31 January 2010

Michael Strong Pocket Card Challenge

Michael Strong's Yahoo group has a monthly challenge for members, and January's challenge has been for a "pocket card". Cards submitted need to include at least one stamp from the Michael Strong collection.

I'd only just received my first M.S. stamps order and I wanted to put to good use the deeply etched Cloisonne Flower stamp. The cloisonne collection works so well with a batik look, and I love playing with colour! You can read more if you wish on how I 'batik' in this Helium article.

Look for wonderfully detailed tutorial for the Flower Pot Pocket Card by Stephanie Luman, over at Splitcoaststampers site; thanks Stephanie for sharing!

My flowerpot is made with Basic Grey scrapbooking paper, embossed with Provocraft's Birds and Swirls folder; edging with Martha Stewart's Arch Lattice punch. Butterfly is a Grace Taylor stamp with added anodised wire for a curly 'flight path' and antannae. Love text by Stampin Up embossed with Amethyst e.p.
To the flower centres I've added coloured circles with 3-d pop dots.

10 January 2010

Parrots that frequent our region, Lake Macquarie, N.S.W.

I write now and again with email pals about the various birds we get to see here. It seemed an interesting post to share; I've narrowed down though, to the colourful parrots and cockatoos.

We are really lucky to have a narrow 'bush corridor' outside of our back boundary, so it naturally is frequented with a nice balance of beautiful birds.

These are the raucous, but brilliantly coloured Rainbow Lorikeets. I often refer to them as the Concordes because of their very fast and direct flight path.

They're naturally a nectar-eating bird (we think they get 'high' on the nectar and that's why they become so roudy), but it doesn't stop them eating out at our feeder too.
This one, the sulphur-crested white cockatoo; looking for a potential nesting site maybe in the huge old angophora tree, way up high.
...and yes a quick check-in at the feeder.
Now it's time for the more timid rosella. This male is more vibrantly coloured than the female. They tend to wait till the other birds have been and gone before they venture to the feeder. It's not easy to get a photo of the rosellas like this; they want to bolt the moment we open up the back door mostly.
These pink/grey galahs are much more accommodating and people-friendly.

I'm forever amazed at the colours of the different birds, whether they be the flamingos of Sth. America, or the parrots of Australia.

It's a corella on the back fence.
A yellow-tailed black cockatoo has a beak like a vice; you wouldn't want it around your finger! This one has been chewing at the tree, no trouble at all, for .....
food source, grubs of some kind. They're not doing this regularly on this tree. It appears they know that at a certain time of year those grubs will be hatching, and that's when we get to see them.

The next/last photo is not one of the cockatoos from here, but it is the red-tailed black cockatoo. A photo I'd taken when we were holidaying in Victoria, at a bird-park.

The owner fanned out this cockatoo's tail and I thought it makes for a grand-finale pic with an appropriate caption, for my post today.

03 January 2010

Organza Flowers

Some may wonder quite what 'we' do at our computers, but those of us who find gems within blogs, know that our computer time can help produce 'results'. .. creative ones.

Two blogs showed me the way to make these organza flowers, perhaps with a bit of a vintage, rustic look, do you think?
When I read these blog posts on creating such sweet flowers I really couldn't wait to give them a try too.

Big thanks to all blog-owners who share so generously, their projects with all of us around the world.

For great instructions on the easy steps, be sure to check out each of these blogs: Calamity Kim and Tresa Edmunds blog Reese Dixon. Thank-you both!

02 January 2010

Cards: Faux Torn Mosaic Technique

At Splitcoaststampers you'll find this great link to a pictorial tutorial from Carole Burrage.

Using Cuttlebug folder, Flourish Frame, here are my three samplers using this technique.

Magazine pages provided a good source of colour variety for this card. I've also gone over the flourish with some purple metallic glaze though it hardly shows here.

With a p.v.a. glue base over cardstock to adhere the torn papers (edges dabbed with a brush-marker), then trimmed the cardstock centrepiece to fit the frame.

Two fine layers of a satin-glaze varnish to finish, allowing to dry thoroughly between each coat.

These brilliant papers are from a Sissix pad; black ink around the torn edges, and layered with a slightly larger black cardstock.

A light sanding over the 'flourish' for a distressed look.

Magazine pages for this one also, with a brown brush marker along the torn edges and more "distressing".

Thanks Carole (another Carole with an 'e' too), for sharing your tutorial.

01 January 2010

Paper Cutting: Snowflake Challenge

There is currently a challenge happening within Michael Strong Stamp group. The only requirement for this challenge is to include a paper-cut snowflake.

Being a relatively new member to the group, and not owning any Michael Strong stamps yet (though I do have my eye on some of the lovely cloissone stamps), I couldn't help but enter this challenge using Backstreet Design patterns for my snowflakes.

Creating this card was a nice side-step from previous paper-cutting projects of 2009.