Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Strange Symmetries

Okay...so here's where the "other obsessions" part of my blog title seeps into my art. I was up all night because I couldn't sleep so I played with some old Victorian photographs, using the Photoshop Tutorial technique that I posted yesterday. I created the weirdest, oddest, portraits ever... I'm questioning my own sanity at this point. Ha!! But they are oddly intriguing. They look a little like exotic insects.
Here they are: Strange Symmetry

Monday, March 26, 2007

Photoshop Tutorial - Fantasyscapes

Here's another tutorial. This one's very easy. Its simply taking a landscape photograph and duplicating it and flipping it to create a mirror image using Blending Modes. The little fairy is optional. :)
The "fantasyscapes" would make nice backgrounds for ATC's, collage work, or digital art.
I think I'm going to burn these tutorials to a disc eventually and offer them for purchase. Thanks for giving me the idea, Keron! Stay tuned.
Link to this tutorial: Fantasyscapes

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Creating Illuminated Letters

While working on the website for Brahms Bookworks I created some illuminated letters in Photoshop. Here's a tutorial about how I did that. The finished letter can be further detailed by hand with gilding or gold paint after it is printed. But if you create an alphabet this way, the letters can be used over and over again in a hand made book.

Here's a cool trick that's not in the tutorial. After the letter is colored digitally, play with "image/adjustment/hue/saturation"...slide the hue scroll back and forth and see the variations of color you can achieve with a single color scheme.

Here's the tutorial.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I'm in love!! We got a new dog last week. He's an 8 month old, very bright poodle, who we named Ziggy. Neither Jon or I have ever owned a dog before so we were unprepared for the heart stealing, tail wagging, tiny tongue kisses up the nose, so happy to see us in the morning we can't stand it, kind of puppy behavior. :::sigh::: So of course we had to take him down to the studio and make a fairy portrait! Isn't he the cutest? Did I tell you how bright he is? And cute???
...and in a fairy scene.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Brahms Bookworks

Yeah! I just finished a new web site revision for Brahms Bookworks. Brahm makes incredible old world style grimoires with handcrafted hinges, padlocks and medallions. Brahm and Robyn are the nicest people around and we all love the way the site turned out. :)
Check it out here: Brahms Bookworks

Monday, February 26, 2007

Alphabet Blocks

A while ago I bought a bunch of unfinished wooden blocks, intending to create something out of them.
Well yesterday I took them out and played with them a bit. I remember as a child, playing with wooden blocks with pictures on them...I think they were farm animals. And then of course there were the wooden alphabet blocks we all played with. (Before the age of legos. :-)

So I used the 2" cubes as a base for little 2" simple collages. First I sanded down the sharp edges to make them look old and worn. And then I stained them using one of those distress ink pads by Jim Holtz.

While they were drying a little I chose some papers from Basic Grey and Cosmo Cricket and cut out some 2' squares. I used these as backgrounds for little collages. On some of the block faces I used plain graphics, some have a simple letters that I printed on my inkjet and cut out, and some are odd little juxtapositions of images.

They're not quite finished. I want to sand the paper edges to integrate it into the wood, then stain them again and seal the surfaces with Modge Podge Hard Coat. Its supposed to dry harder than regular Modge Podge. I don't want the blocks to stay tacky or they'll stick to each other.

Making these is like eating popcorn! I can't stop. I keep wanting to take it in another direction...and I have lots of blocks. Wouldn't this be a fun project for a trade?
I'm off to suggest it at my Paper Traders group. Anyone want to join us? You can apply here!

Friday, February 09, 2007

love letter, 1952

This is a spread I just finished for an Art Garage rr journal. The instructions asked that we include a photo of ourselves as a child and a memory.

Looking at the photo I chose I recalled always being in a fog, not paying attention to my physical world at all... putting up with socks rolled down into my shoes, runny nose leaving chap marks on my upper lip, cold feet and unbuttoned sweaters. I was lost in an interior world of dreams, impressions, and thought.

This spread is about reaching out to that lost little girl and loving her for who she was (is). :-)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hope is a thing with feathers...

This is a spread I just finished for an Art Garage Journal RR. The journal owner. Gloria, asked for the artists to "share your vision of Hope and your struggles with hopelessness." I chose the former. :-)
I started with the poem and found the adorable bird somewhere. Its collage, pastels, charcoal. and colored pencils.
I fed this page through my printer after it was colored and embellished. I made sure it was lined up perfectly first. It would have been a disaster if it didn't. Being somewhat dislexic, I have to turn my head upside down and watch the paper come of the printer to understand the orientation. LOL!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Moon Shell Charms

Paper Traders has a charm swap going on and this is my contribution. I started with disc beads made of mother-of-pearl. I sanded them down and stamped a face on one side with archival black ink. I heat set it with an embossing gun and then coated the image with diamond glaze. I made 13 of them...that's how many people are in the swap.
The hard part was teaching myself the basics of jewelry making to add the drop. Its a wrapped seashell.
I think I'm hooked on charms. I'm also making a series of very colorful bottle cap charms. Coming soon!

The array of charms is below.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

White on White

This is a themed series of ATC's for a swap at Paper Traders. Anything goes, except color. We could only use white or shades of white. It was very challenging. I tried not to rely too much on variations of texture. Instead I relied on the subtleness of color. I'm not sure I accomplished what I set out to do... but it was an interesting experiment.
I used paper collage, rubber stamping, clear embossing, acrylics mixed with glaze and bits of fiber.
Here's the group of six: