Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Three Muses Challenge- You are what you eat

And what I would eat all the time if only I could---is CHOCOLATE!
My chocolate self is from Suzee Que, and the background is blended from papers from the Port Au Prince collection from Songbird Avenue.

Darkness Inspiration--Dark Bird--or Not

The Raven is the ultimate Dark Bird--familiar of witches and wizards, harbinger of death and destruction, eater of the dead. The raven is a dark omen and the sight of one perched near our home always brings a shudder.
Here is my dark and beautiful raven.
The raven itself is from Google, as is the map, the egg is from the Feathered Nest, and the text piece is from a set by Angela Powers. THe background texture layers are from Skeketal Mess at Shadowlands, and from Encounter_Laura and Joes Sistah at T4L

There is, however, another side to the Black Bird...

Native Americans of the Northwest considered Raven a mythic champion who stole the sun from a box where it had been concealed. Having done this he released it into the sky for the benefit of mankind. Other stories make the raven responsible for releasing the stars and the moon from bags and/or boxes where they had been kept hidden. Peter Goodchild, in Raven Tales (1991) has collected stories from the Pacific Northwest that celebrate the raven’s use of trickery and intelligence to transform the environment into something man can use. It is Raven who is responsible for releasing the sun, establishing a rhythm to the seasons and providing shamans with their visionary and healing powers.

Raven-Bringer of Light

Was created using Photoshop brush sets: Crow brushes by Emma Alvarex, Tribal set 1 by Stephanie at Obsidian Dawn, Easy Elements Swirls for the cut-outs on the ravens wings,Halloween vectors (the moon), and Sun brush pack (the sun).
Background textures from Shadowlands, Tanya at T4L and Jessica Sprague; map from Vintage Moth and other images from Google

Monday, March 29, 2010

Collage Obsession--Easter

Bunnie wanted to be the center of attention here this week, and it IS his holiday, so here he is, the star of his own Easter postcard.
The images are from Dover ( Bunnie and the flowers) and Graphics Fairy (the eggs. A sunny yellow gradient and two lovely textures from Encounter_Laura at T4L, along with some filters, blending and colorizing completed the process.
Happy Easter!
And for those who celebrate it, Happy Passover!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

SPA-Time for Tea

Another Tea challenge! I don't know what to say about tea--it's so GOOD for you, nourishes the soul as well as the body. I remember it fondly...but thanks to the magic of pregnancy, I cannot drink it any more [sigh].

Oh well, at least I can make pictures about it; this one with background textures from Graphics Fairy, Rubyblosson at T4L and a freebie from Leaf Days. The teacup and butterfly are from Dover and the lady, who was a real person named Sissi, and was an Empress, is from Marie's freebies.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

ACF Challenge 68-- By Starlight

I began with the beautiful greeny-gold background provided this week. I went wandering around in my image files looking for inspiration and found this woman. I've been saving her--and clearly ignoring her--but I think she found her place in these gothic arches and the words of a poen by Henry Trent.
The arches are a gift from Marie's Freebies, I can't remember where the woman came from--and she won't tell me! the rest is old paper textures, and blending and filters.
Thanks for visiting.

soartful challenge-Frame--he loved her

We were given this lovely frame for our inspiration this week. It called out for something simple to balance its colorful complexity. I love wedding pictures, especially vintage ones-those young faces so full of love and hope. I can't help it, it's Spring and romantic excess is in the air!

The wedding photo is from Suzee Que, I think, and the First Kiss is from Heidi's freebie site. The embellishments are from Scrapbook Flair amd a freebie from Jessica Sprague's site. If you've never visited Jessica, her site is commercial, offering fabulous classes and kits of papers, embellishments and everything you'll need for scrapbooking. There are also occasional free classes-I took one pf the photo editing ones and I learned SO much!-- and good tutorials. Stop by there, you'll like it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

4 x 4 Friday--artisan-The Weaver

Here is my 4x4 for this week's challenge. When I saw this I was reminded of the many artists and crafters I saw on my trips to Santa Fe, and I knew I wanted to use a native American theme. I went to Google images, and found this wonderful weaver. He is much altered with filters and layer styles. The other bits, also from Google are native rugs and other weavings, and are also altered and blended.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Art on the Dark side--Dark Women

We are exploring the dark side of women this time at Art on the Darkside. My "dark side" has mellowed a bit since my vampire days, but I can still appreciate a dark and predatory fellow traveler. Enter this parlor at your own risk.

