Category Archives: atc’s



MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE.  I pray you have a safe & blessed festive season & a 2011 filled with artful adventures!

I KNOW this is a little ‘cutsie’ for my normal style – I made this little ATC for our Princess tomorrow from the ‘door’ images from earlier in the week.  She is just starting to enjoy ATC’s & had fun playing with my cast off bits of paper on chipboard.  I love this little range – it’s from the Prima  Jack and Jill range and it’s SOOOOOO sweet……..

AND……..the news you’ve been waiting for – the winner of the handmade journal IS – CINDY!!! Congrats Cindy – email me privately with your details & I will have it on the way to you straight after Christmas.  thank you for your support & kind comments about my work and my blog……….& thank you all for being a part of my art journey this year.  I appreciate you all.


Colourful houses


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You may remember a month or so ago, me revisiting the ‘little houses’ genre for a swap I was hosting at Paper Traders…..we’ll day by day, over the last little while, villages of little houses have been arriving, (16 groups in all) which has been great fun.  Somehow or other, some people got the instructions a little ‘confuzzed’ (easy to do) & some of the artists made atc’s with houses on them, as opposed to houses that fit within atc dimensions……….no worry, they were all mixed up a bit & look lovely together, but to tie the theme together & as a RAK, I thought I’d make ATC’s with houses on them to go out with the swap.  Not one to make anything much in multiples (the whole reason for not joining some groups!! LOL!), I needed to find some way of ‘expediting’ a large output of cards, but still making them different.  So, I got some paste board, & collaged up some backgrounds using paper scraps, postage stamps and vintage music & book pages, which I then sliced up in ATC sized pieces. 

Using acrylics, crayons & pens, I added houses on top & finished with more pen work & some rub ons. (luv ’em)



A21-web These are some of my recent ATC’s.  I attended a fundraiser recently working to raise funds and awareness of the The A21 campaign; a not-for-profit organisation working to help rescue girls as young as 8 that are kidnapped and kept as slaves to work the sex trade.  It is too terrible to accept that this is actually happening in plain sight in many communities and big cities.  The top card, ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ is reflecting that – it has a big white number on the door – no one’s hiding – everyone knows what’s going on there.  But no one is doing anything about it.  The other cards – ‘I have no where to call home’; ‘I was full of dreams’ & ‘Flowers don’t cover the fear’ are all inspired by the stories of various girls.  

Not ALL of my art has been so ponderous & full of conviction……….After seeing the fabulous work of artist George Baldessin, at one of my most favourite inspirational places – a local gallery TarraWarra Art Museum………. . pears are back on the menu!  You may remember other expeditions in this topic here and hereBaldessin Pears
oh, and here, and here…………we’ll actually, I seem to revisit this every now and then it seems – and I was inspired to again……… 
 Poire 2 web smPoire web medalthough these are tiny little pieces of art, they were quite complex creations.  First, I collaged the atc sized chipboard with vintage papers.  Then I dry brushes acrylics over the background, & wiped it back when it was half dry.  This gives that ‘distressed’ half on/half off look that I love so much.  Then, starting with acrylics again, I painted in the main pear shapes, using Caran d’ache Neocolour II’s, H20’s, perfect pearls, wax & a little UTEE for texture.  As usual, they are richer in the flesh – but at least you get some idea.   

there have also been a few others of no particular consequence – just ‘doodling’ so to speak – a little birthday Cake-webtreat – a little Degas inspired dancing and a single gull……Dancers-webGull-web actually, I had fun with the gull – I used texture paste and built up colour over that.  It’s already been snapped up for a swap unfortunately, so I can’t share.

changing medium with the weather


I have GENUINELY been a MIXED MEDIA artist lately….changing medium with the weather & accomodating what ever my pain level of the day is…….IMG_0036_resize
We have been having wild extremes of weather – at the end of last week there were parts of our state in 'Catastrophic' Bushfire conditions and today – it has snowed!  We have had so much hail it has been like snow!…& of course this has provided us with a spectacular vista, night after night from our front verandah as the sun sets……last week it was a golden haze that almost hovered from the heat….tonight it is an ominous stormy sky, with smatterings of the purest white…… .. I am continuing my 'learning to draw' journey, done some collage work in a journal, made up a few ATCs, and continued with my 'love quilt'.  Here's a few pics of my recent work: 2-072b-Somewhere-far-Merged
I was incredibly fortunate lately to spend a little time sitting beside this lovely river recently.  A friend & I had caught up for coffee & she had to leave me & get off to work.  As it was so far from home I allowed a little time to explore & had come prepared to art!  I got down enough visual info (as well as photos) to capture what I needed to complete the drawing & then finished it off at home using watercolours, markers & tech pens.

