Saturday, December 15, 2007

TMTA: Mosaics

The theme this week at Think Monday, Think ATC is Mosaics. I took the chance to use up the leftovers from my Christmas card frenzy to make a set of serendipity-style tiles, and it was lots of fun, and quite nostalgic to revisit a technique from time gone by.

Blogger is being a pain with uploading images right now - I have to host this at my Flickr. *waves fist at Blogger*

I am really, really hoping to play with my Lutradur samples that Debbi Baker sent to me. New stuff! I'm going to burn it! (You can't say that about too many things these days!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Purple, Gold and Black ATCs

I signed up for an ATC exchange run through Stamphappy, the first crafty mailing list I ever joined. I'm really glad it's still up and going, because it was a great help to me as a beginning stamper, and I've made lots of friends through there.

The theme was 'Purple, Gold and Black', and the brief was to use only those colours, and to make stamping part of the design. This is the card I'm submitting:

I also made a few of these:

I like the contrast between the two - 'Observe' is very old-style for me: neat and precise, with a figure on it, and a well placed word. 'Drama Queen' is more freestyle; the edges are rough, the shape is amorphous and the background is insane. It makes me happy that I don't have to let go of the old style to embrace the new.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fabric Postcard

I'm a part of a artist's exchange that swaps fabric postcards - each exchange is based on a chosen technique, and this round was using Beryl Taylor's method for creating a stitchable fabric from collaged papers. It's been a while since I tinkered with a new technique, and I really enjoyed watching my stash of fabric paper build up, then taking to it with scissors and knife.

I used my machine set on a wide zig-zag to edge the postcards - it's the first time I've done that, and I quite like the effect of the brown and tan variegated thread. My machine doesn't sound too good - it's well and truly ready to retire.

And then I posted them to the wrong address. *headdesk*

Oh - and another thing:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I won the battle, but not the war; I've still got half a chapter and an epilogue to wrap up the story. But I'm proud of myself - I wrote 60,000 words in thirty days.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Inchies and Presents

Ah. I see from Inching Artists I have lost a WHOLE WEEK! I though the theme for this week was Housies, but that was actually last week's challenge.

Well, I had lots of fun making them, anyway:

Oh well, I can get on with the new theme now.

I was very lucky to receive goodies in the mail:

Two fabric postcards from the Quilty Conscience swappers - the one with the hearts is needle felted, and made by Coralie Barker. The dreamy blue and silver one is by Debbi Baker, and is painstiks under organza, and delicately beaded and edged in silver. Very inspiring stuff. Debbi also sent the lush ATC made with painted lutradur, and because she's a lovely person who thinks of these things, she also included some samples of Lutradur to play with. (Thanks, Debbi! I'm really excited about having a go with those soon.) That's Debbi's decorated envelope that the goodies are sitting on.

I've got my own postcards on the boil. This month we're using Beryl Taylor's painted paper fabric technique as the basis for our designs, and I've been trying this and that and think I've landed a design I'm happy with.

And my NaNo effort moves apace:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

November is a special time

November is National Novel Writing Month. (National, I think, refers to the internet nation at large.) Basically, you have thirty days to get fifty thousand words down in some kind of narrative.

For the rest of November, art will be carried out in the odds and ends of moments when I'm not cramming words onto the screen.

I feel like a zombie. I may actually have become a zombie, and not noticed it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Inching Artists

This month at Inching Artists the theme was Tryptichs. I've left it to the last minute as usual, despite having a couple of weeks. But it was fun!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Catching up on things

I have a tiny amount of internet fame: I'm the artist in the spotlight at Stacey Apeitos's website,

I've also merged my two google IDs, so that I don't have to keep logging in and out of Google to leave comments on blogs and be able to read my Gmail at the same time. This means that the notification on the comments that I read might look slightly different but it's still me. It's going to be so much easier to use just the one ID online.

It's deliciously rainy here! The damns are full, the creeks are running, the grass is green, and we're well positioned to head into the heat of summer.

Check out this creek, snapped at speed from the car window, because it's not a place you can stop and take photos. It's like the chocolate river in Willy Wonka! It's normally a dry bed.:

And this is Lake Colac - see the grass poking up through the water? That's where the water line used to be. That's how much water has flowed into the lake:

This makes for happy cows:

And a happy me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I was tagged by Debbi for this meme.

The rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

1. My family is almost all Taurean. Four out of the six of us were born between the end of April and the middle of May. Mum claims that the only reason she can cope with four Taureans is because she's a Virgo. I think it's my Taurean tendencies that make me reach for the gold paint nine times out of ten. I like things to look lush.

2. I was a role-player - with the funny-shaped dice and the dragons and so on. This is why I get so carried away with the story-telling aspects of my art. I don't RP so much any more, but I still have those dice. They glow in the dark. I want to use them in an assemblage, as soon as I find the right piece.

