May Mood Board Challenge

I love this months Jot Magazines Mood Board Challenge of blues and greys.

Their challenges are always inspiring and I just love the colour combinations.


I chose a fun photo to scrapbook and thought the colours would suit.  Its a mini scrap book page of about 14X14cm.  We found his old safety glasses in the barn while tidying it up.  The lens flip up.    I splashed distress ink for the background and used some leftover scraps of gelli prints (brown and blue) and blue acrylic paint stencilled with paste. I added some unused yarn and washi tape.

Thanks again Jot Magazine for the challenges.  Love seeing them and participating when I can.


Pocket Pal Letters

I discovered Pocket Pal Letters early this year in March 2016.

Besides the opportunity to write to Pen Pals from all over the world or just locally in your country, you create mini cards (9X6.5cm) that fit into a pocket of nine.  Its a plastic sleeve that holds collector cards that you can buy at EB Game stores in Australia or online stores like Ebay or Amazon. is created by Janette Lane and is a network of Pen Pals.  This is her description from her website:

Pocket Letters™ and Pocket Letter Pals were created by Janette of Janette Lane Blog as a new way to send and collect penpal letters. The concept is easy and fun! Pocket Letters are penpal letters in pocket format. Basically, you fill all the pockets of a 9 Pocket Page Protector (or similar) and send the whole page to someone who wants to swap or to your existing penpal(s). You fill the pockets with the components of a typical penpal letter. Items such as stickers, tea bags, ephemera, washi tape samples, and pictures can 
be added. A letter is included and tucked into one of the pockets. The Pocket Letter folds up easily and is then sent to your Pocket Letter Pal in a standard 10 size envelope. It’s the perfect way to send and collect letters from other Pocket Letter Pals (i.e. people who are sending mail in this format) around the world. They also fit perfectly in a binder for easy storage! This can be a one-time exchange or you can swap Pocket Letters indefinitely. 

If your into paper crafts, card making, art journalling, mixed media etc, you can apply these techniques to Pocket Letters in miniature form!

My techniques to creating the Pocket Letters are varied.  I love writing a short letter and getting to know my Pocket Pal.  You can join in events which is a theme for a Pocket Letter or search for a group that interests you and find a Pen Pal with similar tastes.

Some other blog sites that delved into Pocket Letters include:

Purple Mail Box:

Cocoa Daisy:

Art & Whimsy:

Here are my efforts so far:











Creative Jump Start 2016 with Birgit Koopsen


January is always a busy month with summer in Australia, lots to do like watching the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne, Australia Day festivities, gardening outside, catching up with friends etc.
I managed to find time to finish Jean-Michel Basquiat lesson with Birgit Koopsen in the CJS 2016 workshop
I used a photo from my good friend as inspiration.  I will give her the original and print a copy for myself.  I love how it turned out.
I love how Birgit used bright colours and black pen to draw her portrait. So thankful that Birgit was able to show this lovely technique. Thank you Birgit!

I used Jo Sonja’s acrylic paints, Sharpie black and white pens and some gold and pinkish shimmer for a bit of sparkle.




Creative Jump Start 2016 with Joanne Sharpe


After a long weekend break down at Port Arlington, staying with friends and enjoying the Mussel Festival, I am slowly catching up with Nathalie’s Creative Jump Start 2016 sessions.
I enjoyed watching how Joanne easily created her style of letters / fonts.  I gave the Matisse look a go, and here is my efforts.  I added photos of our flowers from our garden that continue to bloom marvelously in our Australian summer heat.  Today is 40 degrees Celcius. The words came from the musical Hair, “… Good morning star shine, the earth says hello…”.  Background is watercolour.  Words, I pencilled first, then drew over with watercolour pencil. After, I went over it with a brush dipped in water.  Heat dried the watercolour and then outlined with black pen.
I’m quite pleased with the creation.
Thank you to Joanne and Nathalie!



Creative Jump Start 2016 with Michelle Ward


Third lesson with Nathalie’s Studio Creative Jump Start 2016 is with talented Michelle Ward illustrating her version of Matisse’s cut outs.  She cleverly used spray can paint onto handmade stencils. It was such an experience watching her techniques.

As I did not have spray paints, I tried with Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains but did not get the results I wanted.  I did manage to get lots on my hands though!

Next attempt was with Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads where I used ink blending foam and blended the colours onto the stencil.  Much better!

