Friday, 9 October 2015

Fun In The Sun - Jigsaw Exchange

'The Beach' was the chosen theme for Amanda in our jigsaw exchange.  

I think I feel most carefree when strolling along a beautiful beach soaking in the suns rays, feeling the fresh breeze against my face and listening to the soothing, rhythmic crashing of the waves.  Mind you, quite often it's quite chilly in my part of the world and the sky's are overcast, the wind is howling  and the sand is flying into your face - but there's still something wonderful about the beach.

I must admit that I love to stroll hand in hand with the one I love along our beautiful coastline!

It's looking good outside my window this morning!!!  Think it's time for me to have some fun in the sun before my holiday comes to an end!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Mere Disguise - Darkroom Door

Darkroom Door has just released six new collage stamps this week!

The Arty Mosaic collage stamp is so much fun to work with!  I had a wonderful time experimenting with how it stamped on a waxed paper bag.

1.  Stamp 'art mosaic' onto a waxed white paper bag (I stamped it on the matt side) and heat set it. Trim image to size.  Fold it in half lengthwise.  
2.  Stamp 'map' on light silver panel and 'flourish' to the right hand side of map.  Trim to size.
3.  Stamp 'mask' onto white panel and trim to size.  Stamp 'mask' once more onto a scrap of vintage paper that has a small amount of text.  Cut away upper section of mask (the eye area) and layer onto mask panel.
4.  Layer mask, paper doily, map panels onto a variety of sparkly silver papers with a cream card for the base.  Add folded art mosaic below mask section.
5.  Machine stitch mask and art mosaic into place.

6.  Add button, lace and stamped sentiment 'mere disguise' to complete work.

Darkroom Door products used:

Other supplies:
Ink - Versafine 'toffee' and Versamagic 'midnight black'
Various papers - silver, grey, cream, vintage encyclopedia, white, and waxed paper bag
Sewing machine with black thread
Doily, lace, button

Happiness is... - Jigsaw Exchange

Shaz chose the theme 'Friendship' for her jigsaw puzzle.  I found this lovely sentiment in my stash of puzzle pieces and was thrilled that it could just fit!!!

The gorgeous scrapbooking papers made the collage work easy.  All I needed to add was the lovely image of two little friends with very big bows and simple cross stitching!

Love makes the world go round, so they say, and the love of a friend makes it all the sweeter I reckon!  xx

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Nest - Jigsaw Exchange

February's jigsaw theme was 'Birds and Nests' for Jenny!  She loves little birdies, especially vintage imagery of them.  I've discovered if you put a little gel medium over gem stones thy have a soft and rounded finish, it almost looks like drop of rain.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Made In France - Jigsaw Exchange

I'm involved in a jigsaw art exchange this year.  It is a little challenging working with such a small and oddly shaped surface, but I've been finding that I've loved being out of my comfort zone!  Finding items that are small enough in scale forces you to be creative in little ways.

These pieces were completed for January.  My friend Trish's theme is 'Life is an Adventure'.  She is a cyclist and loves to travel the world, so I was picturing her cycling through Paris on a Penny Farthing - wouldn't that be an adventure!

The Eiffel Tower image comes from a collage sheet by ArtChix Studio and the 'Made in France' ribbon was a part of a gorgeous gift from my dear friend Debbi.  She purchased all sorts of delightful things at the flea markets in France and shared some with me.  How spoilt am I?

Thursday, 1 October 2015

All A Flutter

'Wooden' is October's theme for Darkroom Door's ATC swap.  

The wooden butterflies were my starting point for this project.  The lovely brushless watercolour technique has been used when stamping the butterflies from Darkroom Door's 'Butterflies' stamp set.  I find this technique works best on smooth watercolour paper.

Because I was replicating this work a number of times, I positioned all the butterflies stamps in place on a blank ATC in a composition I liked and then used an extra large acrylic block to keep them all in place at once.  This made the stamping of 12 ATC's so much quicker!  

