Saturday, May 31, 2008

It is the last day of May!

Well today is saturday 31st May! Wow the year is flying by! We have had a beautiful day here in Palmerston North, I zoomed into town first thing this morning to buy some tubes of acrylic paint, then back to work to grab some photos of the under 12's school kids rugby game for the next issue of the paper. Then home to make a start on finishing the planting of my bulbs. I managed to get all of them in the ground! WOOHOO! I just have a handful of very small bulbs which I will plant in a pot until they get a bit bigger. So over the last few weeks I have planted out approx 2000 spring bulbs. I can't wait for them to flower in spring! I will buy another 1000 bulbs next year and then I will nearly be finished planting the whole driveway!

I finished an arch for Jan, for a swap group. I did the accidental landscape again, (I'm really enjoying this style), but this time I did the seascape again. That tangled looking mess at the bottom is supposed to be a net with fish, starfish and seahorse in it! I have to make some ATC's for swapping, and I am wondering just how small I can make them? Mmmm........
The photo below was taken last Thursday. I had to visit the racecourse here in Palmerston North to take some photos of a very old monument, it was built in 1914 and is undergoing some restoration. BUT, while I was there saw these lovely old buildings. I guess the 'old' part of the racecourse. I've never been there before, but thought what a lovely place to take wedding photos! Lots of falling leaves and old bricks. Or might be good for family portraits too. (I should explain - in another life I used to work as a photographer for a studio, and my main job was taking portraits, and doing weddings. As a result I'm always looking at scenery and potential photo shoot locations.)
Well Monday is a public holiday here in New Zealand, Queens Birthday. Don't actually know why we celebrate it on the 2nd June? Anyway, guess what??? Rain is predicted for Monday!! Guess what I'll be doing!
Thanks to all of you who made comments about my tin. I'm really pleased that you don't find it creepy! I quite like it myself! Although I don't think it will hold many ATC's! What an excuse to alter another tin!! It was also nice to meet Laura, Jenna Louise and Threadhead! I will be visiting your blogs too, to see what inspiration I can find!
Anyway have a great weekend folks,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An ATC tin!

Here it is! Remember the tin from a few posts back that I was going to keep my ATC's in? I wasn't quite sure what I would do with it, but yesterday decided I would try out the alcohol inks on it. They worked a treat, a bit bright, so need to work on toning them down a bit! I'm not sure about the pieces of music on the front either, so may change them.
My DH poked his head in the sewing room door to see what I was doing and made the comment that it looked creepy! Mmmmm. What do you think?
The face was set into liquid paper and when it was set I painted it, then I painted over a layer of crackle paint, then over that went some metalic rub-ons. you can see the colour of the underneath paint through the crackle which is neat.

I have done each of the sides differently, although two have been stamped, I think the inked background was a little bold, but for a first attempt with the alcolhol inks, I'm happy with the result. I used a black Staz On ink.

This is some music glued on, I think it needs a little extra? I'll think on it.

Another side.
Today I got this fantastic ATC card from Jan! It's really pretty - unfortunately my photography has let it down! But its all fabric, and the butterfly is cut from a silky asian fabric. Jan has also used batting in the design of her card. Thank you very much! This will fit nicely into my new ATC tin!
Rachelle, thanks for the comment! Love catching up with you!
Take care,

Monday, May 26, 2008


Well I went totally mad and decided to make a purchase from the USA. It arrived this morning! How am I going to concentrate on any work now?? I drool over some of the art supplies available over there! Anyway I bought some alcohol inks from Joggles, some blending solution, the applicator tool, and a jar of crackle paint. Has anyone used these, and if so, did you find them good? I intend to try them on my small tin first. I shall keep you updated. I think I'll check back on Tim Holtz's blog to see what I can find out there. I can't believe how fast they arrived! Well done Joggles!
I forgot to show you this fantastic post card I got recently from Noelene in Australia. This was for a swap. She has played with goodness knows what on the card, but I'm guessing some sort of medium as the card is quite heavy. I love the embellishments and the colours, and I can say, that it is soooo different from any of my other post cards!
Noelene also sent me this little booklet! What a suprise and treat! It looks as though it has been made from threads and scraps, and all sewn together. (I'm wondering if I could make this using the silk paper making technique??) There are 3 little pages inside and it is tied at the corner. It's very effective. I have never used words in any of my projects, I think because I would have to glue them instead of sewing them, but they look fantastic and I have decided to try them. May be I'll include some on my tin?

