Saturday, December 22, 2012

Learning to use Spectrum Noir - First Trys

So far in my sets of Spectrum Noir, I've only encountered one pen, BG1, that seems like it doesn't have enough ink! I haven't decided if I'll complain or just buy an ink refill. I find the pens a little difficult to use. Most of my mistakes (that I recognize as mistakes) are from picking up the wrong pen at the wrong time or not figuring out out what's what on the image. Those aren't issues in PS as a color can easily be switched with another color. Not on paper!!!
I'm not getting the blending very well either although it looks much better five minutes after I quit than immediately after I quit. I made two cards - one a Christmas card for my friend Pam and one a birthday card for my DIL - missed her birthday early in December.

I think I'll have as much trouble getting saturated tones with this media as I have getting the paler tones in Photoshop. Oh, I made the stencil on the second card just to see how hard that was. It was hard!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis - Day 13

We made it!! Today is the very last day of the new RSD Creepmas Hop. I hope you've enjoyed seeing all of the wonderful Creepmas art on our blogs. It has been fun rolling out all of the new images, both on the Design Team blogs and every day on Rick's Airless Chambers blog!
I chose to lean toward traditional for this project but Rick said people seem leery of Santa Puppetier so maybe that's creepy enough. Personally, I wish everyone would love this image as much as I do - it's fantastic!

I took a picture of some of my dolls on shelves since I know lots of people think that's pretty creepy and spent yesterday afternoon messing with them in Photoshop. It's no secret that sometimes when you're working in Photoshop you have no clear idea of where you're going and the way you play during those times is how you learn more. There were some steps I took first like turning the photo into a stamp and then putting it over the image but what made this work was a blending mode I've never used before called Linear Burn. I know, I don't know anything about Photoshop but isn't it a little intriguing that you can take an ordinary photo and turn it into a stamp?
Now enjoy the last few minutes of the hop and if you aren't ready to give up Creepmas yet, Smeared and Smudged's 12 Days of Creepmas goes alternate days until the 23th. Monique, Helen and Lady Brayton will have a blogroll for that hop on their blogs so check it out!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis - Day 12

Frequently I get in a rut about color combinations - love that yellow through orange and red to purple, especially if they're just a little dirty. But even I get tired of it once in a while. My solution is a pretty standard one - go looking for color combos in fabric or magazines, wherever. I did that for Sad Frosty's scarf yesterday and got hold of one I didn't want to let go of. First the project and then I'll show you my inspiration.

This is Rick St. Dennis' This is as Jolly as I Get . I put him on a page from a thesaurus after looking up grumble or grumpy or some such word. I used the Inverse Image on the word page to get a nice contrast for him. I do think he is just as cute as can be dressed up in elf's gear!! Then I discovered a scrapbook paper from a K & Company Christmas pack that matched him so that was that. The color inspiration came from an online search for "colorful winter scarf".

I actually used some of the patterns in Frosty's scarf yesterday but today I just used the colors. Aren't they pretty and so far from my usual.  This is Day 12 - just one to go, so really enjoy yourself on the hop today and tomorrow before we all caught up in Christmas! There's the bloglist ----------> Have fun!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis - Day 11

Welcome to Day 11 of the 13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis. I've got a real surprise for you today! Okay, maybe you won't be surprised!  But I put this off so long with all of the elements done, just because I was afraid to try printing on tissue paper, that I am surprised I ever got up the nerve to try it.

My concept of Sad Frosty the very first time I saw him wasn't mayhem but an ice cream headache, specifically a snow ice cream headache. Maybe because I get a lot of those! I made the barely visible background with a quick sketch of hills plus Photoshop gradients and brushes. It was what was holding me up printing on tissue paper. It is on the outside of the glass window block. Frosty and a few lights are inside. The ice cream cone was made out of polymer clay. I had no idea how it would photograph but was so pleased with the yellow tones I got that all I added was a simple title, some snowflakes (brushes by meldir_ snowflakes) and a prefab Photoshop border!
I hope you're not creeped out by the total lack of creepiness in this post. The blogroll is on the right and you'll get to see more Creepmas if you follow along. --->

Monday, December 10, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis - Day 10

I am pleased to say I have a project ready to post. It's Rick's Creepmas Morning and a lot of us have done or are doing it. It struck a chord for me when I first saw it and I'll tell you why.

