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Scrapbooking Memories – Free Paper designed by me :)

So excited to share a little project I worked on late last year! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to design the free paper for Scrapbooking Memories Magazine. It was such a stressful time when I created this, I had my major computer drama’s and a pile of deadlines that made for some very stressful moments. It’s amazing though what you can achieve and how resourceful you can be when you really have to!
So proud of these, this is my first paper designing project. I still have so much to learn but this was a great introduction!

I feel very honoured that Belinda Spencer has created a layout with these papers. All I can say is WOW! I am so blown away by what she has done!!! Stunning thank you Belinda! xx

I hope you to get to play with these papers and enjoy!! I would love any feed back from those that do!! I would love to see what you have done, you can add a link to your work in the comments or over here on my Facebook Page !!

Let your light Shine the way! ~ Dusty Attic ~ Tutorial

Welcome back, today I have a project to share with you for Dusty Attic using the new release dusty Moroccan Lamps and French Border. This canvas has a lot of dimension on it! And in creating this dimension on the intricate pieces I worked out an easier way of creating varying depths to your pieces. See the tutorial below for this simple and effective technique.
Even though this looks like a shadow box it is just a normal canvas with a chipboard border.
Dusty Attic: French Garden Border – DA0845

Moroccan Lamps – DA0835
Dusty in Colour:
Capri – DA0915
Oceania – DA0912
Navajo White – DA0903

Dimensional Lamp Tutorial

For this tutorial I have used the Dusty in Colour Paints, a gold sharpie pen. A sponge for painting. Then to add the dimension you just need some strips of chipboard off cuts and some tiger grip glue or something similar.

To get the painted effect on the lamps I first painted the lamp with the Capri paint. Then using the Gold Sharpie (Love these metallic sharpies I got them in a pack with gold, silver and a bronze.)
fill in the lines on the lamp.

To soften the look I have sponged some of the Oceania paint over the lamps and very lightly over the gold pen lines.

To add even more dimension I have used my finger to add some white paint highlights over the lamps.
Now the secret to getting great dimension of varying heights is to use chipboard strips. you can even used the offcuts from the pieces the chipboard comes in. Just cut them into strips to what ever height you want to raise your pieces. To get this effect before I would add layers of foam tape. But not only are the chipboard strips easier to hide behind intricate pieces you can cut them, to what ever height you like. Add the strips to your chip pieces using a strong glue then glue the chip pieces to your work. So happy with how effective this is!

I painted the chipboard with brown paint before cutting it into strips. You can paint the chipboard to to match the background of your page so that it is less noticeable behind your chip pieces. You can also bend the chipboard into curves if needed too!

I have used narrow chipboard strips to create the border around this canvas. I then added the french border to the top of the chipboard frame to give it more of a box look.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial!!

Drowning in Social Media

Do you ever feel like that?? I am feeling like that alot lately.
Gone are the days when you could just start a business and buy some stock and do some advertising to start selling a service or product.
I am learning very quickly that a lot has changed in the last 10 years when it come to running a business in this day and age. The importance placed on Social Media is huge, and you need this one to connect to that one and so on. I have been learning about so many new media formats and have started countless new log ins and passwords. Some days I feel like I am drowning in it!
Keeping up with an online presence is a full time job on its own. I know I will get more efficient at managing my social media marketing but man there is a lot to take in!
I am determined to win the battle over social media and find that happy medium! 
I still have to do all the social media buttons for my blog yet! Another job still on the list!
How many is too many? What do we really need?
In the last 3 months I have set up Twitter (Although I have no idea how to use this yet), Instagram (Another one I haven’t used yet), Mailchimp – Newsletter (has taken me all day to get my head around this one, Facebook Business Page, Etsy (hopefully I will be able to open my Etsy store very soon), Evernote, Skype, Pinterest (I have had this one for awhile and love it!), Paypal Business account, Linked in, You Tube and many more accounts with online selling avenues, Art Groups & Workshops and more!

I have also designed my New Blog Make over and Logos and all the little bits and pieces that go with it! All this to set up an online store, but it wont be just any online store I will have a few different ventures and avenues that will be happening. I started out just setting up an online store to sell online kits and classes but after doing Kelly Rae’s Flying course I have also set up Michelle Grant desiGns and have so many other projects on the go too! I will also be doing weekend workshops here in Mackay with the first being on the 23rd & 24th of March. More details on this workshop coming soon.

