f the butterfly collector: August 2006

the butterfly collector

A Collection of Fashionable Finds,Jewel Box Treasures,Exotic Art and Decadent Decor! Handmade Delights, Luxurious Shopping, Wonders from the China Cabinet and Secrets from behind the Wardrobe Door, Dramatic Books and Delicious Treats!. Read on to find out more...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Window Fashions of the World

Being trained as a Window Dresser and Visual Merchandiser many moons ago, I get very excited when I see a fabulous display in a store or a really great stand out window! Some Stores know how to get it just right and some obviously don't care! What a lot of these store owners that don't care or don't know is that their window is what gives their potential customer the first impression of their store! If its dusty, messy or dirty or haphazardly thrown together, then that's the impression the customer has of the whole Store before they even walk in! To me it's like placing an unreadable, messy ad in a newspaper or magazine. I am constantly standing outside of shop windows and re-dressing them in my head! And I love the really imaginative ones, using quirky props and ideas! A really good one will have you stepping into that store immediately for a peek at what's inside! And I really appreciate all the hard work, ideas and planning that goes into them! I've found a fellow window admirer in Elena, who lives near Seattle and has a whole Flickr set devoted to wonderful windows! She also loves to take photos of her beautiful shoes and purses and arty fashion shots too! Some of her photos are above and from a gorgeous boutique in Seattle and take a look at her Flickr site too!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Exploring the world from the comfort of home!

Nothing beats going on an adventure and exploring somewhere you've never been before, but isn't it great that we can go on little expeditions to nearly anywhere on Earth just by typing somewhere into our computer keyboard! I love that I can go on a Virtual visit to the most amazing places on the other side of the world and learn so much about them and even shop in some of them! My most favorite place to visit recently is somewhere I wish I had visited on my UK trip ... Portmerion in Wales. For now I will have to settle for a web surf there, but I just love the whole idea of this fantastical place. A magical town dreamed up by one man who made it come to life!
When I was little I loved to dream and draw houses, towns, maps and gardens with every little detail thrown in and fantasize about them being real!!! Well Clough Williams- Ellis made his quirky beautiful dream town come true! Set in the north of Wales in Snowdonia, up on high with the sea as a backdrop, Portmerion is a mish mash of all architectural styles, wonderful gardens, gorgeous shops, including the original Portmerion China Store started by his daughter! It is now a Grand tourist attraction, is the backdrop for many weddings an was once the set for a TV show!It was opened in 1926 and celebrated its 80th birthday this year! My favorite story about it's founder is the fact that he collected over many years ,architectural fittings for the town and imported GIANT Roman columns to use in construction! When it was time to install them, he had forgotten where he had put them in storage! Go there for a visit today!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Inside a Treasure Box... What secrets would you hide?

In my wanderings through the land of Flickr, I often find the most fabulous art and crafty people and their works! I have been peeking at HARU DESIGNS wonderful treasure boxes for quite some time and everytime a new one is displayed it's just as gorgeous as the one before! She uses a Decoupage technique using vibrant, beautiful and vintage papers and works to a Theme. Each box is named and the Treasure keepers are available at her ETSY STORE! unfortunately I think I may have to change her mind about only shipping within the USA, because I really want one of my very own!
INSPIRE ME TIP OF TODAY ... Do you have a lovely old box or something wooden that could be covered in lovely, wonderful paper finds! You could even cover the fronts of Drawers, the top of a table or chest of drawers or make a work of art to hang on the wall !The basic idea is to cut and paste paper, glue it down flat onto an object and then do numerous coats of varnish over the top to preserve your artwork and make it smooth and flat! For more ideas on how to DECOUPAGE click here! And for even more inspiration I'm also in love with RINGO LO's fabulous fridge magnets ( see her collage section) and her great blog too!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I've got myself some Guru's!!!!

I've decided to get myself some Guru's!!! I've been on a bit of a health kick lately and have been drinking tons of water!!! My goodness, Who knew it could make you feel so Good! I've also been taking more notice of what I've been eating and finding healthier recipes! I've also realised I'm not 25 anymore and I've had a baby and I want to get fit again! So I've enlisted the help of my new guru's, the very scary Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser, she has her own website and I've bought her DVD's. I think she is going to kill me, but if I keep it up maybe the results will show and I've just discovered Teresa Cutter who is a nutristionist and healthy cookbook author, the new one is above and she has some really yummy recipes on her site! Now all I need is my husband to take part, he does most of the cooking around here! I've been to the supermarket and stocked up on some yummy ingredients to make a museli slice too, hoping I will eat this instead of cookies and that little Drew will like it too!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!

