Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Digital collages

Well christmas seems to come around quicker every year. My postings have been a little sparse over the past few weeks, mostly because I have not had much time for crafting/artwork. However I have a couple of new digital collage images to share, these have been created using Serif Photoplus 8. May not be the industry standard but it is more than sufficient for my needs - and I believe it is free to download. (If you want the latest gizmos then Photoplus 11 costs around £29)


I call the first one, "The Angels Watched Over her". All the main images are from Kim Neuberg ( from membership of a new site called PaperDigitalArt or PDA), the angel and the stork are free samples from Dover Publishing. techniques I have used are cutting by using free drawing of selection shapes, flipping, resizing, colour changes and simply pasting into different layers so that the shapes could be arranged into a pleasing composition. NO clever stuff here, although I would love to spend some time trying to learn some of the technically more complex stuff.

The text was added from wordart via a screenshot. Although photoplus has text facilities, I haven't found a way to curve the text.


This second work is called Ecstacy. the title was arrived at fairly late in the day and was really about the cross rather than the look on the face of the image of the women. Again the main image is from Kim and the same techniques were used. I have been asked about the french stamp (especially as the text is german ) , can't say it has any meaning but it seemed to fit and was available.

OK then, having bought you up todate with my artwork, I would like to wish all my friends a very happy christmas and a prosperous new year. I will be back after christmas. (MIL is coming to stay and we will all be too busy to make time for sitting at the PC) HO HO HO!

Monday, 15 December 2008

ATC's using distressed papers

As promised in my last post I have a few atc's made using the distressed papers.

The Fruitful Grape

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the first and second cards are made using images supplied by Kim for use in this challenge I hope to be making more atc's with these images and papers. By the way these are up for swapping, the easiest way is to visit my Flickr photostream or e-mail me.

"Les Paysans"

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This third card was made for a challenge swap in the NI group on Yahoo (so is not available for trade) I have had the images around since a "sixties" themed challenge on MAMMA, I felt that they fitted the colour of the coffee stained paper so very well. A little bit of stamping and some stamped text completed this nicely: I call this Two-by-Two

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Now for two cards made for the challenge by Kim, we were supposed to use rusty nails, paper clips, and a whole list of recycled/found objects which had gone rusty. Most of the rusty items I found in my garage were too large for an ATC so I ended up using the nails. maybe next time........

In My World, Accidents Happen
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In My World, The Door of My Life Is Nailed Shut
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I was not happy with the first of these and so gave it this title when I decided not to throw it away. I felt the second was much better. Just a case of getting used to using 3-dimensional objects. previously I had only used items like this when they had at least one flat side to stick them down. These are also available for swap - see above.
I really enjoyed making these papers and boy do they small good. I shall hopefully be doing a lot more with these in the future.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

coffe and vanilla: distressed papers

Well I have been learning how to distress papers ( of all sorts) to use in my atc's. I know you can buy all sorts of expensive ink pads etc but if it comes free its "gotta be a great idea".

Recently joined a site run by Kim Neuberg who I came across on Flickr, looks like this will be a favourite source of images and information. One of the first workshop/tutorials was how to distress papers using simple ingredients found in the kitchen. of course I had heard about using coffee (for example) and even read about other ways of achieving that so important "distressed" look, however Kim takes us thru the process step by step and offers lots of photos and guidance so that it is easy to reproduce the effects.

I went for the coffee and food colouring (with a little vanilla essence for the smell), and here is an example of some of the results.

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This first photo shows the kitchen tissue I had used for clearing up as I went along, lovely texture crying out to be used in an atc. The coffe was perhaps a little strong on this first attempt but it does smell great. The red colouring used is evident here....

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The next three sheets are all taken from various books I have collected to use for my atc's. Above photos show a maths text book and a copy of the Rubiyat of Omar Khayam. Just for your edification (LOL).

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slight difference here, I added a feature which I have seen used in watercolour art work. A scattering of salt - which tends to dry up the liquid in the immediate vicinity and creates a great texture.
My next post will show one or two atc's using the papers shown above.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

A Relaxing weekend in the Cotswolds

Just back from a wonderful weekend in Bourton-on-the-water. We went for the Victorian Christmas evening and so did several thousand other revellers. But it all went well. At 5.45pm the local schools jazz band struck up and entertained the crowd until the christmas tree lights were turned on in a loudly applauded ceremony.

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Dont ask me why it is standing in the river, it seems that it is traditional. the River Windrush runs thru' the village and seems to be an important element in the village life. In the Victoria Hall, there is even a painting of a football match in the river. Seems a light-hearted tradition as the referee seems to wear womens clothes and wields an umbrella.

wrapped up warm for the evening's frolics
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On the evening as you might expaect it was bitterly cold but the crowd seemed to be enjoying the proceedings, just a few sideshows (I missed punch and judy!) and market stalls but the local shops were open until 9.00pm. I have been to Bourton many times but never had so much difficulty getting into the reatail premises. Having to queue to do a little browsing, is a bit much. We also had a little difficulty finding somewhere to eat. We just managed to stike lucky in a pub near to our hotel.

our hotel at night
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and on the next morning
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The village looked even prettier than usual with all the christmas lights but the mornings were frosty and despite the brilliant sunshine good warm wrapping was a real necessity. The place looked quite empty in this shot, but I had gone out quite early to take a few photos before the frost melted away. I was glad of the warming breakfast after this expedition. Never think about the cholesterol on these weekend treats; I have the works. Bacon, sausages, egg, black puddin', beans, mushrooms, tomatoes. If they serve it, I will eat it.

Talking about eating, here is a shot of us with our friends after they had cleared the plates off the table after lunch on our first day. Still sober!! I was pulling a face because I had set up the camera to take a timed photo and was trying to duck down to make sure that I got my head in the picture.

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Took lots of pictures, now you don't have to pay for films and processing I am like a mad thing with the camera. But will only show one more. On the day after the night before (so to speak) there were a few events going on, like the local equine centre's fancy dress parade. Here they even dress the poor pony.

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I have erased the faces to protect the identities of the innocent parties, All in all a fantastic weekend especially since the day before most of the country seemed to be in danger of being covered in deep snow falls.
Well now that I am back it's back to the grindstone to make more crafty art.

Monday, 1 December 2008

new video show-reel of my recent atc's

I have just posted a video show-reel, of some atc's I completed this summer, on YouTube. You can view it on there with several more showing my art work but here it is, if you want a quick gander:-

I will bring my collection of videos up to date as the year ends.

busy atc weekend

Christmas is nearly here (aarrggg!!!) and I have been making atc's based on the theme : Christmas.

It's Mammas fault, the last challenge swap of the year and this was the unlikely theme (?). At first I started making victorian/vintage cards but I had been making some of these to use as CRAK's (for readers not in the know a RAK is an ATC sent without expectation of a swap in return - simply a random act of kindness - the C indicates that is is sent at Christmas) and had already got through quite a few.

I made a couple which I thought were slightly different:-

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The Christmas Star

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Christmas Morning
These two were entered into the challenge swap. But I got carried away and started playing with "christmassy" papers and embellishments and odd left overs from some cards I had made for my wife (confessions of an artist?).

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Happy Christmas

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the Holly and the Ivy

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Let It Snow

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Santa and Rudolph

If you can offer any help or assistance please leave a comment here, I would particularly like the address of CCMA (christmas card makers anonymous), before it is too late for me. If you would like to take any of these last four off my hands, I can arrange a swap thru my Flickr site. Or you can contact me via these pages.