Monday, 30 September 2013

Mixed Media Monday - Gold!

Hi Friends! Theres only a few hours left of Monday here in Oz, so I best post my latest make for;

Here's a page I finished in my Art Journal with lots of texture:

I used the base of a page I started with Donna Downey at her class last month.

  We glued down lots of textural items with Gel Medium. So like mesh fabric, sequin punchouts, lace, ricrac, paper towel etc! And went over the whole thing in gesso.

I went over that with this lovely teal blue paint. But was stuck with what to do next!

So I got out my Jacquard Pinata Rich Gold alcohol ink, which is my FAVOURITE new thing! Its SO very realistic in colour and shimmer! Really looks like melted gold!

I put my page up vertically, and squeezed out the Jacquard Ink from the bottom along the top of my page and let it run down the page, where it hit a lot of the textures, highlighting them!

When dried, I figured a quote would be perfect, as I didn't want to cover up much of this page... I immediately thought of this quote, relating to the gold colour.


and just added a few glitter flowers, along with my quote.

I hope you liked seeing my Mixed Media page today!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and all your lovely comments.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Photo Friday - Bird Watching!

Hello and welcome to my second; 
This is where I will share photos I have taken from my week.

Its heating up here, becoming very summery! Beautiful warm days, and lots of sunshine, with lots of plants and trees growing and flowering. With that a lot of butterflies and birds fluttering about, especially in our yard.

My craft/computer room has a large window that faces out to our backyard where there are lots of trees and plants and I often spot common birds like pigeons, doves, sparrows, magpies, etc... But when I looked out the other day I spotted a dark black bird with shimmery blueish wings sitting on the fence! I called Mum and Dad and we both watched it and wondered what kind of bird it was, with such pretty shimmery plumage and bright red eyes! It soon flew away. But later on I spotted another bird hopping around on the fence and up the neighbours roof... So I grabbed my camera and went outside to take a photo and soon realized there were two of them:

I had never seen a bird such as these before! Grey with a black mask and black underwings... I couldn't zoom the birds up very well, without it distorting and blurring the photo - Here's a pic of the original photo and the two birds which I came to discover are called "Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike"...

As I was taking this photo, I saw and heard the flutter and shadow of a bird land on the fence beside me... I realize it was the pretty blackbird from earlier! Less than 2 meters away, staring at me! I took these photos of him, and his beautiful shimmery wings: 

He seemed very inquisitive and not afraid at all, But he soon flew away, again. My googling tells me he is called Koel, often called an Australian Koel.


I take my photos with a CANON G12 Powershot Camera. I am very happy with my camera, and the photos it takes. But its zooming capabilities could be better... But in googling I discovered there are many lens attachments available for it. So I intend to get some lenses for it, such as, a wide angle lens and telephoto lens and multiple filters, too.  Which should help me capture more details and clarity when zooming in. 


Now I'd like to leave you with a little story and some other photos I got this week. This time about our cat, Pushka. The ginger and white tabby cat who is 8 years old, but still acts like a kitten! Loves to play, jump, run and get into mischief about the house! 

We went out for an hour just to grab some groceries, and because he is an indoor cat, he is free to roam the house... Normally we keep the bedroom doors shut, so he can't get behind things and cause problems (like pulling plugs! or bending blind louvers from stalking something out of the windows!) or get near the birds in the house, who reside in my craft/computer room...

Anyway, I came home and Pushka was on the sofa chair, which is his favourite spot to sit and sleep, but I noticed he wasn't sleeping, just sitting up there... Usuaully he is fast asleep when we get home... 
 Heading up the hallway I notice my bedroom door open, in my rush to leave I had apparently not shut the door properly... So I head in there, and I notice my computer tilted and crooked on my bedside table drawer, then I notice little indentations in my blanket, leading away /or toward/ it...

Check it out:

It appears Mr Pushka is not as stealth as he thinks, and left footprints on my blanket before or after he had jumped on top of my computer, causing it to move askew. I just thought it was so funny, these little foot indentations from him!

I had to get a photo... I went out to him and asked him what he had been doing (I talk to my pets y'know, and they totally understand! lol) He totally refused to look at me, you swear he knew he shouldn't have been in there (not that I mind of course)...

