December 29, 2010

Catching Up before the new Year

Oh my gosh I can't believe that the last time I wrote here was back in October !
I have been very busy with art works but  everything came to a grinding halt in mid Novemberwhen I fell ill. I have been off work for over a month now, and even though the home time has given me ample time to create, it's been quite a challenge physically to keep up with my active imagination.  I'm starting to come good now and fired up to meet the goals and challenges I have set myself for the new year.

I spent most of the month of November madly working on several projects which I was unable to post until now because they were all gifts for family and friends. I didn't want to ruin anyone's surprise. But now that they have them I can share them with you all and I hope you like them.

I focused on a bit more traditional style quilting, creating a table runner for my mother. It measures about 1m in length and now proudly sits on her kitchen bench (when the cat isn't trying to claim it as hers). This project was basic block work together with a little free form machine embroidery - which I have been teaching myself. I had a lot of fun making it and even more fun hiding it from prying eyes every time she came to visit !

The second project I have been working on was a small table runner/centrepiece for a very close friend of mine who is a 'caffine enthusiast' ! I would use the word 'addict' but fear that is a bit harsh. It measures approximately 50cm x 50cm and I finished it in rich colours of coffee browns and creams. To personalise it I used free form machine embroidery to stitch on the words 'coffee' and 'friends' in both English and Finnish (his native language). He was thrilled with the gift and I look forward to sharing coffee's with him over it.

I've enjoyed getting back to the more traditional quilting style for a change. It was good to re-learn the basics and co ordinate fabrics and patterns on a different scale and shape. Of course the biggest reward was seeing them go to people I know will love them. That makes all the hard work worthwhile.

I'm presently finishing up multi segment art quilt project which i hope to have posted here very soon. And I'm also working on a series of 'recycled fabric' bags and purses that I'm hoping to put  up in Etsy site in the new is a sneak peek of what's to come....

Thank you so much to those who have been following me here and a huge thank you for all the comments left. I was very touched. I'd also like to thank Rose Hughes for mentioning me on her blog...She continues to inspire me in many ways. So I am wishing everyone a very creative, healthy, happy new year...filled with new friendships and lots of laughter and smiles. See you in 2011.

December 2, 2010

A new face.......

Not long after the passing away of my beloved Coco, I also lost another pet. One of my pet cavys became very sick and sadly had to be put to sleep. It broke my heart. But I knew she had a great life, even if it was short. She originally came to me from a rescue shelter, where she had been rescued from a life of neglect and poor health. They had rehabilitated her and she spent the rest of her time with me and her room mate Paris. Her name was Somali.
Since Somali's death, Paris was lost. Guinea pigs are not solitary creatures. They thrive in groups. Paris was so lonely and depressed.
So in early December a new piggy graced my home. Her name is Snickers...which she was crowned with because of her chocolate and caramel coloured hair and the fact that she is a little 'nutty'. I thought I'd post up a picture of her for you all to see. Paris is a new girl since Snickers has come to live with us. They live very happily together in a totally pampered lifestyle with me and my 3 cats.

October 9, 2010

Rainbow Fields

The month of September this year saw the passing away of my beloved companion 'Coco'. He reached a ripe old age of 15 before being sadly struck down with kidney failure and passing away in my arms on the night of the 8th of September. He was the most beautiful boy - rescued from a community recycle bin with his brother Scooter (who is still with me), remembered for his deep rumbling purr, is fluffy dark brown fur, bizzare sleeping positions (see pic) and his human like ability to eat with this paws......he is sadly missed.

During his final hours, late into the night when I could not sleep as I sat with him knowing he didn't have long to live.....I decided to start a mini art quilt in honour of his life and to help him pass to his next life which hopefully is very beautiful. I wanted to surround him with positive feelings around the time of his death that would make his transition a peaceful one. I found it very calming to be creating a picture of the place I hoped he would go, and this quilt which is now framed and in my room depicts the 'rainbow fields' that I hoped he would play in. Based on Rose Hughes' 'fast piecing applique method and pattern', the picture depicts fields of grasses, shady bushes, a stream to catch fish in and distant hills of more adventure...all under a beautiful pink sky with stars.

I named it Rainbow Fields because I hoped it would be the place just before the Rainbow Bridge...where I know I will meet up with him again one day. Most pet owners are famliar with the Rainbow Bridge - (essentially a place in the afterlife where we are reunited with our lost ones).The black cat in the frame is him, and he is kept company by an orange Tabby whose name is Sam. He was another of my 'kids' who passed away a few years back now. I pray that they are happy and pain free...and we miss them both very much.

The quilt has inspired me to continue on my journey of mini art quilts and I'm currently working on a series of trees.....

