Friday, October 26, 2007

Magazine previews

Recently we received new stock of two magazines from my favourite publisher Stampington, Somerset Workshop and Sew Somerset.
I have found some excellent workshops in Somerset Workshop to date, I try to do some of the workshops to learn new techniques when I get a chance. One that intriqued me in the latest Workshop was Romantic effects with paper, paint and mediums by Rachel Emilie Jackson. Rachel is from Wirral, England and her style is similar to Beryl Taylor who also originally came from England.
Rachel creates lovely soft colour backgrounds using coffee, paints, paper text and clipart, pva glue, gesso and pearlescent paint. The emulsion paints that she buys from hardware shops we have not been able to find in Western Australia but find the Golden fluids mixed with water and softened down with white paint give the same results. If you have purchased this magazine please note that the instruction on page 12 number 7 states to attach ephemera with a glue stick, this is incorrect, should be pva glue. Glue stick will not create a crackle effect. another tip is do not overwork the gesso. We also found that Golden heavy body pearlescent paint gave the same effect as pearlescent tinting medium.

above is my sample from playing with this technique, I think it will make a nice soft background for a vintage book.
this image is from Sew Somerset, The Sewing Book by Caterina Giglio. this will be a future project I would like to try, love the soft pages using a mail order catalogue. lovely old vintage sewing pattern images and tissue, sewing ephemera, paints etc. love the uneven hand stitching in soft embroidery threads.
another project that has caught my eye is this, A year of stitching, by Hanne Matthiesen, minimal sewing on this project, just love those soft colours, see the lovely pink clothes hanging on a line below a branch on a snow background. Oh and the simplicity of the step ladder in a bare bones room, of the natural colours. this is another I will do. Do you get the impression that my favourite colours are the soft whites and washed out pastels.
just to fool you I also love these colours, lovely earthy colours. An altered Fabric Adventure by Kristin Steiner. How yummy is that flower on the cover love the vintage looking button in the centre. that dirty blue is the perfect contrast for this fabric collage book by Kristin.

last but not least is this lovely bag by the lovely Heather Crossley from, none other than Australia. Some of you would have met Heather at our Art Retreat in March. Love your bags Heather. I love the soft feel of fabric journals and of course this media opens all the possibilities of using all the wonderful vintage fabrics and ephemera we love to collect.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Gaining positivity over negativity

Over the last few weeks I have been experiencing some negativity around me, I try very hard to be a positive person, believing that one should treat others as you would like to be treated. My dearest dad always taught us this, but on entering into business I find this law of attraction does not always come into being. In my constant search for peace and harmony I find that it is quite a battle.

I would like to share some of the things that I am learning on my journey that may help you if you are also experiencing negativity.

From a review on Lynn Grabhorn's book "Excuse me, Your life is Waiting"

from the book is Four Steps to turn the Law of Attraction into positive tools are:

Step 1 - identify what you don't want

Step 2 - identify what you DO want

Step 3 - Get into the feeling place of what you want

Step 4 - expect, listen, and allow it to happen

In other words, you manifest your own reality.

In the book, you are given some examples of how to proceed with the steps 1 to 4, how to learn to love who we are, and how to get ourselves to the place we want to be. She recommends that we start an "Appreciation" journal, something similar to Oprah's "Gratitude" Journal.

I challenge anyone who should read my blog to start one of these journals.

In starting mine here are some of the things I am grateful for -

I am grateful for my wonderful Husband, children, sisters, grandchildren, parents and friends all in equal place in my heart

I am grateful I live in a house that doesnt have dirt floors, with all my treasured belongings around me, oh dear isnt that very materialistic, I am grateful though.
I am grateful I do not live in constant fear in a war torn country.

I am grateful that I receive bills in the post, because these bills mean that I receive these services.
I would love you to share some of the things you do to stay positive.

You can read more reviews on, or better still purchase one of Lynn's books or one of the many other books on this subject and find the one you can relate to. One I get a lot of inspiration from is "The Secret", very easy to read for busy people. And start that journal and write one thing a day on something you are grateful for.

Tess is my daughter Kirsty's beloved border collie who had to be put to sleep yesterday and dear Kirsty is just heartbroken. Just a few heartfelt words to say goodbye to Tess.

Tess you have been part of our family for over 13 years. We are blessed to have such wonderful years with you. You spent 3 months with me while Kirsty went on her overseas trip, I am so gratefull that you accepted me as your keeper while your soulmate went exploring on the other side of the world. You always greeted us with such enthusiam and made us feel like your long lost friend. With time age dimmed your eyesight and hearing, you could no longer go for your long walks, your presence will still be felt and you will be missed. Our lives were richer with having you part of our family. chase those clouds around in heaven Tess.

