Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Texture Tuesday - Stitch in Time in LaCanourgue, France

Here's another one of the historic street signs in La Canourgue, France.   This one is for a seamstress/tailor shop with a wooden spool and metal needle and thread.  I considered removing the wire above the spool, but it lined up parallel to the needle, and I decided to leave it for the sake of repetition and pattern.

Image Processing Recipe :
Layer 1 ) Background, cropped.
Layer 2) 2 Little Owls Artisan Texture 3(5) ; Multiply Blend Mode at 96% opacity
Layer 3) Copy Layer 2 ; Soft Light  96%
Layer 4) 2LO 3; Soft Light 51%
Layer 5) Kim Klassen's Sonnet 2 Overlay Texture ; Overlay 63%
Layer 6) Text - Aquiline 2 Font

Here's the original photo pretty much SOOC:

It just amazes me how textures can turn a blah picture into something much more interesting and artsy.  Thank you, Texture-makers of the world!

Sharing with  The Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Texture Tuesday - LaCanourge Hair Dresser

When we visit France, we sometimes get to visit with old family friends at their "country house" in La Canourgue.  The town is old European old - Medieval Old - Old World Old.  Lots of history there, and they've kept it up, by restoring many of the old buildings.  I LOVE some of the old shop signs in town, like this one.  I added a few textures to enhance it.

Image Processing
Layer 1) Background Image
Layer 2) Kim Klassen's Lola Texture - Soft Light Blend Mode at 64%
Layer 3) 2 Lil Owls Junkyard 2 28 Texture - Multiply 62%
Layer 4) Levels Adjustment to brighten and increase contrast - Normal 66%
Layer 5) Vignette - Soft Light 70%

Sharing with  The Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.


Friday, July 18, 2014

A Few More Waterlogued Travel Pics

 Breakfast in France.
Nothing like a buttery, crispy croissant!
We weren't actually at THE Notre Dame in Paris.  There is another Notre Dame Cathedral (Hec--There's a bunch of them all over France) in a tiny village called Orcival, where there's a tiny little Hotel Notre Dame with really good food.  ;-)
Used the Travelogue Preset in Waterlogue.

Yup!  Still playing with the Waterlogue App for iPad.

This photo was taken in Fairbanks, Alaska.  I didn't quite know what to do with the image -
an old enamel saucer and cup on the shelf of a dimly lit cabin.  
But the Waterlogue treatment was very good to it.
Used the Natural Preset in Waterlogue.

 Spectacular Wildflowers in Banff, Canada.
Actually, these were outside our lodge, so probably not wildflowers, but they were spectacular!
Used the Travelogue Preset in Waterlogue.

Happy Travels!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Waterlogued Travels

 I've been playing with some of my travel pics from recent trips.  I wanted to try the Waterlogue App (yet again!) on landscapes, since you often see water colored landscapes.  

This one is from Moraine Park in Banff, Canada.  
I used the Natural Preset from Waterlogue.  It's a great rendition of the original, I think. 

 Same scene at Moraine Park in Banff.  
This time with the Color Bloom preset in Waterlogue.
Another acceptable rendition!

 Here's a lovely scene from the Cullain Hills on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Used the Travelogue Preset from Waterlogue.

The Church at Uig, Isle of Skye, Scotland.  Used the Travelogue Preset in Waterlogue, hoping to preserve the magnificent ever-changing skies there on Skye.
I was a little disappointed with this one.   I guess I can always run it through some other processes apps, and add textures.  

  Here's the original photo.   I was really hoping Waterlogue would pick up those magnificent skies, but I was underwhelmed.   I guess I'll try something else with this one.  Still a nice pic!

 Eileen Donan Castle in Scotland.  The most photographed castle in the entire world.
Used the Color Bloom Preset in Waterlogue.

I really do think this Waterlogue app is a good way to get my feet wet, to get used to the various watercolor styles, to see what's possible, if I ever wanted to try the real thing for myself.  I know with these being digital, I'm missing the whole watercolor paper texture levels.  Although, there are probably ways to add that via Photoshop ...