Once the stamping was completed I affixed the wooden butterfly in place, adding hand stitching and velvet ribbon.  To complete this work I flicked Distress 'antiqued bronze' spray stain over the work (covering the wooden butterfly with a scrap of card) and added the word 'flutter' found in Darkroom Door's Wildflowers Vol. 1 stamp set. 

NB:  If you're flicking spray stain around, be sure to screw the spray mechanism back in place when you've finished, so unlike me, you don't flood your work space with gorgeous antiqued bronze liquid - what a waste!!!!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Pocket Full of Posies - Darkroom Door

'Pocket Full of Posies' postcard

It can be quite difficult to create masculine cards for the men in our lives - especially with flowers!
I think choosing a neutral colour palette as a starting point can be very helpful!

Here's a postcard I've create that has a little pocket that holds the carved flowers within.
  1. Create a pocket using a large white luggage tag.  Fold the card over and stitch the bottom and sides together.  Stamp a carved flower (light grey ink), film strip, man and sentiment (black ink) onto the tag.  Add ribbon to the top of tag.
  2. Stamp film strip, photo no. label and more carved flowers in grey and black inks onto white card.  'Fussy cut' around them.
  3. Stamp rulers texture stamp onto postcard sized patterned paper that has been mounted on white card and once more on a panel of kraft card using black ink.  Swipe the edges of both pieces with black ink.
  4. Layer the kraft card and tag pocket onto postcard background.  Affix all the stamped embellishments.  I used some Magic Mount 3D tape on the photo no. label and the light grey carved flower to add an extra dimension to the piece.  
  5. Place remaining carved flowers into pocket.  Add black zig-zag trim to complete postcard.
Darkroom Door products used:
Texture Stamp - Rulers

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Stitched Up!

September's ATC swap theme over at Darkroom Door is, 'Stitched Up!'

As you may well know I do love to add stitching to my work, so it was terrific fun making this set of ATC's!  The floral fabric and carved leaves were my starting point which lead me to decide upon this colour palette.  I'm still very much an experimenter when it comes to stamping on fabric and I was quite pleased with the end result.  

There's still plenty of time to participate in this month's swap so head over here to find out all the details.  It's always a delight to receive an amazing collection of ATC's from other artists, so I highly recommend having a go!

Darkroom Door products used:
Stamp set - Carved Leaves Vol 2
Texture stamp - French Script

Monday, 20 July 2015

Recycle It!

The Darkroom Door ATC swap for June was Recycle It!

There's a whole lot of recycling going on in this ATC.  The kraft card base is courtesy of Book Depository packaging, all stamped images are on old book pages, a manila folder and a lotto game piece, as well as a scrap of vintage fabric.

Darkroom Door products used:

Other supplies:
Vintage fabrics and paper flowers

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Yellow & Grey

'Yellow & Grey' was the theme for Darkroom Door's ATC swap in May.

My Granny and Poppa had a caravan and I loved it whenever we were able to spend time in it.  I'd love to have a caravan for an art studio.  Imagine being able to hitch it up to the back of the car and take off to any given destination with all the essential supplies in tow!

Darkroom Door products used:
Stamp Set - Carved Caravans
Background Stamp - Mesh
Montage - Love Letters

Other supplies:
Flower pot punch, paper flower, gold staples and rhinestone

Friday, 17 July 2015

Let's Dance

Photo credit - Rachel Greig

It was all about 'Quote Stamps' during the April ATC swap at Darkroom Door.

I love the way this quote reminds me to dance through the tough times!
I decided to make this ATC a little interactive in that you had to open it up to see the quote and my quirky little dancer.  I had fun creating the umbrella's from the Carved Flower stamp set too!

Photo credit - Rachel Greig

I've stenciled and stamped the background of this set of ATC's.

Darkroom Door products used:
Quote Stamp:  Dance
Photobooth:  Ladies

Thursday, 16 July 2015


March's theme for Darkroom Door's ATC swap was 'Watercolour'.

