Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another "Banner" Homework day

One of this week's homework assignments was to do some things with type.  I won't bore you with the details.  But I decided to use it as a way to create a couple of banners for a website I have to design for another class.  So here are my two homework assignments/banners.

This one uses some of my photographs and artwork as the background texture for the letters.  I then placed it on a piece of my digital art.

This one is, well, green.  Lots of green.

So onto the rest of my homework assignments and NaNoWriMo.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mandala Monday

This week's topic for the 100 Mandalas is 'rock art' mandala.  Unfortunately, while I did have plans to steal retrieve a river rock from a planter around town, it didn't happen.  So I am pulling out a couple of mandalas I have done recently which feature a rock or are 'rock-like' in nature.

This is the heart shaped oil stain Savvy noticed on the parking lot when we were going into the craft store.

So I am waaaayyyyy behind on my 100 mandalas in 100 days.  Of course, I only have 2 homework projects due today, work and a bit of NaNoWriMo prep.  Hopefully, since I haven't picked up an extra day at work this week I can do a bit of catchup.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

NaNoWriMo Count Down

This time next week I will be typing away like mad in order to get my word count in before work and homework assignments.  This year I am going all out in my prep work.  I have about 10 pages of notes/outline of the story I plan to write (and the premise is pretty good if I say so myself).  I have a huge stack of books on Victorian life - which I won't get a chance to really read next month.  I think I have them for "mood".  I need to do a couple of things today before work - come up with some names for characters and create my playlist of music to listen to while writing.

I did do my book cover this morning.

Funny thing is, when I went to add the picture here I realized I hadn't put my name on the cover of the book as the author!  I went back and added it, so now I have a book cover with my name on it as the author.

Juliet Hayhurst has the ability to see the past by touch, mainly with papers.  After feeling she caused her husband's death, she simply wants to take her father, leave London, and live quietly in the country.  But others have different plans for her future and the past may be coming back to haunt her.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Homework - Extraction and Textures

This week has been a lot of much so that I am neglecting some of my other homework to 'play' with the tutorials in this week's class.  Our homework assignment was to extract a figure, waist up picture, and put it on a textured background.  We were given a couple of pictures of some cute guys, but I went instead with my own pictures.  Except I didn't actually take this picture of Savvy.  The year of this Ren Faire it was rainy and I was in the tech crew.  I made sure there was plenty of straw in from on the vendor who was selling portraits so people could get into their tent.  They were so thankful, they made a set of pictures of Savvy in garb for me.

My thought, which I actually had late at night before I fell asleep, was an old portrait.  One that needed cleaning.  This is what I submitted for the assignment as it didn't say to alter the picture of the person any.

Then I had the idea if this was to be an old picture, then why not actually make her look like she was painted and not a photograph.

There is a bit of a difference.  I think I like the second version better as far as the overall effect goes.

In the meantime, I will end my evening of 'photoshop play' by sampling some new tea I ordered from Teavana.  I'm having Wonderberry Chocolate Truffle and Savvy is having Chocolate Chai.  Great way to end a hectic day.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Having to Think....

...which is difficult for me at times!  Actually, what I am thinking about is one of my classes for next semester (yes, already thinking about January, 2015).  It's a portfolio class.  And while it is mainly taught online, there is a 'going on campus' component because you have to discuss your portfolio with your instructor.


I talked to the department head who I have had several classes with online.  She suggested I talk to the instructor about doing it all online.  I did.  Now comes the thinking part.....

Homework practice layering textures

I have to go through work I have already done and submit several pieces to her so she can see the level of work I am doing and whether or not we can manage this via email/phone calls/scanning/and the computer.

Which brings me to the thinking part.

I have been toying with the idea of 'putting my art out there' for several months.  This would be the next big step - actually creating a portfolio of my work and having someone really critique it for something other than a grade.  The coming semester would also include a class on Print and getting things ready for a printer - which would be my next step in actually offering my work for sale.

Textured letter for homework practice.  More will be coming for a possible new banner on the blog.

And that's the really scary part.  I have my own critic perched on my shoulder going "nope, terrible, bad, awful, who are you kidding".  

So for the next couple of days, it's going through pictures I have done and deciding what to send out into the world for this tiny step.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Another Fun App

Actually, I think I got I downloaded ProCam as a freebie app from Starbucks.  I love taking pictures, but lugging my camera around just isn't feasible most days.  But I was waiting for Savvy to get off work one afternoon and started playing with the 'adjustment' features on the camera and this is the results.

My seed pod picture and I darkened it and added a bit of a vignette.

Adding some funky lines to the pictures - circular, straight and cross hatch.  But then the real fun starts.

Kaleidoscope time!  I love kaleidoscopes and you have several settings to play with pictures in this mode.  One thing about it is I keep thinking 'quilt pattern, quilt pattern' while doing so. Same picture and tons of different looks to go around.  This is a fun app and I can see me 'playing' with it more and more as time goes by.  A great alternative to lugging heavy camera and lens and instant editing. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mandala Monday

Over the weekend I made a good meal for my family and created some food I had always wanted to make.  I think being 'creative' with food is just as important an area of creativity and artistry as any other art.  I find a lot of relaxation and comfort in cooking.  So I used my beef stew to create this week's mandala.