The lovely lady is from I don't remember, that mythic site where so much great "stuff" is found. Also the spiderweb. The background textures and frame are mostly from T4L, these are by Temari09 and AuntieNKansas; also thanks to Skeletal Mess, whose red beauty is titled "Raw Flesh". How delicious is THAT!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Three Muses Challenge-Nice cup of tea

I am SO not a tea person, even the smell of strong tea bothers me. But I do like all the paraphenalia associated with it, and the idea of tea ceremonies and tea parties.

So here's a tea party, with tea and cakes, and bunnies invited. The bunnies came from Suzee Que, not sure about the little girl. The tea table is from Google Images, and is altered with filters and color enhancement. The background was created with textures from T4L; Rubyblossom provided a couple here and Norma Frances provided the flourishy (is that even a word?) frame.

Thanks for coming to our Tea Party!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Collage Obsession-Fruitful

Collage Obsessions challenge this week give us the theme Fruitful, and a lovely image of a painting by Millet. So I used both, incorporating a beautiful vintage ad for berry plants with the painting. To compensate for the gigantic fruit, I made the lovely ladies into tiny sprites.

I don't know where I found the ad--some time ago I found a site showing a lot of vintage ads from seed and plant catalogues, perhaps it was there. I also used a texture piece from Pareeerica at T4L,which brightened the soft colors, and a couple of brushes for the flourishes.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Serendipity--Photoshop Elements Layer Styles

Jeanette from Soartful asked me how I made the "cutouts" in this week's piece "Reverie"
It was done using the Eraser tool, set to a floral flourish brush, then a Simple Inner Bevel Layer style was applied to the layer.

The challenge group at Digital Whisper recently challenged us to learn how to create and to use watermarks on our pieces. I found the tutorial below, which makes a practically transparent watermark in PSE.

I tried changing the way the bevel or other style looks using the technique in the tutorial; clicking on the symbol that appears on the right side of the layer in the palette and adjusting the controls for direction of light, angle of bevel or shadow and whatever else is there.
Try it and see what you can do.

Sorry, I can't quite figure out how to add and active link here, so you'll have to cut and paste...

soartful challenge-March 20, 2010

For this week's challenge we are provided with a lovely vintage sketch. I will admit that I had no idea where to go with this image....So, I began messing around with PS brushes, creating a background using the colors in the parasol and the gray background. I added one of my favorite textures, a freebie I've had for a long time, of roses and bits of text glazed with pink, and a texture from SkeketalMess for some color around the edges.
I really was in a reverie all afternoon, creating this. I guess it's one of those "organic" pieces, that just grows into itself.
I like it a lot. I'd love to know what you think.

Two at Once! ACF Challenge # 66 & SPA -Steampunk

So...busy lady that I am (cleaning up after flooded basement last week)I decided to see if I could combine the Art Creations Friday and Sunday Postcard Art challenges this week. to meld the beautiful vintage image of little girls and flowers with Steampunk. A little editing and tinting for the image; a grungy background (by wRItinG at T4L) overlaid on itself, a layer of text and pink roses, some antique watches from Google Images. I put the mechanical bouquet together from the jpeg files for the Steampunk Materials free brush set, and a floral brush set by Jaaaiiro. The clockwork duckie in the corner is courtesy of the Graphics Fairy, and the stamp is my own creation.

And here is " Springtime in Steampunk"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

4 x 4 Friday--Spring Equinox--Amid the Cherry Blossoms

Here is my entry for this week's callenge--Spring Equinox. I chose to take a peek amid the cherry blossoms and see what was there. I think fairies and birds must love Spring most of all--the returning of light and color and warmth; the pride and relief at making it through the long, cold, dark time (as we refer to winter in my house!)
Cherry blossoms from Google were altered with filters and a gradient layer; the fairy is from Marie's Freebies, and her wings from Dover. The bird is from the graphics Fairy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Playing with Photoshop

I recently downloaded a bunch of free photoshop brushes from and decided to play with them. I had them listed alphabetically in a file so I just started with the first set went through most of them, taking random bits to see what I could make. At the same time I decided to go monochrome, so it wouldn't be quite so busy. I picked a random spot on the bar of the color picker, then a random light shade from the left side of the monochrome square. I darkened the values as I went along by moving the picker straight downward a bit at a time.
Mauve was first, and was all done on one layer. Green was next and I used two layers only so I could reverse the fish in the middle.
It was big, arty fun!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Three Muses Challenge-Incognito

Welcome Back, Ann! I missed you and your lovely creations. Sounds like it was the trip of a lifetime.
I love this week's theme. It's always fun helping someone to be not as they seem.
Bunnie loves to dress up too, and wanted to play.