I've had the priviledge of having a 'play' in Jenene's gorgeous 'Affectionately Yours' Round Robin Journal from Paper Traders…..the journal is based around correspondence, notes & letters, to create the topic for your pages……I have used a whole lot of vintage bits & bobs to create a story around the garment & fabric industry.   I hope Jenene likes what I have created as the last entry in her book.

Fish garden webJan 10

This is one of my latest ATC's called 'Fish Garden' inspired by the ads we are seeing at the moment on TV about our City Aquarium.  It has large sharks swimming through the air overhead.  The Princess LOVEs these ads & has put in a special request for Poppa to take her to see the fish swimming in the air!  (they have an overhead viewing tank)  

I have also been creating a Valentines Token to participate in a swap at Paper Traders.  For those from Oz – it seems that in USA the tradition of Valentine's Day has retained some of it's original glamour & extends to friends & aquaintances as well as members of the opposite gender you may have designs on.  (or have re-designed LOL!)  I dithered & dalied with this so much – it was on my studio table for a week and it NEARLY ended up in the bin in frustration.  I have really gotten out of the altered art process & I just couldn't seem to bring this to a happy conclusion.  It is made on 640gsm Fabriano cotton watercolour, so it was a dream to work on & then I decided I wanted to stitch it, which of course was a little bit of a hassle as it's NOT that bendy!  I also created an ATC to add to the Paper Traders' Winner Takes All pot (one artist is randomly drawn to win all the cards entered for that month)  I thought that February's should be one for LOVE!

Valentine front_resize
Valentine inside_resize

As I said I have also been doing a little patchwork, continuing with my 'love quilt' & incorporating some of my Nan's linens (as well as some found vintage treasures) as I said last time, these blocks are 15in square – so they are quite large.  It's a nice size to work with actually.

actually, in reviewing this post, it may not have been entirely a bad thing being without my computer, it's certainly been a productive few weeks.  The thing that I didn't add is that The Princess has been for a 'little holiday' at Nonna's and we have had some fun times playing.  She has started on her FIRST mixed media journal and I am convinced (in typical Proud Nonna style) that she has the makings of a fine artist!

OH, and BTW – I have FINALLY joined into Facebook – if you are out there and want to touch base via facebook – here's the link to my facebook page.  I haven't worked out how to link my blogs & pages all up yet – I will get on to that shortly! 

a little birdsong


Christmas birdsong Spring birdsong

these are a couple of ATC's I made from scraps on my worktable, left overs from some Christmas treasures I am making, using music. WHEN I DO post them, you will have to be kind -it's my first attempt at soldering (oh, apart from a little go in Stephanie Lee's class last year) & they are a little 'rough' around the edges.  
Any who – back to the ATC's……. 
A little while ago, my dear friend from Paper Traders, Connie Holso, RAKed me some watercoloured backgrounds, which are what I used as a base.  First I collaged on some scraps of music, I then used a palette of acrylics to create some foliage & flowers & in the wet paint, used some watercolour pencil to ‘drizzle’ some black line work in.  I added more paint to create ‘centres’ of flowers…..then added in the birds.  I poured over them with ‘self levelling medium’ (Golden) then (perhaps a BIT kitch) – added ‘frinkles/micro beads’ & a little german scrap



Washing off the Dust


Without a Trace

Given that it's 'holidays' from collage at the moment, despite a 'truck load' of home work leading up to final assessment, I just HAD to let my hair down and do something just for fun!  It WAS only a LITTLE fun – this ATC was made for Paper Trader's monthly 'Winner Takes All' draw.  It ended up a little over worked, and the 'rub on' looks a little contrived, however, I had built up so many layers that I couldn't get anything to make marks on the surface (even 'Staz-On' paled to insignificance). 

