Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bamboo Tile Source

As promised a couple of days ago I said I would tell you where to get a great source of bamboo tiles but only if you live in Perth. I'm sure these are available elsewhere, so if you don't live in Perth you'll just have to look around.

To get these.............. need one of these. A bamboo place mat. Out of this one place mat I got 130 tiles and it's very easy. Just a matter of cutting the thin plastic strands that bind it all together and there you have it. Now I have seen on ebay 50 tiles for $4.50 and that was Canadian dollars (don't know how that converts to Ausie $) plus you would have to pay postage and handling. This place mat only cost $5.00, so each tile only costs.......lets see....130 divided by 5.00 is......oh heck, you work it out. Maths is not my strong suit by any stretch of the imagination. They're cheap O.K! I got mine from Cost Plus in Westminster (formerly Balga), there are Cost Plus stores in Alexander Heights, Kwinana, Mandurah, Waikiki, and Subiaco. As far as decorating them goes there is a wealth of informations here, even though it does relate to domino tiles I'm pretty certain most of the techniques could be applied to bamboo tiles. Also here and here is another good source of information with some pictures. Roni has the most amazing blog full of tips and tricks and this is where I got the idea for the button bracelet below.

I'll have a few more of these to show you over the next few days hopefully.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bamboo Tile Experiments

I've been playing with some bamboo tiles and trying out different ways of decorating them the last few days. The beauty of them is that they are already pre-drilled so it makes them easy to thread. Although I'm having difficulties working out the best way to thread them to make them into a bracelet or bangle. The photos below are some of the different ways of colouring them. The black tile with the white on it was just sponged with black stazon ink and the white squiggles on the left is a uni posca pen, the word uni is written with a white uni paint pen and the very pale pen stripe is an inkessentials opaque white pen that wasn't very successful. The coloured stripe tile has different coloured sharpie pens. All of the patterned tiles were stamped with stazon and hand coloured with Adirondack pigment pens Below are some plain tiles just stamped with black stazon and the left one I coloured in with a sharpie and the right I just left plain.

These tiles I painted with folk art silver metallic paint. Gave them two coats and so it wouldn't be so fiddly having to paint one side then let it dry before doing the other side...........

..........I stuck them on bamboo skewers and then shoved them into a piece of foam. Ingenious I thought. They always say necessity is the mother of invention and I'm inclined to agree.

Here I've just sponged on green stazon with a small piece of 'cut-n-dry' stamp pad foam.

I also played around with alcohol inks and stamping and just quickly put this bracelet together to get an idea of how it would look.
Check back tomorrow and I'll show you how I aquired a very cheap source of tiles and if you live in Perth where to get them.
I'm off to play some more and try my hand at attaching some collage pictures to the tiles.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Harvey holiday, well a day and a night getaway really

I always get my photos in the wrong order when I upload them to my posts. Never mind. This photo below is sunrise through the trees at the rear of the chalet we stayed in. But I'll track back a bit and tell you about our little getaway on Monday and Tuesday.
Decided to take a little trip down to Harvey. It's about 140k's south west of Perth and it's cow country, beef, milk and also citrus country, with a bit of wine thrown in for good measure.
Not much to see down there but the chalet we stayed in was great and the surroundings were awesome. Almost 180 degree views of the surrounding countryside and through the trees glimpses of the Harvey Dam. The chalet is on top of a hill at the back of a working farm and they have set it up so well. Everything is there and all we had to take was some food.
This is the chalet with all the mod cons.

A sign in a little cafe where we stopped to eat lunch.

The last rays of sunset.

Almost set.

Just starting to sink towards the horizon.

Now please appreciate these sunrise photos because it was very dark when I went out with my camera and tripod and I had to be very careful I didn't step in a cow pat.

