Category Archives: Digital Art & Graphics

Autumn, Fairy Shoes and Ticking off lists

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I am entranced daily by delicious vistas of autumn light – and raindrops so big you could loose yourself in them.  The environment is exuding a wealth that beckons a generosity of spirit.  My world is alive with the magic of enticing colour, warm light & shorter days.

Within the art of  photography, there is a time of day, called ‘magic hour’ – without getting two technical the half hour after sunrise & before sunset    Light at this time is warm & soft & you can capture photos with good shadows & tonal transitions. Subjects look warm, saturated in color.  Autumn in our house has me dashing to our front verandah – camera in hand………the half hour before sunrise & after sunset the light is soft & rich & has the depth of velvet.   Shadows are deep, but the light is extremely saturated, which makes for amazing sunset shots – which we are ideally situated to capture.  Autumn is one of my great loves.

(if you’d like to read a little more about ‘magic hour’ you’ll find some good info here & here)

I have been creating a bit of art with a needle lately.  I am thrilled to say that our little princess’s quilt is finished (which you may remember was on my list at the beginning of the year)  She has just turned 2 & she is so full of exuberance & has just a mischievious little laugh.  She is a little magpie and her little nonsensical conversations and comments make you laugh out loud – such a joy!!  What’s the first thing you do when you are presented with an heirloom that has cost many hundreds of dollars & has taken 18 months to make – JUMP  FOR JOY OF COURSE!!!  LOL!!!  We love her to bits – AND OF COURSE – as her grandies – we ARE biased!!  Back to the quilt – it’s huge – it began life as a cot quilt, then transitioned (when DIL & I discussed how the precious cot quilts of the older two had become obsolete now that they were in ‘big beds’) into a single bed, then finally into a king single (when I realized that was the size they had bought for their eldest.  The final size was 66in wide x 77in long…..aka big & heavy to ‘man handle’…..but it’s done now & sick person that I am, despite it becoming a guilty obligation in the end – I am already looking to the next one!  It’s the euphoria of the finished quilt driving me – no doubt!  After the spectre of failure that makes me choke at every deadline is overshadowed by a success – I want to recreate it.

We have an event coming up at the end of May that I am creatively involved in & I have been painting, sewing & doing some watercolours, mixed media & digital work – all around the topic of feet & shoes.  I have had fun creating fairy shoes, sweet little booties, as well as creating artful invites & treasures to sell on the night.

I HAD intended to post up the patterns that I made for the shoes – but that didn’t happen, so it has to be next time!  Til then – take care………..xk

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GIVEAWAY Day 3 – and the Winner IS

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 SO – the moral of the story is – that in this sharing & caring art world – many people go to a lot of time & trouble to create things, pass on knowledge, help others, share hints & tips, etc.  Few people however, take the time to write a comment, say thanks, or even acknowledge the source if they are using the material ………in over 500 visits in the last 2 days – there were only 10 comments – and some of those were the same people on different days.  In the end – as there were so few – I allocated each comment a number – those that left a comment on different days got 2 numbers – and then randomly generated the winner.  And the WINNER of the Art supplies give away IS………….ta – da – WENDY MC – who – among some others – worked out, like the lepers, that the idea was to come back & give thanks – congratulations Wendy – email me using the link & your box of goodies will be on the way to you.  Tis the giving season – but tis also the season to be thankful.  I am EVER thankful for grace & mercy.  Merry Christmas – enjoy the coloured torsos, available for all personal use, but not for reproduction or to be redistributed in any form.  Tomorrow I have a great collage sheet – I am just trying to work out how to upload a high res version & still have the blog page open ok.

Project 365 – APRIL

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As I begin to write this post, I am thinking how this will sound as an archive, each month as I post my photos from 365 project I am saying the same thing!  WHERE DID THIS MONTH GO??????  Another month of my life just passed……..this month, I haven’t missed a day’s photograph for the first time.  I must say it has caused more than a little anxt with DH & my family, but so what………the pictures will still be here when I am not & they will tell tales of me!  Being a visual person, I find having photographs from each day a clear reminder of some of that day and working out what my ‘image of the day’ will be has made me much more aware of my surroundings……..I look in more detail……….I observe more thoroughly…….less satisfied with a casual glance……..My grandbabies are literally growing up before my eyes……..our little Princess is now speaking in 3 and 4 word sentances……..& our little man is running & hammering & helping with everything……he loves to be outside & his MOST fav. person in the world is his DAD! (our son)………..This month there are alot of studio & garden shots.  This is for two reasons, firstly my mobility has been limited by the injury to my knee, but secondly, I have been preparing for our Art Retreat with Misty Mawn & Nina Bagley.  I am having 4 VERY special new art friends staying with me & I have been making lots of preparations for that.  It is VERY thrilling, 18 months in the planning & finally we are down to the wire!  You would think I would be cleaning my house – but NO – DH has decided to do some plastering, so everything is in chaos & covered in a layer of plaster dust – YUK – I am locking myself in my studio with my ipod tonight & hope that the housework fairies come over night to dust everything!  LOL!!  What do you think of my chances?????  Any volunteers?????

