Friday, August 30, 2013

The Birds are Out

I think it is because there aren't many flowers around and very little water.



Not everything is in the wildlife park

I love columbines. They are prolific in Colorado. That is were I first saw them. I believe the Rocky Mountain Columbine is their state flower. It won't grow here, but the Texas columbine will. I think the Colorado ones are a little prettier, but this one will do. It grows in my flowerbed.


This guy is called a black and yellow garden spider, writing spider, or corn spider. They are hugh and scary looking but won't hurt you. It was under my front porch. I did manipulate this image.



I am not very fond of these things and that is putting it mildly. The Grands and my Daughter like to carry them around. YUCK!




Thursday, August 29, 2013

What I Miss

I know I keep talking about my wildlife park and it sounds kinda strange.

We were once surrounded by undeveloped land and had a lot of wildlife but that changed. So, we decided to let a 2 acre area on our property return wild. We just put up a post fence to divide our yard from the uncleared area. Because it meets all the requirements, we had it certified as a Wildlife Habitat. The Grands call it my Wildlife Park. The name stuck. Kinda like saying..the crazy intersection, the purple store, the nerd room...and everyone knows what you are talking about. Anyway, it worked. We do still get a lot of wildlife from coyotes and raccoons to fox, rabbits, insects, birds, and flowers.


I am so anxious to see what comes back next spring.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Beep, Beep

I don't know why these are in the backyard. Not that I care, that's for sure. They usually hang out in the unburned area of wildlife habitat. I have tried multiple times to get photos, but they are too fast and I can't get close enough. Some things are just meant to be watched and enjoyed. I had decided that Roadrunners fell into that category. Then, my husband found this one, of all places, in the bird feeder. I was able to stand in the sunroom door and get this shot.



There was also another one with a baby on the ground. They were too skittish and I never did get their pictures. I went out and sat in the pergola to see if they would come back. Nope.

While I was waiting, I did see this little lady.





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Momma Done Tol' Me

Never say never. Never say someone will or will not do something or that they like or don't like something because they will always make a liar out of you. Used to be my kids. Now it's my husband.

Don't laugh. Sometimes when I am chopping stuff up for a dish I am fixin', I see some really interesting things. Once, it was part of my finger. Lately, though, it has happened more with bell peppers. I cut the top off a red one the other day and liked the red and green colors and the different shapes. I took a picture.


Other than some warmth from the incandescent lighting, this is exactly what it looked like. I could take the warm out but I like it.

In anticipation of my photo class, I decided to see what I could do with it.

I showed my husband what I did. He likes some of the photos I take; some not so much. Same as me. He has never liked the ones I mess with. I expected a lot of comments. Why did you take a picture of the top of a bell pepper? Isn't that a waste of good film. Shhh...don't tell him I don't use film anymore. If you like it the way it was, why did you mess with it? You know..those comments.

He made a liar out of me. He actually chose the manipulated one as his favorite.





Sunday, August 25, 2013

Are You Ready for Some

Football...er...Holidays?

I am. For both, actually, and for many reasons not the least of which is because around here, except for the 4th of July and Labor Day, it is generally cool_er.

I've created some more graphics for the cutlery holder. Just as I finally figured out a word that I think is appropriate, we came up with some different ways to use them. We thought of candy holders for Valentine's Day and Halloween. Also, gift card holders for any occasion. You can punch a hole in the top and hang them from the tree for Christmas gift cards, candy canes, or cookies and they become ornaments as well.

I did not, however, figure out a convenient way to show them all with their variations.



I used a couple of different techniques while making these just because I wanted to play.
I also re-purposed a few graphics, but I don't think I have shared them before. I also created some inserts to separate the contents from the holder color if necessary.

The folding instructions for the holder are here:
Just the holder instructions

The band and the insert on the New Year's eve holder were laminated with gold foil. The spider web band on the witch holder was laminated with black foil. It made it shiny like the black cutlery while leaving the white web perfectly untouched.

I side-loaded a paint brush with acrylic paint and painted the outside edges of the pink flower.

I ordered some fabulous construction paper online from Office Depot, Nature Saver Smooth Texture. I had to order 12x18 sheets and cut them to 12 x12. The paper is smoother and not as fibrous as regular construction paper. It is also double sided. Unfortunately, they only sell it online. For the rose, I coffee dyed the paper for the holder and the rose petals and leaves. I cut the rose elements out of the paper before I dyed them. It did not leave a mess on my mat and cut great. But, they are simple cuts. The whole thing smells like coffee.

The instructions for the rose assembly are here. I made one exception. Instead of building them on air-dry clay bases, I built them on the pointed end of a cotton swab that I bought at the Dollar Tree. When they were completely dry, I cut off the rest of the swab.
Rose Assembly Instructions

I also ordered some 12x18 construction paper from Amazon, Sun Works. It is also smooth and double sided, but is thinner. I haven't decided if I will attempt to cut it, but it worked great for the holders.