I used one of my favourite techniques to create this ATC - brushless watercolour.  One of the best tips I can give when using this technique is to use good quality watercolour paper.  It makes such a difference to the result.  I used a smooth watercolour paper for this project.

There's a number of layers of thin brown paper in the background.  The images were stamped on torn watercolour paper with Adirondack inks/water and then embellished with lace, machine stitching, rhinestones and a punched heart.

Darkroom Door products used:
Stamp Sets:  Friendship Flowers and Montmartre
Texture Stamp:  French Script

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


February's ATC for Darkroom Door Swap - 'Neapolitan'

Darkroom Door products used:
Stamp Sets - Under The Sea, Seashells, Seaside Vol 2
Background Stamp - Circles

Other Embellishments
Lace, sequins, rhinestones, beads, tulle, beads, velvet ribbon

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Summer Garden

January's Darkroom Door ATC Swap sample
'Summer Garden'

The theme was 'Eclectic Stamps' and I decided to work with 'Coffee Stain', using it as a frame for one of Darkroom Door's gorgeous flower stamps.

Darkroom Door products used:
Eclectic Stamp - Coffee Stain
Texture Stamps - Scratches, Weathered Stripes
Stamp Sets - Friendship Flowers, Wings, Butterflies
Distress Ink - Mini Pads

Saturday, 11 July 2015


July's theme for Darkroom Door's ATC swap is 'Texture Stamps'.
The vintage floral fabric was my initial source of inspiration, along with the gorgeous Darkroom Door 'Buttons' texture stamp.
I inked the texture stamp using three mini Distress Ink pads (squeezed lemonade, spiced marmalade and wild honey) and stamped it onto dotted paper.
Then it was a matter of creating the collage using images from Darkroom Door's stamp sets, 'Little Ladies' and 'Dressmaker'.
Embellishments:  vintage floral fabric, tulle, machine and hand stitching, snap fasteners and a button
There's still time to join in the fun and participate in this month's swap.  For further details visit Darkroom Door here.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Dream Girl

'Dream Girl'

This year, I am once more abundantly blessed to have the opportunity to work with Darkroom Door, this time with a new title, as a Contributing Artist.  Darkroom Door is an amazing Australian stamping and art supply company and I can honestly say, working with them is a dream come true!

Darkroom Door has recently released a number of new and absolutely gorgeous rubber stamps.  The art work I've created above features one of the new Quote Stamps, 'Dreams'.  I've combined it with the 'Leafy Lady' Line Art Stamp and a sweet little bird from the 'Love Birds' Stamp Set, along with watercolour pencils, washi tape, a Project Life card, sequins, beads, sari silk ribbon and layers of card and paper, then finished off with a bit of machine stitch magic! 

Darkroom Door supplies used:
Dreams Quote Stamp
Leafy Lady Line Art Stamp
Love Birds Stamp Set
Mixed Media Cardstock by Ranger

These past number of months, I have been very absent from the blogging world and there is a story to explain why - a story with a happy ending I might add.  We discovered towards the end of last year that my darling Dad needed heart surgery.  It became a quite a journey getting him to that point, with a couple of false starts thrown in to keep us on our toes!  Three weeks ago today, Dad had a triple bypass and valve replacement and is now well on the road to recovery!  Praise the Lord!

Monday, 20 October 2014

On Silken Thread - Darkroom Door

I've been having a wonderful time playing with Darkroom Door's 'Carved Leaves Vol 2.' stamp set.  Here are two fabric postcards I created today.

I stamped the 'Emulsion Frame' onto silk.  I used Distress ink for the 'Create' postcard and found that it went very blurry and I liked that effect.  I used VersaMagic for all other stamping and find that it stands up very well to being stamped on silk.  Just make sure that the ink pads are pretty 'juicy'.

It does pay to experiment on scraps of silk or fabric to see how the ink you are using reacts!

I also stamped words from 'Simply Circles' stamp set onto card.