These guys have a less than cheerful look about them which we've all seen when the presents have all been opened and the excitement has died down. Nobody slept well the night before and it's catching up!
We weren't lucky enough to have shrunken heads to decorate with but I've always wanted one! We did have the mice and the snakes and it wasn't nearly as calm as this scene as the mice were Christmas dinner for the snakes!! Crazy, huh?
One of the most favorite presents ever was a green doll full of gel and we all loved squeezing it so much we eventually squeezed it to pieces. It might have been the Incredible Hulk. I'm the only one who was ever attached to Teddy bears though!
So that's my boys! The girl represents a friend who spends most Christmases with us and the only reason she took the head off the ball-jointed doll is that they come with out painting (like the one I photographed below) and one of the most fun things to do is to give them a "faceup". Without the eyes in place. So what's creepy???

Have a good time on the rest of the hop! Creepmas is nearly ready to give up the ghost while we frantically try to get ready for Christmas! The blogroll is on the right side.------>

Sunday, December 9, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas With Rick St. Dennis - Day 9

We're in the home stretch now - whatever that means. To me it means getting myself back to the drawing board as this is the last post that is completely ready. I'll need to work all day today on the next one. I've said before I don't function well under pressure - we'll see!
My project for today was another completely fun one although I got off to a bad start with it.

It's Rick St. Dennis' Haunted House which I have transformed into a Haunted Gingerbread House. This is the file that accidentally got flattened. I had spent oodles of time on it during the 31 Days of Halloween and just needed to change the colors which shouldn't have been hard. But, I ended up starting from scratch - again!
I transformed a silhouette of Santa and his sleigh from my Broderbund Click Art into a whip cracking witch who's going to be really POed if those gingerbread guys don't get their mean faces on and make some Creepmas decorations or toys or whatever it takes.
I hope you're enjoying the hop and all of the creepy (and beautiful) things you're seeing here. Leave us some love - we're all so creeped out we need it!! The blogroll is on the side bar to the right ---->

Saturday, December 8, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas With Rick St. Dennis - Day 8

We are having such a good time rolling out these new Creepmas images! Hope you're enjoying it too! My piece for today is called Kisses From Hell and was a hoot to create. I had two ways I was thinking of going with this and suddenly I realized that both of them merged together nicely like this.

There are a few five dollar bills there but not many as those brave enough can't visit frequently.  The only stamped image I've used is Rick St. Dennis's Mistletoe . The background was created with The Flames stencil from The Crafter's Workshop. I had to float a loan to get the cash that smoochie devil has amassed.
Thanks for visiting out Creepmas Bloghop and thanks for the kind comments you've left here and on the other bloggers sites. We appreciate them so much! The blogroll is in my right sidebar!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sparkle and Glitter Challenge - White Winter

Today, December 7 , kicks off a new challenge on the Rick St. Dennis challenge blog Sparkle and Glitter. Our theme this time is White Winter. It's such an exciting challenge to try to create mostly within a white palette. Snow, of course, is the first thing to come to mind but you will be amazed at the breadth of the creations the Elite Design Team came up with. Here's my entry, a pop-up card. The Rick St. Dennis stamps I used are Three Chimney Cottage and Frosty Junior . I also used trees from Third Coast, Stampscapes and Beeswax and the bunnies are from PSX (no longer in print).

I included a shot taken at a bit of an angle to try to show the depth of the pop-ups. I have always admired this kind of card but other than a pop out fold in a single piece of paper, I hadn't tried it. It was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated as each element had to be far enough back on the flat part to be enclosed when the card shuts. I did mess up the bunnies by about 1/8 of an inch and their little ears protrude when the card is shut. The other difficulty was that the braces had to be measured so exactly - not my strong suit so my card doesn't close all that well.

If working within a restricted palette, or snow, or traditional Christmas themes inspire you, head on over to the Sparkle and Glitter blog and show us your whites!

13 Days of Creepmas With Rick St. Dennis - Day 7

This is the exact midpoint of the hop.That's a smidgen off - Pauline is the seventh blogger on the 7th day so you just passed halfway. I'm a little OC about time, I guess. Today I'm channeling Martha Stewart at a Creepmas Blog Hop, i.e., I have a recipe for you. My post is Christmas Snacks. Well, I'll let you judge for yourself how appetizing these snacks are.

