Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy May - Bizarre Holiday ATCs!

Here's the May installment of bizarre holidays. The 3 dates that I chose were......May 23rd, Penny Day - above. Can you even remember when a penny was actually worth something, and just a few of them could get you some fabulous treasure?? Days long gone by.

May 26th is Grey Day....I took this photo one day at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. It was actually a grey winter day and this is the reflection of barren tree branches in a pond at the base of the trees. I love the shimmery effect of the photo, don't you?

Ah, May 6th is a great day, and not just for the fun bizarre holiday! It's Beverage Day - now, it could have been any beverage, but I had this great wine themed napkin, and I couldn't resist including it in this piece!


Photo ATCs - Patterns and Textures

Here are some photo ATCs from a swap I just participated in. the photo above was supposed to be an up-close portrait of my sweet little girl kitty, Tatoosh. But...she moved just as the shutter released. So, I was left with this very cool sort of spooky shot that created a pattern of her eye moving in the shot!

This shot is a close up of a knot in a tree. I used PhotoShop to accentuate the grainy pattern and texture of the wood. I really like this shot, including the subtle color changes of the wood.

This creamy looking image is a close-up of some wood grain on the inside of a tree. Again, I did some playing with PhotoShop and just liked the semi-swirly effect effect I was able to achieve.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vintage Photo ATC Art

I just completed this batch of ATCs for a swap. The theme was vintage photos that will then be collaged or some mixed media techniques. All ATCs had some vintage card stock as the background. The above ATC then had some handmade paper stamped with some text applied to it, and the vintage photo of a young graduate applied.

The above ATC again had the vintage card stock as a background, altho you can't really see it! The photo was a portrait of the kids in a family, I'm guessing. I then used the peeling paint technique on the ATC, which is what covers up most of the background. Still, I think the technique gives the piece a nice distressed vintage feel.

This last ATC uses one of my favorite vintage photos - of a woman who just seems to be ready for adventure! The background paper is of vintage postcards, which I thought was very appropriate since she's getting ready to embark on her adventure on the train behind her. I added a few postage stamps and a "please hand cancel" rubber stamp & it's complete!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Lovely Weekend Part 1

Our weekend began with a lovely sunrise! Jeff & I sat outside at our campsite watching the day unfold. The first light of dawn colored the sky in sort of a pastel color that is better than anything anyone can paint!
It seemed to take the sun quite a while to put in an actual appearance - was it just sleepy or did it want to really put on the show for us? I like to think the latter, and the colors of the sky above were certainly worth waiting for! I always love watching how the warm colors of the day overtake the cool colors of night in an almost luscious way.

And, there it is! The sun peeking out over the horizon! Once it appears, it really quite amazing how quickly it continues to rise. You can almost see it happening while you watch - which can only be for a little bit, since it gets far too bright very quickly. Still, what a lovely way to begin the day and the weekend!


Lovely Weekend Part 2

Friday was such a cool day! We went to visit Carlsbad Caverns, and probably overdid it a bit, walking the various trails and paths. We first did a guided tour thru a tunnel or cavern, lit only by lantern - very cool! It was an old fashioned candle lit lantern, and was very much how the first explorers of the cavern saw it. Very spooky when we all blew out our candles and kept quiet for a minute. Absolute darkness and absolute silence. We then went back up to the top to retrieve my camera and decided to walk down the natural entrance to the caverns. The above shot is of Jeff at the very, very beginning of the entrance - we had to walk down 750 feet, on a very steep switchback trail. My toes were not very happy during this, as my feet kept sliding to the front of my boots and swishing them! Still, it was very cool to have done that!
It was hard to actually take photos inside the caverns because it was pretty dim and dark most of the time. Every so often, some parts of the cavern were lit fairly well, and were close enough for the flash on my camera to actually illuminate things well enough for things to be clear! The image, above, gives you an idea of what the various openings in the cavern walls showed you.
These sort of icicle looking formations are called stalactites when they form from the ceiling of the cavern (they hang "tight" to the ceiling) and stalagmites when they form from the floor of the cavern (they are "mighty" and reach to the ceiling). When the two of them meet, they then form a column. Here are a couple that are almost a column. They are actually only about a few feet from each other. It will probably take them quite some time to meet tho.

As we looked overhead, it was quite the experience to see the stalactites reaching down for one's head! I couldn't resist taking a shot of some as they reached for Jeff & me. I am very glad that they hang "tight" to the ceiling!


Lovely Weekend Part 3

On Saturday, we checked out the Living Desert State Park, in Carlsbad. There was much more to it than we first thought. It was a sort of combined zoo and garden. I know lots of folks hate the thought of seeing animals in zoos, but many of the ones in this zoo, like the majestic eagle, were injured, and would not have survived in the wild, so this is providing a safe place for them to live, and be treated for whatever injuries they have.
The little guy above wasn't injured, and was just flying around overhead in an aviary that we walked thru at the zoo portion of the state park. He was just such a little cutie, I couldn't resist snapping a shot.
Several of the cacti were in bloom, or getting ready to bloom. A barrel cactus produces such pretty yellow flowers right up at the top of it!

Ok, this isn't a cactus bloom, but in the greenhouse, along with the cactus, was a beautifully blooming hibiscus tree, and I got this lovely shot of one of the flowers overhead!


Monday, April 4, 2011

New ATC Art - Whimsical Birds!

This ATC swap was just a hoot! The theme was "whimsical birds". I decided to take a whimsical look at some real bird names. The above bird is a Cardinal - don't you just love his hat, bat and shoes?
The above bird is a Kingfisher - I just loved his flippers and snorkeling mask & breathing tube. Doesn't look like the little fish is too worried about him, tho!

This last guy is my favorite, tho. He's a Sandpiper, of course! I just love his little bird toes buried in the sand and his flip flops laying in the sand. And, the pipe, of course! I just loved being totally unrealistic in the representation of some of our feathered friends!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Bizarre Holidays in April - ATC Art

I have joined this fun swap with! The theme is the bizarre holidays in a given month. This swap is for the month of April. The above holiday is on April 2 - National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! I found an old photo of a little girl and her Mom sharing lunch - and what can be a more lunch-like than peanut butter & jelly!! And I just love the ribbon - it reminds me of what you might find on a little girl's dress!
I loved the little kid in this old photo that I found - doesn't he look like the innocent little devil? I just love him! April 13 is Blame Somebody Else Day. And, couldn't you just see him innocently laying the blame on someone else......may his little brother???

This last ATC was kind of a dreamy one, celebrating Great Poetry Reading Day on April 28. I used a stamp of some old fashioned handwriting behind the dreamy girl. This is a vintage photo of a young woman with a book on her lap. The flowers are just a lovely little touch - I can just see this young woman loving flowers like these.