Category Archives: Publications & Awards

Excitment all round – a Birdy blog hop!

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As I said in my last post – Alpha Stamps have released my latest collage sheets – Nesting Instincts & Bird’s Nest & I am thrilled to see what Leslie’s amazing Design Team have come up with in using the imagery………..there are gifts, prizes & give aways if you follow the ‘blog hop’ between the design team’s blogs.

Visit each blog, leaving a comment you will automatically be entered to win a small piece of artwork from each Design Team Member! So if you go to all 9 blogs, between Thursday, June 7th and Sunday, June 10th you will have 9 different chances to win artwork!

That beautiful, hand-stitched coaster at right, by Theresa Martin, is one of the prizes you could win!

AND… check out this post here on the Alpha Stamps blog to find out how to win the new Birds in Hats Kit!

Theresa Martin | Visit blog
Alaskan Sapphire Rose – Shannon Tuttle | Visit blog
Starrgazer Creates – Rhea Freitag | Visit blog
Glitter Tart – Caroline Ouzts-Hay | Visit blog
Junk&Stuff – Kristin Batsel | Visit blog
Rhonda Mum – Rhonda Secrist-Thomas | Visit blog
Artfully Musing – Laura Carson | Visit blog
Pixie Hill – Nichola Battilana | Visit blog
Amys Blam: General Foolishness – Amy Mayfield | Visit blog
Below are my 6 x 6 collages using the newly released sheets – Nesting Instincts & Bird’s Nest.  Click on the link if you would like to purchase some from Alpha Stamps.

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Some Christmas Cheer, and published here!

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Christmas this year has been devoted to ‘art with a needle’ and although I have been doing a few pages in my latest art journal ‘A Different Perspective’, intermittently.  I posted some pics on my flickr site a few days ago, so you may have seen them, but I am hoping to do a post about the new pages in a week or so.  (here’s the link if you want a sneak peek at the pages)  We are having our family celebrations a week earlier than 25th as our son & his wife celebrate Christmas with interstate relatives this year.  I don’t mind, ‘cos I prepare for Christmas all year – but it does feel a bit of a crunch now getting to the ‘pointy end’.   I wanted to create some personal gifts this year for people I care about, so I have hand made decorations for our childrens’ own trees & for a few special friends.   Another project I have been working on is some additional Christmas stockings.  Our SIMPLY GORGEOUS Princess Ariel Faith, newborn this year needed one (pictured below) & funnily enough, all though all our children, grandchildren & DH have hand made & embroidered stockings, I have never had one myself.  I have only begun it in the last couple of days, after everything else was finished, so I am not sure whether I will get it finished or not – it depends how I go for time, especially since it will be needed a week early!  Soft moss green/murky olivey yellow being my current ‘to die for’ green (that makes sense if you read this story), but wanting to stick within the traditional palette, I have chosen ‘A Partridge in a Pear Tree’ as my own stocking theme.  I will post it (if I get it finished) next week.

as an end note, it was a nice suprise to recieve an email from my fav. mixed media publication – Somerset Studios – & to find out a piece I created a while ago has been featured in the ‘Winter Gallery’, which is great fun!   I was especially ‘chuffed’ to see that they are using it to advertise the magazine this time.  Woo Hoo!  (my work is the Alice Spool made on a vintage reel)  I can wait to see how they have photographed it, cos it WAS  a tricky one!!   You can get all of the collage images  and stamp sets  that I used from the fabulous ALPHA STAMPS (including some of my own Alice collage sheet designs) Unfortunately, the article is still referring to my blog as at ‘typepad’ – so spread the word & change the link!  THANKS for your support & encouragement guys!!

How did it get to be Christmas already????