In addition to  Creepmas Snacks, I've used Skating Santa 's head for the extremely overjoyed HOHOHO Santa. I did ask permission before I beheaded him! The cookie recipe is one of my favorites. If you are determined to add the ornament shards, please use green ornaments. Red dye #7 is so dangerous for children!! The recipe will print at 4 x 6 if you download the one you get when you click on it.

And these are the yummy cookies. I did forego the shards in mine! To each his own!!

I hope you've enjoyed my little touch of Martha! Thanks for visiting and thanks for the kind comments you leave. I enjoy your feedback!! Now off with you to the rest of the Hop. And don't forget there's some Creepmas going on over at Smeared and Smudged too.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas With Rick St. Dennis - Day 6

Are we seeing some really awesome creepy Art? I think so! The flip side of retailers showing Christmas merchandise so early that it gets in the way of enjoying the fall holidays hit home for me yesterday. I got out to get a few supplies and it was one of the first times I'd gotten to look at the Christmas stuff at JoAnns (we have that and a Hobby Lobby about half an hour from the funny farm) and stuff was marked 40 - 60% off and they were out of lots of things I might have considered! Way to save money, I guess - stay busy!
My piece for today is one that was completely fun. Except for the martini, the red curls and maybe a couple of extra pounds it's me - I got Decoratin' to Do.

And now I actually have martini glasses from Goodwill @ $.50 each  and that darling metal frame for $.90. I was ecstatic to find such bargains just when I needed them! The digital stamp was colored in Photoshop; the striped background is a piece of fabric. I read a tutorial on making candy canes and I can assure you it won't be the last of them you'll see from me!! Another totally fun thing to do! I really love this piece and hope you do too!
Now hop, hop, hop along and enjoy the rest of today's creations! And since you've made it this far, I can rest assured you probably won't get lost today!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas With Rick St. Dennis - Day 5

Here we are at Day 5 of the 13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis and December is flying by! It seems a great day to tell you all how much I appreciate the kind comments you've been leaving for me and the rest of the design team. It makes the effort we put into each project seem worthwhile!!

I have a really short post today - these were supposed to be ATCs but I kept them about the size of a regular card.

The images from Rick's Etsy shop are Mistletoe and Carniverous Bonnet . I thought they made a very cute Creepmas couple. The green background paper is from K & Company - one of their Christmas stacks. The side and top border stamps are from Heidi Grace and the middle one is from Stampers Anonymous. Everything else was done in Photoshop.
Enjoy the rest of the Hop today and don't get lost!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis - Day 4

There is a subculture of Alice fans who love Dark Alice. I had been vaguely aware of it when my son was playing a video game called American McGee's Alice. It had very beautiful graphics and lots of blood. I encountered Dark Alice again in the world of ball-jointed dolls when artist Kim Lasher had a huge hit with her Dark Alice doll. Then last year American McGee released a new video game "Alice - The Madness Returns". I play lots of video games but do not have the quickness required for that kind of game. However, a book was published with much of the concept art and I had to have that.

As it happened, I was looking through that book shortly before I saw Rick's "Creepmas Dolls" digital image and it just clicked for me. The dolls in the latest game are in a dollhouse for insane dolls. Okay, here's my take:

The top image is the original Photoshop file. The window and siding are my photos. I wanted the name of an asylum, preferably of the Victorian era and English. Imagine my glee to find that one of them was called Bedlam.                   

This card I made with a print of the original is interesting in how blue it turned out. I guess that could have been the camera. I created the papers in Photoshop.

I did another take with the original image using a bombed out hotel in Lebanon but hadn't noted the photographer so I took this shot of a school in Seattle and it worked out fine. The lights are a clear stamp from Heidi Grace.

I hope you are enjoying seeing all of the Creepmas creations here on Rick's blog hop. Now I'll let you be on your way to see some more!! Don't get lost!

Monday, December 3, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis - Day 3

Are we having fun getting all creeped out for Creepmas? GOOD!!

Today's post is something I had up on Rick's Facebook group I think several weeks ago. I reworked it - lightening it up a bit and getting rid of the ugly gray wall. I also removed the horrid embossing from the holly. If you saw it then, I hope you like it better now!

