Monday, August 29, 2011

Waterlillies at Yakima Sportman State Park

At our final state park in Washington, we found a jewel! There was a pond with hundreds of waterlilies in it......and dragonflies! I was lucky enough to be able to get this image of a dragonfly relay....

I think this will make a great bookmark - it gives you an idea of how many waterlilies there were all around. What a wonderful find!!

And, finally, here's an intimate portrait of a waterlily pond. This was just a wonderfully relaxing and renewing place to spend a couple of days.....


Wandering Thru Nancy's Garden

These are a bit different from my usual photos. These are some photos that I took while I was wandering thru the garden of Jeff's sister, Nancy. The above flowers were just below the window of the office (formerly the dining room) of her and her hubby (Lonnie)'s home. The title of the photo - "From My Window".

The above image is of a flower in Nancy's garden that I applied a special effect filter to. Altho the original image is of a soft pastel, with this filter, the petals appear to be glowing. The title of this image is "Glowing Petals". Hopefully, this looks as cool on this blog as it does on my PC!

"Colorful Blooms" is the name of the above image. I applied a sort of painterly type filter to the image so that it looks like this is a painting instead of a photo. Wonderful wanderings thru Nancy's garden!

And, the last image is "Season's End". As I was walking by the bird bath, I saw that someone had tossed some roses into the empty bird bath. I thought it was just the perfect set up for a photo. I converted this to a black & white image, and then "erased" the black & white from certain parts of the image to allow the color of the roses and leaves to show thru. I plan to use all of these as note cards - that's why there's the special effects on these images.


A Walk Thru the Forest - Raser Sgtate Park, Washington

We spent a couple of days at a great state park in northwest Washington state - Raser State Park. There was a very nice series of paths thru some second growth forest, and Jeff and I explored those trails. Above, I am just a sucker for sunlight thru leaves on trees, and this image came out really well - hopefully, it gives you an idea of why I love when sunlight does that!

The above image is one that I find glorious in a subtle sort of way. This wasn't an old growth forest, but was what Jeff thought was a second growth forest. Still, it's very old, and I just love the image of ferns and moss growing up the trunks of trees!

And, finally, here's an image of Jeff as he stood on the path (see the right side of the photo) next to the stump of what was probably an old growth forest tree. Jeff is about 6 feet tall - gives you some perspective about how tall the old growth tree once was, doesn't it?


Diablo Lake, Washington

As we drove from Rick & Barb's across Washington state, we happened across this beautiful lake at a scenic view area off the side of the road. It was actually a much larger lake than this photo implies - this was actually the view looking in only one direction!

I just love seeing snow covered mountains during the summer months, while the flowers are blooming.


The Carousel in Downtown Spokane

While at Rick & Barb's, one afternoon we visited the downtown area of Spokane, WA. In the city park area, they have a carousel that is over 100 years old, and free to everyone to ride. We didn't ride, but I did get some great photos. I just love the above photo because it captures the speed at which the carousel went! There was even a place where one could reach out to grab the brass ring (altho they are now plastic - sign of the times, I guess), and then try to toss it into a (fake) clown's mouth, while they rode around. The above image helps you to understand that it isn't as easy as one might think!!

I loved the above image of 3 carousel horses that were lined up next to one another. I thought they kind of looked like race horses all reaching for the finish line! The detailed work on each horse was quite something to see as well.

And, finally, this pretty little thing. Doesn't she sort of look like what someone's Prince Charming might have rode up on to steal away the princess's heart?


The Critters at Rick & Barb's

The first stop on our 2 week RV vacation was at Jeff's brother, Rick, and sister-in-law, Barb's place. They've added some new critters to their family! Sammy (aka Samson) did inadvertently pose for a nice portrait of himself for me. He's a very pretty horse, altho Barb says he needs to be worked with before he's really good to ride. A bit rough around the edges, I guess!

The two chickens, above, are two of the 5 (I think!) that they've got. They are laying chickens, so Rick & Barb will soon have to just walk a few feet to enjoy absolutely fresh eggs! The white chicken is called a Leghorn (yes, as in Foghorn Leghorn!), and the other is a Rhode Island Red. They really do love to pick at the corn on the cob after we humans are finished with it. And, when they are done, the horses (Rick & Barb have 2 others beside Sammy) finish off the cobs, so no waste!

