Friday, 5 December 2014

Cleopatra's bath & the floret stealers

I turned the air conditioner on full bore and left the lounge room to change and go and paint in the study. It was a hot day outside but I was lovely and cool with my new split system air conditioner (no more sweltering for me when the humidity got the better of my evap cooler on the roof).

About an hour later I took a break, and went to make a cuppa, glancing into the Lounge Room on my way. To my shock and horror the Lounge Room now looked like a mystical scene for Act 3 Cleopatra's Bath!

I had been drying out rose petals from my red rose over the past few weeks in two chinese bowls on my coffee table in the Lounge Room, slowly turning them so they didn't go mouldy. They are handy to put in the vacuum cleaner in Summer and give it a waft of roses. However, the coffee table is directly under the air conditioner, and by turning it on full all of the rose petals had taken flight and hundreds and hundreds of them were all over my cream coloured carpet - making it look like a creamy bath with floating petals! Ugh! I had to pick up every single one, except the last twenty or so, which I sucked up with the vacuum cleaner!

On my early morning walk I came across two Indian ladies. One had a material bag and the other was removing pink florets from an Oleander bush and stuffing them into the bag. They were up in someone's unfenced front garden.

I was in two minds whether to say anything. They looked guilty and I knew neither of them lived there; having seen the owners before, and knew one of the ladies lived a block away. However, it was 6am and I was on my walk.

I procrastinated for a bit; should I tell them that Oleander is extremely poisonous and by taking those florets off like they were with their bare hands could result in illness, or if children or pets were to touch the florets later they could really get sick or die.

However, by the time I came out of my thoughts I had passed the ladies and their stolen bundle. I decided that if you decided to steal you have also decided to take on any consequences that that entails.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Kabuki & Cottonfields

He dashed out in front of me, onto his stage, wearing his orange sash and long white coat and carrying a somewhat over-sized fan, hiding his face. His long purposeful coat impinged his walk, forcing him to make tiny, quite comical steps like a Kabuki performer. The moment was one of pure theatre.

But he was not a Kabuki performer. He was not even Japanese. When the 8:45am sunlight highlighted him appropriately one could see he was a school crossing attendant, a “Lolly Pop” man, with council waistcoat with reflector orange, and a long white coat to keep warm. And his over-sized fan was the big, round, orange sign on an elongated pole that read ‘STOP’ in black.

I long for the Kabuki performer; but he was gone in an instant, never to return.


This morning I picked a whole bale of cotton. Not from a physical field, for although I’m sure somewhere in this country they grow cotton I have never seen it, as here we are reduced to wheat, canola, sunflowers, and rotation crops.

I saw a cottonfield early this morning - up in the sky - thousands of very small fluffy white clouds, strew across the dawn blue sky, billowing off until they formed a wall of cotton extending to the horizon edges. I picked each with my eyes, amazed at the expanse of the pattern in the sky, and imagined the fluff of each in my hand. I imagined sewing so many garments from this cotton - magical garments, and wished that all nations could pick cotton from the sky and other crops, so that no one went without.

Monday, 17 November 2014

A Chorus of Strange Birds

I found myself in a deserted plain of wood, metal, clay and rock. So deserted that I stopped and looked about me; for I was not in the wilds of mountain ranges nor in a desert, but in my own town at about 5 o’clock on a Sunday in late spring, nearly summer. I felt an eerie hand grip my shoulder, as dry leaves cartwheeled along at their own ghostly pace, picked up by the wind. The sky was grey and threatening, as though it had somehow sucked all the other people out into a third dimension, not so very far away and I was totally alone on this earth.

And then I heard it; I heard the chorus of a modern flock of strange birds. And listened all the more. I let the chorus take hold of me, and I heard the flap, flap flapping, and the ting ting ting, and the whoop whoop whoop, tong tong, and the clack clack clack, the clunk clunk repeat over and over again about me. It was musical. Almost as though I was hearing xylophones in their native habitat twitter and talk to each other, on the wing of the wind which blew in short gusts about me. Then there would be the flap flap flapping as though birds, near at hand were flying off or in, but no birds could I see.

It was a moment of pure wonder; a thrill of excitement, almost transporting me to another world.

Slowly the magic of the moment gave way to reason, and I perceived the true state of things. I saw the Australian Flag across the road near the Council and heard it flap flap flapping in the wind, and each time there was a ting ting ting of a ring of metal touching the metal flag pole.