I've always loved Lewis Carrol's Alice In Wonderland and any reference to it always captures my attention! When I was younger my Dad took me to an exhibition in Melbourne called Alice 100 that I've never forgotten. It was an art showcase filled with artists interpretations of Alice and Through the Looking Glass and edtions and illustrations from the books celebrating the book's 100th birthday! It was set up as a feast for the eyes, twisting and turning hallways, like walking through a maze and even different sized doorways to walk or crawl through! So much fun! Today my Peter Alexander catalogue came and I was surprised, inspired and enthralled by the fabulous shots on every page. They've used Alice as their theme for Spring and I can't wait to buy my warm weather pj's. In fact I've already got my eyes on the floral bottoms above!
Peter Alexander, for those who've never heard of him is quite a success story here in Australia! He made his designer mail order PJ'S into a million dollar company, sold it for a few million or so more and is still a designer and face of the company! It's quirky, fun and unique and now there are stores too! Go and have a peek at Alice!
INSPIRE ME TIP OF TODAY ... Before you get too sleepy or follow a strange white rabbit down his hole, sit down, relax, make a warm cup of something delicious and imagine your ultimate pair of pajama's. Draw them , sketch them ,colour them in! What kind of materials, fabric and embellishments would you use? If you can sew maybe you could even make them!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

from my creative cabinet ... Collage

the Garden, a collage by Shae, the butterfly collector ( unfinished)
...I've been working on this collage mosaic piece for a while and am quite please with how they've turned out. I used all kinds of layers of paper and tissue from my collection, embroiderey threads,buttons, glass pebbles, rub on letters, stamps, feathers and something I love to rip off all the mail I get ... Stamps, little mini masterpieces themselves!
I have laid them all out ready to be mounted, I think I'll mount them into a shadow box frame, must go get some more of those, they are great to make mini worlds in! I'm dissapointed in my photos today, it's dark and rainy and I have no light to work with, oh well!
I've also found another artist whose collages I love who does wonderful things with cut paper, visit the Curious Bird!!!!
INSPIRE ME TIP OF TODAY! ... Keep a look out around your home and your world for wonderful things you can use to make interesting collages! They can be everyday items like candy wrappers, tea bag tags, stamps, pegs and buttons or you can venture out into the big wide world for some more inspiration and look for leaves,feathers, shells, stones, and flowers. You could even collect sentimental things and make a keepsake collage to frame, use cards, postcards, a flower somene special gave you, one of your kids drawings, or that fabulous shell you found on your favorite holiday!You never know what you might find on your daily travels! Group them in glass jars so you can see all your treasures and find what your looking for when that next project idea pops into your imagination!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm in love with George!

A little while ago I became a bit obsessed with fashion illustrations from the early 19oo's, bought some wonderful books depicting Harpers Bazaar and Vogue magazine covers and discovered Rhiannon's beautful collection of illustrations on flickr! Then one day I found GEORGE BARBIER and fell in love with his amazingly beautiful illustrations and paintings of beautiful women and interiors! He also designed wonderful costumes for Opera's and Interiors and made a living from designing covers for catalogues, magazines and books. I was so entralled in this little world that I created drawings for each page from my new site, Madame Buttterfly ( an online boutique and mini magazine!) , that had been influenced by this style with my own modern twist, can't wait to show you!!! . We are aiming for a grand opening in the first week of Spring, not very far away now! And We have managed to get some great interviews and mini feature articles on some great designers, crafters and artists and have put together lots of fun things for you to make and do too! It's been so much hard work , with too many late nights and not enough sleep, but I can't wait for everyone to see the final result! In the meantime go and visit George and imagine yourself swanning around in one of those dresses!!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Adventures Abroad .... Where were you ten years ago?