Of course, there HAS been SERIOUS art work as well.  I have been working hard on my 'life drawings' at the moment putting a lot of time into drawing hands.  (which is also the subject of my oil paintings – can't WAIT 'til THAT trial is OVER!!!).  I am going to make a separate post for this because I want to create a 'catagory' for my life drawings, without people who'd like to see them having to 'wade' through lots of other stuff included in the same post.

It's a bit ironic that I am spending so much time drawing hands really, as movement in the joints of my right arm and hand is still a big health challenge and coitersone with a daily pain management drug regime is still my best friend!  In theory, my art course was supposed to relieve the stress that is apparently causing my 'joint' issues, in reality, I am not sure whether it is better or worse as the stress builds for assessment!   LOL!!!  I never have been very good at 'evaluations' – I find it hard to separate the 'assessment' from myself when the thing being 'assessed' has come from within me.  I guess it'll all that sensitive/creative type stuff.  Still – it's not my favourite thing and I cringe when people ask my opinion of their art, not sure if they really just want to be told – it's great (aka – you're ok) or here's how you can make it better (aka – let's work together to improve this).

If, as Picasso said 'The PURPOSE of Art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls' in theory, the quality of the art doesn't matter.  It is THAT you do Art that does.  And so, I hold to the maxim I adopted about 18 months ago.  I am an artist – therefore I do art!  DAILY – it's what I do.


Here this is my art from the last week or so – tip in pages for Connie's journal.  BUT silly me, I had an old print out with the original configuration in landscape and it was revised to portrait, so I ended up doing them twice!  Once I realized my mistake (AFTER they were finished & I was posting them! LOL!!!) I initially thought I could 'cut them up' and make a 'joined' page out of pieces, adding appropriately to them – but that really didn't work out, so I only managed to save 2 of the 'mounted' picures.



a special day


Happy Birthday Friendster Graphics Upholding established blog tradition – IT’S MY BIRTHDAY – & you get the present!  The person that leaves a comment that either includes my favourite number OR their comment is the one that IS my favourite number (ie 5th comment IF 5 was my fav. no!) will recieve a lovely surprise by snail mail.  It depends on how familiar you are with my artwork – with a bit of sluthing – you could probably work it out – cos it does re-occur in my artwork every now & then.(how wierd is it to have ‘traditions’ with something that is 5 minutes old!)

Iloveyourblog11the very lovely Elizabeth has given me my first birthday gift of the day – an ‘I love your blog’ award. (I have already recieved lovely messages from the very special Sally & Jenene)  One of the great ‘take aways’ from Elizabeth’s blog is this quote from Daisaku Ikeda

You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life. This is not an easy struggle. Indeed, it may be the most difficult task in the world, for opening the door to your own life is, in the end, more difficult than opening the door to the mysteries of the universe.

OMG – how MUCH does this describe my effort to try & paint a face right!  ‘PUSH OPEN A HEAVY, GRO-ANING DOORWAY into life!’  Yesterday’s face just about did me IN! 

With my art work – I often art into (or sometimes through the night – yeah, I’m not really into sleeping much – did you EVER wonder how I am so prolific????) – by the time I am ready for bed I am bleary eyed & don’t usually trust my sense of reality at this point – so I have this test I call ‘The Morning After’ test.  I look at the work I have produced the ‘night before’ & sort of mentally critique it & pull it apart to see what I can do better……..WELL ………..LOL!!  I was SO fixated on yesterday’s NOSE (my emphasis for the day) that the eyes are crooked – the mouth is out of line – I think that I have LOST what I gained when I started about 7 weeks ago – A RULER!!!! LOL! 