And I love the quote I found by Dorothy Gilman.  How true.  We need food to nourish our foods, but we also need dreams to survive.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday Soufflés

A souffle' is something I have always wanted to make.  When I first started working for American Airlines, one of my managers loved food.  As in fine dining food.  I was a little country bumpkin who thought a trip to Dairy Queen was fine dining.  But no, he showed a whole other side to eating.  On one occasion when the department had pulled another tough one off, he treated us to dinner.  Dinner as in about 6 white tablecloths on the table and a waiter for each of us.  More forks and spoons than I had ever seen at one place setting.  And for dessert we had soufflés.  I remember the waiter taking a pair of spoons and 'opening' up the top of the soufflés and pouring in a warm sauce flavored with a liquor.  This was the early 80's and I haven't had one since.

But I always wanted to make one.  Something always seemed to be in the way.  I didn't have ramekins and every time I thought about buying some, I didn't want to spend the money on them (even though I can think of a ton of uses for them) or the girls weren't big enough to appreciate or enjoy them.  Then the girls were never there.  It was always some excuse or another.

So Friday I marched downtown to a little kitchenware shop called The Pan Handler.  I went there for a few reasons.  First, I needed a bit of alone time and I walked from Starbucks to the other end of Last Chance Gulch to get there.  Secondly, I wanted to support a local business.  Third, they are really nice and the prices are the same as if I went to Walmart or Target and the quality, I think, is better.  I picked up 4 ramekins.  I already had 4 small ramekins, but needed some just a little bigger.

I had Saturday figured out, homework, beef stew and chocolate soufflés.

I purchased a small bag of assorted potatoes to go into the stew.  I had never cooked 'blue' potatoes before, even though I wanted to grow some in the past.  I cut a roast up I had in the freezer and added a bit of beer to the homemade beef stock.  (Yes, I was going all Food Channel on myself.)

Dinner consisted of the stew and cornbread made in my new cast iron skillet Savvy gave me for my birthday.  And while Dr. Who was showing, these were in the oven....

There they were, just puffing their little self right on up.  The recipe was easy and I am not sure what I was expecting, but I was delighted when about half way through cooking, I looked, and there they were, SOUFFLÉS.   Savvy was just as delighted as I was and we were both hopeing Lady K's play time didn't make them fall.

A little chocolate sauce on top and we were sampling away.  I DID IT!  I made soufflés.  They worked and tasted really great.  They weren't as difficult as I was thinking they would be and as I had gotten eggs on sale at the grocery store ($1 a dozen), they weren't that expensive to make.

Savvy gave her approval of my efforts and even "B", who doesn't really eat sweets, ate a little one.  They were light and fluffy and chocolatey and warm and wonderful. I am so proud of myself.  I checked off one of those things I always said I would do and now I've done it!

Oh, and the homework bit of my Saturday....failed.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

New "TOY"

The past couple of days have been 'interesting'.  Interesting in the way you would like to crawl under a rock and hide until it's over, but you can't kind of way.  Texter was at work on her overnight shift at Walmart.  At 1:00 AM Wednesday morning, after laying on the floor in the fetal position, "B" takes her to the emergency room.  6:00 AM she is being prepped to have her appendix removed.  What are the odds of both daughters having their appendix out?  Savvy had her's removed 3 days after 9/11, when she was in the 5th grade.

So school work, library work, everything out the window.  "B" has been fantastic and stuck by her side at the hospital and at home, so all I really have to do is watch Lady K.  And with a 19 month old, you know that is a full-time and a half job.

Anyway, after dropping Savvy off at work Thursday night and coming home to finish up some potato soup of Texter, the sunset was beautiful.  So I decided to try out the time-lapse option on my iPhone camera.  I propped it up on the balcony railing and let it go while I finished up her dinner.

The quality is not the great and I shouldn't have had the camera pointed directly at the sunset to eliminate some of the 'brightness', but what a cool toy I now have.  There will be a solar eclipse next week, so I have to figure out a way to rig up a tripod so I can film it.  And I want to make a chocolate soufflé with all the eggs I have.  A time lapse in front of the oven perhaps? Ahhhhhh, the ideas, the ideas!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Annual Report Homework Assignment

The finishing project for one of my graphic design classes (it was only half a semester long) was to create an annual report on a fictitious company.  That's all well in good except for one small problem - I hate annual reports.  It reminds me too much of my accounting classes I took in the late 70's that I hated.  Just because you might be good at math doesn't mean you should let your parents tell you to be an accountant.  But that's what I did back then - do what the parents told me to.  After 4 semesters of plowing through accounting (liked the bookkeeping end of it), I quit.  And if you could see the state of my bank account, you might say I am still rebelling. 

My fake company was taking my own digital art and creating a company from it, "Mainly Mandalas" and here is my annual report.

As you can see, I plan to expand into other areas this year!