Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another page started in my altered book

Here is my second page started on my altered book project. I think this book will end up being a reflection of all the different techniques I learn. So although I intended for it to have a theme, I think it will be quite random! Which I think, will suit me fine for my first book.

I think maybe the pages are a bit plain, I layered some sheet music pages onto the original pages, gessoed, painted, stamped, and alcohol inked. I'm a bit thin on images as I need to start collecting. I also need to add more to this, I do have some words I want to add. The problem is that I once I get the background right, I don't want to cover it. Soooo, I need to loosen up and toughen up at the same time! LOL

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another project finished and another started!

Here is the finished arch for a swap. This arch will be going to Meg. I'm not sure if you can read the words, but they say, "She ran thru the garden, searching". I was having another play with transfers. The lady is a photocopy of a picture I found in a magazine. She has been stuck onto pink card and then onto black card. The green background is a piece of silk paper I made. This is quite a new and different style for me, but I like how it came together. I have only just started to use words in my work as well, which I'm finding adds another layer to the overall work.
I have decided to make an altered book. I have wanted to make one for years, then it got forgotten about - until now! I have had some fantastic advice, especially from Nona, thank you so much! The first step is finding a suitable book. Here is my chosen subject. I have some ideas for the cover, I will come back to that later. I think the book will be a work in progress, and I will work on a page every now and again when I have time. I've started the first 2 pages.

I don't think they are finished yet, but I will come back to them. I think I still need to layer more. I found these pages hard in the way that I'm not free enough in the way I lay down paint. I watched some u-tube videos of artists making their books and they seem to really go for it, where as I think I put too much thought into it and try and be "careful" about what I'm doing. I think I really need to loosen up!
Anyway I love the colours, and I think I'm off to a good start? Notice I'm into those words again!

Loosen up, loosen up, loosen up... must reinforce this.......

Hope you are all having a great week, I'm off to sit, oops, I mean, loosen up, in front of the fire. It's extremely cold here tonight!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Paper towel project finished

Hi everyone, remember the paper towel I was working on few posts back? I painted vilsoflix and ironed it to a paper towel and then began to paint the paper towel, stamp it and coat it with gel medium.
I have now made my finished project. My quilt journal for April.

We had to use painted vilsoflix as the technique. I have used a piece of silk paper on one side and stamped the image I used on the paper towel onto the fabric too.

I think the quilt is probably pretty plain, but I love the bright colours and the way it has come together. The main piece of paper towel is the right side and the words have been stamped on the back side of the paper. I like the texture. I even have some paper towel pieces left over.
Hope you are all keeping well,

Monday, June 23, 2008

WooHoo! We're heading for summer!

Yay, Saturday was the shortest day and longest night, which means one thing...we're on our way to summer! Not that you'd notice today. As I write this it is pouring with rain and cold to boot! I planted out my new fruit trees over the weekend, 2 plum trees, 2 apple trees and an almond tree. I didn't water them as I knew we were going to get some rain. I also planted another 500 daffodils on saturday, back breaking work, but it will be well worth it in spring. I also fertilized the camelias, so I'm pleased the rain has arrived. Just hope we don't get 40 days and 40 nights of it! Lol!
I worked out last night that I've now planted in excess of 3500 daffs over the last 3 years. I think I am approx 500 short of finishing the driveway. It's rather long, and I've been planting them 3 wide. I'll post photos when the time comes.

Today the mail lady bought me this lovely little ATC from Anna, and Anna, if you're reading this, sorry for the poor photography! The card is covered in texture with some hand-stitching to add depth. Thank you so much I love it!

Tonight a friend and I are baby-sitting at work for a small number of children while their parents attend a parenting programme in the city. There are 4 children enrolled, and we will mind them for 3 hours. We will each get $60.00 for the evenings work. I thought this might buy me some new art supplies!! We will play the DVD Alvin and the Chipmunks, which I haven't seen, but we should all enjoy it! I also have a binding to handsew onto a mini art quilt, hopefully I can get that on. I'm really good at multi-tasking! hahaha. I've even been known to make silk paper on one end of the kitchen bench while the tea is cooking on the other end!

