kids gotta bounce. Adults quite like it too. Here's a new bouncing outlet I had never seen before. We found it at the Windmill caravan park in Ballarat. It's a "Jumping Pillow", made by these folks. Wow. Like a bouncy castle, but flat - it's set into the ground. You walk onto it, and it's like a trampoline. But huge. EXCELLENT fun.

Look up your local caravan park, many of them are getting jumping pillows.

We're thinking of trying for a night or two away in the school holidays. This is the sort of thing that would draw us in!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Behind the Yart

Today it's time to start my regular series (a series of at least one) of postings that take you "Behind the Yart". Ooooh.

I get a lot of enjoyment out of making projects and sending them to craft magazines, and they even publish some of them. I have a whole box full of "magazines-with-me-in-them" on the shelf. Of recent years, I've slid away from this fun hobby, but I made a conscious decision to do it again. After all, I still love tinkering with making things. Nobody does quite the same as me. And it encourages me to finish things off properly; a motivation I wouldn't otherwise have.

Here we review some pretty little books I made for Cardmaking, Stamping and Papercraft, which ended up in Volume 14 number 8 (not the latest one but the one before, at the time of writing). You'll have to look at the magazine to see them in all their glory.

So how did these come to be made?

It traces back to the paint, the book structure (they are laser cut card) and the stamps.

The paint is Golden brand, and I learned to love it at a workshop with Michael DeMeng (he's coming back to Melbourne in November this year - he's a great teacher!).

The books are Micro Arts, made by Lisa (who assures me her web site will be up again soon). Her laser cutting machine is a wonderful sight, and she gets it to do clever things. Her book kits have a front and back cover, and a concertina for the inside. The front covers are made of two bits so you can sandwich some arty stuff between them and see it through the window; the back cover is made of two bits so it won't feel left out. You can sandwich the ribbon or other closure in it.

And the stamps are from Pipedreamink ; I asked where they got all those great designs, and apparently Sue and Niamh just doodled a few pages full, and picked the best ones for stamps. Obviously they were being modest, cos these are pretty! I kept the insert from the stamps in my art journal.

Once I was committed to making some little books, and using these stamps, I had to decide how to lay them out.

So, I cut strips of scrap paper the size of the book inserts, and mucked around until I had some nice ones. I kept them in my journal too. That sad puppy is Catriona's work. Cute huh?

Then I tinkered with painting. I made some ATCs at the same sort of time too : I gave them away at Paperific. I could go on and on about how clever the painting techniques are, but basically it's brown on brown. Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Mars Black, to be specific.

Oh, and in the end I stuck words cut out from the dictionary onto some bits. Now who saw that coming?

I hope you've enjoyed this installment of "Behind The Yart". I've been busy making some OTHER goodies, which are all in the works - some accepted, some still in the queue. If and when they appear in print, I'll be there to take you "Behind the Yart"! Now, won't that be fun.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Lookit what I can do!

Ooh, look, real stitching! No, *I* didn't fake it with a needle and a white gel pen (cough like Chris does cough). This is real actual thready stitching.

But how? I don't have a sewing machine?

Well, take a lookee at this little gadget : nope, it's not a stapler (the bobbin might just tip you off there). It's a teeny little hand sewing machine.

What a great idea! Kind of fiddly to use, though, but I think I'm getting better with practice. It was a treasure from a trash and treasure sale. More stuff for my collection of odd things.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

This is not a creepy toy...

Nope, it's not creepy at all. No sir-ee. Nothin' creepy going on with this squeaky penguin. At all.

There, I said what you wanted, Mr Penguin. Please stop looking at me.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Rooster Chronicles part 4

Ooh, yummy, getting there. The curly tag punch is a nice touch. Does anyone know where I put the smaller tag punch? The one like this one? Or maybe it was actually bigger. For some reason I can't find it in my stash (could be the jumbly mess that's doing that).

Or how about ...

Nah, ruined it. I used the "gauze" patterened brayer roller (the Fiskar's one) on some white paper, but it doesn't shop up the rooster any more. Nice brayer though.

Good thing nothing is glued to anything yet.

We're going away this weekend (well, at this late stage I think I can only claim to be going away for 24 hours) so there won't be any rooster additions until after that.

Friday, 20 March 2009

More Rooster Chronicles - part 3 I think

Or there's this - I squished the slip of paper into some plastic tubing (bought from Reverse Art Truck). Then I spent the next hour working out how to keep it there. Beads at each end, then gauze pulled through the whole lot - the gauze only just fits through the beads.

Such a lot of effort, and I haven't made anything yet.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The Rooster Chronicles

I can't stop thinking about that rooster - he needs something.

This perhaps? It's the stamp alphabet I used a while ago, which is made of a kids' toy stamp set. I realised I had actually salvaged both upper and lower case alphabets from it. Thrifty, that's me. Thrifty and strangely driven.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Did you feel that??

Another earthquake, Melbourne seems to be rocking again.

Still, it wasn't that big. Catriona thought it was the cat jumping on the roof. Jonathan said his chair shook.

I'm off to hoard chocolate now. Not in case of more earthquakes, just because it's nice.

A parcel - oh boy!

Oh boy oh boy, a new parcel just arrived! It's from Stampin' Up! Parcel days are good days!

Quick, open it up!!!

There's the packing list - whip it out!

Hmm, my stuff must be under all this paper...

Nope, that's the whole order. A small block of wood.

And it became a stamp! I was expecting this one wooden mount to be replaced (the original one was damaged) but I have to say, I wasn't expecting this much hoop-la!

