26 October 2007

On wrecking the journal

Well, I have begun to further wreck my journal.

Yesterday, while waiting at the tram stop. it was raining, so I laid the journal down in the street, stood on it and twisted. It has some gorgeous scratches on the front now and some of the cover is coming off, which I need to tape.

I got my hands dirty when picking up the journal, as it was wet, so I finger printed on the finger print page. I had my daughter do the same when I picked her up from school, as she had been picking up falling leaves and flower petals.

I smeared some of my pages along fences on the way home. My daughter was completely intrigued with the concept, so I bought another journal today (the book store only had six copies out of a pile of 50 or more since Wednesday!). I don't know yet if I will give it to her.

When I got home, I picked some wet rose petals, which I placed in the journal. I haven't checked this out yet as it's still sitting under the bowl, being squished.

It's very therapeutic, it really is. More reports as I progress.

25 October 2007

Wreck this Journal

I came across this concept when I recently joined a new digi scrap forum. It sounded fun, but I didn't have the journal they were all talking about. Needless to say, while discovering the lovely Joseph Cornell Box Book from my last post, I also came across this very journal.

The website by the author of the book can be found here. The problem a lot of people seem to be having with this is trying to keep it beautiful, which is clearly not the author's intent, as can be seen by the May entry on her blog. Some really great photos of constructive destruction (now there's a paradox!) can be found at this Flickr pool.

I haven't really begun to wreck my journal yet, beyond crumpling some pages. I may just drag it out now and punch some holes and staple a few pages. Sounds fun.

Once I get the scanner up and running, I'll post some pictures. Of course, I may just take photos instead as the likelihood of the scanner being up and running? Hmm, yep, the less said the better.

24 October 2007

The Joseph Cornell Box

Today, while browsing in one of my favourite book stores, I found The Joseph Cornell Box Book. Wow! I had to have it and it was the last one they had, so lucky me!

I have always been fascinated by boxes (which explains my love of photography, as we see the world through a 'box' in that instance, or that's the way I see it). I had not heard of Joseph Cornell until a few years ago and was instantly attracted. If you check out the rest of the link I just posted, you will see some of his work. It just amazes me.

I have boxes galore at home, all kinds. My brain is already overflowing with ideas but ... yes, there is a but, I don't have the room! I have so many goodies to use but I don't have anywhere to use them, bleah!

So, I will settle for creating it digitally, let's see how that works.

20 October 2007

Two free Lightroom Presets

I know, I know! I swore I wouldn't do this. This blog is about my art and design stuff and not about my store stuff, but ... having spoken about photography and Lightroom, I thought I would share two presets that I made.

Download link has expired.

You can get the free presets here - Mini Coffee and Cake. They are called Black Forest Cake and Cherry Donut and this is what they look like.

They are part of a larger set, called Coffee and Cake, for sale at my store. Not a bad deal, I think, six presets for $3.00 and I think they are rather cool.

17 October 2007


So, I'm thinking of doing a bit more photography. It's always been something that I have been interested in. I remember my very first camera and how excited I was. I must have been around 7 or so and was given my parents' old camera, as they had upgraded (goodness knows to what as it was the early 70s).

I really like urban photography and there is so much to photograph where I live. Hmm.

Anyhow, here is some 'urban' photography. I call it 'on street' parking. It was taken in Venice. I just really liked this row of boats moored outside their houses. I used Lightroom for the effects and my custom presets (which are available for sale at a fabulous price of $3.00 for six - hee hee). Click on the image for a larger view.

15 October 2007

The Joy of Lightroom and Photoshop

When we were in Rome, we had to take a photo of the Trevi Fountain (of course, it's like being in Paris and taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower, which I did).

It was hard getting a decent shot as it was very crowded and I only had my Olympus, which has that stupid time delay - ugh!

Anyway, I played around with one of the photos that I took and then I exported it to Photoshop and I used this Illustration Action that I downloaded, which is very cool, one of the better ones I have come across. I wish I could remember where I got it, because I would link you all up.