The shop fronts blinds, half down, of striped material, tied with cord, said whoop whoop whoop, and a metallic tong tong as they attempted to escape their metal bonds.

A wire gate, not properly locked went tong tong ting, every now and then, when a gust was strong enough to tempt it to break free. A clack clack clack of hard plastic sounded from on top of the bank roof, and a clunk clunk clunk of a dinted aluminium can rolling lightly back and forth in the gutter, then stopping, as if searching for danger, and when all was clear, it continued onward.

I put one foot in front of the other, rather sad that I lost my magical chorus of strange birds, but I was hungry, and proceed to the takeaway store.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Melbourne Cup and my memories of racing

So, its here again; yet another Melbourne Cup. There was a time when I was so excited about the Cup I would nearly throw up in anticipation. I would follow the horses all season, memorise all the past winners, know which horse won the Melbourne Cup of my birth year (Rain Lover) and all kinds of other things.
The first local race meetings I attended was with my grandmother's best friend and a friend of hers. Sometimes its was to the Horse Racing meet, sometimes it was to the Trots. I loved horses, so it was exciting just to be close to them, but not too close, as I suffered from asthma and they are one of my triggers.
My grandmother's friend would show me how to bet, how to go to the window and what to say. We'd have fun all day, winning though often losing. I'd go the mounting yard for each race and watch what was on offer, and if there was a grey - well my money instantly went on that.
My dad let me pick his winners for his syndicate in my teens, and I followed all the races at Flemington and in Melbourne. My favourite horse was Norfolk Tiger - a hurdler, who was always a safe bet.
I was in New Zealand when my favourite Melbourne Cup chance Kingston Town won - a black wonder. But there were many more over the years that I could pick from their picture.
As I got older, and perhaps more lately, its lost some of the magic for me. Perhaps because it does seem more of a cruel sport now than it used to, and the horses come off second best all too often. I watch it; but I don't enjoy it like I used to.
the horse of my dreams - totally fictional, painted in my teens and regarded as my best horse painting for many years afterwards.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Pumpkins and Halloween

'I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion' - Henry David Thoreau 'Walden' (pond)

I thought it was time to re-read Walden. I bought it some years ago after hearing of Thoreau's quotes constantly and especially from Dead Poet's Society. I read it once - and it is quite a read. I understood about 10% of it, but I marked out all the quotes that were special to me. I am only up to page 59 this time, but already I am understanding a little more and finding more quotes that I never noticed the first time (like the one above - and quite topical seeing is Halloween in some countries of the world).

I am often annoyed by my fellow Australians who claim Halloween is an American tradition that we should not even bother to celebrate - that it is Americanisation creeping into our everyday. I know this is not so. Why even Agatha Christie wrote about it in several of her books and she was far from being American, and started writing in the 1920's.

'All Hallows Eve' was first found in print in the 1500's in England, coming from a Scottish term. By the 1700's it had been shortened (contracted) to Hallowe'en and then Halloween. The tradition is believed to have originated with the Celts - though debatable whether this was the Christian Celts or the Pagan Celts. But certainly the  Celtic-speaking world from Ireland, Wales, and Europe based on folklore carried forward from hundreds of years prior to the 1500's. The festival was held around 31st October - 1st November as a celebration to the end of the harvest, and the first days of the darker half of the year (Autumn/Winter), when fairies and spirits were more likely to be active.

Nuts and apples, bonfires, guising, and playing pranks and games were all parts of All Hallows Eve, all having deep significance to the individuals involved, with some variations in different countries or areas.

The rise of Christianity in England and Europe overlapped with All Hallows Eve - where the Christian celebration of All Saints Day (also known as All Hallows Day) on the 1st Nov and All Souls Day on the 2nd Nov, thus the holiday on the 31st October became known as All Hallows Eve.

By the end of the 12 century, Christians were ringing church bells and having parades of people dressed in black in the streets to celebrate 'souls' who had passed, making and exchanging cakes for christened souls (soul cakes), believed to be the beginning of 'trick or treating'.

In parts of Britain these customs and celebrations were lost during the reformation (considered as Pagan beliefs or considered wrong that souls could come from Heaven or on their way to Heaven to attend the celebrations), and other changes of Church, and after 1605 Guy Fawkes Day (5 Nov) saw many Halloween traditions shift to that day, until the traditions pettered out and Guy Fawkes Day stood alone.

