Saturday, 25 April 2020

Twofer Challenge Umbrella



I have used an old Annabelle stamp -A Beautiful Day.  I used pencils to do the colouring


Only the umbrella from the above set was used for this card.  I used DP paper to paper piece the the umbrella.  The sentiment is Jane Doodles Pretty Peony and the hearts are a Simon Says Stamp stencil




Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Oddball Easter Bunny

I had been looking forward to receiving this stamp and it arrived yesterday.  So it is NBUS, or as Darnel put it - virginal.  This bunny just cracks my up.  What do you think is he simply suffering from a chocolate overload or do you think he would hides the eggs so well no-one can find them?

I have made this card for my sister who is not well (not the virus thank goodness) and I thought it would give her a giggle.

The stamp is from Stampingbella, it is coloured with copic and the DP  unknown.

As I mentioned this is a brand new stamp or NBUS, so I am entering the card into Darnell's new NBUS Challenge #13.


Thursday, 2 April 2020

Let's Chat



I think the sentiment for my card tonight is very appropriate for the current circumstance we are all in at the moment.  It's important to keep in touch with family and friends, via phone, text, email, skype, zoom or by what ever means.  Just to have a chat and see how they are.

I have used Paper Smooches Vogue Abode and it was coloured with Lyra pencils.  The chair is paper pieced.

I would like to enter this card into Inspirational Challenge 209 - Chair Photo


Take care, stay safe and contact your family and friends to have a chat

Saturday, 28 March 2020

An Englishwoman in Colac

An Englishwoman in Colac by Joan Frecheville Brown
A selection of her letters


My husband grew up in Colac, a small city in the Western District of Victoria, approximately 150 kilometers south-west of Melbourne.  It is a commercial centre for an agricultural district.

My husband is an historian who writes about the history of Colac and other places.  He is always on the lookout for new information.  Recently he left a book on our coffee table that he was reading.  It looked interesting so I picked it up to peruse it and then commenced reading it in full.

The book is a collection of letters written by Joan Frecheville Brown during her time in Colac.  It gave a wonderful snapshot of life in the 1950s and 1960s in country Victoria. 

Joan was married to a local doctor, Graham Brown.  They met during the War in Britain, married and came to Australia in 1947.  Goodness knows what she thought when she arrived in Colac – a country town based on milking cows, sheep, onions, potatoes, cattle saleyards, sawmills and trucking companies.  Joan was a sophisticated young woman who had been living and working in London a large cosmopolitan city and she went to Colac to start her married life.  Quite a difference but she was very philosophical about the change.

Back in the 1950 the best form of communication was by letter and Joan was a prolific letter writer.  Her letters were firstly to her friends and family back in Britain and then to her children when they went off to boarding school in Geelong.  The letters gave interesting snippets of her life and times in Colac.

She entered into community life with great enthusiasm.  She was a member of the Schools Mother’s Club, the hospital’s Women’s Auxiliary, joined the Colac Players, the Film Society and weekly discussion groups.  Some of the fund raising events were hat parades, chicken and champagne dinners and afternoon teas.

Joan was very widely read and the house was filled with books.  One letter mentions in regard to a function she was attending where there was a tedious and long- winded speechmaker . . . the most ghastly speeches - fortunately I had a penguin in my pocket and read that.

Back in her London days Joan worked in the film industry so she always had an interest in films.  She mentions films such as A Hard Days’ Night.  She wrote that this film was brilliantly clever and its photography and off-beat humour was outstanding.  Although she thought three songs were her limit.  At another time she saw the film of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and thought the singing magnificent.

The couple built a house on a hill overlooking Colac with a very large garden that had a plantation of Australian natives.  Edna Walling contributed sketches for the layout.   In her letters to the children Joan would mention that the first daffodil was in bloom, that the wisteria was nearly in bloom or the wind played havoc with the magnolia.  Joan said the house was for use not show.

The house, large for its time, was where the couple raised their 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls.  Once the children were at boarding school Joan wrote to them weekly.  Her son Michael remembers the letters as being newsy and cheerful.  Son Jonathan comments that the letters don’t give a full picture but there was music not only the children’s on violin and piano but from a large gramophone cabinet in the lounge where Joan played her classical music records.  Daughter Julia remarked that re-reading her mother’s letters reminded her of her mother's vibrancy and strength and of her intelligence and humour.  Daughter Louise said that her parents never talked down to her, valued her opinions and that she was an individual.

