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July 2007 Issue 45

From the President,

Hello members,

Can you believe that half of 2007 has already gone? Are your latest creative endeavours in decoupage blossoming as you had hoped? Sometimes it does take considerable discipline not to let other matters get in the way, does it not? But meeting together is encouraging as well as inspiring, as resulted from our small get together of 10 members in May. This allowed us to sit around one table and comfortably interact sharing our latest endeavours and queries.

Firstly Val demonstrated her latest experiment in smoothing the surface of an ostrich egg, and it was noted that this relatively quick and simple method could be used on a variety of rough surfaces (details within). Sue's latest additions to her shell jewelley decorated with intricate decoupage were a joy to study and led to a number of questions; and not dis-similar was the beautifully decorated wooden pendant that Jan had completed and was wearing. It was commented that such things, as well as the fact that scraps of foil paper could be used on soaps, would be useful inclusions in the demonstrations at the Ekka. Myra showed us her two works on canvas and Robyn produced her collection of table mats and coasters in fantastic colour combinations resulting from layers of paint creating interesting designs by the addition of a water spray. Thus two ideas for future demonstrations at meetings were decided upon. This still left enough time for a nostalgic look through the photo albums of the 1999 Decoupage Exhibition and the later Exhibition at the Queensland Museum - each at a time when membership was much larger. Comment was made as to the noticeable change in the type of work being produced presently.

Subsequently, Mrs. Nerida Singleton has been invited and has kindly accepted to demonstrate Decoupage on Canvas at the July Meeting. She promises she has some new designs and various types of finishes to share with us - something to which to look forward..

On a disappointing note, response to the Weekend Workshop at Mapleton was of concern, and following a ring around it was decided that insufficient numbers were committed, and as the 120 days deadline for cancellation were fast running out, it was decided necessary to cancel or risk losing our $400 deposit.

However not to be set back by one disappointment, it has been decided to approach the Chermside library for the use of Rooms 2A and 2B (the larger adjoining rooms) for a Friday to Sunday booking to host an Exhibition of works in September 2008. The use of the 2 rooms would allow for workshops and demonstrations in the smaller area

Thank you if you have offered to demonstrate at the Ekka - check the minutes for the prepared roster - of course days may be swapped if necessary. Please note also that the scheduled times for the daily Decoupage Demos are 12 noon and 2pm. Depending on date of issue of the Snippets, you may have already delivered your RNA entries to Allan or Sally - necessary before Wednesday 27th June. All efforts, including those of Judges, Stewards and Entrants, contributing to this venture are greatly appreciated.

And amongst all this busy-ness, don't let the 2007 project ''By the Seaside'' slip your mind. We will bring the completed (or works in progress) along to the November meeting. I look forward to seeing everyone on July 22nd.

Barbara Chapple

Dates to remember

June 27th Please have your pieces delivered to Allan Press or Sally Wearing before this date.

July 22nd 9.30am for a 10am Start. Nerida Singlelton will demonstrate Decoupage on Canvas

Sept 9th AGM

Nov 4th Bring your "By the Seaside" Project Piece"

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything that comes their way.


It has been a while since I have put anything in the Snippets, so I'll try to remember what has been happening up here.

First, it is lovely to welcome two new members to our Guild.. One is Robyn Holliday, from the Queensland guild, but now living up this way. I hope that she will enjoy her time with us because she will be a great asset to our Guild, with her experience. Our second new member is Fran Douglas. Fran is a painter & is already producing some lovely decoupage.

In March, one of our members, Peta Passilaris, showed us several different types of backgrounds. Since then Robyn has made some very beautiful placemats & coasters, using one of the ideas. In April Nerida Singleton did a great job of teaching us how to do Decoupage on Canvas, or on an Ostrich Egg. Some really lovely work came from that day, & I'm sure everyone enjoyed the day.

Everyone is looking forward to Allan Press coming later in the year to show us how to use foil pictures in Decoupage

On 15, 16, & 17th of June we will display our work at the Stitches & Craft Show at the Community Hall in Kawana. A change of venue this year, as the University was not available. It is much better for a lot of our members, as it is just down the road.

This month's meeting, Val will show us how to do Cloissonne, since a lot of our newer members have not done it before, & it is good to have a refresher course, anyway.

Signing off for now.

      Bev Starkey

Active Abrasives Pty Ltd - Liquitex Acrylic Paints, Gesso, Gloss Medium & Varnish, Micro-mesh, single sanding pads, Velour sheets & blocks, wet & dry sheets, Sea sponges, brushes, scissors, glue, rollers, books, etc etc - For ALL your decoupage requirements contact: Active Abrasives Pty Ltd phone: 07 3396 4457, fax: 07 3396 9330, email:       Pine Ceramics - Irene Leeming - phone: 07 3205 1462, fax: 07 3881 0798 ; studio: 18 Paisley Drive, Lawnton, QLD 4501 ; post: PO Box 48, Lawnton QLD 4501 ; Large range of bisqueware for decoupage. Glazed and fired, choice of colours for insides.

Getting It Right

Last year, Vera Nolan taught us how to decorate eggs with the pieces left over after we remove stickers from the sheet - the negative pieces. However, first she showed us how to get an even design on both poles of the egg. She provided diagrams, which I have reproduced here.

First, decide whether you want a 4, 6, or 8 point design.

