Saturday, October 29, 2016

Jasper Volcano

Here's an interesting background I made yesterday using a photo of a red jasper. Left version is the non shaded version, right is the shaded and enhance version. I used the clone tool to create extra texture area, which means this doesn't look just like the pendant, but it still has some kind of background appeal like a volcano spitting.

This is inspired off of what I see in the actual stone (left). I love this pendant because I see a little illustration in it. In the corner you have the silhouette of  a rock cliff or the top of a volcano, the bright red streaks being the lava which erupts and spews through the darkened sky of clouds which reflect the glow of fire.

The setting only makes it even more beautiful, like an oval sun. 

I made the background images as an experiment, wishing I could have a painting that looks like this stone.
Playing with it in PSE helped me accomplish something similar to an actual textured painting, but I would still love to have a real painting of it for the aesthetic of acrylic paint texture. I like the depth of actual paintings, and the fact they can be fun to touch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Outside Your Home

"Outside Your Home"
Another photo manipulation I started and finished today. I've been a bit bugged by the fact PSE doesn't seem to save the rain filter the way I want to, losing translucency when it flattens for saving. Above is an example of that, and I couldn't find a way to save the image in higher definition without losing the translucent quality of the rain, so I devised a different method.
I print screened the image directly in the program, then pasted it to another file and enlarged it. Unfortunately some of the color qualities and details seemed to get lost in the process, but in this case it sort of works anyway since the scene is gloomy and purposely made to be somewhat spooky.
I played around with darker and lighter settings the darker version on the right and the lighter on the left. I started off with warm light versions, keeping the original photo shades as a focal point, but it just didn't seem pleasing enough.
It may still find a place in one of my journals for this depending on what mood I'm going for.
This is when I played with the same pictures of darker and lighter, with an added blue filter. The blue brought out something in the image I liked more. 

In some ways this image actually doesn't seem all that scary. It could tell more than a creepy story.
Like say.....what if the hooded guy is actually a good guy, and the home is of someone he loves, and his head is turned because someone is coming up behind him. Or maybe the hooded guy is stalking a murderer. The other possibility (suggested by an acquaintance) is that this is a disheveled young father who had lost his family, and always revisits what's become of the house he used to live in, but can never bring himself to get close or enter, so he waits outside for hours on end.

It seemed like an okay idea, but the figure I chose just seems too young to have lost a family. Granted, if he were say 26 and had experience the loss of a wife and infant, it would be a tragic story. But the gloom and body language of the piece seems to lean better towards more spooky concepts.

The other story idea it makes me think of is related to the image "Breakdown". You know, that picture of a human Erozion crashed on the roadside in the rain. "Outside Your Home" kind of has a similar feel, where a possibly human Ero is being followed from behind as he heads towards a friend's home in the dim of night through the rain. Or perhaps he's afraid to go home, which is why he's standing outside a friend's place debating on what to do. There are a number of ideas that come to mind.

I used one of my own failed images to create the background. At the time I had tried taking a photo of a house light across the street, liking the spookiness of it.
My hands weren't stable, and the camera doesn't do well in the dark, so the results were practically useless, but I saved the image anyway, thinking it may come in handy someday for a photo manipulation.
Sure enough, the idea came, and it seemed to be just fine as a background out of focus and in the dark . I brought focus to the foreground figure (a hooded guy I found on google images).

This is why I save even the reject photos, because they too have a purpose when the right idea comes along.

I extended the image by copying a strip of the color and duplicating it on a larger page.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dryer Ball Fruit

 A few days ago I had been rolling this spiky little orange dryer ball over my forehead, then an idea came to mind. As I held the ball in my hand I started imagining how it looked like some kind of alien fruit, the tips of the spikes even being a natural greenish color from where the orange has worn away.

After a bit of rummaging in the plastic plant bin, I gave life to the spiky orange ball, then took photos of the alien fruit. I'm still trying to decide on how it would taste....maybe it would be like an orange or lime mixed with the texture and taste of pineapple. 
I took a good amount of pictures from different angles to use in photo editing, but the one here is what I chose for a main sketch page image. 

After using some filters and sketch techniques in PSE, I made it look like a botanical drawing, something you may find in Pearllight's notebook from her travels to other worlds, possibly somewhere in the Bionicle universe. 
Eventually I hope to add it to a book and write about it like it's a real thing. I'll have to think up a false scientific name for it and go into details on what it's like. 
If I ever do manage to make some kind of journal page about it, I'll probably be sharing it here.
I also made a more modern color and a gray sketch version of the image.
Here's a view of the original photo, charming in its own way, but I really feel the false sketch version adds a certain life to it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fish Bone Monsters

(Finished Oct. 17, 2016)

Fish bone beasts, creepy, yet cool in my opinion. This image series is a result of me experimenting with anonymous images I took of the refuse from the process of making fish broth. My intention was to somehow use those pictures in art, and I seem to have a found a way.
All images, including the lizard body on rocks, seaweed backdrop, and assembled head are from my own photo collection. Only part I got from google images are the eyes of the monster, taken from a photo of a sheep.
The head of the monster itself is essentially a collage done digitally, made from selected parts of the photos I took. I saw something in certain parts of those pictures and played around till I found something interesting in their ensemble. It all started with teeth, made from adjusted images of a fish spine. It started as a mouth and became a head.

