Posts Tagged ‘digital marbling (TN)’

Photoshop Friday – It’s 600 TIme!

Wow, I’ve written 60o blog posts! This from someone who could never keep a diary. I guess I just didn’t have the technology waaaayyyy back when. I have new work for this Photoshop Friday, but I thought it would be fun to view some of the first posts.

My first entry:

I finally did it! I set up a blog so I can write about our marbling and related art thoughts. I’ll be posting photos of the new Photoshop class I am starting. Be kind – I am learning how to take criticism!! This has been something I have been meaning to do as a way of recording process and product, and at the same time motivate me to do more fiber work. And…I can tell my students I am finally “almost” as technologically savvy as they are! (January 26, 2007…..)

I probably wasn’t convinced this would go beyond the Photoshop classes I was starting at the time. You can see my very first Photoshop drawing here. I have since changed blogging platforms, and I don’t have my backup close at hand, so the link will have to do.

Today my work is based either on photographic images I have taken or some of the marbled fabrics we have created. The piece I’m working on today is from fabric. Hubby was downloading pictures for ebay this week, and I saw this picture of fabric from a distance, and I said, hmmmm……

So here’s the original fabric.

Then I started working with some shapes from each section of the fabric.

Then I felt I needed to change the background for more ocntrast.

I’m not sure this background color is going to stay…I have also been playing around with gradients, and I think one of those might work.

Yup, definitely like this one the best.

 

Comments? What do you think? What else does it need?

 

Photoshop Friday

Really? Photoshop Friday? How many Fridays has it been? Too many to count, but I have been back doing some work beyond getting pictures sized for blog entries. I thought I would share how I created my holiday cards this year, of which I am extremely proud…..and obviously not at all humble….oh, well….

Here’s the original marbled paper I used to start.

Here it is transformed into holiday colors.

Now for the ornaments, which were added a layer at a time, and the opacity was taken down so they wouldn’t overwhelm the marbled paper background.

THen I just kept adding ornaments until I was happy with the final product.

It was a fun couple of hours, and it reminds me how much I enjoy playing around with Photoshop…..I need to start doing more.

Some great Photoshop brushes for download. These are the brushes I downloaded for this card. It is amazing how quickly you can increase your brushes just by surfing the web!

What’s Available This Week

We are getting quite active around the web and I thought it’s time to spotlight some of the things available on line this week – you can only find them this week.

First up is Ebay this week – lots of great fabric pieces available – assorted colors and marbling patterns, perfect for piecing, applique – and don’t forget – sometimes you can just make a small quiltlet with quilting the marbled pattern line. Two pieces of denim – really intriguing designs and effects.

On Etsy this week is a piece of art cloth again with lots of possibilities. We were trying for a starburst effect, and I think we achieved it. I have a smaller piece that I’m going to quilt for a small hanging.

On Cafe Press, one of our most favorite digital prints from our Botanicals Series:

And also from Cafe Press, a cool totebag with a digital manipulation of a Southwest gecko:

So enjoy exploring this week – we’ll have some new goodies next week!

Monday Marketing – Creating a Schedule

It’s Monday again….and it seems like all I did was read, look at emails, and set up buttons and the like. This is the “time-sucker.” So my goal for this blog post is to try and identify what needs to be done each week for marketing and set up a kind of calendar to work with.

This is what I’m dealing with: Ebay, Etsy, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Cafe Press, Zazzle, newsletters, a website, lynda.com, flickr, and a blog. I am trying to avoid doing all of this every day, because nothing else seems to get done. I’m brainstorming as I write, with the hope that by the time this post is done, I will have a plan.

Ebay: hubby handles almost all of this, including postal trips. But…if we are going to increase sales, we need more product, and I would like to help with the actual marbling. So…..marbling weekly. I do need to update the About Me page…..

Etsy: the bulk of the organization is done. But…I need to be adding product on a regular basis, which means I need to keep making things. It would be nice to have one new product up each week, if not more often. One of the goals this week is to add some of the major artwork (even though I don’t expect to sell it on Etsy, it is more exposure) on the site, as the pictures are redone. I want to continue with the circles marketing, which, if I have enough products, could be done every day – 15 minutes for this. Plus, I need to keep working…….

LinkedIn: profile is done, and I have registered for several groups for business. I have found already difficulty in keeping up with reading emails each day from the groups and have already deleted one group. This week I will determine which groups look to be the most advantageous. I also need to complete the setting up of a profile of artwork.

Facebook: I read this several times a day. I have a fan page which needs serious work, as well as Art From The Heart, which is to support healing art after the Tucson shootings in January. I have added FB buttons to my blog and this week to my website. I have read the Terms and looked at all the privacy settings. I also went through the photo stream stuff for FB and fixed photos for both the personal and fan page. I need to really think through what is going to happen with the Fan Page.