Some Christian groups took the traditions of Halloween to America (in the 1600s - 1700s), where Christian faiths battled over whether to celebrate the 31st October to the 2nd Nov as a Christian holiday. The Puritans of New England would not. But following mass immigrations from Scotland and Ireland in the 1800's to America re-established the tradition and from then on it was celebrated on the 31st October.

The Halloween tradition or parts thereof, are still celebrated in Italy, Spain and France where gifts of food are left out for souls who have passed and graves are visited.

The American version of Halloween focuses more on the giving of gifts and the guising (dressing up) rather than the inclusion of souls who have passed, and is therefore more showy perhaps than the same celebration in Europe.

It is certainly not, however, an American invention.

see more: Wikipedia

Sunday, 19 October 2014

CSI - challenges for serious scrappers

What I really love about CSI scrapbooking challenges is that they are so darn challenging! There's the colour palette, the embellies or list that could be included (but hey - why stop at the minimum? I try and meet 99% if I can), and the Testimony which lists criteria or interesting inspiration to sites I've never even heard of and are really cool - like the magnetic poetry. Again, I try to do one of the trickier Testimony items - not just the three words to use in the journalling.
click here to go to page

I never get sick of the challenges - but sometimes I lose my creativity and have to plug it back in again. That's when I go out and trawl other comps and enter those. Occasionally I'll need to do a page with my own colours rather than following a palette, but actually I prefer using palettes.

I've been on the Design Team a while now, and I find it great to network with like-minded people and share triumphs and sadness alike. We all seem to rub creativity off each other and go-go-go, and I really like that.

At first I thought a page a week was ridiculous - but actually I've found its really easy now, and often I do more than one page a week. There are very few pages I create that I hate (or bin) and the topics are wide and interesting and just keep me on the edge of creativity.

CSI 141 Design Team 'Lyrebird' 2014 my digi page
Ingredients: Lara’s Digital World Under the Palm Tree - grass5 (fern leaf), Christmas Wish Joyful - K Cronin Barrow - leaf4 (changed to purple), CSI Coordinates #96 Word Art - Typewriter keys (LYRE), Traci Reed Bad Sewing Machine No 29 Bursted - Set 1 (stitched sun circle), [52 SmashUp S Clingerman - pin-heart, pin-arrow], [SBasic I Heart Flairs - no 54, no 26 (keep calm)], Cilenia Curtis ArtBox13 - B1 2b (mask used to create the photo splat and the purple in behind), Basic Grey Romani Textures GYP D830 Texture2 (black drawn scroll edge), Laura Burger Time Travels Doodad 5 (wire butterfly), far Far Hills Freebies Kit -Clock & Gears 009 (collection of gears/cogs), Emarta Designs I Wanna Be Chevron patterned paper no 2, Far Far Hills Freebies Kit Spring Labels 0010 (journal block for journaling), Far Far Hills Freebies Kit Leather Labels 006 (Q & A journal block), etc

CSI 142 Design Team 'Left Side, Right Side' 2014 my digi page
Ingredients: ValC Designs Fly With Me -apaper1 (water drop patterned paper), [Feli Designs Gentle Spring - rose & rose 2 (orange-yellow roses), Foliage5 (lime branch),], Tinci SA - Leaf, Rachael’s scraps - Bittersweet Branches Vol 2 no 2, Lara’s Digital World Bye Bye Summer elements - branch1 (rose hips), Fayette Designs Beach Therapy - funky wave, Emarta Designs I Wanna Be - star, far Far Hills Bright Spring Time - 0050 (blue birdie), far Far Hills Freebies Kit Festive Bows 004 (red bow), Studio Basic Designs I Heart Flairs - no 15 (light globe), Fayette Designs Cool Breeze - Circleray celery (pins), Lorie M Designs Doodle Flowers and Leaves 2 - no 10c (flower graphic with stem), Tiram designs Poppy Smell - el21 (outline of flower), Christmas Wish Joyful - k Cronin Barrow - Berry Wreath (changed to blue), etc

