December 5, 2012

Retail Therapy

This is what I purchased this week to hopefully get the creative juices flowing .. I'm sure I enjoy shopping more than creating!

Websters Pages Warehouse Box for $25

Kaiser Texture Stamps AU$4 each

December 1, 2012

Found Freebies

I've been trawling the net tonight for papercraft goodness and came across some wonderful printables and freebies which are too good not to share with you all ...

First up these stylish movie stars

Lovely ladies

Collage items by PaperScraps

Swimming Beauties by

Birdies by Paperscraps

Last but not least I came across a free online course for mixed media and whimsical style stuff. It promises to include techniques for altered books and art journalling aswell as painting an angel.

November 6, 2012

Darkroom Door Numbers Background Stamp

 Darkroom Door have just released some more rubber stamps!!
This month my projects focus is on the new Numbers Backgound Stamp

Love Laugh Numbers Background ATC

Darkroom Door Photobooth Ladies 
Archival Ink (Coffee)
Distress Ink (Mustard)
Wordstrips (Paris & Prague Vol2)
Ribbon and photo corners

I stamped the background patterned paper with Coffee Archival and the Numbers background stamp before distressing with the Mustard ink and a Ranger Ink Blending Tool. I also dabbed the edge of an acrylic block direct on a black inkpad and stamped randomly three times a second generation print to add some texture to the edges. I foam mounted this beautiful lady who happens to be my favorite Photobooth image and finished off with adding the wordstrips, ribbon and photo corners.

Best Wishes Numbers Background Card
Darkroom Door Montage (Sweet Treats)
Archival Ink (Sienna)

This card started as an ATC and I finished it off as a greeting card. I stamped the background of the ATC with the background stamp and added a strip of dotty patterned paper and attached the Montage lollypop image. Then decided to switch course and matted on some turquoise patterned paper and stamped a white greeting card with the background stamp again.

October 26, 2012

Imaginary Animals

Here are some critters I created from Carla Sonheim's latest book, Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals. I've experimented with pastels before and not liked them (messy) but last week at my art classes I gave them another bash and was really impressed with the effect they give when blended, plus suited my short attention span perfectly because they made it really easy to complete a project quickly. I whipped these four critters up this afternoon using either the sidewalk crack method or start with an eye trick! In about 45 minutes I completed all four. I picked up the Pastels from TYPO.

Party Boy



September 24, 2012

Carla Sonheim Books

In my previous post I shared a book I had purchased called Drawing Lab by Carla Sonheim. Let me tell you, this has been one of the best buys ever! I took up art lessons last year and have surprised myself at my capabilities (drawing a stick figure was a stretch before!) but hadn't really mastered being able to draw much other than copying pictures or photos. Drawing from my imagination was something I wanted to explore and this book has ticked all the right boxes and got the creative juices flowing rather easily. No long pages of dribble, each double spread has an exercise with brief instructions and colour examples .. so it's easy to jump from one thing to another (hello short attention span!).

I was delighted to read that Carla was releasing two new books .. Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals and The Art of Silliness and have just ordered my copy...

To celebrate her book launch, Carla has some great blog posts coming up with lots of giveaways, eye candy and inspiration ... hop over and follow her launch. The blog is also great to trawl through the history.

Carla has really inspired me to draw from the imagination and to draw things I never thought possible. It is so much fun creating a character ... watching it come alive as you draw. I have always looked at other artists and only hoped I could draw something half as good but with Carla's approach anyone can create the magic with their own spin .. it's so much easier than you'd think. It's everywhere! Even in sidewalk cracks! There is also a Flickr group where people upload the creations they have made inspired by the book. 

August 22, 2012


Charlene left a comment from my 5 month post asking where I find affordable materials and embellishments.

I tend to work on smaller scale so stick with ATCs, Inchies, Twinchies, small cards, mini books etc and I really don't buy embellishments, I use a lot of ribbon offcuts, recycled materials (small jewellery boxes, matchboxes, gift boxes etc) and I prefer to source patterned paper with small things to cut out to create embellishments. Not only is this much cheaper, but the variety is huge. I buy a lot of 6x6 Paper Pads and focus on pages that can be stamped onto (so not too heavy in design) aswell as small images that can be cut out. Here are some examples of the types of papers I look for:-

Cosmo Cricket Mini Deck Odds & Ends, lots of 'odds and ends' to cut out and turn into embellishments.

The Songbird Collection by Prima has 48 6x6 sheets with papers great for stamping on and lots of pages with bits and pieces to turn into embellishments.