When he finally did look at me, he gave such an incredulous look:

It just made us all laugh for ages. There is never a dull moment with our little rascal pets!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Mixed Media Monday

Hi Friends! Its the start of another beautiful week, I hope you all had a great weekend! 
 I plan to keep Mondays here on my blog for my Mixed Media work...

 Here I have a page from my Art Journal made using different craft mediums, which is the definition of Mixed Media; using multiple mediums on the work...

 This page was made using DecoArt paints, Distress inks, Staz-On and a bit of Colour Shine spray...

I also used the new Script Silhouette Stencil by The Crafters Workshop...

To start, I painted my background with blue and green splotches, letting it mix and cloud the page, so it wasn't just stark as one flat matte colour.
 When it was dried, I stamped around the page with different shades of Distress Ink, and multiple background stamps, such as spots,  crackle... and then in black the script.

I placed my stencil down, and went over it with a sponge with some yellow and green paint mixed, to make this nice golden green, to highlight the silhouette head and the script therein from the stencil. 

When that was dried, I went aruond the edges with black and white charcoal pencils, and blended them in, just to give it a more defined edge, and a bit of shading.

The words are stamps from Heidi Swapp, and some letter stickers.

I finished my page by dripping and splattering a bit of Bronze colour shine spray about, 
and going around the edge with a white gel pen.

I had a lot of fun making this page, and I am quite happy with the result...


I hope you liked seeing it too! 

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Photo Friday - Ship Ahoy!

I absoultely love taking photos, and so I wanted to take the chance to show some pics I have taken, here on my blog. I just love getting out and about in my town with my camera, or even just my own house or backyard... 

There is usually always something happening here in the coastal city I live; Since its a tourist destination spot. We live about 10 minutes from the ocean, and have lots of public garden, beach and picnic areas, nearby too. So there is usually always something to do, and to photograph!

Photo Friday will be new and constant thing here on my blog, to show off photos I have taken during the week!

This week I had the opportunity to go down to the local boat Marina here at the Jetty Foreshores and see a very cool wooden sailing ship, that is a replica of a 15th Century Portuguese Caravel:

Made completely from reclaimed Monterey Cypress timber wood, 
and lots of tar and stain, making it a very dark wood. 

It was called "Notorious" 

And had great attention to detail:

even a wooden rudder!

 It was very cool to see!

We actually went out yesterday in hopes to see it leave the area in full sailed glory, but its departure was delayed due to strong easterly winds, and so they planned on leaving during the night, so that was a bit of a shame. 

However we did some good exercise, walking, and got to see a Sea Turtle:

 Sorry they are not very big or detailed... We were up on The Jetty walk, where you can walk up high, out over the ocean on a big boardwalk, and he was swimming quite fast, we saw him over the right side at first, and he dove down as quick as we saw him. He popped up a few times, and then came over to the left side, where I got these pictures on full zoom! He was still a bit far away, But he was obviously having a ball in the sea around the Jetty...

I've seen sea turtles around that area before, but never managed to get photos. 

Here's a pic of the Jetty looking back towards the beach/land:

(It was quiet, not many people around.)

We also heard this strange noise coming from underneath the Jetty/Boardwalk itself, almost sounded like a Duck or a Frog, a kind of a mix of a Croaking Quacking noise!

I leaned over the side and saw this juvenile sea bird sitting on one of the pillars,
which is a type of bird I had never seen before:

Had a pointy yellow peak, with interesting markings and shape! Webbed feet but with a long slender neck, and I assume, just coming out of the baby stage, since he had light fluffy feathers on him, and the way he was "crying" with the croaky quack.... Cute in his own way!

 I came home and googled the birds from the area, and found that this bird is called a Dart or Darter Bird. Very good at "Darting" in and through the water, and because of their long neck and sharp looking beak.

All in all, its been a fun filled week, and beautiful summery weather here!

The sun has been shining beautifully, and we had nice hot weather today, that reached 32°C (89.6F)... Judging by that, I assume we are in for a hot summer considering Spring has only just started! 

I hope you liked seeing my Photo's.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


This is a list of things I'm currently doing, which I've decided to blog about once a month... The original idea came from RuKristin Papercrafts journalling prompts.

 I was heavily into Stargate SG-1, but now find myself not watching much of anything and focusing on my reading...

Had just finished the second book in the 'Slated' series by Teri Terry, called 'Fractured' - I can't wait for book 3! And Just started 'Ultraviolet' by RJ. Anderson, will read the sequel 'Quicksilver' when that is done. 

