Thursday, 30 December 2010

Sunshine, relaxing and the smell of gardenias

hi everyone

Thank you for your lovely comments on my doodle. I will take up that idea and use it for Christmas cards next year.

I have been busy in the 'studio' (aka my laundry) this week getting back into the swing of things after the rush that is Christmas. The eating of superfluous things has thankfully slowed down, the walking in the mornings has begun again and the paintbrushes have finally come out. 


Here is my first page. I started laying down Jo Sonja Potting Shed Collection in Geranium. I applied this with a palette knife.

 Then while still wet I added Jo Sonja Napthol Crimson and spread to blend

 I then got the end of a paintbrush and scribbled in it.

  I had some paper napkins that I liked the pattern of and thought this had an oriental feel, hence the red and the black so I tore off pieces and stuck down with Mod Podge
 Then gave a light coat of gesso primer
 I recently bought a couple of stamps from my favourite shop and liked the fan and the flower so on they went with Black Staz On stamp pad.

I  then used the fan stamp and sponged Jo Sonja Pale Gold onto it and stamped a couple of times

 I dug out a 12 x 12 cut out sheet from Scrappers Warehouse and thought I could use it as a stencil. It is only made out of cardstock but if I'm gentle it should last a long time.
 I tried to go for a contrasting colour and picked Jo Sonja in Cornflower which I sponged on over the stencil.


The page needed a frame so I rubbed Jo Sonja Rose Gold (one of my favourite metallic colours) and Pale Gold around the edge of the pages iwth my finger



 I doodled around the outside edge with a gold metallic texta and wrote a favourite quote I found ages ago with, you guessed it, my white Souffle pen.

I outlined the letters in black fine-liner and journalled about what the quote meant to me. Here is the finished spread.

So my prompt to you today is to ask...
what are you thinking, feeling and imagining? 
What sort of mindspace are you in when you create? I know that my best work is when I am calm, feeling relaxed - it is not when I am irritated or rushed but I know some people thrive on getting pumped up to create their best.

i would also like to share you with a photo of my gardenias that are flowering just near our outdoor table, so when you sit there it is the most beautiful aroma wafting through the air.

I hope you all have a very Happy New Year and I hope the new year is all that you dream it will be and more.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Shortbread, Prawns, Lobster and Chocolate mmmm....

Well, I'm a day late but i hope that you all are having a lovely time with your family and friends, celebrating and appreciating all that is good in life right now.

I had a rather quiet Christmas Day with just the four of us this year but it was nice to have a sleep-in and then a lazy day of eating, giving, eating, relaxing, eating, drinking and oh did I mention eating.

We were looking forward to a nice warm day so I set the table outside and prayed for the weather to stay nice - which it did.

We  decided to have a casual lunch this year with ham, chicken, prawns and lobster and a nice green salad.

Ah Christmas Day, the day when we throw all caution to the wind and eat till our hearts content, feasting on all those treats that seem to be not allowed at any other time of the year. I for one, love it and wondered yet again why I don't bake these more often...

 like my Nan's recipe for Shortbread. It is the BEST shortbread I have ever eaten and each year I make about 6 trays of it. So easy and so delicious

 And these little puddings which I haven't ever made before because the recipe always called for Christmas fruit cake or pudding and as I am the only one that likes that I don't make them. This year however, I saw a recipe using chocolate brownie for the middle and a light bulb went off. Yum, Yum. They are a rich dark chocolate brownie mixture crumbled up and mixed with a good slurp of Frangelico or Kaluha, and rolled into little balls. Then drizzled dark and then white chocolate on the top. These are very sinful and it should come with a warning - You Cannot Stop at One!

It was so nice for us to all be at the dinner table at the same time without somewhere to rush off to.

I did have time to do a doodle in the afternoon, sitting outside in the lovely sunshine and listening to the birds. Once again I used my Souffle pens.

 I would like to say that I appreciate the time you take to come and visit my blog and love reading all the comments. Thank you for your presence.

 I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year and hope that all your dreams come true, that you stay safe and healthy and that you are surrounded by those you love.


Monday, 20 December 2010

Santa's and babushka's

Hi everyone

Gee that last week has just flown by and I have 3 days left of work before the Christmas break and then 2 weeks off. I'm really looking forward to relaxing and re-charging my batteries and I have a lot to do on the creative side - paintings to do and lots of art journaling. Hopefully the ideas in my head will translate to the canvas and paper, if not my blog will be devoid of pictures LOL.