CSI S365-8 Design Team 'My Overactive Imagination' 2014 digi page
Ingredients: toadstools - created myself, Far Far Hills Freebies Kit ‘Spring Day’ 005 (bunny), American Crafts Digital City Park Patterned Paper 2 - Skyline Park (clouds), American Crafts Digital Becky Higgins Seafoam Papers no 12 (zig zags), Fayette Designs Cool Breeze ‘circles no 2’ (target circle), Yalana Designs Light Feelings no 144 (crochet butterfly), Jasmin Olya Designs CU Flowers Lilies of the Valley Vol 9 - No 01, 03, 06, 07, Rachael’s Scraps Retro Buttons Painted No 10, Indigo Designs Always In My Heard no 23 (ribbon bow), etc

CSI 140 Design Team 'Alias' 2014 digi page
Ingredients: Far Far Hills Freebies Kit - Vintage My Love Dreams 0018 (metal frame used in behind portholes), Feli Designs A Thing Of Beauty - Frame 3 (piece cut for the swirls between the portholes), Far Far Hills Freebies Kit Clock & Gears 0010 (porthole), Aida Domisiewicz Frosted Life - Cold Wall 13@Arts (background paper scanned in and colour edited to match palette - also used to create the backgrounds for the letters ALIAS), The Paper stack No 2 Papercrafter Magazine - Bohemian Curtain (red patterned paper), Cilenia Curtis Changes - Banner (tag banner), Far Far Hills Freebies Kit Leather Labels - 002 (usernames are on it), CSI Coordinates #84 Word Art (anchor), Christmas Wish - Joyful - K Cronin Barrow - pp2 (stripey patterned paper), Armina Designs Splatters Brush 1b, 1c, 1d (red splats), Rachael’s Antique & Vintage Buttons Vol 2 - no 2 (metal button with spots), Ettes Time 4 Dreams - paperheart - melon, Mint Printables Birds Exotic - no 11 (parrot), Rachael’s Flowers Vol 24 (tiny white flowers), Tiramisu Designs Poppy Smell - various poppies, etc
Click to see CSI's Current Challenge

Getting back into things.... slowly

I have been really 'into things' the past few weeks. More paintings into local exhibitions (sales) and more unsold paintings coming back into the fold here at home. I went out and painted IRL out at a site which is very dear to my heart - Wonga Wetlands in Albury - which is a brilliant site for bird watching, and was darn good to paint from my little easel too.

I felt a little like a Heidelberg School Artist; looking at gum trees, brown water, and those muddy greens and staring constantly at the warm reflections in the water and amazed at how much sky shone through. I was a frenzy of nerves beforehand and over-planned the exercise to ridiculous proportions, but was able to find a combination where I could carry everything; including a chair, mini table, mini easel, 3 blank canvases, and all my paint, brushes, water (for drinking and separate for painting) and tissues, etc. I couldn't have gone miles with this combo - but easily got out of site of the car park! There were only two other brave souls (even though the days was brilliant - sunny and clear and not too hot) but they decided not to lug stuff and just took a sketchpad and pencils!

The painting was like nothing I've ever done before. It looks respectable and traditional! (that would be a first!). It is almost finished after 3 hours outside.

Then the weekend before I went on a birding marathon with my Mum (and driver Dad). We did Wonga on the Saturday (62 species) - highlight for me was a male Little Eagle overhead (being bombarded by Sulphur Crested Cockatoos) which we got a really good look at, and Chiltern Forest and Chiltern Valley Rd no 2 site as well as Eldorado dredge and sportsground. We got lots of wildflowers at Chiltern Forest - more than I've seen there in a long time, and a few special birds here and there.

Since then I have been undercoating various projects just to see if they are paintable, and doing the Big Spring Clean of the house - so much has already gone out the door, but so much more to go.
My painting from Wonga Wetlands (unfinished) after some outdoor on-site painting!
I forgetus its nameus

Caladenia cucullata

Grevillea alpina

Brachyloma daphnoides

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Sign of the times?

I was at my local Fish and Chip Shop after work. I came in and ordered and then stood back and waited. It was really hopping with lots of cooking and people coming and going. When I got there, a mum and her two kids; a boy and a girl, ordered as well. The Mum took the kids over to the seats, and she sat down, and the boy sat down on the other chair. The boy and girl would have been about 11 and 12.

The Mum looked tired, but not too tired to whip out her mobile phone and go through message after message.

The girl came up to her and tried to get her attention, but the Mum pushed her away saying she was busy. She continued to flip through her messages.

The boy said something. The Mum ignored him. The girl went over and tried again; this time launching into her day and what had happened and what had been funny. The Mum stood up, told the girl to stop rambling on and that she had to make a call. She then dialled a number and began speaking to someone else.

