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October 2006 Issue 42


As I prepare my second report as President, I wonder where the time has gone and ponder as to what extent the main objective of the Guild, to promote decoupage, has been achieved.

Twelve months ago, realising that to maintain membership and encourage new members would be a real challenge, suggestions were put forward towards this end. Emphasis should be on "hands-on" full day workshops; that tutors from Southern Guilds be invited to instruct and advise; and that less time consuming approaches to decoupage be sought were some of these ideas.

How have we fared? Has this been the right approach?

In October, a major effort was put into a wonderful exhibition of pieces and preparation of gift items for sale at the Ceramic and Craft Show at Caboolture. It was a display of which to be proud, but unfortunately the promoters of the show failed with their publicity resulting in a dismal lack of patronage.

At the October meeting the showing of 2005 project pieces (depicting silhouettes or birds) was as diverse as it was inspiring. Earlier this year the "Day of Decoupage" as planned for February was unfortunately cut short by various circumstances. Apologies to those who may have been disappointed with the outcome.

Those members who attended the live-in workshop at Crows Nest in March voted it a success. From my perspective, as well as the vast amount of information shared, two major positives evolved. Firstly it was rewarding to observe members' satisfaction when viewing the 2 displays, one at the local art gallery and the remaining pieces in the park restaurant. Then by the end of the weekend acquaintances had become friends and were looking forward to another such time.

The highlight of the years activities must surely have been the visit by Silvana Natoli in May. I need say no more -- the presentation spoke for itself, as all those present will attest.

Thank you to members who loaned pieces for the display at the Chermside Library in May/June. The 2 glass cases, one in the foyer and the other inside adjacent to the coffee shop were positioned for good visibility and prompted a couple of phone calls. Such ventures are somewhat intangible, but must help to keep decoupage in the public eye.

Participation in the RNA Fine Arts Show was the final activity for the year. The "Outback" section added another dimension to the usual. This is a huge undertaking for the judges and stewards without which this exposure would be impossible. On your behalf I say thank you. While the number of entries was a little disappointing, this did not take away from the wonderful display and quality of the work. Congratulations and sincere appreciation to those members responsible.

My personal thanks goes to Secretary Sue, Vice-president and Editor of Snippets Val, Treasurer Glenda and to Committee members Sally, Ann and Roger. To each of you your support and friendship is greatly valued. No organization can function without the participation of its members, so to one and all thank you for your contribution to our mutual enjoyment of Decoupage.

Finally, a welcome to the new Committee members: Liliana Morgan- Secretary, Diane Loxton & Shirley Waterton.


By Veera Nolan

All paints are made up of pigment which provides colour, a binder or medium in which the pigment is suspended and which binds the paint to the surface, and a solvent which dilutes the mixture to make it flow smoothly and evenly. the solvent evaporates in the drying process and leaves an even, dry coating on the surface.

The durability and hardness and absorbency of the painted surface, depends on the type of pigment, binder and solvent used.

In the past, limestone was soaked in water and animal fat was added to it as a binder. The mixture was allowed to ferment until it was ready to use.. Natural pigments, like ochre and red oxide, were added to give it colour.

Today, natural ingredients have been replaced by synthetic substitutes, making the paint more durable and easier to use. All water based paints may be diluted with water and used as a colour wash. Once the water based paint has dried, it is no longer water soluble.

Water based glaze

Sometimes called Scumble (or Spreader) it is a transparent gel-like substance that appears milky when wet, but dries to a clear finish. It can be diluted with water. This type of glaze retards the drying process of water based paints giving more time to create decorative finishes.

Tips on mixing paints

When mixing pale colours or tints, start with a white base and add small amounts of colour.

Black is not always the best colour to use to darken a colour. It can often change the colour completely, or make it dull, e.g. yellow + black will turn olive green. Raw Umber can be a successful substitute.

If a colour is too bright, e.g. bright green, a small amount of a complimentary colour can be added. In this case, red can be added, which will cause a slight dulling.

If pastel colours are too sweet, a drop of Raw Umber will reduce the glare without changing the overall effect of the colour.

