Monday, 29 December 2014

Underneath The Arches - End of year ATC Trade theme

Well the title just about says it all, the deadline for the last challenge/swap for the ATC group on PDF, has passed. Wondering what 2015 will bring for us. Difficult at the moment as our "leader" has been concentrating on a bricks and mortar shop. But we live in hope and muddle along in the meantime.

The Theme was "Underneath The Arches", and boy we got so many interpretations of this theme. Here are my two cards:-


The first is titled, "No Mice Here"


And the second, "Behind Every Good Man ..."

I am not sure without reading back thru previous posts but I am getting myself into a rut with these ATC's and need to start setting more adventurous technique challenges. I am in need of a good dose of inspiration. Maybe 2015 is the year in which I start using my "many" different skills. I have been to lax about my art in general and really need to pull my finger out, as thte Duke of Edinburgh is fond of saying.

Here's to a great 2015 for all.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Progress on HubPages and latest ATC's

I have been so very disappointed with Hub Pages. It is a different system of payment to Squidoo, which seemed to help those few lenses which floated to the top. On HP it really is down to the number of views and my income has gone down tremendously.

I have as noted last time culled a number of non-performing hubs and moved them elsewhere. I may be following on with a few more which have become non-featured. I am not sure that money was ever the real reason for spending time at the keyboard, and I wrote lots of lenses to simply increase my tally. Well they won't be missed. The issue is whether I will ever get around to editing any of the Hubs. I guess a few which are doing best should be saved but I don't really know if I feel like it. I haven't updated any yet. Maybe a mad dash in the last weeks of the 4 month grace period. But for now, it is not something I feel like bothering with.

I am still creating ATC's and here I am sharing the latest of those few I am doing.



The theme for this challenge was "mirror, mirror", I used it to reflect the thoughts of children on theier potential futures. The boy see a respected and wealthy businessman, and the girl imagines being swept off her feet by her lover. Silly really but then that's me.

I think I have said enough about the HubPages issue and promise not to bore you anymore with it.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hub Pages And Me

After a few weeks at HubPages with my transferred Squidoo lenses, I am finding that the shorter review lenses do not seem to be sitting happily on HP at all. Visits are well down on the higher traffic articles and I have not even started editing these yet to re-format them to sit on HP's pages. You can find my profile page on Bubblews, and see some of my short but interesting (If I do say so myself) articles mostly talking about my photographs and artwork.

What I have done is to start to cull those non-performing review lenses. I was never very happy with them but Squidoo was pushing this format very hard, and there was a minimum needed to retain the benefits of Giant status. Although towards the end these benefits were not really obvious.

I have started to move the reviews, suitably modified to Bubblews which I use for short, posts about ... well almost nothing really, but a short time spent on Bubblews does seem to help to make up for the loss of on-line income from Squidoo. HP is paying but I doubt whether I will make their minimum payment every month. On current earnings, it will take me a month and a half to earn the $50 needed to get paid. Still, once things get sorted by christmas, the end of the four month grace period, I will have to make some real decisions.

Now what have I been doing recently?

I am still not working properly after my operation, but have managed a few atc's, two particularly for the PDA challenge/swap. This group is suffering from a drop-off in entrants but hopefully the end of the summer will see some extra action again. If you are looking for a "low-maintenance" atc trading group, why not give the atc artists' group at PDA a go, all styles and levels welcome.

The theme in September was SEASONS, here are my entries for the challenge.


Not sure if I have missed the theme on this one but it is supposed to represent SPRING


A more targeted offering for SUMMER.

You can quickly see some of the atc's entered for the group's challenges at the group's official blog, Artist Trading Cards on PDA.

Well I hope to be back to normal with my art/craft interests quite soon and return to a more regular posting on this and my other blogs. Keep on creating! See you soon.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Hub Pages is calling me .....

Well here we go, having deleted nearly twenty Squidoo lenses which I did not think would sit happily on HubPages, 79 of my remaining lenses have been transferred to that site. My profile on there is under my real name of John Dyhouse.

Only a few have been graced with the ignominious red skull, which indicates a violation of the TOS. These are not quite as lax as those of Squidoo so some work needed to edit the new Hubs to meet these new requirements. Looking at the marked Hubs, I find that they mostly refer to All-Posters images and Zazzle products. Both sites were "white-listed" at Squidoo so on some sites they were librally sprinkled throughout a lens. Luckily, I do not have too many of these.

The bigger problem will be revising the format of the best performing lenses which were all quite long. I shall be taking steps to cull some of the more pointless information, which I may well start to use to make the odd post on this or other blogs I currently write. Don't fear that I will be  flooding you with pointless information though. For instance, I have (had) a lens on techniques for making art trading cards,  Making Artist Trading Cards - 1001 Techniques  maybe you have read it. In it I cover many techniques which are not very common such as paper sculpture. I will probably leave this out of the revised Hub, and create a short post on this Blog.

So much for my new work schedule, though we lensmasters do have four months to edit and revise our new hubs it may well be a close call.

Now, what have I been doing this past month. Well my recent surgery has kept my crafting activities to a minimum but I do have the usual ATC cards for the monthly challenge/swap on Paper Digital Art and Images by Kim, the theme was to colour orange. Some very unusual interpretations but here are my entries.