These are the last photo's of the wonderful Tess taken just a few weeks age, still the classy looking gal she was. Much loved and missed. big hugs to Kirsty, Pete, Jack and Alyssa. xo

Friday, October 12, 2007

Inspiration for me

my bedroom/come studio, previously where I held classes. Can you possibly imagine that I taught classes in this room, up to 6 students, of course the bed was not in there then, the walls had stock hanging from below the wall shelves and where i have the trestles now was rows of paper racks and shelving for stock. Looking back I find it hard to visualize. now it is where I sleep (my husband was very sick and so we sleep in separate rooms so we can both sleep better) and sometimes create (although I do most of this at the shop now) and sometimes when I cannot sleep I will write frantically in my journals until I can get over whatever is worrying me at the time. I would recommend journal art for anyone who suffers from anxiety or panic attacks, helps me to calm down and start thinking positively again.

I like to have my little treasures all around me, old photo's, vintage sewing machine draws full of treasures, floozy doll waiting to be messed up, she's just begging for some tattoo's, bits and peices I gather around me. One of my embroidered sculpted santa's whose oh so soft mohair beard I like to stroke back down when the open doors and windows have created a soft breeze which fluffs it up.

window for good light, shelving for collections of journals waiting for me to take a first step and attack those lovely white pristine pages, waiting until I feel the time is right for this or that wonderful journal I bought in Perth or Cortona, but there is no hurry. Old books waiting to be altered or pulled apart when the time is right. then there are christmas decorations not put away from last christmas but still there for me to enjoy. objects broken waiting to be fixed.a beautiful rose just sitting there for me to feast on the subtle shades of apricot and in the depths, touches of gold. the perfume brings back memories of loved ones who taught me to appreciate all the senses, and the scent of the rose always brings my mum and dad close to me.

this beautiful silk shirt is the softest shade of gold which hasn't photographed true to colour, given to me by my beautiful sister who shares with me the love of things vintage. by stretching out my hand while lying in bed, I caress the soft lustrous feel of the silk and while letting the fabric run through my fingers the colours shift with the light creating a visual feast for my tired eyes before I go to sleep. sometimes I think of cutting up this wonderful garment but these thoughts are only fleeting, as if I was to perform this act of sacrilege I would no longer enjoy my visual pastime. can you see the beautiful deep apricot bow attached to the satin covered coat hanger complimenting the lovely dusky gold of the silk and then on the top a wonderful vintage lace collar in the flat shades of aged cotton. these are vintage vignettes that stir my imagination for a vintage collage book in memory of a much loved mother gone...

this gorgeous coffee coloured hat with its deep mushroom pink satin ribbon and edging of soft pink tuille around the brim I bought at a vintage clothing fair in sydney last year when I spent a wonderful week for a special sisters birthday. the fair was a visual feast, lots of vintage clothing going at very reasonable prices, it was lovely to see a lot of the customers of all ages wearing these stylish dresses from past romantic era's. there was also a very impressive fashion parade as well. Under the hat hangs a little dress and slip I made for my first granddaughter samara my only attempt at making vintage style clothing, but all my 5 grandaughters wore it at least once to have photo's taken. when I had my three children I came from a time when we made all their clothing as well as my own, so I wasnt in any hurry to embrace making them for my grandchildren as well, I love them one and all, but choose not to go there.

finally this little boys smock I bought at a fair here in perth for a very small sum. not sure of the fabric, it is very white and drapes nicely. someone has taken the trouble to smock below the rounded collar, a nice contrast to the other peices hanging in my bedroom. I like to surround myself with lovely items and most items I love are from a gentler age that have lasted over time with someones thoughtfullness to treasure and preserve them. this now enables me to enjoy them for many years to come and I think my lovely daughters or granddaughters will continue to treasure them for me. can you visualise some ghostly figure floating around in these wonderful garments, gentle souls....

I love my bedroom' indeed I love my home, its nothing grand but it is where I feel safe, surrounded by things I love, a gentleman of a husband who has always allowed me free rein in decorating our home' who puts up with garlands of flowers across the bedhead in the bed he sleeps in and is not bothered by it at all. my bedroom walls still have the hole marks that are reminders of the hanging racks that hung there chock a block full of stock, one day we will fill them with polyfiller and paint the shelves and walls a restfull white, but not just yet, i want to enjoy the shabbiness of things not completed for a while yet.