3. I can't use microbeads. They swarm all over my mat like bugs and freak me out. I like to look at them when they're used well, but in their little jar, they look like caviar. I can't stand things that swarm. *shudders*

4. A few years before we both got into papercrafts, my mum threw out a box of ratty old photographs. We both mourn this loss terribly. This reinforces my need to hoard everything. HOARD EVERYTHING!

5. Sometimes I worry that I like to paint paper and make backgrounds more than I like to make actual art. I have folders and folders of painted paper that I'll never get rid of, and yet, when I'm starting a new project, the first thing I do is paint a collection of papers for inspiration. Maybe I should give them away?

6. Bury me with Stampington's True Colors. I think it's the most re-read of all my art books, and the one that inspires me the most.

7. When I'm stuck for an idea, I put random terms into Wikipedia and read. Some of my favourite pieces have been inspired by high physics or philosophy.

I don't really know enough bloggers to tag for this, so please feel free to do it if you want to. And link back here, so I can go and learn about you, too.

And now, some random art from the past, a spread in an altered book from a few years ago, demonstrating that the ability to write dodgy haiku is never a waste:

Monday, October 15, 2007

TMTA: Masks

This week's theme for TMTA was Masks. I was certain that I had some cute baroque-looking mask charms somewhere in the murky depths of our craftroom, but either I imagined buying them in the first place (which is weird, because I'm sure I've used a few), or I put them in a really, really safe and sensible place, which means I won't be seeing them for a few years.

So, I had to improvise.

The face is from a book of Indian clip art, and it's a mask of some kind, though it's uncannily realistic-looking. I cut the body out of card, and the hair out of some bright orange paper. It's a darker themed card than I'm used to making, but I like it.

ETA: And it looks like I was too slow for this theme - that will teach me to get my act together - I've had this card made for a few days and everything. Never mind!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Experimenting with fabric paper

I'm in a fabric postcard exchange, and this month we're to use Beryl Taylor's technique of making a stitchable fabric with collaged papers. There's instructions for this Cloth Paper Scissors #1.

I've never been good at following instructions.

I forgot the top layer of tissue paper that's supposed to hold everything down, so the paper flaked up once it was dry. It looked good, though, so I stitched it down again with an orange variegated thread.

It's going to be handy for cutting into pieces - I've already made a card from it, for a non-crafting blogger friend.

And I've got a few more pieces done correctly that are drying outside now.

Inching Artists - Rust

I'm hopelessly behind schedule here, but Inching Artists has miraculously not been updated yet, so I'm going to sneak this one in past-deadline.

I used hand-painted paper with a rusted, corroded look. Actually, it's scrap paper that I've been hoarding, I really liked the random way paint was slopped over it. Also used lead light tape to highlight the words - that tape seems to get mottled and tarnished very easily, but I really like the colour.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Think Monday, Think ATC: Smile

The theme at TMTA this week was "Smile". I have to confess, I had a sudden attack of anarchy with this one, and couldn't get the image of grumpy children out of my mind.

It's not that I don't feel like smiling. Not at all!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Inchie Challenge: Mirror, Mirror

This week in Inching Artists, the theme is "Mirror, Mirror". It was a tough one - I had to wrack my brains to find what I wanted to say about that. I chose an image taken from a stained glass window - I like her introspective expression. She's reflecting.

The buttons are battered, but shiny. And one day, I'll remember that gold doesn't scan well, and avoid using it. (Yeah, like that's going to happen. Ever! I love the look of gold too much for that.)

ETA: Why is Blogger suddenly giving me instructions in German? *is puzzled*

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The busier one gets, the more one puts things off

I need to be writing for this fanfic challenge - I foolishly took on a last minute pinch-hit to help the organisers out without really considering that I'd have to write the darn thing in two days. So, naturally I'm posting to my art blog, where they can't see me and know that I'm running around in a bit of a tizz.

I made some ATCs to tuck into cards going out to various friends who are having rough times at the moment - it was so nice to make a few simple cards and decorate envelopes. It's something I had forgotten that I enjoyed so much.

We have a new colour laser printer, and I printed some images onto vellum - they worked out well. It's a huge monster of a printer, though, and we don't have table space for it, so it crouches on the floor like a toad.

Things I'm excited about:
The new Temeraire novel is released soon. The first three were brilliant fun to read - a re-imagining of the Napoleonic War fought with an Aerial Corps of dragons. Very much my cup of tea.

My new lap-top that has been ordered, and should arrive on Tuesday. Until then, I have to perch on the rickety chair in the kitchen to use the desk top.

Thea Gilmore singing 'Bad Moon Rising'. I love her voice.

Dale at the Thread Studio having Hot Textiles in stock before Amazon. Go Aussie suppliers!

I think that's all the excitement I can take. Also, should be writing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

More inchies!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my ATC - this is the best part about starting a new blog, all the new people I'm getting to meet and the chance to catch up with a few old friends too.

This is a procrastination post - I have a deadline to meet. Is it procrastination if I planned it ahead? I made these inchies earlier in the week, so that I would have something to post when I knew my concentration would be wavering.

