Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday's Musings.....

Working on these little 4 x 4 cloth squares is effortless.  The size lends themselves to working on them in the evening if I am watching a favorite TV program, (like The Good Wife??? anyone else a Good Wife fan??)  or just relaxing with my DH. As a result, I'm ahead of schedule again, and will be finishing this for Karen Owen probably sometime this evening, even though it's not due until November 30th. 

This one has some embroidering left to join the front and back together along with a few finishing touches around the face...

little bits of tatting, some opalescent clear beads,  and some transluscent colorful stretchy netting I used to embellish the wing.....

still some work to do (as you can see) in and around the face and within some of the tatting...the yellow tatting was meant to look like the end of her sleeve...maybe with a few revisions it will!


Front 4 x 4 - Aviana for Karen (work in progress!)

For this particular project, we are not required to finish the backs of these pieces, but to me, it's not finished unless the back is...I just don't spend as much time on it...
Back 4 x 4 - Aviana for Karen

and finally,  the low resolution digital version that I decided to add to my Etsy shop.  I've been drawn to paler hues and pastels lately, such delicate feminine tones..

Avianna - 8 x 8 inch digital collage
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits - Holliewood Studios, 
Iktupilli and Made to be Unique (hummingbirds and birdhouse)
Filters - Totally Wild Dezinez
Available on Etsy here

I hope Karen will like it.  She does lovely collage work - her gallery is here I've been adding beautiful lavender I purchased from Salt Spring Island months and months ago with the intention of creating some little sachets.  If you've ever wanted to purchase bulk lavender, check it out here

Thanks for visiting.

Update - finally done!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Best laid plans...

It never fails.  Whenever I comment that I plan on posting more often, something happens

This time, my Dad took a tumble and broke his shoulder (he'd fallen at our house less than a month ago and broke a rib).  Because the initial physician reading the x-ray didn't see the break, it wasn't until the radiologist took a look and made the call.  So, I was certain I'd be on my way again to my home town to stay with his dog and be his advocate at the hospital.  Fortunately, the break wasn't 'serious' and surgery isn't necessary. 

I'm sure many of you reading can relate to the worry that is next to impossible to overcome when an elderly parent is suffering. No amount of meditating or 'affirmations' or prayer seem to alleviate entertaining the possibility of that worst case scenario.   FEAR - my nemesis.

"My Nemesis" - digital illustration 8 x 8 inches
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits:
Figure - Pirate Queen at Deviant Art
Bird, Face, Letters, Photographs - Tumble Fish Studio
Background, Mirror, Brooch, Hammer and Mask - Holliewood Studios
Stars - Finecrafted Design


I've also not taken a serious step toward some of my 'planned' sustained art, and instead fell back into a comfort zone of doodling digitally.  Right now, I'm really again not certain which direction I will go - my muse is being very non-committal.

Two Who? - digital illustration 8 x 8 inches
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits -
Figure - Pirate Queen at Deviant Art
Frame, Mirror and Background - Holliewood Studios
Photographs and Letters - Tumble Fish Studio

.I do like to dream about what it would be like to be a master shortage of imagination in this woman's head....

 Starry Eyed - digital illustration 8 x 10
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits:
Figure - The Diamond Fell From The Sky - Flickr
VanGogh - Creative Commons and/or Finecrafted Designs
Wings and Stars - Tumble Fish Studio

But I did manage to get one of two tarot cards I've signed up for for a Steampunk Tarot Deck Artist Collaborative and have 80 of the cards now laser printed, ready to cut out (Yeh...not!)

The Hermit Steampunk Tarot Card - 3.5 x 5 inches
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits -
Tumble Fish Studio
Katie Pertiet
Tangie Baxter
Finecrafted Designs

If tarot tickles your fancy, double click on this image to see a brief explanation of The Hermit "card" , gathered from research via this website

  Thanks for reading and of course, as always, for taking the time to leave comments.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Creative Team Work - Taking a Break

Deviant Scrap continues growing at a fast pace and I'm always impressed and wow'ed by how the designers can continue to produce so many new and captivating digital elements week after week! 

