Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Special Effects

I have wanted to play with some photo editing software, but have never taken the time to learn, so today seemed to be the magical day!  I took some photos of me with the web cam and played with them in a couple of different programs.  This first one has a butterfly effect which I am in love with!

One thing about these special effects is that it doesn't show me as looking really old. LOL  

I also did some with some photos of my youngest 15 year old  grand daughter.                                                                                            

I also used some of the photos that I took this past Sunday of the train and the tree.

I loved how the tree turned out!

and had fun doing so many others.

 This light house turned out really cool with the lightening swirl.


The  guy worked out great for distressed effects, While our cat Miss Gray C got a softer look.  
I was also pleased with the bubble effects on the girl.

 If you would like to play with an easy program, you can check it out here.   Would love to see what you all come up with. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's Been Ages!

Today the weather was bright and sunny.  In fact it was just too nice to stay indoors, so hubby, son and I went for a drive and I took along my camera.  The guys didn't have a destination in mind, but there were a couple of things that I wanted to photograph.  I love old things and I had wanted to go to the old part of the cemetery to photograph this amazing tree.  The cemetery is called Oak Grove and located in Logan, Ohio.  As you can see the tree is very old!
It is so majestic with such a grand span of space. It sits on a big hill overlooking the city.
The branches are as large as tree trunks and one is so low that it touches the ground.
My hubby and his son sat at the base of the tree so that you can get a better idea of it's size.
I loved looking through it's old gnarled branches to reveal it's arthritic like limbs.

It also has a large knot as if it were a tumorous growth.  This would be a wood worker's dream to carve a huge bowl with it!

The tree has amazing textured "wrinkles".

The tree is surrounded by old tombstones.  I found it quite interesting that they would post the cause of death as on this one.  I am unsure how old this stone really is.  There were stones that were newer from the 1800's near there.  I was surprised to see that some got to be quite old for the time period.  A husband and wife lived to be 89 and 87 respectfully, yet their children died at the ages of 6, 8 and 21.  It makes one wonder if it was due to illness or accidents.  

After our stop there, we went to the other end of town where there is an abandoned track with cars on them that I had wanted to photograph.
They were marked with graffiti and the weathered aging of time.  I had even wondered if maybe they had been inhabited at one time as there was wood covering the window areas.  It reminded me of  The Box Car Children, a book I read in the third grade.  It was one of my favorite stories.
The lines, shapes and rust make for an interesting piece of art.

It seems it has been ages since I have wanted to visit these areas to photograph.  It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WOYWW/ Cricut

Wow, Wednesday crept up pretty fast this week to show what's on my desk.  As you can see, I took time to regroup and clean up my area.  On my design wall, I have a quilt that I have had in stages to work on for some time.  I shall show more of that later when I get it put together.

I did rearranged my desk also, so now I can view the TV better.
Tonight I worked at the sewing table area so that I could be near a plug in to play with the Cricut.  My mother had bought it a year ago and thought that she would play with it, but she has difficulty with all of the directions gets into other things, so ended up giving it to me!  This is the first that I have ever played with it when I got it two months ago.  I read the quick start which was really pretty easy and I cut out some different pieces. I have laid them on the navy background so you can see them better. SWEET!  I can hardly wait to use them on something. How fun!  I shall have to try out some other sizes and some on fabric too.  For now, I am now going to see what others are doing at their work desks.
If you want to see what it's all about, check out Julia's blog.  May you all have a creative Wednesday!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic is a monthly project for a year that will result in a 3 X 5 book from The Artist's Nest swap. Last month was lace and this month was hearts.  No surprise there!  Certainly a different style of work than what I had been doing with the circus.  I'm an eclectic type gal.  You should see how I dress! lol  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Circus Circus

I completed more 4 x 4 chunky pages for the Circus trade since they were to be all different.  Or so I thought!  As it turns out, I was to make them different but of the same theme that I had been given, so.....  Back to the drawing board to make two more human pincushions!  Actually I shall have the extras to put into my own chunky book so I am not disappointed in the least!    

I had a little bit of silk ribbon left, so had to do a silk performer too!  I drew her too large and had the shrink her down a bit to get her on the card, However,  I liked leaving her head larger. I think it adds for a unique character.  Perhaps she is one of the freaks after all. lol     

This is another human pincushion. I actually planned to sew in some pieces on this one and then realized that the coaster was a lot tougher than the other ones that I had.  Realizing it was a difficult task, I simply got staple happy!

