Thank you for taking time to visit, and I hope I am even a tiny bit helpful as I have been helped and blessed by so many others. I have been doing Calligraphy since teens, and card making for many years as well. In 1990 I delighted in the joys of stamping with ink and embossing after a trip to Cairns, Qld. In 2009 I discovered the brayer, 2010 the Cuttlebug, also have now taking to reading up on crafting blogs and lo! Here I am, on one of my own.

I live on the coast of eastern Australia. I am a Christian. I trusted in the LORD down here at the beach, amazingly it is not far from where I now live. It was over 50 years ago, after a Beach Mission Service at the age of 12 years

Wednesday 30 March 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 95

For those of you who like calligraphy posts, I thank you for your patience, AND I did do one on Monday see here…

And how quickly the weeks roll by and I think the scariest thing is that we now have 25% of 2011 gone!! and we in eastern Australia end daylight saving this weekend so summer is really gone and winter on it s way! 
And where is another WOYWW to check out.
Yes! For those of you who are puzzled why we are looking at work desks...To join in the fun take a trip over to our very own royal hostess, Julia, and drop by Julia's Stamping Ground!
 Well this week I have some very exciting goodies to share. In the front you will see a couple of cards which I have just finished off as apart of an order and a very particular order for a very dear lady in her 80’s - the blue baby easel card is for her latest great grandson and the other is an male encouragement card for a young man in his early 20’s. Her brief included the instructions they were to be pretty cards ( and heaps more instructions).. So I ask you - how do you make a pretty card for male??

To see full instructions on these two cards just scroll below or see post here. The brayer work pictured was done with Stampscapes demo-ing to a friend here on Monday, and on the left I have started another clock card as back up for male possibly my brother's birthday... at the rear of the desk you can see my newly arrived set of Caran D’Ache Aquarelle arrived on Monday from Spain, an answer to prayer!..

Talk about doing an excited dance around the room when I realised they were here at long last (my friend who was here brayering wondered what had happened to me?!). 
The picture on the easel card was done with my sister’s Prismacolor watercolour pencils, with the stumps for blending and White Spirits or Gamsol as they call it in US - here it is called White Spirits. And it was really fun to do. (I have been asked how you do this - you see a great video from HeroArts HERE. ) 
However with my calligraphy I have used Caran D’Ache (for example the text at the top of the blog title I did with the few Caran D’Ache pencils I had - just like these). I have used all sorts of pencils and I believe these are the best I have ever used. I have wanted this set for over twenty years. My sister who just recently has gone into pencils and uses them in drawing encouraged me to invest in a set at long last, a set of 80- she is going to order cards to help pay for them (kind sister)! You can see some stamped out hedgie images, some stumps all ready to colour with at the rear right of the picture.

Now I am off to peek, may God bless your week wherever you are and thanks so much for popping by,
Shaz in Oz. x

Easel Baby Card + Male card - playing with metals!

Card one
Male card. There is a further trip into recycling here with e metal piece at the top of this card - it is a yoghurt top embossed with the Clockwork Cuttlebug folder and then inked with the Adirondack Ink Fixative Copper. 
I don’t have the blending fluid you use with it, but Metho and foam applicators work beautifully. I also coated a small sheet of Kromcote (white glossy card stock) with the copper, stamped the sentiment from Our Daily Bread Stamps in Archival Ink black.. It gave it the most awesome finish just like burnished copper on the Kromcote.

Used Labels Nesties 8 for this card and some gold mesh at the bottom with a clock stamp (no name very old one, says Made in USA) coloured in my Promarkers. If it was a Penny Black could put it in their recycling challenge. Maybe this stamp is an antique Penny Black (tee hee!) sure is nice enough and old enough to qualify!

Card Two:
Easel card. This is my very first attempt at an easel card and used the Hedgie stamp from Penny Black baby set, except I masked the square frame out of this one when I stamped it, as I wanted it to be a cut with my circle Nestie. The picture was done with my sister’s Prismacolor watercolour pencils, with the stumps for blending and White Spirits or Gamsol as they call it in US - here it is called White Spirits. And it was really fun to do. I used the Pendant Fleur de Lis Spellbinders, plus border as well as as the centre piece. Fancy labels was used on the base as well as Labels 4, I extended the fancy labels as it does come that long. I used this tutorial by Shazsilverwolf to help me out with design – thanks Shaz!