I've taken a bit of a respite from creating specifically for the Creative Teams I participate in so I can focus on working on developing more personal work.  I began creating digital illustrations for Deviant Scrap upon it's arrival on the internet in May 2010 and as of today, have created  448 different pieces !  That's an average of 26 per month!  I know!  I guess there's no surprise that I have a passion for working digitally!  I saw that number and thought....

"Holy Cow!"
(close up detail of Spinning My Wheels below)

This collage/illustration was created after Finecrated Designs and Holliewood Studios collaborated recently to create a kit they called "Ode To A Muse - 2"  with images reminiscent of Michael deMeng's asssemblage work. 

Spinning My Wheels 8 x 11 inch digital illustration
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits with thanks to Finecrafted Designs and Holliewood Studios
 - Ode to a Muse 2, Dancing Girls - Lisa Altered Art
For sale on Etsy here

Self-conscious, self disclosure part -
I've tried to  reflect periods in my life when I occasionally feel like I am “Spinning My Wheels” creatively.  Sound familiar?  I think "us creative types" all have occasion from time to time to second guess what they do and why they do it?  I'd wager that for the majority of us, it certainly has little to do with the notion of a 'get rich quick scheme' :0) Not that there's any harm in dreaming....

The Eye being held is my true creative aspirations, that I hold onto dearly but sometimes put on the back burner while I act like a  ‘puppeteer’ for some of my work on various creative teams....(the dancing women representing the kits) And the antlers and eyes are my insecurities – “deer in headlights” timidness and also my ‘mask’ to avoid the work. Or not being 100% myself. There I said it - I am often my own worst enemy.  Doesn't Dr. Phil say, "You can't change what you don't acknowledge"?

Please note, this does not diminish the gratitude I feel for the great fun I have at Deviant and how lucky I feel to be a part of the teams there!  I have learned so much and more importantly have developed wonderful friendships with like-minded peeps.

Thanks as always for reading these posts and allowing me a 'voice'.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One thing leads to another...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Canadian bloggers

I was blessed with a visit from my elder daughter Jillian and her adorable Yorkie/Maltese cross "Maude".  It's a long drive from our 'hometown' so any time my family makes the trip, it's always cause for "thanks-giving."

Along with lots of laughs, we enjoyed the autumn weather and after  compulsory Saturday shopping and putting together  a Halloween (steampunk) costume for her, we had lunch and picked delicious strawberries at Broxburn Farms.  Sunday was all about relaxing and preparing Thanksgiving dinner. 

I thought I'd post images of my latest digital turned cloth project today.   The cloth 4 x 4 inch version is for my monthly collaborative project with the Oh My Gothic group - this month for Heather Robinson, fellow Canadian,  a long term blog buddy,  and sweet friend.  I have managed to keep up with this commitment, but have long fallen behind on blog visits.  I plan to put some time aside this week for nothing but that!

Below images include the 8 x 10 original digital collage followed by the 4 x 4 cloth square front and back as well as a few fun close ups.

This list of image credits are long and include big thank yous to  Finecrafted Designs, Holliewood Studios, Tumble Fish Studio, Tangie Baxter,  Art by January and Nicole Perry.

I'd like to be

Under the sea....

In an octopus's garden


in the shade!

Octopus's Garden 4 x 4 cloth - Front


Octopus's Garden - 8 x 10 inch digital illustration
(see above for credits)
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved


Revisions for 4 x 4 - front and back with a few additions (eg - octopus!)

Ready to package up and mail out to Heather in Ontario.   Thanks for the visit!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Anatomy....New digital work


Tumble Fish Studio recently released a new set of images she named "Greg's Anatomy."  Having been a collector of vintage books among other things for several years, I was familiar with many of the images.

Ironically, I have a vintage book  "20th Century Physician" and have often been tempted to use the anatomical illustrations in my cut and paste collage work.  Now, I don't have to !

Flash Back Diptych 1 and 2 (8 x 10 inches each)
Copyright 2011 Two Dresses Studio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits - Tumble Fish Studio
Available in my Etsy shop here

Complexities of The  Reproductive System, Mating and Gender Differences - 8 x 8 inch digital collage
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits - Tumble Fish Studio and Holliewood Studios

"Cabinet Musings" - digital illustration 4 x 6 inches
2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits - Tumble Fish Studio, Holliewood Studios and Finecrafted Designs

The Girl Effect - the message is here, the message is clear

I have a small  favor to ask.