Last night was very chilly outside, inside I had the fire going and it was lovely and cosy. The kittens came in and plonked themselves in front of the fire. It's funny how the animals always get the best places!
Blow me down If I didn't get up from the sofa to find Shelby had decided that it was warmer in front of the fire than in her basket! Crossing our room is often an obstacle course!

Fannie I'm pleased you received your little gift. I do appreciate your help!
Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Silk paper making class

Last night my friend Christine and I went to a class on making silk paper. I was amazed at how simple and quick the process really was, and not at all messy like making felt. First we covered out net with silk, then added bits of cotton, and covered with another layer of netting. Then we wet it with a mix of dish washing liquid and warm water, making sure it was all wet on both sides.

This is Christine painting on her Jo Sonja's textile medium. We brushed it on to both sides of the netting. This is the glue which holds it altogether.
With this sheet of silk paper I added a couple of old dried leaves in order to make a print in the paper when dried. In future I would try a fresh leaf instead of a dried one. The dried one was hard to get off the paper.
Here is another sheet, I added a little green. When I got home I peeled off the top layer of net and scrunched up the silk paper. It is screaming "garden" to me! Can you hear it? It has dried with lots of bumps and ridges.
Here they are drying. They were all dry this morning and now ready to use.
This bottom photo is especially for you Dad if you're reading this! For those of you who have no idea what this, it's a flounder. Flounder are bottom dwellers and are usually found in the shallows of mud flats near river mouths. It was caught at the Foxton river mouth, and is pictured frying in butter! Mmmmmm!
Well it's Friday night, woohoo! Hope you all have a fun weekend! See you all soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not much to report

We are still waiting for the rain which was forecast. I am now going to have to water the garden, how bizzare is that?
Last night I went to sewing class at my local quilting shop, they run what they call "Finishing Class" although it's really just a social night of sewing. They have run it as long as I can remember. I usually always go, it's my "sewing night" and only once a fortnight. I haven't been at all this year, I've just had other stuff happening. But I want to get a bit more done on the McKenna Ryan quilt I'm working on, so I will use the finishing classes to work on that. I'll post a photo asap for you to see the progress. There were quite a few new ladies there last night, but 5 of us 'oldies' there. There was one young girl, maybe in her late 20's sitting next to me who was making a start on her very first ever quilt. She had spotted some fabric she liked, and had drawn up a basic pattern with squares of different sizes and was sewing them together on a borrowed machine. How ambitious is that for a first quilt! She asked what I was up to, and after I explained that I was doing machine applique she decided that some of her squares looked a little plain and did I think she could do applique on them?? What a tender moment - the beginning of an addiction!! LOL!
Tonight I am doing a class on silk paper making. I really think it is pretty basic, but sometimes it's the little tips you pick up from watching or listening to your tutor. I have never made it before, and think it will give me another textile medium to use.
Anyway, thought I'd just add this pic of Chris the sheep. He is the oldest of our sheep and really no good for anything, but he is pretty friendly, and has a real liking for bits of bread, so loves the hand feeding. His teeth are pretty much worn down, which gives a good indication of his age. So he will probably be with us until he dies of natural old age!
Thanks to those of you who have left lovely comments on my blog, it's always neat to hear from you!
Take care, Carole

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Over-bearing kittens!

This post doesn't actually have anything to do with kittens, except for the fact Buddy is sitting on my lap while I write this. He has developed the habit of jumping onto your lap whenever you sit down, which would be ok, except that if you give him lots of rubs and scruffles he starts dribbling! So you end you covered! He doesn't seem too particular about whose knee either!

