Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Hi and welcome. Just a quick post and an entry into a challenge I've not been to before.
At Crafts -Too Challenge You the criteria is for the craft piece to be about the natural world... with a twist. The twist this fortnight is to add wings (real or fantasy). Pop on over to:
http://c2cu.blogspot.co.uk to have a look.

My layout is showing butterflies (chipboard: small ones coloured with distress stains and then with liquid pearls to give a jewel-like shimmer; the larger one coloured with Opals embossing powder). Part of the background paper has been stamped with dragonflies. This was altered printed cardstock,- paper I didn't particularly like, smooshed over with distress inks, including Black Soot, after  highlighting some aspects with white crayon, which acted as a resist. The paper was then buffed off to reveal the lighter sections, before stamping with archival inks.
The photos were taken at a rainforest park near Lismore. The plant is a native one: a cunjevoi. These I've seen about for years, but on this occasion, they were in flower... the first time I'd seen them flowering... quite unusual!

Thank you for stopping by. Catch you again soon. Cheers, Di

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Hi and welcome on this glorious Christmas Eve. I hope everyone has a wonderful day, with family and friends.
Christmas has been a popular theme this month, and ARTastic has also continued with this theme, using a 'wordle' as an inspiration. I'd not heard of these before, but what an interesting concept. I can see many uses for it in a classroom, (as a retired teacher) with students having a great time.  While I didn't do a wordle for my piece. I did use some of the words from the inspirational one. pop on over to: http://artasticchallengeblog.blogspot.com.au/ and see what the very talented DT has done with this.
I decided not to do a layout. Instead I made a stocking from firm cardstock and decorated it with: aluminium flashing tape (embossed, inked with alcohol inks), die cut poinsettias (from a gauzy tissue paper and Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettia die), vintage photo print, and 3D Stamping Paint.

The stocking has tabs on the edges and this was all adhered to a firm backing with mounting tape, so that something could be placed inside.

In this case, the surprise is a giant wordsearch of Christmas words with every letter of the alphabet represented.

Again have a safe and joyous Christmas.
Thank you for visiting  and for your inspirational comments. Cheers, Di

Saturday, 21 December 2013


Hi and welcome. You could take this title in a number of ways (depending on mood). However, I have made a tag, with a Christmas theme.
First, I used a Petaloo magnetic tag for the base. This is a deep chocolate brown which is great as a base colour to give additional depth. I'll apologise here for the quality of the photos.. really should have done them in natural light so that the true colours were more obvious (NOT !! at 1.00am!!)


This was painted liberally with Collage Pauge, and TH tissue paper was adhered to it.

After this I used a chevron stencil and white gesso to create a background. With the stencil in place I spritzed with glimmer mists  and then removed the stencil and left everything to dry.
When dry, Inca Gold (soft gold and apricot) were rubbed in.This gave the tag a beautiful pearly finish, while still allowing the chevron pattern and sprayed colours to still be seen.
Inside the tag I glued on paper strips,and fabric pieces, again with the Collage Pauge.These were tidied up before the edges were covered with paper tape, again smooched with Inca Gold.

A paper doily, smooched with a chocolate coloured Inca gold and a die-cut strip of paper was used to frame a vintage image. A Christmas poem torn from an old poetry book completed this section, together with a die-cut and embossed bauble (foil paper).
A dove was die cut and embossed from pearlised cardstock. Pan Pastels were applied to sections and the whole piece lightly spritzed with biscotti Perfect Pearls.When dry, some sections were highlighted further with Inca Gold. A piece of ribbon was threaded through the cardstock to form the basis of a very retro choker. Miss Bird was certainly getting into the Christmas spirit with her choice of jewels to adorn herself. A Christmas tag, again a deep chocolate brown,  salvaged from an old 
Kaiser craft range and some lace completed the front. Rayon ribbon was coloured using distress inks, and used to complete the tag.

