Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The tracks we leave

‎"If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting."  (Mister) Fred Rogers
Sharing a link with the reconnecting with nature party from Living the Good North Coast Life with photos from the beautiful wild places of northern NSW complete with wallaby tracks in the sand.  It was a blustery windy day and we found the wallaby around the corner resting in a sunny spot. 

And Sky Watch Friday where people from all over the world gather to share a photo of what they spy on their horizon, always entertaining to see what they have to share.  Linking as well to an ex-pat blog challenge.   Today's theme is the view from where I live.  Would love to say this in on my front door step.  It is the vision that many people have of life down under.  For those that know me as a little beach bunny entirely what they expect. Sadly life near the water is out of reach of most average folks. Instead we make do with visits as often as we can. 

Sharing an example of leaving 'tracks' on a current project I am painting on fabric.  Canvas is easy it is a firm surface that holds the paint well, silk is a whole other story. The tiny natural fibres love to bleed colour but that is what makes it a really fun and fluid process.

This little canvas has layers of misting and lifting and even a dash of salt to give it a bit of spark.  My on line workshops are listed on the My Creative Classroom website.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Connecting with nature

Chrisy Clay on the living a good north coast life blog is hosting a blog link party on the theme of connecting with nature and sharing our photos.    One photograph at time but so many new things to discover and explore.
This week I am sharing a link and photo of the Beluga Whales at Vancouver Aquarium.  Fun to see them at play in the water but rather dull viewing if it is night time and in their pool. Vancouver Aquarium ranks as one of my favourite outdoor adventures and getting up close with nature. 
And for my SkyWatch Friday friends, a couple of photos of the beautiful city of Vancouver.

We all like to stay connected when travelling, as much as all the new internet technology is fun for the instant communication, I still like a good old fashioned postcard or in this case a decorated postcard. I teach classes in mixed media and mail art on the My Creative Classroom website.
 Rebekah Meier released a new collection of stencils this year with the crafters workshop and I am loving the mail art themes.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic and we’ll change the world."  Jack Layton 

A great quote from a Canadian politician who believed we all have the power to make a difference.

The bird is a Cormorant or yes in deed a shag on a rock (for my Aussie friends the name shag refers to their style of headdress).  Early in the morning is my favourite time to visit the beach while it is peaceful and quiet.  Am on the road this week, catching up with other bloggers who are becoming fast real life friends.

Am linking to an expat blogging party for the month of Feb and having great fun seeing what everyone has to share. The life of an ex-pat was not one that I would have chosen. My childhood memories are scattered across many continents but one thing that stands out for me in all our adventures, is the beach. No matter where were we have been it was not far from the beach and they have all been so different. The black sand of New Brunswick Canada, my mothers’ rocky gravel shore lines in England were hard on tender toes, foggy misty dunes of Cape Cod, and now the wild and remote beaches of Australia’s east coast. Where ever we go, where ever we wonder, and not matter how different the shore line might look the beach is always home to me.

Joining Linky Parties:
Sky Watch Friday
Chrisy's Reconnecting With Nature party
Expat Blogging Challenge

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Thank you to Basic Grey and a gift card tutorial

My most popular workshops are mail art and gift card holders, anytime I combine the two it is always a winner.   Gift certificates sometimes really are the best present for someone but the cards can be so plain.  This is one of my retired workshops that used the Basic Grey line called Clippings designed to be a photo frame and multilayered gift to tuck a gift certificate in the pockets.  It has a fun postal art theme that you can dress up for different seasons by varying the accent colours.
Basic Grey new collection “Clippings”
Typewriter paper
Handmade Quilt paper
Their Snippets paper stack and sticker set
Typewriter keys for chipboard letters
Epoxy stickers to top the typewriter letters or dimensional magic
And bakers twine I like Maya Road’s collection of pretty colours

Start with the base card
From brown cardstock cut to 6 inches by 12 inches
Score at 5 and 7/8’s from each end
For the front cut a piece of red cardstock 5 ¾  square
From the red patterned side of the handmade quilt paper cut another 5 ¾ square
The red checked pattern can be glued inside the card
Add a photo behind the frame and put aside
Cut the typewriter paper to 5 ½ square
To capture the air mail bands in the front of the card, you can cut the red and blue bands out separately and simply glued them in place
Attach brads in the corners and tie with twine
Cut out the tag from the snippets pack
Cover back of tag with dictionary definition page

Assembling the cover -
Layer the frame with the tag behind
Mount on the brown paper and then center on the red cardstock to glue to the front cover
Place the ticket to the bottom right of the frame
Typewriter keys could spell out their name or another word like thanks
Top the typewriter keys with Epoxy stickers to give the better definition or dimensional magic for a touch of shine

Inside Pockets
The inside pockets become an extra support to help your picture frame stand up
Cut kraft cardstock for pockets
3 ¼ high by 11 ½  long 
Score at 5 ¾ or about half the length
Glue around just the outside edges
to create open pockets and glue to the inside of the card
One pocket goes on the front of the card, one goes on the back and that will leave you with a pocket in the middle

Starting with the left inside cover
Cut Snippets pads the date page, tags, especially for you
 I am thankful every day and the nail heads are in the chipboard set
The nail heads were topped with dimensional magic
Right side of the inside pocket
Behind the envelope chipboard are random left over papers to fill the space, not much of it shows.  
The top is the big chipboard envelope with the torn return address from the Snippets set.
The thanks tag is from the sticky labels
Finish off with two more nail heads on the side

 On the back of the inside pocket
This is one strip of the papers in the Snippets paperstack
Trim the page to size and glue to the pocket

Last pocket on the back cover
Trim the to do list from the Snippets set
And glue inside the pocket
Date due is another page from the Snippets set glued to the front of the pocket
Handmade tag is from the sticker set
Inside the pockets is space to tuck gift cards or you can add little messages in the form of ATCs. An ATC is a nice way of adding more creative messages. Being a small size, they can tuck these in their wallet or desk at the office.

