About Me

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I am a multifaceted woman, living with intention and passion. I always see the glass as half full (ok, almost always). Currently into: jewelry design, glass beadmaking (aka lampworking), visual journaling, cooking and web design everything. Things that bring me great joy: my family, friends, Scrabble, British period pieces, Shabby Chic, Austin, TX, mini art tiles, autographed cookbooks, chocolate, Chianti, pedicures and beach glass. I don't "do" and/or dig: dishonesty, guilt, intolerance, unkindness, drama and goat cheese (it's a long story, but I love all the other cheeses!) So you now have a teeny tiny little picture of me, with a few warts thrown in. Welcome to my world!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gumballs and Dreamweaver

     My art for yesterday and today is not here. I am helping my youngest create a website. She is taking a class for kids at the college this week and as one of the youngest, is having a hard time understanding Adobe Dreamweaver. I can't say that I don't understand her position, after all, she is only eleven. So we have been spending some quality time with her "TC Gumball" website. Of course, she has the vision of a kid, wants a bright pink background and light pink text, my eyes hurt even now, just thinking about it. I don't want to steer her too much at this age, I just want her to enjoy the process of creating. So it is hard to read, heck, hard to even look at for any length of time, but she is very happy so far. Of course, the good thing about all this is that it is forcing me to practice using Dreamweaver myself, and I realize now that I am going to have to go through my "Dreamweaver Classroom in a Book," text that I bought last year. I bought the book because the instructor was not so great and knew that I would need to teach a lot of it to myself. I get the HTML and CSS, but the program is very complex with so many menus bars and tool bars, I knew I needed to spend more time with it. Now that I am helping my daughter, I see why, I had just forgotten to get to it.
     By the way, you can try out the Bubblegum Run Widget she wanted to include on her "Game" page below. If you click the link, you can copy and embed the game in your own page as well, or maybe your child's? It was a fun little thing we found that she wanted to include on her site.
     Of course, this all reminds me that I am supposed to be teaching myself Javascript this summer, as well as basic SQL and reviewing C#, Access and XML. All of a sudden I have butterflies in my stomach! I think after this weekend, I will be creating a daily schedule for myself until I get back to school, in about 5 weeks! I have to squeeze in some time to visit my new grandson as well, but I can always take one of the books with me and my laptop...oh, I always have such good intentions!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily Art Post July 18, 2011

Summertime! banner created with InDesign and Photoshop CS4
      Today I played with a photograph I took of some of my Dianthus flowers last summer. I wanted to make a banner in Adobe InDesign, so I started with the flowers, since I wanted to create letters with the Dianthus image as the "color" of the text. I am posting the process in backward order just to be difficult.
The InDesign piece before I imported it to Photoshop
     The very top banner is the finished banner, cropped in Photoshop and with two borders added, also in Photoshop.

Filters: Paint Daub, Posterize, Cutout
     The second image is the "Summertime!" lettering
and background created in InDesign. I converted the type to outlines so I could put the Dianthus image into it. After I added a fun yellow stroke detail to the letters, I added the bright and sunny yellow background. I saved as I went along, nothing like losing all your work because the program quit, which has happened before, maddening is putting it mildly. After I saved it as an InDesign file, I exported it as a JPEG file. I closed out of InDesign and then opened up Photoshop! I wish I had CS5 or CS5.5, but I am still very happy with what I can do using CS4.      
Filter order: Paint Daub, Posterized

     Photoshop filters are so much fun, I could spend hours playing with them and never getting off just one image, they are addictive! I started with the first
Dianthus image at the bottom of my post here. I
cropped it and then adjusted the red color intensity and it created this cool rainbow effect. I think I used the "paint daub" filter after that, which softened it all up, but might have been another filter, I forgot already, big surprise. I really liked the softened rainbow look a lot and will probably do something else with it later, maybe use it in a ATC.       
Red hue adjusted all the way to the right
     Once I had the softened painterly image, I decided it needed a bit more of an edge,

so I used the "posterize" filter. It added a black edge and made the flowers "pop" a bit more. You can see that it also darkened the image, which is more of what I wanted to use to fill in my lettering. If you click on the photo, you will see a larger image with more detail. After using the posterize filter, I decided to use one last filter to take a little bit of the edge off the posterizing results. I chose the "Cutout" filter, which simplifies the image. It did cause the loss of the rainbow effect that I liked so much, but I decided I was happier with the cutout filter effect and that is what I went with.
My original photograph
     My last steps were to save the image as a JPEG file and then

"Place" it into the InDesign file I had already started. I selected it and "cut" it from the place where I had placed it and then selected the lettering outlines and selected "Place into." I moved the image around and resized it a few times to get it right where I wanted it.
     Let me just say (not again!), creating art everyday is more time consuming than I thought it would be, I am not meeting my own personal quota of one piece everyday. But I feel wonderful every time I create something new, especially when I get a chance to use those programs I spent so much time learning over the last two years in school. It makes me happy. Really happy.
     So if you are itching to make something yourself, anything at all, I have just one thing to tell you..."do it!"

Drive-by post: Border's bookstore, the end of an era

     Say it isn't so! Just heard the news today, I am beyond sad, beyond blue, beyond heartbroken! I love my local Border's bookstore and have spent countless hours and money at many others around the state of Michigan and in Austin,TX. I feel like a huge part of my reading life is over, I am soooooooooooo bummed. I admit that I spend money on Amazon and at our big local book store, Horizon Books, but I still spend money at Border's. I guess it wasn't enough. I am going to get over it, I know, but I do have so many wonderful memories of time spent at Border's. I had my first yoga class there, believe it or not. I've bought art books, self help books, a zillion children's books for my kids, journals and hundreds of magazines. I thought the last Harry Potter movie was the end of an era, ha! This closing of a beloved bookstore is really the end of an era. Maybe I'll wake up in a moment and it will have just been a bad dream? Or maybe there will be a white knight, and he/she will save the company? I feel as if I will be lamenting about this for a very long time. I feel just awful. You can read more about this sad news here. It is a story by Mitch Albom from yesterday, which I only just read. Pity party anyone?