Friday, 11 November 2011

Are you a Domestic Goddess? Even a little?

My answer to this one is . . . I'm trying to be.

Housework has never been my forte (well, except when I was a single mum and it was just Zac and me. I worked full time, so it wasn't so hard, as we were really only home on weekends).

However, I have decided that its time for me to get up off my lazy butt and becone the mum I always wanted to be. You know the type - always has yummy stuff cooked for the kiddies for after school snacks and always has something good for them in their lunch box. My mum worked full time outside of the home, as well as doing ALL of the domestic yucks at home (we were lazy kids I think, except for chore-day-saturday), so I didn't really have a role model for the stay at home thing, which is probably why I suck at it hehe. However, my mother always made the best cakes and slices in the world and her potato salad and egg&bacon pie are to die for!!!

I am starting my new self off with baking.

I found a fabbo website for SAHM mums, and it has plenty of frugal recipes for the domestically and financially challenged (like me lol). The recipes are easy, economical and the kids will love them.

Jenni also passed onto me a recipe for quick, easy muffins, that she found somewhere in cyberland. I am going to tweek it a bit, cos they are just a tad dry for my taste - I prefer a moist muffin. THe basic recipe would be awesome for savoury muffins (like bacon and cheese or something), but I like my sweet muffins a little wetter.

Here is the muffin recipe:

2 cups SR flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

I will be increasing the oil to 1/2 cup and increasing the sugar to 2/3 cup for sweet muffins plus, I added a little more milk.

You add whatever ingredients you like to this. I rather like apple muffins, so I added a grated apple and some mixed spice (next time I will use 2 apples and a whole teaspoon of mixed spice and also 1/2 cup of oats)

Yum yum.

So, I am tackling the cooking side of domistic goddess-hood first. The housework is a never-ending battle with the kids, and frankly, life is just too short.

So, what about you - do you have something goddess-worthy you can share with us mere mortals? I sure hope so, because I need all the help I can get.

Take care and ciao for now,

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Zentangle at the Diva's blog - prizes up for grabs

Howdy folks,
I cannot believe its been so long since I have been on here!! Ah well.

Today I am sharing with you details of a fantastic competition over at The Diva's blog.
Here is the link to see the comp and the great Zentangle prizes up for grabs.
==>> Passing the Celebration on to You (us)
Be sure to pop over, read the rules and enter to win. Gotta be in it to win it!!!!

Take care and ciao for now,

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Crochet Slouchie Beret

Howdy bloggers,
Long time no see!! Been busy and pre-occupied and a bit lazy. Soz.

I thought I would share a photo of what I have been making lately - slouchie berets!!! I love these - so easy and quick to make (I made 4 in the last week or so). This one is modelled by my darling Emily. Check out those blue blue eyes!!

It is green as that is the school colour. This is for her to wear to school in the cool months. Maddie has one exactly the same (except a little larger). I made one for myself, trying to jig to pattern and it was all wrong. So I unpicked it, rejigged and it was still all wrong. No way was I unpicking again, so I gave it to Em, who gave it to her friend. Went to a nice home and the recipient loves it. I also made one for Jenni, who also loved hers.

I now have 2 more to make - one for my hubby in purple (started but still going) and another school coloured one for one of Emily's friends.

The pattern is one that one of my Wednesday Knit and Natter ladies let me copy, which she found on the internet. Hang on, I'll find the link just in case anyone else out there wan't to play. . . OK, here you go Easy slouchie hat. The pattern is for one skein, but it depends on the weight of your yarn. For Jenni's hat, I used 2 skeins of Little Grins yarn (50g each). Emily's and Maddie's hats used less than one large (100g I think) ball of 8ply acrylic. I crochet with a loose stitch btw.

So, without further ado, here is Em modelling the lovely Easy slouchie hat

Take care and ciao for now,

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tangle a Day #8

Hello everyone!
I have been playing with stencils and zentangling in the last couple of days. I love this kitty - it reminds me so much of my kittycat Jack!!!

I really enjoyed filling the stencil in with Nzeppel (an official Zentangle® pattern) then tangling around it. I do prefer the 3½" square where he doesn't have an aura but never mind.

Take care and ciao for now,

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Published again. Yay for me.

Yay for me! Linda Farmer of has just published another one of my tangle patterns, called Diamonds and Squares. I am excited that it is different enough from all the other stuff out there, and that Linda likes it enough, to include it on her website.

To see the step by step how-to-draw this pattern, you can pop over to the website. Click "deannesm" in the tag cloud on the left to bring up my patterns. The patterns are also listed alphabetically, so you can click on the "D" along the top of the page and it will bring it up too.

There are many possibilities for shading variations, depending where you apply the solid colour (Linda has a really interesting variation, and I show you another in my steps). The basic pattern makes a really great background (IMHO) and I have used it on the ATCs below (which are for a swap over at the Zentangle Inspired Art yahoo group)
(you can click on the image for a larger view)

I will be putting my published (and some of my unpublished) patterns on here in the near future, but I like to have the reference to the TanglePatterns site, as it is an excellent resource for tanglers.

Have a marvelous day!