This last photo is of Sammy just clowning around with me! He's a very friendly guy, and just kept getting right up to me so I could pet him and give him some attention, I guess. So, I just decided to take a close up shot of him!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bizarre September Holidays !

Welcome to another month of bizarre holidays!! I know this is a bit early, but I have been working to get all my art commitments finished before vacation, which is only a few days away! However, there's no bizarre holiday in September called Vacation Day, so we'll just celebrate my upcoming vacation with these three! September 8th is National Date Nut Bread Day - I really love date nut bread, so I just had to create an ATC to celebrate this day! I used the color of date nut bread crust as the predominant color, and added a recipe I found online and then a layered image of the actual finished product!

September 4th is Newspaper Carrier Day (are there even any newspaper carriers left??). I used a text page as background (after all, newspapers are mostly text, right?). I then added the images of a bike (that's what the newspaper carriers in my old neighborhood used, unless they had a fabulous sister who used the car to help them...) and the actual newspaper. Kind of a fun reminder of yesterday!

This last ATC honors a wonderful little lady! I didn't know who Emma M. Nutt was, so I looked her up. The phone is a hint for you, but I'll tell you anyway. She was the first female telephone operator, and September 1st is her day! Of course, I used a page from a phone book as the background, and then added the image of the phone and of Emma herself!


Book Page Background ATCs - Revisited!

This was a fun swap on a couple of fronts. The main requirement was to use various book pages as backgrounds. I then also decided to try a new technique - faux encaustic. That technique would create a more layered look, but sort of making it look like the layers were separated by melted beeswax, except it doesn't use melted beeswax. I don't think I did it quite correctly (I must practice it more!), but I did really like the effect that I achieved anyway! For the above card, I added some green to the faux encaustic material and it created the swirly effect. I then added the cool leg image that I found in a magazine. I added the Confidential stamp mainly because the font of it seemed to compliment the foot!

This is such an airy ATC, isn't it? The book page I used was from a mass hymnal book, in a foreign language, altho I don't know what language - Latin? The color added to the faux encaustic was a magenta color, which considerable lighted when mixed with that material, again with the swirly effect. I added the stamp of the woman's face, covered by another layer of the faux encaustic material, and then the postage stamp of the flower, which adds to the overall feeling of the piece, and the butterfly, for a touch of extra color to add interest. Then, another layer of the faux excaustic, and the Fragile stamp to finish it. Why Fragile? The overall feeling of this piece was, to me, delicate and, well, fragile.

This last ATC may just be my favorite of the bunch! Again, a foreign language book page is the background, and this time I added a pale lavender color to the faux encaustic. I then added the black checkerboard stamp. I used black because I felt the piece needed something to sort of anchor the piece. After a layer of faux encaustic, I added the magazine image of some sweet treats - cookies! Another layer of the faux encaustic, and finish with the "dream" stamp. I again used black just to balance the piece a bit. Looks yummy, doesn't it?


All Things Shiny ATCs

This was a fun swap. The idea was to create abstract art, using metallic acrylic paint and stamping with any EXCEPT a rubber stamp. The background was the only thing that didn't have to be metallic. The above ATC had a white background with rose and aquamarine metallic acrylic paint stamped on with a scrunched up baby wipe, one of my favorite art supplies! I then found a round cardboard tube (who knows from what?) and stamped the circles on the card. It just looked very light and airy, so I didn't want to add much more. I thought the little blue gem heart (also shiny) added just the right touch!

The above ATC had a black background (black gesso) with copper metallic paint applied thru a plastic mesh that I had. That created the sort of diamond pattern. I then used that same little cardboard tube to create the gold linked rings. I then finished the piece by lightly applying gold interference paint in a sort of haphazard way over the copper and around the edges. Maybe it's the warm colors, but I really like this one.

This one is probably my favorite. Again, started with the black background, and then I added the aquamarine painted on small bubble wrap applied to the piece. I sort of dry brushed some aquamarine onto the blank spaces not covered by the bubble wrap, and then added some rose by dabbing it on, using my paintbrush. I then randomly lightly applied blue interference paint over the top of it. I didn't completely cover the entire piece with the paint, but just sort of lightly brushed it - almost a dry brush effect. It created a sort of blue mist effect. I like it!