Monday, August 30, 2010

Loving this Class!

  I am taking a new online class called Of Towers and Turrets: An Exquisite Fusion of Mixed Media and Mixed Metals
taught by Sharon Tomlinson and Deryn Mentock and I'm having great fun!

This will be my first foray into any kind of metal jewelry making
and while I'm really not into making jewelry...I don't even wear it...
 I keep having these strong visions of mixing metal and fabric in journals and collages.  So I follow where my muse leads and we'll see what comes of it.  I love both Sharon and Deryn's work and it is a pleasure to be able to take a class from two such excellent artists.  And I don't even  have to spend money on airfare or  hotel!

Saturday I went shopping for a few supplies and Sunday I stayed buried in my studio. All in all a very satisfying weekend. Spent money and created art. Of course I am on a budget just like so many of you so while I enjoy spending money I also have to be financially creative...which by taking an online class I have already saved hundreds of dollars! 
When you take an online class study the supply list that a teacher usually puts up before the class begins. Just because an item is on a list doesn't always mean you can't substitute. Now, granted, some items you just have to have in order to achieve certain results. But if a class is process oriented rather than product oriented then quite often you can get creative and substitute.  If you're not the teacher and ask!  One thing about an online class is you do usually have time to think about these kind of things and ask the teacher questions.

For example: With supply list in hand I first studied my own bajillion supplies and then studied the shelves at the local Michael's and determined that to save some bucks I would use the paints I already have (part of that bajillion cache of supplies) rather than purchase the heavy bodied acrylics called for because those babies aren't cheap.  I realized  if I did this then I would need to find a way to achieve similar results rather than expect to do my background exactly like demonstrated.  And I did!  I was very happy with the way my backgrounds turned out.


Today I have to work on the next step. Yay!  This has been a fun class and there is more fun on the way!

Speaking of classes we have two new classes starting Sept. 27, 2010 over at Creative Workshops!

Let's Face It with Jodi Ohl. 
 “A creative discovery of ourselves using paint, collage, portraits, and journal writing as forms of expression”
 BTW Jodi has a piece published in the latest Somerset Studio magazine. 
Congratulations Jodi, way to go !!

You Can Learn Watercolor Pencil by Marilyn Harris Mills
Marilyn says
"You need no experience to learn this fun and transportable medium! A brush, some watercolour pencils and some watercolour paper and you are on your way to living a technicolour life!"

So stop by the store or click on the workshop titles for a link and check out the full descriptions of the new workshops and then take a class!  What are you waiting for?  I am having a blast in my new class!

Happy Monday my creative peeps!  I have a lot on my plate this week and hopefully I'll have some more pictures for you soon.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Before and Afters

You may remember this chair I got earlier this summer.  I think it is a nice old chair with charm and character.  What you can't see in the photo is the heavy varnish finish that over time has bubbled and cracked.  But not in a nice way.  So it needed a transformation before carting it off to the Corner Nest.
Mr Shabby sanded the heck out of it for me to remove the old finish before painting it my favorite creamy white.  And then I did my thing last night.

What do you think?  Better?

I can't seem to help myself.  See a chair?  Skirt it.

While I was out snapping these images in front of my giant PeeGee Hydrangea bush I took a few other snaps.

The bees were busy working all over this bush.

I thought this close up turned out nice.  But I had some actions in my Photoshop Elements I wanted to play with. So this is the before.

I settled on Ethereal Glow.  Isn't that a pretty after!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Tuesday!  It is overcast here in the mountains and wonderfully comfortable after our torrid summer temperatures.  You definitely get that, Fall is on it's way, feel.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

My Lace Runneth Over

If you were around this summer then you know Mr Shabby and I made a quick mad dash to Atlanta a while back because a retired antique dealer friend of mine was downsizing.

Well, I'm just now getting to the bag of lace.  And yes that is a large black garbage bag of lace.  In this picture I have emptied about half the bag to try and take inventory.  I got so overwhelmed I shoved it all back in the bag and put it in the hallway thinking...I'll deal with it later.

But later should be now so I guess this week I need to get serious.  What I'm thinking is get it all clean, and fresh smelling (lots of mothball smell here), and then maybe putting packets of it together.  Some I can sell at the Corner Nest space but I think a lot of it I will also try to sell online.  Maybe some through both stores or I was even thinking about setting up a page here and selling it right off  the blog.  I need to think about this I guess.  There are some beautiful laces in this bag and I know some people live where it is hard to find nice vintage lace.

I hope all of you have a super weekend planned!  I'll be taking photos of my workroom this weekend because a little birdy told me it will be a part of Cloth Paper Scissors winter edition of Studios. :-)

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

From the Worktable

I have this stool Mr Shabby made.  The lid is removeable for storage.
Nice.  Functional. We put it down at the Corner Nest. 
Yet everytime I walked into the space and looked at it
my "boooor-ING" antennae would wave like the feelers of a frantic insect.

So I brought it home, put it up on the worktable and started thinking. In fabric.
I grabbed a piece of fabric which happened to be a bit of dupioni silk I have. NOT going to happen in silk!   But at this point I was just looking for the idea of it. Out came the clips.  And I knew I found my answer.  But what kind of fabric did I want to use? 
 I had nothing on hand that struck my fancy.
Wait!  What a great excuse reason to go SHOPPING! :-)

I found this sweet fabric that to me said Shabby Cottage.
Funny "think" happened on the way to being a "stool skirt".

As I ironed the backside I realized I liked the back even better than the front!
I do that a lot.  Call me weird.  But to me it looked even more shabby-licious. 
Do you agree?  Soft and cottage and shabby looking, right?

Flirty and feminine.  Not boring now!

