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.