Well it has been a few days since I posted last, unfortunately life gets in the darn way sometimes, so I've had little time to post, cook evening meals or clean. Which means that now it's the weekend, things have returned somewhat to normal - whatever that is!? I have done some cleaning, cooked a lovely meal last night, and yesterday made a start on replanting my strawberry garden. I have been dreading it, my 2 rows of strawberry plants from last year have turned into millions of the darn things! Yesterday I spent from 12noon till 5pm working on the garden and I would be lucky if I made half way!I am trying to plant out all the good looking runners as my mum reckons that although you get 2 years of good growing from the mother plant, you should get a better crop of fruit from the young plants. However, although I'm replanting the young plants back into the garden, I am also keeping some of the mother plants. I have been planting them into black planter bags. If they fruit, fine, if they don't out they go, and then I also have spares if any die.
I am very lucky! My trellis has been attached to the posts now, so will act as both a windbreak, and a climbing support. I have been busy reading rose books, and books on climbers, as I want to plant 3 or 4 climbing roses and also a couple of black grapes. I also bought some wire mesh which Dennis has made into an arch way for me. I want to plant the climbing rose Cecile Brunner or Sweetheart Rose on it. It has the most perfect pale pink buds and is a mass of flower for a long time.
However I have a small gap between the arch and the water tank on the left, and I have no idea what I could plant there. I had thought I might build?? or buy a couple of bird houses and put on top of a couple of the posts, but the other night Wednesday - before my very eyes, climbed right to the top and sat there! I would love to put a bird bath in the garden too, but this might be deadly for the birds!

I've had a couple of the winners from the ATC give-away draw not send me any address details, and I am unable to contact them, so I have made 2 more draws, and there will be a card go out to ScaryCheri and Kate. Kate I think I have your address somewhere, but ScaryCheri I will need yours.
I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend. I am going to resume the strawberry clean-up today. We have a brilliant clear day, blue sky and sun. Very unusual for the end of May! I want to make the most of it!
Take care,

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day.....

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I hope all you mums out there had a great day relaxing, doing something special or enjoying time with your kids! Unfortunately my daughter lives in Wellington, and my 2 step-kids live in Auckland, so it was greeting from afar this time, HOWEVER, I did receive this interesting present from my daughter...

Wrapped neatly inside this little box was this fantastic hand-made ring. It has a glass flower on it made of purple and green glass with beads on each side. I think it's just lovely! Thank you Traci! xx My Mother's day passed very quietly, but I got to spend half the day pottering round in my sewing room, and the other half gardening. Doing two things I really enjoy, so what more could you want?
I made these two postcards for a swap, the theme was, deep blue sea. I was a bit puzzled as to ideas for this one, and I know the cards look very simple, but they do look deep blue, and we were not to use fish or anything from the sea. I always have great trouble getting the horizon line level with these landscapes/seascapes, which is the most important part of the whole scene. But they are fun to make and very effective.

I also got to finish one of my two cushions I started. You may remember the fabric from a previous post. I'm really pleased with the effort, and love the richness of the fabrics. Now I just have to finish the second one!

Carol I will get your wee gift into the mail, many thanks. Have a great day folks!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Congratulations to the following people whose name came of of the hat, or bowl as the case may be:

If you can let me have your addresses I shall get your treasures into the mail asap! You can email me: caroledotbrungaratxtradotcodotnz

Hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

3 more ATC's finished

Well here are last 3 ATC's I was working on. I will add the bottom 2 to the giveaway, so there will now be 4 to give away, which I will draw tomorrow.

Well there isn't much news here today, I sewed this morning, and went to work this afternoon to cover a women's rugby game. I think we are due some rain tomorrow, so may have more to show you then.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The beginning of a secret garden!

Hi all! WOO HOO it's Friday!
Just a short entry today, but I had to show you this progress out in my garden. It is the beginning of my "secret garden". A trellis fence is going up on 2 sides, which will provide quite a bit of shelter for everything growing within. I am very excited about this, and am starting to plan what I will grow on the trellis. As this garden area will have a variety of flowers and veges I want to make sure that I don't waste an inch of ground space!
On the fence below I intend to grow a climbing rose on the left hand end, 2 black grapes thru the middle and another climbing rose in the corner.

