Saturday, February 23, 2013

Beyond Layers Day 90 : My Take


 Today Kim gave us another one of her images to interpret as we liked--as long as it contained at least 1 layer of her Linda texture.  At top, you see my final version.  I had worked it up through Layer 8 (see processing below) and it was still very heavy, gray, wintery.    I was thinking about the quote, and decided it needed 1 additional layer (Layer 9 Overlay 100%) of Regular Jane's lovely golden bokeh textures to make it "come alive with light."

Wow!  This made all the difference between a somber and heavy mood and a light, golden mood.
It's also the difference between winter and summer seasons!

Here's what I did to it Layer by Layer :
Background Layer : Kim's sample pic (See below ...)  Cropped
Layer 2 : Copy background layer - RadLab : Warm It Up Kris - Normal 100%
Layer 3 : Duplicate Layer 2 - Multiply 100%
Layer 4 : Kim's Texture Linda - Multiply 100%
Layer 5 : Kim's Cherish Texture - Soft Light 100%
Layer 6 : Copy Layer 5 - Multiply 65%
Layer 7 - Text - Rough Typewriter - Normal 44%
Layer 8 - Text - Author attribution - Soft Light 59%
                I almost stopped here with this :

This is Kim's sample/seed pic.

Golden Rumbelle Magic

It feels like forever since I worked up an image!  This one has been percolating in my mind ever since Once Upon a Time's Belle was pushed over the town line and lost her memory.  For those of you who don't know the story, Belle and Rumplestiltskin are living out a Beauty & the Beast storyline in the show.    A few week's ago, their story took a tragic turn soap opera-style.  Now Belle is terrified of Rumple because she doesn't recognize him AND he uses this freaky thing called magic.  And poor Rumple--Belle is the one person in the world who could see his heart-of-gold and now she no longer recognizes him.  It's just so heart-breakingly sad!

However, I know in my heart-of-hearts that they will regain the love they once had for each other--and make more!  Their lives are intertwined as much as yarn spun by any spinner.  This is just a temporary setback in their story. Let's hope it won't take another 30 years to overcome!

Photo-processing Layer by Layer :
Background Layer : a Frosty February window at my house a few weeks ago
      Copy background layer - Soft Light 51%
Regular Jane's beautiful Raining Light Bokeh Texture - Soft Light 100%
Text - Jellyka Le Grande Saut Font with a Royal Gold Style (?)
          Quote by Rumi
Jinterwas's Sparklng Stars Golden Texture - Soft Light  100%
      Copy Jinterwas's Golden Texture - Soft Light 48%
Hue Saturation Adjustment to lighten things up - It was getting a little too red
Rumbelle Pic - Overlay 100%
Spinning Wheel Brush (made by me!) - Overlay 100%
          Copy Spinning Wheel Brush layer
Swan Brush by Vandelay - Overlay 79%
I know--I know the Swan is Emma's symbol.  But aren't we all ugly duckings looking for our tribe?  I needed something to tie Rumbelle to the spinning wheel visually, and I wasn't coming up with any golden threads ... although, there must be some light streaks out there that would work ...    Rumbelle are mated for life, so the Swan works for them, too.

I know, you're asking what about the chipped cup?  Belle shattered it when she threw it against the wall.  And besides, it's just a cup.  Their Love is the real treasure, not the cup.

Lastly, I couldn't resist adding this wise woman to the post.  It's just such a nicely done photo!
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.  Maybe she's one of the Spinsters who raised Rumple after his father ran off?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Make Good Art : Encouragement for a Creative Life

Neil Gaiman's Inspirational Commencement Speech at the University of the Arts, 2012.
Whatever might be happening in your life, good or bad, make good art.

This is echoed by Ira Glass on developing your sense of great art and your ability to produce it : Do the work.  Work through a volume of work to hone your skills.

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beyond Layers Day 86 : Make it Golden

Today, Kim gave us a recipe to "Make It Golden."
I followed Kim's recipe pretty faithfully, including several layers of her texture Kristin.  

Here are my adaptations :  
1) My gradient was sepia instead of black to white.   That's what was loaded and it seemed to work ...
since I wasn't getting the desired effect in the Levels panel.
3)  I also added a frame which is visible on the bottom but not the top.