September 3, 2010

Explorations in Op Art

I have been experimenting with optical art this month (among many things) as inspired by a regular monthy ATC art history swap and my love of zentangles. I wanted to find a middle ground and decided to play with my designs and see what would happen if I took them just a little further.
Below are the original 6 cards I completed in pen and ink on a standard ATC size card....

I then scanned them into the computer and in photoshop I experimented with adding colour and textures to made them into a separate piece of artwork which I then used for a digital swap.

 Doing this not only helped me to apply one of my designs to various methods of interpretation, but I taught myself how to better use various tools in photoshop to colour in patterns. Most was a whole lot of fun !

August 21, 2010


I participated in a swap earlier this year in which the theme was 'Targets'. Anything goes as long as it includes a target of some type. I had a lot of fun with this one and did a series of collaged pieces with random magazine and print images that took my eye, along with watercolour and acrylic paints and stamps. It was a very free form exercise which was not only good for generating ideas for future pieces, but relaxing in that I didn't really have a clear finished product in mind...sometimes just diving in with no idea can bring out surprising results.

July 24, 2010

It's been too long....

Well, I've been off the blog for a while which I didn't realise until yesterday, just how long that was. My how time just swoops by. I have been holidaying in New York, visiting friends in the States and having a wonderful relaxing and recharging time. I came back home to Aus, with my mind overflowing with new ideas and things i want to try.
One thing i have been self teaching myself in, is more fabric art. I have always quilted and appliqued in a more traditional sense, but recently I'm loving applying this to my current art interests and letting my mind wander outside the square. Of course I realise I have a lot to learn yet and my work is by no means of masterclass the important thing is that I'm having a ball.
I sent four of my new fabric ATC's to a recent 'Music Styles' swap...I've included their pictures here. Essentially I'm learning to paint with thread...not as easy as it looks.
The other big achievement this month has been the completion of my travel journal from New York along with a hand made and embellished fabric slip cover. I just love it so much. I completed most of the journal while on holidays, filled to the broken spine with trinkets and memories, the rest was completed back home where I had access to more of my regular supplies. The cover is a fabric fusion of two pieces of NY themed fabric...I cut out the taxi line and then stitched it into the background, adding outline stitching and beading (on the rear cover) for lights and highlights. I've included a few pages on here to share. Hope you like it....
Here are a couple of pages...there are tonnes of them, but unfortunately I can't include them all here. My art journal is something that keeps me inspired on a daily basis and I'm ever so glad I took it with me on holidays... the 'home themed' pages were inspired by a book by Angela Cartwright & Sarah Fishburn called 'In This House'. It is a book for altered art imagery and collage techniques by various artists and absolutely fantastic.
I'm hoping to combine these two mediums soon to create my first 'fabric journal'. I'll keep you posted on that one. But in the meantime I'm trying to upload all the ATC's that are way overdue on here....

May 25, 2010

Blushing Brides

I recently took part in an ATC swap with the theme of Brides and decided to use it as an opportunity to practice my whimsy drawing skills. It was heaps of fun. I wanted to create something colourful and fun and came up with the cards shown here. I named the series 'Blushing Brides'.They are my own sketches on watercolour paper that have been painted in gouache and watercolours, then inked in. I was pleased with the result. I'm currently working on the follow up series which is of course 'grooms', however will probably go with another style as my drawings of male faces is not quite up to the mark yet !

May 14, 2010

More May Digital Art

The second ATC creation for this swap is titled 'a trip to the sea' and features an interesting collage of a Meerkat looking somewhat bewildered at his location. I loved the photo I had of this little fellow - it was origianlly taken at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney. The background was created from digital scrapbooking paper supplies and the embellishments the same. I wanted to go with the 'all dressed up with nowhere to go' look and I was really pleased with the outcome.

Digital ATC swap(May 2010)

Well it's hard to know where to start when you setting up a rather than get bogged down with the vast array of past projects I would like to list here I've decided to go with the most current and hopefully update the older ones as I go.
I'm in a monthly digital ATC swap with an open theme so this will be the starting point for this entry.
I thought I'd include some before and after shots so that the people who receive my swap cards can see where I started from.
I created two cards for this month's swap - both within my self determined subject of 'escape'. Even though the swap theme is open, I find having some sort of direction in my mind when creating often helps unify the end project.
The first one 'Dreams for Sale' is a digital collage created from a roylaty free picture of a castle, a photo of mine from the Gold Coast Hinterland, and some ditigal scrapbooking embellishments...

January 26, 2010

The 40's in Australia

One of my very first ATC swaps in January 2010 was part of the decades series of swaps that I now play in regularly. For this swap the theme was the 1940's and I decided to focus on life in Australia at that time. The cards were collage and embellishments and I was really thrilled with the outcome.