For a simple 4 petal design

First draw two intersecting lines, crossing at right angles. Using a compass, set it at the desired measurement (10 mm for the small pole of a hen egg) and draw a circle around the centre spot. Still using the compass, move the point to where the circle crosses one of the lines, and draw a semicircle. Do the same on the other three lines and you will have a four petal flower shape, which will fit nicely on the small end of a hen egg.

For the large end, change the measurement to 17mm and repeat.

For goose eggs, of course you will use larger measurements.

After making the flower shapes cut them out and trace them on to the egg with a soft pencil. The trick then is to get the petals of both ends to match.

For an 8 petal design

Just add two more dissecting lines across the central spot, and repeat the semicircles

A 6 point design

Requires the circle ( radius line) to be divided into six equal parts and the lines drawn through the centre. Repeat the semicircles.

After making the flower shapes cut them out and trace them on to the egg , making sure that each end matches exactly.. Then you can start your masterpiece, making either straight , sloping or curved lines to join the two ends. The fun bit is making a beautiful design using all those waste bits of the stickers.

SMILING is infectious, you catch it like the flu
When someone SMILED at me today, I started SMILING too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin
When he SMILED, I realised I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that SMILE, then realised it's worth.
A single SMILE just like mine could travel 'round the earth,
So if you feel a SMILE begin, don't leave it undetected,
Let's start an epidemic and get the world infected!!

Now, Back To 2000

You can see that I am trawling for items to put in the Snippets!!!

As a group, in 2000, we had been given a set piece of decoupage paper, to work into a beautiful piece of decoupage. Every finished piece was very different. The paper was of a tropical setting with flowers, butterflies, water, etc. On going through old Snippets, I found Vera Nolan's comments on a couple of the finished items. The first was Allan Press' beautiful white vase with pink and yellow butterflies on it. These butterfliles wings had been cut from photocopies of the hibiscus flowers, while the bodies were cut from darker parts of the paper.. He then glued the assembled butterflies on to gold paper and recut them, leaving a fine cloissone edge. It looked really great.

The other one mentioned was done by Jeanette Tout. It was also a vase, but she had selected a small cluster of seed pods, and repeated them many times around the shoulder, reversing them on the base . She had taken one orchid and using only the three lower petals, formed a pattern around the outside of the lip, then using a whole orchid, she placed it on the inside of the lip, just once. Very effective.

Hopefully, some of you wonderful members will have something interesting which we can all enjoy reading about. Successes, failures, new ideas. I need your help!!

      Val English

Hints And Ideas

If you have a blown egg, (chicken or goose ) and find that it has cracked - all is not lost. Tear a single layer of facial tissue into small pieces and carefully glue them over the crack. Allow them to dry thoroughly, then sand lightly. Apply a coat of undercoat paint , then see if it needs more sanding. Even fairly major disasters can be fixed this way.

Of course, if you have already applied your picture, you can still fix the crack but you will have to start from the beginning again.

While on the subject of eggs, some commercial eggs are stamped with an indelible ink which comes through most paint. These will need to be sealed first. I find Zinsser covers it quite easily, but it is a good idea to use disposable gloves when spraying it . Methylated Spirits will remove most of the overspray, but it is not easy. The voice of experience!

A note from the Liquitex web site:

To match a colour acurately, place a piece of acetate or clear plastic over the colour you want to match. Put a dab of colour on to the plastic and adjust the colour by small increments on your palette. When the dabs of paint begin to disappear, you have a good match. This is a much better way than testing on paper and holding it alongside the colour you are trying to match.

TIP: After marking the positions of your decoupage design on ceramic with pencil, paint over the marks with Titanium White diluted with Flow Medium. This puts an opaque coating on top of the graphite, and it will not show through a transparent colour.

TIP: When lining a box, to remove glue from velvet, use a little vinegar while the glue is still wet. Your lining will not be spoiled if it is cleaned up in time. Taken from Vera Nolan's Hints and Tips, February 2000

How To Easily Prepare An Ostrich Egg For Decoupage

So many ostrich eggs have deep dimples, (and Emu eggs have more) which require filling before we can start on the job of decoupaging them. This usually means many coats of Gesso, with considerable sanding between, to get the nice smooth finish, which we require.

Recently, I decided to try something different. The very first thing to do was to mount the egg on a stick, which is used to support it while I worked on it. Most of us, by now, know about Zinsser, the wonderful white bonding spray-on paint. See the article in May 2006 Snippets by Audrey Goldburg. That was what I used first, to overcome the hard shiny surface of the egg. This gives a good coat, but if the dimples are deep, and many are, then more needs to be done.

Next, I mixed a thin slurry of Plaster of Paris, to the consistancy of runny cream, and smoothed it over the egg. At first, I had tried painting it on, but soon found that the easiest way for me, was to use my hands, using disposable gloves. I found that a heaped teaspoonful of Plaster of Paris was sufficient to do one egg. Just add water and mix to a smooth paste - no lumps! This mixture dries quickly so don't answer the telephone. Smear it all over the egg, as evenly as you can, then leave it to dry. On a normal sunny day, this may only take about thirty minutes. When dry, it is quite white, so you will notice any damp patches easily.

Now comes the messy part. I sanded mine outside as it creates lots of plaster dust. Using 240 grade sandpaper, the sanding is easy and quick. I used a Scotchbrite scouring pad to clean the powder off the sandpaper as I went along. When I had almost reached the original surface, I could see that all the dimples were filled, creating a lovely smooth surface.

The last job was to give the egg another spray with Zinsser, to seal in the soft Plaster of Paris, and once more give a good hard surface to work on. The whole operation took less than a day, including the usual demands of the household.

        Val English

the end