Breaking the Writers Block

  I have to admit now that I have had a year long writers block!  When I started blogging, it was so much fun and the words flowed so easily.  Last year, 2014, I would start drafts of blogs and never finished them.  Today I came up with a theory on how to break that writers block.

  It all started when I was talking to a business acquaintance about an article he wrote about Ideas.(Have-you-got-great-idea By Matthew Farmer).  As I read Matthew’s comments about an “Ideas” book and how to use those “Ideas” in your business, I thought about how much I missed writing in my blog posts each week.  I spoke to Matthew about having a writers block and that when I was in University I use to have a special outfit I wore when I studied.  That got me thinking that maybe I should apply that same theory to my blog writing and painting.  Well, that started both of us talking about having a special outfit to help set the mood for writing.

  It was a very interesting conversation. My special outfit of tracksuit pants and a very large baggy shirt were only worn when I had to study for exams and writing assignments during my university days. It helped set the mood for focusing on my studies.  Matthew said he has a favourite hat to wear when he writes.
  All this talk of having a “writing” outfit to set the mood for writing got me feeling confident that I can start writing again.  Well at least it was a great subject for writing this blog post.   I have to find that special comfy outfit that only comes out at writing/creativity time.   It always set the creative mood in the past and I know it will again.   One problem, that outfit is LONG gone. I have to find new tracksuit pants and a big baggy shirt….or maybe a hat….maybe I’ll stick with the comfort of tracksuit pants and a baggy shirt.

   How about you?  Do you have something special that sets the mood for your blog writing or creative process?

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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

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 12×12 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.

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 creaitve 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 Refusés“” 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

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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;

Tracy

 

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;
Tracy

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.