In the early 1960s Joan contracted a mysterious wasting disease that slowly crippled her existence and rendered her weak, scarcely mobile and helpless. Despite various diagnoses (way off beam for the time) and advice from her husband’s medical colleagues in Colac, Ballarat and Melbourne Joan found no cure.  Her condition was later diagnosed as motor neurone disease.  She died in 1967 aged 45.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Bunnies


Tonight I have two cards for the Twofer Card Challenge #25 - Spring Animals.  I have chosen a bunny.  The stamps I have used are from the Simon Says Stamp set, Some Bunny.  It's the very first time the set has been out of the packet.  I have coloured both bunnies with my Lyra pencils.


My First card is a cheery Hello.  Something we all need at present.  The sentiment is Hero Arts


My second card is an Easter Card I had fun doing the background.  for the ink blending I used Simon Says Stamp inkpads and embossed it with a Cuttlebug embossing folder.  The scalloped fram iswas made using a Spellbinders die.




Look after yourselves and stay safe.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Christmouse Card

Tonight I have a card for the Inkspirational Challenge 208 - Animals.  This is also my first Christmas card for 2020 and hopefully there will be many more before December

I have used a LOTV digital image Christmouse Pudding and I have used pencils to colour the image.  The sentiment and the added holly are Kaiser Kraft stamps.  As are the rhinestones. The DP is Doodlebug Design



 Look after yourselves and stay safe




Sunday, 23 February 2020

Twofer Challenge 24 Fruit

Today I have cards for The Twofer Challenge.  This month the prompt is "Fruit" #24
I have used a very old stamp, so old I can't read the label.  It is the only fruit stamp I have.

For this birthday card I used the pear stamp to create an all over pattern.  The leaves are from a Hero Arts stamp set.  The images were coloured using my Lyra pencils.  The sentiment is from a Technique Tuesday set.

For my second card I again stamped and coloured the image with my Lyra pencils.  For the sentiment I used a Memory Box die cut.


We have two pear trees in our backyard and they are ladened with fruit ready to pick.  When I went into the yard early this morning eight lovely parrots flew out of the trees.  The parrots had been having pears for breakfast.

❤ 

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Valentine's Day

Just popping by today to show you the Valentine's Day card I made for my husband.


The stamp is Big & Bold Love's Kiss from Colorado Craft Co and I used Tsukineko Delicata, Ruby Red.  The lips are a beautifull red and full of sparkles.

My husband and I don't really do St Valentine's Day.  Some years it comes and goes without a trace but this year when I saw this stamp I knew I would be making a card.

Do you celebrate St Valentine's Day and if so how?

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Beach

In 2019 I changed my focus from card making to gardening.  The change occured because up until then we had kept chickens and they were free range.  If you have ever kept free range poultry you would know you there is no way a garden will survive.  Unfortunately foxes got in, even though we are only a 5 minute walk from the CBD, and killed our chickens.  This presented the perfect opportunity to re-establish a garden.

But now a year has gone by I want to take up card making again.  Here is a card I have made simply for the sake of making a card.


This is an Art Impressions stamp I have had for some time and it has never used.  So to remedy this I got out my pencils and coloured her.  I like this image, she has attitude with a capital A.  


Thursday, 30 January 2020

Looking Back at January 2020



Some late roses from our garden.

We are almost through the first month of a new decade.  The first couple of weeks were very confronting with parts of our country engulfed in bushfires.  It was awful for those caught up in the fires. There was smoke haze blanketing our town for days on end, the smoke coming from fires 200 km distant. Fortunately, there was no bushfire grief down our way but it is still scary on hot and windy days wondering if a blaze will erupt in the district. Dry lightning is one of the prime causes of this season’s fires. The forests and grasslands are so dry that any spark will set off a blaze.

So I thought I would look back at some of my occasions that have given me pleasure during January 2020.

1.       Success in the Vegetable Garden
We only have a small vegetable garden but we had success with our crops of peas, broad beans and asparagus.  We produced enough broad beans and asparagus to share with family, friends and neighbours.  This is the first crop of peas we have had success with but there weren’t enough to share.  They were delicious.  Previous years I have watched the peas fill out but when I finally went to pick them something had already eaten them.  Whatever it was eating the pease, we beat them to it this year.  At the moment I am waiting for the corn and tomatoes. 
 