My latest creative offering are a set of Santa Babushka dolls. My neighbour bought these a while ago and they already had the line drawing burnt into the wood so I was a bit restricted to how I painted them (do the eyes look a bit piercing to you?) I hope she likes them. I am not that good at painting on curved surfaces but I think they turned out OK.

I did do another doodle last night and I played around with my Souffle` pens too. I do love these pens for drawing on dark surfaces. They don't write a really fine line but that's when I combine it with a white or black pen for more detail.
So here is my doodle.  The scan below really didn't pick up the green colour pen I used but you can see it in the photo above. I started doodling with a white pen and then added the green. I kinda like it. The words just came out on their own.

 I hope you are all enjoying the lead up to Christmas; not too much stress, remember it's not about the presents or how clean and orderly your house looks, it is about connecting with yourself, your spirit, your family and friends and giving thanks for things we have that we can't see. 
Hence my quote for today.....
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.
- Denis Waitley

Have a wonderful day

Friday, 17 December 2010

OMG It's Oprah!!

Hi Everyone,

Thanks again for visiting me, I appreciate your presence :)

Well since last post I've had another busy week. Last Friday I spent a lovely day with friends at the Rose Gardens in Mount Eliza. Unfortunately some fierce winds came through during the week so there weren't as many flowers to photograph but I got about 250 photos so hopefully I can paint some roses to exhibit at the Melbourne Flower and Garden show next year. While we were walking around there was a corporate group attending an end of year function elsewhere in the gardens and then over the hill came a helicopter which eventually landed in the rose garden's grounds.

I yelled out the the girls "Hey it's Oprah!" She was here a the time (flying around in a red helicopter) and no-one knew what she was doing while she was in Melbourne till it happened so, being an Oprah fan, I had a little daydream that it was her flying in for a surprise visit. Well, I missed out on tickets to the show so a girl's allowed to dream a little...

 So here we are enjoying a lovely day in the roses. Anna, Rachel and Me
 Anna and Rachel
 Some of the beautiful roses
 The historical house on the grounds
 Me tip toeing through the roses. 
It is a great spot right on Port Phillip Bay

We had a lovely day here and then a nice lunch in a local nursery where we took more photos to use later.

Later that night it was my youngest son's school graduation . I am so proud of how far he has come and it will be sad to leave the school that has been such a blessing for us.

On Monday it was my 45th birthday. I had a lovely day and this my new toy, a Sony Reader. It has a little light in the case so I won't keep my husband awake with my bedside light on.
With the amount of books I read this is going to help me de-clutter my bookcase and I won't have to take a great big bag full of books to read when I go camping or traveling now.
The next thing I have to share are photos of my Christmas decorations.
Kerryanne over at Shabby Art Boutique  is having 'Simply Christmas'  and has asked us to show our decorations.
This is my tree with the lights on looking out the front window. We have a great view here and I love looking out at the twinkling lights each night.

 I love Santas and like to group them all together.

They all have a little chat to each other and it's like a big catchup time for them, working out their lists and spreading the Christmas cheer.

 I painted these decorations a number of years ago, the little stockings the Santa is holding has our names on them. So cute.

 These are my little angels. They are near the front door and give a lot of loving energy as people walk past.

Putting up the tree and decorations really get me into the Christmas spirit and I love looking at the decorations the kids made when they were younger, it brings back such good memories.

 My last photo is one I took the other night of a sunset at our place. This is taken at my front door. There were storm clouds around so the colours and lights bouncing of the clouds were really beautiful.

Well, this week promises to be another busy one with the lead up to Christmas Day. I am madly trying to finish painting a group of Santa Babushka dolls for a neighbour and then we are catching up with friends over the weekend, wrapping presents (and finish making and buying a few) and before we know it the biscuits for the reindeers and the beer for Santa will be left out.

My quote for today is about gratitude

"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy"
- Brother David Steindl-Rast @

What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for my family and friends, my health and for the air we are breathing that keeps us alive.

 Have a blessed day everyone


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Life is short - Wear your Party Pants!

Hi everyone
It's been a hectic couple of weeks here in rainy Melbourne. We had my son's 21st a couple of weekends ago but it looked like the heavens were against our plans that morning.

Photo : the age
During the day it didn't look so promising as we watched storm after storm blow across the sky with rain bucketing down each time. 

