Saturday, October 31, 2009



"I'm Psychic" - Fabric Collage Pillow Face - approx 12 x 14 inches

"Got Milk?" - Digital Collage - 5 x 10

My elder daughter Jillian is visiting this weekend and I am in seventh heaven having a playmate to create with. Below is what she worked on this morning. It is the beginning of a pillow face. She just purchased two red leather sofa chairs and wanted to make some funky pillows to toss on them. Her other accent color for her living room is a light aqua. The teal doilie parts are from Luscious Layers on Etsy and the collage of the nude, etc. is from one of my skinny pages. Funky huh?
The pillow is titled "I'm Psychic" - and is a phrase that is symbolic to both of us from an incident when she was a 6th grader. We can say those two words to each other and instantly break out in laughter!

The third image is a digital collage I created for her that she is also going to make into a pillow and I am going to make into a paper/glue collage. It's titled "Got Milk?"

I love being a Mom!

Credits:  The torso for the "Got Milk?" collage is a freebie from Terri at Pringle Hill, the  bread and pitcher hat,  butterfly, tea cup from Hemera.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Another freebie (size is noted) this is a PNG file. Left Click on Image and Right Click SAVE As. An example of how I used it can be found here.

Now pasted and modified....

Do you ever get started on a collage, and feel compelled to finish it regardless of what else may be on your agenda? I had planned to put this piece aside until at least tomorrow afternoon, but found myself rushing through dinner to return to it. I scrapped the exquisite corpse images at play eventually after my fixation on the H1N1 virus passed :0) Besides, it just seemed too macabre for Eleanor according to the muse. I'll save them for a future Goth Eleanor.

So what type of paste do you use to adhere your images? A topic that I explored extensively a few years ago and continue to ponder. I used Perfect Paper Adhesive Matte for this particular collage but also am fond of Golden Matte Medium.

Untitled  Eleanor #45 Paper & Paste  Collage - 5 x 10 inches

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All The King's Horses and .....From Screen to Paper - TheRough Cuts

For my own records, and hopefully of interest to you, I decided to snap a few photographs capturing the first step in the process I take in creating one of my final collages.
After creating the collage digitally, I then take it all apart again and print each of the individual images separately. Then, one by one I cut out each piece and eventually reassemble each one onto the original background which is the ground for the final collage. See last photo below.

For this particular collage, which is approximately 8 x 16 inches at 300 dpi,  I first reduced it to an 8 x 10 inch size  and ink jet printed it on to Epson matte photo paper so that I would have an archival piece when it was finished.  After printing, (and lunch!) the cutting began. The cutting process took me about 2 -3 hours today and I tried out my new pair of Ginger embroidery scissors that have a curved tip to them.  Although they are quite stiff, the blades are razor sharp and resulted  in relatively accurate crisp edges.  However, regardless of the accuracy of the cuts,  the white edges of the paper are  always glaringly apparent. To resolve this, I use either a felt tipped pen (sepia for this piece) or over larger surfaces that are relatively straight, I can take a Stazon ink pad and carefully rub it over the white. My goal in doing this is to have the final piece  appear as though it's one image, and yet retain the feel of each subtle edge if I were to pass my fingertips over the surface of the paper.
 I'd love to hear any tips or advice those of you who also collage undertake when  cutting OR pasting your collages.

     - Laid out but not yet glued, just a few more edges to trim up and I'll be ready to hand color the edges and then  move on to the much written about pasting step!

Fabric ATC - Eleanor Musings


Eleanor Musing - 2.5 x 3.5 inches fabric collage

This is a digital collage I  made several weeks ago.  I reduced  it on the computer and  then ink jet printed it onto a cotton photo fabric sheet. I then hand and machine sewed as well as embroidered different layers and pieces onto it. The images were taken with the macro setting on my camera to best capture the texture of the fabric.



