butterfly effect: layers

This prompt is totally easy and fun (see Butterfly Effect for more layer fun) - I've been working through Traci Bautista's Doodling class for Strathmore (free!) and it's all about layers.  Here are a few I've made:

First one on 12x12 canvas:

I did a couple more that were started from the "leftover" paint on my stencils or brushes while creating the one above:

Traci's second set of video lessons started with a watercolor base and since I love my watercolors I thought this would be easier.  Not.

Here I tried the scribble writing with a marker but really felt like it's just a jumbled mess.  Nothing I like goin' on here so covered much of it up with green & yellow - still not lovin' it.

Covered it up even more and started in with the swirls.  I'm calling it done - there are some bits here and there that I like and will build on in a future effort.

My favorite result came here - it's on 15x20 watercolor paper - the biggest project I've done.
Started out with some vertical swatches of color and the stenciling, both of which I like - seems like a good beginning.....so I added my next layers:

Added some doodles.....

Wanted to color block it but oops - that blue - it totally obscured all the cool stenciling underneath!  BAD.....but don't give up, persevere, move forward......

Fixed the blue, more doodles, now it's ready for the addition of the black and white detailing...

This one has grown on me - there are certain parts I really love: the play of colors and shapes and the layers peeking through here and there.  If you're still with me through this long post, here are a couple quick detail shots - lovin' those layers!

Show us your layers!

texture tuesday: simplicity

Today Kim's prompt is to use her free texture Simplicity with one of our photos....  (join in each week over at Kim Klassen Cafe)

With this image I actually duplicated the texture to get the cool texture on the edges to show up.

Some frosty leaves from this week look even more golden with the texture added.  Thanks again for the inspiration Kim!



Just wanted to give a quick THANKS! to Lorinda for her suggestion to make a more noticeable link to my new ETSY shop.  So I actually made a button and figured out how to link it.  Now the goal is to beef up the inventory....I very much appreciate all suggestions and input!  Thanks again Lorinda!

tutorial tuesday with ashley

Ashley at Ramblings & Photos has changed her texture Tuesday to Tutorial Tuesday (in conjunction with Branson @ My Reflection of Something) with the idea of sharing a photographic lesson - either with camera or processing.  This week the 'lesson' was in building your own lightbox and taking photos using it.  Since this is something I've been meaning to do for a year or so (!), this was the perfect challenge.

Directions and execution of the box are simple, figuring out the lighting using just what's around the house, not so much.  The easiest place turned out to be my office desk because it had the most light without having to move every lamp in the house.  Here's the set up I ended up with.

There's tissue paper taped on the outside of both sides and the top and I used the matte side of freezer paper for my "roll".  This seems to work well and it's all stuff I already had on hand.  I moved the heads of the big floor lamp on the right so it pointed in the box but didn't have a balancing light on the right (I later moved in a bedroom lamp, laid on it's side to direct light in from the left).

Here's my SOOC shots:

 Evenly lit but the highlight is the ceiling light & there's even some window reflection in there....note to self, be careful when shooting reflective things.
A very gray background though very even in tone, would be easy to lighten the background.

 The light is too bright on the left so moved a piece of paper in front of the light til the hot spot went away.

 Better - and pretty evenly lit with only slight shadows, plenty of detail.

A pretty shot but again, gray background - I like the seamless look, but I need to figure out how to light the back of the box better to reduce the gray.

Here's the edited version of my teapot closeup - was able to make the background much brighter though I'll be doing more lighting experimentation so I don't have to do so much processing...  Thanks to Ashley for making my try this project that has been on my mental to-do list for ages!

See more lightbox shots at her link party on Tuesday.

scavenger hunt sunday #7

Missed a week or two so decided I needed to jump back in.  Pick up your camera and join in!

Ashley's prompts this week are:


I fell in love with this smile 35 years ago and it still makes my heart go pitty pat.


I was alone on the playground - and such a rare sunny day too!


Fire hydrants around here are an excellent source for rusty textures.  All this rain really helps create lovely rusty things!


Using artificial light to experiment with my newly created lightbox set up.  This is for Ashley's Tuesday Tutorial, but you get a preview here!


I pulled from my archives for these - I LOVE repeating patterns and found it hard to pick just one (or two for that matter) but I'll follow the spirit of the prompt and stop here.  Can't wait to see other folks' patterns.

See more fabulous scavenger hunt pics here at Ashley's site.  She has the prompts up for this upcoming week and there are some fun ones:  strike a pose, footwear, hobby, shiny, color me green.  You have a whole week to gather some great shots and share them next Sunday (or pull from your archives if needed :).


PAF: abstract, again

Hope you're not getting bored with these photo processing experiments. I just find the process fun and interesting and endlessly surprising - working with my images and transforming them into something appealing but not recognizable....the unrecognizable is easy, the appealing, not so much! :)

Here are the images I started with:

Outside the Summer Palace, Beijing, China

Purposely blurred dahlia

Pipe at a construction site

This week I tried something different to show the process; let's see if it helps...

You can see from the steps above how changing the blending mode (that's the hard light/difference, etc notes) dramatically affected the color tones from one to the next.  Even though I didn't care for the blue green colors that I got from "difference", I kept going and the addition of the hard light mode brought back the warmer colors from the dahlia.  Though the work palette is too small, you can see I have 3 flower images stacked & erased, then I have the 2 tube pics layered on top of that and finally the two textures over everything.

Here's my final image - I kept the face sort of clear but I like the layers of color and shapes - almost like an actual collage.  Bonnie's two free textures Heavenly (enhanced the blue tones and warmed up the overall colors) and the dramatic Etched in Stone (added text) really contributed to the finished product.  That Etched one really blended all the colors together beautifully.

See how creative others are this week by visiting Pixel Dust Photo Art.....even better, try it yourself.  No harm, no foul....it's just for fun and to help improve your photo editing skills.


exploring with the camera: windows

I love architecture - the lines, the texture of walls, the shapes of shadows and light.  However, I find it very difficult to photograph a whole building so I've discovered it's much more interesting to focus on the details.....what, in particular, made me look twice at that particular building.  Usually it's a window or door.  I find them endlessly fascinating.

Kat over at KatEye Studio is focusing on how windows can be used in photography and her tutorial will help you visualize how a window can be used effectively in composing an interesting photo.  As I searched my archives (I actually have a window 'tag' because I take so many), I found many old favorites that I'd forgotten about.

Most recently, I took this out my window during an ice storm here in Seattle.

I love old weathered buildings and the windows that punctuate them.

Both photos Shelburne Museum, Vermont
As Kat explains, windows can capture, reflect, or show the light - here the interplay of shadows makes the architecture that much more interesting.

Albany, NY airport
Capturing interesting reflections in a window is a great technique to show a different perspective on the surroundings.
Bellagio reflected in a nearby window, Las Vegas

Windows can serve as a design element, a way to anchor a subject like a textured wall or flower garden (above).
San Juan Capistrano

Texture and reflection in San Juan Capistrano

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Sorento, Italy

Repetition is always a good tool for creating an interesting composition.  When windows are the repeating element, magic!
Burano, Italy

Las Vegas

If you haven't fallen in love with using windows in your photos yet, make that a goal this year.....feature a window or a piece of a window in your compositions and see if you don't start a love affair that will last.  Thanks Kat for the walk down memory lane as I enjoyed my window photos all over again.
Also sharing with Creative Every Day.