This is such a great big beautiful world we live in.  I'm so fortunate to be able to get out and SEE it with my own eyes.  If you've ever wanted to travel, let me give you a nudge to go out and DO it! 
You won't regret it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Watercolor Sunflowers

Natural Preset in Waterlogue App
I think this one is my favorite, which is why it's at the top of this post. ;-)

Still playing with the Waterlogue App for iPad.   I thought I would show a number of the filters it offers on a single image.   In this case, I chose a sunflower quarter.  Most images seem to look best (to  my eyes and sensibilities)with one or two of the Waterlogue presets, but this particular image looked pretty good in just about ALL the presets Waterlogued had to offer.   This is the best $3 I've ever spent on an app! I've spent hours playing with it so far.

Bold Preset in Waterlogue App

Luminous Preset in Waterlogue App

Travelogue Preset in Waterlogue App

Color Bloom Preset in Waterlogue App

Blotted Preset in Waterlogue App

 For complete disclosure,  here's the original image that I started with.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gold Door and Scooter in Toulouse

Gold Door & Scooter in Toulouse, France - May 2014

 I was channeling my inner Kat Sloma when I took this shot.  Kat is known for capturing scooters on virtual film, especially in Europe--and they are everywhere in Europe!   (Really, Kat, this one's for you!)   As soon as I saw it walking the city streets of Toulouse,  this scene made itself!  The tall gold doors coupled with the horizontal stripes on the other garage-type door, along with the idea of movement and mobility in the scooter.   I took the shot,  added a few textures and voi la!

Image Processing in PhotoShop Elements :
1) Background image
2) Nancy Clayes Texture nc_0607 - Multiply Blend Mode at 34% opacity
3) Kim Klassen's Sissy Texture - Soft Light at 34%
4)  Kim Klassen's Rest Magic - Luminosity at 13%
5)  Shadowhouse Creations M08-2012-3 Overlay Texture - Screen at 56%
6) Added a solid color frame in black (a la Kim Klassen) - Soft Light Blend Mode at 76% opacity

Of course, I couldn't stop there ...   I had to play some more.
Here are 2 versions from the Waterlogue App on my iPad (BEFORE all the PSE work) :

Bold Color Waterlogue Preset

 Rainy Waterlogue Preset

Here's the original street scene taken in Toulouse, France last May.

Sharing with  The Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Waterlogued Butterflies

Natural Preset in Waterlogue

Still playing with the Waterlogue App for iPad.  I just downloaded it for my "new" (read : inherited/used) iPhone, too.  Maybe it is a passing fad, but I sure am enjoying my time spent with this app.  I'm thinking some of these will be good enough for the Liberate Your Art Post Card Exchange next year ...  which means, I think some of them are good enough to print.  ;-)

Travelogue Preset in Waterlogue

A Butterfly in the Bee Balm.  
Here's the original photo I started with. 

Enjoy your day! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Watercolor Portraits


Blue Lightning Watercolor Portrait No.2 

My Friend Vicki M. at Ren Faire
If you click on it to open at a larger file, it looks more like a painting than it does at this distance.

Ever since I discovered the Waterlogue App, I've been intrigued with how it works, and deconstructing the process.  I'm still not to the point of digging out my physical watercolors and paper (don't have the workspace, or desire to clean up the mess), but I did find ...

... this Blue Lightning tutorial on YouTube that explains how to turn a portrait photo into a watercolor via PhotoShop.  So I've been playing with that this weekend.  My biggest problem is that I don't have many portraits in my files to start with--the people I know don't like to have their pictures taken.   So far, I've learned I need to work on brush strokes.  I just don't have a feel for the watercolor style yet.  That said, this is something worth practicing with ...

Then again, it is so easy, quick and satisfying to use the Waterlogue App.  The hardest thing is transferring the files between the iPad and the "big" computer.  I use DropBox, but even that takes a while for the file transfer and then simply remembering where I put things and where to find them in the transfer process.  In my experience, Waterlogue is pretty good with landscapes and still lifes, not so great with portraits, though I've had a few successes.

Here are some recent waterlogued portraits :

Waterlogued - Color Bloom Preset
This is the same image as the one up top, processed through the Waterlogue App.

The accordian player from the band, Vana Mazzi.
This is still one of my favorite Waterlogued Portraits. 

