Saturday, September 27, 2014

ESAD 2014 Holiday Catalog Blog Hop

I am really excited about my second ESAD Blog Hop. I really love Stampin UP! during the holiday time and Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  

“What is ESAD? ESAD stands for "Extra Special Australasian Demonstrators" and is a facebook group just for Australian and New Zealand Independent Stampin' Up! demonstrators. We love what we do & love to share with our customers, friends and blog visitors. We also share what we love in our ESAD Demonstrator community, through swaps, challenges, sharing knowledge, ideas& friendship and we're always there to help and support each other. So if you are a Stampin' Up! demonstrator located in Australia or New Zealand then please feel free to leave me a comment with your email address then I'll contact you with information on how to join our group.” 

 I am really excited about doing Christmas Cards this year.    Each year in Oct I start making Christmas Cards for markets and sales to friends. I thought this year I would go with some non traditional coloured cards.   I am using the All is Calm Specialty Designer Series Paper . The mix with Soft Sky, and Lost Lagoon make an amazing combination. I used the stamp set Bright & Beautiful and the Stars Framelits for the embellishment and greeting.

The Stars Framelits are so versatile.  I have been using them for several cards I have made recently.

   Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I think we have neglected the personalised cards of times past. How exciting is it to get a card in the mail? I use to have a special garland hung in my lounge with all the cards I received. The last few years I have not sent as many to friends nor received many. This year I am planning to dig out my old Christmas Card list and send cards to as many of my friends as possible. I am really excited to send them to my family and friends. What better card to receive than a handmade one ?   Here is one of my cards.

 This year I thought I would make a few I hope you enjoyed the ESAD Blog Hop so far. You may have found arrived here from Rochelle's Blog. If you started here at my blog you can hop over to the other blogs until you get back to my blog. Below is a full list of the hop.

 Have fun and Happy Blog Hopping; Tracy

 1. Keryn Campbell
 2. Narelle Hoggard
 3. Gail Kirby
 4. Libby Dyson
 5. Emily Campbell
 6. Debra Spijers
 7. Kelly Kent
 8. Monique Fielder
 9. Andrea Buckland
10. Debbie Lamb
 11. Sally Williams 
 12. Christie Kunkel
13. Paula Reid 
14. Amity Knight
15. Ria Kaire
16. Nerida Carter 
17. Rochelle Blok 
18. Tracy Speight  <<<<< That's Me
19. Rachael Lewsley

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Celebrating the Living Artist of South Australia

The SALA Fesitival is a festival celebrating the living artist of South Australia. In August, while visiting family in Glenelg, South Australia, I went for a walk around the Glenelg, Mosley Square.  While walking around Mosely Square I saw shipping containers being used to exhibit various artists work.  It was part of an exhibition of the SALA Festival.

 So,  I decided to take advantage of my weekend away and see a few of the exhibitions that were on offer in the Glenelg and Adelaide area.   Saturday we wandered around the Glenelg, SA SALA festival exhibitions.  

   Our first stop was to the old  Glenelg Fire Station. The exhibition there was featuring the work of An impressionist and contemporary exhibition by SA artist Neil Sheppard. Based on Kangaroo Island, Neil’s work is displayed in the old Glenelg Fire Station.  I was most impressed by Niel's use of black as a base colour to many of his pieces.  This gave the base colour of the shade for Neil's landscape paintings.  It made the images pop with colour and details. 
Niel Sheppard's Hudson Bay, SALA Festival 2014
Old Glenelg Fire Station

   Moseley Square, Glenelg,  MSquare had a mixture of canvas pieces featuring  a representation of shells using mixed media, still life, and life drawings.   The featured artists that day were part of The Changing Canvas group that offer workshops, classes, commission work and much more. I think I will be to incorporating a workshop or class at The Changing Canvas into my next trip to Glenelg.
The Changin Canvas at SALA 2014

Our next stop was to visit the Discovery Centre on Moseley Square, Glenelg.  I must admit I have never been in the Discovery Centre, despite going to Glenelg nearly every year and having family living in Glenelg.  Having lived in South Australia for many years, I never thought of the Discovery Centre as more than just an information centre for tourists.  How wrong I was.  
   The discovery centre has a mini museum on the discovery and settlement of Glenelg.  For the SALA Festival, the Discovery Centre had an are exhibition on in the lobby area.  It was there that I and saw Sylvia Preston's water colour's.  Sylvia lives in the Glenelg area and is a resident in the same retirement complex as my father-in-law.  It goes to show that you never lose your desire to create and I hope in my retirement I am still able to create works of art.   
Studio 86 on Broadway had some really beautiful mixed media canvases.  One canvas is a clown montogue of paper and other media to form the clown's neck fill and hat decoration.  The artist's work showed how familiar she was with many media, ink, acrylic, paper and other mediums to create some really beautiful works of art.

