Posted by: maureenc | June 9, 2015

In A Vase on Monday – Peonies


Eliza! I’m reblogging your post so that others may enjoy!

Originally posted on Eliza Waters:

IMG_5497Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, hosts a weekly meme to showcase what is blooming in our gardens by creating arrangements to enjoy inside our homes. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

IMG_5495I used a favorite cobalt blue vase to arrange white and pink peonies (which started opening only yesterday), tall stems of baptisia, oxeye daisies, tightly budded chartreuse lady’s mantle, purple Siberian iris and reddish-pink weigela, which picked up the brush of the same hue on the inner petals of the white peony.

IMG_5496It always cheers me up to create a arrangement and I thank Cathy at Words and Herbs and WG at Forest Garden, who have inspired me from past posts to join in the fun. If you feel inspired, join in too!


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Posted by: maureenc | June 3, 2015

Today’s Quote


Today’s quote complements yesterday’s!

Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:


A flower cannot blossom without sunshine,
and man cannot live without love.

~ Max Muller ~

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Posted by: maureenc | June 1, 2015



Striking composition of both photo and words

Originally posted on leaf and twig:

the story
twice told
self and shadow

View original

Posted by: maureenc | May 26, 2015




How many quilters and crafters are like me: they see “something” that they can’t live without!

They purchase the “something”, and then, NEVER USE IT!

Mea culpa!

Sometime in the last five or six years, I purchased a pack of MAGIC  STAMP(TM)   I purchased mine  from The Thread Studio in Perth.

What is Magic Stamp? It’s a thermoplastic foam which has some interesting properties:

*it can be cut with scissors or a craft knife.

*It can be sewn into by hand or machine , although I haven’t tried that yet

* heat doesn’t pass through it so it can be handled without danger of burns. My problem came from the heat gun I was using whilst holding the block in my hand!


Magic Stamps are approx. 3″ x 4″ and can be heated and molded to create your very own one of a kind stamp. 

Here’s how: 
1.  To begin, select something to mold and place it in front of you.  This could be a pile of rubber bands, a rubber stamp, a clay molds, the bottom of your shoe or anything else that has a nice deep texture or design.  I chose to use an assortment of buttons , a  Christmas decoration that was like a string of silver beads, and a few sprays of Cordyline flower stems.

Molds from buttons

Molds from buttons



smaller buttons

smaller buttons

2.  Set the Magic Stamp down and with a Heat Tool** heat the surface for approx. 1 minute – 1-1/2 minutes.  It is important to keep the tool raised at least 1″ from the Magic Stamp and that you keep the tool moving to heat the surface evenly.  Heating in one place for too long and too close may cause the block to scorch. 
3.  Stop heating and quickly lift and press the heated side of the block down onto what you are molding.  Press firmly and lift after 15 seconds. 
4.  Check your design.  If it looks like a nice impression you are ready to stamp.  If it doesn’t look like much happened you can reheat and remold the Magic Stamp. 

I actually used both sides of the foam block to make the molds.

Then I used an ink pad to load the stamp and, hey presto my stamped backgrounds were born!Later, I  decided that I would have had better results using acrylic paints and a small roller. I haven’t had time to try that as yet.

And here are the completed post cards that are winging their way to new homes:


 Red Buttons

Cordyline sprigs

Cordyline sprigs

Blue buttons

Blue buttons

Dragonflies & beads


Posted by: maureenc | May 11, 2015

Still in catch-up mode!



I’m slowly catching up on projects that were delayed by a recent bout of bronchitis, and after I mail these Gelli plate based post cards I will make a start on a “stamped” theme, but more of that later. I have had the basic prints for some time, but I had no idea WHAT to add to them to complete the postcard. Finally I decided that the first one could be used to represent a caged bird  (something which I HATE with a vengeance, as I think all birds should fly free), so the chicken wire of the cage is BEHIND the warbler. I used a honey comb shaped stencil to represent the chicken wire of the aviary.



The second print was made by “splodging” a purple paint as well as a bright yellow and blending both down with white. I then used a wooden skewer to “draw”  simplistic flowers over the fabric. To tone in with the yellow paint I chose to fussy cut a yellow breasted bird and appliqué  it as a focal point.



Card number three, is a combination of two Gelli prints: The background is a combination of blue and  pink paints over which I have scribbled with that skewer again. I then fussy cut a  lavender butterfly from another gelli print to applique as a central feature.



