Monday, February 27, 2012

tools for technique tuesday

Tuesday 28 February
Morning session - JAC paper + X-PressIt adhesive sheet -Suggest you bring along non-stick craft mat to work on and a pointy pick tool or bead headed sewing pin for getting between the layers

Evening session - Mask-It: -Bring along your craft knife with new blade

The advantage of working with your own tools is you are already familiar with them and you have an opportunity to learn more about their use and care. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

marmalashes will be fought this weekend

At Dalemain House in Cumbria the Buninyong Eleven 2012 and the Australian Eleven 2012 will battle it out at the International Marmalade Competition on 24 and 25 February.  That's this weekend.

May the best jar win.

The story so far here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

easier to use

I have spoken about doing a rubber-dectomy on a stamp design I don't like. This is easy when the undesirable part of the design is on the outer edges of the stamp rubber.  If it is on the inside then the Kai scissors (see photo below) or the similarly shaped Tonic brand scissors can be used with care.  It does get a bit like surgery as tweezers can be useful to move certain parts of the stamp out of the way or into the bite of the scissors. Polymer-dectomies are also possible on clear stamps. Care must be taken as that material easily compresses and stretches.  A snip too far!

My focus on the weekend wasn't changing the design of a set of stamps but getting them off their original wood mounting block.  It was very cumbersome to use as there was a stamp on each of the sides and keeping track of the designs and which face to put it down on lowered the enjoyment of using the stamps.
Each stamp was pulled off the block, two came easily and didn't require cleaning and two needed treatment.
 Each was put on some cling mounting foam and trimmed to shape with Kai scissors. 
Have you used the mounting foam?  It is an adhesive suited to the chemistry of rubber and is very, very tacky.  I found it hard not to transfer the glue on the scissors and my fingers to other working surfaces.  I used the crepe rubber rubon and glue remover to clean the surfaces of the stamps.  I was pleased with this as it meant I didn't need to use any solvent.

The stamps are now much easier to use and store.
Their designs have lots of lovely fine details of buttons, lace and measuring tapes.  Just my thing.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

revisiting rosettes

Before the morning Technique Tuesday session yesterday we had a quick chat about the rosettes we made the week before.  D brought in two rosettes she had created, a bit of homework you might say. The finely pleated rosette is beautifully made.  I think she has also accidentally created a new style of rosette.  I would like to have a play with that idea.  I shall report back later.

Here are a few new rosette ideas.  The loops behind the black rosette's button form a flower made from thread wrapped wire.

For those wanting another look at the designs they saw in class some of my older blog posts of rosettes can be found here, here and here.  Sort by the label 'rosette' for posts on rosettes and pleating done using scoring boards.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

an absolute treasure

On Sunday night I was out. No tools or paper in my hands and no computer in front of me.  We went to see Soul Sister Swing at the Geelong Botanical Gardens as part of Music in the Gardens. The idea was to hear good music and eat some yummy food i.e. our picnic food.

For the Friends of the Geelong Botanical Garden the show was a fund raiser for the many activities they sponsor during the year. The main raffle prize was a $50 voucher to the Growing Friends next plant sale in March!

The tickets were bought two months ago.  Such optimism!  There was a bit of nervousness in our households as the day started overcast and very humid.  The nerves were fair enough.  Over previous weeks the first concert was cancelled and the second went on after heavy rain.

I can say the band was good but the gardens and weather were brilliant!  The concert was held on a long sloping, bright green soft lawn.  At 5 pm half the lawn was in shade and as the sun sank lower the other half became covered in shade too.  There were very few mozzies, actually only one was caught and no flies.

The wall of trees and shrubs shading us created a comfortable temperature and provided a screen from the breeze.  With the slope of the lawn down to the stage and the comfort requirement of the majority of people, this venue was well suited to the audience sitting in chairs.

There was an asphalt path snaking down one side and the garden bed of towering trees and shrubs bordering the other side of our theatre.  The Friends created an access path and emergency 'row' openings marked by thin green garden stakes.  Strung between the stakes were lengths of bunting.  For each length the first and last  flag had a pocket sewn in so it could be slipped in place over the tip of the garden stake. There were ties at the ends for use at other locations, other events.  The lightweight flags easily caught in the breeze and tickled the ears of those sitting close by.  I soon worked out I could tie a flag in a knot!  The bunting was a very festive and practical touch. 

