Friday, December 31, 2010

Pocket with a Surprise ATC Swap

This swap required each ATC to have a pocket included with some type of surprise in the pocket. I chose to have the surprise be a fortune that I collected from fortune cookies. This fortune spoke to opportunity knocking on your door in the near future. So, I included an image of a mission in Texas that I took a few years ago to complement the fortune in the pink pocket.
This fortune spoke to the likelihood of travel to exotic places for the lucky person who opened it (not necessarily me - I collect them from everyone!). So, of course, I had to include some decorated paper that looked like a passport page and postage stamps from countries other than the US.

This last fortune spoke to receiving a cheerful message soon. So, I used a handwriting rubber stamp for the background, and made the pocket with some dark brown handmade paper with lace laid over it to create a more romantic feeling.

Hearts ATC Swap

These ATCs had the theme of "hearts". A heart (at least one) had to be include in each one. For this first one, I used a heart cut-out made with heart printed paper. It's mounted on dyed dryer sheets and then on a background that I painted with a few different colors. I'm sure the young lady within the heart was someone's valentine!

For this second ATC, I loved the look of some metallic-like papers I had and decided to make some nesting hearts, like the Russian nesting dolls.

This ATC is kind of fun - I used a texture rubber stamp on some handmade paper and then cut it out in the shape of a basket. The hearts were made by using a rubber stamp on some dyed baby wipes and then cutting out the hearts. I just kind of piled them up to look like they were just tumbling out of the basket!

Book Page Background ATCs

Here are some ATCs that I just finished today for a swap at The theme for this swap was book page backgrounds - the backgrounds for each of the ATCs are pages taken from old books. This ATC had a book in German (I think) as the background. I decided to also make each one monochromatic - in this case, a deep rose color.

This ATC used a page out of an old hymnal as its background. The phrase "his bright crown adorning" gave me the idea for the subject of the ATC.

I think the language of this book page is Spanish. I used a blue color as the main color and found this image of a blue jay that I thought just had to be included in the ATC. I included some leaf cut outs that I made from some dyed baby wipes I had. I like the idea of the blue jay peeking thru the leaves!

December in the High Desert

I took these images just before Christmas. The sky here never ceases to amaze me! The above photo was taken as the moon was rising, and while the last little wisp of color from the sunset was still in the sky. This is looking out from our back patio.

This image was of an incredible sunrise this month. Our little airport windsock is in the lower left hand corner. I left it in there just to give you some perspective as to how big the sky is. I just love the warm colors of the sunrise slowly warming up the cool, dark sky of night.

Not all of the cool sights are in the sky, tho! We had a little snow the other day, and I thought this banana yucca plant in front of a rock in our front courtyard made a nice little snowy cactus still life portrait. For someone who grew up in the Midwest, it seems a bit odd to see snow on cactus, but it really is fairly common here in the high desert during the winter!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunrise and the Deserted Cabin

One of my favorite subjects too photograph is this little deserted cabin that's about 15 minutes from our house, just down a two-lane road that's never very crowded, especially at this time of the day! It's just before official sunrise, the dawn of a new day.

This image was taken just a few minutes later, from a slightly different perspective. You can still see the light shining thru the window, just as you could in the first image. However, you can see the changing colors of the sky, as the sun gets closer to the horizon. I also really like the tree in front of the cabin - it adds such character, don't you think?

And, finally, the final light show before the sun puts in an appearance! The cabin really isn't the focus of this shot - the glorious sky is. The colors are just so subtle and wonderfully beautiful, I just couldn't resist. Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Walk

Took a walk today after we finished shoveling and blowing the driveway clear. What a pretty sight our neighbor's fence and pine trees made. The tracks in the snow are Miki's - she just has such fun in the snow!

I couldn't resist taking this image - poor little cactus all buried in snow! Still, it will be melted soon enough, I'm sure!

Loved this small little tree with it's gnarly branches just covered in white. The blue behind it is a bit of the mountains finally becoming visible after being hidden all day yesterday during the snow!

There's just something about the look of old dried blossoms covered in a new coating of white snow. It reflects their delicacy, but also their hardiness.

I'm not sure if this is a shrub or a large tumbleweed - if it's a tumbleweed, it's never looked so good!

First Winter Storm

We were expecting 3" - 4" and ended up with over a foot of snow!! Our friends' two horses, Jazz and Patches just seemed to be taking in the snowfall.

And the rest of this blog is about our Miki! Here she is helping by supervising Jeff as he shoveled our front walkway from the house to the studio/hanger.

When we let her out the back door, she was out like a flash, just bounding along the back yard. The little orange flag in back of her is actually the wind sock for the airport. Needless to say, today, she's faster than any plane out there (of course, there aren't any out there today, but let's not tell Miki that!).

And, doesn't she look regal sitting there by the snow covered fire pit, just waiting for Jeff to start up a campfire? Not today, little puppy!

And, finally, she just couldn't resist a taste of the snow! I guess all that supervising, bounding thru the snow outrunning planes and waiting for a campfire just made her thirsty! We all should keep the sense of fun held effortlessly by kids and animals, don't you think?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

New ATC Art

Here are some ATCs that I finished today. I made them for a swap with the theme, "Pocket with a Surprise". I decided that the "surprise" in these ATCs would be some fortunes that I got in some fortune cookies over time.

This first ATC uses hand-made paper for the pocket. The fortune speaks to a chance encounter with a stranger. I thought this vintage photo of my maternal grandfather worked well with it, especially with the flower he's holding. Tee, hee! My grandfather was definitely NOT the candy & flowers type of guy!

This next ATC was inspired by a fortune that talked of travel to exotic places being in the future. I thought a pocket made out of some paper that appeared to be from a passport page seemed to work well. Of course, stamps always help to demonstrate travel and exotic places!