Project 365 February

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here is my first Project 365 post – My photo a day for the remainder of February – on St. Valentine’s day – the 14th I seemed to have missed filing 15th & 20th & I can’t remember what I took pics of…….so they may be filled later……  I have decided just to post them here once a month as a slide show…….Obviously having been on holidays in New Zealand, it wasn’t hard to be photographing every day & have some interesting topics to choose from, we will see how that goes now that I am back home…………so far, so good ……. if you double click inside one of the pics it will open it at Slide.com & it’s bigger if you would like to see it in more detail…….oh & I have about 15 more houses to post if you are not tired of them………more tomorrow or the next day……actually I have to go to the dentist tomorrow which is the most challenging experience I face as an adult due to childhood dental trauma………so I may not be up to sitting at the computer tomorrow evening……..we’ll see how I feel………

A new look for 2008

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Thanks for visiting my blog – this is the new me for 2008 – much hidden imagery you have to look hard to find – AND I can’t get it to sit in the middle just yet  – hopefully I’ll get that sorted soon.  If you look closely in the top right corner you’ll see a column head – to represent my love of architecture – of course the background is green (for those that don’t know – my fav. colour)………..there is a little schematic drawing to hint at my ‘planning & designing’ side, the botanicals are indicative of my love of them  & the traditional style of the painting signifies my love of classic western art…….the primative writing begins…..’I planted a seed, and the seed grew, it runs into each other a bit after that, however, I am a HUGE believer in sowing & reaping & it is also indicative of my art journey..so as I said to begin with – lots of hidden meanings….oh & two things you may overlook – there is a little ‘White’ Rabbit announcing me & my all time fav. Basic Grey Motifica Jade Patterned paper as an underlay……..it is still a little raw – I may still tweak it a little – now my blog doesn’t look QUITE so naked – all in white with no header!

Ms Sneak A Peek

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MssneakapeekwebIt is possible that Ms Sneak a Peek is my last Christmas Unwrapper for 2007.  Things are hotting up with work as we commence a large commercial refurbishment tomorrow that will run over the festive period & have to be completed in a very short time frame.  Our offices are closed though, so I don’t have to do so much travelling, so perhaps it won’t impact my art time too much… I will have to see how it goes.  Ms Sneak A Peak is a POST SECRET (not any more!) from my art pal – Letha Richardson – Ms Sneak A Peak.  Ms Sneak A Peak scuriously unwraps the corners of presents under the tree to get a hint of what treasure the wrapping paper is cloaking.  She is the Queen of Sticky Tape – she carries it in her voluminous carpet bag so that she can even Sneak A Peak at OTHER people’s presents she is visiting.  There really is no hope for her – AND YOUR presents AREN’T safe – she has even been known to switch gift tags!  OH the HORROR!  I must say it is hard to leave these characters behind – there are others begging to be created –

Flower_poinsettia_d2Mrs I’ll buy Gifts in After Christmas Sales
Miss I’ll Take It Back & Get the Money
Miss Just Give Me The Money (one of my own children)
Mr & Mrs Re Giffter (gulp! – ANOTHER one of my children!)

TODAY’S CHRISTMAS TRIVIA is the story of the Poinsettia.  The Poinsettia is traditionally an American Christmas flower.  It was originally grown in Mexico; where it is known as the ‘Flower of the Holy Night’  It was bought to America by Joel Poinsett in 1829.

Mr Bah Humbug

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Mr_bah_humbug_web Here is your quintesential Mr Scrooge!  In fact, his name is Mr Bah Humbug!  A self made man, a captian of industry he never takes time off or wastes money on frivolities like Christmas = what a waste!

Today’s trivia is all about the puddings – apparently it is a British Christmas tradition that a wish made during the mixing of the pudding will only come true only if the ingredients are stirred in a clockwise direction.  Bah Humbug I say!!!

Speaking of Christmas Pud – here is one of our family’s fav. Christmas recipe.  I have made them for years…. & now our children are carrying on the tradition.  These can be made well ahead of time & keep beautifully between layers of tin foil in a sealed container in the fridge.  They are lovely wrapped in clear celophane with hand made tags on them, I haven’t done mine for this year yet – but I hope to have them done in the next few days, so I will probably come back & add a pic in here & ammend the post.

MINI CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS
(makes about 50 – which sounds alot – but they disappear in a wink!)