Above is the male version of the fish bone beast. The male fish bone beasts have a spine crest that lines the front of their head, an extra bone support for protection during fights. They also contain extra frills on the sides of their head. These frills spread outward and glow to oncoming females during mating season.

 What the mythical scientific name of these creatures would be has not been decided, but I'm sure I'll think of something eventually.
Their species is amphibious, and quite large, at least 7 feet tall from head to toe when standing on hind legs. Their head measures about three feet vertically and around 2.5 feet horizontally from the widest part of their skull.
They eat mostly meat, but also some vegetation including seaweed.
Here's the second matching image of a female fish bone beast. The females don't have extra bone on the front of their heads, or large frills near their jaw. The somewhat translucent cartilage on the front of their head will glow when they seek for a male.
I made extra cards of just their heads, a way to display all the details.
There may be a second set of pictures for these beasts, ones of their heads with no eyes. Those images would be part of a creepier series based around their decay.
(Finished around Oct. 14, 2016)

Relative pictures of the fish bone beasts are these two images I call the Slime Spine, a picture to look almost alien like as though this fish spine is some kind of bug hatching from its egg. These pictures pre-date the fish bone beasts, and were a test run of what I could do with the fish broth photos.

Here's one of the photos I took, just to show an example of what I worked from to make the heads of the creatures. It looks kind of icky, which is exactly why it inspired me. What you see in this image is the cartilage and bone of a skate fish, mixed in with cod fish bones and vegetable matter.

All of the pictures I've made recently have been made with the view of how they'd look as cards or print outs to use in my journals or in other crafts. The artwork seems extra enchanting when I view it as something that can be put to use in an interesting way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Makers Halloween Mini books

Halloween is soon coming, and I've had these little minis made for over a week now. 
These recycled items were tossed in the pile of Halloween junk mail and scrapbook supplies I gathered together for the Spider Silk journal.

These are plain little notebook/sketchbook journals made from a tissue box and some packaging from a set of Halloween tights by Maker's Halloween. 

I added a purple ribbon closure to the Maker's Halloween mini. The look of it just seems so perfect as a book cover.

And the spooky tree tissue box is one of my favorite tissue box images, pretty, yet haunting. It's the second tissue box book I've made, using O wire binding methods.
Back side of the books. I left the Maker's Halloween journal the way it was front and back. The information and bar code seemed charming, so I left them.
For being so small, both books hold quite a few pages, and can serve well for writing, sketching, or even small wallet sized photos.
I used some pretty raven paper from my Halloween paper stack to cover the inside of my spooky tree book. The ravens seemed fitting for the theme, and style. 
The tree book contains sketch paper, with some black scrapbook pages in between as dividers.

The picture above shows the first page with just a plain sheet of black paper for the opening page.
Later I took the corners snipped from the inner covers for this book, and applied them to the back and front page for more interest. I felt it made kind of a nice spot to put a title or picture.
In the Maker's Halloween journal, I covered the insides with some leftover scrapbook paper.
It's one of my favorites, metallic skeletons and skull faces that reflect the light. Since the scraps weren't large enough to cover the entire inside, I accented the top and bottom edges with sparkly purple scraps.
Again, for this journal same as the spooky tree one, I used some corner pieces to make the front page more interesting. It's also a nice way to use up the tiniest of scraps.
The Maker's Halloween journal is made up of all scrapbook paper, mostly plain in the shades of white, purple, and black.
The only patterned papers added are in two spots of the journal. It kind of just serves as a divider in both sections.

The book only measure about 3 1/2'' x 2 1/2''. It's a pocket sized journal.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Flying Pink Unicorn Card

Another quirky greeting card inspired by a Christmas ornament from World Market. I didn't actually get this one to take home, but took a picture of it while at the store.

My mind was doing silly things as I stared at the pink paper unicorn with thread hair. The first thing that came to mind is of a card my mom gave me for Valentine's Day, one of a unicorn pooping candy hearts.
after that I imagine this pink paper unicorn being rocket powered by magical pony gas which sparkles and smells like cotton candy.

Like the crab card, I made a text and no text version of this.

Derpy Crab Card

I had taken a few photos of some ornaments I liked at World Market. This crab was just too funny not to get and take pictures of.

After I took some pictures of it for writing about, I made this greeting card because it makes me laugh so much....especially with its derpy eye. :P

So I made a greeting card using scanned scrapbook papers and dye cuts for the background, then added my edited photo of the crab.

One day I might print out a few of these and add them to a beach themed journal.
I also have a no words version, as an illustration or personal message kind of card...that is if it were a print.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Spider Silk Halloween Journal

 (Completed Sept. 28, 2016).