I missed my bed though. Click on the photos for a larger view.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Still around

Just so you don't think I've gone's a photo of the kippers. Little & big.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter goodies

My mother in law makes these for us every year. Hard boiled eggs in pretty pastry baskets. As you can see from the table cloth underneath I don't iron unless it's absolutely necessary......... like someone needs a shirt ironed because they are going for a job interview. My iron lives in almost total darkeness in the cupboard in the laundry and rarely sees the light of day. (I think my mother in law is a bit horrified about that).
She made the double baskets for Chas and I and the single ones for the Michael and Brighita and Michael's girlfriend.
And this is our chocolate stash. The rules are that all chocolate must be pooled together, no hiding secret stashes in bedrooms or cupboards. (of course that doesn't apply to me because I'm the boss of the chocolate)
See that box of Lindt dark chocolate on the left. It's mine....all mine!
Hope you all had a safe and happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Just some stuff

Here are a few things I've been playing with over the last few days. Below is a piece of canvas that I've cleaned a paint brush on. Then I've added squares and circles using Mont Marte metallic oil pastels. I love squares and cirlces, anything geometric really. I've then outlined them first with a black sharpie but that wasn't heavy or dark enough, so then I went around them with a black glaze pen and got a better definition. Another one of my manila index files. I'd already stamped the bird cage and eggs. So I got out my new Lyra Aquacolour crayons and just randomly coloured in sections just to see how they work.

Smudged all aroung with a wet paint brush. The colours really come alive once water is added.

Then I outlined the water coloured sections with black and the cage and eggs with white. Still needs a lot of things added to it so it all makes sense. Maybe some birds or a tree or maybe just hidden away in a drawer. Who knows!
But it's fun to play and everytime I make something I learn, even if it's just colour combinations or what medium works best with different substrates.
I'm off to the dentist today for the last part of my filling under a crown. Please be advised......don't ever get a cavity under crown because it will cost you an arm and a leg to fix. $1,000.00 later (no that's not a typo). Thank goodness for health insurance, although I only got half back. The only blessing was the tooth didn't need to be numbed and I could speak without sounding like I had a mouthful of cotton wool and my dentist Allan is very nice. Although he totally ignores me when I tell him to stop looking around in my mouth for more work. I think he just wants another holiday in Bali!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Handmade Stamps

Experimenting with making my own stamps. I used......... I don't know what they're called. Rubbery things that you use to grip the lids on jars when you're trying to unscrew them, plus I think you can use them to protect surfaces from hot pots etc. It's the same sort of stuff as drawer liners. Had some wooden stamp blocks that I'd transferred the rubber stamps to ezi mount. So I glued the blocks to the 'rubbery stuff ' using gel medium and when it was dry I cut around the block and there you have it.

Wasn't sure how they would work and thought that if they didn't, well, nothing ventured nothing gained, but I was quite pleased with the results. On the two black pieces below I've watered down some gesso, painted it onto the stamp (you could just stamp into as well) and randomly plonked it down wherever I felt it needed something. The first one I've used the square stamp.

The one below I've used the rectangle one and just stamped around the edges. These pages are 30cm x 30cm so the whole page doesn't fit in my scanner. These are unfinshed pages, they will have a lot more stuff added to them over time.

The one below is a canvas about 30cm x 30cm that I've painted a few shades of green (what else) and I used the rectangle stamp along the edge.

So the moral of the story is, necessity is the mother of invention. No that I necessarily need more stamps you understand. Really I need more stamps like I need a whole in the head.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tips & Tricks

Anything in a spray bottles usually presents a challenge. My "studio" consists of a 1.5m square corner of the family room so as you can imagine space is at a premium. And having to go outside and up the end of the backyard to spray is a pain in the bum, plus it's usually windy and if I have washing on the line the drift can end up on my freshly washed white sheets. Now that would be annoying. So I devised my own little spray booth that fits neatly on my desk and folds up flat so I can slot it between other stuff that's shoved under my desk.I cut up a cardboard packing box. Took out the top and bottom and one side.

It stands up nicely on my desk and protects everything on it from the over spray.

So all of those colour wash dyes, glimmer mists, etc. get used a bit more often now I don't have to go outside in the wind or the rain or the heat.
Sorry about the blurry photo, but you get my "drift".