OH yes, had to give this guy the name of Mr. Pierce for sure! I had to do a little more freakish one with all of the different metal pieces that I had on hand to work with.  He was a bit time consuming but I was able to sew the pieces on this coaster since it was thinner.  I would hate to meet him in a dark alley!  It will be a month before I get the trades back, I'm anxious to see what I get in return.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WOYWW/Chunky Circus

I just finished a couple of 4 X 4 chunky pages with a circus theme, so my desk has papers shoved to the side.  The paper in the foreground are actually paper placemats.  When they get full of paint and glue, I just toss it out and work on a clean one.
I couldn't resist doing a fortune teller with my name. lol  I have been experimenting with different finishes.  I used Modge Podge on this one, but unfortunately you can't see the raised area of the crystal ball in which I used diamond glaze.  It did give it another dimension though.  She is hand painted in acrylics with scrap papers on the side and crystals.
This is the back of the piece.  My substrate is made from drink coasters.
Because my "stage name" is needlewings, I was chosen to do the human pincushion! lol  The banner is actually an extra piece glued on for more dimension.  I tried some ultra thick Americana glaze on this one.  I really liked how it shined!  One word of warning though, let it dry completely!  I was anxious to get the back finished and when I turned it over to use a roller on the back for the glued pieces, the background color lifted so you can see the background coming though!  At first I was disappointed, but because of the shape of the shadowing, it actually looks like a part of the piece!

This is the back of the piece.  The photo was the inspiration for the front.  The ticket actually makes a nice tab to flip the pages.  

I am off now to work on the trapeze!  Well, not me personally, although I could use the exercise!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Art Gone Mad!

Lately I have been busy working on ATC's.  I love working on small pieces as they are easy to store in my over crowded studio. lol
One group I am in, Arts In The Cards, had chosen the color red for their theme.  There are 10 in the group, so it was quite the production!  I used silk ribbon gathered, crystals,beads, sequin, fabric strips woven into a striped fabric background. I wanted it to read as red as can be. Yes, it read red! The piece reminded me of garters, red lights and passion.  It reminded me of  a "Cabaret" poster, so hence its name.
The group is going by color themes this year.  This next month is "Lime".  I decided to get a head start, so I had 10 made plus a couple of extras, just in case! My first thoughts were to do a tree frog in green, of course! So I set out to look for a frog to paint.  Perhaps the subject too predictable, but while going through some old National Geographic magazines, I had seen some wonderful foliage, so I thought, why not do that. I loved the texture of leaves.   Perhaps a frog camouflaged in the leaf, but I really liked the idea of the limey textured lines to be the focus.  I decided the frog would be actually second nature (so to speak).  What I was trying for was the leaf to be viewed from underneath with the sun showing through and the frog to be the dark silhouette on top from the shade.  I cropped and enlarged a leaf and printed it onto an overhead transparency and cut out a frog silhouette which went on behind the transparency on a card.  I tried to use various green backgrounds with fabric under the transparency, but it seemed the green in the transparency was enough against a white background, so I left it as is.  The edges, I used black embossing powder, then added the frog with acid free glue stick.  Then I sprayed the back of the transparency with adhesive spray and positioned it on top. I named this one "Sublime Lime" .

In my Roses On My Table group, the theme was famous artists.  We were to do 6 cards.  I actually wasn't in the mood to do reproductions after having done so many!  I actually love doing one at a time instead of factory style!  I chose to do two different artist's works, Kandinsky and Wain's.  The first two of Kandinsky, I did in colored pencil (except for the black lines with a marker ) while the last one I did in acrylics.  I love the bold colors and abstract pieces.  I love so many famous artists.  The second artist is perhaps lesser known as his popularity isn't as published as many of the others.  Never the less, I am a cat lover so couldn't help by reproducing Wain's work. Wain was an English Victorian artist. Wain actually started drawing cats as a form of entertainment for his wife, who was dying of breast cancer.   He would draw glasses on his own cat as if it were reading and eventually his cats would be walking upright and wearing clothes. Many were sold as post cards. In later years, his cats took on more of a psychedelic appearance.  He had been labeled schizophrenic which they think was a result of toxoplasma.   
You might enjoy reading about his life here.  I think many people find artists mental, since they don't think like normal people.  Perhaps I am too! LOL  The reproductions that I did of Wain, I did in marker, acrylics, gel pen and added diamond glaze.
I thought I would also add a progression of one of Wain's work you might like to see of a cat that seems to have morphed. Perhaps the last two photos seemed to be quite disturbing.

For fun, I did myself as a version of Andy Warhol's work in photo booth.  I did several facial expressions, but this was my favorite!  Perhaps I am going a bit mad! lol
Besides the cheese container I showed earlier, other storage places for my ATC's have been in photo album books.
and in standing flip albums.

I also love to doodle zentangle ATC's!
I admit, I am addicted to ATC's!  I have gone mad, mad I tell you.  So mad in fact that it makes me happy:)