...I visited crafter extrodinaire Miss Jo's blog yesterday who was posting about celebrating her 10 year wedding anniversary and she posed the question, "Where were you ten years ago? So it got me thinking, where was I ? Ten years ago I set off on a great adventure with my husband, who was then my boyfriend! We were both 21 and decided to go on a great backpacking expedition! We were gone for six months and traveled through Canada, the USA and the UK! We both learnt a lot on that trip, about ourselves, each other, living in someone else's pocket and relying on each other too! It was a great test for our relationship and it's lasted ten years beyond! We saw some amazing things and met some fabulous people on that trip and we did it all on a tiny amount of cash! I look back now and wonder how we survived ( we had a few helpful bank account injections from our parents!)! Some highlights were Halloween in Boston, discovering the streets and sights of London town, the ruins of Stonehenge, the crazy 24 hour thrill ride of New York City, Christmas and the Castles and Countryside of Wales, New Years, Snow and too much Guinness in Dublin and Galway, the spectacles of Niagara Falls and Las Vegas, the amazing time we had in Disneyworld (and the fantastic cites of Seattle and Philadelphia ( photo above from a city square in philly with monopoly pieces!) Wow, we had a great time and we've vowed to go back and have a huge adventure through Europe one day too, but with some money this time, no more backpacker hostels for me! Where were you a decade ago?

Monday, August 21, 2006

from my painting table... japanese blossoms

Over the past weekend I have completed a giant canvas, commissioned by my friend Louise who had a giant stark wall in her home an wanted to fill it wtih something quickly! Her and her husband are trying to sell their house and wanted it to look just right! So together we picked this blossom design from a clip art book and I set to work on this huge canvas creating my own interpretation! I wish I had more time to work on the flowers, but the background turned out to look like charcoal velvet, which you can't really see here, but that turned out great! The picture above is only half of the canvas and she gave me some beautiful flowers too to say thanks, also above!
INSPIRE ME CREATIVE TIP OF TODAY ... What are your favorite flowers ? Buy some special ones just for yourself or go and visit a your local public gardens for some inspiration! Even a walk around your neighbourhood might produce the perfect specimin to scribble out in pencil! Have a go at drawing, sketching or painting one! Study it's texture, petals, leaves, colour, stem! Try an abstract or childlike version for fun or be very serious and pretend you are documenting the only one of a kind in it's species bloom that will be kept in a museum for all of future mankind to see!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

from the mailman ... Mod Record Girl

...just wanted to share on this Sunday night this fabulous print I recieved in the POST! It came all the way from New York and our lovely mailman brought it to the door for me so it wouldn't bend in our lettrbox! It's called MOD RECORD GIRL and it's by the fabulous Miss Emily Martin and I purchased it from her ETSY SHOP! I just love it and plan to have this little girl framed and hanging in my studio soon! I can't wait for the day when my son asks " Mummy, what are those round things in the picture?" I used to love buying records, learning all the lyrics and studying the covers! The first album I ever bought was Michael Jackson's Thriller! What was yours?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I think that Spring Has Sprung!!!!

Pink Spring Blossoms from the Butterfly Collector! Here's my quick Saturday post! Took these photos in my front garden and was very excited that we have Blossom and that Spring is coming! Yay! Warm Air and daylight savings are on their way! HHMMMMM ! That could cause problems getting little Drew to sleep though, and just when we got him in a good sleeping routine finally! Busy Week ahead working on the website and I've just finished a giant canvas for my friend Louise, will show you tomorrow! That's all for now, have a great Saturday night!

Friday, August 18, 2006

I created a Slide Show! Check it out!

A Sneak Peak into the world of Madame Butterfly!!!!

Today I have been having some fun on a site I have just discovered called Slide.com. You can post your photos to it and it makes you a fabulous slide show! So I decided to make one to give everyone a sneak peek into the world of the Madame Butterfly Gallery! We are just finishing up some final touches and hopefully will be online very soon! Of course we want to make sure it is perfect before we go LIVE and I'm looking forward to everyone's feedback! Above are some of the wonderful products we have chosen for the Boutique! What do you think?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Brillant Book Find ... COLOUR - RAMA

I recently got my fabulous new issue of INSIDE OUT Magazine, which I look forward to and can't wait until it arrives in my letterbox. I've kept every copy since it started and love to look back over all the beautiful photos from each issue. It's always full of wonderful design, designers and incredible homes and it's Australian , so that's great too! This issue came with some beautiful postcards from a book which has just been published called Sense of Style: Colour by Stylist Shannon Frike. And I'm in love with it and I haven't even seen a real copy yet, it goes on sale next week and I can't wait for a trip to the bookstore to get a copy for myself!