The images here, except for Bunnie, who is from Dover, are Googled and the frame is made from images by Catgotti at T4L and Norma Frances from Frames for Use Flickr groups

Happy St Patrick's Day

Some Twinchies for St Pat's Day and a piece I made for my husband's desktop.
Happy St Patrick's Day to all who celebrate

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Darkness Inspiration--Dark Lady

The current challenge theme at Darkness Inspitation is "Dark Lady" I knew right away I wanted to use this Lady in Red, that I found a while ago on Suzee Que's Flickr site. She has some really great illustrations there, along with vintage photos and a collection of Alice illustrations I'd never seen.
This lady always seems to me like she's thinking dark and troubling thoughts.
I also recently came across a whole collection of wicked red background textures called BloodRage on the Shadowlands site. You may know the artist here as SkeketelMess at Textures for Layers. These have names like Redrum, Raw Flesh and The Devil You Say. I love them! Tow other beautiful backgrounds by RubyBlossom provided the landscape for Hell and the text, and a piece by Eddi07, also at T4L, gave it an eerie light.. Photoshop brushes provided the fire, wings and halos for my "angel".

Monday, March 15, 2010

Collage Obsession-Mirage

Here is my entry for this week's challenge. I chose both the image and the word prompt--mirage-- to create this Alice in Wonderland themed piece.
What is the mirage here and what is real?

The image of the old church was provided for the challenge; Alice is from a collage sheet by Gaby Braun and the rabbit is from one of Tenniel's sets of original illustrations. THe texture is old paper , a freebie from a photoshop class I took, and the text and crow are brushes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SPA Challenge-Goddess

Here is my goddess for this challenge. She didn't begin taking form in the frozen darkness, but here is where she wishes to be. Who am I to deny her...
I don't know where this image is from, thank you, whoever you are for posting it. Backgrounds and textures are from T4L, by Joes Sistah, SkeketalMess and Durtcom. Photoshop brushes are by Easy Elements ( a really nice collection of brushes, and a nice site to visit) and Nikki Jeske Studio.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

soartful challenge-OOPS!

Here's my entry for this week. I love the expression on this little cutie's face. Don't you wonder how the paint got there!
The photo is from Suzee Que, and the frame is from PlayingwithBrushes at T4L.

ACF # 65-- Possibilities

Here is where my imagination took the lovely painting provided for our inspiration this week. I really wanted to remove this lovely lady from her shady glen and take her to the magical world of Possibility.
The elements that assisted me in creating this fanciful place came from Textures for Layers, a Flickr group with THOUSANDS of images free for use. These are by Boccacino, JoesSistah and Spektoral Addendum. Graphics fairy provided the eggs and swan, Dover gave me the dragonfly wings and the music came from Shabby Chic.
Thanks for visiting.

Friday, March 12, 2010

4x4 Friday--Words of Wisdom

The expression "bloom where you are planted" has been with me since, oh, 8th grade. It's always made perfect sense to me to to try and be the best you can be in any situation. It's seeing tiny wildflowers growing in the cracks in the sidewalk, crocus pushing through the snow, and the one budding branch on an almost lifeless tree.
Here is my lovely, blooming child, turning her face to the sunlight as spring finally returns.
The image is from a collage sheet by Elizabeth Golden at The last door Down the Hall; backgrounds and textures from Irene2005 at T4L, and freebies from Scrapbook Flair. The hummingbird as also a freebie from SF. The rest is blending, filters and brushes. I love this font, called Fancy Pens. It's free at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Three Muses --Newspaper & Soartful (last) Saturday- Woman

Well, the second piece for Soartful Saturday did come together after all--thanks to the Three Muses and their Newspaper challenge. Here is a postcard, Iron Jawed Angels. This piece was inspired by Kimberly Decker and her Free Trinkets and Treasures blog, where she's doing a series of posts for Women's History month. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were among the women campaigning for the 19th Amendment. They took on the established Women's Suffrage movement, launched an international campaign, picketed Congress and the White House, were arrested and beaten by police and went on a hunger strike while in jai. They were ultimately successful, and women everywhere benefitted. There's a wonderful TV mini-series about their struggle, called, oddly enough, Iron Jawed Angel.
When I was Googling Women's Suffrage, looking for the background bits, I came upon many headlines--which brought me to the Muses challenge. So Here's a One for Two special.
The texture is from nyker99 at T4L, the photos from Kimberly's blog site. The newspaper bits are from Google.
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Collage Obsession--Movies

