Thursday, May 30, 2013

A week of Websites, Broken hard drives, New designs and Inspiration

  It seems that every week this month has been very full. This week has been both the busiest and the most productive week. I have been working on updating a client's website, diagnosing a friend's computer issues, recovering data off a corrupt hard drive, finishing off a commission piece, and redesigning products to sell at markets.

   At the beginning of the month, I re-evaluated my current products to take to market. After applying to a couple of markets I was told that my products are a duplicate of what they already offer at those markets. So, after some suggestions and some thought, I have decided to start a new line of cards and paintings.

New Australian Wildflower Cards

    For more than 30 years my husband and I have traveled several countries. Each trip my husband takes so many photos of things I have said for years "I want to paint". LOL, so essentially I have many UFO's (Un Finished Objects). Only problem is the UFO's are the thousands of photos my husband has taken. I wanted to find some inspiration for painting and card designs. What things inspire you for your craft?

   What inspires me often is nature. My art was something I stumbled onto after I finished a Computer Science and Geology degree. I am a Geologist by training and the many years I spent hiking, and studying Geology inspired me to want to draw and paint the beauty around me.

Stone Mountain, NC

     I love the beauty of flowers, geological structures and historical places.

Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway

Historical Site close to Stone Mountain, NC
No surprise the necklace and earrings I created for future daughter-in-law had flowers on it.


   I am working on a few pieces for some art classes I am doing in July, but here is an inspirational piece I want to add a vintage style flower to it. I have to practice first, but I can't wait to finally put the final image onto the piece.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Introducing a new shop and concept, Locally Made in Australia

   If you go to any store to buy an item that is made in Australia, you will be hard pressed to find anything that is actually made in Australia.  Go into any store that sells Australian Souvenirs, turn it over, and what do you see?  I have yet to find a souvenir that says "Made in Australia".   
  I often buy from markets and specialty stores that sell local products.  By choosing items that are made locally or handmade items at markets I am supporting the local economy and my local community.

  I went to the opening of a new concept store that supports local artists and artisans of food. The owner of this new store has an amazing vision for handmade items.  The vision is to promote locally made products both online and in store. 
   At the opening there was some really great food items as well as handmade clothes, art works, photography, and some amazing handmade items.
  If you live in the Melbourne, VIC area, come visit Made Locally.  If your a seller of locally made products, this is a great place to sell your products too.

Happy  Blogging;
Tracy @ Warratahstree

Friday, May 10, 2013

Over 2000 visits since 23 Feb, 2013. Thank you to all those who have visited my Blog.

After a very busy day, I came home to check my blog for comments and I was so surprised to see I have over 2000 visits to my blog since my first post in 23 Feb, 2013.  Thank you to all who visit and comment. I love all your comments and like to make sure I comment back.
  I was very new to blogging when I started this blog. I have been and IT geek for over 12 years and have been a social media geek since ICQ, online forums and AOL, Yahoo groups and chats. I like the social interaction and the ability to keep up with high school friends and family in the USA.

 Blogging was not on my geek radar till I decided to start my own handmade business in Sept 2012.
 Though I have built websites in the days when they were all build the long and hard way before and blogger, blogging was not something I thought was worth spending my "art and craft time" doing, haha.  You have all finally converted me to talking about my art and all my travels.
   I started out blogging to get more traffic to my Etsy shop and ended up finding some really amazing bloggers and learning a lot about social media and blogging at the same time.

  Before, this past year, I saw blogging as just a way to journal your personal life, I would rather keep my random thoughts in my journals.
  It is hard to believe but before Facebook, Blogger, and twitter, there were such things as Yahoo groups, online forums and ICQ (I will let you google that one!).  Oh, and of coarse the old online bulletin boards.  That is how some of us who have been geeks before 1990's collaborated.

 I spent 6 years really missing my forum buddies and online chat buddies after Facebook launched, and now I have found blogging is another way to find friends and share ideas.  You all have lovely blogs and things to share with the World Wide Web.  It is really great to meet you all.  I have enjoyed the blog hops and the Link parties.  Thank you all for the lovely comments on my work!
  Here's to many more blog posts and online friends. 