Birdsweb SO – it’s my birthday & I am giving myself permission NOT to make a birthday face – I have made some ATC’s instead – it is SUCH a long time since I have made any at all & they were my first love, it was time to revisit!  At Paper Traders we have this ‘monthly ATC lottery’ which is really a lot of fun, but I have not been a regular contributor – but this month’s ‘pot’ has some FABULOUS cards in it & I have to be in it to WIN!  So I have made a whole range of ‘birdies’, threatening that I am going to put the whole lot in to ‘rig’ the lottery!! (and YES – I DID get a new black stamp pad in my birthday box from Alpha Stamps – it’s a Versa Fine archival Onyx Black – I love it – it’s so crisp, but dense colour – mmmmm gooood)

Ladies of the Manor


Ladiesofthemanor2web These Ladies of the Manor are VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE.  These are the first time that I have ever made inchies Aaa -nnnD IT is the first time I have ever put a crown on something!  If you’d told me a week ago I’d be making little girls with crowns on I would have laughed at you – but these ‘inchies’ had to have some sort of a twist, & a crown just worked. I have sprayed the crowns with teh VERY fabulous Moon Glow (see Product Info & Reviews if you don’t know what this is) These are for a Paper Traders ‘Twisted Inch’ swap. So here they are – The Ladies of the Manor! (complete with Princess Crowns!)…oh and TRUE to Royal Protocol…… the flag is up, so the Lady is in Residence!

Playing in Fall Leaves


Playing in Fall Leaves is the title of this month’s challenge in one of my online art groups.  This one is only open to Playing_in_fall_leaves_webpeople that are a part of this group, unlike the Gothic Arch Challenge, which is open to any one online that wants to participate.    Here is my little Paper Whimsy girl playing amongst the Autumn leave….as we know them here in Australia………..complete with her ‘furbelows’.  A misspelling on my part to another group prompted me to look up the origins of a word I had always known, but had never really taken the time to understand.  It is mentioned in the words of a song from the musical play of Oliver Twist (a famiy fav. & one that I played a lead role in, 25 years ago!!)

fur·be·low (fûr b-l)

n. 1. A ruffle or flounce on a garment.2. A piece of showy ornamentation. tr.v. fur·be·lowed, fur·be·low·ing, fur·be·lows To decorate with a ruffle or flounce.

[Probably alteration of Provençal farbello, farbella, fringe, perhaps alteration of Italian faldella, pleat, diminutive of falda, flap, loose end, of Germanic origin; see pel-2 in Indo-European roots.]
flounce, ruffle, frill adornment – a decoration of color or interest that is added to relieve plainness gauffer, goffer – an ornamental frill made by pressing pleats jabot – a ruffle on the front of a woman’s blouse or a man’s shirt  peplum – a flared ruffle attached to the waistline of a dress or jacket or blouse
Nancy, the lead female in the story leads a pretty grim life & eventually is killed at the hands of her brutal boyfriend.  In this scene she is ‘taking the Mickey’ out of those that are in more fortunate circumstances.


: Though you sometimes do come by

   The occasional black eye,

   You can always cover one

   While he blacks the other one,

   But you don’t dare cry.

   BET: No flounces, no feathers,

   No frills and furbelows.

   All winds and all weathers

   Ain’t good for fancy clothes.



:   These trappings,

   BET:   These tatters,

   BET and


:  These we can just afford.



:   What future?

   BET:   What matters:

   BET and


: We’ve got our bed and board


This has prompted me to post a challenge………….we haven’t had one in a while………….stay tuned for the next day or two while I think up something interesting….it will be all about FURBELOWS!!!

Nest Builder


Nest_before_webThis atc is the next one for my online workshop.  It is a combination of machine & hand stitching.  It represents a significant amount of work because of the detailing, some of which is lost in the final embellishing.  I started with a piece of raw (washed) calico which I had dyed blue (& have the hands to prove it!).  Then I used a piece of cotton lace, dipped in bleach & pressed it on the calico & brayered over it.  This bleached the lace pattern onto the dark fabric.  Unfortunately, I got a bit zealous with the zig zag & alot of this detailing is lost.  I used a zigzag stitch on my machine, first in grey (for the background) & creamy white for the ‘nest’ section.  After that, I hand stitched some shredded string on & did some random stitching with linen thread & used the same thread to sew on the buttons for eggs.  Next, I used 3mm silk ribbon & embroidered long & short, random blanket stitches.  I tried out a few ways to add a bird & resorted to paper in the end, but it probably isn’t that suited to a fabric ATC.  Last of all, I added a little bullion stitch bee & some more shreaded string.Nest_finished_web  It was a bit of fun to do some free hand embriodery again………….it is literally years since I have done any, though I used to do it prolifically, & teach others as well.  A nice little project to break me in again!! LOL!!