All the Pics look fabulous and the cover says "Engage your Instincts - the World is your Mood Board!" Quite Intriging and Inspiring!!!

INSPIRE ME CREATIVE TIP TODAY... Start a Collection in your favorite Colour! And then make a Gorgeous display in your home of all your finds! It could be in your kitchen, on your dressing table, in your living or dining room! And it need not be expensive, just keep an eye out every time you are out shopping, in the thrift shop or start a collection from a special piece or heirloom you already have in your home!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

from my painting desk... the Grand Tea Palace

...she dreamed of a far away place, an escape from her chaotic world! She dreamed of Tea and scones, she dreamed of cake and cream and jam. She dreamed of a tray arriving with cookies and milk and sugar.She dreamed of warm sunshine and blue skies and fluffy clouds floating by. She dreamed it was pretty and she wished she did'nt have to wake up and start her day yet! But wait, today she would escape and sneak away, forget the world, sometime in the Afternoon and have a secret affair with Tea!...

Grand Tea Palace, a painting by Shae, the Butterfly Collector I know, it's another three part mini series, a panoramic painting, I really have to figure out how to take a decent photo of these!

This one came about whilst having tea and reading about the Taj Mahal! My ideas come from strange places sometimes! A whole series came from this idea and they were so much fun to paint, there is also Ice Cream Harbour ( a few posts back), lolliepop forest and champayne city!

So here's my INSPIRE ME CREATIVE TIP OF TODAY...think food, think delicious!!! What can you create from your favorite food, what inspires you about it. The colour, the taste, the shape, the smell, the place where you eat it??? Paint it, Sew it, Sketch it,Cook it !!! And for even more incentive go and check out Miss Heidi's Fabulous creations!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

fabulous finds... in the antique store!

... this past weekend was a lot of fun for me! I got to spend some time rummaging through a great old antique store which was situted in a fabulous old church in a seaside town near where I live!( and I got to go by myself too and take some ME time which is very rare!) Lots of great things inside, some beautiful old books and postcards and these fantastic old printers letters! There were three big wooden crates of them, all different sizes! It took me quite a while to find the letters I wanted, and I was on my knees going through them on a concrete floor and ended up with ink all over my hands too! Here's a picture of some of them above in rustic mode! I wish I could find a whole set of the alphabet! I think it would look great to paint a canvas and stamp each letter of the alphabet on it for Drew's room! Who knows I may get lucky on another thrifting or vintage adventure! The rest of Saturday was spent having coffee and eating an apple and cinnamon crepe in the pancake cafe, magazine reading, walking along the bay and then home for some cleaning and working on the website ( its so close now, just a few more things to do and hopefully no more delays!)

Monday, August 14, 2006

From the kitchen... YUM!!!! Chocolate Birthday Cake !!!

... Yesterday I posted these pics on my flickr page and people got very excited about my husband's wonderful creation for our son's first birthday cake! His Birthday was actually last November ,but I'd forgotten to put his party on Flickr! My man loves to cook , so he searched far and wide for the perfect cake to make and we found this one whilst watching his favorite aussie chef ,Geoff Jansz on Fresh TV! The outer shell is made from mixing dark and milk chocolate together, there's lots of it and it's very thick! We then decorated with smarties and freckles and made a chocolate cake to go underneath! We brought my old little window dressing hammer and let him smash it open, which he thought was hilarious! It was a huge hit and we had a fantastic picnic in the park with all of our friends and family! We are now on the look out for the next fantastic cake for birthday Number two which might be at the Zoo! The recipe has been published in the latest edition of the Women's Weekly Kid's Birthday Cakes Book which has so many great cakes in it and you can get it here!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A gorgeous day... Spring cleaning!!!

... It's a beautiful day and I'm at home with a very messy house and the boys are off playing in the sand at the beach!!! Having a big clean out, it's spring cleaning time! And nearly ready for lunch! Just thought I'd post a photo or two of one of my favorite sunny day spots!... This is the cafe at the Boatshed in Barwon Heads, a most gorgeous little town on the water and the beautiful little beach next to it! They have great food and coffee and cake! We aspire one day to buy a home here ( lots of saving and a lotto win would help!) It is about 20 minutes from our house and we spend lots of time there, especially in Summer! (It's also the home of Seachange the fabulousTV series, the boatshed was Diver Dan's house before the cafe was built and the cute little cottage above was Laura's house, its at the caravan park overlooking the sea!!)
P.s. hope it's a beautiful day where ever you are!