Thank you for looking. I'm entering this piece into:
http://anythingbutacard.blogspot.ca/  where the team members were getting into the holiday spirit.

and  http://ourcreativecorner6.blogspot.com.au/ where the team was looking for a vintage Christmas, with no red  or green.This is a first visit to this blog challenge.

Have a happy and safe Christmas. Cheers, Di

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


...... on ev'ry site you see!!!!

Including Pixels and Paper for this month's challenge.
This month we have a vintage Christmas photo for your inspiration, so we would love to see your project based on an aspect of Christmas shown here. You have until midnight, 5th January to submit your creation, so we hope that this gives you plenty of  time to enjoy the festive season with family and friends and hopefully finding  some crafty time for yourself.

Pop over to:http://pixelsandpaperchallengeblog.blogspot.com.au/ to see what the team has produced for this.
This is my DT piece for the challenge. I focused on the stockings and used this concept as a centrepiece for my layout. This was done with iris folding.


On the background I've also stamped a Christmas ornament topper  (Chocolate Baroque stamps) with versamark, then heat embossed it  and added braid so that it looked like they were hanging.
The inspiration photo also reminded me of my childhood when many of the decorations for the house and the tree were handmade. I remember making strings of bells from milk bottle caps, washed, turned inside out and moulded into bell shapes over a lemon juicer. We also made paper chains from cut up cards and crepe paper.
For this memory, I chose to make the ornaments from stamped foil paper, (Chocolate Baroque stamps)  and again heat embossed the design. This gave them the look of some of the gorgeous decorations that were always packed away carefully each year. The idea of stamping and cutting out the ornaments was the result of a play day at Julie's at: http://timetocreate-handmadetreasure.blogspot.com.au/


Some close-ups of the ornaments. Sorry about the blueness of the background. In trying to get the detail of the ornaments to stand out more, the background was brightened a wee bit too much. The photo below is more of the real colour. Sentiments are Words from Darkroom Door.

The photo of our son taken in 1990 was framed with foil paper, smooshed with 3D Stamping Paint. Journalling has been done on tags popped into the folds of the stocking.

On the base I've placed a strip of "Merry Christmas" words in  various languages  (Graphic 45). I played with some soft metallic silver Pan  Pastels and 3D Stamping Paint on this strip.

Thank you for visiting and please pop on over to Pixels and Paper to have a peep. We'd really love it  if you decided to have a play with us.

Cheers, Di

Friday, 29 November 2013


Hi and welcome. Just a very quick post showing a challenge layout for: http://unstampabelleschallenges.blogspot.com.au/ where the criteria was for the use of vellum and no stamping. This is a very late posting for this.

I've used a double matting of cardstock for  the background as well as a recycled "Monet" calendar print. Framework around the photo has been made from the stems cut from artificial flowers. Under the photo is my vellum matting with a hand-embossed waterlily.

Close up of the embossing..
Cheers for now. Thank you for visiting. Di

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Autumn Tag

Hi and welcome. Tags are becoming one of my favourite forms of mini-art. I've a long way to go, but am enjoying the experimentation process.
This tag is for the current challenge at Anything But A Card: Fall into Fall.  Pop on over to: http://anythingbutacard.blogspot.ca/  to see what the DT has been up to.

I used a Kraft tag for the base and smooshed it with gold metallic alcohol ink, as well as the colours previously used and left on the applicator. I loved the effect this made and it's one I'll use again. I was surprised to see how well a non-glossy surface took alcohol ink. the edges were swiped with Inca gold.

For the next layer I added a smaller tag made from a  metallic gold vellum. The edges of this were swiped with 3D Stamping paint. The next tag was made from acetate packaging, alcohol inked and then put through an embossing folder. On the front I rubbed on some Inca gold and 3d stamping paint. The leaves were die cut using the Tim Holtz Tattered Leaves die. These were also cut from acetate packaging and glossy cardboard packaging. The surfaces were treated the same way as the base with the addition of metallic gold alcohol ink.