Then I simply layered fabrics, lace tulle and machine stitched them into place.  To complete the postcards, I embellished the leaves with beading and added twine and a word to complete the work.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Scrap Around The World with Darkroom Door

Darkroom Door are sponsoring a prize over at Scrap Around the World this month and some of the Darkroom Door Creative Team have created layouts and journal pages inspired by Scrap Around the World's gorgeous mood board!

I was immediately inspired by the mood board, especially when I saw the stunning colour palette.  The gorgeous opera glasses quickly caught my eye because I have a lovely pair that once belonged to my Great Grandmother.  I have a great love and passion for music and my journal page was all about reminding myself to make time to do more of the things I love!

So this bird-lover is ready to take flight!  Her heart is full and she's all set to dance, love, sing and live a life that fully embraces her dreams!

The Darkroom Door I used:

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Pina & Genevieve - Darkroom Door

Say hello to 'Pina'.  She loves to go exploring in the tropics!

To create Pina, I started out by transferring Darkroom Door's 'Tropical Lady' Line Art stamp image onto silk fabric using Lesley Riley's TAP (Transfer Artist Paper).  I also used the same method for Darkroom Door's 'Explore' Collage stamp, but gently water coloured the image before transferring it onto fabric.  I used Tim Holtz Distress pens to colour the stamped collage image on TAP paper.  To do this I scribbled the distress markers onto a plastic palette and 'picked up' the colour with an Aquash brush.  Note:  The image is reversed once it is transferred, but I tried to compensate for that by creating the word 'Explore' by stamping the letters directly onto fabric using Darkroom Door's stamp set, 'Alphabet Medley'.

Then it was a matter of layering fabrics, creating arms and stitching everything together to create Pina, my first Darkroom Door cloth doll.  I added a lei and a flower in her hair to complete the tropical island holiday look.

Now it's time to meet Genevieve.  She loves to be creative and is a crafty girl at heart.

To create Genevieve,  I began by stamping Darkroom Door's 'Crafty Lady' Line Art stamp onto TAP paper and colouring it gently with Tim Holtz distress markers in the same manner as mentioned above and then transferred this image onto silk.  

I then created another fabric panel using images from Darkroom Door's stamp set 'Dressmaker', and two Darkroom Door Texture stamps 'Criss Cross' and 'Star'.  They were stamped within and around Darkroom Door's Frame stamp, 'Emulsion'.

The word 'create' was also made by stamping directly onto fabric using Darkroom Door's 'Alphabet Medley'.

Finally I layered fabrics together to form the shape of the doll and stitched everything together to create the front layer of the doll.  I then embellished it with buttons, ribbon, fabric scraps, trims, laces, a scissor charm and fabric snaps.  I then sewed the front and back together to complete this project.

Darkroom Door's Line Art Ladies are a wonderful way to start a cloth project doll!

Apple Cherry Pie - Darkroom Door

Have you checked out the recently released 'Line Art' stamps over at Darkroom Door?  There are currently six lovely ladies starring in this new collection.  I've used 'Cherry Apple Lady' for this piece.   

To begin with I coloured 'Cherry Apple Lady' with watercolour pencils and an Aquash brush.  I fussy cut around the image.  Then I stamped the image once more, coloured the apples and cherries at the top of her head and fuzzy cut around the fruit.

Next I stamped the wooden spoon and rolling pin found in the stamp set, 'From the Kitchen' with dark brown ink and swiped a lighter brown over the top to give a rich wooden colour and fussy cut around the images.

I layered a folded brown paper bag and some sewing pattern tissue paper onto the front of a folded piece of card, and machine stitched the layers together to create a recipe folder.  I then added the stamped images to the work, including a label, 'Recipes' also found in 'From the Kitchen'.

Finally I free motioned stitched 'Apple Cherry Pie' on the recipe file cover to complete this piece.

I'll be back soon with some more 'Line Art Ladies'.

Hmmm, in the meantime, I think it's time to warm up some yummy apple pie with a cherry on top!