This week, I also figured out Layer Styles and how use them to get a 3-D effect in text.  I've been growing tired of flat text.  Yahoo!    If you look closely, the text above has some depth to it. 

Here's the original image--not great as it was taken when the sun was at it's peak.  
Too many shadows.  Thank goodness for digital photo editing software!
This is the Madonna and Child in the Healing Garden at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, WI.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day 84 : Make a Mosaic

Kim's assignment this week was to make a mosaic, or collage.  I chose some pictures from our trip to Alaska last summer.  In Fairbanks, we took the very well-done Riverboat Discovery Tour.  One stop on the tour was The Chena Indian Village.   There were so many things to photograph there, I decided to focus on the buckskinner aspects of the Village for this assignment.

Each image is on it's own layer which allows you to rotate

Background Texture : Kim Klassen's Paper and Paste
Brushes : Bear Tracks from Obsidian Dawn's SS_Animal Tracks
Brushes : Cottonwood Leaf from Shady Medusa's Foliage 01
Font : Clive Barker

It took me a while to find the perfect brush for the cottonwood leaf.  I remember smelling the Balsam Cottonwoods in Fairbanks.   It was the time of year their fragrant resin was running.  That is one of my favorite smells on this beautiful Earth!


Saturday, February 09, 2013

Day 83 - Quote Challenge

This week, Kim gave us a quote challenge along with her sample photo of The Duck Lady standing on a beach.

At first, I didn't quite know what to do with it.  The whole Duck monicker made it kind of comical (Think of Sonia-the-Duck in Peter and the Wolf.), so my first thought was a wise crack.

Then I was thinking about what might she be thinking staring out to sea?
*     Is it Una waiting for Captain Ahab to return from sea?   No--
*     Did she lose something?  No--
*     Could she be The Little Mermaid, later in life?  Wondering if she'd do it all again?  I really dislike the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, though I recognize many, many people adore it.  I have read modernized versions where Ariel gives away her voice in exchange for legs, and does NOT wind up with the prince.  Instead, she starts living for herself--and she gets her voice back  (Kissing the Witch : Old Tales in New Skins) and she realizes the Witch isn't so bad after all.  Face it : Ursula is a powerful woman who truly is The Captain of her Own Fate.  That's not such a bad thing ...  In the end, Little Mermaid didn't seem to fit this image either ...  The only relevant quote I could think of came out as a wisecrack from This American Life. [Do NOT follow the link if you can't tolerate colorful language.]

Then I started working on that Facing your Fears image from Day 79,  and thinking about my own fears.  There's been a lot of turmoil at work.  2012 turned a lot of things up-side-down for me, with even more change on the horizon.    A few years ago, a treasured Supervisor and dear friend told me that my identity was too wrapped up in being a Librarian, that my skills and talents went far beyond that.  If my job was eliminated, I would still be me, with those talents and skills.  I would land on my feet -- somewhere else.  When he first said that, I knew it was true.   Still--no one likes the idea of being down-sized, or unemployed.  I've been there, done that.  I re-tooled and landed on my feet back then, and I could do it again, if I had to.  So what am I afraid of?  Last summer, I had to re-apply for my job.  I was re-hired.  It was a chance to re-commit to the organization and formally decide that this is the job I still want to be doing career-wise.  While I made the cut, everyone else's job in my department of 14 years was eliminated.  Eeesh!  I said it was a difficult year ...

Kim Klassen put out this quote a few weeks / months ago, and I thought it was perfect.   I know I cannot continue at work the way I was ;  I literally don't have the staff to do operate that way anymore.  I've got to find a new way ...  But whatever happens, it will come from within ...

So there you have it--I start out thinking this silly little image had nothing to do with me, and then I realize it goes right to the core!

Here is Kim's original Duck Lady Image.

Here's what I did to Process the Image :
Layer 1 : Background  Image
Layer 2 : Copy background Image.  Crop Image; Remove a few seagulls.
Layer 3 : Text with Quote - Apple Chancery Font (Added last) ; Overlay 88%
Layer 4 : Text Author Attribution - Curly Joe Font (Added last) ; Normal 63%
Layer 5 : Coffee Shop Blog's Magic Sunset Action
Layer 6 : Color Fill Frame - Soft Light at 77%


Beyond Layers Day 82 : Snowflake Art

Today's lesson was to start with a blank slate in PSE and "make some art."   Kim used the ellipse tool and the custom-shape tool.  I decided the brush (stamp) tool did a very similar thing.  So once again, I took the lesson and ran with it ...

