Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer & more beautiful." Norman Vincent Peale

I think that pretty much sums up this time of year...
I've been so consumed with the holiday decorating and shopping that I haven't spent any time enjoying the sights and sounds of this magical time of year. Hopefully, now that the house is ALMOST decorated maybe I can enjoy the beauty of the season. Although, the baking isn't done; and when I say the house is ALMOST decorated it's because the tree isn't up yet.We wait until our daughter gets home from college
to participate in the tree fun! Weather permitting, she will be coming in tomorrow night and the tree will be up by Saturday afternoon. The baking will commence tonight-as soon as I get off this computer...
Looking at these photos, I guess you could say I have been enjoying the sights enough to shoot some photos. I have been playing around with photoshop so much that I'm now obsessed with my camera and taking pictures just so I can alter them.
These photos were NOT altered though, just playing around with different lighting and trying to get up close with my subjects. I would really love it if Santa would bring me a new macro lens for my camera! Then I could really get up close & personal!
These gorgeous red berries are on my hawthorne tree. It's really full of berries this year.




The rest of the photos are decorations around the house.





With all the preparations for the holidays, I've been a bit slack about getting into my studio to get anything done worth photographing.  There is a project that I've started but I plan to submit it for exhibition and I am a bit reluctant to show any of it just yet. Will let you know how it progresses.

Right now, I hear the kitchen calling my name to get to all that baking I want to do before my daughter gets home tomorrow! Then maybe next week, I can relax & enjoy my daughter, along with all the sights & sounds of the season!
Happiest of Holidays to all~
cathy

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted." John Lennon

So here it is the first day of the last month of the year. I've been busy with not much to show for it lately.
Nothing new in the works as far as mixed media/fiber art since the previous posts. Did finish lots of jewelry which I have finally started adding to my etsy.
Since the fiber show at the Botanic Garden I've been reluctant to start anything new in my studio after I spent THREE WHOLE days cleaning & organizing it. It's ridiculous how messy it was, yet I was quite creative in there. Now, everything is clean and organized and I haven't even been in there except to retrieve needle & thread for a small repair job for my daughter while she was home for Thanksgiving. Oh well, there's always tomorrow!
In the meantime I've been busy 'wasting' my time with the computer. We recently purchased a new Mac
and I've been trying to familiarize myself with it. I had Photoshop Elements 7 for the old PC which of course was ONLY for PC's so I had to buy the newer & much improved Photoshop Elements 9
for the Mac. WOW! It's amazing what it can do. I've been trying to learn how to create different effects
for months now, but for some reason the info just wasn't sinking into my thick head! I've taken a couple of online photoshop courses to learn specific things but what it actually takes is sitting for HOURS at the computer and just playing with it.
Here's a few of my photos I've been 'wasting' my time with lately-

This is a tree taken while driving home from Champaign for Dad's weekend at college. Since  my dear husband was driving at the speed of light the original image was a bit blurred. When altered and layered with several different textures it really doesn't matter that the tree was slightly out of focus.
I really like these textures!


This barn was also taken while driving home. I changed it to black & white for this picture and added a
peeling texture and it really looks like an old photo.
This next picture is the same barn but I left it in color and obviously it was taken from a different angle.
Also, it was layered with a different texture that had some splotches of red paint around the edges which I think look really cool with the red barn.


Next photo is another shot of a tree as we were flying by. This time I wanted to add a spotlight effect.
Looks a little spooky!



Next photo is from my back deck. Last week the pond started to ice over in patches and the ducks look as though they are walking on water. It's so funny to watch them fly in and land on the ice. They slip and slide all over the place. Eventually they get tired of all the sliding and they fly away or finally slip into the areas of the pond that haven't frozen over yet.

I added the same peeling texture that I added to the b & w barn above and it really looks like an ancient photo. I love the shadows of the ducks.

Like John Lennon, I don't consider it wasting time if I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I've also been reading quite a bit. Some fiction, but mostly books on surface designs for fabric. I'm planning to do some more vat dyeing like I learned in a workshop with Barbara Schneider back in Oct. It creates some wonderful effects by removing color and then laying down a new color. I'm currently searching for some new thermofax screens and new stamping tools before I spend a day with my vat dyes. I also am going to use the thermofax screens with discharge past and also try doing some batik dyeing with soy wax as a resist. So you see, I have quite a few plans in the making if I could just drag myself away from this darn computer and photoshop!
Maybe in the next post I'll have a new project to show you.
Live your life creatively~
cathy