This is what I ended up with - I like it, it's funky. Click on the image for a larger view.

13 October 2007

Discovering Lightroom

So, I've been hearing about Lightroom around the traps and had absolutely no idea what it was or what it could do. From most of the discussions, I gathered it was some kind of Photoshop like program, along the lines of Photoshop Elements. Ha!

As I was poking around on my computer yesterday, I noticed that my husband had installed Lightroom (this is what happens when you have two hard drives, things get lost). My brain goes hum and I open it up. Okay, what is this? It looks weird. I open a photo in it and use the default presets. Ooh, whacko, this is fun. Ten minutes later has me searching the net to find some free presets, which I find. If you have Lightroom, you will no doubt by now have discovered the OneClick Wow presets, if not, you can get them here - onOneSoftware - they are fun.

I also made some of my own presets. The tricky part with those, like creating photo effect actions in Photoshop, is the initial photo that you are using. You get just the look you want, you save the preset (or action) and then the next photo you use the preset (or action) on, well, it doesn't look the same. That can be fun too though.

The bit that I love most about Lightroom is that you have the option of exporting your photo to edit it further in Photoshop. It's right there in the menu, so cool! Anyhow, after a bit of playing around, I came up with this. The end photo in actual size looks like a dreamy pencil and water colour painting. Most excellent :) Click on the image for a larger view.

The photo is one that I took on my crappy old Olympis digital. I'm in love with almost all the photos that I took while we were away in Europe for five weeks earlier this year. This photo was taken in Italy, in a place called Bassano del Grappa (what a picture postcard place, seriously - just gorgeous). I deliberately left the corner of the urn in my photo, as I think it provides interest.

8 October 2007


Checked out Illustration Friday and this week's theme is open, here's my effort:

It is, of course, completely open to interpretation.

7 October 2007

Not Much

I haven't been active anywhere much over the last two weeks. My DD has been home on term break and I've rediscovered Sims 2.

So with the Sims 2, my DD at home and making very twisty, turny train tracks with my DD and her Brio and Thomas the Tank train bits (yes, girls play with trains and this one is almost 7), time has about run away. All should be back to normal this Monday, when she goes back to school, yay.

21 September 2007

A humble circle

Yep, you guessed it, more experimenting in Illustrator.

Today, tweaking this, distorting that, I created this intricate and delicate star/flower design from a single circle. I did not at any stage duplicate my circle to get multiple lines. This is just one single circle, somewhat changed. Once I had my base shape, I saved it as a pattern brush (I love the way brushes work in Illustrator), and here is the final result. If I can remember the steps, there may just be a little tutorial on this.

18 September 2007

Again with Illustrator

I can't seem to get enough of playing around in Illustrator, it really is a fun program and I'm learning more about it all the time, but have barely scratched the surface.

I made these floral spirals today, when I was experimenting with circular designs.

Ideas are starting to float to the surface of my brain on how I can use these, and a bunch more when I make them. Have I mentioned yet how much fun Illustrator is? Hee hee

15 September 2007

More Illustrator playing

I just had to make another one, this one is slightly more Autumnal in tonings. For the life of me, I couldn't make a nose to suit her, so she is noseless, poor thing. It kind of suits her though, don't you think? I don't know what to call her, any suggestions?

Playing around

I was playing around in Illustrator again last night and I love it's versatilty. I've created one basic Diva face and simply by moving this, transforming that and changing brush strokes, I can create an entirely new face, that only bears a passing resemblance to the original.

A few days ago, I had downloaded some foliage vector brushes from BittBox and I wondered what some of them would look like as hair. Yes, yes, I know, but regular visitors should know by now I have some unusual ideas.

So, do you want to know what my Diva looks like? Here she is, I've called her Flora (what else could she possibly be named, Fleur perhaps?)