Some images from Graphic 45 "Place in Time" collection and a snippet of an autumn poem from  an old poetry book (smooshed with Distress Ink) completed the tag. It was finished with a bow made from seam binding, spritzed and sprayed with Dylusions Inks, Glimmer mists and water.
Thank you for visiting and for your lovely comments.
 Cheers, Di.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Golden Tag

Hi and welcome. We've certainly had an interesting week of storms, wind and hail in our region over the past week. At home this has not been to the extent of towns nearby where, in some centres it certainly looked like a Northern winter scape!
In my exploration of challenge sites I came across "Lets get Shabby Challenge" blog and decided to put an entry into their latest challenge ( just getting it in!), which is themed on "Gold". For this challenge at: http://letsgetshabby.blogspot.com.au/  I decided to make a tag. This was cut from a pearlised glittery cardstock which was coloured with gold metallic alcohol ink. Even though this card only had a soft satin sheen to it, the alcohol ink took well without any bleeding on the underside.
On the background I've stamped a steam punk rose image from Chocolate Baroque's steampunk butterfly set. This was coloured using 3d Stamping Paint.

The flowers were quilled from different gold papers, including a soft metallic gold vellum.


Some layering with corrugated cardboard, Tim Holtz tissue paper, diecut cog and ribbons were also used.  Around the edges I've added a random border of mica flakes.


 Thank you for visiting. I really appreciate your encouraging comments.
Cheers, Di

Friday, 15 November 2013

Alina the Fair

Hi and welcome.
A beautiful  mixed media artwork, "Listen" by Jenny Grant is the inspiration piece at ARTastic this month. Check out the stunning DT inspiration pieces at:http://artasticchallengeblog.blogspot.com.au/  I really enjoy this style of artwork and for the challenge this month decided to do a canvas piece using a mix of different mediums.
I used a canvas board for the background surface. This was  painted with black gesso and while it was still damp, I sprinkled on Perfect Pearls powders and spritzed with water. I also spritzed with Perfect Pearls mists.

Zentangling has been a feature in some of my projects this year, and this time I chose to draw a faerie face on cardstock and gave her a tangle of tresses, some of which have been zentangled. Alina, (the name I have given this faerie) was  looking too stark against the background so I lifted her tones using Lyra Aquarelles.



I don't know what I was thinking of when I outlined the face in black!!!! Just got carried away... anyway the jawline had to be softened. This was done using a blend of Picket Fence Distress Stain and the Aquarelles.

Before attaching the piece to the canvas board, I sprayed with a fixative. Alina's headpiece was beaded and finished with a metallic flower embellishment (Tim Holtz). This was coloured using 3D stamping paint. The other metal pieces on the canvas were also coloured the same way.

To complete Alina's coiffure I added metallic yarn, a piece from a Christmas decoration and 3D Stamping Paint to suggest movement and to give an extra pop of colour.

The outside edge  of the canvas was painted with the 3d stamping paint as well.

Thank you for stopping by and for leaving encouraging comments. these are truly appreciated.
Cheers, Di.

Saturday, 2 November 2013


Pixels and Paper Challenge for November.
The challenge at Pixels and Paper this month is about chickens, inspired by this picture.

Of course your page doesn't have to be about chickens at all - perhaps you see the wider picture of a farmyard and would like to tell the story of a trip to the countryside or visit to a working farm. Maybe your child has visited a farm as part of a school trip or raised chicks as a classroom project. You might even like to think laterally on this one and explain your love of egg based dishes! Bacon and eggs anyone?

Pop on over to: http://pixelsandpaperchallengeblog.blogspot.com.au/ to see what the Design Team have come up with for this challenge.

My take on this was based on a photo taken of my husband and our first car way back in '74 / '75. At this time we were renting an old farmhouse. Although we didn't have any form of poultry at this location, we did have paddocks around us where hereford cattle were mainly kept by our landlord. The house paddock often had the cows about to give birth in them and my husband sometimes had to assist the farmer with the deliveries or let him know when the new born calves had arrived. The car shed was very old and ramshackle. We didn't use it very often, particularly when we discovered that it was the residence of a red-bellied black snake... and that's a whole other story !!