The big secret to this card is how I made the paper pillow affect. I am not sure if everyone has the gutter guard where they live or what it is called elsewhere but have included a photo so you can see what I am talking about.
You use the gutter guard in the bug and the sandwich for my bug is:
 A Plate, B plate, Mesh (gutter guard), cardstock cut to size, rubber mat and one thin shim and B plate and put it through once only.
The beauty of this is you really can do large piece if you have a large rubber mat. I must get myself a bigger one (do they make them?) as the 5x7 one I have is a tad too small for size of guard I use.

Have had fun with these two cards and I hope you enjoy seeing them too!
God bless you wherever you are - thanks for popping by!  
  Shaz in Oz.x

Monday 28 March 2011

Calligraphy Step by Step Layout Method - Romans 5 vs. 1

Hullo - well, about time I did another calligraphy post! I am sorry to all you patient people out there!

Today I will show you how I lay them out step but step so you can see the process from almost beginning to end... The first step I am showing you is when I have finished the layout design and it is ready for transfer.I always do it on transfer or graph paper as so much rubbing out in design stage means my paper gets too marked otherwise. Plus then you have a replica for repeat orders.

This is really about half way through the process as half the battle is in doing it to this point: working out the balance and presentation of layout and design.

As I said in my last post the key to layout is getting the emphases of the words in the correct place and then putting the decorations around it with biblical texts. With other styles of calligraphy it maybe that you can make the item fit the decoration, but with my style the decoration always accommodates the layout.

Once I have the design transferred to the sheet I then begin to ink it in – I use my Rotring Isograph for the work on the 100% rag.  This is the type of paper I use, so technically it isn’t paper but rag!

I copy each text about 5 to 6 times depending on method. Onto tracing paper, then trace onto sheet, this is pencilled in and then inked in… I am careful not to rush this step although it is tempting! Then paint (or colour if the other style with Caran D’Ache pencils) and ink again…

The gold leaf section is built up as the colours are laid don and blended. I use palette (see here for my desk as I work from) of card from my gouache and blend light to dark as shown. I start at either end and work up or down. Gouache blends beautifully! The gold is done with a glue size, and layers (sometimes up to ten) are built up. Gold leaf is added right at the end when it is at the right level. I use transfer gold leaf in 23 carat and this very easy to use and my favourite!

I pray much about each layout and also as I do the work that I will chose the right colours etc. This text was an order and they also ordered this one here. They are both done in the tabernacle colours which I use quite often of scarlet, purple, blue and gold.

I really love this verse - what a blessing to have the peace with God through what Jesus, His Son did for us on the cross - BY faith in Him...
Praise His name! and praise Him too for His gloriously beautiful Word!
God’s blessing on each of you,
Shaz in Oz.x

Wednesday 23 March 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 94 Before - After/ Mrs A! see- MONKEY!!

Each week when you visit my desk it is in a state of tidiness which I can assure you is not always the case.. You see - cleaning day is Tuesday and that is the day before Wednesday in Oz : ) hence the tidy state..

So just for this week, I am going to do before and after…

Plus to Mrs A of it Its an Alien World I said I would post this week  - monkey…or Méchant (French for naughty) as I call him. 
Méchant is from Manchester but I kidnapped him when visiting rellies in 2009, and the deal was they were to come back to visit him, and they are due next month – Yay! Anyway, as I promised Mrs A. last week on her post here to do a post with monkey - just so the two monkeys could say:" Hi".
He has suction caps and rides around with me as a back seat driver on the car window!! Cheeky fellow!

Back to WOYWW –  

Photo 1: shows you the AFTER shot today... as I posted the cards pictured complete yesterday if you want more details on them, see details on this post here. (or the one before this!)

And also you will see in photo 1, I am starting on a Hedgie card which I hope to make into an easel card with Shazsilverwolf’s helpful tutorial, in the next few days, part of an order ( I hope and pray so anyway!).

Photo 2: Shows the BEFORE shot i.e. when was in the middle of all the mess at the weekend! So you can see I do get in a mess too just like all good crafters - we keep pulling out more stash and don’t put away as quickly till it becomes impossible and a clean up is required..

For those of you who are puzzled why we are looking at work desks... join in the fun take a trip over to the royal hostess, Queen Julia of WOYYW, drop by Julia's Stamping Ground!