12x12 Graphic45 Little Darlings will make a gazillion ATCs or Inchies

Graphic45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe Cardstock Stickers

Graphic45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe 12x12

Being on the Darkroom Door Creative Team, I am fortunate to receive lots of scrumptious products from there too. Everything I create uses something from their range! I find them really versatile. Below are some products I use over and over again:-

Darkroom Door Montage
Love Letters is just one of the 18 designs available

23 designs

4 designs

All of the products I've featured here are very affordable and go a long way. I stopped looking for packaged purpose made "embellishments" and started to look paper products in a different way. Some people may find just using paper, flat and boring but you can jazz them up. Here are some things I do:-

Use foam tape for dimension
Distress edges using Distress Inks and Distressing tools
Sand edges and surfaces with sandpaper
Add Kindy Glitz for a bit of sparkle
Add Ranger Glossy or Crackle Accents
Heat emboss the edges using embossing powder, my favourite is clear and sparkly
Paint the surface with Distress Crackle Paint (clear rock candy)
Ink the edges with ink pads

Another thing I love to use is punches to cut shapes from vintage paper. I then ink it up to age it or use any of the above techniques and add it to an ATC with foam tape.

I also use rubber stamps over and over again to create my own embellishments. I like to choose stamps with a small design and versatile images. I might save that discussion for another post.

Here's an ATC I made using odds and ends to create embellishments:-
Patterned paper background with distressed edges. Darkroom Door Photobooth, Montage and Wordstrips, half a paper flower, punched heart, ribbons and a floral brad.

I used Inka Gold to distress the background, the embellishments are a punched heart, ribbon, Darkroom Door Wordstrip and Photobooth and the little bird is cut out from a 6x6 paper pad.

July 12, 2012

5 months

Half way through the year, where on earth has time gone?

Here's a look at what I've been up to since I last blogged ...

I've been learning how to draw too. I've always been interested in art journalling but my neat streak restricts my ability to make the necessary mess on paper so I purchased these two books today hoping I can get over it! "Wreck this Journal" is going to be a challenge but I'm up for it. Follow the link below and you will see photos of people dragging their book in the street, all in the name of ruining it I suspect, I think some of the challenges requires busting the spine and wrapping it in tape and posting it to yourself! Should be fun and was only $10 from Book Depositary. My other purchase is Drawing Lab to help spark imagination and learn to draw fictitious characters and animals. There's also a Flickr group for Drawing Lab where readers add their artwork so I cant wait to try the exercises.

February 6, 2012

Photo A Day Challenge - Day 5

caffeine fix

I might have to skip Day 6 because I forgot to take a photo of dinner. oops.
It was uneventful in any case ;)

February 4, 2012

Photo A Day - Day 4

a stranger
I've used my archive for this photo.
I know it defeats the purpose but taking a short cut today.

February 2, 2012

Photo A Day Challenge - Day 2

reading the morning news and junk mail
Panasonic TZ7 iA

January 31, 2012

February Photo A Day Challenge

Time for something new!
I love photography but often get caught up in trying to take the perfect shot or Photoshop processing and sometimes it takes the enjoyment away so I'm participating in the Fatmumslim February Photo A Day challenge and posting them to my blog ... just for fun. Let me know if you join up too.

January 26, 2012

Paper2 @ the Beach

I took the kids to the beach this week and coincidently (or not) we were very close to Paper2 in Mornington. I didn't plan on going there, especially with kids in tow but I thought if I had time and model children I'd try my luck. After meeting up with a lovely friend for a chat and a delicious lunch (right after we saved a very injured bird from an indefinite slow and painful death), I took a quick detour.

Paper2 is a paper crafter paradise claiming to be the largest of it's kind in Australia. They stock a LOT of stuff and although they have a great lounge area with television and coffee machine for the adult kids, the play area was needing some love and only kept the kids entertained for a short time.

The products in the store are categorized mostly by manufacturer which for me is a great way to shop. My purchases for the day weren't really that thrilling, a grand total of $19.50 but I really needed more paper like a hole in the head. Actually the great thing about being a former scrap-booker turned paper-crafter is the cost savings. It really is a more budget friendly hobby for me.

My Minds Eye Kraft Funday Everyday Fun 6x6 Pad
Mini Paper Blooms by Kaiser (Honey)

Obviously I was in a Kraft mood looking at the colour scheme I chose. 
My Minds Eye Kraft Funday Everyday Fun is a yummy paper range, perfect for the stamper with patterns that aren't too heavy so I purchased a 6x6 paper pad featuring 24 double-sided kraft cardstock designs.

Graphic 45 Communique

Sassafras Remember Me

Graphic 45 Sweetheart of Mine

These 3 sheets of paper will make great embellishments. Rather than buy expensive pre-packaged items or die-cuts I am always on the look out for 12x12 paper that has lots of elements that can be cut out and used on trading cards, mini books, greeting cards and the like. 

Who doesn't love a 2 for 1 deal with extra patterns printed on the reverse? Making such tiny projects, paper lasts me a long time so it's great to be able to co-ordinate and reuse.