Friday, September 29, 2006

haute couture

This is a journal entry for a Round Robin exchange. Its in my daughters book. Her theme is France. I picked up on the colors that she had started with. The text is printed on transparent film on my ink jet printer.

I found fashion images in a google search, converted them to b&w and tinted the RED using the handtinting technique from a previous tutorial posted here.

I inserted a card with an embossed rubber stamp image black on white on one side, white on black on the other.

I stapled and glued fabric swatches, tattered tulle, a rose petal and some trims to liven it up a bit. Voila!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Photoshop Tutorial - Faux Postage

Create your own set of postage stamps, your own post office in an imaginary realm, heck why not create your own kingdom? This tutorial should be pretty easy to follow. Try to find an image of an old stamp and a new image that are approximately the same size. You can scan images of an old stamp and new graphic also. They don't have to be an exact match but you can't have one image be HUGE like 300 dpi and one small like 72 dpi.

Don't read this if math makes you nuts: Most of the images you find on the internet are 72 dpi. That translates to 1 inch on the monitor. So an image that is 3" x 4" x 72 dpi looks like 3"x 4" on your screen. An image that is 3" x 4" x 300 dpi gets stetched out on the screen to 12" x 16".

On to the tutorial, click here.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Photoshop Tutorial - Faux Hand Tinting

This tutorial is how to take a black and white vintage photo and give it the look of hand tinting using Photoshop. This should also work with Photoshop Elements. There's nothing fancy about it. And its good for beginners. The tutorial is very explicit.
You can also take a modern b&w photo, reduce the contrast a bit, and when your done add noise and distress it a bit. Maybe I'll do another tutorial on that down the road.

The tutorial is graphic intensive, give it time to load.

If you have any questions, and if you enjoy these tutorials and would like me to continue with them please comment. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself. Hey, maybe I am. :)

Oh yeah, click here for the tutorial.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

At the Crossing

I'm finally getting some extra creative energy to work on my Faery Crossing site. This was the first site I ever created, I think it was back in 1988. Its been my playground ...a place where I can explore new ideas and techniques with abandon. There's a large audience, it gets 10,000 hits a month, but they are all pretty anonymous, so I feel very safe putting myself out there in a creative way.
This is the menu page. Its a montage of this and that... I used a painting by Grimshaw as the background. Its in the public domain I believe, painted over a hundred years ago. I found a photo of the gypsy wagon online and incorporated it on the road, a signpost from Russia....other snips and bits. Funny how my digital art is looking more and more like paper collage.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

That horrible morning

five years ago we woke up to unbearable incredible news. Images of horror, shock, confusion, chaos, helplessness and despair. A new age has dawned where fear and hatred dictate our lifestyles. Will we ever recover? Can innocence ever be recaptured once it is wrenched away by force? is the response my husband and I created five years ago, shortly after the events of 9-11. Its been visited by millions and I've received emails about it from people all over the globe.
Click here to view. (click the "Imagine" link once you get there.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


This is the cover of "Passages", a traveling art journal project. There are five of us Sward sisters and 6 of our daughters participating. We are a family of artists.

The theme I chose, Passages, will be filled with favorite literary passages. I bought a used book in German a while ago and out fell a very old library card. I used it for the cover.

This is the artists sign in page. The background is a collage of torn pages from an old English Primer. I used chalk pencils for color...rubber stamps for texture. A Library card for the artists signatures. But you can see that. :-)

The instructions page.

Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan

I love to read his poems
they sit in my lap like flopping minnows
waiting to be hooked and devoured.

But its his prose I am after for this book.
The minnows will have to flop.

In Watermelon Sugar

I thought the hand drawn words would compliment Brautigan's style. If I were to do it again I'd leave out the watermelon seeds. No one needs to be hit on the head with ideas. It feels like a cliche. But it was the last element I used so it had to stay. I carved the seed shape from the eraser end of a pencil and used it as a stamp and then I drew around them a bit with pen. All that work to find out it was superfluous.

Yes Yes

Left side of the "yes" spread. The Molly Bloom soliloquy is a passage that I've loved since my college days. James Joyce's style was so familiar to me...maybe because its the way I think. ::chuckle:: This is the last paragraph in the last chapter of Ulysses, sometimes called Penelope. It consists of thousands of words in a long stream of consciousness that builds in intensity resulting in the Molly Bloom soliloquy and ends with the only punctuation mark in the entire chapter which is a final period and said to represent yes the female orgasm. :-)


O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down Jo me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.