Wednesday, February 29, 2012

free png images - 1st effort

After playing around with a lot of png files that I bought or downloaded from digital scrapping sites (mostly here, the mega-mall of digi goodies), I decided to try my hand at making a few of my own.

I found this odd little notebook at a thrift shop someplace or other and scanned it at 300dpi. I created a copy and chose 'soft light' as the blending mode. Then I extracted the book from the white background and saved it as a png file. Wa La - images you can use digitally. I have no idea how the real designers of all the marvelous digi files I've purchased do it, but I'm pretty sure these will work.

I'd dearly love to see anything you make using them and I'd appreciate a linky back here. And please don't sell them. If anyone gets some use from these, I'll make more as I have time. No interest in selling them - it's just fun to know they're out in the world.

free images - Victorian ladies

I cut these from old magazine pages I bought in Visalia while visiting my friend Moneka last Sept.

Use in your art all you like, including art for sale but please do not sell the images themselves.

Scanned at 300dpi but they're fairly small images. I'll have some larger ones coming up in the next couple days.

Roc January '12 journal page

Roc's January prompt was "what would you like to do this year?"  Sort of New Years resolution-ish but less binding and thus less guilt inducing when you fail LOL. She has a flickr group where she posts the prompts and everyone then posts their work. I found her in June 2011 and worked backwards until I was caught up, so this is my second year and I quite like her prompts.

I've always been an impatient person, eager to get thru what I'm doing NOW so that I can get onto what's NEXT. But once I'm THERE, I'm hot to move on to the NEXT NEXT thing. Not good. Makes for mountains of UFOs (UnFinished Objects) as witnessed by the boxes of un-quilted quilt tops, and half knit mittens, and partially constructed jewelry. And I'm often left feeling dissatisfied because I haven't actually accomplished much in the way of finished goods to look at or use.

So - my general, non-binding plan for 2012 is to settle into a few things I really enjoy and then ENJOY them more. Quit buying more supplies and use what I have. Finish stuff. Slow down a bit. Stop reading the last chapter of a book before I read the first 23. Etc, etc. Sixty might be a bit late to alter such a basic part of my psyche but I'm working on it. This journal page came of those thoughts.

I love the colors in this. I started off with pink and green Distress Stains smeared and blotched onto wet 140lb watercolor paper, then blotted with a paper towel to lighten it a bit. This is a spread in the small book I made for this year's Roc prompts. It's about 4x6" so the spread is 8x6. Lots of black marker work (Pitt artist pens) and some Copic marker fill here and there. A good start to the 2012 prompts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

art ATCs

Another book page background swap came along on ATCsFORALL. I love using text as a background, so I got to work.

Started with 140lb watercolor paper and glued text from an Italian novel to them. I've become infatuated with black stitching on everything, so I stitched up and down one side and across the top.

Then I cut crumpled circles from (Vogue!) dress pattern tissue and trimmed some flowers from a panel of lace. I layered them and stitched in a rough spiral out from the center. Glued those to the card, then cut out a bunch of little pennants from the edge of the book page, stamped 'art' on them, and stitched them along the top.

The black stitching picks up the black text and I really like the simple color scheme.

Kinda vintage, kinda shabby. I'm quite happy with them.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

diamonds and rust

With the images in the latest Green Paper challenge open in Photoshop, I started looking thru digital papers, hoping for inspiration, when I came across a rusty grungy paper that I liked. I opened it and began moving various other elements onto it, including the head I'd lopped off the woman earlier this evening.

Once I had a composition I liked, I needed some words and thanks to the paper, the song Diamonds and Rust came to mind. Go listen to the incomparable Joan Baez sing this haunting song way back in 1978. It's about her love affair with Bob Dylan.

While I played it thru about 5 times, I added the words to my collage, did some fine tuning and wrapped it up, 24 hours before the deadline.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2 dog morning

Remember Three Dog Night? Well, I had a two dog morning a couple days ago. While walking the dog down one of the busier streets, I saw a cute little dog by hi,self. As soon as he saw us, he galloped up to play and I was able to grab him. Luckily he was friendly so I picked him up and hiked back home, put my dog inside, stuck the leash on the stray and walked him up and down the street. From where I found him, I figured he'd gotten thru the back fence of his yard.

No one claimed him, but a lady I sort of know said she thought he lived a couple doors away and offered to keep him for the day (with her other 5 dogs) until they came home. I saw her a couple days later and she said it was their dog. Yay!

Went back home after leaving the dog with her. As I pulled out of my drive, I saw a different dog up the street, sniffing a bush and looking around uncertainly. I stopped and called him to me, was able to grab him and toss him in the front seat. This time I tried the house catty corner across the street cause I know they had a dog kinda like this one. A guy squinted from the front door and said it sorta looked like his dog. I asked him to get someone who could identify the damn dog cause I had to get to work. His wife ran out to the car and grabbed the dog and I gave her an earful about being a responsible pet owner and tagging your dog.

Two lost dogs in one morning (what are the odds?) and I never thought to get a picture of either one. But I do have pics of some fake Huskies that were Christmas decorations and scared the hell out of Maggie one morning. She growled and slunk around until she worked up the courage to go sniff them. Then she was totally puzzled as to why they wouldn't play. Too funny.


2011 was a wonderful autumn here in Tracy. The leaves turned marvelous colors and stayed on the trees forever, so there was lots of opportunity for good pics. But, um... now that I'm looking at the pics I'd planned on posting, only one of them is leaves from trees. The others are vines or shrubs. Ah, well - it was a good year for those too.
Maggie scouting the way ahead. The leaves got so deep on this street between city pickups that we were wading
thru knee deep drifts about a week after this was taken. I love this street. There are no houses on it, just the walls
of everyone's back yards, so it's very peaceful to walk down.

Spectacular ivy along one of the walls of the street above. It was positively glowing in the morning sun.

The contrast of the bright green new ivy and the fallen maroon tree leaves caught my eye. Nature is just amazing.

Ivy with frost. I rounded the corner into the little park one cold morning and all the ivy still in the shade of the wall
had this great rime of frost. All I had with me was my cell phone and I was thrilled to see that I'd gotten two great

Close up of the frosty ivy. Took me 5 tries to get this shot because every time I squatted down, the dog thought I wanted her to come to me. Finally had to make her 'sit' and 'stay' a few feet away. Thank god for those dog training