Category Archives: FREEBIES

It’s All Here…

…if you’re searching for a one-stop resource for everything and anything to do with Art & Crafts, and more specifically (in my case) Mixed Media, go directly to Interweave’s site here. Yup, they are the people that produce the bi-monthly eye candy called Cloth Paper Scissors.

Everything, and I mean even the kitchen sink, can be found on that site. If you want to learn how to carve your own stamps. If you’re curious about encaustic art. If you want to invest in some Gelli plates but don’t know where to start. If you’re curious about this thing called a “Sizzix Bigshot machine”. If you want to know the differences between watercolour, watercolour pencils and colour pencils. If you’d like to know the true capabilities of a Sharpie. If you’re after tips on making books by hand. If you want to learn how to do an emulsion lift transfer. If you’d like to know how to recycle household items into useful items. If you’re curious about Transfer Art Paper. If you want to know about Golden’s Ground Medium. If you can’t decide between Art Journaling and Collage, or want to do both.

It’s all here.

The magazine Cloth Paper Scissors embodies all aspects of Art and Crafts that utilise its namesake. I’d seen this bi-monthly magazine at my local newsagents, but they ran out of copies before I decided to buy it. The only reason I hesitated was because of the price – not Interweave’s fault, but rather the hefty profit margin that the newsagent slapped on.

Luckily, just as providence would have it, Interweave sent me an email (I’m on their mailing list) offering 50% off digital downloads of past copies of Cloth Paper Scissors. (This offer would have expired by the time you read this post, so I won’t bother with the link here. But don’t worry, there are other exciting offers on all the time). So, instead of paying nearly AU$20 per copy of CPS, for the sum of around US$79 I bought the links to download every single copy of CPS from 2004-2013. Yay, Happy Days!

But hey, you don’t have to buy anything from their site. There’s even a ton of FREE stuff you can download. Below is just One example from many.
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And, Interweave doesn’t just do Mixed Media. They also offer everything under the sun if you are into sewing, knitting, crotchet, beading, quilting, weaving, jewellery making etc. And they also do paint and paint techniques. The list goes on.

But don’t just take my word for it…those of you who already know about this motherlode of knowledge about Art & Crafts, will be nodding your head sagely. Those of you who don’t – why are you still reading this? Go online already and check out Interweave for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

From Interweave’s own “About” page:

Founded in 1975 by Linda Ligon, INTERWEAVE, part of F+W, is one of the nation’s largest craft media companies with businesses in magazine and book publishing, interactive media, broadcast programming, and events for art and craft enthusiasts. Interweave’s mission is to inspire, encourage and support creative self-expression.

Interweave features:

18 craft-enthusiast subscription magazines and many more special interest publications.
More than 250 books in print and annually publishes about 40 best-selling, how-to craft books on the same subjects as the company magazines.
An extensive Internet network of more than 30 websites, including the popular online communities KnittingDaily.com and BeadingDaily.com, which bring together the best content from the company’s magazines and TV shows with free e-newsletters, how-to articles and patterns, with an emphasis on community.
Several major events for fiber and bead, gem, and jewelry making enthusiasts, including the Spin-Off Annual Retreat and Bead Fests in locations across the country, attracting thousands of consumers and industry manufacturers and advertisers.
A PBS television series, Knitting Daily TV and major sponsorship of Beads, Baubles and Jewels TV and Quilting Arts TV.
The company is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Project Palimpsest/Butterick: Part III (FREEBIES!!)

I’ve taken some close ups of sections of my 2 Palimpsest/Butterick canvasses, and am sharing them here now as FREEBIES.

If you wish to, you may download them to your device or computer and use them as elements for your own collage or mixed media projects. These are JPGs, but you can easily convert them into PNG format to suit your projects.

Enjoy!

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Happy Lunar New Year 2015

You don’t have to be Chinese or even Oriental, to ring in the Year of the Goat 2015, which falls this year on February 19th. Goat, ram, sheep …it doesn’t matter, as the Chinese word “yang” covers all ovine animals. (I’m reminded of that famous scene in the movie “Babe”, where our ubiquitous porcine hero has to recite the Ovine Oath of “Baaaa ram ewe” to a flock of sheep he’s herding at the championship trials).

The UK’s Telegraph has written an interesting segment on various aspects of the Year of the Goat. Read it here.