Frottage Method

Aged wall plaster is used to describe old plaster, painted with lime wash, tinted with earth colours. The technique of simulating old walls is very popular with the reversion to natural colours.

Aged Wall Plaster

Water based paint of any of the following earth colours

  1. Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna
  2. Raw sienna and Burnt umber
  3. Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber.
  4. Mix one or two colours. Dilute paint mixture with water to required colour. Add 20% scumble glaze to extend working time. Brush in random, pattern on to object.
  5. Take some newspaper & crumple it, press it into the wet paint using your hands in a fanning movement from the outer edges, towards the centre. Peel off the paper.

A second, darker paint mix may be applied using the above method. When completely dry, sand lightly to expose the base coat.

Creating a layered lime look

  1. White base coat.
  2. Select any combination of the above colour schemes. A little, very weak, black wash may be added to the finish.
  3. Mix yellow ochre with a little raw sienna. Add water to obtain the desired colour. Apply to your object in a random pattern. 4. Dry well
  4. When this coat of paint is dry, brush torn pieces of newspaper with a wet brush. Now paint with a darker coloured pain mixture and then peel off the newspaper to expose the base coat.

Thanks Vera

There will be more hints in later Snippets


By Sandra Dennis

Extensions can be made easier by the following exercises. 1. STUDY the needs of the design work before beginning to paint. Sometimes very little detail is needed on "less important" areas e.g. near edges of work. Do not detract from the main focal area by using too much detail in the extensions. Detractions can be can be caused by using too much detail, too much unsuitable colour, colour that obviously does not match or heavy line work.

2. DRAW extensions on clear plastic to determine the "match" of shape required. Do not be afraid to experiment by - fading lines into oblivion, softening edges or creating another element to cover the edge, e.g. in a landscape many things can be hidden by grass. Hatching can also be added & faded around some designs to avoid having to colour match small areas.

3. PAINT a trial extension on a piece of paper to ensure that colours match & that the drawing is suitable in colour. Let this dry then check that the colours are still matching in the dry state. Some paint will dry a lighter colour than when in the wet state.

4. IF you find that you cannot entirely match the colour, & some are very difficult, intersperse your "almost matching" colour onto the picture to tie in the slightly different colour.

Design Help Suggestions

Find a subject to suit the article, or vice versa.

Learn to recognise colours e.g. cool or warm & just the fact that they are there. A tree is not just green leaves & a brown trunk as we used to depict them in kindergarten. There are many colours in foliage, including red, yellow, green & blue in various degrees of tone. Some leaves shine & give reflected colour. This is just one of many examples of reflected colour that we do not stop, in our busy lives, to study.

Take note of line work or edges used in designs e.g. clean cut, ragged, soft or fuzzy. These can set the mood of a piece.

View your piece from a suitable distance, to ensure that what you have done"works". Things often look OK close up, but appear insignificant at a distance. Keep any lines, leading out of the picture, soft or "unimportant" so your eye doesn't follow them out of the picture, but remains on, or is led back into, or around, the focal area.

Keep backgrounds interesting, but not overpowering.

Other Suggestions

May some of the above help someone somewhere, sometime, to do something somewhat easier.

Thanks Sandra


Our webpage is well under way, with the site being bought. Now the next job is to set it up so that everyone can see our work. Our address will be:

Hopefully it should be up & running before our first meeting next year. I will try to get this copy of Snippets on soon, so take a look & see whether you would like to read your Snippets on the Web. If you are happy to do that, please send me an email, letting me know, otherwise they will go out by mail.

Val English


Instead of chatting about what we have done, here are a couple of photos taken of our display at the Kawana Library in August.

- Bev Starkey

Display Case 1 Display Case 2

This month we have a new advertiser. They are Warm Glass Designs. Michael & Hayley Freshman have a business which, while producing mainly glass for the building trade ( shower screen, splash backs, etc) also make a range of lovely glass platters. Some members will have seen them at the August meeting. The under side is not smooth, and though I thought this would make Decoupage harder, it was no more difficult than normal. Their prices are reasonable, and I'm sure that they will be very helpful to anyone who contacts them.