I generally just pop on and listen to their live Internet Radio of smooth pop tunes, new and old.

Peace with myself, in terms of my thoughts of not being good enough, or worthy of people. As well as making peace with the past, and people who had used me, treated me bad, and reinforced those bad thoughts/feelings and self doubt.

Accomplished. Optimistic. Determined.

An art canvas for my bedroom, and planning some day trips here in town, locally, for some fun times. 

My Life, my true friends, my family, my pets.. My Crafting, and blogging.

Also, this: 

I just love these Queenisms and the "Queen of your own life" website, blog, and facebook page.... 
Its so positive and empowering, and really helping me on my journey.

I hope you might join me blogging about your list of "Currently"... Do checkout my previous blog post to see my Mixed Media Bird Canvas I made!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Love Birds Canvas...

Hello again friends! Thanks so much for your warm welcome back to 'blog world'... I am definitely feeling renewed energy and enthusiasm to blog, and to create!  I also have a clearer direction in which I wish to head creatively... More into the Mixed Media / Art Journal side of things, altered art, and lots of inky, messy, painty, stampy, goodness!

So following that theme, today I have a Canvas to share, which I made from a Mixed Media Kit I purchased online at BlueBazaar here in Australia.

Here's a pic of the kit and contents:
It featured lots of items, many of which I had never used (or heard of) before.

Here's the product list:
Teresa Collins Map Paper
Inktense Block Antique White
Lumiere 2.25Oz Crimson
Neopaque 2.25 Oz Brown
Pinata Rich Gold
Basic Shapes Tracing Templates (masks)
Foam Paint Roller
Journal Texture Clear Stamp
Mister Hueys Opaque White
4x4 Canvas
8x8 Canvas
Paintstik Turquoise

I was a little daunted at first, looking at these blank canvases and all these products, wondering what on earth to do! But thankfully Blue Bazaar had a sample project sheet showcasing the items, on the canvases, so I decided to go along with that... Since it featured Birds, and I absolutely love Birds!

Here is my finished result:

I probably should have taken photos as I made the canvas, but I gave my full attention to the work, as I was worried it wouldn't turn out... But it was simpler and quicker than I thought. 

The steps were to tear the map paper to size for each canvas, stick it down on the canvas with gel medium, and when dried, going around the edges with the paintstik and rubbing the paintstik in to blend.

The brown paint was added thinly, and dabbed off with a baby wipe, and the journal stamp, so it just gave a vintage effect, as you can hopefully see on the birds:

I placed the bird templates down and went over them with the crimson paint and roller.

Once dried went around each bird with the white inktense pencil,  and blended it out... Also added some more paintstik to their bellies and blended it out... 

Then just went around each bird with the Gold Pinata Paint, this was probably my favourite of all the new products that I used! It was so metallic and shimmery! Very shiny and lots of sheen and a real metallic gold look about it when it dried, Very Cool!

I used the brown paint for their eye details, and the branch the baby bird is sitting on.

The heart canvas was made in much the same way as the birds - only used the white Mister spray on the heart template, so that it ran down the canvas, and melded with the crimson paint, giving it a very vintage and distressed look...  

I am quite pleased with how they came out, and have heaps of product left from the kit to make tonnes more canvases or pages! So it was great value for money, and I learned a lot, too.

I hope you liked seeing my Lovebirds Canvas today, I really enjoyed putting it together. This is definitely the type of thing I hope to do more of in the future. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, and all your lovely comments.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Meeting Donna Downey... (Photo Intensive)

(***Photo Intensive post ahead***)

Last month I had the amazing opportunity to attend some classes with Donna Downey here in Australia, up in Queenslands Sunshine Coast. Despite the poor setup and organization of the small classroom she (and we) had to work with, it was still a dream!

She was very friendly and wickedly funny, and shared lots of information with us. I found her to be very down to earth and helpful, and just a very inspiring woman with a bubbly happy spirit. Someone I definitely aspire to being like, personally and creatively.

When I, or anyone, went up to her between breaks to speak with her, or to ask questions she would give you her full attention, it was never an effort to chat, and she wasn't a diva either! Even when she was addressing the whole room, she made you feel like each individual was important and appreciated, and gave encouragement to ensure we all knew we could all do it, and were doing a great job.