Hope you all had a great weekend,

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Some exciting mail!

I received this lovely arch made by Francie yesterday as part of a swap on a textile challenge group. My theme is gardens, and Francie has put lots of time into this beautiful arch. It has lots of small beads sewn on as well. I don't do much beading, so this is quite special. I think it's lovely! Thank you Francie!
Also a wintery hello tp Margaret in Switzerland who is busy baking, thank you for your lovely coment about my canvas! I am definitely going to be using the new techniques I learnt!
Thank you to Melinda too for dropping in and leaving a comment. I too liked the lettuces, but didn't see them like you did!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A canvas class

I attended a canvas class last night and it was really fun! First off, it was only $30.00, and secondly when I arrived at the class everything was supplied for the students. A canvas, various papers, tissue, embellishments, a paint brush. Usually you are required to pay a set fee and then buy all the required elements. The class instructions said to bring a basic kit, but what actually is a basic kit??? I lugged in my whole sewing room, then had to lug the lot home again without using anything! Above is my finished canvas. I'm not sure about the black paint, which is what we were given, I think it is too black, if you know what I mean.
This image, above, is one of my photos, taken 12 months ago, but we used cold laminate to make a transfer and then stuck it to a sheet of words. I really like this photo and decided to use it as a theme. Which is why I used a map, with various destinations in New Zealand that meant something.

The stamped letters were coloured with stamp pad ink, mounted on card and stuck to the tissue background.

I think I will give this to Traci as a gift. I will definately be making more of these!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Card class

There was a card making class at the Community Centre last night, $5.00. I went along to help the tutor, and these are the cards I made. We were each given a small packet with card etc... in and we were shown the finished product and had to make those. I don't think these are quite me, but, very nice all the same. I thought perhaps I might add a few more elements to some of them to kinda "spoof" them up a bit. Maybe some paint, some extra stamping...
What do you think?

My friend Heather, in the grey top, was busy adding lace to one of her cards, but I'm not a lace person, so left that off. We had lots of laughs, and we had 3 children attend as well, and they kept up and made some lovely cards too.
They would like me to organise another class of some description for them. I'll have to give it some thought. The problem is finding something that people can make, that doesn't require using a sewing machine, although hand sewing is ok. And it has to be minimal in cost.
The community here is very hard to please. It is extremely difficult to get people to participate in anything!
If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Some exciting mail!

Oooooh, look what I got in the mail! A little package wrapped neatly in some yummy handmade silk paper with a matching tie....
And inside a lovely ATC! It is from Debbi in Australia, and it looks like it has been felted and hand-stitched. Gorgeous colours! Thank you so much Debbi!

A few days back I got this very clever mini art quilt from a swap I hosted on FAT (fabric art traders). The theme for the mini art quilt was "a glimpse thru a window". This quilt was sent to me from Ange, and when you open the windows.....

There is this outdoor scene! On the window sill is a vase of flowers and buzzing round is a little fly which is a charm! How clever is this! I love it! Thanks Ange!
Could you capture the view out your window in an art quilt?

Monday, June 16, 2008

I love the garden - in case you hadn't noticed!

Just had to include some progress shots of the vege garden! Lettuces are growing well, above, and below my row of broad beans are thriving. Probably because I don't like them! LOL! BUT, someone told me that if you peel off the green cover from the bean itself it reveals a whitish bean which is very tasty, so I'll try it. All of the foliage will be put into the compost as I'm always looking for compost.
My broccoli plants are starting to form heads! How exciting!
Hope you haven't all dropped off to sleep with boredom!!

Have a great week,

My first piece of garden art

I've been beaverin away in my small garden. Slowly it is starting to take shape. Over the last couple of days I have planted parsley, lettuce, cauliflower, silverbeet, beetroot, and peas. I've also planted out polyanthus, pansy, stock, sweet peas and aqualegia. There is lots of digging to do yet. I have 5 fruit trees arriving this week, 2 plum trees an almond and 2 apples. I am very excited about all the different fruit trees, I've never grown fruit trees before, so it's a learning curve, but an exciting one.