For those curious about what Chinese Astrology has to say about people born in the year of the Goat, and what this New Year holds for them, here is a very interesting article covering many aspects of it:
http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/goat.asp

Some famous Goat people: Bill Gates, Nicole Kidman, Zhang ZiYi, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Leonard Nimoy, Clint Eastwood, Coco Chanel, Marc Chagall, Camille Saint-Saens, Mark Twain, Franz Liszt, Vangelis.

This festive season also marks the world’s biggest annual mass migration of people, as they head back to their ancestral homes (the homes of their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents) where the Family Reunion Dinner will be held on the first day of the Lunar New Year. That’s when the entire clan will meet and sit down for a sumptuous banquet, gifts of mandarin oranges are exchanged and married people give children red money packets (hong bao).

And then there are the long strands of Chinese firecrackers snap-crackle-and-popping all over the place, creating carpets of scarlet confetti, and lots of fireworks in the sky. Don’t forget the Lion dances, real feats of acrobatics, as shopkeepers dangle heads of lettuce from poles out of 2nd storey windows or balconies, for the Lion to catch in its mouth. There’s a red packet tied to the lettuce, it holds money for the entire troupe. The Lion will then ritually “eat” the lettuce, then throw shreds of it all around.

(Image source: Google)

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It truly is a case of Eat, Drink and Be Merry.

Here is a Chinese Baidu heatmap of the Mass Migration in China during the festive season, where more than 1 billion people will make the journey Home. Imagine the traffic chaos and the crowds on trains.

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Last year was the year of the Horse, and I created a digital Chinese New Year card that I shared online as a Freebie to anyone and everyone.

This time, it’s my Year of the Goat offering. Feel free to copy and share my Goat card (it rather reminds me of a “hong bao” money packet) with your family, friends and social circles.

GONG XI FA CAI!
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A Gift is not a Gift these days

gift
ɡɪft/
noun
1.
a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
synonyms: present, donation, offering, contribution, handout, presentation, bestowal, largesse, alms, charity, bonus, award, premium, bounty, boon, favour, bequest, legacy, inheritance, settlement, subsidy, grant, endowment, benefaction;

Once upon a time, when I first started working at a Customer Service Call Centre for a bank, there would be incentives for meeting sales targets. If you made X number of sales in a month, you’d get $ vouchers or even an actual physical gift. I once won a kettle BBQ set and then there was a slew of €20-€50 movie vouchers, or pre-paid supermarket cards valued the same.

Then the economic climate changed. Suddenly, gone were these little motivational boosters and incentives. They were replaced by this concept instead:

If you meet your sales targets for the month, you will be eligible to ENTER INTO A LUCKY DRAW to win a prize.

So, instead of everyone who met the target getting a prize, now they would have to jump through more hoops just to win ONE prize. Do the math – instead of giving away a paltry sum of $50 to 100 deserving people each month i.e (a total of $5000), the bank would now only need to give away $50 to 1 “lucky” person each month. A quick and instant savings of $4950. Small wonder profits were up.

That’s just one way how big banks cut costs. They make their staff work hard for little or no reward. And they also love to change people’s job descriptions, so that you end up doing 2 people’s jobs and only get paid 1 salary. Clever, eh?

In the old days, not so long ago actually, store loyalty cards would give customers actual Freebies to reward their loyalty. Now, however, the same cost-cutting/profit-increasing tactic has seeped over. Now loyal customers get “Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price” (see, not even Get 1 Free anymore). Or, worse, “Spend $80 a week for 4 weeks and get $20 back”. Or “Spend $150 in one shop and get 15% off!”

Which looks good only on paper. You’d be thinking, wow, get $20 back, or wow, get 15% off…but remember you’d have had to spend $320 in the first instance and $150 in the second, in order to even qualify. And we’re not talking about discounts here.

I don’t have the money to be splashing out on groceries so wantonly every week. That’s why I always disregard these offers. “A Gift For You!” scream their headlines. Well, I’m sorry, but a Gift should be given with no strings attached, not with terms & conditions attached to it.

What has our world come to??? Shocking, just shocking.

When I blog about giving away things, I mean it. I Abandon my Art around town just so it makes someone’s day. I sometimes give away backgrounds, textures, bokeh effects, or even prints, just for the practice of giving away something, so someone can say they actually got something for Free. That, I feel, should be the true spirit of giving. I’m not after fame or fortune, I don’t even care if no one knows who I am or what I do.

