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.




I hope you like my new collage sheet….(hi res link – thanks Connie for the idea)..offered for only until 31st December……..after that I will take it down, and it will be replaced with a single image.  I know that I don’t have to remind you it is for personal use, and not to be redistributed or reconfigured in any way, shape or form – but it seems that this disclaimer needs to be added each time……… I’d love to see anything that you create from the collage sheet & appreciate links & kudos too!! LOL!  Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve here – so it’s the big finale………I have made something VERY special for a Christmas Eve giveaway…….

MY CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT GIVEAWAY IS A handmade artist book I created in a repurposed vintage book cover, it is approx 8in tall, 6in wide & 1 inch thick.  It is filled with a paper that will take pen & ink or a light wash…….it should be nice to work in.

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the cryptic clue is………….rsta fo tlmeeehhb…………’s a sign!!  I will draw this one late Christmas Eve – Almost Christmas Day here – to give the max amount of people a chance to participate.  It’s been a fun week!

GIVEAWAY Day 3 – and the Winner IS


 SO – the moral of the story is – that in this sharing & caring art world – many people go to a lot of time & trouble to create things, pass on knowledge, help others, share hints & tips, etc.  Few people however, take the time to write a comment, say thanks, or even acknowledge the source if they are using the material ………in over 500 visits in the last 2 days – there were only 10 comments – and some of those were the same people on different days.  In the end – as there were so few – I allocated each comment a number – those that left a comment on different days got 2 numbers – and then randomly generated the winner.  And the WINNER of the Art supplies give away IS………….ta – da – WENDY MC – who – among some others – worked out, like the lepers, that the idea was to come back & give thanks – congratulations Wendy – email me using the link & your box of goodies will be on the way to you.  Tis the giving season – but tis also the season to be thankful.  I am EVER thankful for grace & mercy.  Merry Christmas – enjoy the coloured torsos, available for all personal use, but not for reproduction or to be redistributed in any form.  Tomorrow I have a great collage sheet – I am just trying to work out how to upload a high res version & still have the blog page open ok.

GIVEAWAY DAY 2 – collage supplies? what a prize!


that title sounds like something cheesy a bingo announcer would call out doesn’t it!!!  Well you’ll be as surprised as me, when you see what i am giving away today!  It’s TOTALLY painful for me – but it’s part of my ‘de-stash’ preparing for us moving house sometime in the near future and YES – I am starting to conceed that I may have been in denial about being a hoarder!  I guess the seeds of it have always been there, valuing & being VERY sentimental about things of the past……….but now, not having moved since 1992, I am reaping the ‘rewards’ of that!..

I can’t help myself really –
I feel as though the artisan skills of the world are being squandered
by a disposable life manufactured for ephemeral needs
that produce a never ending parade of land fill..

I love anything that looks as if it has a hidden story, or a story within it – waiting to be uncovered……….. my treasures usually take the form of paper, fabric, buttons or bling……..sometimes a book with an interesting title or cover (regardless of the subject) – a vintage brooch or buckle at my local op (thrift) shop, a card of sun faded ric rac, or my all favourite….. a discarded jar of old buttons………….with an assortment of bits & bobs of treasure.

I am compelled to collect and surround myself with these castoffs,
waiting for a flash of inspiration
or a creative ephemeral inspiration
that will give bring these treasures into a new, continuing story.

BUT the day is coming soon, when the ‘piper’ is to be paid – and all of it has to be packed up & held in storage for a year or two
(I haven’t even TRIED to contemplate what it will be like living with out my treasures around my creative space
– whatever form that ends up taking!!! 
I think I may end up going back to my ‘black’ period of a couple of years ago!  I hope not!)

I am imagining large open industrial expanses, with soaring, skeletal ceilings, huge beams & columns, cloaked in light. 
I love the rawness of these spaces.  I love the honesty of the volume.  It echoes ‘fill me with life’


   how I long for them……………..

I have just added to my problem, securing something I have wanted forEVA
a fully adjustable drafting table/board 
– sadly, it’s not a vintage one like this beauty,

but still it’s a fully adjustable pneumatic drafting table with all it’s rulers & pens & picked it up literally for a song – $50!! 
It has been there for some time & started out at $375……….I was just hoping another designer/artist didn’t spot it.  It has gradually been marked down, still with no one except me showing interest…….and today they had 50% off everything as long as you took it with you.
WOO HOO, I love my local thrift shop.  It’s all in bits at the moment but it will be operational soon.  Now I just have to make space for it!!
(exit – temporary plastic folding table – enter elite drafting table)

AND so – enough blabber – we have come full circle & back to my point!  AHHHHHHHHH – how did I get so much STUFF?????
I MUST, I MUST, reduce my STUFF!!
I MUST, I MUST, reduce my STUFF!!
I MUST, I MUST, reduce my STUFF!!
I MUST, I MUST, reduce my STUFF!!