So much to share, this took some work getting down, but it came out fun. The Spider Silk journal contains three signatures, which means it kind of springs open on its own. to keep it slim on the shelf, I added a sheer, black ribbon closure.
The book is still pretty thick even with the ribbon on....I'm starting to believe I should have only added two signatures.
The book cover is made from a Shutterfly box. I liked the orange, and it just seemed perfect for a first time Halloween journal.

I didn't want to cover certain parts of the box, or take away from the color, so I avoided covering it with scrapbook paper and took a more adventurous approach.
I hand stamped the entire thing with my spiderweb stamp kit using black stayson ink. It felt kind of plain in just black, so I embossed the webs with clear sparkly emboss powder, and the smaller spiders with black emboss.
I also hand drew in extra lines with a black pen to extend the webs and make them connect together.

I placed the webs around the title, liking the look of Shutterfly font. It became the focus and grounding point the main webs attach to.
The stamping was continued to the back side, and I kept the address label as an anchoring point for the webs.

Part of the charm to keeping the label is the name of the place it was from. Whispering Hills, a fitting name for something Halloween based.
The giant spider on the front is a stencil I drew on, then colored using a black jelly role glaze pen. Then to give interest, I added metallic purple designs to it with another one of my jelly role pens.

Notice how I directed the large spider at the word fly. :P
My little black spiders got a coating of sparkle since I added the sparkle emboss on after I had done the spiders. I decided I liked the spiders to be sparkly too.
Here's the spine and side view of the book's contents.
I continued the spiderweb across part of the spine to make it seem like it was all held together.
And for this book I did an exposed stitch, sewing my signatures directly into the spine, and keeping the stitches on the ends, away from the spiderweb.
The first page makes me happy. I covered the inside with spider scrapbook paper, coating it and the outside cover with Liquitex satin varnish.

First page is a cute illustration from a Red Barren pizza box.
I added some mustache washi tape to the top of the next page as part of the Red Barren pizza theme.
In the corner I used some images from a Joan's flier to make a tuck spot, with some little spooky Polaroid cards created from Joan's coupons and scrapbook paper.
I loved the swirling text paper and its other side of orange and black.
I also added parts of a recollection paper package to the book, the large page making me chuckle because the words "capturing special memories". Fitting words for a book covered in spiders.
On this page is another example of using flier images to decorate. Again, I used some flier images, this corner tuck spot a scrap from a Michael's flier, and spooky Polaroids are from Joan's fliers.
I added an Angry Orchard box to the book, this ones color being good for the theme. Plus orchards with angry trees are great for Halloween.
On the other side of the angry Orchard box  I covered the sections with scrapbook paper, then added an old ghoul gummy tummy bag with some washi tape. Those candies are from Trader Joe's which had them ages ago, but I don't think they sell them anymore, so yay for having several of the bags in my stash.
I enjoyed trying out some of the scrapbook papers from the only Halloween paper stack I have in my collection. The black and white paper just seemed to go so well with the candy bag.
I added in a very light purple paper that's from packaging, and created a tuck spot with tag flip outs. I decorated with some tapes, and used paper scraps to add interest to the tags.
There's even some black striped paper in there, and some green paper too.
The green paper is an extension of the Angry Orchard box, made into a tuck spot with a few scrap paper writing spots.
Orange and black with a bit of white and sparkly silver. Looks fun.
I added a flier page that looked nice with the framed raven image to the right. Pier 1 fliers always have nice pictures to play with.
Here's the other side of that pizza box, turned into a tuck spot which I added some parchment paper to. And on the other side is some scrapbook paper.
Third section was skipped in photo session since it's all black and white paper for adding to, but the third section has some more scrapbook paper.
And another part of the pizza box, this time with a zombie on it. Looks like someone ate too much candy.
The picture just seemed to fit the orange scrapbook paper behind it.
Some more of that recollection paper stack stuff.
Some very sparkly purple paper and the other half of the Angry Orchard box.
It too flips out and has room for pictures and writing. Then there's more recollections paper stack scrap with some interesting copper foiled paper.

I have more to add to make the tuck spot for this look good, but there's another spot with some flip out tags (left). On the right I used some more flier imagery, and a scrap of scrapbook paper to cover up part of the Halloween pizza box with little on it. This spot is actually a very small side loading tuck spot.
Another ghoul gummy bag, and a tweaked Michael's flier image turned into a tuck spot. I added some card stock over the letters of the coupon, transforming it into a writing spot. I also covered up some words on the pumpkin with more stamping.
Tag tuck spot and a mini booklet.
The mini booklet is for writing notes or a small story. I made it to use up a few scraps, but also so I could remember the name of my favorite paper.
Both sides are fun, and I sewed the pages in.
The fun page, a haunted house image.
Here's a few more tuck spot, one small, and the other quite large with a nice big tag.
More writing paper and scrap packaging.
And the end of the book with a witch on the pizza box.

This large book has a lot to go, and I hope to use it for personal journal keeping  during October. Once I work in it more, it will probably look really fun, and then I can share a full post on the completed thing.

I like to leave my journals mostly plain when I first start out, liking the room to create and decorate as I go.
The fun isn't over yet. Here's a peek at some packaging set to the side for a few smaller projects this month.
 And now for a flip through.