2.       Feeding the Birds


First thing of a morning a magpie sits in a tree at the back of our house and sings.  The payoff is that we feed him.  Magpies are amazing, they can remember faces.  The pair that come to our backyard will sit in the top of a tall tree two house blocks away and I swear they watch us through the back laundry window.  When we open the fridge to get them something to eat the magpies are already gliding into our yard.  Or we will be having a meal and you look out the window and there is a magpie sitting on the window ledge watching us with its black, sharp piercing eyes.  
We also have a Butcher bird family that comes for a feed.  The babies are so funny they make a great deal of noise until the parent feeds them.  Even now when they can feed themselves they pester the parents.  The parents simply ignore them now so eventually the babies happily feed themselves.  One of them flies down to the back verandah, props somewhere and squawks and squawks until we come out with some meat to feed it with. The butcher birds co-exist, sort of, with the magpies. The magpies rule the area so shoo away any bird coming near their feeding grounds (our backyard) but allow the butcher birds a bit of slack so long as they do not interfere with the magpie’s food.
 
3.       Rooms Painted

The fireplace in the second bedroom.  Just newly painted and nothing has been put back in the room yet. 
My husband has been very busy and has painted two bedrooms and a passage. Our house is an old-fashioned type with a central passageway so the passage has six doors in it. That meant lots of effort to do the doors and their surrounds and the skirt boards.  It is looking very nice.  The walls are Russian Toffee and the trim is American Antique White.  About 15 years of drought/diminished rainfall has dried out the ground under the house so the foundation stumps have moved a little bit here and there, resulting in cracks in the plaster walls, in some places, where the sheets join. My husband painstakingly filled the cracks with plaster gunk and sanded back and lo and behold our walls are pristine again.  Very please with the end result
 
4.       Farmers Market
Last year we started to go to a local farmers market.  We decided that a lot of the items in the big super markets come from interstate and cover a lot of kilometres.  Therefor we would support the local producers by using the markets.  I think the produce is fresher too.
Our local one had its first market on Sun 19 Jan.  My regular purchases are free range eggs, organic vegetable, fresh bread (this time it was olive bread – yum), freshly ground on the spot peanut butter and some haloumi straight from the cheese makers themselves.
A friend introduced me to another market, just a few kilometres from home.  So last Saturday I went there.  I bought some lovely fresh gnocchi and some gourmet sausages amongst other items.  It is fun trying new things.
 
5.       A Surprise Late Christmas Card


About a week ago I received a late Christmas card from a friend in Japan.  I haven’t heard from her in a long time so it was a lovely surprise.  It was so nice to catch up with all her news.

6.       Film
I went with a friend to see the film ‘Cats’.  We enjoyed it.  We were quite intrigued with the makeup.  How did they do it?
 
When my son was young I took him to see the stage show therefore I was interested to see how the film dealt with this story.

©


Friday, 3 January 2020

Australian Bushfires 2020

Yesterday was my first day back at work after the Christmas break.  After the initial enquiries between us about each other’s holiday activities the main topic of conversation is the bush fires. They are burning all over the country from Western Australia through to New South Wales on the other side.  My family and I are lucky and aren’t near the fires but you can’t help but be a bit apprehensive, especially as things like grass fires might start on the edge of town.  

My husband regularly visits his sick mother in Ballarat and then drives on to check on her house at Colac so he travels through fire prone areas that were majorly burnt out in 1944 and 1977. It could happen again there. 

Circumstances have just all come together – a long drought, exceptionally high temperatures, over 40 degrees, and high winds.  Usually bush fires occur later in summer but these fires have started very early and the prediction is that no cooler weather or rain for another couple of months. 

The pictures that are coming out of the affected areas are mind blowing and the job the firefighters (volunteers) are doing is incredible and heroic.  These fires are so big, so intense and are moving so fast they are hard to fight and extremely difficult to contain. Some of the fires are firestorms that create their own weather around them with lightning and cyclonic winds at temperatures like that in a brick kiln – melting metal, liquefying glass and vapourising anything soft. 

The embers are flung ahead of the main fire, tearing and bouncing horizontally across the ground like water droplets would come out of a hose at full pressure. They just hit everything and set it ablaze. 

The dust and smoke from the fires have crossed the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, 2,000 km. We have had no smoke haze near our home but other areas are smoke hazed and day turned to night for days on end. 

One our co-workers has leave booked in a fortnights time.  She was going to visit friends up at Batemans Bay – where some of the worst fires are near.  That won’t be happening. 

Our hearts go out to all the people caught up in this disaster.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year 2020


Best wishes for 2020



May 2020 be a year of plenty.  Plenty of fun, plenty of activity and plenty of contentment