Here is today’s give away

 included are products from darkroom door; kaiser; collections; Tim Holtz (grungeboard elements, distressables); Basic Grey; Cavellini; apart from those supplies – I have also delved into my treasure chest and have included hand dyed tags, vintage chandelier crystals, buttons, bottle tops, game pieces, scratchboard, various ‘playing cards’ of mixed type & size; some etched book plates, chipboard letters AND a gorgeous little handmade book I have made. (2.5 in sq).  AND WAIT………there’s more (but no steak knives!!), some blocks of carving rubber, some christmas tree blank jigsaws, a couple of chipboard books, a couple of note books, some of my napkins & a package of my handdyed wire edged ribbons….I will announce the winner tomorrow at approx 8pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time (GMT +11).  If you are wondering how to win – the clue is in yesterday’s post.

free things – 5 days of GIVE-AWAYS


merry christmas this week everyone – I hope you have a little time for YOU!!  I feel as though I have cheated – we had our christmas celebrations early, so ‘Christmas’ per se – is done for us!  People all around me are still ‘stressin’ & running around & I’m done!  It was a dissappointing thought when it was first suggested, but now it’s over, it actually feels good!  We had lots of simplicity this year……most of my christmas wrapping was in brown paper with stamping & ribbons.  Garnishing with lace & ribbons, using twine, tissue & things on hand to make beautiful gifts.  SO – now I have a week to think up fun things for you – 5 DAYS of GIVE-AWAYS for you – my special readers!………’s a start! 

Today – some free images for you to have fun with – Tomorrow – hmmmmmmmmmm………some supplies I think…………HOW TO GET THEM???? I will leave you with a cryptic clue………you will find it in the book of Luke 17:11-19……….. that’s all I’m sayin’ is all!!! (in the words of one of my fav. Southern Belles)  If you work it out – leave me a comment & I will create a random draw from the order they come in.

If you right click any of these you can save the larger size – they are high res. suited for full ATC size background – or to cut or tear as an element in a larger collage.  If anyone would like a particular colour in a larger size for something – feel free to email me using the link.  This image is a photograph I took myself while travelling & has been altered by me.  It is free for you to use personally (in your own work)  for anything you like (including published work) BUT is not for re-distribution, re posting (please link back to this post if you’d like to tell someone about them)  They are also not for use in royalty free compositions or collage sheets in any form.  Thanks for respecting the personal property I am sharing with you.

DON’T forget to check back tomorrow – you’ll be sorry if you don’t!!!

PS you may want to test you printer settings & colour out put to print these out to how you’d like to use them – I have printed them on bristol board with inkjet, on transparancy using laser & photo paper with laser & inkjet – the transparencies came out a bit dark the others were ok though.

christmas joy


 I forgot to tell you about my new MOST fav. online shop…………….OMGOOOOODness it’s fab. DH usually gives me an allowance to spend online for Christmas and Birthdays, knowing that I can source interesting supplies from far and wide, this year – I blew it ALL at and I have a cart waiting for next time! LUV IT! (no………no affliation what so ever) – I just love how well they have designed their on line shopping – hello – by brand, colour, price or type????? WOO HOO! oh…….AND then a follow up email, after you have ordered with project suggestions for every single item in your cart……..this has to be paper art heaven! surely! LOL!! xK Can’t wait to get my hands on THIS little baby!!!!

New Journal Pages – Another Perspective


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as promised last week – here’s some of my new & refined journal pages – when you are ‘playing’ with a style different to what you are comfortable, finding the ‘finishing line’ is tricky.  I am really not sure whether a couple of these pages now fall back into my heavier, over coloured work that was beginning to get quite murky………..the very thing I was attempting to make a break from.  I usually create a new journal one of two ways, either I create signatures & work in them & then bind it all together, or I create a blank journal and work through the pages in it.  Each has its benefits and draw backs, however the perfectionist in me struggles to complete a book when I start to dislike one or two of the entries.  It just languishes on the shelf, untouched.

This time I tried a whole new approach, I have torn up a whole stack of pages and am just working on the pages as I go – they are not even a ‘folded page’ (for a signature) – just loose pages.  My intention is to ‘Zutter Bind’ them when the time comes to bring them together.  It is actually quite liberating – ‘cos if I really hate something – I just don’t have to include it.  That makes a big difference to how I approach each page, I don’t feel the anxiety of the ‘blank page’ because I can abandon the composition at anytime.  Sounds VERY precious & non commmital doesn’t it???  I have just found that it’s liberating. 