All the PNG files and Svg Files
MTC Cutting File


All the PNG files and Svg Files
MTC Cutting File



All the PNG files and Svg Files
MTC Cutting File


All the PNG files and Svg Files
MTC Cutting File


All the PNG files and Svg Files
MTC Cutting File


All the PNG files and Svg Files
MTC Cutting File



All the PNG files and Svg Files
MTC Cutting File








Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I think I May Be in Trouble

I signed up for a different kind of photography class today. Its mission is to attempt to teach a dummy like me how to digitally turn my photos into fine art. I love the layered, blended, even grunge look. I know in my head what I want something to look like but sometimes have trouble getting there.

Here's the problem. I agree some images, probably even most, need to be left very traditional. However, there are many that are just perfect for experimenting with to see what more can be done with them. My husband disagrees. He's an_everything needs to be squared to the wall_ kind of guy. He'll line up a foot stool, chair, kitchen appliance or whatever straight to the wall. I'll come along grab the stool with my toe and give it a kick. Where and how it lands is where I want it. I turn a lot of my things on the counter so they are not lined up in neat little rows. He turns them back. Then the process starts all over. He straightens, I turn, he straightens, I turn. We're both pretty much running on autopilot now.

He does not like the photos I mess with. I do but think I can do much better. We shall see.

Here are a few that I have done. I think it will be fun to compare after the course.





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Some People Walk in the Rain

Others just get wet.

I like rain. I even like storms. I don't enjoy lightning as much as I used to because I worry about all of the electronics, but watching it can be awesome.

If it is not lightning, I will go outside, barefoot, and run around in the rain. Get soaking wet. Maybe dance a little. It feels wonderful. It smells wonderful. No, it will not give you pneumonia. Nor will walking barefoot in the snow. Family, are you listening?

It is summer, it is Texas, it is hot. Mostly it is dry. So, we have to resort to this.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Van Granny

This is absolutely the last post I am going to make regarding a decision that was made or an action that was taken predicated on events out of our control. Things are Great now and looking up more and more every day. I thought this one turned out funny, though.

Because of circumstances, my husband and I were discussing the possibility that we might have to sell our house. We started analyzing what changes might need to be made in order for it to sell quickly. A major problem that we could see, at least in a Realtor's eyes, is that I LOVE color...lots and lots of color. There is not a single color I do not like and firmly believe that every one of them has its right place. My kitchen and breakfast area was the canvas for my palette. We knew we were going to have to get the walls back to a neutral color, which we did.

I started looking for things that I could hang on the, now, to me, boring walls. I found a place that sells crops of Van Gogh's paintings that have been sublimated onto ceramic tiles. I ordered the most colorful ones I could. I also ordered some frames designed specifically for ceramic tiles. The day my goodies arrived, the Grands were here. We all had a hand in deciding how and where they would be hung. Mission accomplished, but it wasn't enough. They filled one area, but I had more wall to cover.

In one of the painting classes I teach, the students each take a turn choosing what they would like to paint and we all paint the same thing. One was of some grapes with very colorful leaves and background. I have grapes and some of those colors already in my kitchen. I could hang that. Check!

I went through some of my own photos and cropped out some colorful sections, reduced the detail to make them look more painterly, over saturated the colors and put them in the same color frames as the ceramic tiles. Would it work? We thought so. Check!

My Granddaughters call these my Van Grannys. Bless their hearts. I think it takes a colossal ego to put my stuff next to Van Gogh's. One thing can be said, though. It is colorful.





Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It'll Be Back

I can see that.

I went out and walked around my wildlife area yesterday. It still makes me kinda sad, but I did see signs of renewal.

This is one of the birdhouses my husband made.



This bench, which was one of several set up along the walking path that we cut through the area, is still intact. Surrounding it was cactus and tons and tons of wildflowers. It was a great spot for photographing all kinds of creatures. The tree overhanging it also created some nice shade. It looks lonely now. I do see some leaves coming back in areas on some of the trees and even a few cactus. Along with my favorite, Johnson Grass. Not! I just hope the wildflowers come back next year since they burnt before they had a chance to drop their seeds.

That was a huge, huge pile of cactus. The dragonflies and butterflies loved it.



I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is very minor. We were lucky that the fire didn't get any closer to my studio or the house than it did. Nevertheless, this small area is a source of great pleasure. It's an area that my husband doesn't have to mow (LOL!)and a place where I could sit in peace, take pictures, do nothing, whatever. The grands loved walking the path to see what they could find new. That is the first place they would take their friends when they came to visit with them. It will be exciting to see how it comes back next year.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Shoot the Pets

OMG! I have been having so much fun.

Hubby had his last Dr's. appointment until February and everything looks good.

I closed my studio until it cools off. That has given me some much needed time to do what I want to do. I always close this time of year. But, this time, I am thinking about closing it permanently.

I have been designing and cutting with my Black Cat. More on that coming soon. I always think I like drawing the graphics better than cutting them until I sit down and watch that machine actually cut what I have created.

I still haven't been shooting much. It is so hot that the only thriving plant life I see is Johnson Grass. I saw the cat chasing the dog the other day and they were both walking. Shadow can be a terror and is such a tease. I made them come in the house and that didn't go over so well.

What the...


I don't care if she is sorry, make her get off my side...


ALLIE


JENNY
The grands got Jenny when we got Allie. They are sisters as well as rescue dogs.


Ok. So this is not a pet. It was taken at Washington on the Brazos. The site where Texas declared its independence from Mexico. I found it when I was looking for something else on my computer.