For those overseeing our enjoyment and safety the two primary Friends co-ordinators wore bright green aprons, someone had a red one and the others wore black.  With such a beautiful evening more and more people arrived and they needed to become ushers asking us to scrunch up and let others in. 

After the first few songs the boys and I went for a walk around the gardens. I did say I didn't have any paper in my hands!  It was enjoyable to be out together stretching our legs and there was a lot to see such as a very young two metre tall redwood tree. What a mistake that would be to grow in your own backyard.  Then there were two Chilean wine palms: one so young it was all fronds and no stem: the other dating back to the glasshouses that occupied the site, it is, well, very old and very tall. I presume the name comes from the swelling wine bottle shaped trunk.

On our route back to our seats we found a scabrosa rose. The plant name labels are so handy!  Never mind the flowers, actually there weren't any but the bush was covered in rose hips.They are large, glossy and lipstick red.  I think these are the ones that gave rose hips their good name.  Checking online the rose catalogue says the plant has "huge and conspicuous red hips."  They were gorgeous.

No photos for this blog post.  The pictures are all in my mind; the garden theatre, the festive bunting, red rose hips, the boys pointing out photo opportunities of the long sun shining through the creamy Angel's Trumpet flowers and the group with their chairs and picnic in a wheelbarrow. I can still see it all.

Monday, February 20, 2012

update on diary dates for Technique Tuesday

This week for Technique Tuesday (TT) at Create On Ormond we will be working with Mask-It.  It is an easy way to create different collage images from the stamps already in your collection.  Use individual stamps together to create more variety.  As you work best with the tools you are already familiar with I suggest you bring along your own craft knife with a fresh blade.
The morning session of TT on 28 February is about JAC paper and X-PressIt adhesive sheet.  Have you got these hiding in your stash already? Learn ways to apply them and get the most from their properties?  Warning! Glitter will be used in this class.  If you haven't heard about glitter clean up cloth ask Marisa.

Another new class added to the list is on 6 March. This TT will be about using Stampendous Thermo Acetate and alcohol inks ... with a little twist.  So if you have been ignoring your alcohol inks and would like another reason to use them, come along.  The repeat evening session of this topic will be 13 March.
Those with a non-stick craft mat bring it along to class to smooth the way.

For class bookings and payments please call Marisa at Create On Ormond on 03 5222 1449 or email

Sunday, February 19, 2012

colour spot

On my previous post you may have noticed the colour spots on the lids of my Distress Stain bottles. This helps if you are storing your bottles in a box and can't see the labels.   I picked up on an idea that Tim Holtz used with the Adironback alcohol inks. Use a sticky label or punch out some card in a diameter less than 19 mm (3/4 inch).  Stick to the lid then colour with the stain applicator.
It also helps ensure you put the right lid on the right bottle.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

when the light bulb goes on

and you realise you can use some of your supplies a new way.

Over the last year designers: 7Gypsies and Julie Van Oosten's Collections have both brought out pre-printed tissue papers that match their ranges and off-the-page techniques.  While 7Gypsies' paper has a Kraft paper colour Collections is white.  Marisa reminded me of the tea staining technique for changing the colour.  As I wanted to check out the hint she had been given I got to and boiled up some tea.  After colouring the sheet, Julie's suggestion is to fold it up again and peg on the line to dry.  The paper stays strong and doesn't turn to pulp when wet. With the current warm weather and a clothes airer on a sheltered patio I soon had some dry tea stained paper to work with.

There I was today admiring this sheet of tissue and I realised there is a more time, tea and effort saving technique I can use.  So I got out my Distress Stains and created some smaller pieces of tissue in Victorian Velvet and Tea Dye (as if I didn't have enough).  As I was running out of paper I stopped before creating some multi-coloured sheets but that is possible too!

The creative benefits of using the stains are that they make it is easy to colour small pieces, increase the shade and add variation like splotches and streaks.  And you don't have to leave your craft table. Let it air dry or help it along with your heat gun.
Just remember "oil ain't oils" as they said on the old ad.   Both these brands are called tissue but they are different types of paper and Collections' tissue is more resilient when the water based colour treatment is applied.

You can select stain colours to co-ordinate with Collections 6 x 6 printed papers too.