And may God bless your day wherever you might be,
Shaz in Oz.x

PS. re Cuttlebug issues of last week, Jude was right on the loose screw.. and not just me!! it is working better now with it tightened, however still ocassionally acting in its contortionist way, so I am lay-bying a Big Shot from a local seller in the interim, not able to afford an electric one ( and not sure they are available here).

Thanks every one for all your good wishes and kind thoughts - that's what I love about WOYWW! such lovely folk out there!

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Fragrant friendship - House Mouse - we love them!

30.3.11 to all the WOYWW-ers for 30.3.11 

Silly me, I have put the wrong link on Julia's page! Click here is the right link please - sorry!

Ah!! House mouse stamps, don’t we just love them? These were on my workdesk last week and now have been transformed!
I coloured the house mouse stamps (stamp is called Fragrant Friendship -Amanda and Mudpie) in a different way this time. The rose and stem were coloured first with my Dove craft Chalks which you can see on link of workdesk above, and then I coloured the whole image in my Promarkers and then again topped the rose with chalks .
I really liked the effect.
The card used the Ripe Razzleberry cardstock form Stampin’ Up and also used Spellbinder Curved Rectangles, and the Nellie Snellen Lace Border die.

Card 2:  I am entering this card in the House Mouse & Friends Spring Challenge as suggested by Sue from Oregon..Thanks Sue for the tip off!

Also a House Mouse; with same border at the bottom and card stock but different pattern and this time I  tried cutting outside the stamp method for the very fist time. 
And used my Petite Ovals in Spellbinders’ for the multiple mounting effect. A couple of hand-coloured roses were also added, with ribbon and my favourite pearls...and also Nellie Snellen lace border die.

CARD 3 : This card is a very poor spin off - it was triggered by the glorious post done here by a blogging buddy of mine - see Jocelyn's wonderful blog here!

The background print is one of Donna’s lovely papers which I have bought - Bearly Mine designs - BM Flower Delight 027 mounted on extended cardstock in plum, with D'vine Swirls Cuttlebug folder.
The Print-blocks stamp of Lilies was bought in 1990’s and is a Brisbane firm; they may still make it.(# I- 2022). The lilies were coloured with my Promarkers and then sprayed with Diamond Dust Glimmer Mist as were the House Mouse images I rather like the frosted look it gives as well.
Then I use the Nesties Large Labels and Scallop punch for edge by Fiskars. One of few punches I can use, with Ribbon matching to finish.
This card was an order, and I do trust the lady loves it too. The greeting is Daily Bread one from Thinking of You Set.

Thanks very much for popping by and may God bless your day wherever you may be!
Shaz in Oz.x.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Help Japan! Buy a beaut stamp, folks.. and please pray!

"WOYWW-er's" please scroll down to next post after reading this post.. thanks all!   : )

From Brenda @  butlersabroad @ 8:13 am "I saw this over on Deb’s blog earlier in the week and thought it was such a great idea.  The wonderful and talented Mo Manning is offering this image for just $1 with all proceeds being donated to relief work in Japan.

I’ll be buying my copy this weekend.  You can click on the above photo for the details, over $500 has been raised already.  

Isn't she just the cutest? and so versatile.. .
I really would appreciate it ff you would read ALL this post please.. : )  ta!

Please spread the word to all your blogging and crafty mates, and also pray for the relief effort over there.

Prayer changes things..."ye have not because ye ask not .." James 3

My friends in Sapporo, north Japan are going along fairly well but much hardship is being suffered all over the land as chilly winter bites and they have so many shortages, so please pray for them too!
While we talk on the matter of prayer; I would like to ask for you to pray especially in next 24 hours of crital decision making in Egypt.
It has dropped off the agenda with all other news in Japan, the atomic and humanitarian disaster and Libya and the very sad stories there all warrant prayer. However the next 24 hour are very critical for Egypt:

This is an excerpt from a young Christian friend in Australia who writes of her troubled land:

There is a very serious update at present that requires a LOT of prayer. Tomorrow (Saturday 19th) there is a referendum asking the Egyptian people to approve the changes they (the Army and the Muslim Brotherhood) have done to the constitution. All Christians, all educated and liberal-minded Muslims, and the youth of the Revolution are totally against these so called 'amendments'. If they go ahead, the revolution would have been in vain! It would favour the Muslim Brothers and the Muslim extremists only. It would be a disaster! What is concerning also is that it very likely that the army and the Muslim Brothers will 'cook' the results to suit its own agendas. The army has warned the media from discussing or analysing the contents of the referendum! We also believe that if these 'amendments' are 'agreed to', there will most likely be another revolution or protests of some sort by the Copts and secular Muslims.  