The first class we created a canvas, and learned a bit about Color Theory, and products... This class was called "Techniques in Color"

(Promotional Poster)

We used Faber-Castell Gelato's and Big Brush Markers, as well as Faber-Castell pencils. This is where I felt it wasn't well organized/set-up, in my opinion... One tray of Gelato sticks for a table of 12...  Donna asked us to choose 3 or more colours from the same colour family for our canvas...  So all shades of greens, blues, reds, yellows/oranges, etc.... So when I got the tray there were literally like 3 colours left, a metallic purple, a skin tone pink, and a light yellow.... Now obviously picking the same colour family wasn't going to happen, but luckily I wasn't fussy and actually love yellow and purple, and pink too! The pink sadly didn't really come up though..

Here's my finished canvas:

I felt we ended up with a lot of waiting, and passing around, or just "making do"... Which isn't minded of course, but when you have paid good money for a class and you feel you are being rushed, or only making do, while waiting on others to catch up, makes you feel like the time and value is slipping away to nowhere... 

But back to the canvas;
We also used India Ink in a dropper bottle, to give this cool grungy effect with splatters. We used Donna Downey's stencils on the tags and canvas background.  As well as some of her sentiment stamps..

Here's a closeup of my finished canvas, with tags, washi tape, bit of stamping, some bingo card numbers, and an A for Annmaree ;-)

 The next class was called "Inspiration Journal" which was about the basics of Art Journaling, painting, and Mixed Media... We were able to choose our very own Donna Downey Journal from the box! Lots of colours and patterns were in there, but when I spotted this colourful baby, I knew it was mine!

While this class was the longest, at 5 hours length, it didn't feel (or show) that we got a lot done.... The main reason for that was the drying off between layers or pages. Unlike most classes I had seen online, where the cords and heat guns were on the tables - at this one they actually had the heat guns set up at the end of the room, so each time anyone (everyone) had to dry something (which was a lot!) we had to get up, go there, get in line, wait, dry, wait, come back, wait and get the next instructions. This took up the bulk of our time, and seemed rather wasteful and silly, especially when we were asked to bring heat guns - that didn't get used.  

Actually a LOT of the items they told us to bring, weren't even needed, I found... Especially frustrating for me, coming from Five and a Half hours away! Having to pack and travel with those unnecessary items on a train, and then a bus! 

But back to the Journal... Here is one background page we got done, first we stuck down tags, and painted over them, then puddled paint on, and drops of other coloured paints, and spritz with water, and let it drip and fall and move around the page, to make this groovy marbled effect:

This is some India Ink drawing she asked us to try on one of our painted pages... I'm not a drawer, so not 100% happy with these flowers:

This page was all about texture. We stuck down lots of different items, like paper towel, netting, mesh fabric, ric-rac, lace, doily, sequin punchouts, and went over the whole thing with Gesso...
 Its not a finished page yet, but I loved the idea of textures, and she really seems to love texture, too.

This is an image transfer technique we tried, Most didn't come out well....

This was my favourite page we did, which I also got Donna Downey herself to sign for me!

Its a canvas heart, with painted background and painted heart. But when the paint was dry, we went in with Oil Pastels and shaded the heart inside and out, to give the neat shadows and highlights you see:

(Live Inspired - Donna's tagline)

Such a simple technique really brought something so simple to life!

 Here is a page I finished  at home, employing a lot of the techniques I learned in this class and her signature item - Poppies!

 Here's some Photos of me and Donna Downey:

I kept giggling because I was so nervous to actually be in front of her and SPEAK to her! 
She even said in her wonderfully twangy American accent "Oh you're a giggler! I like that!" 
which of course made me giggle even more!!! 

 Here's another pic a friend got of me, 
as Donna was Signing my Journal: 
I am totally swooning here, aren't I? lol!

So all in all, Donna was amazing! I would absolutely go back to her classes and see her again if I had the chance, Only next time I would choose another location. Because of the things I mentioned with the poor organization and setup. The plastic garden chairs they had us sitting on wasn't great for the back, bum or posture, and it did get a little claustrophobic in the small crowded room when you were butt up to another person behind, and three more each side all trying to get up and down and around toward the front or back to dry pages etc... 

But the good definitely did over-rule the bad, and Donna was fabulous! 

I hope you enjoyed my photos, and I'll leave you with a few more of Donna from the classes I attended; Thanks for stopping by!