Here is my entry for this week's Collage Obsession. Ever since I was a little girl, I always loved and thought of Dorothy Lamour as larger-than-life. In all those "Road" pictures she was just so far above and beyond the rest of the characters, she seemed like a queen, and sometimes even a Goddess. to me. So here she is.
Very simple this week, a couple of textures from Abby Lanes at T4L, the deco piece is from Dover, and a few artistic filters and blending modes for Dorothy herself.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

SPA Challenge-Travel

Here's my entry for SPA's challenge this week--Travel. I envisioned the "trip of a lifetime" for these vintage young women, and built my collage around their photo on the deck of their steamship.
The photo, I think, is from Artezine, which has quite a collection of snapshot photos of all kinds of things. All the other bits-travel posters, a timetable, leftover money and a souvenir charm bracelet-and backgrounds came from Google. It was quite like assembling a paper collage--cutting and pasting the pieces.

Friday, March 5, 2010

4 x 4 Friday & Soartful Saturday--Woman

When I think of "woman" in the largest sense, my thoughts always go to Mother Nature, Mother Earth and Gaea--wonderful, meaningful symbols of the nurturing and protective aspects of the feminine spirit.
So, in celebration of International Woman's Day, here is Gaea.

Images are from Suzee Que and NASA, background and textures from MBGrigby at T4L, and Jeanette at Soartful. Photoshop brushes are 8 2nds of Light and Neutron Collapse.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

ACF Challenge 64 Little Boy

This week the hosts at Art Creations Friday provided this beautiful boy for our pleasure. He is just so cute, all he really needs is a nice frame. But where's the fun in that. I chose to gather a collection of little boy "stuff" around him, cherished things that might have been in his pockets.
The stuff came from Gooogle, the ribbon and clipping mask from Cottage Arts--a site with great scrapbooking kits and ideas, tutorials and free stuff too. Go visit them sometime. The text and postage stamps texture is brom Boccacino at T4L and the background paper and the button from Songbird Avenue, a place I found that produces one digital kit every month, created by volunteer artists, and on sale only for a limited time. Each month, the proceeds are designated to a different charity. The kit I bought is called Port Au Prince, and the proceeds went to emergency relief for Haiti.
Wow, that was a lot of words! There's been a discussion recently at Digital Whisper about giving credit for the elements we use in our work. I am in favor of that--my work woud be greatly diminished if I didn't have the wonderful materials created by others to use as my paints and brushes.
Hope you like my little guy.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Three Muses Challenge-Oh Man

I made this piece last year as a Father's Day card for my dad--that's him in the middle. Below are the words from the inside.

You didn’t tell us how to live
You lived
And let us watch you do it

It takes a special man
To be a great dad

Some of the images came from a collage sheet from Elizabeth at the Last Door down the Hall. I urge those of you who don't know her blog to visit it. It's full of wonderful stuff--great art, wonderful writing, yummy recipes and lots more. I don't remember where I found the clock or the guy in the lower right corner. The butterfly is from Dover

Collage Obsession--Stairs

Who could resist working with this beautiful image..not me! I didn't start out to be whimsical, but I find sometimes these creations know better than me. So here is the Swan Queen and her brood.
Textures from Temari09 and Pareeerica at T4L; the queen's body-a painting of Elizabeth, Empress of Austria--from Suzee Que's Flickr site; the child's body from Art-e-ology's Free Image Tuesday collection--it was hard to erase her cute little face; the eggs are from the Graphics Fairy and the swans were googled. Brushes from Damned in Black and others.
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

soartful challenge-Alice in wonderland

Alice seems to be everywhere this week. A new movie premiering, and we all are getting into the act. Soartful's challenge this week is a trip to wonderland...and so I went.
I did want to try not to use all the expected images--although some of them are so iconic, like the white rabbit and the cheshire cat--that they can't be ignored. Here's my vision.
Alice is from a collage sheet by Gaby Braun, the rabbit and cheshire cat are Tenniel. The backgrounds are from Pareeerica and Spektoral Addendum at T4L. The watch is from the Feathered Nest and the doorway was googled.
Thanks for visiting.