14 September 2007

It's amazing what you can find

I was 'being inspired' by my links and visited Illustration Friday. This weeks topic is Momentum. I looked up the definition and this is one that I found which I think applies to my leaf.

Philosophy: An essential or constituent element; a moment.

About the leaf

I was looking through some of my old folders on my hard drive last night and I found several pieces of art that I had painted in Photoshop; just after I was gifted with my Wacom tablet. I was learning two new techniques, how to paint in Photoshop and how to use the Wacom. I wonder why I only ever made a few pieces? It's a lot of fun and the results are wonderful. There were techniques for trying to make your art look like oils or acrylics, but I had the most success with water colour.

The leaf is the first one I ever did. love Autumn leaves, they are so beautiful.

The quote, in case you can't read it says: Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower

I chose the quote because depending on where you are in the world, it's either Autumn or Spring.

13 September 2007

ATCs - Scrapbooks in your Pocket

An article I wrote for a newsletter - enjoy.

Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs as they are known, are a wonderful way of carrying your layouts with you. The only rule with true ATCs is that they are 2.5” x 3.5” (or 750 x 1050 pixels at 300 DPI), which is roughly playing card size.

The beauty of this size layout is that you can make a whole pack of them, literally, being 52 (standard playing card pack) and put them in your purse, handbag or pocket, without them being cumbersome or bulky, like a brag book.

While it is true that there are no rules with ATCs, if you are making them as layouts, I would recommend keeping embellishments to a minimum, and keeping the focus on the photo. Here’s an example:

You can see how too many bits and bobs would overwhelm the photo.

When you are making ATCs, you will probably need to reduce the size of your elements by 50% to 70%, depending on the original size, and the effect you want to achieve.

Try your hand at making one or two, you will find that you can’t stop once you start.

The Header

I finally managed to get the header image uploaded, I'm so happy.

The face in the corner is one of my Divas. I really like the way she turned out.

Image upload

I was having trouble getting my new header in place. Blogger just wouldn't accept it. I know it's not too big or anything, so it has me confused.

I tried grabbing it from the computer, no go.

I tried uploading to ImageShack and Photobucket, still not working!

So, in desperation, I searched the Blogger help groups and found a solution, I hope!!

I'll share this little tidbit, to save you from searching high and low. Make a new post and upload your image to the post, but make sure it's from the computer. When you view your draft, your image will be in the post COMPLETE with an image url! Copy and paste that image url into the web address bar in the header edit section.

Now, let's see if it works.

ETA: No, it didn't. I'm going to scream in a minute. Sigh.

Well shoot, it looks like it may because I'm using Safari. Bleah

I switched to Firefox and everything worked! Whee!

12 September 2007

So, I've been thinking ...

I'm on a bit of a hiatus at the moment with my digital design work.

It didn't stop me from playing around with Photoshop and I had a lot of fun doodling in Illustrator. I actually made some really cool Diva Doodles. The few people that I have shown them too have really liked them. The only problem is that I don't see how they would work in digital scrapping.

So, I got to thinking ... they would work great in collage projects. Digital collage or mixed media. The Divas could be printed on vellum; transparencies; textured card stock; canvas - anything really. They would look super cool.

I'll admit, I was heavily inspired by Traci Bautista's book, Collage Unleashed.

So I thought a bit further. A lot of my fellow designers are opening up blog shops, and I thought that maybe I could do that too, but I would only sell my Divas and other related doodles. The more I think about it, the more it appeals to me. It really does. I need to go and confer with some designers.

I feel inspired for the first in ages.

28 August 2007

Long time, no post

It's been a long time.

I haven't been creating much, which is why there has been no activity around here.

However, I found out a few days ago that Somerset Studio is having a digital art call, woohoo! I was saying a few weeks back to a friend of mine that I would love to see a digital art version of Somerset Studio and here we are.

The call has inspired me to go and create, so I'll upload some things once I've made them, or should I? Hmm, probably not as most magazines have that no previously published rule. I don't know if a blog counts though.

I need opinions. What do you think? Upload or not?