Please pray that God would intervene in this very crucial situation.

Prayer Changes Things, though!! “

May we take these burdens to the LORD Who hears all who truly call upon Him and where we find grace to help in time of need.

Love and God’s blessing on your day,
Shaz in oz.x

PS thanks everyone! : )
I guess folks may have heard the referendum passed and according our Aust.  ABC news there was only a bout 40% turn out. You see, a great percentage of the people in upper Egypt especially are poor and many are illiterate or have very little education and have no idea of the workings of politics or what is going on. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim extremists took advantage of this and turned it into a religious thing. Telling Muslims that if they voted 'no' they would go to hell with the Christians, the infidels, and if they vote 'yes' they would go to paradise!  Also, in many areas Copts were forbidden from casting their vote. The Muslim Brothers also stopped and harassed several secular Muslims and media personal.As my Egyptian friends says:
Our eyes are on the Lord now. He is the only One who can help His people in this very, very dark and trying time.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 93 + Challenge + Freebie!

Well, another Wednesday is peeking into view!! And so is another WOYWW! Are the weeks getting shorter as the year of 2011 progresses?
So much happening too in the bigger picture of our world (sadly not all happy – and so I am in much prayer for Japan and Middle East) - let alone on our small work desks.
Mine is slightly tidy again - sorry will try to leave it messier - next time I will take  pickie on Tuesday before cleaning day! I have been working none the less as you will see I also have some more stash newly arrived. Two new Penny Black Stamps (they have come! two weeks ago saw one on Brenda of Butlers Abroad desk ) - yet to play with them, but have done some others.
Up the top left are the House Mouse stamps (have had this one for a while) and just coloured a rose-smelling mice twosome. I have a number of friends with birthdays who are rose lovers so they will be getting them; and tried it this time with combo of the Dovecraft pearly chalks and Promarkers. I just loved the look of it! yet to make it up... 

Oh and I have new storage for Promarkers, which I found at Spotlight. This is a DMC thread sorter roll –AND it has perfectly sized spaces for Promarkers - I wish I had two of these instead of the Letraset one I had already bought, as like it much better. And a third of the price!
The left hand middle card is detailed here. And it is made using the paper from free downloads of Glenda Waterworth two weeks ago on WOYWW! Do love her paper!

The Hedgie card is one I had stamped on last weeks WOYWW (someone commented on it?).

I have made it for a friend's newly born daughter. Brayered the Flower Cuttlebug (called Caramello) folder in baby pink dye ink, embossed then sprayed in Diamond Glimmer Mist, a Nestie mount and Sticky "Sweet" button at the top with pink checked ribbon to finish it off.
 Underneath it is the card I am entering in this weeks   Christmas challenge @
Hazels.   Go for Gold!
So it has used Victorine Originals Bauble stamps in gold plus pine tree stamp from Sheena Douglas (Little Sketchy 2 Faith set) with deep green (not black) corrugated mount and the Marianne Die Snowflakes in Mirri Card.
The other card done with the Penny Black Aspire stamp. The recipe & card is shown in detail - to see click here
Some very clever ones of you may recognise it as newbie stamp from last week. :D

For those of your puzzled why we are looking at work desks... join in the fun take a trip over to the queen of WOYYW, drop by Julia's Stamping Ground!

And may God bless your day wherever you might be,
Shaz in Oz.x

PS just looking around and found this gorgeous freebie so check it out folks from our very clever Donna at Bearly Mine Designs.. to get bigger resolution with Windows make sure after right clicking you select "Save Link as..." not "Save as..",  which is what I used to do till Glenda sorted me out..

PPS. CUTTLEBUG USERS - HELP!! any answers please? 
My cuttlebug is one year old, but it has had lots and lots of use with various cutting dies- not just embossing and I think it is going to die soon.. the last two weeks of use it seems to separate at the top side join near the handle (which is getting looser too)  and make funny noises. It goes back together it can be either embossing or cutting, but mainly with thicker folders. I am very weak in my hands due to my arthritis plus very poor manual skill in strength items. So I dont think I am forcing it, as dont have the oomph! 
I noticed in my Google search on this matter, the new bugs have green honeycomb plates for the A plate - so it has more give?