I must be nuts.

You don’t get nuthin’ for nuthin’, goes the old saying. Well, here in Australia, even nothing costs you money…see image below. This was taken at my local railway station just the other day. Alright, they probably ran out of stock within 5 minutes of putting up this sign, but still it makes for food for thought:

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Caption this: (multiple choice)
A. Only in Australia do you have to pay $1 to buy absolutely Nothing
B. Nothing costs $1 in Australia
C. What can you get for $1 in Australia? Nothing!
D. All of the above

Or E. Priceless

Art Abandonment : Rockingham Part II

So, yesterday The Kid and I went to the Rockingham foreshore and surreptitiously left some book and card packages around for people to find.

What we hadn’t counted on was that this was the long weekend of Australia Day (26th January), and, it being Summer, the foreshore would be FULL of people. It’s a popular destination for families, there are free BBQ stations dotted around the grassy park, and toilet facilities, cafés, bistros, fast food outlets, ice cream parlours, souvenir shops etc.

It was hard trying to blend into the crowd and not call attention to ourselves, pushing our bicycles through the park and leaving packages in the crooks of trees, on park benches and under public sculptures. But we did it, and celebrated afterwards with an ice cream (a Coke float or “Spider” for me) at Baskin Robbins.

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These Maori guys found the one we left on the bench behind where they were picnicking. It’s great to see people’s faces lighting up when they find out they’ve just found a free gift. Makes MY day! Actually, I think this is one with a deck of Lenormand cards attached, so they’d have had 2 pressies for their wife/girlfriend for Australia Day.

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Here’s one we left under a dolphin sculpture at the entrance of the foreshore.

I didn’t get to photograph all the drop-offs. Although most people were oblivious to our activities, there were others who looked at us curiously. (It’s very hard to be inconspicuous when you’re pushing 2 bicycles through a park and trying to avoid running over people on the grass!). The Kid said to me a couple of times “Just Drop and Run, Mum!” And so we did. Can’t help being shy!

I was glad I was able to tweak those Lenormand cards with the uneven borders. There was no way I could’ve sold them the way they were, or even after my “borderectomy” on them. So, by giving them away instead, I hope someone else gets to enjoy them for free. Hmmm…I think I’ll get some large sized cards printed next, with inspirational sayings on them, and maybe do an Easter Art Abandonment on the Rockingham Foreshore. Yes!

Art Abandonment : Rockingham Part I

Okay, this is not strictly the abandonment of Art. My 2 printers are currently in hibernation…oh alright, they’re both being perfectly beastly and won’t print true colours but rather just reds and blues. And there’s nothing wrong with the ink cartridges or nozzles, I’ve checked. I was going to print off some of my artwork, to abandon on our foreshore, but I can’t now, as I really don’t specialise in just reds and blues.

So, instead, I’ve decided to recycle some inspirational books that I’d previously bought from our local thrift stores. Someone else can benefit from reading them now. And who knows, it just might brighten up someone’s day, to find a nice little gift on a park bench.

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I just decided to wrap each book up in brown paper, stick on an Art Abandonment label, tie it up with some twine, and Bob’s your uncle. Yes, alright, I ran out of twine halfway. ;)

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I posted about this on Facebook’s Art Abandonment page. Got quite a lot of interest and encouraging comments too. Then, as is usually the case, someone, a Mod from the Group, I think, pointed out that if I wasn’t Abandoning Art but rather books, my post would have to be removed from their wall.

I didn’t reply to that comment, as it was past midnight by then and I needed my beauty sleep. But just before I drifted off, it occurred to me that I could add some of my Lenormand cards to the packages, and that would count as Art, for the sake of conforming to the group’s requirements. I have a couple of decks where the printer’s cutter did not align properly and left uneven borders. I would perform a “borderectomy” on those cards first thing in the morning, and include them with the books.

That would then be Art Abandonment AND Random Acts of Kindness.

However, when I woke up this morning, my post had already been removed by the Mod of the group. Without even waiting for my response grrr. Maybe they’re in America and didn’t realise the vast time difference between Australia and their country?