 The highlight of my tour of the SALA events was a guided guided walk through the Botanical Garden in Adelaide. The walk took us on a tour of all the beautiful plants that were the inspiration of several botanical artists and their work.  The photos below do not do the work justice.  I plan to work through my notes for that day and write another blog post on botanical artists.  Stay tuned....

   I am planning to get to the next SALA Festival in 2015.  There were so many open studios and exhibitions. 
  Does your state or city have a special festival to celebrate living artists?

Happy Blogging,
Tracy @ HandmadeWarratahstree

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenged, Raising Awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  I have been watching my family in the USA take the "Ice Bucket Challenge".  My niece challenged me to take the Ice Bucket Challenge. I thought, why take the challenge, pour a bucket of Ice over your head to get out of donating to ALS?

   The Ice Bucket Challenge is where you video buckets of ice being poured over yourself and challenge your friends and family to do the same. They have 24 hours to accept the challenge and post their video via Social Media or they must donate cash to ALS research.  The Ice Bucket Challenge was started by a Massachusetts resident who has lived with ALS since 2012 to raise awareness for ALS.

  The challenge has gone viral and even the President of the USA, Obama was challenged by Ethel Kennedy.

  My family have a very strong reason to support ALS awareness.  My sister's late brother-in-law, Dr Mickey McGrath died of ALS in 2010. 

 At the time of the challenge, I have had a cold, cough and sore throat. I have had it three times this winter (it is winter here in Melbourne, Australia).  I didn't think it a wise idea to pour ice over my head.  I thought by sharing this via my blog and other social media, I could still help raise awareness of ALS.     So, in memory of Dr Mickey McGrath, I donated to Project ALS

Soooo, Have you taken the Ice Bucket Challenge?

#icebucketchallenge #projectals #alsassociation #alsicebucketchallenge

Blogging for awareness of ALS 
Project ALS

Saturday, July 26, 2014

ESAD Annual Catalogue Blog Hop

  It is the big launch of Stampin UP! 2014 Annual Catalogue and I am really excited about my first Blog Hop with ESAD. 

“What is ESAD?
ESAD stands for "Extra Special Australasian Demonstrators" and is a facebook group just for Australian and New Zealand Independent Stampin' Up! demonstrators. We love what we do & love to share with our customers, friends and blog visitors. We also share what we love in our ESAD Demonstrator community, through swaps, challenges, sharing knowledge, ideas& friendship and we're always there to help and support each other.

 As part of the launch of the Stampin Up! Catalogue we are to create something using items from the 2014-2015 Catalogue. I am so excited about using the new Blendabilities on my project.  Blendabilities, are StampinUP! Alcohol based ink markers.  They are great for creating colour gradients and blending.  I have used them to add some detail to my images.

  Well here it is.  I created an old world, vintage style card.  I create a lot of vintage style cards :)

Stamps: World Map, Label Love, The Open Sea
Inks: Basic Grey, So Saffron, Baked Brown Sugar
Blendabilities: Light Coastal Cobana, Nude, Ivory, Colour lifter
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Grey, Naturals Ivory
Accessories: Blender Pen,  Dimensionals

  I started with a Whisper White card base, by sponging and inking lightly with So Saffron.  To create the Old World Map look, I lightly inked the Naturals Ivory card stock. I also used a narrow strip of Whisper White and inked it using the So Saffron. 

Next, I stamped World Map using Baked Brown Sugar.

 I wanted to accent some of the countries and the water bodies. I used Light Coastal Cabana for the water bodies. From the Skin Tone assortment, I used Nude and Ivory. NOTE:  StampinUP! recommends using Whisper White and Very Vanilla when using the Blendabilities.The fiber/sizing in the Whisper White and Very Vanilla are better suited to the Blendabilities.

  As I am creating an Old World, Vintage look, I was not worried if the paper broke down a slight amount.  I used a VERY light touch.  I dabbed a small amount of Light Coastal Cabana around some of the outlines of the sea and added light streaks in some of the middle of the seas. Working VERY lightly with the Blender Pen and Marker lift to "spread" and blend some of the colour.   I wanted it to look blotchy like a well worn map.  You can't see it but the paper is slightly "furry" but you can feel it.  Like I said I wanted the vintage look to the map.
TECHNIQUE TIP: Do not use the tip when blending, this can break down the paper more as it is hard to control the pressure.  I  hold the blender pen or Marker lift so I can use the side of the tip.

