Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ring Around the Nosey

Finally, this evening I had an urge to make these faux album covers. "Ring Around the Nosey" has been a pun based name in my project list for many years. I've had the concept twirl through my brain more than once alongside several other fake music groups that have come to mind.
This one in particular was inspired by my character Erozion from the Life of Lewa series (a fan fiction one day to be phased over into a new setting), especially by the episode where Ero gets himself some piercings in rebellion against his fathers consent, and faces trouble for doing so.

I dreamed of what this album cover should look like from the beginning. The original concept was closer to that of the bottom version of the covers shown above. Originally it wasn't a photograph either, it was painted, with obvious brush stroke detail in a digital program, and it was completely gray scale, more on the greenish gray side. I aimed for something close to what I first dreamed of, but tweaked stuff along the way, specifically that little glowing touch of green on the nose ring nobs.
Call it strange, but the picture needed that hint of green.

Here's a secret, the fake name of the composer is meant to mimic code names of Erozion. Eron Vuna is a jumble up of Erozion Nuva, a joke added because all the symbolism of the album cover has to do with his character. The male face with somewhat puffy lips, the neon green shade a hint of his armor color and element of air, the barbed wire representing his rough edges in personality and thorns of a plant (control of plant life being his main element), the nose ring representing his rebellious side, and the pavement texture representing his love for the road on the comfort of his motorcycle.

After thinking up the name and concept image for this album, names for the songs of the album came to mind a few years later. All the titles have to do with piercings and rebellion, each one purposely made to rhyme with the next as the songs tell a story of a young man who starts off with one rebellion and faces trouble when he gets in too deep with the wrong crowd.
"Dark Light" and "Don't Fight" are names hinting to parts of the Life of Lewa story having to do with shadow beings, corruption of the good, and resisting the darkness as a hero should.

As I worked on the two concept covers for this fake album, I realized how dark and uneasy it made me feel. I guess that's a sign I did it right, displaying rebellion through art, and really bringing out the darkness of the story I had made during a time I was in a dark mood myself.

Looking at this cover art now that it's out of my brain and visually in front of me, has also made me think on how bad my character Erozion can be. Lately I've asked myself the honest question of what kind of personality type Erozion is if he acts the way he does. Makes me wonder if I had something wrong with me when I invented him, because to this day I still love his character on paper....But I'm not sure I'd want to be close friends with him if he were a real person.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

White Pop Up Peacock Card

(Jan. 21, 2017)

(March 27, 2020) Speaking from the future. Originally this card was meant to be for my sister's wedding, and I never made it because I wanted to make it into a pop up card. To do that I would have needed to go to the office store and print out my selected pieces on a glossy card stock. I never got to, still wish I could, but seeing it's been forever, it was time to share it despite it being digital.

I shared it today instead as a birthday card, and now it's no longer some secret three year old draft.)

(Original description)-Jan. 21, 2017

Aside from the Star Wars card, I also got to work on this peacock card beforehand. I decided to take an easier way of making it, and found images online instead of hand drawing the white peacocks and flowers. 
My original idea was slightly different from this, and a sketch may be in order. I think I like how this one came out though, the image shown is a preview version of what the card is to actually look like. I'm not aiming for a flat card in this case, but rather a pop up card. 
I've already assembled the print out pages for the background and elements to be added. Hopefully I can get this made on time.
I know my sister likes peacocks and orchids. I chose white peacocks simply to represent the silly tradition of wearing white.

I'll be honest, I enjoyed thinking up this card less than I did the Star Wars card, but maybe it's because I like celestial things more.

This isn't the only pop up card I wanted to make, I still have a Wizard of Oz one planned for a 12x12 setting. The elements for it remain in a file, waiting to be printed. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Good Goodies from Dec-Jan

(Dec. 7, 2016)

During December through January, and a bit before these two months, I had some shopping adventures and came across small goodies which I hope to play with in the months to come.

On the seventh of December I got an animal coloring book and a pair of socks from Big Lots, then went on to find other things at the Dollar store next door. 
I've been in search of that animal coloring book for awhile, specifically for certain images in it. The pictures in the book have inspired ideas for a few collage experiments, and even concepts for a couple quilt patterns.
At the Dollar store next door to Big Lots I found nail art accessories, wanting to play with the small fruits and super tiny gems. Of course I'm not going to use them for my nails, but rather for creating miniature desserts, drinks, and jewelry.
I also found some cute wall stickers with birds on them that will be perfect for decorating a few book covers, and the calendars are for collage and just to look at.