SIGNATURE – (as far as in relation to Communication Arts / Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding)
Printing a.  a sheet of paper printed with several pages that upon folding will become a section or sections of a book

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!!

from the guilt box


I have something that I am sure NO OTHER ARTIST has in their studio!!   It’s kinda ‘the elephant in the room’ – I know it as my guilt box! My guilt box is something that kinda evolved gradually in the year before I began studying.  For anyone who knows what this means, it was the year of living with a black dog in the year that our business collapsed & we lost two little grandblessings.  A corner started to evolve,  that I avoided, it contained a growing pile of  beginnings of projects had become ‘stuck’ for one reason or another. 

I became paralyze and stopped beginning things, because I didn’t think that I was going to be able to finish them, so it wasn’t worth commencing.  I DO read my own advice to others! LOL!

The following year, (2009) I began studying art full time as a kind of therapy to ‘jolt’ me out of the ‘dog kennel’…………..but still the pile in the corner remained, and expanded.  It kinda happened as projects for leisure ongoingly took a back seat to the need to endlessly ‘produce’ artwork for one timeline after another for college, on subjects that I really didn’t have a great deal of interest in, but was obliged to complete & go through the process.  Works in Progress (WIP’s) were frequently packed up to ‘clear the decks’ for the current ‘SCHOOL’ project & WIP’s soon became Projects of Waiting (POW’s – waiting for inspirations, supplies, time, help!!) gradually slipped into the Unfinished Objects (UFO’s) & and then, as inspiration & momentum was lost along the way, gradually joined a growing list of things on my ‘guilt list’. 

GUILTY because
– I had bought/hunted out supplies especially for this project & now it was languishing, I have wasted time & money
– It is outside the expected time line (postage date, agreed timeline)
– I can’t think of an idea that doesn’t seem to lame to even begin to complete the task of completing
– The work I have already done isn’t what I want it to look like & I don’t know how to make it better
– I have completed/are doing other things instead of the thing I ‘SHOULD’ be doing/completing

OK!!!! IS THIS SOUNDING LIKE A PSYCH CONSULT?  AM i ALONE HERE????  Does YOUR studio have a ‘box of guilt’ in a corner or a drawer???? or do you all just begin & complete projects in one hit, and THEN move on to the next thing???  As we will be moving house soon, and I am going to have to literally pack up EVERYTHING and PAY to have it stored……… will cost me money to retain these projects.  I MUST MAKE  A DECISION & I am a shocker when I don’t know what to do – I do nothing – it has been both my personal & professional undoing – but it is painfully true!  SO – here’s my plan – one month at a time – on the first of the month (I HAVE EXCUSED DECEMBER for pending Christmas projects) I am going to get something out of my guilt box or my pile of UFO’s.  I am going to give myself the whole month to ‘deal’ with them – ie make progress, send it back, complete it, decide how I am going to move forward……….at the end of the month – if it is still in the same state as the start of the month – it will be taken apart as ‘salvage’ – cut up, torn up, supplies separated, etc.  THAT’s my plan anyways!  SO the pictures you see here are October’s contribution.  I have had this journal (GULP) for about 18 months – sitting in my drawer, with the page below semi painted.  I wasn’t happy with my ‘Lady of the Lake’, I wanted her to be regal & kind of stately, without being pouty – I have painted & painted this mouth about TWENTY-SEVEN times!! LOL!!!  She still seems pouty to me!  Anyways, it’s done  & I had a delightful couple of late nights painting the ‘midsummer night’ pages at the top as penance (do an extra spread) before the darling little book goes home to it’s rightful owner.


also the article in CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS
Dec issue article ‘Artist Heal Thyself’ by Lorretta Bendetto Marvel

More from ‘A Different Perspective’


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Thank you for the kind, & encouraging comments & private emails in reference to my last post – saying my art wasn’t very good – it really sounded like a pitty party & I am sorry if I lost you there – it wasn’t my intention – the story is that I am on a cusp of my art moving from altered art to original art (printing, painting & drawing) – but my ‘original art’ is not of a good enough standard at the moment to stand alone – then I try to blend a little original art and the ‘muddy’ colourful altered style that I tend to lean toward – & that’s were the self loathing kicks in!  I usually don’t like the result.  It actually gets back to what I talked about here  Perception & Reality are not always aligned.  Anyways – moving forward……….

Here’s a couple more pages from my recent art efforts for my new ‘simple look’ journal……’A different Perspective’  Some of them are still works in progress, however I am not sure whether that’s me trying to complicate them or whether they truely need more – so I am just sitting with them as is.  UNUSUALLY – not many photographs this week, not much happening that has captured my attention………except to say I love the late afternoon sun in my new west facing studio room.  It bathes me in orange & watermelon pink & I love it.  I imagine it as glory!

post script …………. this little ‘vessel’ has slipped out of the slide show & I can’t put it back – so it stands alone at the moment.