I absolutely love Winter! Enough said ...

After I had a base to work on,  I just started piling on the snowflakes in new layers, varying the brushes, placement and sizes.  Then I experimented with the blend modes after they were all piled on.  I did not set a color pallette as Kim suggested in the lesson, as I wanted to see how much variation I could get with just the brushes on the background and the different blend modes.

I used Real Snowflake Brushes by Nolamom3507, but there are lots of free snowflake brushes out there for free if you want to try it yourself.

Image Processing :
Background Layer : Blank Background 8-1/2 x 11 in.
Layer  : Color Fill - Blue
Layer 1 : Snowflakes  Normal blend mode  100%
Layer 2 : Snowflakes  Overlay  100%
Layer 2 Copy   (make the turquoise blue color a little brighter)
Layer 3 : Snowflakes  Luminosity  74%
Layer 4 : Snowflakes Soft Light 100%
Layer 5 : Snowflakes  Normal 50%
Layer 6 : Snowflakes  Normal 100%
Layer 7 : Snowflakes  Normal 100%
Layer 8 : Kim Klassen's Magic Texture 2bl     Screen  32%

That's it!


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Texture Tuesday : Color Pop Edition

I finally feel like I know enough about PhotoShop Elements and Layers now that it doesn't take me so long to whip up an image for one of Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesdays.   I was planning to join in on these when Beyond Layers II wraps up in April.   I've had this image waiting in the wings for a few weeks now, waiting for just the right moment to publish it.  I originally called it "Hungry for Color."

It's a picture of the color strips I made for this quilt.  I saw that jumble of color and just had to take a picture.  ;-)

It has a layer of Kim's Wonderful Magic Texture over the colors.   The slate background is Stock Vault's Slate 2 Texture from here.   

Monday, February 04, 2013

Beyond Layers Day 80 : Soar

 Today in Beyond Layers, Kim asked us to soar.    I don't have very many flying bird pictures in my personal photo archives, but I did find this lone pelican.   In the summer, we often see flocks of them soaring in spirals, climbing thermals to higher altitudes.  It's quite a site to see!

The task lesson today was to use the clone stamp to copy a subject and move it over.  Then use the clone stamp again to erase the original subject.  After more diddling-around than I care to admit, I finally got it to work.  I can see how this would be a very useful tool.

I tried a number of textures, but nothing really seemed to improve on the original blue and yellow sky.

Here's the original image straight from my camera.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Beyond Layers Day 79 : Facing Fears with Regular Jane

This week for Beyond Layers, Kim asked us to face our fears again.

I thought the simplest approach to this assignment was to use a golden bokeh texture #2 (courtesy of Regular Jane) and add a meaningful quote.  Simple as that!

Good things come from that golden light, among them strength, protection, and warmth.   All things needed to buck up and face your fears.  

I don't remember where I first saw this quote.  If it was YOU, I thank you for sharing it with the world.

The fonts are Daniel and Of Wildflowers and Wings.


Friday, February 01, 2013

Photo-Heart Connection January 2013 : Ordinary Magic

Since my One-Word for 2013 is Open-Hearted, I decided to participate in this monthly challenge from Kat Eye Studio.    Among other things, Kat hosts a monthly Photo-Heart Connection Challenge.  The rules are simple :
1) Pick 1 photo which which you feel the strongest heart connection to share.  Any photo taken or edited in the past month qualifies.
2) Write about your heart connection.  Why does that photo speak to you?  What do you feel?

I guess I've had a theme of wishing stars going on in January.  Nah--It's more like a lifetime theme!

There are not many days in Winter that I'm home in daylight hours and able to snap such a pic in my kitchen window.  I couldn't resist!  I loved how the sunlight lit up the flecks in this Amethyst Point.   It's a crystal--seemingly inanimate.  But in this moment, it was alive and communicating with the Winter sun.  I felt honored to be a witness to this everyday magic.

See what other people have posted for January here.

2013 is also The Year of Ordinary Magic  as decreed by Kelly Letky and Graciel Evenstar. 
I think this qualifies.  No promises on the Ordinary Magic front, but I'm open to see what happens this year ...