(Waving) Just want to say hello to Nona in Wellington who visited my blog and has given me some very interesting advice regarding altering books, (which is about to be another small addiction!) Thank you Nona, and I hope that at some stage we can meet up!

Also hello to Margaret who is a kiwi living in Switzerland who popped into say hello! It was lovely to meet you!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun....?

I can't believe it's the 15th already! I have had a busy week at work, this last week has been layout week so the paper was being prepared for printing. Then yesterday, Saturday and today we have had glorious weather! Beautiful fine days, today there is not a cloud in the sky, and the temps are supposed to reach 18 degrees C, not quite bikini weather, but real nice for the middle of winter. Especially as we will have the shortest day coming up this week, and then the days will start to lengthen again and we will be heading toward summer again!! Woo hoo!

Hopefully I will have pics to post later, hope you are all well and I have enjoyed those new visitors who have visited my blog and emailed me. You all help make my life full and exciting!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Catching up with the paper towel

In one of the groups I belong to, we were given directions by Michelle on how to make jewelery from a paper towel. I haven't had time to try this technique out up until now. However, I am not making it to be used as jewelery, I have other things in mind for it......
The above pic shows the plain old ordinary piece of paper towel. Over this is a sheet of painted steam-a-seam, I have given it 2 coats of paint, stamped it, sprinkled a little embossing powder on it and then given it several coats of gel medium. I know it looks like something out of Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds, but hopefully it won't look too sinister when it's finished!
These pieces have been torn, and they feel very soft, almost like plastic.

You can see the bumps from the paper towel coming thru. I'll keep you posted.....

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A visit to Wellington

It was a wet and wild yucky day when we left Palmerston North at 7.30am to head down to Wellington. It's approx. a 2 hour drive from our place, depending on how many coffee stops we make! It's not a trip you want to make during peak hour traffic in Wellington either! You have to plan to be well away from the city during those times!
Because it was Saturday, and reasonably early there wasn't much traffic and it was relatively easy to find a car park.
We were to meet up with our daughter Traci, who was feeling very proud of herself, having just landed herself a job as Ranger for DOC (Department of Conservation) at Turnbull House in Wellington City Central. For the time being it is only for 18 hrs per week, but she is hoping to pick up more hours after she has been employed there for a while. She will be managing the use, (hire) of the buildings facilities and rooms, and co-ordinating events, plus doing some admin work. She is looking forward to her first day on Monday! The photo above is Traci at the steps to Turnbull House. Isn't it a gorgeous building? It has an adjoining cafe, mmmmm... can't be a bad thing!
This pic shows just how close Turnbull House is to the Beehive! (That's the roundish building on the right which is leaning over!) For those of you unfamiliar with Wellington, she is our capital city, not our biggest, which is Auckland, but our capital, and the Beehive, named because of it's shape, is full to the brim of hard-working, politicians! It's where all our policies are made, and it's where our Prime Minister Helen Clarke hangs out. Traci will be able to pop across the road and have morning tea with her! Hahahaha!
Here's Traci and I in front of the Beehive, which remarkably has readjusted itself to be level again! (my photography amazes me!) One of these days I will do the tourist thing and take a tour through the Beehive. Boy it was blustery in Wellington, it usually is, but incredibly there was no rain and even sunny in patches.
The DOC sign outside the building with accompanying graffiti .
This lovely old building, above, used to be Government House, I think? Someone who knows may correct me on this. But it is now used by Victoria University as their Law School. It is truly beautiful.
Jonathon Livingston Seagull! In Wellington there are walkways right round the waterfront. In summer it is a fabulous place to walk round. The waterfront is only a few minutes walk from Turnbull House. The inter island ferries all dock at various places along the waterfront. Tonight the All Blacks (our famous national rugby team) will play a test match against Ireland at a stadium called The Cake Tin which is located on the water front.
I kind of liked the colours and textures of this tyre in the water.
This is part of the water front. I couldn't believe how calm and inviting it all looked. The longish brown building in the middle background is our national museum, Te Papa. As we traveled home it rained very heavily. As I write this now it is pouring with rain!
Queens Wharf, shopping and eating on the water front.
A wee touch of military, even when I'm not looking for it!
Then we had to stop at One Red Dog for a nice cold orange juice and something to keep energy levels up! Mmmm wedges with sour cream and chilli sauce!
Back to walking along the water front. We have veered off the path and are heading toward the city centre again to find our car. In summer this lagoon is filled with kyackers.
Dennis, Traci and I check out the over-bridge walkway.
I look across to the central city. The main shopping takes place along darkened streets amongst all those tall buildings! You can see the city is a little quieter on the weekend, even with the visitors in town for the rugby. The pubs, shops and eateries are all full however!
Looking north, back in the direction we have just come from. Another over-bridge crosses the road.
I am not sure what this over-bridge is supposed to represent. I think it has a nautical theme?
And finally we squeeze ourselves back down into the darkness of the streets to the car. We had a great day out, and it was neat to catch up with Traci and spend some time with her and see where she will be working.
Tomorrow I intend to sleep in!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Crikey! I've been tagged!

