Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Artists Trading Cards

I wrote a while ago that I would post photos of some of my Artists Trading Cards, I really enjoyed making them, but need to find someone to trade with.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Secret to Adobe Photoshop!!!

I finally found the secret to Adobe Photoshop!! I am so jazzed up!! After struggling with layers, trying to understand them, and use them and getting frustrated, it finally came together!! I have been rereading my quilt/photo books, to get help with my "issues" and found a hint of something in the 8th book I reread. I had to reread it 5 times, to finally find the secret, it is "Blending modes." When I had stacked two photos together in a layer, nothing happened, I could fade one with opacity, but that lost the clarity on one of them. Other wise I couldn't do anything, it was very frustrating. So now blending modes, it lets two overlapped photos both be seen at once, and it has different modes for the way they interact! It is so cool, and because I had already been playing with color, learning it's secrets, I was able to blend two photos with a gradient color overlay. I hope the ladies can come to class next week, it will be so much better. I am trying to stay ahead of them, as a teacher it is a challenge, but they are VERY beginners, so it is working out. I also don't think they are doing their homework! ha ha ha, whoever does? So now back to playing with my pictures, this opens up the whole world of photoshop, oh, the tragedy of being self taught. No one to ask, complicated books, that talk over your head, and even more complicated programs, that become obsolete before you know it, I would hate to have to keep up with the changes in version, 7, 8, and 9!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Playing with Adobe Photoshop

I have been putting in some intense time on the computer, trying to learn Adobe Photoshop better, I have version 6, and have been teaching several of the ladies from my art group "Fyber Cafe" how to download their photos and work with them in Photoshop. I was having trouble understanding several areas, picking and choosing colors, and working with layers. I also had a bunch of loose notes, that I transcribed into a note book, and worked on, to figure out what they said to do. If I can't read my writing or remember the shorthand I used 6 months ago, what good were the notes? I am also typing up pages for the ladies, to help them, basic info, and ways to do things, printing, sorting photos, creating files, and moving them around, cropping, correcting exposure. I have found most books on Photoshop too complicated, and they assume a basic knowledge, we the people, don't have. By putting it in my own words, and explaining everything I learn it better, and hope it helps the ladies learn too. I worked with the project/chapter in one book I had, I clicked buttons, and worked the process, and after several tries, I succeeded, but I had no idea WHY I had clicked those buttons, and what they actually did. So I couldn't apply the process to my own work. I finally worked out the process of working with colors better, and worked on layering several pics together, there is still a lot of layering to under stand. I played with the color sliders and colored several of my texture photos, and created collages with them. I will post two of them, I think the circle look like hand painted art!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Gimme Three Steps"

I finished a small photo quilt for my Mom for her birthday/Mother's day, it is an 8" x 10" photo that I printed on fabric on my computer printer. It is a photo I took at her place of a small wooden step stool, that she had painted purple, and then was so happy that the petunias she planted near, were the exact same color. I thread painted it with free motion quilting, in matching rayon threads, to outline and color in the photo. I added hand dyed greenish cheesecloth to the bottom area, which was boring gravel, and added small green seed beads for texture and sparkle. Each of the flowers also has a purple bead in the center, and it has a purple binding. The name comes from a song by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Gimme Three Steps"

Suzie C. Demos Buttons

We had Suzie C. at our Fyber Cafe meeting on Tuesday, she is an avid button collector, and a member of Oregon and National Button Societies. She had lots of trays of buttons to show us, and a presentation on celluloid buttons, from the 1880-1940's. We all had lots of fun, and were awed but the variety of buttons she had for display.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Version II, To Nurture & Protect

close up of felted mountains and sky

close up of felting

finished felting yarns onto muslin

Wool and yarn selections

Felted wool sweaters

I've started a new quilt for the Fyber Cafe challenge. It is similar to the previous one, 18" diameter circle of layered bands of color, sky, mountains, greenery, soil/rust, water and polar white. It is all done with needle felting on a muslin background. I cut strips of felted wool, most I had bought at a garage sale, a lady had felted a BUNCH of sweaters! But some I used commercial felt from my crafty days. I added strips of wool tufts, yarns, dyed cheesecloth, NO Angelina. I had gotten a NEW needle felting machine at Fabric Depot, last time I drove to Seattle, it was my first time using it, WOW, it felted beautifully, all the different textures, of yarn and felt. I also had a little bit of shimmery silky white fabric, I tore into strips for the polar areas. I broke at least 5 needles, moving too fast, I am sure glad I thought to get extra needles. I am now adding beads in swoosh bands across each color layer. Each is a mix of different size seed beads, bugles, and larger beads. It adds a lot of sparkle to a natural fiber textural background.