Photo: the age
Melbourne was flooded and just when you thought it was over another storm blew across
Photo: the age

Lucky we had borrowed a few tarps to close in the outdoor area because each time we had a downpour it came from a different direction and at the end of each one cries were heard of "we need another tarp here" 
Photo : the age

Finally with 1 1/2 hours to go the rain eased, the outdoor area was protected, family started arriving and we could get ourselves ready.
I am pleased to say that the party was a great success. We had around 60 friends and family and it was a really good night to celebrate and catch up with family who live interstate.I eventually got to bed around 4am and I think I caught up on my sleep 4 days later. Gee this body doesn't recover like I remember! Here are a couple of photos.
A very proud mum with her son

The proud grandparents - my Mum and Dad on either end and my Mother in law in red.
 Some other family members volunteered to take  photos for me on the night so hopefully I will be sent them soon.

My Mum and Dad stayed until this past Monday and I was going to have a play with some arty things but mum came down with really severe hayfever which sent her into coughing fits and made her really tired. She did however manage to doodle a bit and played with splattering over some chipboard cutouts we bought.

 Dad always fixes those little odd jobs around the house when he is down and Mum and I talked about arty things all week. There was so much to do with such little time to do it in. 
We had such a lovely week and I was really sad to see them drive off knowing it was a 9 hour drive for them to go home. 

This weekend I am catching up on decorating the house and making Christmas presents so I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

You may be wondering about my post title and it comes from a book I am reading by Loretta LaRoche. This is the title of the book and it is a great read for putting life in perspective in a fun light hearted way and I can't wait to read some of her other books. 

I will leave you with a quote from Loretta's book

The Talmud asks the question "If not now, when? If we don't live our lives now, to the fullest, when in the world will we have the chance? If we don't pay attention to the little wonders of life right this second, when will we be able to?"

 What do you put off now waiting for that elusive perfect moment? Aren't all moments in life perfect just the way they are? What little wonders can you find today that you normally overlook?



Friday, 19 November 2010

Christmas is just around the corner.... so I'm told

Hi everyone, thanks for dropping by. 

I really appreciate all the lovely comments you are making and the fact that you take time out of your day to come visit me. So big hugs and kisses to you all...

Each year I paint and then donate Christmas ornaments for my son's special needs school to sell at their annual Christmas concert. All of the money raised goes directly to the school so I am happy to be a part of it. 

My son has been going to this school for about 7 years and this is his final year. Yes that is going to be another significant day for us when he finishes there. They are a wonderful school and have made such a huge difference in our lives and I am deeply grateful for their existence.

 Each year I have families who collect the ornaments so i have to come up with different designs each time. 
Here is the start of the process. I had them all base-coated and ready to go. Then I line them up, usually on my ironing board and paint all the one colour at the same time so by the end they are all finished at around the same time.

As I am not proficient at designing my own and knowing that there are Queens of Christmas out there, I borrow ideas and designs, with their permission of course, and paint those.

These cute little elves are designs from the lovely Kerryanne

These ones are from Jamie Mills Price

 I love Jamie's designs and have painted many of them over the years. I was also lucky enough to paint with her when she came to Melbourne a couple of years ago. A lovely lady and so generous with sharing her painting secrets.

 I used a stamp for the background which was stars and dots and looks a bit like snowflakes.

These are the puddings and cupcakes that I will be teaching at our True Blue Christmas workshop on Sunday.

 I used Jo Sonja paints and painted on some Opal Dust to make them sparkle

And here they are lined up on my ironing board all ready for some varnish all 52 of them.

I also dabbled in a bit of card making yesterday. 
A friend of mine is getting married on the weekend and I made her a card to give her with a couple of little gifts. I found a couple of videos on you tube as inspiration like Natalie's.

I used my Big Shot and the Spellbinders Die Template called Flying Beauties to emboss and cut out butterflies. I distressed them with Imprez ink in Fawn and Jo Sonja Rich Gold paint. I used this paint on the ribbon to get the matching colour and also rubbed it around the edge of the card face.

I embossed and cut the tag from the Spellbinders Nestabilities set which I stamped and distressed with the same ink and paint. I stuck pearls on the body of the butterflies as well. The heart paper on the left hand side is printed vellum. Inside I printed what I wanted to say in matching ink colour on vellum. I really like card making and think I will do more of it in the future.

Well today I have a lot of scrapbooking to do on my sons album and will be going to a scrap night at Scrapper's Warehouse so I can hopefully get it nearly finished by his party. I have my fingers crossed.

Today I offer you a Buddhist saying
"Live in the present and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering"

I hope you all have a great weekend and remember to find beauty in the present moment no matter where you are or what you are doing. Here it is supposed to be sunny and around 29 Deg so I'm looking forward to getting out in the garden and enjoying the sunshine..... ahhh come on Summer.


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