I think it's a bit like playing bullrush! Thanks Anna for thinking of me, or pulling my name out of the hat as the case may be! I have never been tagged before, and I'm not sure if I should be real excited or not? haha. Also, rules say tag 6 blogging friends, I'll have to rush and count, I hope I have 6 blogging friends!!!! LOL!
Anyway I am supposed to share with you 6 unimportant things about myself.......mmmmm.........Oops, nearly dozed off just thinking about boring unimportant things.

Here are the rules:
Link back to me for tagging you
Post these rules on your blog
Share six unimportant things about yourself
Tag 6 blogging friends

OK, so, have some caffine and I will share with you some real unimportant things.

1. I don't like chocolate, however I can eat my way thru a bag of lollies/sweets/candy(depending on which country you're in) like you've never seen!

2. When I was at primary school, back in the early 70's, I beat up a boy in my class because he stole a tennis ball out of my school bag.

3. I've had 13 different jobs so far in my life.

4. I love Spring, Summer and Winter, but I don't like Autumn.

5. I'm a human magpie! I pick up and collect all sorts of rubbish!

6. I always drink decaf tea, but have just developed a liking for lattes...

That was actually quite hard!

Well, I don't think I will actually tag anyone in particular, so if you are reading this blog ......

(Oh and I won't be upset if you don't want to play!)

Have fun!

An exciting new quilt journal finished

Well it's only taken me 3 months!! but I've finally finished my March quilt journal for an Australian and New Zealand swap group I belong to. We are to make a quilt journal for each month, I hit a creative block with March! The technique was "abstract art from a photo" and the theme was "reflections and memories". I haven't created anything abstract, but I've based it round an old photo, and every time I look at it, it brings so many memories back to me. I consider it covers the requirements.
I have not been able to get my mind round the March quilt, I had ideas but no inspiration? No idea of how to put it all together. (Have you been there?) Anyway I was visiting Lynda Monk's blog and read about her method of painting her fabric. Mmmmm... I was instantly inspired to try it out. I have never done anything like this before, never mixed paint with quilted work. So I quilted the layers, painted over them with arcylic paint, 3 layers, attached the photo transfers, and words, and tag. Then I trimmed the piece and sewed it to a piece of black felt. The painted surface is like leather, and is very tactile. I think I like the result. In fact I may try it again at some stage. I think I was a bit heavy handed with the paint and the colour is a bit dark and perhaps a little thick?
The little girl on the left of the photo is my grandmother, and she is pictured with her mother and her sister and brother. Her father was a jeweler in England, and when he died they travelled to New Zealand to start a new life. They had a pretty darn tough upbringing when they got to New Zealnd, and although I never knew my great grandmother, I have lots of lovely memories of my grandmother and her sibblings. The wife of the little boy on the right is the only one still alive and she has lived in England all her life.

Anyway, phew! I'm pleased I'm over the march block, I can now move on!
Have a good weekend everyone!