Still functional but now fabulous! 
 If I do say so myself. LOL

 In response to a digital challenge for Digital Whipser, a Ning group I belong to I thought I would share this digital ATC I created last night .  Absolutely not my typical shabby style  But it does prove Gail CAN think outside the box as she always encourages those at Mind Wide Open to do! :-) 

It was fun and it was relaxing.  Just what I needed.

Happy Wednesday everybody!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Dye For

Earlier this year  I was talking on the phone with my sweet friend, and amazing artist, JoAnna Pirotti of Moss Hill Studio, when our topic turned to the dyeing of one's own fabric. 
It was a learning process I knew I was going to have dip my
toes into but I was nervous since it would be such a brand new thing for me.  JoAnna had just started dyeing herself so she gave me some good information and shared what she knew with me.
Yet I found myself hesitating.  You know how it is.  Another learning curve.
Then JoAnna wrote a tutorial on her blog and that sealed  the deal for me.
 I ordered my supplies and set up a work area on the back porch.

Supplies arrived in record time

I put on my old, grungy garden/painting/now dyeing shoes

pulled out my old, grungy faux finish/painting/now dyeing apron

plugged in the old microwave and made sure it still worked,
(yes you use the microwave!)

made sure I had JoAnna's instructions printed out and the few other supplies I needed

made sure I had my fabrics ripped and ready to dye.

I played with burlap (white burlap worked, regular burlap...fogedaboudit), muslin, scrim and some vintage lace.  A lot of work, but not difficult.  I found some colors I liked better than others and even played with mixing colors. 
Absolutely not my last time dyeing.

Now I want to share something else with you...

Isn't this a beautiful pillow?!

Here is a close up

The lovely ladies at R.U. Piper Designs have purchased some of my large format images for
some of the items in their Etsy store.  I am so honored because everything they create is gorgeous and I love the idea that something I created is part of the beauty they create.  You need to visit their Etsy store and check out all the beautiful items they create for the home.  I daresay you won't be disappointed. 

Happy Tuesday!
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Monday, August 16, 2010

We have a Winner!

Thank you everyone for leaving a comment for this Giveaway!  I always wish everyone could win.  If I should ever win the lottery I will definitely have a Giveaway for everyone! :-)
Today I used the random number generator and that convenient little tool chose comment #23.
And commet #23 belongs to Lynn F of A Dreams Eye View blog.
Congratulations Lynn!  I will be in touch.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

From the Worktable

My first handmade journal!

Yes I've done journals before (I love to do journals) but I've always altered purchased journals.

But with this journal I actually created the signatures (the pages that make up the book)

and then I did the bookbinding

that is the part that "ties" the whole book together

I played with all my favorite elements

old ledger paper, sheet music, texture and layers,

 image transfers and transparencies

pretty images, lace and stamps

tags and fabrics, vintage, and new made to look vintage. 
And finally started to get the hang of my free motion embroidery foot on my sewing machine.

Shabby love.  I was in my glory. 

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

GiveAway Time!

I decided to celebrate and put together a GiveAway!

Because yesterday I had my 300th follower.

So I put together lots of vintage and some not so vintage goodies and they will all go to one lucky commenter.

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post (and this post only so I'm sure everyone is counted.)
And next Monday, Aug 16, I will use the random generator to pick a name.  Be sure I have a way to contact you!  If you have a blog I can reach you there, no problem, but those of you who leave a comment as anonymous I don't know how to contact you unless you tell me. :-)

Don't' forget, leave a comment to be entered!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Resizing Images - A Short Tutorial

My friend Stephanie Voss of Joyuslion wrote a short tutorial for our Digital Whisper group and she generously (as you always are Steph!) allowed me to post a copy here.  This tutorial came about from a conversation regarding the fact that so many people don't realize that all you need to post images on the web is an image sized at 72ppi (pixels per inch).  Most Web browsers are incapable of displaying anything other than at 72 ppi.  So unless you are going to print your graphics (usually 300ppi) it is best all the way around  for computers to keep them at 72ppi.  Remember computer space on your hard drive costs money.

Resizing Your Artwork for the Web
Every website that you upload photos to has a certain amount of storage space allotted to their servers. The more storage space a site needs the more expensive it is to maintain that site. This tutorial will show you how to size your artwork for optimal viewing on the web and at the same time save valuable, expensive, server storage room.
First of all I want to emphasis saving your artwork in the full size psd (photoShop layers) form. If you use another software product just make sure that you save a copy with the layers still in tack. That way if you ever want to come back and change something or even re-vamp an old piece, you still have the layers to work with.

Once you have saved your artwork with layers it is time to flatten it.

Go to Layer and at the bottom you will see “flatten image”

Now you want to save your image as a jpg. It is recommended to save your image at a resolution of 300 for printing purposes. This is the default resolution size and is found in the box that you use to set up a new document. If you right click the title bar of your work you will bring up the image size box. Or go to Image> resize.

This is a very important box with lots of important information! I save my 12x12 images at 3600 and 2400 ppi. 3600 is full size and 2400 is what my book printing company ( uses for uploads. The resolution is still set to 300.

To make your image a smaller size for the web without losing any detail at all set the resolution box to 72 pixels/inch, and the height box to 600. Now click ok. You will see your image appear much smaller.

The image is still high quality but it does not take up that much space in cyberland. Save this image with your file name and the ppi size of 600. Example: BelieveWeb600. You can now upload this image to any website and the image will still sharp and clear…. but it will not hog up website storage space.

When you are saving artwork at a different dimension then a square (say an 8 x 10) just be sure to make the higher side 600 ppi. This will ensure that the image stays at or below that dimension. So in this case you would set the height to 600 ppi and the width would be smaller then that.
That’s all there is to it! It is quick and easy to do and it saves website storage space which ends up saving us all money!
s.voss 08/08/10

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