1.Does anyone know what may be happening here?

2.Are there maintenance things I should be doing with it? I always test shims/plates levels before cutting/ embossing. 

PPS. In answer to Jude - your comment on loose screw may not be entirely off the mark. I printed off pdf manual on assembling the bug and praise God I still had the Allen key used for assembly and tightened up the handle an awful lot and seems better - however time will tell!! (pray it all good now as not $ for Big Shot let alone Vagabond.. they are so dear, plus different power to Oz at present..)
Would you believe it is one year and 4 day sold! just out of warranty!
love Shaz in oz.x 

Penny Black Aspire stamp – Brayered Background in a Triptych

A big thanks for this card to Shaz Silverwolf and to Trish @ My Daily Dose Blogspot for this card…

You can see Shaz Silverwolf’s brilliant cards with this stamp here and here and here, and of course it was put in my wish list.
Method: a brayered background was made with a post note moon the Adironack Dye ink colours were applied gradually. It is done with the colours of Adirondack that Sandy HulsartYou-tube video (Purple Twilight, Mountain Rose and Peach Bellini), as seen on this post here..
 Like Shaz did in some of her cards, I decided to do it in triptych format, and stamped over the background in Sepia tones with new pad in Archival Ink.

As I did not have mounting card in the right colours I used a deep red and changed it into the right sepia tone by brayering the ink over it and allowing to dry. Mounted and finished the card while crafting with my new crafty friend Trish - she has a gorgeous Martha Stewart punch which she kindly used on the bottom of the card. -Martha Stewart Deep Double Edge Punch - Garden Gate Trim, can get here in Oz from Scrap dragon. I cant use them because of arthritis so only use die borders.

We had so much fun crafting together here on Monday and I pray it will be the first of many such times together. I mounted the same sepia-toned card underneath to finish it off.

Please see Trish’s brilliant work here, My Daily Dose Blogspot…and a VERY big thanks to these two ladies!
Till next time,
May God be your Strength through each day,
Love Shaz in Oz.x

Saturday 12 March 2011

Thanks to Ikki and to Glenda! lovely paper here!!

In part this post was to have been for the Less is more challenge for the pastels but I ran out of time, and not sure it has enough white on it to fall into next criteria? and not one layer - ah well such is life!!

Not too worried at missing the boat... as challenges are not that high on my agenda. It is just fun, as my feeble attempt is showcased more widely and you learn and share ideas that way.
For those of you who follow WOYWW you will have seen this paper upon my work desk two weeks ago.(see here).
It is the free download from Glenda Waterworth’s new blog "Chocolate Baroque” which I found through following Ikki's blog.
This is simply scrumptious and if I had been better health wise, it would have been made up sooner but better later than never.( see here! look under Downloads tab.)

This card is dedicated to two wonderful ladies:
  • to Ikki who inspired me into greater heights with card making than I ever thought possible (see here for her absolutely amazing blog if you don’t know it) 
  • and to Glenda for her generosity in giving away such beautiful Digi paper for free. I love her stamps sets too and had planned to use my one and only but changed my mind as I went along! You can’t get them here.

Card recipe:
1.     I printed off two sheets of the Digi paper as you will see there are only two large squares on the free print out.  I cut them out carefully, edged them with the Nestie square scallop dies, mounted on two more lots of cardstock, Lively Lilac from Stampin up and black to match the sentiment with a very fine edge.
2.     I spent an age learning for the very first time how to print the sentiment on the card from the clever ladies at Less is More for the tutorial in Word see HERE . I have Word 2003 and had to make a quick phone call to my sister as it was slightly different but hey! we made it in the end, thanks Di! I still pinch myself over having conquered Word for once – answered prayer! (So a big thanks also to Chrissie and to Mandi @ Less is more!) Sentiment was printed on white Linen cardstock -looks a little mauve but it is not.
3.     Punched scallop edge and then grabbed a beautiful textured ribbon to border it and three pearls.. I do love my pearls!!

Hope you like it  - I am now on the mend. At last! YAY! mind you technically have at least week to go so better not rush too much here.