Friday, August 11, 2006

from an artists extravagant mind... ERTE

ERTE the magnificent! Quite a few years ago I discovered the work of this wonderful artist and love to visit this website to view all of his glamourous women,magazine covers, theatre sets, fashion designs and magical artworks!He also inspired a love for all things art deco in me and I love to give the greeting cards of his art to my friends for special occaisions. I really wanted to share his beautiful work as it is so inspiring to me! I'm now off to enjoy Mary Poppins on Tv and dream of jumping into some chalk drawings and floating to the ceiling for a laugh! Have a wonderful weekend my lovely blog friends!( and a secret hello to those blog lurkers of mine that visit and never send me a comment,come and say hi, I'd love to visit your blog too!)
And just before I go, here's something fun to do on the weekend!!!....
INSPIRE ME CREATIVE TIP OF TODAY... get out those pencils, paints, collage and sewing supplies!!! What would you wear on stage? Design a wonderful costume! Does it have feathers or sparkles ? Does it have a headress? What shoes and fabulous jewels will you wear with it? Are you a show girl, a rock star, a circus performer, a famous actress? What era are you from? Well I'm inspired, will work on this over the weekend! If you design something fabulous make sure you send me a link so I can see your fabulous artwork!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Flashback to Childhood...Fashon, Paper and Star Dolls

...here's something fun today! I was reading the thriftcraft blog last week and posted there was a most loved and favorite toy from my childhood... fashion plates! I loved this toy and played with it constantly as a girl! You place the plastic plates in a frame with paper and rub over them with pencils to create a picture and then use the backs of the plates to create pattern all over your lovely outfit and model! I actually still have the whole set and sometimes still use it to make rubbings from the plates on papers for my collages. It seems a lot of others out there loved it too as the post I read got a huge response in the comments box. (There seems to be a few postings on ebay if you desperately want one after reading this! )
I also had a thing for paper doll kits and was searching around on the web to see if there was any about and found STARDOLL, a great toy for big and little girls alike! You can dress your favorite star ( boys and girls...I dressed Audrey Tatou and Johnny Depp), send a model down the catwalk in a designer outfit, make a ME doll, play games, make a doll album and meet friends and its free!

Things have changed in toy land since I was little, I'm shocked no one has reinvented fashion plates yet!!! We are looking for a most excellent present for Drew's birthday and Christmas at the moment, I wonder what toys he will fondly remember from his childhood?
And if your looking for an actual gorgeous paper doll kit, look no further it's here!!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

from another world beyond... Goddess Paintings

...today I really wanted to share the most fabulous artist's work that I found mucking around in myspace.( I've recently become addicted to this now too and have found some fabulous people, artists, designers, comedians and musicians to make friends with!) A few days ago I came across the magical Lori Earley . Her paintings are other worldly, unusual, magical, filled with emotion and feeling. She has a wonderful site with a gorgeous gallery and prints for sale too! Go and explore the gorgeous goddesses she has created, one of which is above!

INSPIRE ME CREATIVE TIP OF TODAY... I was posting about Barbara's Sher's books yesterday and remembered a great tip she had in one of them which I still use today! It's an idea to de-clutter your house! Clutter can become a nightmare when it piles up, but her idea is to once a week ( or day if you are a neat freak!) throw out ten things around you or send them to a charity shop! We all have paper, broken and unwanted things lying around and this is a quick way to keep your drawers and cupboards constantly clean. You can do this in your kitchen drawers, on your desk, in your art/craft supplies,in the fridge, in your bedroom, in the bathroom cabinet! Its a quick task and will help keep clutter to a minimum and your space clean!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