An ATC  is simply a little card of art, they are generally sized as 2 ½ by 3 ½ with art on one side and your creative details on the back.

Thank you to the lovely folks at Basic Grey for sponsoring me with the Clippings collection, it has been great fun to see how many different ways we could use this theme.  This is a sample of the classic paper craft classes I teach at the My Creative Classroom site, would love to meet up with you again soon in one of the classrooms

This week I am at the CHA event in Anaheim waiting to see the new Basic Grey collections up close.  While we are waiting they are hosting a competition to win the new one of the new 2014 collections including Mon Ami, Capture, Herbs and Honey. Highline or Spice Market, all pretty cool for creative projects.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Getting outdoors and making the new year memorable

Happy New Year  !
This new year marked the start of an exciting adventure after being introduced the first time to the native Australian stingless bees.  In the photos they are the tiny little black spots, how nice to not have to be afraid of a bug bite or find a bee without a stinger.

This year's summer holiday reading list included The Life of The Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck. Lots of interesting things the average person would  not know, like a Queen Bee could die of loneliness without all her busy little buddies, shows how tight knit their communities are.  We forget the world is all interconnected in some way.  If we all do our little bit to look out for little creatures or our patch of the environment it can impact the collective community.
My other fun start to the year is participating in One Little Word. Instead making a whole list of resolutions, some folks think about one guiding word that frames everything in their year.  Last year I had zen, that beautiful blissed out feeling would be nice, I was hoping to settle on balancing in the middle ground of what we would like to be and where things are. Click the link if you are interested in reading more about the One Little Word program.
This year my word is joy, as in looking for the joy in ordinary little moments, finding the joy in chores because that is the fuel that gets them done and appreciating all that is good in our world.
Looking forward to hearing about your plans and figuring out how to make 2014 meaningful or memorable.
Am busy developing new workshops for 2014 featuring mail art themes. This is one of the Crate Paper projects from last season
And wait till you see what we got up to with this collection.

Joining Linky Parties:
Sky Watch Friday
Chrisy's Reconnecting With Nature party

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Celebrating Red Cup Season with Maya Road and Basic Grey

Happy New Year, it is fun to share gifts of the season.  This week I am sharing tutorials using my favorite products.   Some my most popular workshops are about turning a gift certificate into a present.  This year we used tags as a base to build cards, adding little pockets for the gift cards and personalized with special messages that say more about what they mean to you.
Ranger Craft Tag size 10 ( 8 ½” or 22cms)
Maya Road Chipboard clocks
Maya Road Chipboard cup and spoon from the teapot album
Maya Road Twine
Scrapbook Adhesives  E-Z  tape runner and Foam Squares
Basic Grey paper Bow Ties – Capture The Flag
Basic Grey paper Clippings – Hand Made Quilt
Basic Grey Clippings chipboard
Basic Grey Clippings snippets pad
Basic Grey Bow Ties sticker collection
ColorBox Donna Salazar Mixed Media Inx Honey
Luminarte Silks Ice & Solar Gold
Small heart brads
Button (clock on the sample)

Start by covering the outside with the red side of the Quilt paper.  The Scrapbook Adhesives brands of tape runners provide a good solid stick to hold your paper to the tag.  Score or fold the tag at 2 1/2” from the square end and 2” from the tag end.
On the inside use the number side of the Bow Ties paper, cut a length of paper 4” high across the numbers.   You can use the tag as a guide for cutting the squares are about 2 1/4”   and 3 1/4”  and the tag end was 1 3/4” before the triangles were nipped off.  

To assemble the inside, starting from the left, cut the days of the week from the snippets pad, top with a quick coat of a clear gloss or Dimensional Magic to add the touch of a dyno tape look. Glue to the left edge and top with a ruler from the BowTies Sticker Collection. 
 Measure up the clock against the gift card to form the pocket, cut across the bottom to create a straight edge. Use the Scrapbook Adhesives foam pads along the straight edge and half way up the clock edges.  Top the clock with a Thanks sticker and moments file folder from the Clippings collection.  Top with a little red flag from the Bow Ties collection.
To finish the outside cover , paint the chipboard spoon and cup with Luminate Silks.  
Trim a large clock to fit the left edge of the tag and a smaller clock behind that.  Top with the spoon and cup.

The button and tie need to be strong to hold your card closed and the reason why I rely on Scrapbook Adhesives foam pads. Tie a not in the twine and lock into the back of the button with foam pads that will double as your adhesive to hold the button on the front of the card.
Hope you enjoyed this project and if you liked what we did with Maya Road in this one have a peek at the workshops where we use mixed media techniques in the Maya Road shadowboxes. 

Joining Link Parties:
My Romantic Home