Happy Blogging;
Tracy @ Warratahstree
Linking back to these blogs today:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Busy week with Artists groups and New Fimo designs

It has been an amazing week of meetings. I have joined two groups recently that are support groups for small business, work from home business and an artist support network group.  Though most of the week has been getting to and from meetings and giving a presentation of my work. I have still managed to get some work done and find inspiration for my art.
  I haven't worked on the paintings for the art class I have in Sept, but I promise I will finish it soon and post.  I thought I better work on my son's fiance's necklace first.  Today I spent the whole day creating a Fimo cane of a fantasy style poppy.  So much fun making fimo canes again.  I used the instructions by Missi Claus for inspiration.  I love her work.  I don't speak Italian but I can get most of what she is talking about by watching her videos on YouTube.

Here is my version before I reduced it.  I am still trying to work out what to make of it all. 

Happy Blogging;
Tracy @

Monday, May 6, 2013

10% Discount on On this lovely Jewelry Organizer

What a gorgeous jewelry organizer!   It comes in two colours, natural and white.

 It is shipped packed flat.

Its easy to assemble.  Just 3 easy pieces to put together.

There is additional space to put other items on the base of the organizer.

It is made of ecological material, which is a plus for those of us who care for our environment.

It makes a great decorative item anywhere in your home.

 You can get 10% discount for this lovely organizer here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Autumn Leaves and Chesnuts Roasted by The Fire

While Australia, remembered the fallen on ANZAC day, my husband and I took a trip to Bright, VIC, Australia for our 30th Wedding Anniversary.


As an artist and someone who spent many years raking leaves and playing in the piles of leaves, I have always missed the many colours/colors of Autumn. I grew up in the USA, and every year I loved walking in the cool autumn afternoon and seeing the amazing colors of the Autumn leaves. When I learned to paint I wanted to paint and draw the Autumn leaves. However, I no longer lived in the USA, and the leaves of the trees in Australia do not change colours the way they do in countries in the northern hemisphere.

  I moved to Australia in 1984. The first year, the seasons changed before I realized what time of the year it was. The changes of season in most parts of Australia are very subtle and the trees that are native to Australia are evergreens. Eucalyptus trees are very large majestic trees that change through the seasons. Eucalyptus trees do change with the seasons. In the summer many species shed their bark. The shedding of their bark is quite amazing to see! The leaves however, are a consistent colour all year round.

  I was so excited, this weekend when my husband and I went to the Bright, Autumn Festival and the Wandi Nut Festival. It is a mountainous area of Victoria Australia with many disciduous tree from the Northern hemisphere. It is cold enough for the leaves of these trees to turn all the beautiful colors of Autumn that I love so much. I made sure I brought my travel easel and watercolors with me to paint all the leaves I wanted to collect.

 Not only are there so many places to see, take pictures of and visit, we wanted to go to the Wandi Nut Festival to see the markets there. There were many stalls there with all the food and products of the area. There was a cooking demonstration, a demonstration of how to cook Chesnuts. Have you ever tried to cook chesnuts? Haha, well my husband and I tried once and it was like trying to eat crabs, a lot of work with very little food for reward! I think I found the trick to freeing the nut meat so I can enjoy them a bit more.....scoring the outer skin of the nut before roasting! Oh, and they are great cooked over a fire. We don't have a fire so I guess I might have to get the hubby to cook them over the BBQ. That will give them the similar smoked flavor. :>)

    There are some deciduous trees in Australia, but they are introduced and come from Europe, North America, and Japan. In the warmer areas of Australia, the deciduous trees leaves in the Autumn do not change to all the vibrant colours as they do in the colder climates, where the trees come from. My husband and I travel and visit areas often just to photograph and paint the unique attractions of that area. So, you can imagine how excited I was to visit Bright, VIC during the Autumn Fesitval. Bright is a colder area of VIC and has a large number of deciduous trees in the surrounding areas. The contrast of the mountains, the Eucalyptus trees and the bright colours of the deciduous trees are and artists paradise!   I found so many things for inspiration.  I even had time to paint a few watercolour images of the leaves I found.  I will have to do a few more paintings of the beautiful things we saw and took photos of.