I got different, snarkier ideas for the quotes of the one calendar (Follow Your Dreams- left), liking the art, but preferring a bit more snark as far as quotes go. I may one day embrace the idea to make my own calendar of odd humor.
There are a few things I got a bit before the month of December which have been part of my Christmas list in a way, one of those things was this Floral Fair paper stack I got for ten dollars at Joahn's. I love the paper in this stack, especially the colors.

Back around Jan. 27, I was brought this carved wooden spoon. I admit it, I do like the look of it. Cute woodland things make me happy, and the spoon is actually quite heavy. I may not use the spoon for anything gooey, sticky, or chunky. This might be one of those, for stirring broth and drink based things only....otherwise the design will get gunked. I like the etching of the wood, which I think is a result of laser cutting.

Talisman Designs is the company I guess.

Jan. 3, 2017

On Jan. 3 while I was at a Tuesday Morning, I  got a shameful splurge of scrapbook stuff. 45, 75, and 99 cent items are totally worth it considering the original price of each item. It totaled to around 8 dollars, and even at that price it felt shameful to indulge myself in more things that I don't technically need.

However, I will find uses for all of these things, and ideas have already come to mind. The oceanic stuff will most likely end up in some journals that are island based, to match some tropical scrapbook paper I have in my stash. 
Mushrooms and tree tabs are helpful for an Autumn and fairy book. The silly Smash book fish will no doubt find its way into my Alaskan Salmon journal, and the rest will be helpful in day to day journaling.  All these things will probably show up in multiple projects in the near future, which I hope to share.

Jan. 19, 2017

Some salt lamps became an interesting edition to the house. We have salt lamps at three different spots, one on my desk, one on the kitchen table, and one at someone elses desk.
The salt lamps are pretty all by themselves, but I have a few photography ideas in mind for them, ones involving figurines admiring the light.

This may be an odd thing to take interest in, but I liked the art aspect of these bottles brought home one evening. It's a mineral water called Topo Chico, interesting brand I've never heard of, no doubt because it's a product of Mexico. It was found at an herb store during an outing.

The caps of these bottles are what caught my eye. A beautiful piece of art was displayed in blue and red over yellow. I was simply captivated by the picture, and instantly stated, "Keep the caps". I plan to use these in art, either as pendants, or bottle cap paper clip toppers.

Something about the placid look of the Mayan man makes me feel so relaxed. I also find his form to be hansom.

Also, almost a month ago, this paper stack was brought home, and I was asked to keep track of it till someone wanted a sheet or two to use.

It still remains on the sewing machine table in the kitchen, but I have considered taking it to my craft desk at some point. Some of the designs are rather inspiring, and oddly pretty. I had a plan for one of them, to create a fairy themed pop up card with mushrooms and trees. This idea came to mind as a birthday gift, but I was too late in the idea and never made it.
The paper was handed over to a sibling not long after that, and I simply kept record of the paper stack name in case I ever want my own stack before it retires.

There are a bunch of other odd things which had been delivered to the house during the month, and one of them which I find to be very interesting is this sparkly rainbow privacy film for sticking on windows.
The stuff is really neat, it's basically a plastic that sticks to slick surfaces, and is very much like a heavy weight plastic tablecloth. I can only wonder how they got it to sparkle like real glass.
The look and texture of it has inspired ideas on how it could be used as fake windows in miniature props, or as a floor in still life photography. 

 Jan 20, 2017

During a cleaning splurge through one of the rooms that started a few days before Jan 20, I was handed a bunch of stuff from a sibling that will likely end up in the craft corner.

Some craft books were handed to me, which I proceeded to tuck away into the craft book shelf. I was also given a whole stack of nature painting magazines, odd little books from Idaho on anatomy, and beading magazines.
Among the paper goods, I was also given dried insects for placing into resin, old Southern seed order books for gardening, outdated farmer's almanacs, a purple diary with kittens on it, and a stationary box that partially matched the style of the diary, the contents within still useful for putting in journals. 
I kept a large portion of the things given to me in a cardboard box, as shown above. All the magazines and papers have been kept in here, all but the diary and a few Native American crafts which were also handed to me.