The girl spoke louder, and the boy asked if they could watch something tonight.

The Mum shouted at them that they were too loud, and went outside the store, leaving them inside. The kids looked sad and upset. The Mum was out on her phone for another 10 minutes before returning inside the store. Then, instead of talking to her kids, she proceeded to re-check her calls, and then phone and speak to someone else!

The kids went over to the lollies, looking somewhat suspicious, and came back with two musk sticks at 10c each which they hadn't paid for. They made every attempt to distract their Mum with their gotten gains, waving the sticks at her, before proceeding to stuck on them.

The Mum went back outside and the kids discussed laughingly how they had taken the sticks.

The Mum returned, and they quickly hid the musk sticks from her. However, when she still ignored them, they pulled them out and ate them whilst she was looking at her phone.

When their order came up, they all went to the counter, where the Mum allowed them to get a drink each, and paid for it. The musk sticks were not mentioned.

I felt quite upset with the Mum. I almost said something to her. Not so much that the kids had stolen something but because they were trying desperately to get her attention, and they deserved her attention. But I didn't. She'd probably ignore me too!

When I went to leave, the kids were in the car by themselves, fighting over the drinks. The Mum was at someone else's car having a discussion with the driver.

Sometimes I feel technology is not such a helping hand but a hinderance. It allows us to hide away even when we are in plain sight of others.

I was sad for those kids, (and they seemed like good kids too) and I felt sorry for all the kids who grow up with technology-minded parents. Today its a musk stick to get attention, tomorrow it might be drugs or theft of a car or worse.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Attack of the landscape format - CSI design team

I felt I needed a change from A4 portrait format, so I thought 'hey - what about turning it on its side and using a landscape format?' It takes up the same pocket space in the album after I print it out. It's amazing how differently I have to construct a layout to fit. Its actually a bit more like a 12x12 format (except the bottom is cut off). I've done a few now, and I quite like it. A change is as good as a holiday.

I'm really enjoying my time on the CSI Design Team. 

Tough 2014 digi scrapbooking layout digital using Adobe Fireworks - somehow my layout turned out as a heritage page with these hip colours! CSI #139 design team

CSI #139 click to go there (you will need to login)

CSI #136 Truly Madly Deeply 2014 digi digital scrapbooking layout using Fireworks. Like my bird pics? I especially like the Osprey (top left hand corner) who checked me out when I was eyeing it through binoculars. Design Team.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Landscape & the Painting from Hell

For something a bit different I've decided to try my hand at A4 landscape digi scrap pages instead of A4 portrait as is my norm. It's wonderful to have a wide page instead of a tall one. I can't show you many yet, because most I have created for the CSI Design team and have to wait for reveals, but I just felt I needed a change.

I have been experimenting with new products and friends have given me links to new digi materials sites. There are so many out there now - and lots I've never heard of. I wish there was a listing of them all somewhere.. but the internet is such a wide and varied place I may never find one!

I am madly still painting artwork, but lately have been working on the one piece - which is unusual for me because generally I finish a small painting in 4-6 hours. This one has had several hours on it, and still not quite there. It's flowers in a vase (which isn't visible) in a room. I still think I'm days and possibly weeks away from a place where I can say with confidence that it is 'finished'.

Painting The Outdoors 2014 digi scrapbooking page - CSI Design Team 134 & Sketch - my first A4 LANDSCAPE layout
This is where the painting from hell started as a young pup.

My painting from hell - still on the go after several weeks. It's supposed to be for the flowers and fruit exhibition but at this rate it won't be finished for that in 6 weeks time!! Its still not right and not finished.

The Painting from hell continues... still not right and not happy with it. still eyeing off the bin for it.

Sunday, 3 August 2014


Daily Paintworks - Weekly Challenge

I have been challenging myself at this website (American I think) each week. They run a weekly challenge - an artist gives you an inspirational photo or painting and you have to interpret what you will from that. You then get to post your entry in, and other artists can comment. If you have a full blown account with the site you can also sell works from there. But I'm not ready for that yet.

I spent only about an hour all up on the paintings - the pad I'm using is surplus - its a slightly larger than A4 canvas paper pad. So the paintings are really just quick sketches. But it keeps my brain ticking over and really makes me look at things, tones, and colours much more.

Want to see what I've done so far?