You won't be able to see as much of this fence once the feijoa trees are grown, so I plan to plant some climbing plants to add a splash of colour. If you have any good recommendations for climbers don't hesitate to let me know! I will consider everything!
Must say a warm welcome to purple missus, aka Lynda. Thanks for the nice comments, and I was hoping for some inspiration from you! I've not done any altered art projects before so perhaps I should visit the library and get some books out!!
And my friend Fannie! You always say the nicest things, you sound way too nice to be true!
Now don't forget to scroll down to enter your name in the draw for an ATC card in my giveaway! I will make the draw on Sunday so you still have time!
Until tomorrow,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One thousand hits the wiser!!

As I write this I notice that my blog has reached the 1000 hits mark! How exciting is that?? Especially as a new blogger, just dipping my toes into the very public arena of blogging and exposing my art out there. There were so many nervous moments wondering if my art would be good enough - (although I think this is self imposed, good enough for who and by whose standards?) But also wondering if anyone would even bother to look at my blog, or would it just be another boring waffle by some unknown wannabe artist?
Anyway, this conversation is now indeed waffling, sorry, but am excited that people actually dooooo read my blog! It has also been a very wide window to new friendships and to new ways of doing things, so that in itself has made this whole blogging business worthwhile soooo many times over!
Thanks to you all for you friendships, your inspiration and your kind comments. I enjoy your feedback , your ideas and your blogs immensely.
I had to share this with you all today, I received this arch from Jan in the UK in an arch swap. I said that I wanted a garden theme but other than that I didn't mind what I got. This really fits the bill, I love it to bits, Jan has pressed dried hydrangea flowers and what a neat result. In with the arch was this little ATC to match! I nearly died when I saw it! It's incredible, I think Jan has used a plastic bag in the making of this, melting it over the top. There are little beads and very fine netting also. I'm soooo excited now - I'm actually the proud owner of 2 ATC's!

I had to share with you these 2 purchases. Above are some little blocks I discovered the other day while out shopping. They are smaller than dominoe blocks and each one has holes drilled in it. I did see a sample of them used in a bracelet, collaged, painted and strung together using a type of elastic. Looked very interesting. Just had to buy some which I will put away for future use! (hahaha, you know what I mean!!)
Below is a tin which I found which I would like to decorate to keep my TWO ATC's in. But I've never decorated tin before. Does anyone have any hints, tips or advice to share on how to or where to start on this project? I thought it might need sanding first before painting?
I'd like to say a quick Hi to:
Cat in Tassie - wouldn't it be so nice if we could get some of the yummy stuff that Tim Holtz uses???
debbi baker who left a lovely comment and Nicki, welcome to my blog, hope you are all lucky enough to win an ATC.
tracyb, thanks for your comment too. I do agree with you about the trades, and that sometimes you spend a long time on making a project only to receive a swap which looks like it was made with little thought or effort. Sometimes It can take me several weeks to finish a project, I start it and have to put it somewhere where I can revisit it everyday! I do believe there are ATC swap groups where you post a pic of your cards and so you get to choose who and what you are swapping for. This is a cool idea! There are certainly so many swap groups that there is sure to be the right one for everybody, it's just a matter of finding it!
Enjoy your week,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Funny how nice things happen when you least expect them to...

It's amazing that we have so many trouble spots in the world! I mean if everyone was as nice as the talented artists who have left very kind comments on this blog, the world would be such an easy place to live in! Thank you to those who have left comments on the give away, I have enjoyed reading your blogs equally as much as I hope you enjoyed browsing this one!

Yesterday I recieved a lovely email from the Rotary Club of Palmerston North. They had seen a photo and article I had written in the April issue of the little community newspaper I publish. The president explained that they support the project that I spoke about and were thrilled with the article. AND, he asked, would I like to be the guest of the president at a Rotary lunch? Considering I was only just doing my job, I felt I wasn't really justified in going, but my boss told me that it was a well deserved invitation and that I was to go! How nice is that? So that was my lovely suprise yesterday!

