Money Savers – Paint Tubes

To save or use the very last skerrick of paint, try the following hints:

The tips for metal tubes below are really only suitable for adults to perform.

  • ACRYLIC PAINT – When a tube of acrylic paint is finished there are two solutions. If it is a soft plastic tube then squeeze some air out of the tube and then place tip in water and allow the water to siphon up into the tube. If a stronger tube, spray some water into the tube using a water spray gun set on  direct stream. With either method shake vigorously an use the paint for washes or for mixing.
  • WATERCOLOUR AND GOUACHE TUBES – A hardened, or seemingly finished, gouache or watercolour (image above) tube can be carefully cut open (see Oils below) and the dried pigment placed in a small jar or into the palette. Add a little water and the pigment will soften.
  • OIL PAINT – There is usually quite a bit of oil paint remaining in a ‘finished’ tube. Wear rubber gloves, and apron or smock. Cut the base seam off the tube and with an old pair of scissors carefully cut up the sides of the tube and roll open. Cut the tube prior to a painting session as the paint will only be usable for a day or so.

A Little Spelling Tip – How many different spellings have you seen for the paint ‘gouache’?  The easiest way I found to remember the correct arrangement of the vowels is to think about what a pain it is to remember LOL!! Go – you – ache … you’re welcome 🙂


A Day at the Botanica Exhibition

Yesterday was my duty day at the Arts Connect Inc members’ exhibition at Mary Cairncross Reserve in Maleny. My husband Greg shared the responsibilities with me. We met so many lovely visitors, some locals, others were travelers, and some were re-visiting with different friends which is a great compliment to the quality of the exhibition. There were many comments on the high standard of artwork presented. People were genuinely interested and spent a lot of time viewing works, and there was a keen interest and inquiry in to the techniques and materials that our members had used.

I took along just a few leaves and feathers, from my collections of found flora, wings, insects, and feathers etc., with the intention of sketching some. There wasn’t much sketching completed which was all good 🙂 as many visitors were interested in the cyanotype processes I use, and as I mentioned other artists’ media. So the box of samples ended up being the perfect support for describing some of the techniques for my cyanotypes that were on display. I was also asked to do a workshop for an art group, and others asked if I teach drawing, which I might get back to doing in the future. Please let me know if you are interested in a workshop in 2021 and I’ll keep you in the loop. Happy to say that I sold three small cyanotypes, and several printed cards.

The show closes Sunday, so if you haven’t been along then do try and pop in. Beautiful paintings in various media, prints, wood carving, ceramics, to name a few. Lunch or coffee at the Mountain View Cafe is a perfect addition to your visit, or BYO picnic to the gardens 🙂

Exhibition Venue

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve
(first floor exhibition space)
148 Mountain View Road
Maleny Qld 4552

Exhibition Dates and Times

Friday 6 November–Sunday 22 November 2020
Opening Hours:
Monday–Friday  10am–2pm
Saturday–Sunday  10am–4pm

Grandma’s Kitchen – a DIY project

Easy suggestions and instructions for a family recipe book full of memories.

I created this recipe book a year ago as a Keepsake for my six granddaughters. It includes family recipes, cooking tips, old and recent family photos, anecdotes, and quotes. Creating photo-books is easy with the online programs available these days. For this book I chose Vistaprint as they often have specials (which I timed well 🙂 ). I have also used ClickOnPrint, Harvey Norman, and Office Works on other occasions – if I’m rushed for time the later one provides on the spot print-and-go. The VistaPrint program is easy, it will let you know if an image size or resolution is not suitable for the template your placing it in to.

To create this book I did the following:

  • Select square format – 40 pages, plus hard cover
  • A variety of page templates are available and can easily be altered.
  • I included pictures of myself (the girls grandmother) and their fathers/uncles, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandmother. I referred to each as their relationship to the girls.
  • I added anecdotes to many pages, for example for this recipe for lamb shanks I added the photo of me dressed up as Little Bo Peep and added the following short story:~ Loving Lamb ~Little Bo-Peep – 1953/4 – Fancy Dress Competition – Junior School Methodist Ladies College, Kew. The Local Butcher loaned me his cute little lamb, a window prop. In those days Butcher’s used to decorate their windows with ‘things’ and parsley. There was always water trickling down the window – like the front window at the Victorian Art Gallery. I came 2nd – 1st Place was a girl dressed as the Queen in the 1953 Coronation gown and robes – which was very topical then.
  • Choose unique headings for the pages that do not have a recipe name. I used these titles: cooking classes, baking tips, more tips, my pies, family, grandma’s words (repeated quotes from myself, and their other grans), and on the front page I introduced the book with … from my kitchen to yours, with love.
  • I was surprised how many little anecdotes came to mind once I started – even a short note, like the first page in the video, where there are pictures of my sons with the peppermint choc slice recipe I added – This is scrumptious – it was a favourite for your Dad and Uncles in their school lunch boxes and parties. 
  • I added the names of the people who gave me the recipes, where and when too, and any anecdotes.
  • The last page I made fun with eleven individual photos of my sons, granddaughters, and myself, all enjoying food 🙂
  • This concept could be adjusted to other projects such as gardening, woodcarving, sewing, etc.
  • Enjoy creating your book of Family Recipe Memories. Feel free to comment, email addresses are not used for newsletters or forwarding to third parties, Cheers, Judi

Creating Tussie Mussies

Thank you BLUETHUMB Art Gallery for selecting my Cyanotype as part of the small curation titled Unbe-leaf-able Art curated by Megan George, and published last week.

I’m so excited to have my work with these amazing artworks featuring leaves. Click Here to view the collection.
Especially thrilled to have it as one of the four feature images for the Facebook promotion. There are over 11,000 artists on Bluethumb so feeling pretty chuffed 🙂
Please scroll down for detail images of how I created this artwork.

Untethered Tussie Mussie – Cyanotype Photograph, Framed, 46cm (W) x 46cm (H) x 0.2cm (D)
More Info and detail images available at my Bluethumb Portfolio

I have been fascinated with the Victorian Tussie Mussies for a few decades 🙂 The fragrances created by combining flowers and herbs into a posy are just beautiful. Sometimes I even add rosemary or mint to a collection of garden flowers for the kitchen table or bench for their scent. Also, parsley is a lovely touch for greenery in a kitchen vase.  Several years ago I filmed myself, with camera on trusty tripod, creating a Tussie Mussie for the HD DVD The Vegetable Patch (Carers Resources).

In February 2018 I was an exhibiting member with the Arts Connect Inc Untethered Exhibition at The Butter Factory Arts Centre, Cooroy, Queensland. It was a natural, instant thought for me to create an ‘untethered’ Tussie Mussie. This video provides step-by-step images and instructions for making a Tussie Mussie cyanotype. Or watch on YouTube.

Please feel free to leave comments or queries.

Have a lovely day, Judi