    Next I added Ivory Blendability to the inside of the continent outlines I wanted to pop.  NOTE: I am just dabbing very lightly adding a small amount around the edges.  If you like you can on the inside of the Ivory add Nude to add more dimension.  I did not blend any of this I just worked really lightly to add the Nude to the inside of the Ivory. You don't need to add the Nude to the smaller continents, I just wanted the bigger ones to stand out.  Look how the Blendabilites make the continents pop!

  The final World Map looks like this.

I then cut the map image into three strips  to fit a Landscape card.  I mounted the strips onto Basic Grey card stock.
  I stamped the Tall ship from The Open Sea stamp set using Basic Grey ink onto Neutrals Ivory card stock.  I cut the ship out, then mounted it onto a scrap piece of Basic Grey, cut the Basic Grey slightly larger than the ship.   I then rubbed the Bronze Blendability onto a slippery surface (top of an Ink pad case). Using my blender pen I picked up some of this Bronze and blended this onto the wood areas of the ship hull and around the bottom sails. I then dabbed some of the Light Coastal Cabana on the water area under the ship.
I used the Naturals Ivory and the Happy Birthday Greeting from the Label Love. 

As I am writing this blog post, I am realising this sounds like a very long process.  It took me 4 times longer to write this blog than to make the card. I have done many vintage style cards so I do work a bit quick.  This card took me 20 min to do all the blending, inking and stamping.  I took longer in the matting and layout as I had a template in mind and realised it didn't fit the elements I wanted to use, so I matted and rematted, cut and recut.......

  I think I am happy with the results and going to make a couple more for my market next week. I have a particular project in mind that would not suit Very Vanilla or Whisper White, so I wanted to test how to use the Blendabilities on other SU! cardstock. However, I'm  Not sure I will be teaching this in my classes yet. It really does take a VERY light touch and my card class has a few beginners in it who may feel a little intimidated by the process. If I teach this in class I will use Very Vanilla card stock and have more of a play with more techniques with Blendabilities first.

  There are so many new products in the 2014-2015 Annual Catalogue, I can't wait to try some of them.  Maybe someone on the blog hop has tried ones I want to get in my next order.

You have either found your way here from Clare's over at or you have stumbled across if by luck - either way welcome to my part.  If this is your first stop on the blog hop your next step is Here

  If you have not had a chance to see all the other blog post for the ESAD Annual Catalogue Blog Hop, Check out the other blogs listed below:

1.   Emily Campbell 

2.   Kelli Gordon

3.   Sharlene Meyer

4.   Delys Cram

5.   Keryn Campbell

6.   Monique Fielder

7.   Kathryn Ruddick

8.   Narelle Hoggard

9.   Ann Gerlach

10.   Libby Dyson

11.  Kelly Kent

12.  Amity Knight

13.  Christie Kunkel

14.  Louise Layton

15.  Andrea Buckland

16.  Yvonne Walker 

17.  Sally Williams 

18.  Debbie Lamb

19.  Nerida Carter

20.  Richelle Fletcher

21.  Norelle Targato

22. Rochelle Blok

23.  Clare Mcilhatton

24.  Tracy Speight  YOU ARE HERE.

Happy Blogging;

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Where Warratahstree Creates

I am so excited to be a part of My Desert Cottage's "Where Blogger's Create"

Where Bloggers Create
I must admit my place where I create is in chaos.  I moved from my original room to a much smaller room to accommodate my son, his wife and daughter.  Why they moved in with us is another story.

  So, what do you do when you move into another smaller space.  Well, some of my craft items that I do not use anymore are located in a storage area, so that I can access them when I want to use them again.

  As my new space  is much smaller I had to come up with storage ideas to store most of my paper products and still have room to create and draw.    I am a painter as well as scrapbooker, card maker and jewellery maker.  I create paper products for markets and I am always trying to find stamps, paper s and adhesives.  I am slowly trying to organise my space so I can find things easier and faster.

 I saw one blog last year that had all their paper items in colour groups.  So, I put all my A4 cardstock in a drawer system with labels for the colour groupings.

My 12x12 card stock I put into these great storage containers I found in the local Spotlight store. I love using my label maker and it came in handy to label my cardstock drawers and storage containers.

  I used my shoe rack I got from IKEA for my punches. Oh and I used my label maker to label some of my punches so I know what they are at a glance.

 I have 2 workspaces.  I paint a lot of canvases, so half of my garage is my painting studio.  I have my paints, easel and workbench out in my garage.


I share my space with the car of coarse, so I can't paint like Pro Hart.