My stencils, I drew on paper first and then cut them out on acetate.

I just love the way you can overlap the stencils, partially paint them, and use both the positive and negatives of the image.  I quite like the white shadow effect too. To cut the patterns, I used a stanley knife.  Next stencil, I will design on the Funtime software and cut them out on the Blackcat Cougar cutting machine.  has more info on the  cutting machine.

Thank you Nathalie and Michelle!




Creative Jump Start 2016 with Julie Balzer


Second lesson was enthusiastically presented by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, working with water colour.  Again the theme is Matisse – Portrait of a Lady.
I have never properly painted with water colour, so this lesson just blew me away. I learnt heaps and saw how water colour reacts with the paper and how it can be manipulated to get the look required.  It was fun mixing colours to get the hues I needed.

All this possible via
Thanks Nathalie!

As I did not have the water colour sticks that Julie used, I used what I had.  For my palette, I made do with a cake base plate that a friend brought for dinner which had a yummy cake on it!
For a bit of bling, I used Jo Sonja’s acrylic Burnish Copper on the lady’s button and hat.

Had lots of fun doing this!

✏  QOR Watercolor – Pyrrole Red Light, Sap Green, Hansa Yellow Medium, Paynes Gray, Transparent Pyrrole Orange, Raw Umber, Quinacridone Magenta
✏  125gsm paper

image   Original Matisse



Creative Jump Start 2016 -Lesson 1


I enrolled at Creative Studio’s Creative Jump Start 2016 classes .
Classes teach you mixed media from a variety of paints & inks etc.
I’m learning heaps from lesson one.  All videos are downloadable and are step by step demos.  So easy.
Love my first attempt here.

My art book, I am upcycling Harcourts Blue Book property guide.  Background on page is covered with part of Weekly Times paper glued using Golden Gel Medium – Regular Gel.
Here is a list of paints and accessories I used in this project:

✅ Monte Marte Two Seasons Acrylic Colour – Orange Red, Fast Light Yellow, Purple, Olive Green, Titanium White.
✅ Stampin Up – Reason to Smile set (Flower Petal)
✅ Tim Holtz – Distress Spray Stain – Peacock Feather
✅ Stampin Up – Whisper White Stampjn Pad
✅ Jo Sonjas – Acrylic Paint, Titanium White, Carbon Black, Rich Gold
✅ Stampin Up – Black Project Life Journaling Pen




November Mood Board Challenge

With Jot Magazine


Jot magazine has a vibrant mood board challenge for November.

I just love vibrant, happy colours.

It inspired me to create a birthday card for my best, long time friend.

I dabbed acrylic paint to a floral stencil. Painted some shimmer on green and pink parts. Applied a light media paste which I coloured gold through a tear drop stencil. Printed ‘Happy Birthday’ with an elegant swirl on a laser printer and gold foiled with my recently brought Minc. Added a sticker, ribbon and flower.
Loving how it turned out.

I am enjoying using stencils and experimenting with distress inks and acrylic paint.

Thanks Jot Magazine for the mood board challenge.




ColorKeeper with CrochetHome


I was given the chance to help test the beautiful flower design by Nela of CrochetHome .
I fell in love with the pattern.  You can press the flower flat or leave it scrunched up like I have done.
I always wanted to make a bag and it ended up to be a bag to hold my crochet projects.
I used cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills .  4ply.
I lined the bag with cotton material.
So happy how it turned out.

Thank you CrochetHome for allowing me to help test your flower.  Follow Nela’s blog as she has some lovely projects with flowers and mandalas.

Jot Magazine Challenge – May 2015

Jot Magazine has. a great mood board for their May 2015 challenge.

Loving the colours.  So vibrant and bright.

Here is my take on this challenge.

There is a few techniques I picked up from an art journal class I took recently in Drouin with Scrap 2 Relax

Jot Magazine Mood Board May Challenge

My layout is on a white background, spritzing the card with water and applying Dylusions London Blue ink spray.  Then I added texture with Grunge Paste on a stencil.  Stamped abstract pattern on top.

The eggs are cut out from white thick stock that has been spritzed with water, sprayed with Dylusions Funky Fuchsia, London Blue and Distress Spray Stain Salty Ocean. Not forgetting a splotch of Barn Door.  I then drew around the eggs to focus on it.