Another thing from over a week ago is this grab bag of chains and trims. During our visit to Joan's I gravitated towards the jewelry section in search of lobster claws and jump rings for a few projects. Then I noticed a grab bag with chains in it, an uncommon thing to find on the stash rack which usually just has a lot of random beads.
As I stared at the bag, my mind raced with ideas on what all I could use these chains and trims for, especially for making pretty doll accessories. Later when I opened the bag, I thought of even more uses. I'll likely talk about the projects that come out of this in the future.

Butterfly Blue and A Wedding Gown too

Today I sat down to design some fashion during the afternoon and evening. I started off with experimenting on a wedding dress idea based off two existing patterns in our collection, and worked over a photo of the person meant to wear it just for accuracy sake. 

I created four concepts, all similar, but each slightly different in the sense of material placement and the idea of laces or no laces on the bodice.
The material drawn represented some material in the fabric bin which hasn't been used in years. This fabric was once meant to be made into a brides maid dress, but that didn't happen.
These two patterns are what we thought of merging together to make the wedding dress; what I designed was made to show what that might look like.

This concept wasn't used though, since fitting is a daunting subject, and the experiment of fitting the dress pattern to the wearer wasn't turning out so well.
Right after designing the wedding gown, I went and designed my butterfly blue dress which is just the belled sleeve dress from the Vogue pattern. I drew out this basic design just to see how the style would look on my form, and applied to the chosen material. Seems it works rather well, princess cuts usually do.

There are so many accessories, and the choice of shoes which I left out of the design since that would take too much effort to pull off. At some point I may take pictures of the actual accessories I own which could go well with this outfit, and include them on the fashion page.
This is the fabric I hope to one day use for making the dress. It's silky, sparkly, and the blue in it is so bright that it naturally appears to glow.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Snow Bound Barbie and Cleo

"Catch a falling snowflake"

Also on the seventh I had taken a bunch of pictures of some dolls in the snow. Now I'm getting back to the edited versions of those.

Barbie Nutcracker starred as the Snow Princess. Above is her scene of song and catching snowflakes.

"Winter wind blown"

Couldn't think of any other title. Two identical, but not exact pictures of the snow princess with her cape blowing through the wind as she twirls about, and maybe starts an opening for another cheesy winter musical.

I had taken the original photos and played around with cool and warm photo filters, along with blurred backgrounds to see if it brought more focus to the toy. I personally like the blue tinted versions most in the experiment, but I'm not really sure if the blurred backgrounds helped much.
"Beyond the Snowy Border"

I like this one for some reason, it's sort of mysterious to me. I'm reminded of Sleeping Beauty when looking at this scene, mostly because the way the doll stands in the snow like in a trance as she stares into the distance. Maybe her name is Princess Arora Borealis. :P


I took some pictures of her caped and ready to travel this unknown path of ice towards a distant land not far for me, but at least a half hour walk for her. I also took a picture that focused just on the doll and not the horizon (right).
"Ice Land Lady"

 Who knows where the snow princess is off to. Wherever it is, it's sure to be a chilling adventure. 
Just as I did in the cape version, I made one with a bit of background (left), and the other focused just on the toy (which I personally like most- right).
 These too were experimented with, but the blurring of scenery may not have made much of a difference.
"Far From Home"

Cleo's first time in the snow. It's far from home in the sands of winter.
Blue tinted version (right), warm original (left). Both are now edited for better color.

 I took three different pictures of Cleo admiring the snow, each one displaying warm and cool light settings, original background, blurred background, and snowy foreground editions.

I went ahead and made blurred background versions of Cleo in the snow.

I played with blurring backgrounds in my pictures because it seems to help bring focus to small toys, and slightly hides the fact they're small in comparison to a brick wall or large bush. 

And then I created fake falling snow for an extra touch of interest. Cleo is enchanted by the white flakes which fall and add to the cold, white "sand" around her. It's her first time of seeing snow, and she knows she's far from Egypt.

The snowy versions of Cleo outside seem to be the nicest of them all, and tell an interesting story of Cleo's beginning days as a member of my toy collection.