  I still have so much more organising to do in my workspace!  I am hoping to find some really great  storage ideas on the Where Bloggers Create 2014 Link Party.  Maybe next year I will have my workspace more organised.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why The World Would End Without Art Communities

  Thanks to my husband's constant encouragement, we happened upon a new exciting project in, Yackandandah, Victoria.  We went there by accident,  in April 2014,  while on one of our many trips exploring the Alpine area.  Yackandandah, Victoria is an arts paradise with cozy cafe's, Art Gallery's, Antique shops and a main street with vintage style architecture.


  While having a coffee in one of the cafe's in Yackandandah ,Victoria, my husband saw a flyer advertising the Yack Station creative space.  Yack Station is just on the edge of Yakandanda.  It is a work and gallery space for Artists and Craftspersons.    Yack Station Website  As I am frequently looking for creative spaces, I thought I would have a look at this space and artists are always keen to have you admire and maybe purchase their work.  So, we went for a visit to the Yack Station.   
Original "Yackandandah" rail sign. The sign was last known to belong to Jack McLean of Melbourne.

   The Yack station has a very large gallery space for the art exhibitions.  The "Salon des Refus├ęs"" exhibition in April was of nudes that were "rejected" by the Ballenga Exhibition.  Rejected?  Really?  Well, what a fantastic way to get a chance to exhibit your work!  The story is, there were over 6000 entries in the Ballenga Exhibition and very few places to fill.  So, one of the artists who's entry was "rejected" decided to hold an exhibition of the pieces that did not get into the Ballenga Exhibition. There were some really nice pieces on exhibit that were "rejected" by the Ballenga Exhibition.

   I was really impressed with how the artists in residence were interspersed with the historical items of the old Yack station.  I hope to get back to visit again.  Maybe one day I will be able to also be a part of a community of artists like Yack station.  I had a great time talking to them about their work and the vision for the Yack station Artist space.
   This weekend is the Queen's Birthday weekend.  Why not go for a visit to have a look at the latest exhibition there.   You never know what will be on exhibit next time at the Yack station.   Check out the latest exhibition on their Facebook

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

If it Smells Like a Rat, Fruad Alert

 I have to say, I am fairly tech savy when it comes to comptuers, social media and IT security.  I have even helped family and clients recover their computers after computer viruses. I have helped family members recover after being scammed.  Today, I was totally unprepared to be a VICTUM of a scam!!  Yes me who tells people NEVER give out credit card details or personal details over the phone, was caught in that sticky web of fraud!!!


photo credit: Neal. via photopin cc

  How did I get caught in this web you ask? Well, I was looking for Networking groups in Linkedin for women in Small Business.  I nievely thought that Linkedin was free of fraudulant advertisements.  I saw an advertisement for Networking for Women in Business.  As I have only just begun my business, I thought networking online and gaining business contacts in the corporate world for corporate events would be a great start. 

  I filled out my email details and company name, got a phone call that sounded legit. They talked about putting my name and company profile into a directory.  They even mentioned I would have be able to build my brand through their marketing, online profiling of my business and network connections.

  After giving them way to many details. I asked how many Australian Businesses had signed up for this online Who's Who in Business listing.  When they said only 20,000, something clicked.  I realised I had given them my credit card details as well as all my business contact details....

   Now your saying  "YOU DID WHAT?" Yep, I gave them my credit card details.  After I hung up from the phone conversation, I thought I had better look for more information about this company.  I had looked up the company details on Linkedin, and Googled the company.  I looked legit.  It had a really slick front end, it also had several professional profiles.  Just as they had said they would do for my company.

  What I had NOT done, before the phone conversation, was google the company name and details with the word "Scam" or "Fraud" after the name.   NOW, I was getting a lot of very scary information and I realised I had handed over credit card details.

  So, what do I do now!! Well, first thing I did was ring my bank, told them what I had done and asked to cancel my credit card.  Lucky as this was all about my company I had not given them very much personal details!

  Lesson to learn here.   Ask for their details.  What they are offering you?  Ask for a reference number to call them back to give you enough time to check the company out.  Don't give them to to much details about you personally or your credit card details.  When checking the company out make sure you google them and add the words, "scam" or "fraud" after the company name.  If the company or details about their offer come up on several search listings, check them all out. 

After searching further I have found that the company that scammed me have been around even before the internet.  They have gone by many names and have been using the same scheme to get company owners and CEO's to list their companies and profiles in magazines and online listings.

Number one rule, if it smells like a rat, it must definately is a rat! 