Twitter: I am finishing a class from lynda.com on using Facebook and Twitter for business, and I highly recommend the site. For #25 you can choose different trainings all available for a month at your schedule. I picked up all kinds of little tips, most of which have already been implemented. But….and this is a BIG but….the time for tweets and what to tweet. By syncing a lot of the programs, my blog appears on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, my tweets appear in a couple of places. I don’t think I can go further with this – the tweet button is on the blog and soon to be on the website. This is one area that needs some serious scheduling. Since I use TweetDeck (which is free…), I can schedule and keep track of who’s following and what is getting retweeted. So…I’m going to use Sundays for scheduling business tweets for the week, and I will look through the twitter feed once a day to see if there’s some good stuff to retweet.

Cafe Press: I have a site, a free one, so I am limited as to the number of products I can put up. I haven’t looked at this in several months and it needs serious work. To have a store isn’t much money each month, and I could have a lot more products available, but the issue is marketing and driving people to the site. I have some great digital stuff already to go, and I need to start planning around the holidays, reading about marketing through Cafe Press, and so on.

Zazzle: Ditto for Cafe Press……both are not a high priority right now.

Newsletters: oy, it’s been months since a newsletter went out, and I have all these contacts where nothing is happening. I used Constant Contact last year for a few months, until I couldn’t keep up with the demands and school at the same time. I was happy with it, but disappointed that not many people actually read it. I need to go back to a newsletter and offerings at least once every three weeks, and more during the holiday seasons. I need to check out Mail Chimp, which is free, and I have heard people have good luck with it. I’ll try and make this a priority this week.

Website: Most of the changes to the website have been made by my wonderful web lady Suzan. I need to get a couple of buttons set up, and then do something about newsletters and contacts. I also have some pages to add on Digital Marbling (TN), and I need to evaluate “print on demand” for artwork. This is a “need to think about” topic…..

lynda.com: I have until Friday to finish my month of training. I still need to finish Twitter, and I want to get the html newsletter course done. I am not going to continue with Dreamweaver because it isn’t a priority.

Flickr: I have photos up, not all of them with copyrights, and there is a class on lynda.com if I have time. I’m not really sure what I want to do here….

And finally, my blog, Marbled Musings. I went a bunch of months with no new writing, and I’m at maybe three times a week. I need to get back to at least four times a week, and eventually every day. I have plenty to write about…and I need to stay up with my Google reader – as well as comment more on some of the posts. This is probably the biggest area for marketing that I have to schedule.

Weekly:

* Marbling fabric

* Work on Etsy products

* Sewing and other design

Mondays:

* Add Etsy product

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Monday Marketing

* Google reader and at least three comments

Tuesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Top Ten Tuesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Wednesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Work in progress Wednesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Thursday:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog – Thursday Thoughts

* Google reader and at least three comments

Fridays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Photoshop Friday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Saturdays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog posting on Specials

* Google reader and at least three comments

Sundays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Schedule Tweets for the week (i.e. Etsy, Ebay…)

* Blog Sunday Stories

* Google reader and at least three comments

Goals for next week:

* FINISH LYNDA.COM

*Update “About Me” page on Ebay

* Update Etsy products, especially note cards

* Evaluate how calendar is working

* See if buttons are added to the website

* Decisions on what will happen with the Facebook Fan page

* Long-term thoughts – what to do with CafePress and Zazzle

* Read and decide about Mail Chimp for a newsletter

* Spend some time thinking about what the website still needs….

Okay, I think I have a handle on this…we’ll see next week as I evaluate how the week goes. And…I’m taking some online classes!

Thoughts??

A Life-Changing Few Months

To say that it has been a while is an understatement. My last posts dealt with the Tucson shootings, and the aftermath for the community has been ongoing. Many in the community have been dealing with personal issues surrounding the events, from getting updates on Gabby Giffords and coping with the weird Arizona legislature to trying to understand our roles as humans working together.

For me, it has meant two months of a pretty severe depression, trying to cope with understanding so many of the historical aspects of this country coming in to play, trying to manage what the economy is doing to individuals, and getting ready to retire from a career of 40 years in education. I had to remove myself from almost everything extra in my life beyond the day-to-day coping within the classroom. I did a lot of sleeping and a lot of being sad. I didn’t even do a Fish Follies entry this year.

At Christmas we decided to move the retirement date to June of 2012. Hubby had some major health issues in January that will eventually lead to major surgery, and all I could think about was not having time together. His next CT scan will be in August, right when school starts again. That was probably the tipping point to look at retirement this May. I made the final decision the end of February to retire after working all the numbers with the retirement folks, and then a month ago applied for SSI.