Three versions of my son, Oliver in Waterlogue :

 Waterlogue - "It's Technical" Preset 
You can even see the graph paper underneath the virtual paint.

Travelogue Preset via The Waterlogue App.

Rainy Preset via Waterlogue.

 Here's my version using the Blue Lightning Watercolor Tutorial "manually" in PhotoShop Elements.  I followed the instructions faithfully, with the final addition of a 2LO background texture, then softened it up a bit more in Picassa.     I'm getting a better idea of what to do with the brush strokes, but it still seems like there's too much detail for the watercolor style.  The final softening in Picassa helped with that.   That said, I like this version.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Texture Tuesday : Ghost Cranes

There's a field north of Appleton, WI, that is usually flooded.  There's always an old FarmAll tractor there sitting on high ground keeping watch over the field.  This spring, I actually stopped to take a picture.  The field was all ice ...  I saw a pair of Sand Hill Cranes stop there to rest.  They flew away before I could whip out the camera.  But it stays in my memory, and through the magic of PhotoShop, I was able to recreate the scene--sort of.

Here's the recipe :
Layer 1 : Background image, desaturated with Picassa's Infrared Filter
Layer 2 : 2LO Junkyard 28 Texture ; Soft Light 100% opacity
         with Crane Brushes by Aikensha
Layer 3 : Kim Klassen's Wonderful Magic Texture ; Soft Light  26%
Layer 4 : 2LO Junkyard2 26 Texture ; Soft Light 40%
        Some texture brushed off the tractor
Layer 5 : 2LO 3(5) Artist Texture ; Multiply 17%
Layer 6 : Color Fill Frame a la Kim Klassen
Layer 7 : Add Glow with Picassa

Here's the original photo I started with.

Sharing with  The Texture Artists FaceBook Group and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

My Well-Travelled Padfolio

Written by guest blogger, Sheila Barnes at Idaho Beauty ...  These are all pictures I sent to Sheila after returning from our trip in May.   Sheila originally posted here.

Autumn Trees padfolio checking out the old city gate in Marvejols, France
Remember the padfolio I made earlier this year for an exchange with Michele in Wisconsin? Michele had mentioned that she planned to take it with her on a trip to France and Scotland, which in itself pleased me. But imagine my surprise and delight when pictures of my traveling padfolio showed up in my e-mail!
Autumn Trees padfolio enjoying the view of the harbor at Portree, Isle of Skye, Scottland
Years ago, back when I was entering my quilts in shows all over the country, I had that realization that they were better traveled than I. Now the padfolio is even more so as it has become an international traveler! Michele noted that it was very handy for jotting down lists and information and the pocket for storing receipts on the go.
Autumn Trees padfolio contemplating stone walls, sheep & the tip of Skye
I've given away quite a few of these padfolios in various designs but wouldn't you know, I've never made one for myself. However, Michele's journal that I got as part of the exchange HAS been put to good use - I've nearly filled it with life lessons and musings. My padfolio will have to wait - I've gotten an offer of a painting in exchange for a similar version of Autumn Trees. It's next on the to-do list.
Michele braving the windy & cold tip of Skye
Thank you, Michele, for thinking to do this. It's really fun to see that padfolio and you having such a great time!

Another String Quilt

I started another String Quilt.  Kay at Borderline Quilter has a great String Quilt Tutorial on using old telephone book pages as the foundation papers.  I used muslin as the foundation for the first string quilt I made, and it made the resulting quilt top rather heavy, so I thought I would try a new method.  Trouble is -- telephone books are in short supply these days!  Not to worry-- I did find one that I expect to be a lifetime supply of foundation papers for quilting!

 Here's the initial "test" block.  The paper rips off easily and without much fuss.  I had to test this, as I've used some paper that was more trouble than it was worth.  Telephone book pages work well for this application.

The colors aren't showing true in the photo above.  The purple is a little too plummy, and the blues are a little too cool ....   Now I just need to collect some more blue and purple fabrics!

The great thing about Kay's tutorial is that she shows the many ways these versatile string blocks can be laid out.  It's worth a look -- Go see ...

