17 June 2009

Frog Lovers - here's an update

Hard to believe we've had our frogs for only a little over two months now; seems they've been with us forever already. I guess we spend quite a bit of time just observing their movements (or lack of them), at various times of the day.

I was able to find some artificial taller reeds with seed-heads on which really suited, so this photo shows a little change to their home since my first frog posting.

We generally will miss the actual "shifting of camps", but just happen to find one has come out of hiding from between a stone and some foliage, and ventured maybe up onto the log or on top of the tall 'post' at the back left-hand corner. Daytime hours they're actually meant to be sleeping it off, and mostly they are.

At night they have a moon-lamp for a few hours; it emits a very subtle mauve-coloured light. Means we can still peek in; a couple of frogs might be sticking to the back wall, one on the long log and perhaps one in the water dish. They obviously move around in their own time and sometimes are still awake when get up for breakfast.

The great part about frogs as pets is that they’re so obliging for photo sessions! They sit about plenty long enough for me to go get the camera, come back and have them still posing!
These photos were taken this afternoon when a couple were much more with it and waiting anxiously for feed-time to come round.
Hurry up..............P L E A S E !!

I've been asked if our four frogs have names, but NO, they all look identical! There's only one we can tell different because of its smaller size. The breeders told us that the male of the specie is smallest. Now who'd have thought?

I'm really hoping for one loud croaker amongst our seeming trio of girl frogs. A frog doesn't seem to be a frog unless it croaks; I thought they'd all croak! That won't be apparent until maturity, when they're about twelve months, which will correlate with our Spring time.

That's when I'll report back on our frogs again, to let you know if it's quite o.k. to live in the same home with your frogs.

16 June 2009

Papercutting: Designs by Alison

A petite basket of flowers was my first to try from the Adornments pack of Papercuttings by Alison. Sixteen patterns ranging in size 2-1/4" x 2-1/2" to 3" x 4-1/2" are most suited for card decorating.

Start by taping the design copy to black silhouette paper and cutting out smallest sections first.

Windsor Settee (not from the Adornments pack), is another design by Alison. Background paper is Basic Grey's Fruitcake range, FRU-601 Tidings/Wintermint.

Windsor Settee card was a real step to the left, was it not? I'm not sure if deviating away from the traditional is breaking any real boundaries. Maybe there's room for a little experimentation; what do you think?

Not so long ago I'd written an article at Helium website, on The Joys of Paperart, and mentioned not needing to use anything other than minimal black/white paper requisites for paper-cuts. (Silhouettes is really where it all started I was thinking at the time).

I'd be really interested in your thoughts, comments too.

04 June 2009

Paper Cut: Hawaiian Quilt Block

Once you get in the grip of paper cutting you're forever on the lookout for new design material. My thoughts focussed on the unique Hawaiian Quilt Blocks.

Within the pages of Hawaaian Quilting, a Dover book by Elizabeth Root, I've used the 1/4 scale image for the Maile pattern, and reproduced it in my photo-editing programme (Photo-Impact X3). Then duplicated and flipped the image to make a half design; and lastly re-sized it to create a pattern I could paper-cut.

Each paper-cut Maile design fits a 6.35 cm (or 2-1/2 inch block of black cardstock), and four of these complete this card.

01 June 2009

Good-Luck Birds bookmarks

Here's a paper-cut design with a Polish background, where this art-form is known as Wycinanki (pronounced vee-chee-non-kee). Carolyn Guest is well known for her incredible paper-cutting skills, learnt during her travels to Poland as a young exchange student. Carolyn has generously shared this pattern with me to try myself; one that she has adapted from traditional Polish designs.

I've cut one as a simple black/white bookmark and the other I dared to be different and cut it out from hand-coloured tissue I'd used in previous cardmaking projects. The tissue was originally white-tissue gift wrap, misted with re-inkers/water and ironed when dry onto freezer paper to stabilize. There's also a touch of silver and copper metallic rub-ons added.

Do be sure to check out Carolyn's Sheep Shear Cuttings Papercut Art site so that you can marvel at the traditional Polish method she uses to cut so perfectly, her intricate designs with sheep-shears!

Oriental Stamp Art

Stamping was a creative outlet I'd chosen to ignore over the years, until 2006 that is, when I somehow happened upon Yahoo's Oriental Stamp Art galleries online. The artwork I saw there inspired me enough not only to join, but also to place an order with About Art Accents, the group's vendor of the month, for my very first stamps. It was a learning curve, un-mounted stamps too. It's hard to believe that three years has gone by since then! Oriental has a certain charm of its very own; it seems to evoke a wonderful sense of serenity.

This was my card for a recent Greenery Day contest within this group. Greenery Day being a celebration of nature in Japan on May 4. The focus of my card went into the shoji-screen which started as a sheet of black glossy cardstock. Through the panes you can see out to the rolling hills in the distance with a scattering of cherry-blossoms in view. This comes from a sheet of Japanese washi-paper, with a muted effect offered by a layer of vellum.

The stamped image comes in the form of the bamboo stems, a stamp named simply "bamboo" from About Art Accents, embossed with gold, and coloured with Sakura Glaze Pens (leaves) and markers (stems). The pots were cut from hand-coloured (swipe with a stamp-pad) cardstock, that had been textured with a Cuttle-bug folder .. and a rolling pin! Then a little metallic rub-ons added.

As to the "canes" in one of the urns; they were pulled out of my backyard straw broom since they seemed like just what I needed for that urn, with a small kanji sticker added lastly.

If you'd like to read more about the Oriental Stamp Art group, here is a review written by myself on Helium site, for all new-comers to Oriental stamping.