1 x good quality 8” Christmas cake Brandy/orange juice/madeira/dessert wine to moisten (about 1/2 cup)
A light sprinkle of mixed spice
White chocolate for melting
Green & Red real glace cherries

Add all of the ingredients in a bowl. Cover with clear wrap & leave in the fridge overnight.  The next day, chop up glace cherries onto a plate.  Then roll out cake mixture into little balls & place on a cooling rack.  Melt some chocolate & working quickly, drizzle chocolate on the top & place a some cherry in the melty chocolate.  Cool on the tray, then pack in containers to store.   

Miss My Heart Is Elsewhere

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Missmyheartiselsewhere Have you ever had a guest at your home for Christmas celebrations who really just does not want to be there – despite your best efforts to be hospitable?   One of our guests this Christmas is Miss My Heart is Elsewhere.  She is pining her home & her betrothed Mr Heartmore!  It is eighteen months since she saw him as his business takes him in merchant ships across the continents.  Miss My Heart Is Elsewhere is keeping herself busy reading the works of Mr Shakespeare & wonders at the words of the Sonnets & Soliloquies…..

She read…..hang there, my verse, in witness of my love, And thou, thrice crowned queen of the night, survey.  With thy chaste eye, from thy pale.…..surely she puzzled, Mr Shakespeare had a window into her own heart………….

Glass_ornamentsToday’s trivia is the story of Christmas decorations.  Christmas tree decorations were originally made from paper, apples, biscuits & sweets.  They were made each year & were offered from the tree to be eaten with guests.   The earliest commercial decorations are thought to have come from Nuremburg in Germany, a city that was famous for the manufacture of toys.  Lauscha (also in Germany) is famous for it’s glass ornaments.  In 1889 FW Woolworth went there & bought a few glass Christmas Tree Ornaments.  He sold out of them within a day & the next year he bought substantially more.  He sold those in just a week.  The third year he bought 200,000 all of which were sold.  As supplies from Lauscha ceased at the onset of the First World War, American Manufacturers started to produce their own ornaments.  They developed new techniques that allowed them to turn out as many ornaments in a minute that could be made in a day in Lauscha.  I found these ones listed on ebay here.

Miss Just Can’t Wait

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Missjustcantwaitweb_2Meet little Miss Just Can’t Wait.  She has snuck off from the village picnic under the guise of bringing her ailing grandmother some apples.  The real reason she has whisked away is to give the presents under the tree at home a little shake to see whether she can discover what they are. You can tell by her mischievious smile that she is following in the footsteps of her Aunt – Ms Sneak A Peek!  I have used the artwork of Carl Larson to create this digital canvas & of course it is set on a scan of painted canvas with Basic Grey Aged & Confused (I know the feeling!), Phresh & Phunky, Philordilee paper.  The rest of the work is created using Adobe Photoshop.

Image:Adoracao dos magos de Vicente Gil.jpgToday’s Christmas Trivia is the story of Frankincense.  It is a sweet smelling gum resin from a particular tree that grew in Arabia, India & Ethiopia at the time of Jesus’ birth.  It was presented to Mary & Joseph as a gift by Balthasar, the black king from Ethiopa or Saba.  The frankincense trade was at its height during the days of the Roman Empire.  At that time this resin was considered as valuable as gems or precious metals & helped to provide for Jesus’ as He & His family fled to Egypt to escape from the murderous Herrod.  The Romans burned frankincense on their altars & at cremations.

Rev. I Wouldn’t Even Think Of It

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Mr_it_wouldnt_even_cross_my_mind_we Meet Rev. I Wouldn’t Even Think Of It.  Another Character from my unfolding ‘Christmas Unwrapped’ Series.  The Reverend is FAR too upright a citizen to let anything like PEEKING OR SNEAKING cross his mind.  His small sober gift is unwrapped after morning service on Christmas Day.  Sometimes, if there is a child with out one – he gives his away. He is the Standard Bearer for the Spirit of Christmas.

I have had some great suggestions from people for new characters from experiences they have in their homes of how family members ‘do’ presents.
From Chris Peden
Ms Peek & Wrap Again
From Linda Manning Findlay
Mrs No You Go Ahead & Unwrap Yours First
Mr I Want To See What You Got
From Dawn Gold
Miss I Don’t Think So
Mr It Will Be Socks Again
From Janene
Mr Just Give Me The Money

A little Christmas Trivia 
Christmarkt_resize Did you know that Christmas trees are edible???  Many parts of pines, spruces & firs can be eaten.  The needles are a good source of Vit. C.  Pine nuts or pine cones are also a good source of nutrition. 

Christmas trees are known to have been popular in Germany as far back as the 16th Century.  In England, they because popular after Queen Victoria’s husband Albert, who came from Germany) made a tree part of the celebrations at Windsor Castle.  IN the US, the earliest known mention of a Christmas tree is in the diary of a German who settled in Pennsylvania.