Happy Blogging;



Linking to Linky parties, see my Blog party button or Linky party button for my favorite link ups. Also linking up to

Friday, January 31, 2014

To Market To Market

 I have been so busy lately getting ready for my next market stall.   I am trying to be organized this time around and have enough interesting stock on my stall.
  A few weeks ago, I told you about my new way to make cards faster and more interesting using a Gelli Plate, Gelli Plate Printing.

   Well, I am finally got to make cards from the pages I printed using the Gelli Plate.  Here are a few of the pages and the Cards I made.

   Now to get started on the magnets I have been making from maps and the left over paper.....

Happy Blogging;

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lessons from a Market stall holder, Time and Stock

Last year I started blogging on a weekly basis and made it my goal to talk about all the hints and tips on holding a market stall.

  Well, I think I want to start 2014 with stock management, and time management.  How do these 2 things fit together in the scheme of things you ask?
   To take advantage of the Christmas season last year, I booked 5 market stalls in 3 weeks from mid November to mid Dec. That does not sound to bad some of you say.  Well, being a newbie at all this, not having a lot of stock, unsure about my target market, and being a one person show, I was just a TAD over committed!

 I started my Christmas stock design and making in Oct.  After each market I was spending the whole time restocking and designing for the next market.  I spent many late nights creating more stock for the next market.

With November markets, I had one week in between my markets to create enough stock, and come up with some new designs before the next market.  Talk about having a creative block! Stress is number one killer for creative block for me.

 I had several offers to do markets and often would get 2 week notice for the market stall dates.  This gave me precious little time to think about my target customers.  I had not researched the market, what type of items customers would buy at these markets, how many people came to the market, etc.  My sales were way down.  One market I did not sell enough to meet my costs!

 Time and Stock Lessons for Market Stall Success

  Lesson 1, Research the market before booking a stall at that market.  
Ask other stall holders about the market.  Visit that market, look at the people who are buying from the stall holders. Does your product fit in with what people are buying at the market?
  Are any of the stalls very busy?  Busy stalls and markets mean more stock needed in your stall and more sales.
  What are the prices of similar products you sell?  If there are really cheap products there at the market and your items are more expensive, what incentive to buyers have to buy your product over the other cheaper product?

Lesson 2, Set aside time each week for new designs.
  There is nothing worse than trying to come up with a new product the week or two before your market.  I spent way to much time trying to create new Christmas items for my stall in Nov and Dec.  Plan out your holiday items months in advance.  Create a few items to put online and get feed back from your potential customers.  What is it about the product they like?  
  Always make several of the same item, especially if it is a product you know people like.  I had several customers commenting on a particular image I sell on my market stall.  When I first came out with the product I only had one image at one price point for them.  I later created cards with a smaller image on it so customers who did not want to buy the framed photograph could buy a card with that same image on it.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Goldie and the 6 yr olds

  Last year I started teaching Social ArtWorking.  I wanted to teach canvas pa
inting parties and found the Social ArtWorking painting parties were perfect for what I wanted to do.
  This week I had a class of 6 girls, aged 6 yrs.  They were the quietest 6 yr olds I have ever met.  I am not sure if they were concentrating so much on their paints, or scared of the new environment or what.  

  I kept asking them are you having fun and I would see smiling faces and shaking heads.....OK It must be the new environment and the scary lady teaching the class, lol.  They all painted the most beautiful paintings.  What a great job don't you think?

 Social ArtWorking is a great canvas painting system to teach all ages and I am having so much fun teaching adults and children.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Gelli Plate for Printing

Happy New Year to you all. It has been SOOOO long. I started a new business and was so busy I had to take time off from blogging. So much was happening I could not find the words to blog. I have missed you all and most of all I have missed visiting all the amazing blogs I have seen since starting my blogging journey. To start off the New Year I am in design mode. One of the designs I wanted to make more of are cards like the Tardis card below. I have been creating cards like this using sponging techniques. I do a whole A5 page at one time. It takes me about 30 min to create one page.
I happen to be watching a scrapbooking show I have recorded. On that show they demonstrated a Gelli plate that is used for printing. The method they showed was sooo much faster than my sponging, inking, and masking. It got me thinking about how I could use this Gelli plate to create my card backgrounds. I went on a Youtube search to see how other's use this Gelli Plate. I found out that you could make your own Gelli plate. It is made of Gelatine and Glycerine. YES! Ok I love crafting of any kind and the challenge to make something rather than buy was on. My first attempt the Gelli stuck to the pan...ick. So I chopped it up and remelted it.
Finally, I have a Gelli plate.
Now for the design work. I am hoping I can get the same or similar effect as the Dr. Who card above.