Friday, July 31, 2009

MALICE in Wonderland



My Halloween group, AHQU - Artistic Halloween Queens Unite - is having an awesome group theme for August. Malice in Wonderland, it's Wonderland - only twisted!

If you love Halloween or if you're curious what Wonderland would look like on the Dark Side, you will love this!

Some of the most talented Halloween artists on eBay team up to bring you this fabulous event. Click the banner above to visit AHQU's auctions and stay tuned for my Malice in Wonderland work in progress....coming soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Becoming A Digital Diva....

Currently I'm frantically trying to fit everything I wanted to get done this summer in by cramming it all into the final three weeks. I've tried my hand at curtain making, I'm more accustomed to miniature sewing so all is not well with the curtain making, more on that another time.

But thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Big Brown Dog Primitives & Graphics, I have a redeeming story to tell.

I HAD to have Photoshop Elements on my new laptop, had to. Did I know how to use it? Nope! Did I have any intention of buying an enormous book to teach me? Nope! Had I looked up any of the excellent web references Jan had given me that directed me to discussion boards where I might learn something? Nope! So when Jan emailed me to tell me that there was going to be a FREE photoshop class over at JessicaSprague.com, I knew this was my moment!

I quickly signed up for the two week long class where we've learned various photoshop special effects and frame-ups. I am thrilled at what I've learned and cannot believe how easy it is once you understand the vastness of the power at your fingertips in photoshop. It's amazing!



Some of the first techniques I learned. Textures and photo overlays. We even got to use some overlays that were created in photoshop using real daguerreotypes whose original subjects had been photoshoped out.





There's just something about adding the right words to a photo that can bring tears to your eyes. The first one even got Daddy a little teary eyed.
I've also used some textures on these, especially evident in the second one where you can actually see the the folded paper lines of the texture I used.






Nothing like a little vintage-style hand tinting to make a photo extra special. Add a little color to a flower or to some sweet cheeks!





These have been through a process called Edge Burn. Typically done in a darkroom where only the photos edges are exposed additionally leaving the subject a bit brighter. This can be recreated in photoshop. The subject of the photo look as though they'll just come waltzing out the photo. Love it!





A project combining various techniques we've learned in the class, textures, overlays, masks, text and edge burn.




So while my digital diva star is definitely on the rise, my d.i.y. diva still needs some work. Speaking of, I'm off to take down those pitiful excuse for curtains in my child's room and try, try again!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Regarding Jamie





I did not sleep through the night until I was about 5 years old. 30 minutes or an hour was about all I could manage and I was ready to go again. Attempts at "helping" me sleep longer only resulted in my being more fidgety and restless. I hated being awake by myself. I still do. I would sneak into my mother's room for the 3rd time that night to ask for some water just to have someone awake with me for a few moments. When I knew I was treading on thin ice, I would simply wake her up and say 'I Love You Momma'. The thin ice always melted as a weary smile replaced it.

One of those lonely nights I must've just picked up my crayons and began to draw on the walls. I've been told I was lucky to have a mom who allowed me to draw on the walls. I cannot remember the reaction she had but she was one to enjoy things nice, neat and just so. Then along came me.



I have always loved dolls. I used to make new dresses for my dolls with washcloths.



When I was about 8 years old my mom put together a tudor-style doll house kit for me for Christmas. Each wall had paint or wall paper. All of the floors were covered in carpets or wood. Each room had real working lights with a Tiffany style lamp in living room. There was even a miniature replica of The Blue Boy, a painting by Thomas Gainsborough c. 1770.

Even at such a young age I appreciated the antique style furnishings. When I was in college I gave it a renovation. It is due now for another, as with age, the glue that held it together has grown weary of its job.



I developed my appreciation for history from my mom. We moved alot when I was young. Attending 6 different schools in 4 states by the end of 6th grade. Each time we moved whether it was Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida or summers at the lake in South Carolina, my mom always sought out special places with stories to tell and she shared them with me. Old schoolhouses, battle fields, pre-civil war mansions, ancient churches and even cemeteries with graves many hundreds of years old. I was probably the only 8 year old who enjoyed a nice walk through the graveyard but there were so many stories to be told, I just couldn't resist it.




Holidays were always a big deal at my house. Though we moved alot we always kept our family home and returned there for every holiday. My parents strung Christmas lights in the shape of a Christmas tree from the 100ft CB radio tower in our backyard and topped it with a star taller than my father. Christmases meant moving the playhouse my dad built into the front yard and turning it into Santa's workshop complete with its own fireplace and Santa out on the front porch. Years later it was a life sized Santa in his sleigh with all of his reindeer on the roof of our house. Rudolph's red light bulb nose glowing into the night.



When I was in high school we added a life sized manger scene to the front yard. My dad built the stable, my mom made clothes for the mannequins and I constructed crowns and gifts for the wise men.



Halloween was another grand affair. Sometimes we turned the house into a haunted mansion and dressed as ghouls and witches.



I have always loved dressing up and becoming someone else just for a day. It gets monotonous being yourself all of the time. I've written stories since I learned to write. And I used to practice toothpaste commercials in the bathroom mirror in the hopes of one day telling my stories on the big screen.



I'm a day dreamer, music maker, make believer and someone who thinks that, sometimes, reality is way overrated. Make believe, story telling, playing dress up and dolls remain a few of my favorite things. This is how I got to be me. Silly, nonsense-loving me.

Check out my Artist's Spotlight on the Because We Believe Art Group Blog. Click Here!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th



Have a Happy & Safe 4th of July!

Join me in July for more magical creatures and the first of my Halloween 2009 creations. Coming soon!
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