God bless, till next time,
Shaz in Oz.x
PS Entering this in the anything goes Die Cuts challenge see here !  :)

Thursday 10 March 2011

The Fragility of Life - A challenge!

Challenge #79 Stampin' Sisters in Christ.

Scripture: Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever."
  This is a beautiful thought - life can become overwhelming at times, and "What is our life,  it is a vapour that appears for little time then vanishes away", as James said in his New testament letter.
James the Apostle was a wise man.. life will soon be past!
May we leave behind a pleasant and beautiful fragrance with all who may come across our path this day that the LORD has given us. Our God's word living in our lives will never fade or pass away!

Challenge: Use a stamped flower image on your card/project (note that patterned paper, embossing or paper flowers do not count as a stamped flower).

Recipe for these two cards:

1. Entry for the Challenge is the first card. . The two images on both cards are stamped with Stamp of Lily - Printblocks I-2022 (Brisbane, Qld firm, from 1990’s).
White cardstock mounted with Big W red cardstock, then, flower patterned from Ripe Razzle berry set by Stampin’ Up. It was edged with the Nellie Snellen Lace edge die.
Using Large labels I cut the Lily out, mounted on same red then on patterned paper from Stampin up Ripe Razzleberry. As stated on my last WOYWW post (see pictured here too) I used Primsa-watercolour pencils, and I enjoyed using them. Then sprayed it with Diamond dust Glimmer mist. I then stamped the ODB greeting at the base I like this as it covers many things. Birthday, encouragement, get well and even sympathy if you wished
I added the few pearl adornments.

2. Card with red embossed background, mounted on white cardstock. Background is Big W. red cardstock was cuttled with Moroccan screen, and the surface embossed with white chalk pad. The Taylor Eyelet Die was used to border it, along with the soft white cotton lace. Both background and edge were done with my extender method – see enlarging Cuttlebug folders here is one of them, check sidebar for more! and I do the same with border dies. I used Labels two for the stamp cut out this time and then the stamp treated the same as above, all the way down to pearls except lightly different.

For those of you who comment on my stones, this is stone mat at my courtyard door , a birthday present last year from my youngest sister. I started taking the shots there because mainly it has great natural light and thought the stones look okay. So it is something you could make yourself! If you want to know how just ask me by email click on my profile and email address is there...she is kind clever sister!

May Our God be with you through your day wherever you may be till next time,
love Shaz in Oz.x

Are we there yet?

"the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness to humble you and to test you, to know what was in your heart.” Deut. 8:2

 Just reading this passage and was deeply reminded of a lesson that I needed learning; this is from the passage of today’s Our Daily Bread:
“In life it sometimes seems as if we are wandering in circles. We feel lost. We want to ask God:
“Are we there yet?
How much longer?”
At such times, it helps to remember that the journey, not just the destination, is important to God. He uses it to humble us to test us, and to show us what is in our hearts.                                                                           ( Julie Akerman Link)
All God’s testings have a purpose-
Someday you will see the light:
All he asks is that you will trust Him,
Walk by faith and not by sight.”

“O dear patient LORD, help me to remember this and serve Thee aright in all ways each day that You bring!”

Love Shaz in Oz.x

PS Photo is a morning sunrise here in Oz, notice the moon still visible high above our very large frangipani tree at about 6am one stunning morning..

The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. Ps. 19:1

Wednesday 9 March 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 92

Well, here we are it is another WOYWW on the way!

Another Wednesday, the middle of our week.. the highlight of our week, to see what fun we get up to each week don’t forget to pop over to our royal hostess, Queen Julia and to join in the fun of WOYWW, at Julia's Stamping Ground!

My desk is looking amazingly tidy.. the reason for this is you always see it the day after cleaning day. NOT the day before cleaning day!! Believe you me, there was barely a clear space on it.
I have not been the best, but think it is progress being made there thankfully. I want to say a very big thank you for all the greetings of cheer from blogland. They do help!

I was rather late with my promised calligraphy post, but if you want to check it out please look here!