The background papers were cut, inked and painted (combinations of distress inks, stains and archival inks). Stencilling was used for the tree, and freehand dabs of various stains added for foliage. The roof of the die cut shed was made from corrugated cardboard packaging which was smooshed with Rusty Hinge distress ink. The pond was an experimentation with a gellipad and the rooster cut from Graphic 45 papers. The photos of the ducks were also cut out. On the page I've also used dried grass for reeds and a Dusty Attic chipboard barbed wire fence.
I hope you are inspired to join us for the challenge. We'd love to see your work.
Thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comments.
Cheers, Di.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Chillin' Out!

Hi and welcome. We've had a little relief from the hot, dry conditions here,with some mizzly, welcome rain. In other areas of NSW bushfires are lessening  which is great news for all of those involved in the firefighting efforts.
As well as completing layouts for some challenges I've been experimenting with some ideas for a girl's group (10 -  12 yr olds) who meet in their lunch hour once a week for various activities. I've been asked to do a Christmas activity with them and apart for what I've already planned (will show you when completed), I would  like to also come up with a small, quickly-made gift they could make. If anyone has any ideas, could you share?
Today's layout is showing photos of a tawny frogmouth taken in early January, 2010. It was a particularly hot day with temps in the mid 30's (degrees C), and no breeze whatsoever. To get some relief from the heat, this tawny (and there were 2 others  in the tree)  sprawled out on a branch  (the tree is in my front garden), with its wings on either side. It just seemed to be balanced there. It mustn't have been too uncomfortable, because it remained in this position for at least half an hour. I was lucky to get photos of it as it was spreading its wings to get cooler. I love the look on the tawny's face... it reminds me of  'Animal' from the  Muppets.

The challenge at ARTastic this month is to use wood &/ or feathers. Pop on over to
 http://artasticchallengeblog.blogspot.com.au/   to see what the inspirational art work is, and what the fabulous Design Team have come up with.

I've had the paper in my stash for some time. The edges of the tree and owl paper were moistened before distressing and rolling.  I also used gesso over a stencil and while damp, sprayed it with green  and chocolate dylusions sprays...... what a surprise to find when the leaves dried that the ones sprayed with chocolate colour  had turned ... PINK!!! ... not the colour I wanted. Back went the stencil and a good layer of 3D Stamping Paint added. The wooden feathers were sprayed with chocolate coloured dylusions and wrapped with twine to resemble the tawny feathers. Thickers in the title were painted with liquid pearls.
Thank you for visiting and for leaving your positive comments.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

ENCHANTED GLADE (with Zentangles)

Hi and welcome. It seems like ages since my last post, but I am still having a bit of a nerve problem in my hand, so some activities are limited. However, I have had a couple of fabulous playdays/ classes with friend Julie at:http://timetocreate-handmadetreasure.blogspot.com.au/. It was great to get back together with friends to create some amazing pieces.
This layout is for the current challenge at ABAC, where the criteria is for orange or orange and  black.  Pop on over to http://anythingbutacard.blogspot.ca/    to see what the DT members have done for this.
I've gone for a fantasy theme. The background was doodled first, creating the glade. Some newly purchased Chocolate Baroque stamps (lovin' these!) were used for some extra detail.

The whole background was then smooshed with Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Dried Marigold, Spiced Marmalade and Ripe Persimmon). After attaching the photo and adding die cut flowers (again from smooshed and inked paper) I highlighted some sections with 3D Stamping Paint (blue and copper) to give a bit of sheen.


            Some close-ups of the layout... trying to show the effect of added 3D paint, and stamping.

I have used the fairy composition in the photo before, in a different setting and colour. She is a favourite of mine and may appear again sometime in the future, with some changes. I rather enjoy making different scenarios for her.
Thank you for visiting. It's always a pleasure to read comments that are left.
Cheers, Di

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Hi and welcome. Today I'm sharing my take on the October Challenge for Pixels and Paper where the inspiration was candles. Maybe you think of celebrations, light and shadows, colours seen in the photo, or the number 11 (there being 11 candles).

