Friday, February 22, 2013

Focus on: A Monochrome Experiment

Photography Without Color

Our prompt for this week, from Focus on Life by Sally Russick at The Studio Sublime, is "Monochromatic."  We needed to come up with pictures either captured originally in black and white, or ones that we shot in color, then processed into monochrome, like black and white or sepia. 

I used the black and white setting on my camera for the first time, and it was fun, because taking pictures with black and white film (remember film?) was not that unusual when I started taking pictures. But back then, you saw your picture framed in the viewfinder, in color, and now you can see your picture on the screen in black and white. 

Interestingly, I found lots of subjects that are close to being monochromatic already, because winter is not a season of color around here. Here are the images I chose to share with you.  

Weeds and driftwood. And a little dirty snow.

Doorway to an 18th century house.

Cement mixer.

Then, I started to experiment. Here is an old weather beaten door. The one on the left was originally taken in black and white. The other? That one is in color. Sometimes you just have to find the right subject!  

Oh yeah, this one I played with by darkening the exposure.

Brings out the detail and shadows.

And finally, picket fence, unretouched in black and white, and then in sepia, cropped. 

Wait wait, one more: 

This is a shot taken in color, then played with in PicMonkey. It is ice forming on the edge of a stream. I use it as my desktop image!

Thanks for looking. I really enjoyed this one. Hope you did too. Visit The Studio Sublime to see what others have come up with!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Exploring a New Medium

Beginning a Journey in Watercolor

A few weeks ago, I posted a painting that I made in response to the photo challenge, Focus on Life: Create Art.

I knew I wanted to portray a sunrise in watercolor. I wanted a certain transparency, luminosity. Pretty big words for someone who has not tried to capture anything in watercolor paint in at least thirty years! The only classes I have taken were many years ago, and were more focused on stage renderings than landscape painting.   

This past summer, though, I learned a painting technique called Thick Painting on Glass, from a talented decorative painter named Sandy. I think it whetted my appetite for painting. 

I've also been doing a bit of painting on metal jewelry components with specially made inks. 

But painting on paper is different. And watercolor offers so many effects based on the amount of water used, thickness of paint, paper texture, brush used, and on and on. So many things to explore. So I am starting a journey to explore watercolor technique, and maybe even see how it effects my jewelry making. I will be joining with others, following the lessons at Studio Waterstone, Watercolor Painting 101, with Lori Plyler. If you have a hankering to paint, why not join us? 

Here is my contribution to Lessons 1&2.  
My art table
Color wheel with some brush stroke explorations.

Thanks for stopping by. If you decide to join us in our lessons, please leave a comment below. (Or just leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Let the Cooking Begin!

Both Bead Soup mixes have arrived.

So now my Bead Soup Blog Party partner Jennifer Reno, and I have received our beads. Bead Soup is an online event hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things. We are matched with a partner chosen by Lori, and exchange beads, focals and clasps for our partners to create with and make beautiful jewelry. 

Here is what I sent to Jenny: 

An old steel key that I altered with patina and glaze.

The Soup Mix (Not included; some bead strands I bought at the last minute!)
I saw that she has used jasper, so I kind of dropped some jasper on her!
Jasper Focal and some upcycled jasper beads.

Here is the soup mix she sent me:

Pretty package.

She included a lovely card.

Can't tell the players without a score card!

Wonderful variety of colors and textures!

I love all the colors. I don't usually use such a wide palette in one piece, so I see at least another little suite of pieces. Sweet!

And if you have read the post below, our focus on life photo prompt for this week was flowers. How perfect!
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Focus on: Flowers Around Us

Searching for flowers in Winter

This week's prompt in Sally Russick's photo challenge at The Studio Sublime is The Beauty of Flowers. Oh great. I love flowers. And I  like photographing flowers. But my personal take on the activity is to take a picture ( or pictures!) especially for the challenge. And well, it's WINTER. Soooo, green house? Florist shop? Silk flowers? 

I got to thinking about flowers as decor and  I saw them... lots of places.  I decided to focus on a lovely old dresser dish. 

I think the flower details here are very lovely. (Also the lace!) This is all china, a molded china hand, flowers, and lace. 

 It makes a wonderful prop for taking pictures of other floral objects... in this case jewelry.

The brooches are vintage pieces from  yard sale-ing forays in the summer. The Lucite lily earrings are my own design.  

For more Flowery goodness visit Sally's blog.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party: All Partnered Up!

It's Really, Really Here!

This is my second year participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by the indomitable Lori Anderson.  You can read about the history of this event here.

 I have been paired with a talented jewelry artist, Jennifer Reno, who blogs at: Musings of a Crafty Jenny. She also has an Etsy Shop, JenRen Jewelry, which gives her a leg up on me. I haven't been able to get mine together for months! 

I made a effort to take a look at her style, then comb through my stash and choose items I hope she will like and be able to work with...but not too close to what she works with now. I invite Jennifer to do the same!

Just a little  tease!

Stop back in a week or two, to see what Jenny sent me,  and what I have sent to her.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Focus On: Feeling the Love

Litter Mates

Week 6 of the Focus on Life Blog Challenge sponsored by Sally Russick of Studio Sublime asks us to Feel the Love. 
Merry and Pippin are our sister and brother cats, and if cats can love each other, they prove it.

They tussle, they groom, and they share furniture. Meet Merry and Pippin!

Merry's beautiful face.
Pippin goes exploring with his other bestie, Bebop.
To see how the other participants have felt the love, Click Here!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Giveaway with a Heart!

A new giveaway on Creative Chaos

I just entered this wonderful giveaway on the Creative Chaos blog. If you win, in exchange for a bunch of really cool beads, you promise to make a bracelet to donate to charity!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Focus on: Unexpected Hearts

Finding hearts, not Valentines.

Challenge number 5, from Sally Russick of the Studio Sublime is: Capture our Hearts. She asks us to look for heart shapes that we might otherwise pass by in daily life.

I found a few...

 One was the handle of an old milk crate. 

Another was part of the wire work of an old planter basket.

But the best one was at the tip of the remaining hand of my rusty, dusty grandfather clock face. 

Once again, I love this guy!

I can't wait to see what everyone else has found. You can too at The Studio Sublime.