Gotta tell ya, when I made the decision, it was like a weight had lifted. I started packing my classroom the next day – and it took the three months to get it all finished. Most of my math manipulatives, books, and supplies went to an organization called Treasures4Teachers – will be a nice tax deduction, and they were very grateful for all the goodies and posters.

In April, during spring break, we spent time with our friends up north who now have a place in Cornville, AZ, just south of Sedona right along Oak Creek. It is a gorgeous, restful spot. I was admiring all of my friend’s storage, and the conversation turned to the fact that maybe one of the problems getting back into the studio was the need to reorganize. Which got me thinking, and over the next month I started cleaning and organizing, and looking for new storage that would work. We’re about half-way through at this point, and the place looks great – and even better – feels great. Two more sets of shelves and we should be just about done. But I don’t think I’ll be waiting to get in there to sew.

So I’m recovering slowly from the depression, starting the rest of my life on my terms, planning on a nice run of happiness. And I’ll be back to blogging and creating and marbling and reading and writing and Photoshop and traveling and being with people and working for peace….

Photoshop Friday

Ah, back to my regularly scheduled posts! I have started working with all the images I have been taking of the desert spring this year – really a gorgeous one, with the additional rain, and the cactus have been amazing. I have wanted to do some collage work, but I haven’t known how to begin. I wnt things to seamlessly blend together, not have significant images stand out, so I guess it is just a case of experimenting. So I tried Tuesday night, and I was pleasantly surprised – and pleased. Here are the photos I started with, all taken from the Tucson Botanical Gardens:

Palo Verde in bloom

Thistle leaf

I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but I did realize I needed to use separate layers and then adjust the opacity for each one. It occurred to me I could “cut” the flower itself. So here’s what happened with the mix:

Desert Bloom

I really liked how this worked – a little rotating of the flower, and the actual orange of the blossom is a perfect focal point. But – I decided to try individual layers on and off to see what happened….

I probably will end up printing them both. I am thrilled, and I learned a few more things.

So yesterday I decided to try another one. Here’s the original photos, and I’m still not done…..have a few more ideas for the succulent.

Succulent - a type of aloe

A ground grate

Marbling pattern added

You need to click on this one to see the effect of the marbling pattern within the grate.

Desert Aloe

And…without the background. I’m not totally happy with this one, but there’s certainly a lot to work with….

Desert Aloe

All in all, a productive Photoshop time.

Additional Photoshop Friday posts:

Photoshop Friday – September

Sunday Sampler with Photoshop – August

Photoshop Friday – July

Photoshop Friday – stained glass

Adventures in Marbling

We spent yesterday setting up to marble (which always takes so long, with pretreating and actually setting up the liquid bath), but then today we got to play – marbled about 6 yards of fabrics, and once again everything went really well. It is so nice to be back in the large tray again – we actually feel like we are creating art again, not just little pieces to sell. Yet again today we were talking about how much of a void there was in our artistic lives when we couldn’t create large pieces of fabric. When you define your art this way for over 14 years, it really is distressing to lose the skills.

Especially nice is the fact that we are working with other fabrics. Tried some larger heavy-weight silk that worked wonderfully, as well as some faux suede pieces, and the velveteen also worked. I still need to treat the velveteen to soften it up, but overall extremely pleased. Still haven’t been able to do the chiffon again – those people who bought that two years ago certainly have one-of-a-kind pieces!

We want to marble more often now that things are working again. It is SO GOOD to be creating fabric again! We even are revisiting marketing and revving up the business end because we are turning out really great fabric. The disadvantage is that our bodies have changed enough that we can no longer go for six hours straight, not including clean-up. There was a time four years ago when we could do 60 fat quarters in a day. Can’t do that any more, and we also discovered we don’t like turning out fabric that way – we would just as soon do a smaller amount and have a chance to play on each of the pieces.

We are still looking for a particular fabric that we used for so many of our art pieces – we used a poly-satin that kind of worked, but not to the detail we would like. I found an old piece that we’ll use in checking around fabric stores. All the really great pieces are from bridal fabrics, so we just have to shop around for those.

This piece that I’ve scanned shows the incredible detail you can get on the poly fabrics.

Then I started playing with some of the new tools from the Photoshop lessons. This next is with the Shadows and Highlights adjustment. I particularly like the neon effect on the orange.

This next is playing around with the eye dropper tool and the white space. Each gives a different feel, which is why I have wanted to learn Photoshop for so long. I want to be able to take a really great piece of fabric and use it to create lots of other images, so the particular piece doesn’t have a short shelf life till someone buys it.

And finally – the joy of playing with filters in Photoshop! Take a look at what happens with the emboss filter with the same piece! Reminds me of maps of the Continental Shelf.

All in all, a great way to spend a day off from school (Rodeo days here in the Old Pueblo)!

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