This first card utilised a "lacy" black backing paper over an orange card. The vintage image was a lady wearing an orange dress.


This card is an abstract interpretation which had nothing whatsoever to do with the fruit. Hope you are able to enjoy the colours.

Friday, 22 August 2014

After the dust has cleared from Squidoo ...

I had been wondering what to do with this set of blogs, you may have noticed that The last post was nearly three months ago. A combination of factors really but two closures for me have finally stung me into action.

First of all, long term illness in the family together with my own hospitalisation for a total knee replacement meant that I had to cut down on time spent on the internet. However, the two factors which have pushed me into action were:

  1. The closure of Squidoo, which had been my main writing site and
  2. the continued lack of payments by Bubblews for as far as I am concerned no good reason.
I have always maintained that I wrote on-line to share my hobbies / interests but even so if a site offers to  pay for content and a writer sticks to their rules (where many do not) I simply got too frustrated to bother to carry on with that site. Also they changed their rules so that only one image was possible and in doing this destroyed a few hundred short articles which I had written on the site. It has become a very spammy site and more of a place for social chit-chat than well written articles. I have had more than enough of the attitude of the admin team to their contributors. It has become a total scam.

I wrote on Squidoo because it was available in 2007 when I wanted a free-hosting site to develop web-pages without too much knowledge of HTML, etc. I found out I could earn money on there, and over the past 12-15 months, despite issues with Google Panda, I started earning a small but regulaar amount. They are to close by the end of this month and articles (lenses) are to be transferred to HubPages. It remains to be seen wether this will be an easy process, but I fear the worst.

I will be spending far more time writing on my own sites; blogs and web-pages where the content I want to write / show will not be decided by others. I will not be trying to make lots of money from these sites although I do have a few adsense adverts around the page. I will be keeping adverts strictly limited.

The major difference for this blog is that I will be explaining the processes and methods I use to create the art which I show on here. In the recent past, I have shown  (mostly) collaged ATC's, but I hope to widen the scope of my artwork now that I have more time and talk about the why's and wherefore's.

Just to add a little imagery, here is a  new ATC created for one of my challenges in the ATC group on PDA


Very little to say about this one. I had to create a couple for the challenge and still not feeling well I chose a very simple design. The whole picture, background and beauties was layered down onto the backing card. This was then decorated by using a piece of ribbon stuck down and also held by a couple of brads. The text was created using a collage sheet which I purchased as a download from Lisa Vollrath a few years ago and had never used. Do you do that? Collect stuff you think may be useful and then forget why you bought it. I guess many of us crafters/artists do so, that is surely why we have such a large stash of materials in our studios.


Anyway, please look out for new posts in the near future, I hope I will be seeing you.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Have to keep making those ATC's

Now with so much going on, I still seem to be making ATC cards. Not as many as I used to do but they still keep rolling off the line regularly. And the thing is I always feel so very happy with most of them. I still enjoy the sheer simplicity of a simple collaged ATC.

Yes, I use a background (several layers possibly) and not only a main image but also other images which extend the story. And most of my ATC's do tell a story. I have writen a few tutorials on creating simple ATC's which you can find on Squidoo. This page covers articles about ATC's (ACEO's), tutorials and some thoughts on various aspects of ATC's.

Today, I am posting 2 cards from another challenge on PDA, with the theme, RETRO







If you like a good read, then try this article, Simplicity in Art,  in which a try to explain why I feel so happy with this concept. It is based on quotes from many masters from the past and right up to the present time. I also include oone or two from other art forms which I feel may apply and add value to the discussion.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Exhibition Extra - how to use all those fun canvases

We held the exhibition this past weekend and what a success. It was a glorious holiday weekend and this bought out crowdss of people into the town centre, lots of them popping in to visit our exhibition. I have already written about this on my painting blog so I will not repeat myself here.

You didn't know I had a separate blog for painting? It has been active for some time now and in fact is one of SEVEN (yes 7 blogs) which I write to keep the posts limited to niche areas. The trouble is that I have to be careful about keeping to a schedule or I find myself missing posting to one or more of them.

The blogs can be accessed via the navigation bar just under the header image at the top of the page. If you did not realise I was writing so many blogs then why not browse over to find out what is happening. There are times when I do write across subjects but this is mainly because one of my interests has been keeping me busy and I have missed a post or two. For example, I have recently spent some time converting several e-books (on scribd) to a format which allows me to publish as a paperback on Amazon, I have excused a lack of posts for a few weeks on my blog, A Novel Appears, by mentioning these books, three of which are poetry collections. And now I have done the same on this blog. You can of course flit from one blog to another using the navigation bar. It is essentially the same on each blog.

But to the real point of this post, I mentioned the exhibition last time and slipped in a photo of my frames paintings. I also exhibited a collection of the miniature canvases I have been working on. Mostly acrylic landscapes, but they are the same size as the Artist Trading Cards and I think they are really dinky. Most of my colleagues in the group agree however I did not sell any. As for the exhibition, we all considered it a great success based on a 30% increase in footfall over our best previous visitor numbers. Sales however were very poor, a sign of the times perhaps?

 My miniatures displayed at the exhibition