The Dishes Challenge - May 24 2014
The dishes reminded me of an art deco metropolis - so I was going for a space age city look!
The Dishes Challenge Inspiration
my entry 'Damp Urban Jungle' 2014 acrylic on canvas paper

The Fish Challenge - May 31 2014
 I know a lot about fish, and studied one species of reef fish for about 8 years. However, I wanted to throw that knowledge out the window and try to come up with an interesting painting. I felt the top right hand corner of the painting was missing something. So I looked through my fish books for a typical juvenile colouring of species of this fish, and then painted a little fish looking at the big one. At first glance it looks like dinner - because they don't look related, but then I titled the painting to show the relationship. I made the fish more vibrantly coloured.
The Fish Challenge Inspiration
my painting 'Hi Dad' 2014

The Mountain Challenge - June 2014
This was a bit tricky for me - being an Aussie and rarely visiting "the snow" ie any mountain tall enough to have snow in Winter. I've always wanted to paint snow, so I turned the inspiration photo into a snow scene just to see how difficult it really was.
The Mountain Challenge Inspiration
'Snowed In' 2014 my painting

The Path Challenge - June 2014
I liked the idea of the long path with the bend at the end. I focused on the right hand side of the painting, as I didn't like all the negative space on the left. It turned out a bit 'green' but it was good practise to do trunks and leafy cover.

The Path Challenge inspiration
'Wooded Trackway' 2014 my painting
The Lion Challenge - June 2014
I thought the full on shot of the lion (or lioness's) face was a bit boring. So I focused in on the eye and the fur. It wasn't at all what I expected. I had trouble with the eye - I used a green undercoat and no matter how much yellow and tan I put over the top it kept reverting!

The Lion Challenge - inspiration
'Lioness Looking At Lunch' 2014 my painting

Sunday, 20 July 2014


OK, so its been a while... with everything scrappy. Things have been a bit tough for me the past couple of months, but I seem to be getting traction again now and moving forward. I went clothes shopping last weekend (which I normally hate) but really enjoyed trying things on (getting quite a workout) and bought several things which I desperately needed.

I've reduced my Design Team exposure to just CSI now, as I had to give some things up. Luckily I was a little ahead before 'the crash' so I've only missed one case file. And as of yesterday a glimmer of Mojo seems ta be back in da house. yay!

I have still been painting though throughout and doing enough to be happy with.

Happy Christmas in July!

my red rose Christian D'Or I have just pruned. Better late than never.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

That's New

I've spent a little time this year trying out different scrap products from suppliers I've never bought from before. It has been really interesting seeing different download processes, purchases, and of course, products for digi scrapping different to those I've had before.

I've bought items from :
As well as my favourites :
As of last year I also started finding material in the Clip Art world and went out to digital artists and got cool things like silhouettes. Like :
  • MeLike Design

Monday, 9 June 2014

I made brownies!

This is a first for me. I bought a cake mix a while back, was just afraid to tackle it with so many extra ingredients which just sounded wrong. But today I bit the bullet, pulled out the box, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of water, and 200g of butter, added a little something I thought it needed (chopped hazelnuts and macadamia nuts), and then went to work. After I baked it, it said to let it stand 5 minutes and then put it on the stand. Put it on the stand? How the heck do i get the whole thing out, when it didn't ask me to use oil or baking paper?

I went online to Donna Hay (she really does know everything) and watched her make her brownies and saw her cut hers out and then put them on the cooling tray. Ohhhh... now I see.

I went back to mine and did the same. Amazing that they all came out without a hitch!

I then dusted them with icing sugar, and took photos! Got to record this moment.

I'm excited I suppose because I've never made them before. They don't show up in any of my Nan's recipes, but I've always loved them. I just hope they are all edible!

I made brownies - see

Not bad for a first attempt

ARTastic June 2014 DT

Here's my June 2014 Design Team layout - and my last for the ARTastic Design Team. I've decided I've just got too much on at the moment and something has to drop off. Unfortunately that looks like ARTastic Design Team to start with.

I found this one the most difficult of all the challenges so far - very Aussie, very yarn-like and could find no parallels at all. And the colours in the example VERY difficult. So, I focused on the Aussie component of it in relation to myself and my art. (yes, I paint in my spare time as well as scrap).

