Friday, October 18, 2013

Weeee!!!! Photoshop 101 Homework

Sorry for the double post today, but I'm taking a Photoshop 101 class with Melanie Burk though Nicole's Classes. Even though I have been using Photoshop for years, I've still learned quite a bit. It's been great! Anyway, I learned how to create an animated gif in Photoshop today. This is just a set of cell phone pics of Ethan and his daddy at the park the other evening, but they animate quite well I think. :)

PS- I created the images in my last post as part of the Photoshop 101 class as well. Good stuff. Do yourself a favor and check out Nicole's Classes!

Pretty Potted Plants on a Dime

I bought these pots for a dollar a piece at Target back in the spring. (They were actually ice cream cups from the kitchen section). I love the brilliant colors and had really good intentions of buying some artificial succulents to put in them... until I saw the price tags. No way I was going to pay $7 per piece to fill my dollar pots. I ended up getting these $1 aquarium plants from the pet store and dropped them in. 

Small inexpensive pots (I imagine you could paint some cheap clay pots at around $1 each) and aquarium plants. Easy-peasy!

Friday, October 11, 2013

3 Minute Recycled Ghosts

I really wanted to go outside the other evening. Cool and crisp fall air was upon us. 3 year old Ethan was less than interested, so I suggested we decorate for Halloween. Suddenly, going outside was a cause he could get behind. I really didn't have much, and I hadn't planned ahead (silly Mommy)...and so I decided I'd make ghosts while Ethan played with the materials we'd quick whip up some ghosts.

I headed to the basement (where the treasures are) and got some old white t-shirts that Daddy was saving for when he works on the car. I also grabbed some scissors, plastic grocery bags, and fishing line.

I balled up 1-2 bags and wrapped the t-shirt around it. I'd hold the shirt tightly around the plastic bag ball, and then rather haphazardly, I'd cut the "tail" of the ghost. Tie with some fishing line and ta-da! I said each ghost took about 3 minutes, but after I got rolling, it was probably even faster than that.

Ethan directed where to hang them in the tree, and we were done!

If I were to do it differently (aka, didn't have a preschooler chomping at the bit), I may have threaded the fishing line though the top of the head to hang them, but I like to think when they're leaning, it's like they are really flying! Ooooooo! Weather pending, I may add some spider web to the base of the tree for Trick or Treat night.

Either way, they really do look quite spooky out there! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Crayons are for Adults

This week I broke out the old box of crayons. I'm not kidding when I say "my old box" name is written in poor penmanship, in pencil, on the back of the box. The box copyright is 1990. I'm pretty sure those 8 new colors aren't so new anymore. 

They may have been with me for awhile, but the crayon sharpener on the back of the box is just as lovely as always. (Remember how cool that pencil sharpener was? And how much it sucked when the bottom of the box would open up in your school desk?) Oh, and they still smell just as fantastic too.

I've been keeping this box and paper on my desk at work during the day. 

I spend all day creating. Typically, when I need to think, find an idea, or work though something, I'll take to the internet and look all over the web for inspiration. I look at art, design, color, blogs-- all rather mindlessly until I work through my creative block in the back of my brain. Sometimes what I'm looking at sparks an idea; Other times just the break helps. It's my tried and true system. 

This week I've been replacing some of that mindless surfing with a little coloring. It's a bit more meditative. I try and really focus just on the colors and the act of coloring, and clear my head. Only a minute or two at a time, but it's pretty good for a quick recharge. I'm 3 days in, and you can see from the image how little I've gotten done. It's not a lot, but it seems just right.

Regardless, it's been a nice change, and I have this wonderfully colorful piece of art to look at. :) Really, isn't it pretty?!?  OH yeah, and it's so nice to be making marks on paper (that are not part of a to-do list).

You can download and print your own copy from my pin here. I repinned from Pinterest and I'm not real sure where the original is (If you know, please help me and give me a link so I can give more proper credit). Looks like it's a design from Dover. They have some amazing adult coloring books that are quite affordable...Love that the pages of the books are perforated too. Will have to get some of those!  (Sorry, I digress).

So- do you love to color?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Raising a Shutterbug

Interestingly enough, after posting last week about Strausburg, we ended up there again this weekend. Ethan's preschool class read 30 books as part of a library program, and he had a free train ride ticket waiting for him that we couldn't refuse.

Ethan asked during the ride if he could take some photos. I set the camera on Program, and the lens to 18mm and let him go. We helped him hold the weight of the lens (and keep him from banging it against anything when he would review his photos). Even with our hands on the lens, Ethan moved the camera around to take the photo he wanted. He had a BLAST.

Gotta say too, many of them are quite nice...take a look at Lancaster county through the eyes of a three year old. :)

Yup, he loved it. :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Railroad Museum of PA Photo Exhibit

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA had a call for photograph submissions early in the year. I entered one of my favorite photos of Ethan visiting the museum and the trains at Strasburg. It wasn't chosen as a winner, but it is right next to the exhibit sign when you walk in, so I call that a win :)

This summer, we got the chance to go see the exhibit: From Your Lens: Images of Contemporary Railroading.

Here's the family checking out the exhibit.

I thought Ethan would think that it was neat that he was hanging on the wall, but he was pretty antsy to get to playing with the trains downstairs....I can't say I blame him. Regardless, it's always fun to have work on exhibit.

If you're interested, you can find out more here.  It runs until Dec 31.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Remembering Artist Richard Neubauer

It's not everyday that you get to meet a great artist. I was lucky enough to meet Richard Neubauer, first and foremost as my friend Jenn's father, but also as the artist that he was.  I was exceptionally lucky to get to get a chance to learn about the man behind the paintings through multiple meetings, interactions, and family stories. And equally lucky to see and enjoy so many photographs of his work over the years.
Sneak peek from the York Dispatch video below: "Age of Knowledge, Look Back at a Career"
Richard was a self-taught, Rembrandt-style artist. He drew a lot of his inspiration from the numerous books he read, and countless hours studying paintings at the Smithsonian National Gallery in Washington, DC. He was kind, witty, humble, and a wonderful husband and father.

On his Facebook page he wrote:

"Maybe i got the bug to paint pictures from my
Grandfather, who was an artist in Baltimore in the
Late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds,
painting signs on the sides of buildings that are
still visible today sometimes.
To paint a picture, first you need an idea that you
truly want to express. Make a rough sketch of
the idea with shading. That will be your guide for
your painting.
A painting must start with good composition.
Composition is essential. All styles of art,
whether it be abstract, impressionistic or other,
needs to have good composition. Composition is
the arrangement of components in a picture on
your canvas in a pleasing manner."

This captivating video, "Age of Knowledge, Look Back at a Career," was put together by the York Dispatch. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

You can admire more of his work on the Art of Richard Neubauer Facebook Page.


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