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July 2008Issue 50

Greetings DGQ Friends

I write from Broome -- we move on tomorrow (Friday 13th) after 9 days here, to Derby. So much to see -- so much history -- and we haven't even got to the Kimberleys yet. Took a tour to Cape Levequqe; flew over and jet boated through the Horizontal Falls and have watcheds the sunset over Cable Beach at "Happy Hour" each day we've been here. Still crossing paths with our A Van friends along the track.

Have a great meeting in July. Happy Decoupaging.


While our President Barbara Chapple & husband Graham, are away on their wonderful caravan holiday, I will try to keep up her good work.

At the last meeting on May 18th, we decided to do something a bit different. With plenty of prepared Chinese Paper Cutting pictures to choose from, we arranged the tables so members could cut out, while also taking part in the meeting. I feel it was quite successful. The black & white pictures are stapled onto gold (or other coloured thin paper) then cut through both sheets, finishing with the lovely gold one below. It was a good excercise in cutting, and though I prefer to use a scalpel, other members did beautifully with fine scissor. One of our visitors completely finished cutting her picture. Good work .

With the day fast approaching when we must take our entries in to the Ekka Show, we have been assured that we will be able to present a good display. Sally Wearing & Marilyn Brown have again accepted the job of Stewards for our section. Each year they have done a wonderful job of setting up very interesting displays .

Our next important date, is of course, our Exhibition at the Chermside Library on September 27 & 28th, with set up day on the 26th. We would like any member, who is prepared to loan some of their treasured pieces, to list them , with a small discription (Plate, Vase etc) with approximate size & the general catagory into which it would fit (Victoriana, Floral, Australiana, Birds & Animals, Landscape Miniatures, Work on Canvas, Under Glass & Using stickers & Precuts.) The list could be brought to the meeting, mailed, or emailed, to me, Val English. This should help in planning a good display. At present, we have only two lists in hand. We have the use of two free standing glass cabinets in the foyer, as well as two large adjoining rooms for more displays and small workshops. At present we feel these workshops would not be "hands on", more a demonstration, but that is up to the demonstrator. So if you feel you could manage a simple demonstration, please let us know. Remember, the success of the Exhibition will depend on the members' cooperation.

Val English

July 20th Meeting at Chermside Library 9.30 for a 10am start
August 7 -- 16 Brisbane EKKA
September 7th AGM Articles for the Exhibition (below) could be brought to the meeting if delivery on set up day is not convenient
September 27th -28th DGQ Exhibition at Chermside Library, with set up day being Friday afternoon 26th

decorative dividing line

Family Heirloom Box
in Ancient Johnston Tartan

by Roger Johnston


1950's Survey Instrument box (470 X 290 X 215 mm)
Japanese rice paper napkins (hooker green and navy blue)
Matt black paper
Antique gold paper
Velour material
Water based varnish
Brass hinges, latch and round feet
Varnish, wet & dry emery paper and micro mesh.


Box was in fairly dilapidated state therefore it required considerable sanding and filling prior to several coats of gesso and final preparation sanding etc.

The challenge was to create an ancient Johnston tartan using rice paper of the two principle colours of the traditional tartan weave and very thin strips of black and gold paper to represent the threads through it. I attempted to actually weave the two rice paper colours but that proved to be a dog's breakfast. In the end, after much experimentation, I achieved the result by using the colours of the substrate to give the illusion of a weave.


  1. Painted the exterior of box in "Mars black"

  2. Marked a border 25mm in from edges on all six surfaces.

  3. Painted all surfaces inside border in bright turquoise (bright blue /green mix)

  4. Lightly marked turquoise rectangles with parallel lines, 25mm apart at 45 degrees then marked lines at 90 degrees to them producing a square matrix off set by 45 degrees.

  5. Cut the green and blue rice paper into 25mm strips using a straight edge and craft knife. (Size of napkins allowed a maximum length of 190mm)

  6. Glued strips of the blue paper in one plane across the matrixes leaving a gap of slightly less than 25mm between each parallel strip, joining where the length exceeded 190mm. This resulted in a zebra pattern of alternate blue and turquoise stripes.

  7. Glued alternate strips of the blue and green paper at 90 degrees to and over the blue/turquoise stripes. This creates the illusion of a weave due to the transparency of the rice paper over colours of the turquoise base and first layer of paper. (Blue on blue on turquoise, blue on turquoise, green on blue on turquoise and green on turquoise).