And if you work in Photoshop, let this be a lesson to you - always keep your layered files. Those changes were relatively easy to make. On a coming post I'll explain what happens if the layers accidentally get smushed. (That's an official Photoshop term.)

The digital stamp is Evil Jack and he was loads of fun to color in traditional Christmas reds and greens. One of the coolest things about Photoshop or other photo editing programs is that when you choose a bright color like red, the color-picker opens a square for you that has all of the reds related to the bright one from the palest pink to the darkest burgundy and none of the colors in that square has a whit more yellow or blue in it than your chosen bright color. That allows you (or me) to pick reds that are not all just the same but coordinate beautifully. There are tons of things I love about working in Photoshop but that has to be one of my favorites, especially when I'm working with images as complex as many of Rick's are.

The stamped holly is from All Night Media, the floor and the sleeper feet are from online sales sites. When we started this hop, I thought it would be disconcerting to see several people using the same image on the same day, but yesterday Miranda, Helen and I used the Euro Carolers and it was an eye-opening jolt to see how each of us had a completely different vision of it. So look around the hop - you're sure to be inspired with your own vision of some of Rick's fabulous digital stamps!! And go find that new rollout for today!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis - Day 2

Well, Day 1 was certainly fun - seeing what all of us came up with! I loved seeing how others on the Design Team used some of the same images that I have waiting in the wings. Doing only the RSD hop, I really didn't find it all that confusing which blogroll to use to stay on this hop. I made it most of the way through the Smeared and Smudged hop as well and will try to finish what I missed tomorrow. The Official Creepmas Hop confused me as most of the blogs I visited did not have a blogroll posted and I kept having to go back to the main page and forgetting where I had been - sort of like when I try to do counted cross-stitch.
Now, after that in depth analysis, let's get to my Day 2 project:

The first shot was my original idea and I had hoped to include Vanessa as well as Vlad drooling over the carolers but the design got a little crowded so I decided she would be just arising from her coffin in the background. This was so much fun to bring my vision to life with Rick's fabulous digital stamps! The book that the house came from is Victorian Houses - A Treasury or 100 Original Designs by David Spelling.

The Euro Carolers were the most time-consuming to color and I wanted to feature them in this little Creepmas box. I printed them in layers on ink-jet printable shrink plastic (which shrinks quite a bit more than they claim as these guys were supposed to go nearly all the way across.) There are four layers - the cat is the top one. I hope that's somewhat perceivable! One of my worst nightmares about Christmas as a child was that Santa would really know how bad I'd been and there would be sticks for presents - thus the "creepy" sticks in the box.
I hope you are all enjoying seeing Rick's digital stamps colored up and in projects and getting lots of ideas of your own on how to use them. Have fun on the rest of the hop and don't get lost!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Rick St. Dennis 13 Days of Creepmas Day 1

Here we are at December 1 and ready to start 13 Days of Creepmas with Rick St. Dennis. In addition to most of the design team most days, Rick is participating every day so it will be fun to see what he comes up with. If you've made it here following the blogroll, which on this site is in the sidebar on the right, you probably know that there are a lot of new digital designs rolling out - one for every day of the hop and each one is up for grabs. All you need to do is find it on one of our blogs and leave a comment to that effect and then leave a comment on Rick's Airless Chambers blog and tell him what you found and where. The first person to do that wins the image of the day.
And the person who wins the most images by being first on different days will actually get all of the images. Cool right??

My project for today is The Frostinator . I chose him because he's a little Steamy, which is a neat trick considering that he's a snowman (or almost half a snowman). With all of his gears and such showing, he was great fun to color. The first time I looked at his companion, I thought it was a cardinal so decided it was a chameleon with a bad case of cardinal envy. To complement his Steampunk side, I built the interior snowflakes out of gears and a little math. You all know how I like my math! The Steampunk bird is from Queen Kat Designs, the snowscene is my pond and my footprints and there are two sets of snowflake brushes, one is snowflake_brushes_by_hawksmont and the other is snowflakes-keepwaitingdirt. Ice Nine to me is an element of Kurt Vonnegut's Cats' Cradle but I guess there are other references of which I am clueless!

So, get on your way and see the goodies that everyone else has created. There are several Creepmas hops starting today - there's one going on at Smeared and Smudged that goes every other day for 12 days and there's one at The Official Creepmas Blog. Several of Rick's designers are participating in all three so stay alert, have fun and don't get lost!