from my painting table... Sea of Green

Summer Balcony, a painting by Shae, the butterfly collector
... thought I'd share a painting today! Imagine staring out at this view everyday! .I'ts a long panoramic one, so sorry it's in three parts! I actually have a program on my computer to make panoramic images, but I've no idea how to use it. Maybe one day I'll make time to work it out! Had a busy day yesterday, I'm on the hunt for the right printer to create lovely art prints of my paintings, so I can offer them for sale to the gorgeous people who admire my work! It's been a hard trek to find the right one, rumbling throught the city jungle, carefully watching and waiting to get an idea of what each printer man or woman is about, can they do a good job and how good their customer service is! Well after four attempts I finally pounced on the right one, Stu. He was so helpful and listened and was patient and sent me a detailed quote. Don't you just love it when you find someone who cares out their in retail/service land!
I worked in retail for many years as an assistant and manager and always prided myself on giving the best service possible and being NICE! Now I look for others who can do the same! I am astounded at how many people I've met who hate their jobs in this industry and complain about them constantly, I say go and do something else, get a new job, step out of your comfort zone, I know it's scary, but sometimes it's good to take a risk!
And read these fabulous books, they changed my life ... "I could do anything, if only I knew what it was" and "Live the life you love, and stop just getting by", both by Barbara Sher.

She made me think about where my life was going, what I wanted to do and who I wanted to share it with. She also made me have a good hard look at my childhood, the negative voices in my head, helped me declutter my house and discover my true personality! I'm still on the journey and still learning, but Great Stuff !!! Have a fabulous Tuesday everyone!, we are off to playgroup now!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

a few of my favorite things photo mosaic!

A mosaic of my favorite things, check out the post below for all the details on how to make your own and join our mosaic group on FLICKR !!! Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that Peter Jackson is a master storyteller and director, KING KONG was great and I've made myself a new little room, its got green and white polka dotty wallpaper and a gorgeous red seat, some wonderful music, great friends, movies and books, come over and visit me at my space!

From my photo album... Favorite things mosaic

...It's very quiet here at the moment, bub is asleep ( he's exhausted, we went to an indoor play centre this morning, which was great fun!) and my husband is at some cricket thing ( oh by the way, I hate cricket, he loves it. I sometimes go to watch, get distracted and miss it when he does something great on the pitch, I am secretly hoping my little one wants to play something else! ) So back to the quiet time, I have been spending it having fun in Flickr and making a mosaic for the new group my sister just created... Monthly Mosaics. We make a mosaic of what we've been doing, seen, have travelled to or have been inspired by for the month etc. and post it for all to see using fd's flickr toys! See mine above! And I've made a lovely set of photos of my tea cup collection too ( one of which is above!) There are some great mosaics in there already, come and join us and make your own! Now I'm off to have a cup of tea and finish my latest painting!, ( will show you when it's done!) Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

From inside a designers mind... Queen Quartermaine

Just a quick one tonight, I've got a date with my husband on the couch, we are about to indulge in chocolate, tea and KING KONG! We never got to the cinemas to see it, so we are looking forward to watching the new version! About to send the little one off to bed too! Wanted to share one of my favorite books though, Carolyn Quartermaine's Unwrapped. I love every page of collage, interiors, her wonderful apartment in London, her silk screened gorgeous fabric, the table settings and the floral arrangements. She loves to work with old pages of books, brown papers, cardboard, pastels, vivid hues and gold paint. Her interiors include large gorgeous mirrors, chandeliers, paper mache creations, painted doors and sumptuous chaise lounges and chairs covered in handpainted silks. The book pictured above is the mini paperback take anywhere version of Unwrapped. Her website is a great expression of her style.

INSPIRE ME TIP CREATIVE TIP OF TODAY!... hunt through your local thrift shop for fantastic old discarded books and use the yellowed old pages to make collages. Use them as backgrounds, cut out shapes like hearts or wings. Paint them with water colours, rip them for layers or even dip them in tea for aged look!. Great books to use are old dictionary's and music sheets! For some more great ideas check out Paper Relics, store owner and artist Hope has some fantastical vintage paper kits and her collages are totally unique and wonderful too!

Friday, August 04, 2006

From inside the creative cabinet...Hammer and Daisy

Gorgeous fabric, Wise Owls,Button Constellations,Fabric Debris Bags, pencil cases and Handmade journals , albums and scribblers are just some of the wonderful things I found on my visit to the Hammer and Daisy Store today. Two amazing Melbourne girls, Gracia and Louise, with art and design backgrounds have set up this wild site complete with fantastic animal illustrations and it's filled with gorgeous handmade goodies! And lucky me, both of the visit my blog! Gracia's blog features her wonderful wildlife sketches complete with facts about them and Louise's features her lovely sketches from her life, and environment, she even ran a competition this week to see whick of her readers was being the most enviro friendly! Their journals and albums are incredibly beautiful, handmade and would be treasured heirlooms to keep important memories in! Pay them a visit ,a site not to be missed

I also want to let everyone know about my lovely new blog friend, AnastasiaC who has been a regular reader of my blog and has been a huge encouragement since I started only a few months ago! Check out her gorgeous illustrations.

