09 October 2016

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

Still playing with digital scrapbooking elements and trying to get a handle on Photoshop Elements. For years I used PaintShop/Corel, so this is a bit of a learning curve for me. Since the weather has taken another turn -- remnants of Hurricane Matthew, I suppose, working its way up the coast -- it is cold and rainy today, probably in the low 50s. Good for the garden, not so much for us humans. 

These are some digital elements I bought from CottageArts, LLC, as well as some scans I made from old Dover books (copyright free), or old discarded books one finds in library sales. My next hurdle is to deal with clipping masks and family photos. Hopefully this winter I'll start work on family photos going back to the 1930s, putting small genealogy books together for our children. At this time only my mother-in-law is left from that generation. The stories and information that she retains will no longer exist if we don't archive them now and get them into print in case platforms change.

I used to love the Legacy magazine put out by Stampington and Co. - mostly dedicated to family memories and the layouts were beautiful. Now, when I can, I pick up Digital Studios by the same company. Unfortunately, the contributors rarely give one a step-by-step guide on how to achieve something similar. But I'll persevere; just a matter of breaking down the steps and using those beautiful brushes and other elements. 

I may even throw myself into the mix with Instagram -- been hearing so much about it these past months, especially the "book bentos" that are so popular. The problem is, there's not enough time during the weekend to accomplish everything one wants -- I often feel like the "weekend warrior" and then go to work on Monday exhausted!  

So when do I retire???  Not soon enough, I think!  ;-) 

02 October 2016

October Entry:

It's been so long since my last entry -- summer is simply too busy and lovely to spend indoors. But now it's fall in New England and to sit at my desk and come back to my blog seems natural. I love this time of year mainly because it does make one pause and consider slowing down a bit before the push of the holidays arrives at one's doorstep.

Nature's palette also invites a new way of looking at things, the colors more muted like a delicate William Morris print. And don't forget the cooking! Ah, to make warm cheesy biscuits and fudge brownies, comfort food for sure.

So this afternoon I created this journal entry above, using a new digital pack from Cottage Arts, LLC. It seemed to present the perfect background for some thoughts.

Good to be back -- and hope to stop by and visit my fellow bloggers' sites, too.

Happy Autumn, happy October! 

03 December 2015

Small surprises

Been home today with a tough headache and just plain weariness. Roaming the house, at loose ends, thinking about work . . . no way to shut down the mind even though the body is screaming, "stop!" 

Finally wandered into my 'studio' area (actually was doing a load of laundry) and started to poke around in the files on my computer, drifting through various scans when I stumbled on a small file of pastel and watercolor sketches. God, when did I do those? And, more importantly, where are they? 

Surprisingly, I've always steered clear of pastels, although I do love the density and richness. Several years back I tried my hand, and I think I wrote on this blog about how I stupidly wore white shorts while using pastels -- a true 'duh' moment! 

But I keep returning to favorite artists, such as Casey Klahn and Deborah Stewart.  And, of course, one must revel in the pastel works of Wolf Kahn, so there must be something in pastels that stirs my feeble brain.

Earlier this summer I found that working small and quick while using watercolors as the underpainting truly gave me the effect I was seeking with pastels. Somewhere in this mess, I need to find those sketch books, perhaps tack them up on my inspiration wall, pull my head out of the dense cloud of work and the threatening depression of winter and sink myself into those colors -- 

Sunset on the CT River

The Stillness of Pines at Dusk

A Continuous Flow

High Summer along the River

03 October 2015

Ode to summer

Summer 2015 has slipped away, almost overnight it seems. Two weeks ago we had 90 degree temperatures, but today it's about 48 degrees with winds and rain.

The good thing about this weather is that it forces one inside, something I haven't done in awhile. Every free moment when not working I was out in the garden or walking or on the deck. Working in an office 40+ hours a week does that to one. 

So on this rainy day I've been sorting through the photos I snapped throughout the summer weeks and revisited Photoshop while waiting for the laundry to finish. How exciting is that? Later today I'll throw a log or two on the fire and pull out my yarns and begin to sort out projects for the winter. 

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the garden -- I hope you enjoy!

hosta leaf


petals at dusk

vintage blossom

28 June 2015

Return from the Cape

What is it about a vacation at the Cape that re-charges the creative juices once again? Is it the sunlight, the hot lazy afternoons? Perhaps it's the salt air and swimming in the ocean that cleanses the mind? 

Cape Beach

These are just a few shots from the Cape, which I love to fiddle with, digitally altering them to make them appear 'vintage-y' --  like some old photos you'd find stashed away in albums that your grandparents (or great-grandparents) had at one time --

Wynchmere Harbor, Harwich, MA

the ones where no one can recall who took the picture or when --  

View of Provincetown Harbor

That's something that bothers me about digital cameras -- it's so very ephemeral.  At least in the 'old' days, people had their photos printed, as it was the only way.  Now, how often do we actually print out the shots we've taken with our digital cameras and phones?  

Sure, we load them up onto our computers and then onto our blogs, tumblr, pinterest, instagram -- but then what?  What if the platforms and technologies change?  Does anyone backup their pics? 

Garden Lion, Provincetown

Ah, well . . . don't mind me.  I'm just griping, as I know that I'm as guilty as the next person.  I have good intentions, but they often go by the wayside with the excuse, "I'll wait for a rainy day . . . "  And then I move onto something else: work, taking care of the gardens, etc.  

This last image -- Garden Lion -- is a favorite.  I found him poking up from behind a mass of shrubs and flowers in a garden in Provincetown.  So very exotic, don't you think?