No worries, I’ll just do the borderectomy, include the cards with my packages, take more photos, then re-post to the Art Abandonment group page.

Commencing Borderectomy…

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Ready to rock-n-roll! Tomorrow The Kid and I will cycle down to the Rockingham foreshore and leave these babies here and there, for people to find.

FREEBIES! When PicsArt met Pixlr Express

I’d originally intended to use some geometrical backgrounds found in the app PicsArt, along with geometrical effects found in the app Pixlr Express, as the backdrop of a new Lenormand project. However, these backgrounds took on a life of their own and proved too distracting and so that idea had to be shelved.

Not wanting to just let the images go to waste, though, I’ve decided to share them here with you. All I’ve done is blend the PicsArt backgrounds with some colourfield backgrounds I created, or with other random images I’d created in the past. Remember, these were just building blocks for a project that got shelved.

Feel free to save them perhaps as your smartphone’s wallpaper. Enjoy!

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P/s: I’ve since created my Le Geometrical Lenormand deck, however utilising only the effects found in Pixlr Express.

Looking for public domain images? Try these.

In the course of my own inner Lenormand revolution or evolution, I’ve been scouring the internet for images that I can utilise for my divination card decks. I’m terrible at drawing. Having said that, I’m good at using photo editing Apps to change the way my photos look, so not being good at drawing isn’t quite a disadvantage.

Just very recently I learnt that the British Library has released a MILLION images into the public domain, via its Flickr account.
Also, Archive.org have done the exact same thing.

What this means is that if you are searching for images to use in your artistic endeavours, whether as clipart or to print out and use in scrapbooking, etc…then before you buy images from other people, you should consider these 2 FREE sources first. Save yourself some money!

And guess what, there are many more organisations and museums out there that have recently jumped on the bandwagon and made their treasury of artwork, photographs, illustrations etc available online for everyone. It really is a revolution, albeit a quiet and peaceful one. This brings accessibility to a whole new world of Art and Photography like never before. I for one intend to make good use of this manna from heaven.

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Here’s the link to the British Library Flickr site: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/britishlibrary/

Here’s the link to the Archive.org Flickr site: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/internetarchivebookimages/

Definition of Public Domain:
NOUN
the state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, especially through not being subject to copyright or other legal restrictions.

222

Will you be my No.222?

Congratulations to the very next person to Follow my humble blog. You will be my 222nd follower, and as already promised here, this is what you will receive as a Thank You (see below).

This is the freebie. It’s A4 size, full resolution.

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All you need to do is drop me a line on alyzenmoonshadow@hotmail.com with your contact details and postal address, and I’ll be sure to post your freebie out to you. :)

Oh, and since some of you who already follow me have asked, ditto if You email me your details and I will send You a freebie too. Limited to 5 (as I’m not quite rolling in money hehe). Offer good on emails received by 20th October.

Namasté! 🙇

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow

FREEBIE!

I have, after 16 months of blogging, finally cracked the ceiling and surpassed 200 followers. That’s not many, by most accounts, but these followers still follow me even after realising that I blog every single day. And despite knowing that my posts could be very random, from a funny anecdote, to Life philosophy, a poem, an expression of sadness, a rant, curated images from my Pinterest boards, inspirational quotes, the sharing of my digital imagery workflow, recipes, gardening etc. Maybe they don’t read every single entry that I post, but I appreciate the fact that they are still following me. So, I am very grateful to you all!

Besides, the number of followers you have isn’t necessarily an indication of how good a person you are. Look at Hitler, he had millions. Jesus Christ had twelve. Just sayin’ ;)!

Anyway, when I wrote this initially I was on the cusp of getting my 200th follower, and I thought it was time again to give out freebies, to help celebrate this milestone. Just one freebie this time, though. And not a virtual one, either.

However, I got my 200th follower before I finished writing this piece…so now the prize will instead be awarded to my 222nd follower. I like number repeats :).

This is what you will receive:

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This is one of my images from my ongoing Oracle Cards Project, created using my Samsung Galaxy S4 and Android Apps. It will be printed onto glossy photographic paper, A4 size, signed on the back and shipped out to you. I will contact the lucky winner via your blog or email. I will find a way! :)

(The lucky winner will get a mention in an update on this post).

Posted from WordPress for Android.

http://www.alyzenmoonshadow.wix.com/alyzenmoonshadow