Shastablasta upside down. Part 1: beach crafts

View of Bondi Beach from Icebergs Swim Club.

View of Bondi Beach from Icebergs Swim Club.

My first two weeks of 2014 were spent on the other side of the world playing in Australia. I was in Sydney, Bondi (pronounced Bond-EYE which was my home base), the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, and then some more Sydney and Bondi. 

My memories are glowing. For the record it smells great there. Food is fresh and tastes of summer. Bird sounds are slightly different than California. Louder. Bigger insects. And I think I came back a fan of humidity. I'll have more pictures to share next week. I'm sifting through them and still pouring sand out of my luggage. For a glimpse into my trip I posted throughout on Instagram using the hash tag #shastablastaupsidedown.

While I was on vacation my creative brain got a much needed break. It's slowly coming back to me. It had been taxed from holiday crafts. In Australia my senses were overwhelmed by everything I was seeing and doing that there wasn't a lot of room for making. Inevitably some of my crafting spirit came out and I'm sharing those few items here this week.

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I packed with me a box of stamps and ink pads. For my birthday this past year I was gifted a stamp carving kit from Yellow Owl Workshop. This seemed like a great time to use it and was my first experience printing from something I'd carved. My grand plan was to buy postcards on my trip and stamp out Happy New Year sentiments on the picture side of the postcard.

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Well I learned a lot with this project as it didn't go as planned. I hadn't fully tested things before leaving and it hadn't occurred to me how the stamps would react on high gloss paper. The 2014 stamp was unreadable so I abandoned it for a back-up stamp I'd brought. But I also hadn't accounted for humidity. Over a week later and the ink never dried.

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Ultimately I stamped on the less glossy writing side of the card. I'd love to do this project again when I travel now that I've learned a few lessons. It's an easy way to be able to send a lot of cards as it can be hard to find writing time when having new adventures. Next time I'd have a stamp made instead of carving my own only because the pro-grade stamps can handle more variables. Carving stamps was fun and I'd totally do that again just not for this exact project.

A week before leaving I found an Australian immigration stamp at my favorite art store and had to buy it. I carved out the middle which had Perth as the destination and a random date.

A week before leaving I found an Australian immigration stamp at my favorite art store and had to buy it. I carved out the middle which had Perth as the destination and a random date.

Of course a trip to the beach isn't complete without collecting some craft supplies. I actually didn't see to many shells until we had a picnic on Queens Beach along the Sydney Harbor. 

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Queens Beach. Not our boat.

Queens Beach. Not our boat.

The Yoga Hike Master also traveling with me in Australia and I created this shell Om during our picnic.

The Yoga Hike Master also traveling with me in Australia and I created this shell Om during our picnic.

On my last full day I sat on the Grassy Knoll at Bondi Beach and  Zentangled this cardboard boom box. I gifted it to my wonderful host and tour guide. I took breaks to jump in the ocean as it was one of the warmest days of my visit.

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More to share next week...