Take care and ciao for now,

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Zentangle - the value of shading.

Hello bloggers! Long post today, so bear with me - its been a while.

Hope you have all been well and happy! I have been happily tangling - mainly to try to preserve my sanity as my 2 daughters squabble and argue with each other constantly! They can be complete angels or complete devils and lately they have been wearing horns rather than halos! My favourite thing to say at the moment is "There is a girl with a curl, right in the middle of her for'd. When she is good, she is very very good, but when she is bad, she is horrid!!" This applies to both my girls (and to me too, I believe lol).

But I digress...

My post today is about the value of using shading on your zentangles. I have been meaning to scan my tangles before I shade them as well as after, to demonstrate the value of shading. However, I am usually so in the zen-zone that I don't remember until after I have finished. So, today I managed to do it.

The Zentangle Inspired Art yahoo group to which I belong, is about to run another bingo game (called Zengo!) and the 'fee' to enter is to complete a 3x3 grid sampler of tangles, that we choose from a list of 60. I chose 8 that I hadn't tried before and one that is a fave (Puf).

The 1st image I have here is the completed grid, minus the shading. I really love to use shading, as I love the depth you can achieve just by adding a smudge of shadow. I could never leave a tangle unshaded (at least, not for long) because it just looks so incomplete to me.

The 2nd image is the finished sampler, complete with shading. See the difference? It is amazing, isn't it, how something as simple as a bit of shading can enhance the finished appearance so much (you can click on the images for a larger view).
I know a few people who are afraid to add shading to their tangles, for fear they might 'wreck' them, or not do it 'right'. Folks, there is no right or wrong! If you like how it looks, then its 'right'. Don't be afraid - its only pencil and there are plenty more tangles inside of you waiting to come out.

There are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn.

My advice to anyone who fears to shade - pick up a pencil and just go for it. I use a 2B or a 4B pencil and very light pressure when shading - if I am too heavy handed I simply rub it out and re-do. The softer pencils are much easier to rub out than HB pencils. Again, there is no right or wrong way to do it. You can shade using a 'light source' (like I did for 'Nipa', where the light is coming from the north-east) or you can shade where the light appears to be coming from straight above (like in 'Eiffel' and 'Zingiber') or you can just shade however you want.

I like my art to appear 3 dimensional - I do the same when colouring in stamped images for cards. It's just my style. You don't have to shade your tangles, but you have to admit, it makes a world of difference.

Give it a try. You won't be sorry you did.

Take care and ciao for now,

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tangle a Day #7

Hello out there in blog land,

I have been doing so much creating lately - some for the Teapot Tuesday challenges at SplitCoastStampers, some Design Team work for LSBS, and today, just for me, a Zentangle inspired challenge. One of the challenges at Zentangle Inspired Art yahoo group is to create a ZIA tangle with concentric circles.

Here is my take on this, even using my 'Celtic' tangle (for which you can find the instructions at I really enjoyed this. It took me a couple of relaxing hours to do and it was perfect for clearing out my brain. What a great challenge.
(you can click on the image for a larger view)
Thanks for stopping by.

Take care and ciao for now,

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Zentangle Inspired Art ATC Swap 2 - If the Shoe Fits

Yesterday I popped up the ATCs I did for the butterfly ZIA swap. Today I have some the 2nd swap "If the shoe fits!". I have hand drawn the jester shoes (I love jesters!) and tangled them. The 2nd ATC I am calling "Cosmic Jester" cos to me it looks like it's in space.
The last one is the hostess gift for Esther for hosting the swap. I am really happy with these.
Take care and ciao for now,

Monday, 11 July 2011

Zentangle Inspired Art ATC Swap

Just recently, I joined a terrific Yahoo group called Zentangle Inspired Art. They are a wonderful group of folks who love to tangle too. I immediately signed up for a couple of swaps that close at the end of July.

I have completed the first swap (Butterflies) and have posted them off to the USA. I am really looking forward to the returns. In the meantime, I thought I would share with you those small pieces of art. The first three ATCs are for the swap. The 4th is for the hostess to keep, as a thank you for running the swap.

Take care and ciao for now,

Sunday, 10 July 2011

How to Tie a Bow - tutorial

Would like to know how to tie a bow? There has been some chit chat on LSBS recently about people's ability (or not) to tie one. Well, if you are one of those who would love to learn how, then pop over to the forum to see the first of a short series of tutorials on bows.

I am first up, with a ribbon bow. You can see the step by step >> HERE <<
Take care and ciao for now,

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Shabby Flower Tutorial

I was asked by a few people how to make the flower on the cards I created the other day (seeTHIS post).

So today I have created a quick step by step tute, showing how I made them. Pop over to the forums at Little Scrapbook Shop >>> HERE <<< to find out how.
Take care and ciao for now,

Friday, 1 July 2011

New Monthly Challenges over at LSBS

Looking for something to challenge you and cheer you up during these cold winter days?

Well, look no further than Little Scrapbook Shop, where we have the first of our monthly challenges ready for you!!

Challenge 1 is mine - its a colour and cardmaking challenge and here are the 2 cards I made which meet the criteria. . .
Challenge 2 is by Lauren - its a sketch challenge and what a great sketch it is too.