As you can see I have two little craft muses who sometimes appear on my work desk. Mainly because this is where they live, they are Avon breast cancer bears, you see and I rather like them. They are in front of my bag which has all my bibs and bobs in it, scissors, pens, glues, tapes, glimmer mists all those essentials you need and I love being able to pick it up in one hand from the cupboard behind, and put it all out there on the desk. It has a little rotator goes underneath which is great too. And my favourite green bug is here, plus two new arrivals in front of the muses. One is the Aspire flower stamp and Ink pad in Sepia which arrived yesterday from Simon Says (see Shazsilverwolf ! my stamp has come – see one of her many amazing creations with this stamp here. I can’t wait to play).

The Christmas (blue) card was done for Challenges (brayering on a cuttlebug folder – really fun!) and described in full here.

I did finish the two lily cards and will do them in detail on another post, hopefully. There is a rather sad tale about the lilies I did on my last week’s post as these are not them!!

I did last weeks in Promarkers and after had them all assembled I had the bright idea of adding a bit of perfect pearls to the stamens. A great idea, except I then immediately forgot I had done it (of course and working when I should have been resting) and promptly put things on both of them and squashed the wet pearls all over the lilies, NOW they did have a pearly sheen!!

I was able to rescue the cards. I re-stamped the lilies, and I decided to colour them this time with the pencils pictured here. Water colour Prismacolour pencils, borrowed from my sister to try them out. I was not happy with the first ones which is why I had used the pearls. If you are curious? YES! I did love the pencils they are great to use blend beautifully and so now to look around for some, and also try out the baby oil method (see my sidebar there is tutorial on it) and want to try that one!
Anyway that is enough rambling from me.. I am going off to peek...

 May God bless you wherever you might be..
Shaz in Oz.x

PS here managed to take a close up later today.. I will give recipe tomorrow God willing. Want to enter one in a challenge.

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Background/ History of Calligraphy + Earliest Works

Well today I am at last posting my earliest work in calligraphy and text. ie. the earliest pieces of work that I have in my collection which I did so many years ago now..

The first piece was done over forty years ago, when I was in Year 11 or second last year of high school and it was the cover for my big high school  folder. I did one for my sister Diane also. It is done in the Gothic (or as I knew it then) Old English script. I had a battered old lettering book of my dad's which I used to copy the script. Why this amazes me today is because the only tools I had to execute it were a mapping pen and India ink, I don’t know if you have ever used a mapping pen but they are incredibly fine and very scratchy to work with and this lettering is 3cm high. So with the fine pen it would have taken me a fair bit of time, especially as I did one for my sister as well... and guess what? nothing has changed - it takes a great deal of time even now when one does calligraphy.

I just thought I would give a little history on it too. So if not interested skip this bit. Or if you want more look HERE. You can see the difference between eastern and western styles etc if you like.
Calligraphy (from Greek κάλλος kallos "beauty" + γραφή graphẽ "writing") is a type of visual art..So Calligraphy means quite literally beautiful writing. 

When I study and pray over a piece of work (usually a Bible verse but not always) almost half the time is given over to satisfactorily working out the layout. It is important to give the key words the correct emphasis, and to balance the work properly 

The decoration should not dictate the layout; the layout should dictate the decoration. Sadly many folk miss this point.

The second piece of work was done in 1988, and is the other of the two texts that hang in my bed room. I only own three of my texts.
In Chronological order this text (done in my Yorkshire {born In Wombwell, near Barnsley} grandmother’s silver frame – a great treasure in itself) is very early. It is the second one which I have done in my bedroom, as well as the vellum one (see here) is the most recent one which I own, done in 2009.
This one in the lounge room was done in 2006, but I have done it at least five times..I cant remember how many really, I only have photograph records from March 1990 ad there were many texts done before then.

Two points to note with this verse of Psalm 18:30 “As for God, His way is perfect” are that:

 1. It is done watercolours. I now work mainly in Gouache as I found watercolour was not colour-fast enough even if I used good paint. The Gouache is in Windsor and Newton is really great. It is opaque, and it sits on the surface of the paper. Watercolour is translucent, and soaks into the surface of the paper. Both are waterbased paints. Other works linked onto this post are done in Gouache.
2. It is a copy from another original design, and is not my design at all. I now mainly do my own designs, but then (1988) I mainly copied. If you want to learn how to do these and IF you can ever find the text which I took this from, do BUY IT – it s the best calligraphy text I have ever seen, and of course it is now out of print. It was printed by the Hong Kong Christian Book Room. “Illuminated Texts and How to Make them” by G. Christopher Willis & G.C. Houghton
I will put a pickie of the frontispiece in so you can see it. I put this month's verse from their calendar here.
This Psalm 18 verse first appeared in their calendar in 1942, printed in in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation (according to page 52 of the book).
Very appropriate verse for the times - and still so today, don’t you think?