Outback - Open
 1st  Marilyn Brown
 2nd  Nancy Rowley
 3rd  Sally Wearing

Outback - Restricted
 1st  Glenda Lloyd
 2nd  Barbara Chapple

Under Many Layers Of Varnish - Open
 1st  Sally Wearing
 2nd  Shirley Waterton
 3rd  Nancy Rowley

Under Many Layers Of Varnish - Restricted
 1st Barbara Chapple

Congratulations to Sally Wearing on winning the Championship ribbon with her beautiful Asian Egg. Also congratulations to these other prize winners and thanks to all who took the trouble to enter pieces in the display. The over all quality was very good. Thanks, too, to Allan Press , Sally Wearing & Kerry Allen for the wonderful display. I must apologise for not having a photo of Sally's Egg, but I am a raw recruit with a camera! The quality of the resulting picture was not up to the quality of the Egg.

Sally Wearing Lamp Base Vase

(Left to right: Sally Wearing's lovely piece missed a placing because of minor rough spots on the finish; Marilyn Brown's Lamp base. 1st prize, Outback section; Barbara Chapple's 1st prize Restricted section)


Travelling throughout Australia would influence anybody, but when you have an artist's sensitivity for colour, light and texture, those influences become heightened and find expression- as in Alan's case through decoupage and card designing.

Six years of formal art training has developed and refined Alan's unique technique and interpretation of design and colour. Alan is a veteran of many exhibitions and awards, his work reflects his diverse background and experiences, is rich with textured backgrounds, exotic colours with oriental motifs a feature in some while other work tends to be influenced by Art Nouveau. His decoupage style can best be described as eclectic, favouring Oriental and Art Nouveau. Designing decoupage pieces is his first love, followed by teaching, an activity Alan finds most rewarding.

Card designing allows Alan opportunity for experimentation, using blender pens, embossing, chalk and the use of glaze pens on acetate.

Presently Alan is working on a twelve inch bisque sphere,completely covered with washi paper predominantly navy blue and white colour, the defining element being a floral design edged cloisonné style with the finest of lines of gold. The complete work is mounted on a black marble plinth base. This work is striking in colour and design, using a very complex technique.

In an advanced stage of planning is Alan's book on decoupage which will be a 'coffee table' edition, rich in decoupage images, with a bold sense of style.

It is with great anticipation that I look forward to this book which I am sure will encapsulate the exceptional artistry of this master decoupeur.

- Vera Nolan


By Vera Nolan at the October Meeting
Bring the following items with you:

Available for sale will be the following items:  Craft stickers, Wooden Egg Stands, & Goose Eggs.


Positive Proof Of Global Warming


Q: Last issue we asked the question "What causes 'water wave' when sanding? How can it be fixed & how do you stop it occurring?

A: I am glad to report that one of our members has sent me details of how she copes with the problem. She says "I have just finished a picture which had water wave marks all over it. This is what I do. Get the Jex (steel wool) and do plenty of rubbing. Then I polish with the foot of a nylon winter sock. It takes plenty of rubbing, but comes up beautifully. I have also found that using toothpaste for polishing works really well to get rid of scratch marks." Thank you for taking the time to send an answer.


I am sure everyone joins with me to wish our President, Barbara Chapple, a speedy return to good health, after her recent spell in hospital. At the time of writing she is about to find out when she starts chemotherapy, however, she sound just as bright & positive as we all know her to be. Hope everything goes smoothly, Barbara. I'm sure we will all be wishing you well.

To another long term member, Barbara Powell: we wish you a happy retirement.


The Crows Nest Caravan has again been selected for our Weekend Workshop on the 9/10/11th March 2007. Because it was such a success last March, we suggest that you book early. The phone number of the Crows Nest is 07 4698 1269. There are powered sites or cabins available.

To contribute to Snippets contact V. English.
40 Reids Rd Woombye 4559
or phone
07 5442 1522

Active Abrasives Pine Ceramics
Shizen Warm Glass