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Partridge-in-a-pear-tree-2-I got a bit of a shock yesterday – I haven't been out a real lot lately & when I went out yesterday - everywhere it's Christmas already.  The shops are decorated, cards and wrapping and tableware is prolific….. Surely we are dreaming – it cannot be that the year is almost gone…..yet its only 44 days away – wow – I SO don't feel ready to be 'merry & bright'…. I feel like I am stuck in February – the 22nd of February to be exact!  That day, this year, changed my world and life as I knew it then & I am still recovering…..working at getting on…….. now I am kinda stuck, after a really significant setback……..nothing is good enough to complete anymore, every project carries with it an inert fear of failure that becomes paralizing - I LOVE the journey, the passion and challenges of creation, the euphoric rush that comes from the 'hunter/gatherer' phase of putting an idea together – but the end result is scary. THAT'S where the wheels fall off – that's where I stall now. Which is why I changed my recent journal topic FIVE times – yes – I Partridge-in-a-pear-tree-1-actually have the beginnings of 3 other journals that I DIDN'T send (one of them was just a topic redirection), I have 6 unfinished paintings, 1 unfinished quilt, numerous projects for the 'grandies' - among all the other "almost-done" projects lurking in my studio. I love to look at them, they're quite nice and not a failure. . . yet.
I have bitten the bullet & started to paint some Christmas cards & here is my first offering.  Sadly, the colour has turned out ordinary in the scan, the are watercoloured, then worked up with H2O's & moonglow powders.  This makes them reflective for the scanner bulb & it has made them look luminous & has distorted the colours.  They are actually mid toned & the 'partridges' are NOT turquoise as they look here!  

Out of the blue (just when I was thinking I had lost all of my readers as I started working on my drawing skills) – Aileen has awarded me with an Arte y Pico award.  Premio+arte+y+pico

"Arte y Pico" is phrase that roughly translates in English to:"The Maximum. Wow. The best art. Over the top."

Here are The "rules" for the Arte y Pico award are: you name & link the person that gave it to you (the lovely Aileen) & you nominate 5 others for the award. (oh, AND list the awards)  I REALLY DO feel honoured at recieving this award at the moment, because I don't feel like I have created anything really special for a long time.  I AM persevering with my drawing though – and that is it's own challenge!  The challenge with picking only 'five' blogs is WHICH ones – a little while ago when I started 'building' my second blog for art journalling I really buggered up this one & lost all of my links in the side bar & haven't gotten them all back on yet – they are ones I visit pretty regularly & enjoy the work they do. I am attempting to list some that are currently influencing me & that you may not have visited from here before.  The artists I nominate for this award are:

Sara Lechner – I adore Sarah's work.  Her studio is to die for as well – but you get that!  I actually can't find the pics of where she had it posted – it's somewhere in her archives – it's just a fabulous space.

the others I have to share – not because these artists are unworthy in their own right – but each has a little part to play in my continuing drawing education….. there have been several artists whom I really feel inspired by to continue with my drawing including Borromini Bear; (fabulous detailer) Fred's Scratchings; (my constant believer & encourager - lovely Micky D breakfast dailies) Andrea (is that a photo?)Joseph; (I am in awe) Anita Davies (journals life so beautifully) and Karen Blados (wow) 

thanks everyone for your great work & your creative inspiration.

a special day

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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)

this is the DAY

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WELL – this is the day that I can finally reveal to you the projects I have been working on  lately – there is only 2 – actually more than 2 – but that’s a whole other story, which you will get more of as the week unfolds.  TODAY the first COLLAGE SHEETS designed by me were released through Alpha Stamps & can be ordered world wide via their online store. The first ones are about Alice, as Alpha Stamps has a whole raft of Alice collage sheets & fabulous clear stamps newly introduced this week.   I am very excited for these two to be out there & there are already Isthatalicewebmore in the pipe line – but for now – TWO is it! 

The first one, is a whole collection of girls that could be Alice, at a glimpse called ‘Is that Alice’ for anyone who is a ‘dyed in the wool’ Alice fan, there is limited material available to work with – two traditional styles of illustrations Tenniel (in B & W) & Arthur Rackham – which I adore – in colour in a scrawlly line drawn style of the Art’s & Crafts period – a little dark & not too colourful.  The pics on my collage sheets are to give a bit of artistic license & a variation of style on your Alice creations.  All beautiful faces – they are in varying poses & shapes – ready for your imagination!