Well, I hope I have not bored you too much. You will notice the gold leaf on this early text is quite flat as I only learned the raised gold leaf about ten years ago from another text which I will share at another time.
Till the may God bless and keep you and those you love,
Shaz in Oz. x

Three Challenges -> Brayer On Cuttlebug Folders!

This card is going to cover two challenges hopefully both the Our Daily Bread, and also one for the ABC Christmas Challenge.

Components & Method of card:
Silver Vellum base on Ivory cardstock was topped with a brayered folder- extra large Snowflake folder from the Winter Wonderland set.
I brayered the folder with blue dye ink, to do it on the embossed side - not the debossed side.You brayer it on the side which has Cuttlebug printed on it and it should come out embossed.

It does look nice on debossed as well so don’t stress if you get it wrong, a couple of mine work back the front I found. Make sure it is brayered smoothly and evenly before putting the cardstock through the cuttlebug. Allow to dry, and then I sprayed it with Silver Cosmic shimmer spray.This softens the effect beautifully and makes it very snow-like.

Allowed this to dry then it was mounted on black card stock. For the mesh under the Christmas  ODB Greeting I only had white mesh, and I wanted it to be silvered also. So I sprayed it with the shimmer mist as well. Stamped the greeting on Labels 4, I embossed it whilst still in Nestie in powder blue and mounted on black; also mounted it on the Glitter cardstock in Ivory as needed Blue and Ivory for the first challenge. 

I then mounted these on the card and cut out a Nestie Create a flake in similar toned Mirri card and topped this with some snowflake brads and sprinkled around some Bling on the snowflakes!! 

If you want to see a lot more explaining about how to brayer on cuttlebug folders check out the full details on a previous post I did HERE!
The two Daily Bread challenges are: 

1.Challenge ODBDSLC51 - see here  Use at least two of the colours pink, blue, ivory or yellow. There can be other colours but these must be the main. (I chose Blue and Ivory)

2.Stamping In Time: On Assignment Challenge(SNTODBD29)! The assignment is Our Daily Bread Design stamps.  The challenge this time is "Christmas!"  No, we are not celebrating Christmas in February, but we are going to start working on our Christmas 2011 cards

3.The third challenge is for the ABC Christmas Challenge 
This fortnight we have come to the letter E, and the theme chosen is:
Embossing and use 3 different Embellishments.You can go for dry embossing or heat embossing. The choice is yours.
I used brads, bling, and create a flake Nesties, plus the silvered mesh so guess that makes four, hope that's okay!

Was quite happy in the end but chopped and change my mind so many times in the creating, as I did not want to hide the brayered effect too much. I do love it!

May God bless your day in every way,
Shaz in Oz.x

PS as per Hazel's suggested comment below I have taken up her kind offer have also entered this card in her Challenge.
"Hazel said...This is a beautiful, very classy card. You might like to also enter it into my CHNC challenge 10 which this week is also asking for the use of embossing - and there's a random prize this week x"

Monday 7 March 2011

Sorry for delay.. Gumblossoms instead!!

To all who I promised a text post for today  - I am very sorry - it will be delayed! I'm still not that well (but I am on the mend) so can't post it yet, I will, God willing tomorrow....I have take some decent pickies of the items first.

In the interim, here is a photo I took recently of very large Gumblossoms near here..aren't they gorgeous? Steph, one of my very good friends, calls me Gumnut - these gumnuts are the flower shell after the flower has finished and you can see a few on the back portion of this blossom.
Her card (which I made SEE here) for her birthday has gumnuts on it and as it is her birthday I was thinking of her..HAPPY birthday Steph.

This is Western Australian Native but now with propagating they are able to grow this west coast plant over here on the east coast due to improved grafting procedures..

So today instead of admiring my (rather unworthy) handiwork - let us admire the handiwork of our marvellous God and Creator.. 
Colossians 1
[Vs 12] "Giving thanks unto the Father,..and.. of his dear Son:
[Vs14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  
[16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"

Be back soooon!
God bless,
Shaz in Oz.x
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