INSPIRE ME CREATIVE TIP OF TODAY!!! Recently I got together with a group of friends and had a Creative Mums Day! We brought our kids who played together and we all brought a mosaic project along to work on, one of the girls was great at Mosaic and taught us all some new tips and tricks! So now we are planning a day at each of our houses where the hostess will teach the others a new project according to their area of expertise! We are having a paint a canvas for your child's room day at my house! I think it will be a lot of fun! Why don't you try it with a group of your friends?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

From my painting table... Erin the Librarian

...Once upon a time there was a librarian called Erin. She loved to work with books and help everyone who came into the library find what they were looking for. She always gave them a big smile and they were always glad to see her because she was so happy and helpful. Erin's favorite part of the day though was her Afternoon Tea break when she would find a quiet corner, eat an rosy red apple and read the latest, most wonderful book she had found on the library bookshelves..

Erin the Librarian takes her Afternoon Tea Break, a new painting by Shae, the Butterfly Collector.

This will be available soon as a print in the Madame Butterfly Gallery. ( I promise it will open soon, we've had a lot of unfortunate delays!)

Ever since I was a little I have loved books with a passion. Any opportunity to read to myself, with others or to visit the library was a delight to my little mind and imagination. Now as a grown up there are so many wonderful books to choose from that I wish there was more time to read. Maybe in my next life I'll be a librarian or own a bookstore?. Today little Drew and I have been for a walk to our local children's bookstore and bought two new ones and I'm looking forward to reading them to him tonight! One is Bing goes on a Picnic and the illustrations are fantastic, take a look here !!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Jealousy in the jewel box ... Last romance in Paris

...Imagine walking through a porcelain world and meeting creatures such as fluttering butterflies, pretty dames, elegant dukes,cute bambi faces, adorable lambs, wise rabbits, skulls and skeletons. You also might run into some shotguns,crucifix and wolves. This wild world really does exist in the minds of the creators of Iggy and Lou Lou. A fabulous ceramic collection which includes necklaces, brooches, vases, and bowls to name just a few! It's like viewing a pirates treasure to enter their website and everything is tempting. Their wares are stamped onto, coloured, black & white and all handmade with porcelain and are all very unique and collectable. The latest collection is called the Last Romance in Paris and is influenced by Wuthering Heights,Gun fighting Duels, Victoriana, Film Noir and of course Paris. If you're in Melbourne you can visit their latest exhibition at Craft Victoria, 31 Flinders Street in the CBD from August 2nd to 12th.

INSPIRE ME TODAY TIP... Make time to take your Inner artist on a date at least once a month! Visit a gallery or two, Go Window Shopping and see if the latest trends/colours influence you, Visit your local Botanical Gardens or the Zoo and take a sketch book, you might find interesting leaves, seed pods or animal skins, or even a trip to the movies might inspire you to create something wonderful!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

from my creative cabinet... Buttons Galore

... the butterfly collector has just been rummaging through her Button Box (most of which came from my Grandma's collection!) After finding some great ones in there for my Owl memory board ( pics a few posts ago!), I have now sorted them all into their own colour groups and found these ultra cute ones above and must think up something wonderful to make with them! I especially love the scotty dog one! Buttons are every where this coming season and it's great to see so many great accessories being made with them. I recently found out about Buttonmania, the store, which will be a great shopping expedition I'm looking forward to and I love what Jo is creating for her kids with her buttons!!! And if you love Vintage Buttons make sure you click here for some of the most amazing buttons ever seen!

INSPIRE ME CREATIVE TIP OF TODAY... Go for a walk in your neighbourhood! You never know what you might find just around the corner ! A beautiful tree, a gorgeous flower, spring blossom, autumn leaves, a beautiful home ? Take your camera, note the colours or make a sketch! It might be the inspiration for your next painting or project ?