We moved into our new home this year, different location, into the countryside, 15 acres.  We wanted to get away from the city but still be accessible within an hour or so.

New Home, New Life, New Adventures!

New Home

Settling into our new home

Its been over 4 weeks now since we moved to our new home in the countryside of Warragul, and we are loving the atmosphere and the serenity … just like in The Castle, the movie!

We are still unpacking, and I have now managed to restart the Stockholm blanket project, following Mel’s progress in her blog One Crafty Mumma

I have completed 31 white edged squares, 9 Beige and 13 Brown ones.

Progress is good.  I have crocheted while on the train from Melbourne to Warragul, in the car (as a passenger!) or in the evenings while relaxing.

The previous owners have established a beautiful garden and I have included some flowers in the picture below with my Stockholm blanket project progress.

Autumn Flowers

Finding crochet projects

On Friday, I went into town and popped into Morris & Sons in Collins St to top up on brown and beige 8ply cotton for the Stockholm crochet blanket project. Tally so far:

✂ 20 Cream squares

✂ 3   Beige squares

✂ 4   Brown squares

✂ 28 Coloured squares

Total of 55 squares of various stages.

As we are moving house, progress will slow down.

I have been looking at which facilitates an online magazine.  I have been finding lots of crochet online mags and storing them in my account.  There is an app for issuu allowing you to browse on you smart phone. This is a great addition to Pinterest where I store my other ideas for projects. Next update will be from our new home.

Crocheting to Relax


I have now run out of Brown and Beige cotton and will need to order more.  I can continue with the Cream squares and make more coloured squares in the meantime.  I will either wait till I am in town to get more of those colours or order them online.

As of today, my tally of squares is 48.  Just on the half way mark for a throw blanket!  Yeah!

  • 22 Coloured squares
  • 6 Brown squares
  • 12 Beige squares
  • 8 Cream squares

I love crocheting.  Its relaxing and lately have been crocheting during the evening and while the Australian Open tennis is on in Melbourne.

Stockholm crochet – Yarn Quantity


So far I have worked out how far a ball of yarn goes for each stage of the Stockholm crochet project.
1 ball of Cream makes 8 squares.
1 ball of Dark Brown makes 14 squares.
1 ball of Beige makes 10 squares.

Therefore I would need 12 Cream balls, 7 Dark Brown, 10 Beige.

I have not yet worked out how many Greens and Yellows.

Progress is looking good:
8 Cream squares.
11 Dark Brown squares.
5 Beige squares.

Stockholm Blanket – Stages

I am so happy with progress made with One Crafty Mummas Stockholm crochet blanket.

  • Stage 1 – 40 coloured squares
  • Stage 2 – 2 squares with brown
  • Stage 3 – 4 squares with beige
  • Stage 4 – 2 final squares with off white

I am using Morris & Sons Avalon 8 ply 100% Pima Cotton, with 4mm crochet hook. One the brown and beige wool ball has gone, I can work out how much I need to complete my blanket for those colours. Check out Melissa’s progress on One Crafty Mumma’s blog. Progress #1

Stockholm Crochet Blanket Update

During the couple of hot days in Melbourne, there is not much you can do but stay inside and crochet!  I now have 25 colourful squares inspired by One Crafty Mummas Stockholm blanket project, and also made up a completed square to gauge how big each square will be.  Its approximately 14 X 14cm square, and I think I will stick to the colour scheme here but with each centre design a different colour.

A complete square

Last night I sewed up the dangly bits of yarn of each coloured square so its neat when I finish off each completed square.

I think my method for this blanket at the moment is to make up the centre colours first in batches, then sew up the yarns.  Once in a while, make a complete square.

For my completed project, it would be nice to have a 140 X 140cm of squares plus the border.  This would mean that I need 10 rows and 10 columns of squares, therefore 100 squares.  It should cover a queen size bed.  Otherwise a nice throw blanket on the couch that measures 120 X 180cm in total which is approximately 8 rows and 12 columns minimum plus border, therefore 96 squares..

Colourful centre pieces

Coloured pieces are kept in a shoe box.  Once there is more completed squares, I will need to keep them in a bigger box.

I love taking photos with my smartphone as it is convenient at times.  I found a great app, Photofy, which you can enhance your photos with text, frames, etc. Easy to use and fun!  A free app and you can purchase designs or use the freebies.  Design on your smartphone once you have captured your photo.