President's Report 





In Person 


Snippets Logo

May 2007 Issue 44

By Barbara Chapple

Greetings Friends,

I trust you remain inspired and continue to enjoy our mutual passion of decoupage.  2007 was off to a good start as we worked on our masks in February under the guidance of Barbara Beck, some of these completed works of art added to the display at Crows Nest.

And then the next undertaking was this Live-in Workshop in the country town of Crows Nest where a total of 16, 12 of whom were decoupeurs, worked, chatted and in general enjoyed a relaxed time.  After sharing queries and hints around the table, Shirley demonstrated applying Aristocrat to a placemat and then on another piece achieving a tiled effect. The remaining mixture was not wasted - it was used to finish a variety of pearl shell pendants various members had decoupaged. The variety of these pieces made up a fine collection. Saturday afternoon found us exploring the use of foil paper under direction of Allan. The fine texture of the foils should only require a minimum layers of lacquer. I look forward to seeing the completed eggs and vases. Unfortunately the hot dry wind that sprung up on Sunday was not conducive to working under glass as planned, so we were forced to pack up a little earlier than scheduled. The display arranged in the restaurant drew the attention of diners, while we once again were treated to the spread of home-style cuisine that this venue offers. The weekend concluded with a barbecue meal prepared by the non-decoupeurs of the party.

Now we look forward to gathering in May.  Allan apologies that he will be away, and therefore unable to lead the workshop in backgrounds, but promises to do this at a later meeting.  You may by now have realised, as I have,  that this meeting clashes with Mothers Day and some may unable to attend. Never the less, I am sure that those of us who do come along, even though small in number, will enjoy the day. Please bring along a piece to work upon. May I suggest that we also bring along our completed pieces using the foil papers. I have several pieces of foil paper and am happy (with advice from others who were at Crows Nest) to demonstrate on a small piece if anyone is interested. In the meantime I know you will be busy finishing off you piece/s for the Ekka - (why not work on it at the meeting.) 

The special category for this year is 'Any Piece in Florals'. Many of us will already have a piece that fits this category. Please make an effort to support  this Guild sponsored venture. Allan has offered to act as a collection base if you can't get your entries to the RNA yourself. Entries close on the  23rd May.  You may by now have received your schedule which should be in the mail shortly after Easter.

The Guild has been given the opportunity to demonstrate twice daily at the 2007 Exhibition. Thank you to those volunteers who have offered to participate. The time slots allocated are  12 noon  and  2pm  on the 8 days Friday 10th to Friday 17th  inclusive. A roster will need to be completed before then so we can avail ourselves of passes.

Amongst this busy schedule, don't forget about your Project piece for 2007. The theme is 'By the Seaside', which gives considerable scope for inspiration.

The success of the Guild depends on members sharing and helping; to those who have contributed or have offered to contribute in the activities mentioned so far, on your behalf, I say a big "Thank you". 

Until May 13th,  keep well, happy and busy with your decoupage.
Barbara Chapple   

P.S.  If you are unable to attend on May 13 would you please ring Barbara (not between April 9-30) or Val. Don't forget we need names of those intending to participate in the Workshop at Mapleton in September (21-23) at this meeting


Pauline Fodera

Plate No.1    
Connotations of rose petals, confetti and romance inspired me on a journey of the 'decoupage under glass' experience. Early in the year in March 2006 to be precise, love was in the air for my beautiful niece Claudia who, in a couple of weeks, was to marry her Prince Charming, Phil. I must say that, together they make a very handsome couple.

As the wedding was fast approaching I quickly made my way to the Bridal Registry of David Jones.    There I selected and purchased a beautiful gift as requested by them. As I made my way home, my brain started ticking I was thinking, if only there was time, I would have loved to  decoupage a personal gift for them, but of course that was now an elusive and impossible dream. Time was the essence and time was running out, there was no way that I could possibly produce a Masterpiece in the traditional manner in such a short time. I resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't meant to be, but the thought kept lingering, then suddenly I was bursting at the seams with anticipation and excitement, I just had a revelation!

"YES! YES! YES!" 'Mission Impossible' was no longer the case and "PRESTO" decoupage under glass was a BIG...possibility. But then, I asked myself, where do I start as I had never attempted this kind of art form before. I soon remembered that I had attended a workshop a number of years ago given by Margaret Dows and as soon as I arrived home I quickly went through some of the newsletters trying to find the edition with the 'decoupage under glass instructions' and soon enough! BINGO, there it was in the November 2001 Cut Out.  I was very much a novice when it came to this concept; therefore, I needed all the help I could get. I was sure, that the trials and tribulations would be quite a challenge, but as the saying goes 'No pain, no gain.'