And this final ATC is one of my favorites! The fortune speaks to receiving a cheerful letter or message. I used the same hand-made paper as I did with the first one, but this time, I added an additional layer of lace that I painted over to sort of dye it to match the paper underneath more closely and better complemented the paper. The stamp that was made on the background further enhanced the fortune by appearing to be a page from a letter.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Seattle This Morning

A couple of images of a magical morning, on this last morning in Seattle. The above image was shot with a little point and shoot of Jeff's. It was a very slow shutter speed, so it was quite blurry. I decided that the colors were too wonderful to ignore, so I applied a fun special effects filter to create this magical image. Again, it's the same view from the balcony as yesterday's.

This image was taken by Jeff a few minutes later. The rays of the sun only lasted a very few minutes. I played with accenting the colors that were there in nature, and did a bit of cropping, and what a glorious image of the morning.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving in Seattle

This image was shot early this morning from the deck/balcony of the house of Jeff's sister, Nancy & her husband, Lonnie. Isn't it magical looking? Nancy & Lonnie live in a town called Poulsbo, WA, just across the Puget Sound from Seattle. We actually look across at Seattle, altho I think the clouds are obscuring the lights from the city. I love the grey tones in this image - very moody.
This shot was shot a few minutes later as more clouds rolled in. Still very moody, but a bit more color to the morning. It's interesting how the day just seems to creep up on you.

And, finally, the sun actually makes an appearance, reflecting off the water. You still can't see the lights of Seattle, but it sure is a calming and pretty sight, isn't it?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Morning Greeting

This is what I saw when I looked out the window this morning! The sunrise was just beautiful, altho this only lasted for a few minutes. I loved the whispering clouds in the above photo - so gentle....
These are the same clouds (above), but a moment later when the colors shifted. What a soft looking morning.....

And, again, the colors shifted back, but it seems slightly less intense. And, these are the real colors - no adjusting on my part! Reality in the Southwest - no wonder Georgia O'Keeffe loved it here.


Monday, October 18, 2010

October So Far!!

Here are some photos that I've taken throughout the month so far! This first photo was taken yesterday when Jeff & I took a drive thru the Sandia Mountains near home. Some of the aspens were just beautiful as they changed to that wonderful golden color they get in the fall!

This image was also shot yesterday morning. We stopped at a trail that had some pretty colors going on, altho these green trees were a nice entry to the colorful aspens beyond. I sort of think of this as the path less traveled....and as the poem goes, and that makes all the difference.

I took this photo from the rooftop parking area at work. I just got out of my car, turned around, and there were Tweety and friends! This was taken during the Hot-Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, which occurs the first 2 weekends in October and the week in between. It's the largest hot-air balloon gathering in the world. Happens here in ABQ because of the great "box" winds that exist here. Basically, that means that winds blow in one direction at one altitude, and in the opposite direction at a higher altitude. In any event, it's a fun time and this image seems to capture the spirit of the Fiesta!

Another great sunrise as seen from our back patio.

And the color of the sky for this sunset was pretty cool, too!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Flower Power ATCs"

Here are some ATCs that I just finished today for a swap called "Flower Power". I had to include at least one flower on each ATC. This one has a piece of the vintage music as the background, with a transparency of an image of a flower that had been manipulated by me in PhotoShop. The green color comes from the transparency. The transparency is held in place with some tiny brads. I really like the way this one came out, don't you?

This ATC used tissue paper of a flower pattern as the foundation of the piece. I then started paging thru a flower catalog, and decided that some of the words and sentiments would be perfect compliments to the wacky flower in this piece. I especially liked a quote in the catalog that spoke to "such happy little flowers", and I thought this would be the perfect name for this piece!

This piece also started with a tissue as the background - the daisies behind the two children. I then added the vintage image of the two children, and added the daisies in front so that it seems they are in a field of daisies. How fun! No wonder they are smiling!


"Postage Due"ATCs

Here are a couple of new ATCs I finished today. I call this one "Thru the Window". The foundation is an old photo of my dad (on the right) and a friend of his. I have no idea who the person is peeking out the window at them, but, to me, that just makes the photo! The theme of this ATC collection is "Postage Due", a swap I'm participating in. There needs to be at least one postage stamp in the piece. This one has 3 of them, plus some postage related rubber stamps and ephemera!

This ATC is made up of a number of stamps from around the world - Bahamas, Columbia, Spain and I can't recall the other 2! I also added some postage related rubber stamps and call this piece "Around the World". It reminds me of one of those old fashioned suitcases that would have some sort of travel stamps and tags on it from wherever the owner traveled.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oil Pastel ATCs

Here are a couple of ATCs I just finished for an art swap. The challenge of the swap was to use oil pastels to create the art. For these two, I used some colors, some warm (above) and some cool (below). I applied the oil pastel crayons and then heated them with my heat gun. I then used my fingers to sort of blend and meld the colors. When the colors dried, I applied some leaf stamps (above) and dragonfly stamp (below) to finish them off. Pretty simple, but I like the way they came out. My first attempt to work with oil pastels. I think I shall use them again!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Headin' Home

Just a couple of images from our trip back home. The above image was taken as we were driving on Highway 550 in Colorado, on Red Mountain Pass. Yes, the aspens are in glorious color!
This fabulous view was from our campsite last night, at a state park near Ridgway, Colorado. We were lucky to get this spot - just beat out quite a few rigs that came in within a 1/2 hour! The light green color is a pasture that was dotted (from our distance) with cattle, who had been brought down from grazing on higher ground over the summer. I hadn't realized they were cattle until Jeff pointed it out, and later when I heard them "moo-ing"! Enjoy!!