I am still waiting on my online store Studio M desiGns to be built!
So it would be an understatement to say I have been a bit busy lately!
Keeping up with all the online community & DT commitments is going to take a bit of balancing for the next few months
But I know it will be all worth it in the end! I have had a lot of up and down days, and a lot of days where I think what the hell am I doing?? Then I just need to remind myself that I want to create financial freedom for my family so Don doesn’t have to work away from home. I just need to keep telling myself it will be all worth it!!!
But boy oh boy has it been a steep learning curve!!
Sharing more of me is still a bit scary for me, but a huge thank you for all the support, you guys are helping me overcome this fear!! So thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

I have had the general mum thing worrying about my kids these past few weeks, both are facing changes in their lives, Wiliam is pursuing a career in the army, and Leonii is moving into a house from the unit they are in at the moment and is also changing jobs. It is so hard when she is 12 hours away and cant help. I just have to hope we have given them enough belief, drive and ambition to achieve their dreams and find a happy path in life. I have another post to do of my weekend with Leonii last weekend and the Paint Mojo Workshop we attended! I haven’t had time to download the photos yet! Will put that on my list this weekend!

To end on a positive note we have a new internet provider for a quarter of the price, we were paying $320 for 50GB a month with Telstra and had crap service, now we can get 100GB for $59.95 and the service is way better and doesn’t drop out for hours on end!
So So happy about that!! Our internet dilemma has caused me more than a few grey hairs!!
Looking forward to working without delays and maybe being able to get to bed a bit earlier too!!

Just came across this post by Trina McClune – Creativity Takes Courage tonight about Creativity Takes Courage! Oh so true, and pursuing a creative business takes even more!!! I want to learn to follow my dreams and make them a reality so I can help lead the way for others to follow theirs!
I took this photo the other afternoon, you can’t really see it but it was lightly raining in front of the tree, with the sun shining in the background. It was really beautiful! I think I came up with this quote, but when you see so many I don’t know if it truly original from me or if I was inspired by something somewhere.  
So I will leave you on that note! I am off to bed now! Night All x

Month in Review – January 2013

Month in Review – January 2013
Well another month has flown by, they just seem to get quicker and quicker the older you get.
I have achieved quite a bit this month and not as much as I had hoped!
Ex Cyclone Oswald has wreaked havoc right down the Queensland coast this month. It was just like a normal big wet for us, we were just flooded in for the day. The winds were 90km as it crossed here, we were fine. It was good to see all my family out west getting some much needed rain.
The worst of the tropical low hit from Rockhampton down the coast with Bundaberg being hit the worst. As the high winds, rain & tornado’s were closing in on Don’s Family in Cooroy and Leonii in Brisbane we were completely cut off from contact, all our phones and internet were out. It was such a stressful 24 hours for me. All I could do was watch the news and hope they wouldn’t be in it!! By the time our phones were back on and everyone was accounted for I just broke down in tears, it was such a horrible feeling having no contact and feeling so helpless, I had no contact with Don either as  he was at work too.

So with all that happening plans with my online store have been delayed, I hope it will be up and running very soon!! Fingers crossed! I have started planning for my first online workshop, so I am really excited about it! I hope to have it online before the end of this month!!
I went live with my Face Book page for Michelle Grant desiGns this month! Was a huge scary step for me, I was blown away that I got 100 likes in 4 hours of going live!! Still working out all the cross linking with the blog etc! Such a big job and learning curve for me.
I designed my logo and blog banner and background this month, that was another big thing to cross off my list. I was so happy with how this canvas turned out for my banner!! I still have some tweaking to do on the logo and banner but I am getting there
I was a guest designer for Moulds by Mel this month too, you can see the post HERE with the projects I created for her. 
The coaching with Jessica Brogan has been going really well, It has helped to overcome a lot of hurdles!! Still lots of work to be done, but I am getting there.
I haven’t been to the movies since forever and then I have been twice in the last month.
I had a day with the Tuesday Girls and we went and saw “Les Mis”, the acting and singing were brilliant,  just don’t go if you are feeling down it is not an uplifting movie.
Then I went with Don, we had what you could probably call our first Date Day! We had a lovely day together, first we caught up with Lisa while she was back from Townsville for the weekend where she is having her Radiation treatments. Was lovely to catch up. Then Don and I went and saw the movie “The Impossible” I had heard that it was a beautiful human spirit story even though the circumstances were so devastating, being about the boxing day tsunami. The kids who acted in this movie deserve an oscar. They were amazing. It really was a beautiful human spirit movie and was extremely well done! So hard to believe it was based on a true story. I won’t give any more away, but was well worth seeing! Don and I had a lovely day, hope to make it more of a regular thing!
On the creating front, I feel like I havent done much this month, but when I stop to look back I have done more than I realized.  I created this canvas for Wil, this is in memory of his dog Rusty who we found had passed away when we got back from our Christmas holidays.