Here's a sneek peek into my office. I am trying to fill the walls with front covers of every issue I publish. It looks kinda cool and those who come into my office are always attracted to that part of the wall!
Scary, you asked about the tissue casts. They are dead easy to make and really very effective. You need a stamp with an open pattern, not one with lots of fine detail. Then you need a roll of common old toilet paper. I then mix some PVA (white) glue with water, just a little glue and water it right down. Lay a segment of toilet paper across the stamp, and sponge it with a brush and pva water mix. Repeat this until you have approx 12 layers on the stamp. You may like to use more, you'll have to experiment with this. Then leave it to dry. When dry seperate the cast from the stamp. I trimmed the stamp to suit, painted it and then sealed it with a glaze. I have attached these by gluing them or sewing them. I think they would look real impressive with the crackle paint that Tim Holtz uses, but I can't get that here in NZ. Do have a go, they are quick to make and fun!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Three more ATC's

Well first off thank you to all those who have added a comment and who will go in the draw to win one of my ATC's. I feel honoured that you all consider my cards nice enough that you would like one! At the moment I have 2 cards to give away, but I may have another by the weekend!

As any of you who know me, know that I love gardens and gardening. I especially love flowers inside. So of course it's understandable that everything I make has a slight floral slant to it! I love being able to pick flowers and bring them inside, I love the perfumes and the colours. I also love old things...... old containers, packets, keys, bits of lace etc... you get the picture? Now although I have made a large number of wall hangings, quilts etc... with a floral related theme, I have never made anything that has an aged theme. This is another area I would like to explore at some stage in the not too distant future.
ATC gold flower 1
Anyway here are 3 more ATC's finished. These 3 have been made using tyvek for the flower. I painted both sides of the tyvek, then applied some heat and cut out following the patterns in the tyvek!
ATC pink flower

ATC gold flower 2
I love how the colours came out quite saturated and bright. They were fun to make!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Giveaway for no reason what so ever!

This weekend I have been playing with some of the faces I made with the air dry clay, using neocolour ll, tissue castings and tyvek. I have been very inspired by the ATC I received from Fannie, so thought I'd make some for myself. I have started on making 8, 2 of them are finished, and I'm pleased with them.

ATC gold

ATC green

They were fun to make and I thought I'd give them away. All you have to do is leave a comment here and next weekend I will draw 2 names, so make sure I have contact info for you. (sorry the photos aren't too sharp, must do better next time!)
Meanwhile I will keep playing, and finish the others.

Yesterday, Saturday 3rd May was officially opening day of the duck shooting season here in New Zealand. Now if we lived in town or the city this event would pass without so much as a duck in sight! However, we live in the country and watch all the ducks flying round looking for somewhere to land, with the chance that they will blown out of the sky before they land! Both yesterday morning and this morning I have woken to the sound of shotguns banging, but the weather hasn't been so good as the hunters all like a nice mix of rain and wind to stir the ducks up and keep them in the air. Both mornings we have had sun and blue sky, although we do have a touch of snow round on the ranges and so the temps are falling. Nothing like a nice 'cold snap' to make one appreciate the summer!

Before I go, I must say Hi! to Scary Cheri who dropped in to leave me a lovely comment! Thank you, hope you'll pop back again soon!
Hope you are all having/had a great weekend,


Friday, May 2, 2008

A treasure in my mailbox!

I received this beautiful ATC card in the mail a few days ago from Fannie! I had forgotten that I had put my name forward for a give-a-way on her blog.
I hope you don't mind that I show your card here Fannie, but I just have to share it, I'm so proud to be the owner! She does some amazing work, and to open my letter box and find a small piece of Fannie's art there! I have never made ATC's and I'm being tempted by this one which I regard as a treasure!
Not much is happening here, my doctor prescribed some tablets for me to take for pain, I took one last Monday night and spent Tuesday quite ill. I thought I had caught a tummy bug! Thursday night I took a second tablet, today I've been ill too. Mmmmm I am sure it's the tablets and not a tummy bug! Out they go! Aren't doctors great!
I am hoping for at least one wet day during the weekend so that I can spend some time in my sewing room! Roll on weekend!