Finally, the fourth postcard! The back ground fabric was a blue which was overlaid over a white paint that had been left to dry. I over painted the white layer with the blue paint  then dragged a plastic spatula over the wet paint to gain an abstract noughts and crosses impression. Once again a strip of floral fabric was  fussy-cut to emphasize the shapes of the crocus flowers and then some tulle was overlaid to add depth to the floral fabric. Maybe I should have attempted to incorporate more effects through successive layers of Gelli prints, but I felt uncomfortable with more than mono printing, and I turned to embellishment to complete the effect. I hope my swap partners enjoy my attempts.

Posted by: maureenc | May 8, 2015

Today’s Quote


Yet another sentiment expressed on “Soul Gathering” that is worth re blogging

Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:


Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

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Posted by: maureenc | May 8, 2015

Thursday Re-View — You Are Enough


The words so well expressed by Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Collier are indeed words to live by.
My thanks to Theresa for making me aware of them.

Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:

You Are Enough

~ Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Collier ~


You are enough.

You are a beautiful human being.
You have a personality, a humanity, a way of being
that is yours and no one else’s,
and that makes you precious and loved and loveable.

You are enough.

You are something of unique and inestimable value.
Within your own heart there is a sparkling,
twinkling light of worth, dignity, beauty, and love.

You are enough.

You do not need to become someone else.
You do not need to imitate this person or that one,
no matter how famous, talented or privileged
they may happen to be.
You do not need this person’s intelligence or
that person’s talent or another person’s wealth.
And you do not need any other person to become like you.

There is only one thing that you need.

You need yourself.
You need to become yourself.

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Posted by: maureenc | May 7, 2015

Tags featuring woven fabric

Take some 1/4 inch strips of fabric….leftovers from previous projects.

Add some fibres: salvaged, and spun  silk sari fibres,

some lemon paper ribbon

blue  metallic ribbon floss

pink ribbon floss

some pink crochet thread…………..

Cut a rectangle measuring eight inches by five, of ultra firm double sided heat fusible stabiliser.

Gather together your strips of fabric and fibre and lay in an acceptable colour way.

Stitch the upper edge to anchor the strips before you start weaving the remainder of the strips to form a fabric.

Woven block Having completed the woven block, use a bobbin filled with a blue metallic ribbon floss and from the REVERSE side of the block  stitch randomly across the weave to anchor all strips

into position. Switch from the metallic ribbon floss to a pink cotton ribbon floss

and stitch across the blue seams in a random pattern to anchor the weave totally (again from the reverse side)

Cut the block into three rectangles approximately 2.5 inches by four.

3 Tags to travelThe first tag had a pink mini ric- rac braid stitched around its borders.

The second tag had a white cotton lace stitched  as a frame;

and the final Tag was completed with a white mini ric- rac braid.

Finally, each tag had a hole punched in one end and a brass eyelet inserted. Through each punch hole I inserted looped fibres to act as a swing tag for the recipient.

The tags are now ready for a pocket to be applied to the reverse side to hold a business card.

Posted by: maureenc | April 22, 2015

Each Moment’s Bloom

Each Moment’s Bloom.


What is this life ,if full of care

We have no time to stop and stare

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows…..

A poor life this is, if full of care

We have no time to stand and stare.        (W.H.Davies)

Posted by: maureenc | March 7, 2015

Banana bender

In Australia ,as in other countries there exists a trait to “label” people living in the  different regions with a generally humorous name:

So people in Western Australia are known as Sandgropers,

people in Queensland are known as Banana benders

those in Victoria may be referred to as “cabbage patchers” , which originated in colonial days and is a referral to how small an area the state is! Don’t blame me, that is what I discovered when I researched the question……….when I grew up in W.A., Victorians were tagged as Magpies, and South Australians were Crow eaters!

As for people from News South Wales! Thanks to the   annual competition between the state of Queensland and NSW for the State of Origin Rugby League, the southerners as known as Cockroaches!

The Cockroaches of course respond by calling the Queensland team Canetoads

As  John O Grady wrote in  1957 in his comic novel  They’re a weird mob!

What is all this leading to, but the reason why Queenslanders are traditionally called  Banana Benders ; The border between Queensland and the southern states is labelled the “banana curtain and we refer to those living south of the border as either southerners or Mexicans.Banana bendersSo,  I made some tags!

The explanation of a Banana bender is “A Queenslander. Deriving from the joking notion of people living in the southern states of Australia, that Queenslanders  spend their time putting bends into bananas!

Queensland is referred to as Banana Land because 90% of the Australian commercial banana crop is grown in Queensland.

I used Xpandaprint to form the pulp of the banana, then over painted it a creamy white. The banana is partly peeled and painted with Inktense water colour pencils and outlined with a fine Pitts pen

Close upCertainly not one of my best bananas colourwise!


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