Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Wooden Stamps and Free Stencils

There's been excellent pickings at the Trash and Treasure markets lately - lots of new, interesting art supplies turning up. I've scored a LOT of paintbrushes (just as well, we all use them, and we do like a selection).

But there has also been these two wooden stamps, a brass tree stencil, and a fabbo plastic stencil.

I tried it all out on a small canvas ( I know, the trees don't look right, do they? Next rev, as we say in the computer business).

Oh, and that plastic stencil with the two big flower shapes. They cost around $6 from Costco. They come with a bottle of excellent juice sticking through each of the flower shaped holes! That packaging is just too nice to throw away.

Monday, 19 April 2010

A little more Morning Glory

I had another go with the pretty Morning Glory stamp set. On a recent walk in Collingwood, I got to stop and look at some real morning glory. I had it all wrong! The leaves crowd each other for the sun, forming a solid mat of leaves - then the flowers poke up above them.

So I stamped a heap more leaves, and raised the flowers up with foam tape.

Here's a photo of real Morning Glory. See? And I think I need bluer purples - but at the moment I've been using Lavender Lace and Rich Razzleberry as my two purple shades.

I sent this birthday card off to my Mum - no danger of spoiling the surprise, I doubt she's on line quite yet. But I did include some information about the U3A where she lives ... I'm hoping she has a go at a computer class!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

...and a finished card!

That pretty scrap of stamping was too nice to leave unfinished ... so here's the final card.

I had to photograph it at night under artificial light (my least favourite) so don't be surprised if the photo changes some time tomorrow!

Out trawling for old stamps again

I recently got my hands on an 11 year old Stampin' Up stamp set - it's just gorgeous! All I've done so far is stamp the images on white card, but I'm enjoying them so much, I thought I'd share. This is "Marvellous Morning Glory", a set that was never released in Australia, but that really deserves to have a comeback!

The light purple and dark purple are two different stamps, and so are the light and dark green - you lay one on top of the other to get that offset printed look. So nice!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Awesome bread again

Pretty soon I'll stop talking about how good my bread recipe is ... perhaps. Can't claim any credit whatsoever - the recipe I've been sharing around is this one : http://www.sullivanstreetbakery.com/recipes.

I wondered what the effect of cooking the bread IN a casserole dish really was. After all, my oven is a very nice one. So I did two loaves (we had guests coming, so two was required anyway). Same recipe, and one loaf was cooked in a pot, and one on the tray.

And here they are. Lefty was cooked in a large Pyrex casserole dish, preheated. Lefty also got dusted with polenta. Righty was let to rise on a tray, and then baked on the tray. Righty was dusted with flour. I think we can see two things. 1. Polenta is prettier. 2. Cooking bread in a pot is AWESOME. Great colour, cool crack down the middle, yummy crust.

By the way, you must let your bread get at least this dark - the flavour of the crust is excellent, rich and malty.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Give 'em to your sons (but keep some for me)

Check 'em out, home made chocolate chip hot cross buns.

Quite nice too.

Happy Easter everyone!

I've been holding on to this photo since last year, just for this occasion. It was a shop window in the Dandenongs.

Awww, all those bunnies, not creepy at all.

Didn't take a photo of the OTHER shop we saw though - a cookbook shop, it had a display of vintage rabbit recipes!

Second Hand stamps - a cautionary tale

I had a super day at the local trash and treasure market recently - a handful of great Lego (including a shark!) for 50c, some old cookbooks, and even two excellent rubber stamps.

But now I have a caution about second hand stamps!

The stamps were not expensive ($1 for both I think) so that's not the issue. They were both caked with old ink, but, being the owner of a Stampin Scrub stamp cleaner (hint: I'll sell you one), I wasn't worried.

The butterfly stamp was covered with blue ink - it must have been pigment ink. It cleaned up a treat - take a look! Still a bit of blue in the crevices, but we'll cope. And after cleaning, it stamps well - see?

The other stamp was an equally pretty bee stamp. I may already have that particular stamp (!), but who can go past a really nice bee - I could give it away at stamp club and be really pleased with myself. The bee stamp was caked with ink too - this time gold pigment ink (most likely Encore, which was widely available here at around the time these stamps were being sold new).

I scrubbed and scrubbed, and got this stamp looking reasonable too. But this is what it looked like stamped :

The image is just not complete - and this was my best try! The rubber felt a bit funny to me too - hard, and not "rubbery". I investigated a bit more, and here's what I found:

Horrible cracks all over the rubber! Argh! There's no repairing that!

So here's the cautionary message : metallic ink (of that brand, anyway) seems to damage your stamps if left on the rubber for a long time. So - clean your stamps!!!