How will you know

February 27, 2013

The girls get sick sometimes of me always trying to take photographs of them and it's worse now that I've invested in a new camera and don't know how to use it! Lots of tutting and out of focus photographs as I twiddle with different settings. I did start to read the manual but it just seems so much simpler to ask Sara... I always thought children were supposed to be kind to their elderly parents but it appears not to be so, patience was sadly lacking on Sunday as she turned the lens on me and started clicking away like mad. "If you are never in photographs how will you be able to remember what you looked like at this moment..." good point, but I've got a feeling that this just might have been revenge!

Year of the Horse

February 24, 2013

I enjoy taking part in the Oscraps monthly challenges when I have time and although I'm a bit late, or rather very late for the February challenges I thought I would give this one a go. It's basically to make a page about your zodiac sign. I'm a Libran and just don't bond with that whole balance, scales imagery, it just looks so insipid in comparison with a raging bull (Mr K) or a fearsome lion (Mum) or any of the other signs, apart from Virgo; I don't covet that look either... So, defeated as to how to make some scales look good I looked to the Chinese zodiac for some inspiration and the year of the Horse fitted the bill perfectly! I didn't cheat here, I was born in the year of the Horse.
The most important thing to remember about ArtPlay palettes is to do just that - Play!!! When I start a page I've no real idea what the finished thing will look like, it's a journey to be enjoyed; some work out some don't but I'll share my process for this page and hopefully it will be helpful in some small way.

For this page I started with a photograph, I don't always do that but as this is an 'about me' type page I thought that would be a good starting point. This is a pic of me from Victoria's birthday party last year which was full colour but I decided to Duotone it to a soft teal colour. To do this the photograph must first be Grayscale. Image > Mode > Adjustments > Duotone then choose which two colours you want to choose for the inks. There's not really a right or wrong, just experiment.

Often I clip photographs to brushes from ArtPlays. To get them to the right blackness for a Photograph mask I just repeat them then flatten. This one I repeated 6 times before flattening. Using brushes in this ways offers countless possibilities for clipping masks.

Next up I clipped a paper from AP Chatter and a Chills Artsykard to a transfer from Metro Graffiti, I love this transfer and use it over and over again clipped to papers, you can see below the different look you get depending on the paper used.

Once the masked paper was in place I added a picture of a horse sculpture I took at Camden market a while back. The horse was extracted using the pen tool and the layer set to hard light.

Next I added paper set at an angle and various brushes. This is the point where I move things around and play about with the composition and layer modes like overlay; colour burn; darken etc.

Lastly, the photograph is duplicated; one layer set to Hard Light and the other to darken to let some of
the texture show through.

Fonts are Peoni Pro for the title and Bombshell Pro for the journalling. I cheated with the journalling and just used text from the Handbook of Chinese horoscopes which is just fine if like me you struggle with the personal and public journalling bit, and true to character as apparently folk born in the year of the Horse aren't too good at sticking to rules...
All supplies by Anna Aspnes

The Antidote

February 20, 2013

A few wise words from Aristotle 'The antidote to fifty enemies is one friend'

Supplies by Anna Aspnes from here

A bit of this and that

February 18, 2013

I've been in London for a week, partly for work and partly just to spend some time with Victoria. The visit started with a bridesmaid get together to choose their dresses, which happily and a bit disappointingly turned out to be totally devoid of any drama whatsoever, they dutifully tried on a multitude of different styles until everyone was happy with the style of dress perfect for them and that was that, all done in two hours; the bride just needs to decide on the colour now...

Talking of colour; Victoria and I visited the lovely Rina Bakis in her studio in Primrose Hill, Rina's work is colourful and full of energy, well worth a look. You can view more on her website here

I've included the painting above as the grey and blue tones remind me of how cold London was! So, so cold, bloody freezing in fact. Vic and I took a stroll along the south bank to the Tate Modern and by the time we got there we had to get a coffee to thaw out our hands!

There was a trip to the nice warm Apple store one afternoon and lots of popping into little craft stores and a trip to the cinema to see Les Misérables which neither Victoria nor I enjoyed...I know, I know, we must be the only two people in the world who didn't enjoy it, but there you are! I quite enjoyed the first scene and the last scene and the bit with Anne Hathaway dreaming her dream but I was almost cheering when Russell Crowe threw himself off the bridge and that can't be right even if he was the baddie! Mr K had bravely offered to go see it with me so I texted him the minute we left the cinema letting him know what a lucky escape he had had, although with hindsight he would have just done what he always does - sleep through the film...

Thursday thought


February 06, 2013

Three - that's the number of months my new car has survived before having the passenger door dented...sigh!

Hello Snow

February 05, 2013

Woke up to some snow this morning so I've got the perfect excuse to post this cool project done by one of my illustration students Steven MacFarlane. You can find more great projects here.

December update

February 04, 2013

New year resolution was to keep up to date with my blog, but that lasted all of two minutes so here I am playing catch up again... December seemed to fly in, work always gets in the way at the beginning of the month but I managed to complete all the knitty Christmas presents for the girls at work, this year it was a scarf; pattern is a freebie from Ravelry called Lacy Baktus and the wool is from a fabulous wool shop in Pittenweem called the Woolly Brew.

The festivities started on Christmas eve at Sara and Craig's flat. 

Christmas day was brilliant, lots of presents and champagne and food, you can't get better than that! Granny gave everyone far too much; lots of lovely jewellery and all the girls got handknitted scarfs from the pattern book Sara and Craig got her for her birthday in the summer. Granny got a cool leopard skin patterned case for when she comes to visit but Victoria got the biggest Christmas surprise of all - a MacBook Pro from Rob! Best packaging award had to go to Craig's present from Mr Porter, we were all in awe at the printed label and their exquisite branding, good choice Victoria!

Then it was off to Cove for a week with John and Libby to unwind and celebrate New Year. We enjoyed walks along the beach, log fires and more gorgeous wine and food than is decent for anyone! New Year's day started with an egg and bacon roll - perfect...

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