Still, that's a new wad of paper to make more books with. And a useful box.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Where'd the rooster go?

Lately I just can't make a darned think without pasting a page from an old dictionary to some kind of base, then painting or gessoing it. Here, I've gessoed, then painted with a luxurious colour combination, then punched out a rooster. THAT was for a project. THIS is what's left. I quite like it.

This stamp and I go way back...

... back to the last century, in fact!

I did a beginner's stamping class at Woodstock, some time in 1999 I think. We were taught to stamp, emboss, and colour with Tombow markers. After plenty of basic instruction, we made a pretty card. I chose this very stamp to use (it's a PSX), and had a lovely time colouring it.

I enjoyed it so much that I decided that if I bought any stamps at all, this would be one of them. Well, in the show downstairs, I quickly discovered that this was a discontinued design - they just had one in the class collection.

Now, years later, I have finally tracked one down second hand!

This time, I've stamped it in Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip ink (that's Gail's favourite go-to colour). Then I've coloured with touches of Inktense pencils. Then I've dipped the brush in gel medium and used that like water to "watercolour" the pencils. Knowing that the Choc Chip ink will water colour too. It's fun!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Sigh! So pretty!

Ah, that's just what I needed, a new thing to love. This is Poole china, from the Twintone range. In the 1950s, or it might have been 40s, the Poole folks started combining pairs of colours to make pretty, functional dinnerware. Some colour combinations lasted years in the range; others were dropped after a year.

The satiny glaze makes them very nice to hold.

Here we have (from the bottom) Lime Yellow and Moonstone Grey (lasted a year in 1956). Next up is Peach Bloom and Seagull (1953 to 1968). Seagull is a dappled pattern, very soothing. Then there's Ice Green and Mushroom, a gutsy choice that's not as common. Finally we have the very satisfying Mushroom and Sepia, which lasted right into the 1980s.

Want more photos? Sure you do! I spent the better part of an afternoon photographing teacups in various moody poses, so you definitely have to look.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

A creepy - sorry, interesting - toy

We love Lego, that's well known. Well, the Lego company also makes "Clikits", for girls. Pretty little flowery building toy; not really related to Lego at all.

Well, I bought a little bit of it at an op shop the other day, and got to play with it. Those folks at Lego, they can't help themselves! Clikits connect to Lego in all sorts of ways! Here are some examples.

And here's the Clikits girl walking her pet Lego dragon. Or is it the other way? Almost creepy enough for my creepy toy category.

So if your Lego isn't looking girly enough, think about augmenting it with Clikits. Thank you.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Real Live Dinosaurs!!!

Have you got an afternoon free? Frankston's not too far? Well, you should go and see the sand sculptures! They are set up near the waterfront in a fantastic display that's well worth going to. This year's theme is Dinosaurs - now, who doesn't like dinos? Some of them are gorily eating each other, so there's plenty for the kids to enjoy. Artistically, scientifically and aesthetically rather cool.

And how do they make sand sculptures so detailed and sturdy? You'll find out how when you get there. It's about $30 for a family ticket, and you can get a pass out - so you can have lunch, wander back in, and see your favourites again.

We just came back from here, and had a yummy lunch too. Mmm, tiramisu flavoured ice cream (I may have to sleep all afternoon).

So, have I done enough for Frankston tourism yet? Oh, alright, one more photo. A gory one. But you gotta go see the real thing!

Another pretty cup and saucer

The good ladies of the Uniting Church came through this weekend - at a church Trash and Treasure sale, I found this excellent saucer, that goes with the cup I already had! It's a Crown Lynn cup, and the saucer comes from the same factory (although they used a lot of different brand names there).

Friday, 6 March 2009

Whoah! Steady!

We just had a little earthquake! That's so rare in Melbourne. I just felt I had to tell someone!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Creepy Toy Day

It's Thursday, and you know what that means. Creepy Toy Day. Here's today's installment.

I rummaged hard and long at a garage sale to get the whole set. Bird, rabbit, horse and baby - that sounds like the full set.

They puff air, or, I suppose, water. What do you think they are meant to be?

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

There is no "I" in Iguana!

Oh, wait, yes there is. Sorry 'bout that.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Mixed Media Monday - Time

Well, it's Monday again, and I've joined in Mixed Media Monday again. The theme is "Time". Ah, nice and ambiguous.

This is my bit - my favourite pretty lady (from a lipstick ad in an old magazine).

Are we over the "words cut out one by one" trend yet? Nah, me neither!

Love the cool stamp alphabet? It's the remains of a kids' stamp set - you know, make up the letters into words on the little frame, with tweezers. Far too fiddly for today's kids, but I mounted some like any other rubber stamp alphabet. The squares around the stamps show every time; you can't reliably get just the letter stamped. So I decided I really LIKE that look!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Alien Truth About Tupperware

I'm kicking myself. I had some spare Tupperware mugs, a really nice lot with matching coasters, and I sold them on eBay. No problems there, that was a good thing to do.

But I forgot the best bit of the sales pitch!

These particular mugs are famous for : being used in SPACE!

In particular, they were/will be used on the spaceship Nostromo, which as everyone knows is the setting for the film "Alien". Here's proof - Ripley is refreshing herself during the tedious journey home with something from a Tupperware mug.

Pretty exciting, huh?

But wait, it gets more exciting than that!

In the famous scene (you know, the gory one), the little alien - umm - bursts into view; knocks over a Tupperware mug, and scuttles off the table! Now THAT is cool. Earl Tupper would be proud that his invention was serving the people of Earth so many years into the future. Aliens clearly don't appreciate it though.