  8. Black and gold threads were created by cutting thin strips (1.5mm and 2mm) of matt black and antique gold paper and gluing them over the rice paper. Because the threads run in both directions across the weave and the papers were very thin it was easier to lay them over the tops of opposing threads rather than cutting tiny lengths. Where black and gold strips crossed an application of diluted antique gold paint was applied to give the impression of the two threads being woven together.

  9. A strip of antique gold was used to outline the tartan areas and a further strip or Celtic border pattern mid way around the black border area completed the effect. The Celtic border strip was sourced from a single short length, colour copied many times, sealed and cut out and joined to produce the continuous lengths required.

  10. A simple Johnston Family Crest within a gold shield outline with red rampart lions on each side provided final touch to the lid.

  11. The box was fully lined using gold velour material on a cardboard backing and glued in place.

  12. External gold hinges, a clasp and round feet made up the hardware fittings.

  13. The traditional finish was achieved using a water based varnish sanded at intervals with 400 and 600 wet and dry emery and finally polished with a combination of 800 wet and dry and micro mesh.

  14. An internal lid/panel was constructed simply by decorating a piece of 3 ply timber sheeting with an array of Scottish crests on a "green" background. Handles for this panel were made from loops of leather anchored using more round feet. The lid's opening limit was controlled by lengths of ¼ inch ribbon connected on each side of box between lid and base.


While the cutting was generally not an onerous task, the precise positioning of over 800 separate pieces of paper proved to be a job only an insane decoupeur would attempt but having persevered the result was everything I'd hoped for.

Although the Johnston tartan was my prime objective, I did experiment using two red papers and was able to reproduce a reasonable likeness of the Stuart tartan weave therefore conclude that other tartans can be achieved in this fashion providing the rice paper colours can be sourced.

Roger's heirloom box

Roger's heirloom document box with tie

Next Meeting on 20th July.

For this meeting we have arranged for Shirley Waterton to come along to show us the lovely things she is doing with decoupage on Ceramic tiles.

Shirley will be bring some tiles for us to work on, but she would like members to bring along a picture ,card or serviette, or something you would like to see on a tile. With the picture, we will need Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish, a brush for gluing, a roller if possible, water container & kitchen sponges to clean up.

Looks like an enjoyable day coming up. Hope to see you there.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, go to Elsa Doyle, and to any of our other members who are not well.

Pine Ceramics - Irene Leeming - Large Range  of bisqueware for decoupage. Glazed and fired, choice of colours for insides. Telephone: 07 3205 1462, Facsimile: 07 3881 0798, Studio: 18 Paisley Drive, Lawnton, QLD 4501, Postal: PO Box 48, Lawnton, QLD 4501 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. For ALL your decoupage requirements: ACTIVE ABRASIVES PTY LTD, Phone: 07 3396 4457, Fax: 07 3396 9330, email:

President Barbara Chapple 07 3359 8937
Vice President Val English 07 5442 1522
Secretary Di Loxton 07 3351 2640
Minutes Secretary Sue Johnston 07 4635 2164
Treasurer Glenda Lloyd 07 3359 7606
Robyn Finden & Roger Johnston

To send contributions to Snippets please contact Val English,
phone 5442 1522, or email
or mail to 40 Reids Rd, Woombye West. 4559.

I am sure there are many interesting stories out there about work you have done, problems you have solved, (or haven't). Please think about sharing them with us.


A CD Mobile - Fun with the Grandchildren on the Holidays

Gather several unusable CDs, some bright pictures, colourful stickers & the usual glue & sponges etc. I made holes, top & bottom, in the CDs , with a heated metal skewer. It is quite easy.

Let the children choose & glue the pictures to the printed side of the CD, & allow to dry. Then turn them over & stick on the selected stickers. A couple of coats of varnish & it is ready to assemble.

We used fishing line, but a light chain may be more attractive. If you use the chain, use fishing swivels to let the CDs turn easily in the breeze. The shiny side catches the light beautifully.

The CDs were hung, one under the other, leaving about 15cm (6 inches) between, & a little more above, so it can be tied to a nice breezy spot. They will not be suitable for a garden, of course, but could find a good home in a breeze way or protected patio.

If you are happy with the sound of wind chimes, they could be a nice addition.

It is a simple & easy project & helps to fill the children's day, leaving them with something nice to take home.


Most people have ink-jet printers these days. Their ink can smear or run when gluing, making their print-outs unsuitable for decoupage. However if you spray them with fixative first (or just clear gloss or matt spray) this prevents them from running and they can safely be used in decoupage.

The mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open.