Untitled - 8x16 inch digital collage

Over the past few days, Michele and I have been trading email images that began as an Exquisite Corpse collaborative project in our group, The Recollection Parlor. The image began as an anatomical drawing of a heart.   Michele then added the second anatomical drawing of the surgically altered torso (first image above)  and sent it back to me.  Last night and this morning, I completed the collage (second image above) It is packed full  of symbols and personal meaning to me.  I had considered writing about each element, but believe it's best left for the viewer to make their own interpretations.   Creatively, I did consider several elements of design, most prominantly on my mind was continuity and repetition, having recently reviewed some of my  notes from a course I took at Emily Carr last winter.
Credits for the images go to:  Altered Bits, Hedweb, public domain,  and Michele.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Experimenting with InkJet Printing onto Cloth


Several months ago I purchased a meter of "inkjet ready" 100% cotton fabric from our local quilting store. Today, I finally decided to give it a try to see how it measured up to the packaged inkjet fabric sheets.

I had read that attaching the fabric onto freezer paper with double-sided tape was a method that seemed to 'do the trick' for some. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the 'some.' It could have been that I hadn't secured the cotton well enough, but I think it was more likely the weight of the freezer paper wasn't sufficient enough to thread through the printer. Luckily I dug it out of the feeder without mishap.

To test whether or not the flimsy freezer paper was the cause of the failed attempt, I persisted. This time with a regular weight piece of laser paper. I doubled up on the tape and created a grid with it and then attached the same piece of cotton from the first try.

Below is the result.
1. The digital image of what I chose to print.
2. The crumpled up freezer paper.
3. The final product - notice one corner didn't adhere and printed on the opposite side of the cotton.
4. It is fabric...scanned in a clump.

My recommendation is, don't waste your time. The cost/benefit ratio, if you value your time and can afford the cost,  weighs highly in favor of purchasing the ready made fabric sheets. What's also a consideration is the potential to damage your printer.   As you can see the saturation of the final product (and I had the ink volume turned to HEAVY) was hugely compromised. I happen to like the colors of the final piece, but I'd prefer to plan this rather than have a happy accident.

Next in line to try is the TAP inkjet product - which I've ordered and am waiting for.  Stay tuned.  I'm optimistic.

Hope this was of some value to you, if only to prevent you from making the mistakes I did.

New Digital Skinny Page - #18


Monday, October 26, 2009

Free Colorful Grunge Background


I spent some time today mucking about with my watercolors, pastels and stamps. If you are having a slump not knowing where to start, try this!  It may be just what you need to start an ATC or, a page in your journal.





Considering this Saturday's celebration, I thought this may be the best image I could offer.    Click on image, left click SAVE AS. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunday Postcard Art - Halloween - MacBeth Style


Visit Sunday Postcard Art for more entries this week

New Blog Banner, Avatar and Signature - The Shoemaker's Daughter


You know what they say about the shoemaker and the shoemaker's son? That'd be me, only the modern day tech and female version of the same issue. I finally broke down today, working through my layers of procrastination to come up with a header, avatar ,etsy plus the above blog banner, and a signature that for today, reflects some of my favorite colors, elements, my real name, and of course, my muse, Eleanor.   I still have lots to modify on my sidebar, but it's a start and as a result, it's a wonderful day in the neighbourhood. How's your day? Have you overcome any hurdles?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blog Award


Yesterday I had the welcomed surprise of receiving a heartfelt best blog award from Marsha at Tumblefish Studio. Thank you Marsha. Gestures like this mean a lot to me as making art and corresponding with other artists through this milieu has been a big part of my life and joy over the past four years since leaving my hometown and my career. I have felt so blessed by the number of friendships that I've developed and my hope is with each passing year I have the opportunity to meet more and more of you in person. Those who touch my heart with your words and your creative visual expressions. You add a delightful dimension to the quality of my life each day. I would like to acknowledge the following blogs by passing on this award. I find each one of these blogs inspiring visually and also inspiring in spirit. I invite you to visit them and encourage you to leave them a comment:
The Artist Within Us - Egmont Pringle Hill Studio - Terri Pixels and Paste - Terri The Last Door Down the Hall - Elizabeth Alicia Tormey - Alicia To those of you listed above. The original rules dictate listing 15 other blogs, but more important than numbers is the heartfelt wish that comes with the award. Thank you for being you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Dream of Genie - Eleanor #44