This week's theme at Inching Artists is "Under the Sea". Technically, these inchies aren't inspired by things under the sea, but things on the shoreline. I plead artistic licence on that matter.

They're made with scraps of hand-painted paper stamped with a hand-carved spiral stamp that made me think of crashing waves. The gold foil I saved a long time ago, and I'm glad that I could finally use it, because it got a bit crunched up, which in this case, worked well. And the words come from my favourite source of amazing words - a torrid pirate romance novel. It has all the best adjectives. And it is truly, truly hideous reading. When I bought it at the thrift store, I was caught in the act by someone from my tiny town. We chatted politely, but I've always wondered what she thought of me - the cover of the book is exceedingly lurid. It's a real bodice-ripper.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Think Monday - Think ATC (I know, it's Wednesday...)

I've had a very busy couple of days - a sick girlfriend to take care of, lots of art to do (yay!), and a looming fan-fiction challenge that I'm blithely ignoring. I'm going to be sorry about that last one in a few days when I'm slaving at the keyboard until the wee hours of the morning.

Hey, Scoured! Google Reader for the win! Thank you so much for the tip, I'm cruising along with it now, and it's awesome. And not contributing to me failing to get this fic written, no, not at all.

Think Monday - Think ATC is a weekly challenge to make an artist's trading card to the specified theme, and this week, the challenge was to use a slide mount (the little casing that goes around a photographic slide) in the ATC. This is my first time in this challenge - but oh, I love these weekly challenges already - I can take part or not, as the muse comes and goes, and I'm not letting anyone down if I feel like my work isn't up to showing to anyone.

I'm really happy with this one - I love the texture of acrylic paint when it has bubbled up under the heat gun, and it's always fun to add those wacky triangle embellishments. The face is printed on a transparency, which isn't so obvious in the scan, but the text of the stamp shows through a little.

Yay! I'm so happy to have made something this weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The art is getting smaller

I'm going to sound like a creaky old woman when I say this: I remember when people started making ATCs, and a canvas of 2.5 by 3.5 inches was so tiny after working on books and cards. An ATC seems like an acreage now that I've worked on my first Inchie.

It's made from a tiny scrap of crazy quilt - I'm making some CQ ATCs right not also. I made it for the Spiral challenge at Inching Artists. I hope it's not hideous, and that I haven't broken some unwritten rule by making mine from fabric, because I'm going to post a link to it at the Inchies challenge.

Here's one of the ATCs - the silk ribbon binding looks terribly wonky in the scan. It's much better in real life. Really.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Getting the hang of Blogger

It's not too bad, Blogger - I really like the adaptability of the layout, and the ability to drag around components of my blog. I wish Livejournal had that. On the other hand, Livejournal does have a huge networking capacity - and I really miss the friends list aspect of that system. I've created a blogroll, which I can add links to with an applet in my bookmarks folder, and it notifies me when people have updated their blogs. It's not the same as having LJ compile a list of the most up to date posts on my fandom blog, but it will do for now.

So post some art, woman!

I'm posting the alternative header I made on photoshop for Dansnark Art; the one that didn't fit the Blogger proportions. I thought of this as I was picking through collection of samples of Black Phoenix Alchemy perfume oils that I got with my last order, and toyed with the bottle labeled Siren.

The oil was very musky, not the fragrance of an ocean-dwelling Siren, I suspect. So I'm wearing Sudha Segara, which smells like nutmeg and condensed milk - it makes me think of a spice-carrying pirate ship.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I used Google Images to check what images of me were up online, and happily found only images of my art work. And I have something on the Stampington website, on the ad for Gallery IV: it's halfway down, the mermaid called "Niamh".

It's a page from a tiny booklet that I whipped up the night before the last possible posting date for the Celtic issue, using clip art images that I stamped with Celtic style tattoos. Last minute projects are always so surprising. Sometimes in a good way.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The first post is the hardest.

I've been on an art hiatus for most of 2007, and now that I'm poking around the arty end of the internet again, I see that art has moved to the blogosphere. I couldn't be happier about that! I'm not so familiar with Blogger, but I hope to be getting the hang of it soon.

So, best to post some art, I think! Apart from making myself a header and user photo on photoshop for this blog, I made an altered book for my Mum's birthday. I'm using photos posted at my new Flickr page - I usually use photobucket, so hopefully they won't be all hugemungous and weird.

The cover was collaged with various papers and coloured with dye inks and paints. I used gesso to soften the intensity of the colour.

This book was a quick and dirty alteration of an old cross stitch pattern book from the seventies. Because I was doing it fast, I only made two spreads, and used the entire book block to make a niche page.

This year, Mum's birthday coincided with the lunar eclipse. In the lead-up to the event, there were reports that the moon would be red in colour, and red tones crept into my work.

Okay, I think I'll hit the post button and see what happens.

ETA: That doesn't look right!
ETA again: Let's try it again!
ETA the third: Third time's a charm...