Well my glass plate acquisition was now ready for a full make-over; it was time to make a masterful attempt at this new project. It was now time to source materials and decide on a particular theme. In order for me to get the creative juices flowing I usually like to set the mood with some orchestral symphonies, one of my favourites is the Four Seasons by Vivaldi. As I started to search  through my folder filled with decoupage papers I was now confronted with an array of images. OH! Decisions, decisions!! I finally decided on a beautiful image by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and a lovely Florentine border to complement the design, and faster than the speed of lightening 'decoupage under glass' was in the making. I quickly started cutting, mixed a batch of Gelatine and away I went.
I glued down the image, and the Florentine border, then filled in the background with Iridescent Copper & Bronze and Gold Leaf.  I must say everything was starting to take shape nicely. As I evolved into this new territory and gained more clarity, I noticed that the main image had developed a few shiny spots. I wasn't quite sure as to what had caused this but, I assumed it was the Gelatine, but even so, I thought it looked quite good considering it was my first attempt. I left it to dry overnight and the next day I sealed it a number of times and then proceeded to gesso the back. Soon enough, I realized that some white spots were showing through to the front of the plate.

At this stage I did not think to add some colour to the gesso as this would have eliminated the problem but I guess it is all about making mistakes & learning from them. I managed to scrape away the white bits & sponged in more colour which seemed to work quite well. I applied about four or five coats of gesso, in order to conceal the paper cut-out then painted the back & finished it with gold leaf, signed it, sealed it & when it was dry I applied two coats of lacquer and VOILA! My Master Piece was finished, photographed, wrapped and ready to be delivered to the Newly Weds.
As I gazed at the imminent success with a cherished ambition of future projects, I knew that this was certainly a decoupage affair to remember.

Plate No.2
Well guess what? Yes once again I have to brace myself! For it seems that another wedding was on the horizon. It was to be on the 7th of May 2006, this time the daughter of a good friend of mine was getting married.  As I delved into the depths of my mind for ideas and inspirations, it seemed apparent that it was time for me to feed my creative appetite once more with another 'decoupage under glass' experience. I courageously embarked into this other project with much enthusiasm and hoped to perfect and improve my technique. I felt that this time I needed to take a more disciplined approach if I wanted to dish up a winner.

My aim was to strive for the ultimate result, but as we all know too well, sometimes it's not always possible; but! I will continue to persevere.

After giving it some thought and consideration it seemed appropriate that The Lovers, by John Waterhouse, was going to take centre stage on my new plate and as I now wanted to create a feeling of harmony, passion and romance I decided to go for soft pink roses to adorn the beautiful image. I immersed myself proceeding in the same manner as I did with plate Number One.
I sealed the images, glued them down with Gelatine, I splashed a dash of Irredescent Gold here and there, and I sponged the rest of the background with Acra Violet mixed with some Dioxin Purple.

It was coming along nicely but on second thoughts I felt later that the background was just a little bit too dark for my liking. It definitely needed more gold highlights. I was now feeling disenchanted with my result and was reconsidering my approach. It seems that my plan had not worked as well as I had anticipated.

I was now in a bit of a pickle because I had not met my expectations but I certainly wasn't going to settle for something I wasn't happy with, so now I had to assert myself as I was adamant to improve the situation. As a moment of madness swept me up, I took the liberty to arm myself with tools such as sand paper, steel wool and a satay stick and with great trepidation I carefully sanded and scratched my way to success. I had now finally conjured up the effect that I initially wanted to achieve by sponging more Irredescent Gold into all of those cracks and crannies that I had patiently recreated.

I was now relieved as a vision of glory unfolded before my very eyes.

I was no longer casting doubt on my experiment, because it turned out to be quite a TRIUMPH! As a matter of fact I was jumping for joy!  And a song and dance of celebration was now appropriate. Well after overcoming a turbulent start filled with difficulties, it all turned out for the best.  I certainly feel that I have opened a Pandora's Box when it comes to my quest for the THRILLS and SPILLS of 'decoupage under glass'.

It is certainly a dynamic and interesting concept even though I'm still battling the shiny spots, but I will try to resolve it, and will definitely keep my finger on the pulse and my options open to improve this technique.

Well another work from the heart was now completed and if you were all wondering where I was at the last October meeting...- you guessed it! Yes! Another Wedding!!                                                       

Plate 1                                                    Plate 2
plate 1plate 2

[Thanks to both the Decoupage Guild Australia Inc. and to the author, Pauline Fodera, for allowing us to reproduce this very entertaining article.]