My designs are registered under uRban driFTwood.  I know that’s a bit of a strange name (although apart from Smith & Jones – what’s a ‘normal’ name???? LOL!)  My design tag ‘Urban Driftwood’ relates to the pleasure I find in the ephemera of our everyday life & my need to turn it into art that tells a story.  I will have an Etsy store online called Urban Driftwood sometime in late 2008,  but that is a bit of an evolution process & I am just not sure what that’s all going to look like (ie artwork, prints, supplies????? hmmmm – still Iwonderwebruminating on that one)

The second sheet is called ‘I Wonder’ & is a mixture of text, faux postage stamps (created from Arthur Rackhams illustrations) & Alice words & titles.  The text has been carefully crafted (believe me – HOURS of work) to create ‘lines’ of text & titles for your creations & should prove to be quite fun to play with.  The black & white illustrations are the traditional Tenniel illustrations & are great for ‘colouring up’ with pencils, markers, H2O’s or whatever your favourite medium is.  I would love to have feedback from Alice fans about these & hear what you think & ESPECIALLY see (have a link to) anything you make with them!

The ones that I have in the pipeline are of varying topics, but as a collage artist with ‘evolving’ drawing skills (I AM NOT saying I CAN’T anymore!!) I rely on found images alot to tell my stories – so there are varying sizes – expressive faces – interesting words & phrases for you to use……I will let you know when they are released.

humbled

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I have been honoured lately by several awards which I AM humbled to recieve……. thanks for the nominations, with so much AMAZING talent out there in blogland, I am blog of distinctionalways surprised when this happens.  Little old me in ‘outback’ Ferntree Gully.  I love that about the web – where you live doesn’t limit your access to the world!  The teacher in me just wants to ‘tell you’ and ‘show you how’, I really like doing it, so your feedback is always encouraging.

I WANT TO TAKE THE TIME TO SAY THANK YOU – to all of the people that take the time to write to me, to encourage me, to give me feed back & notes about your progress….. it’s a lovely blessing of being a part of a broader community….. thank you!

Brillante WeblogI need to nominate some other blogs the awards as well (the REAL reason they come around to me is people probably run out of blogs to give it to!!! LOL!!)  There are always SO many – I have links down the side bar of some of my regular haunts – but here are some I’d like to pick out as special today – some ‘old favs’ & some ‘newly discovered’.

Dijanne Cevaal – The Musings of a Textile Itinerant -fabulous textile artist living in Victoria Australia

Dawn – The Feathered Nest – luscious eye candy for someone with a ‘cupboard lusting’ for all things French & Country.

Deryn – Something Sublime – although we share passions for different styles of art we are soul sistas & I heart her

Roxanne – River Garden Studio – beautiful, soulful painting & artworks

Danny Gregory – Every Day Matters – a new discovery as I try to build my drawing skills.

WELL……..that just about does it for now…….. have fun exploring some of my online art friends……& AS PROMISED – here’s a bit of ‘fluff & fun’Fly_resize OH – ps…….’Ferntree Gully’ is NOT REALLY ‘the outback’ it’s just that I used to live only 10 mins from the CBD & we are now about an hour away (in good traffic) & so sometimes it seems isolated.

15 minutes of fame!

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Somgallery_june_08_web Now I KNOW that sounds really boastful – the truth is I am just really excited is all!  Finally I see my ‘Green Family’ canvas in print. (it’s in the new Somerset Gallery incase you haven’t seen it!)  It is SUCH a long time since I saw it – I sent it almost a year ago – the people at Somerset have done a fantastic job of photographing something really difficult.  They haven’t written the ‘family story’ into the article, so here’s their little tale!