Something that was good that come from this was Wil finding a little creativity in him, he has shown no interest at all in what I do so was a lovely surprise when he came in and asked to do some canvas’s for his room. I gave a little help and tuition but I am so proud of his final result! He even wants to do more! I am looking forward to creating more with him too!! Really fills my heart!

I have been having a go at painting faces lately, although I am happy with these they are far from perfect, I hope to learn how to do these better this year and how to balance the facial features better. I still had fun doing them, this one I actually started last year, was good to get one finished.

 This one is still in progess, I don’t think she needs to much more, but I feel like its not quite finished! I am liking the one colour on here with the pencil features and impasto texture, I drew her while I was on holidays last year too. I need to find some time to do more of these!

 On the home front I managed to capture a beautiful sunset the other night, I am finally starting to work out the best settings on the SLR for capturing all the beautiful colours in sunsets.
As soon as I see that beautiful glow through the window I just have to go out and watch it! I was lucky to have the camera ready to go on this day. I don’t know what it is about them, I just find them so captivating, they just have a special place in my heart!

This one even has a little leftover jet stream on the left hand side in the blue sky. I am so blessed that our views give us these gorgeous backdrops!

It has been so hot this month, with many days above 40 degrees, the humidity has been unbearable, just walking out in the heat feels like someone sitting on your chest, the air has been sooo heavy it has really played up with my asthma. 
This pic below is a storm brewing in the south, it just looked like a wall of white creeping up towards us. I think this storm ended up going around us thank goodness.
Here is Don and Tilly in front of our little home, love this time of the day with the sunsets. We are hoping to start some renovations this year, would be so nice to have an outside area that doesn’t get wet every time it rains!
A rare shot of Tilly sitting with the ball beside her, only because she was already worn out from chasing it around the yard. She doesn’t give up easy when it comes to her ball. We had her fixed up this month so she has been allowed inside. We couldn’t leave her outside as she likes to go and sit in the trough and she couldn’t get her stitches wet. So now she thinks she owns the place and has claimed Wil’s room to sleep in! She is definitely a sook dog now and makes her way in and out through the cat door. Its a tight squeeze for her LOL! The cats walk past her looking at her like “who the hell let you in here” LOL

 This is the “Throw the Ball!!!!!!!” Look, she just loves it!! LOL

The cows are glad to see the rain, we so badly needed it for the grass.

 So lovely to see the paddocks green again.
Although the flys are really bad at the moment, we had a plague of horsefly’s there for a bit too!
I think Fatso AKA “Cynder” might be fat for a reason this month, she is the only pet not fixed up yet, so she will be lined up next for a visit to the vets.

 So looking forward to this crop of passionfruit ripening! Can’t wait! Yum!!

 I was treated to this site outside of my office window too, these photos were taken through the window, even the little joey in her pouch poked its head out for a photo.

I just love living out here!!
Anyway that was my month that was.

Coming up in February……..
I will be starting a new monthly challenge series on my blog in February! Really looking forward to sharing that with you too!!!
I will also have an ATC give away coming up this month!
I am looking forward to going to an Art retreat in Brisbane with Tracy Verdugo in Feb but even more so that I will get to see my baby girl again too!! Been missing her heaps lately!
I hope your month went by without too many life drama’s getting in the way!!
Wishing you all a fabulous February!!