Please join me, Tara Mohr and hundreds of others by watching this amazingly creative and poignant video, posting it on your blog and then adding the link to your post link here

Thank you!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Field Notes - how artists and scientists together might help restore broken bonds between people and land.


"Ecotones" - 8x8 inch digital illustration
Copyright 2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image Credits:  Finecrafted Designs, Holliewood Studios

 The digital collages posted here (with image credits primarily to Finecrafted Designs) are in response to Ecotone -an  event I  participated  in recently as an artist member of the  Field Notes Collective. 

  The 'weekend' began on  Friday evening at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) with two keynote speakers - Ryan Doherty, the curator of the gallery and Dr. Henry Janzen, a scientist at the Canadian  Agricultural Research Centre here in Lethbridge, Alberta.    Dr. Janzen is an international expert in greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation.  His speech was compelling, and began and ended with the awareness of how at that very moment (while listening to him speak) we would expel a breath, and in  it, it contained  a carbon atom  that would be  released into the atmosphere.  A year later we could pick up a leaf and find that very same carbon atom within it.  He pointed out that until we really 'love' our earth, and feel as though we are entirely 'connected' to it, we won't be compelled to embrace it and do whatever necessary to ensure it's survival.   We ARE the land.

 For the last 60 years, the research centre has been studying the effects of cattle grazing on an area of grassland, nestled in the foothills in front of the Rockie Mountains west of a small town called Stavely.  The lead scientist, Dr. Walter Willms presented the research which is defined as "Examine how grazing affects grassland heterogeneity and biodiversity, and its interactions on wildlife, including SARA-listed species, and develop strategies for their recovery and protection.' 

The following morning, the Ecotone group (approx. 75 ranchers, artists and scientists) met in Stavely and then  boarded buses to travel to the  field. The weather was perfect, about 85 F. with a warm wind and not a cloud in the sky.  Once there, the lead investigators for the study explained their research in detail and we were taught how they measure the effects of grazing, the 'composition' of the grasslands, each grassland species, soil, ecosystem, watershed, etc.   Four separate fields divided into various 'intensities of grazing make up the field site.  We broke into subgroups and walked through each field, identifying the native grasses, noxious weeds and non-native species. Each group was lead by two scientists and they taught us how to 'diagnose' the health of the grassland, using different methods of collecting data.   There were also fenced areas within the heavy/extremely heavy grazing fields that had been protected for the last 10 years to see if it was possible for these areas to recover from the effects of heavy grazing.  Sadly, the answer at this point in time appears to be not.  A vivid example of the fragility of the grassland ecosystem. 

Above:  The large group together listening to the scientists explain the study before breaking out into smaller groups.

A Rancher, 2 Scientists and a Journalist who was recording the Ecotone event as we began by identifying the grassland species of native, non-native and noxious weeds.

Dr.  Walter Willms and Dr. Henry Janzen 
(the flags you see are marking different grassland species that we identified and studied in each research field)

John, one of the scientists employed by SALT teaching us how they collect and measure 'litter'  - the dead plant material that has collected at the base of the grasses - an integral component to measure the  overall health of the grasslands and critical to how rain/snow is stored in turn relating to  the health of the watershed and ultimately our water.

Here we were  measuring how far water travels before it is absorbed (length x time)  In the less healthy grasslands, the water travelled significantly farther over a longer period of time, than in the healthy areas.

Once back from the field, we gathered in the Stavely Community Hall for more presentations addressing several issues of sustainability and partnerships between the scientists, the ranchers, the artists and the end consumers of food.  This took place after a 100 mile dinner - all local food...beef, vegetables, berry pies...and of course, Big Rock Beer.

Ecotones 2 - 8 x 10 inch digital collage
2011 TwoDressesStudio
All Rights Reserved
Image credits - Finecrafted Designs

I'll never look at the grasslands the same way again.