This is a great photo to take inspiration from. Pop over to Pixels and Paper at: http://pixelsandpaperchallengeblog.blogspot.com.au/  to see what the design team has been up to.
I've chosen to go with the birthday theme, but have also used some of the colours that can be seen in the inspiration photo.
The photos I've used are of my son's 4th birthday afternoon tea party, with his Nan and Pop. he had 2 cakes, one made by Nan (chocolate and cherries) and one made by me (taken straight from the Australian Woman's Weekly Birthday Cake Book), decorated in the form of a clock face. So, 2 lots of candles to blow out and 2 cakes to cut! Cherries were a particular favourite of my son's at this time, and many escaped to his plate before the cake was cut!

I didn't do too  much with the background cardstock; just some stamped balloons and sentiments,  as it was great the way it came. Since it was a birthday I just ran a couple of lengths of washi tape down and across the page, to make it look like a ribbon around a present.
The photos were double mounted, and glitter quilling paper was used to wrap the mounting cardstock sheets, as well as forming the Number 4 on the candle. The candle was cut from one of my stencilling experiments, involving acrylics and distress inks. The flame  was cut from acetate packaging, and alcohol inked. Outsides of the various elements were swiped with 3D Stamping Ink for a bit of extra glitter.
Thank you for visiting and I would love to see your work at this month's challenge.
Cheers, Di

Saturday, 28 September 2013


Hi and welcome. Sorry I have been so tardy in visiting your blogs, but I've had the flu and I've strained tendons in my right hand from some over-zealous gardening!...absolute nuisance as it has restricted what I'm able to do. Hopefully it is on the mend.
At http://anythingbutacard.blogspot.ca/ this month's challenge was about books. What I had planned for this didn't happen, instead I've decided to go with a bookmark, using vellum, page from an old poetry book, and cardstock.

The vellum design was drawn with a very fine sharpie pen and coloured using Lyra pens. The images were then dry embossed on the reverse side, to give them a raised look. The outline was pierced (just like pin-pricking) and torn to give a lace-look edging. A border was done in a silver permanent liner. An additional butterfly was done in the same manner from vellum, fussy cut and placed over the original one. This top butterfly was given a fairly dry brushing of  3D Stamping Paint to give a slight sheen. The vellum was mounted to the poetry page using brads. This was then roughly torn to the same shape as the vellum layer. Both layers were then placed on cardstock layers. Punched flowers were added around the edge. These were left-over cardstock from Distress Ink experiments. With these in position, the bookmark edge was fussy cut to follow the line of flowers.

Added butterflies were punched from left-over poetry and old manuscript music bits. A beaded edge was added. Because I decided to go with the 3-D look for this bookmark, a length of wide ribbon was added for the marking of the page inside a book, so that the rest of the bookmark resides on the cover.

The outer edge of the bookmark was also finished with the 3D stamping paint.
Thank you for looking and for continuing to leave positive comments. These are truly appreciated and I look forward to catching up with everyone as as soon as possible.
Cheers, Di.

Saturday, 21 September 2013


Hi and welcome on this glorious spring day! Perfect weather for gardening and that's what I'd been doing earlier.
This  month's challenge at:http://artasticchallengeblog.blogspot.com.au/ is all about fun and quirky! Well, if my garden plants were anything like the ones on my layout, they would certainly fit this criteria! I certainly had fun, firstly doodling the background, them adding the pops of colour by making flowers.

I've been doodling for years, and certainly used this as an art technique for students in my classes to make art works and book covers, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that this technique is now called zen tangling! I picked up a book ( The Art of Zentangle) last week to see what was different, and discovered the extent to which this form of doodling has taken... very interesting indeed!

The dies used for the flowers were T.H: Tattered Flower Garland, Tattered Florals and Mini Paper Rosettes. The photo is of a protea I used to have in the garden, but unfortunately, no longer.
To complete the layout, I used Lyra aquarelles, to give a random wash around some of the doodles.
Thank you for visiting.
Cheers, Di.