" I Dream of Genie" 5x 10 inch digital
Credits: Zebra-Nat Geo mag, Background-Kate Pertiet, Body of woman, Library of Congress via Pringle Hill Studio (thanks Terri), large butterfly-Hemera, small butterfly-Kate Pertiet


Left click on image to enlarge, right click SAVE AS - png file

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Library of Congress "Freebie"

Click on image to enlarge, right click and "SAVE AS" PNG File

Monday, October 19, 2009


Left Click on the photo, Right Click "SAVE AS" - This is a PNG (portable network graphic) file for those of you who don't want to have to extract the image from the background. Enjoy! Below is a very quick example on how she might be used (or you might also notice the little addition to my header :0)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Postcard Art - Theme: Grungy Gothic
"don't look under the bed" 4 x 6 " digital

One more nuthatch photo....

"No! Not Nick-Nack, I said Nut-Hatch silly!"
I would like to find a reason to post one of these photos each day, just for the sweetness of it all. Here's the excerpt from Nuthatch Totem via the web thanks to "Glamor Bomb": Nuthatch teaches grounding of spiritual energies along with faith and trust in the realms of spiritual and physical. Nuthatch shows how to move in many directions in search for spiritual and mental "food", sometimes head first is needed but rest assured, Nuthatch will also show how to hang on with amazing agility. Nuthatch is also a bird of ingenuity. Perhaps it is time to be creative and find solutions in new areas? Do you need to crack something open before your reap rewards? Nuthatch can demonstrate rebuilding or refurbishing your own dwelling to suit you better. Is it a mental/emotional overhall or a physical/construction one? In any case, he will bring attention to details in moving from one phase to another. It is time to be sharp and aware.

Inkjet Printing onto Fabric - Comparison

Vienna V.2 digital (left), cotton twill scan (right) 4x8 work in progress!
Since I've received 4-5 emails asking what process I use to transfer my digital images onto fabric, I thought I'd share them here. Blumenthal CRAFT Photo Fabric (available at Walmart, and no where else, much to my dismay) is available in 100% Popeline cotton as well as 100% Cotton Twill. The popeline is a finer weave and the ink saturates the cloth more thoroughly. I currently use an HP Photosmart C5180 which has an option of adjusting the ink volume which I always do prior to printing. The advantage of using these premade 8.5 x 11 cloth sheets is just that - they are ready to pop into your printer. The disadvantage is the cost. A package of 6 sheets is approx. $14.00 CAN. The instructions on the back of the packaging directs you to rinse the cloth under tap water, until the water runs clear. I've never done this for fear that it will only result in desaturating the colors. Over the next few weeks I am going to experiment with other products including the newer line of Golden digital grounds. Above, an example of a page in progress. On the left is the digital version, next to the cotton twill printed version on the right. From my point of view, comparing versions the contrast is decreased by about 10% and an additional 10% from the scanning process.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A surprise visitor this afternoon...

A female nuthatch flew inside through the kitchen window today unscathed and very friendly. After this quick photo op she hopped on my shoulder to ride with me through the house to the front door and outside. She seemed quite content to remain there but with a little nudge took flight back into the trees. Quite literally made my day. Click on photos to view large. Enjoy!


"Decisions" 8 x 11 digital

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dress for the weather....

" the year 1892, children were not exposed to the dangers of a walk without bonnets. " Photo - my mother-in-law and her sister, Hats from "Altered Bits" free collage sheet.