In another post, Kay has a wonderful tip for DIY Linen Water :
Kay at Borderline Quilter shared a great idea for making your own spray starch for pressing fabric.  It's so simple!  Just a little Vodka with tap water (or distilled water, if you prefer) in a spray bottle.  It works because vodka is made from potatoes.  Apparently, there's enough starch left in the distilled spirits to make it work in this distilled form.   Only Vodka will work.

In a spray bottle, mix 2 capfuls of straight Vodka in 1-1/2 cups water (tap water works, but you could also used distilled).

For a heavier starch,
mix 3-4 capfuls of straight Vodka with 1-1/2 cups water.

I suppose you could add a drop of your favorite essential oil for a nice scent. 

So many good and economical ideas out in Blogland!

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Passport / iPhone Purse

My mom has had a cute little passport purse hanging from the door of her sewing room for about 4 years, now.  I guess she's waiting for the time when she can go back to Japan, so she can put it to use.

I decided it would be perfect for carrying around an iPhone, so I asked her if I could study it and make one for myself.  I inherited an iPhone recently, but have been reluctant to carry it around for fear of losing it.  This little purse will help me keep it close.  It's kind of like a mini-messenger bag.

From a 14-inch square (You actually need just a little more than 2 fat quarters.) I made this charming little purse with 2-1/2 pockets.  It's astonishingly simple, with just a couple of folds, and a few sewn edges. 

I have no idea where the pattern came from.  Ma learned it in a sewing class one day.  I haven't seen it anywhere else on the internet, so I wrote up this tutorial. 

Here are the simple instructions for folding / making one of your own :

[This actually IS square, but it's laying on a flannel board that is leaning at an angle, so it looks crooked.]
Cut 2 14-inch squares of fabric.    This will be for the body of the bag, with pockets.
Choose fabrics for the inner and outer squares (maybe 1 dark and 1 light).

Cut another set of fabrics  9 x 7-1/2 inches for the back flap [Not pictured.]  I used a slightly wider fat quarter for the brown fabric, and a craft store bandana for the blue/purple tie dye.

With right sides together, sew each square/rectangle 1/4-inch from the edges, all around.
Leave about 2 inches open for turning it right-side-out.

Turn it, and press flat.

Take the LOWER / BOTTOM edge, and fold it up so that 2 inches from the top is NOT doubled up, as shown in the photo above.    The brown will be the outside of the purse; the blue will be the inside.

Next, fold the LEFT edge so that it evenly covers the rest.
In other words, fold the LEFT edge so that it meets the RIGHT edge.

Now, take the top layer of the upper RIGHT corner and fold it back as shown.
It will reveal the pockets inside.

Top-stitch from the outer folded corner flap on the left (just the corner -- you don't have to stitch the entire side), down the left side, across the bottom, and up the right side. This will essentially hold the piece together.    Look at the next photo to see the stitching lines :

This is a paper version I made to help me remember how to fold it.   It's also easier to see where to stitch on the dotted lines.

Next, attach the flap to the top edge of your pocket purse. The flap is the 9 x 7-1/2 inch rectangle that was sewn and turned earlier.

Lay one edge over the edge of the purse body and stitch a zig-zag line over the top edge of the purse.   Don't worry about the ugly stitching line inside the bag, as this will be covered up by attaching the shoulder strap.

Here's what it looks like from the back side.  Here you can see a little better the top-stitching line along the outer edges doesn't go all the way around.  It's not quite half-way around.

Cut a strip 60 inches x 1-3/4 inches for the strap.
Press the long edges to the middle (or there-abouts).  
Feel free to cut this to a size that fits for you.  If it's too long, you can always make a knot to take up the slack.

Once this is pressed, fold in half, press again, then stitch down the length of the strap.   It doesn't have to be perfectly even.

Attach the strap to the purse, covering the same zig-zag seam that attached the flap to the purse body.  I used 2 straight seams along the edges of the strap. 

Where the straps met the edge of the purse body, I turned them up since they would naturally turn up in use.  But this step is optional.

Here's the 2nd completed passport / iPhone purse.


My original notes.
If you make one, please leave a comment and let me know how it went for you.
Thanks for visiting my corner of the Web!