Myra Givans

Robyn (Finden) Holliday
Where she came from nobody knows,
But where has she gone to—
Why, the Sunshine Coast, of course.

Robyn, the founding editor of Snippets, was an original member of the Decoupage Guild of Queensland. Snippets first appeared as the Newsletter, September 1997. No.1, with Robyn at the keyboard: she continued through the redesign and name change to August 2005, No. 35- a truly remarkable effort. Under Robyn's editorship Snippets became the most professionally produced Newsletter of all the Australian Guilds.

This wonder woman began her decoupage career at TAFE (Ithaca) under the tutorship of Allan Press, attending a further course with Allan at TAFE Bracken Ridge and then went on to his private classes where I first met her. She was also present at Guild meetings as Treasurer- on the door extracting money from us.

Farmer Robyn from Dayboro, besides being a full-time farm labourer (her husband directed as they are wont to do), and music teacher, also had a part-time job with the Pine Rivers Council. She was a Guild Committee member, a driving force in the Dayboro Show Society and a talented horsewoman Her decoupage disasters were legendary, varnish problems, crocodile skin, waves and then there was the
participating wildlife- well, she would live in the country.

Because of my background in publishing, Allan suggested I might be of help to Robyn and it was here that our friendship started, in January 1998, Newsletter No.2. With red pen and fax, and Robyn's flair for design, we put together our Newsletter: Robyn cracking the whip over deadlines and me moaning about the punctuation. Apart from her flair as a publisher (the Fairfaxes and Murdochs really missed out there), and the wildlife and climatic disasters, Robyn continued to produce the most wonderful decoupage- who could forget her 18th century military firescreen, her lovely fish lamp, the chicken clock, the Persian Ladies table; etc, etc, etc. Her crowning achievement was supreme champion of the 1999 Decoupage Exhibition- the bronze and gold Grecian vase. [Here Robyn insists that she acknowledge Allan's continued input and support in her work.]
The move to the Sunshine Coast caused a gap in her decoupage, but now she has settled in with the Caloundra Group we can look forward to some more stunning work. Robyn was kindness itself to me when she guided me (a rather bewildered President) through the complexities of meetings- you must remember the voice from the back; "No! You must do 'Any Other Business' now". I value her friendship- a most talented member of our Guild.


Sandra Dennis

Designing is when we create to stimulate, or affect our emotions in the following manner; by exciting, by shocking, by pleasing, by relaxing, by amusing or by appealing in some way.  We do this with many mediums. People can do it with mannerisms or speech or deeds. Artists do it with a manipulation of colour, shapes and textures. Balancing these components is not always easy, but with practice it becomes a natural ability akin to cooking the  dinner for the family! (for some people). Mind you, I have mastered neither skill to date. However, I have found that over years it has become easier to recognise when things are not quite right, do not balance properly, or have some error which creates a flaw in my work. This is sometimes corrected easily, sometimes it takes quite a lot of experimenting and trials to satisfy the eye. That is the important word - the "eye". Of course, you know that the eye is in collusion with the brain, so getting these to agree that the work you are about to view & do is acceptable, may take some time, if you block their progress by thinking too laterally.

So I ask you to have an open mind, forget tradition for once, and most of all; have fun creating something very different. You will be surprised, not only by your creativity- of which I know you all have plenty- but by the different direction in which you can either guide, or let it escape, into!  One of my favourite sayings (to myself) is "relax and let it happen". This tends to work well for art, fishing, bingo and many other pleasant things, and helps get through the tough situations also. Many 'accidents' in art turn out to be very acceptable items, e.g. dropping coloured shapes of paper onto collage can be the easiest way to get a 'free & easy' effect successfully without much effort. Accidental splats of paint can also create the diversion your artwork needs, and you can do some line work from these to make them 'tie in' or belong. Don't be worried that the person sitting next to you seems to be doing marvels - just do your own thing & it will be unique.

I hope this will help you relax into creating a piece of work that you will get pleasure and satisfaction from, and which leads you in an exciting direction which can be applied to your Decoupage work.


Barbaras MaskLiliana VaseShirley VaseSues Mask

[By Barbara Chappel; Liliana Morgan; Shirley Waterton; Sue Johnston]



May 13th  - 9.30am for a 10am start at Chermside Library, 375 Hamilton Rd. Chermside

May 23rd  - CLOSING DATE For EKKA entries

July 22nd - Meeting

September 9th - AGM

November 4th - Meeting


President Barbara Chapple 07 3359 8937
Vice President Val English
07 5442 1522
Liliana Morgan
02 6677 6146
Treasurer Glenda Lloyd 07 3359 76 06
Committee   Shirley Waterton
Diane Loxton
Roger Johnston