Leaf & Frond Studios

Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

I love this photo, but it could never figure out quite how to put it on a layout. The photo’s from 2009, that’s how long I’ve been putting it off. A scrapbooking weekend away allowed me the time to really think about how to scrap it. The flower was one from my garden, and I’m definitely not a gardener – it was growing a little wild, to say the least, so this quote suits very well. Having just the one photo on the page allowed me to include a longer quote, which never seems to work quite as well when there are multiple photos or if I’m using pocket pages. The quote reads ‘the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all’.

20131212-194824.jpg The wooden feather, leaf embellishment, LOVE paperclip and envelope/heart brad are all from the Freckled Fawn embellishment kit. I combined these with Amy Tangerine white thickers, tiny letter stickers, a chipboard circular design, a Kaisercraft pearl swirl, washi tape and triangular jewelry pieces (repurposed as scrapbook embellishments).



I’m not a summer person. It’s rare that you’ll catch me outside in the height of summer. Last week the temperature in Sydney was over 30 degrees celcius almost every day. Normally in summer I’m only out of the air-conditioning just long enough to get from place to place and I rarely wander.

But this week there is a momentary lull in the inescapable summer heat and humidity, it’s 24 degrees and overcast at uni. So I felt the urge to wander and ponder the details. As a biologist I naturally gravitate towards things of the natural kind, so here’s a selection of shots of life on campus.


Normally I walk past these plants without a second thought, they are just a green background wherever I’m walking. But today I walked this same path, but with intention. I opened my eyes to see what is always right there.


It amazes me how many interesting colours and textures I notice if I really stop and look. There are so many greens and so many patterns. Yes, the flowers are pretty and give a nice highlight, but it’s really the broad range of shapes and shades of green that capture my imagination.


I even saw some things I wasn’t expecting to see, just because I stopped and took a moment to look. The blackberry (?) plant with the vicious looking spines poking out of the plain, sensible hedge made me think it was trying to escape the insane asylum. The spider web formed into a tunnel left me wondering if that part of the web is designed for the prey to go in, or for the spider to be able to get out? And I did a double take at the bit of bark that had popped off the smooth tree, making it look that like a butterfly or an open pipi shell.


Over the last year I’ve been watching people art journal at retreats and seeing fabulous layouts on Pinterest that go beyond just paper and photos. Branching out to include ‘art stuff’ into my scrapbooking has become what I view as the next step in my creative journey. I always loved art class in school, so why not bring back some of that magic as an adult.

To make this happen I put art things on my Christmas list and my family obliged me. I added some more products in the after Christmas sales then spent a few days looking at all the supplies thinking ‘where do I start?’. A little time off work over the new year gave me the freedom to experiment and JUST START!


I used some leftover white paper inserts from 12×12 page protectors and thought I’d just practice and see how the supplies felt. I cut the paper down to 8.5×11 (so the finished thing would fit in my album if I wanted to keep it), stamped the flowers onto the white card at different heights to add interest, put a light blue watercolour wash over the whole page and mixed up some acrylic paint colours I thought would look nice together on the flowers. Once the flowers were painted they looked very flat, so I added some highlights and shadows using water soluble white and black pencils.


The page looked very unbalanced (flowers all along the bottom and just blue for the rest of the page) so I cut it down to 8×5 and added the butterfly stamp. Once the butterfly was coloured (a mix of acrylics and coloured pencils) in colours that complemented and contrasted with the flowers I added the grass and all done.

Not bad for my first adult art attempt… if I do say so myself!

Supplies used:
Hero Arts Long Stem Flowers stamp
Stampin Up Papillon Potpourri stamp
– Watercolour paint
– Acrylic paint
Memento Ink Pad in black
General’s All Surface Pencils in black & white
– Coloured pencils

After a day of travelling I arrived in Melbourne before K so I ventured into the city for a bite to eat. K doesn’t like Asian food so I made my way to Chinatown to get my Asian fix before she arrived.


I’m of the opinion that you don’t need fancy surroundings to have quality food, so when I saw this bustling Vietnamese restaurant it called to me. I had the sliced beef pho and it was spectacular – just the thing I needed after narrowly dodging a downpour after I hopped off the tram.


To avoid the rain I window shopped my way around Melbourne Central and after a couple of hours made my way home via Flinders Street, snapping a shot of the beautifully lit station on the way.


The next morning K and I walked from Southbank to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Monet’s Gardens exhibition. I find it really interesting how many beautiful everyday things are everywhere, but no one sees them.



Sometimes all it takes is a different perspective or some time to observe. Looking up opens up a whole new world. I love capturing the architectural details on buildings, and Melbourne has a wealth of them.



The musical fountains were the highlight of my day at the Palace of Versailles. K and I had been wandering around the palace and gardens for hours. It was magnificent, but after so much it was becoming very same same.


We walked around a hedge and at that moment classical music began to play and the fountains began to dance. It went on for about 15 minutes with the water display in time with the music.



Location: Sydney, Australia

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