ARTastic June 2014 challenge +distressing

ARTastic June 2014 - The Aussie Landscape - last Design team page
will come back later to put ingredients in.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Oskar 2014 digi layout - CSI #120 DT

I had great difficulty with these colours - even though they are really traditional and appear in alot of collections like Websters Pages. Nothing seemed to work, so I left it and left it. And then my new cousinette Oskar was born, and his first photos on facebook really could be edited to fit in with this palette, and I really wanted to do a celebration page.

This is my 6th cousinette - born just before Easter, and my youngest cousin Mitch's first baby. Mitch and Anne both work in the wine industry (hence the grapes!). Anne is German and I just love the name and spelling they have chosen! This was the first photo released to Facebook on the day, and it had a bit too much eye candy, which I cut out to match this palette more. The Haiku reads: Embrace the love around you, Wish you a successful and happy life, Full of wonderfully special moments.
Evidence: stripes, mixed media background, textured paper, gesso, something sheer (ribbon), animal accent (duck), umbrella, wet medium, place something upsidedown (the flowers), raindrop shapes.
Testimony : write your journaling as a Haiku.

CSI case file #120 - click to go to CSI

Oskar McKenzie 2014 digi layout - CSI #120 Design Team

Ingredients: American Crafts Becky Higgins Project Life Baby Edition For Him papers - no5 (lined), Kraft coloured plain background, Sugar Plum Designs On The Edge masks - HA012, Lara’s Digital World - Bye Bye Summer Elements - Flower 1 (grape hyacinth), Flower 2 (blue flower), Jasmin Olya Designs CU Flowers - Vol 9 Lilies of the Valley - no 03, [PrelestnayaP Designs - Because of You - el20a (white flower), el43 (stitching)], Feli Designs Gentle Spring - grapes, DB Designs Love Birds - bow5, [Among The Wildflowers - K Hartley - Blue O, KHartley Border1 (lace)], Far Far Hill Freebies Vintage Scans Na├»ve Fall 006 (heart journal block), CU Distressed Overlays 4 - Courtney’s Digiscrappin’ - no 04, (Spots), Lara’s Digital World - Under the Palm Tree - Water 2 (raindrops), Chip Chop Shop - Duck pin (scanned), etc

Organic Evolution 2014 digi layout #118 CSI DT

I am still a part of the CSI Design Team and am enjoying every moment. My brain just seems to align well to photograph inspiration, palettes and extra challenges.

Plus, CSI exposes me to all the web sites out there to assist with inspiration whether it be for writing or for scrapbooking. Like the Magnetic Poetry for this one. WOW. I was in 7th heaven - I made poem after poem! I used the first one I made on the page I created.

The #118 layout also came with an amazing sketch from Emma Stafrace, which I was determined to give my best shot - even though Em's sketches are 30x30 and not A4 (sometimes its a bit of squeeze to follow it to the letter). I also used the columns from one of the CSI Coordinates Kits - I just love some of those and use items from them over and over again.

I featured my little garden, which has been vastly neglected over the past few months, but keeps keeping on. It does feel it has got a bit jungly and I'll need to eventually get back out there and get it into some order! CSI case file #118 with sketch - visit CSI

Organic Evolution 2014 - digi layout - CSI #118 Design Team

Evidence : white background, jewels, animal print (on the tigers?), arrows, hearts, fabric (pattern in back on left and rose like flower), beads, fringe, fibres (stitching) Sketch - used the sketch loosely - and the talking tigers come from that, testimony: Try out the Magnetic Poetry
Ingredients: [Among The Wildflowers kit - K Hartley Wildflowers Patterned Paper no 4,khartley Flower 3], A Christmas Wonderland : Joyful kristin cronin-barrow - Jewel 3, Laura Burger Going In Circles - bitz3 (beads), Far Far Hills Pearl Summer Freebies Kit - 008, [Far Far Hills Bright Spring Time kit - 003 (open shuttered window), 007 (watering can)], CSI Coordinates Kit #86 Column Pillar, [Sugar Plum Paperie/Shawna Clingerman A Boy’s Story No3 (wooden slats), Arrow2, tab3 (the hearts are sitting on it)], Basic Grey Stella Ruby Borders - Border 8, Scrap Art Studio Collab Changes Add On - Stitches 1, Sandylion 23 stickers ‘Zoo’ pf0m6 - ‘tiger’ (scanned in myself), The ettes Fayette Terlouw Time 4 Dreams - Glitterheart - melon, Fayette Cool Breeze kit - Caption Bubble Oval, fringe/folded ribbon (scanned myself), words at top of page are from Magnetic Poetry, etc


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