Head over to the Little Scrapbook Shop Forums for all the details. There is a great prize for each of the challenges and you have a whole month to get them completed.

Hope to see you there.

Take care and ciao for now,

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Tangle-related post

If you are new to tangles and are using micron pens for the first time, then there is some great information at today from Sakura, which will help you get the best out of these pens and ensure they have a longer life.

Click >> HERE << to go to the post.

Take care and ciao for now,

Monday, 20 June 2011

Tangle a day #6

Welcome to another tangle. I don't always have a lot to say about these. I love to look at tangles all over the web and I do enjoy other people's stories about how their tangles have come about. Mine just happen and I don't always think about the process. I just do it. And I don't analyse my work after I am finished. I just sit back and admire it hehehe.

So, on that note, here are some tangles for you to sit back and admire too {{wink}}
Take care and ciao for now,

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Tangle a day #5

Good morning (well it is in Sydney :) )

Today I am sharing 3 tangles with you. As I have been learning new patterns, I have enjoyed trying them out in tangles. I have a few that are real favourites, but I do love seeing how each new pattern works with others.

In this tangle, I was trying out Zenplosion folds (the one that looks like a scroll) as well as a few others. I have always enjoyed the swirly look of scrolls, so adding them to a tangle was fun.

Just some more playing with this one

This tangle was my first larger sized one (created in my A5 art diary - my TangleBook). I really like working on a larger scale and now have an A4 sized TangleBook and I really love the result I got working on such a big scale. More on that in a post to come - keep a look out.

If you are interested in learning some tangle patterns, head on over to Tangle Patterns [dot] com. There are oodles and oodles of doodles to choose.

A bit of trivia: You may (or may not) have noticed my initials have changed too. My married name is hyphenated, but I had been DMS for so many years that I didn't want to add the extra M on the end. However, after talking to my mum and a couple of friends, I realised that I really ought to included the extra letter at the end, hence, I am now DMSM. I should have realised it would seem ok, after all, my daughters' initials are MRSM and EJSM. I actually enjoy signing my work with the 4 initials. So there you go. :)

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed your visit today.

Take care and ciao for now,

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Tangle a day #4

Welcome to a cheery post on this wet, cold and windy afternoon in Sydney. Hopefully we will have some sunny days for the weekend.

Anyhoo, here is my tangle for today. Well, 2 tangles actually. I hope you enjoy.
Take care and ciao for now,

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Tangle a day #3 & Happy Birthday Phil!!

Welcome to another tangle a day post. Before I get to that however, I want to wish my terrific nephew Phillip Cairn a wonderful 21st birthday. Phil has recently reached some milestones - he got engaged to his long-time girlfriend Eliza Tickner and just last week, completed his apprenticeship and is now a fully qualified bricklayer (and a very skillful one at that!!).

Happy happy birthday Phil, and many more!!!

Now, onto the tangle a day . . . Today's tangle is a mandala I recently tangled. Whilst browsing through a wonderful local bookshop called QVB, I found a fantastic book called " The Mandala Doodle Book". Published by Arcturus, ISBN 978-1-84858-053-4. It contains over 100 fantastic mandala designs, many of which are ideally suited to tangle artists.

After I scanned the image into my computer, I noticed that my scanner software had a command called "invert", so, ever curious, I clicked it and was amazed at what I saw. I thought it looked really cool, so I scanned the inverted image as well, and here they both are, for your enjoyment.
Edited to add: Blogger is playing up again today, so here is the link to my flickr photostream where you can see them full-sized:
Take care and ciao for now,

Friday, 10 June 2011

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mum

69 years ago today, Mrs Wheaton gave birth to a baby girl named Charlene who would grow up to be creative and inspiring and also a terrific mum.

Happy birthday Mum. Wishing you a fabulous day

Love from Deanne

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Tangle a day #2

Hello bloggers.

Here are a couple of tangles for you. They are just small ones from the beginning of my TangleBook.

Take care and ciao for now,

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A Tangle a Day . . Celtic

I know the post says "a tangle a day.." but I don't usually manage the time to post every day (haha - as you can see by the huge gap between yesterday's post and the one before lol).

So, anyway, I have over 20 completed tangles in my TangleBook (my visual art diary) and I scanned them all last night so that I can gradually upload them onto here and also into the Zentangle (R) flickr photostream. You can click on both the below photos for a larger view.

This first tangle was made by using the Celtic tangle as the string. I like working with larger areas and wanted to see how it would look tangled. I don't mind it. One of my friends said it reminds her of the ABC logo (haha thanks Jenni!).

For the tangle below, I drew a loooong string then drew over it with the Celtic tangle as well as another of my tangles "Braidz", then filled in with tangles. Instead of drawing the usual 4 dots and a box, I just drew a rounded kind of rectangular shape before drawing the swirly string.

I hope you enjoyed these tangles. I'll be back again soon with some more.

Thanks for stopping by. Take care and ciao for now,

Edited to add: for some reason blogger won't take you to a new screen with the images at their true size, so here is a link to my Zentangle (R) flickr stream where you can view them at 100%