The Green Family lived in England in the county of Suffolk. A benevolent landowner, Arthur Samuel Green was widowed as his beloved wife Mary gave birth to their youngest daughter. The mewling was named after her mother & was said to look just like her, with eyes that danced. His wife’s death left Arthur bereft & soulless. Local folk were sure that he would loose his mind. They expected something completely out of character & thought he may go to sea or perhaps move to the city & buy a townhouse. Instead, he terminated his daughter’s tutors & absorbed himself in educating them. Mondays was the day for Latin; Literature filled Wednesdays & Fridays. Tuesdays were reserved for Geography & Botany filled the daylight hours of Thursday. As the Green children matured into sophisticated young ladies they were not interested in societal expectations. The invitations to parties & balls that bombastically invaded their serene existence were politely ignored.  They had become comfortable & satisfied in their own theosophical company & sought no other.  Father lamented, worried that he had influenced them too strongly in masculine pursuits & that they had suffered from limited exposure of feminine companionship Emily, his middle daughter, was an engaging young lady of 22 that loved music. She competently played the flute, harp & pianoforte & had a pleasant enough singing voice. A rather carefree waif, she could often be found in the orchard with the grounds man, barefooted with apple blossom flowers in her hair, examining the state of the crop. Long beyond marrying age, she entertained at her father’s salon parties of his political associates. A melancholy had settled on Jane.  She was 6 years old when her mother died & had really never recovered.  She aspired to travel the continent but was rarely found outside the voluminous library that led out to the garden on the ground floor. She read communiqués & papers belonging to Father, watching the great intrigue evolving in Florence. As Mr Brunelleschi’s dome started to take shape, she wondered at the ingenuity of man – captivated by the pictures of the wood & brick model Father had bought back for her on his last trip to London. None of this, however, was enough to lure her from the security of hearth & home. She only dreamt of travel. The garden was Mary’s lover. Her countenance was predicated by the weather & the condition of her latest botanical protégé. She imported fine varieties of bulbs from the merchants & nothing got in the way of her Horticultural Society meetings. They lived a full & satisfied life, accomplished in the arts & confident in the love of their adoring Father.

Busy Month

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You will find some of my recent work in two of the recent Stampington Magazines……Somerset Studio is featuring my little assemblage – My House Is The One With the Nest on the Door.  Every piece on this assemblage is a part of 2007.  The weatherboards the piece is made on are from our home extension.  The crystal hanging from the bottom & the ‘flower’ at the top are from old light fittings from a renovation that we have been working on all year (this is my day job!) & the handles I found under the floor boards at another house we were renovating.  The gorgeous little girl, trying to find her house – the ‘One with the Nest on the Door’ is a Paper Whimsy image.  Unfortunatly the colour looks quite luminous where as it is actually quite soft duck egg blue.  I totally understand this, the printing process can be a bit hit & miss with colour, having had some experience with this in my work history.

The New Somerset Life (that has a gorgeous Raspberry coloured cover) is featuring some of my chandelier pieces.  On cards, & on wedding bits from our son’s wedding. (that is him & his (now) wife on the day they were engaged……I took the pic in our garden & used it for their wedding things) What a lovely inspirational magazine this is – I hadn’t seen it before in Oz………lots of eye candy – just what a visual person like me LOVES!Somlife_chandeliers_april_08_p64_weSomlife_chandeliers_april_08_p66web

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Sheets of Egyptian Cotton

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Cotton_sheets_webI think the text on the page says it all – DEFINITELY an ephemeral moment – pulling back the covers to get into a bed covered with luscious, new, crisp white cotton

sheets…..YUM!  Only 2 more sleeps till we are off to the Land of the Kiwi….. where I will be experiencing all kinds of sheets & beds – always a concern for travellers – an uncomfortable bed.  It is only when you are travelling 5 star all the way that you can be pretty confident that your bed will be ok and your sheets will be fresh.  At home we have a fabulous bed & lovely sheets – an indulgence to help with my sleep problems & I always miss it when we go away.  My tradition, last thing before we go away anywhere is to change our bed & put fresh sheets on it to come home.  The first night back at home with fresh sheets is something we fantasize about when we are on our way home!

Day_award_2 I have been blessed with the same award several times this week, which is both an honour & a priviledge.  I never quite know what to say –  I am glad that you appreciate my art, however it is somewhat self serving in that I do it as much for my own health & wellbeing as any of the lovely responses from you guys.  (Obviously, your kind words are appreciated though)  I now need to nominate 10 other people who make my day – an easy task to be sure – there are SUCH fabulous artists & artwork around in blogland it is more difficult to restrict it to 10.  These people would be all of my special friends listed in my side bar – I can’t pick & choose between them, they all are skillful artists with special talents.  Debbi does lovely compositions; Anne, Kelly Rae & Gaby all have a fabulous sense of colour & drama; Jo’s beautiful work always has an element of sparkle & mischief about it, I ALWAYS learn something deep & meaningful from Kelsey & her art using quotes……..Cynthia’s artwork amazes me – seconded only by Abby & Jenene (who don’t have blogs right now) –  I am happy & contented in the knowledge that in a busy throw away world the ethos of art for art sake flourishes & is alive & well.