Learning Curves

“This is your LIFE, do what you LOVE and do it often.  If  you don’t like something, change it!…”

I was very fortunate  and excited to receive Photoshop Elements & Premiere 10 for my Birthday from my daughter and son-in-law. Once I got it loaded onto my computer I started to try out some of the features – but after about an hour I had become frustrated because I was just not getting the steps you had to take to get the effects they were illustrating.  So I decided it would be better to leave it and try again the next day. 

 I recently bought a book  ‘Digital Expressions – Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements’ by Susan Tuttle, (a self-taught artist and photographer) wanting to learn more about creating digital art, but it ended up my Photoshop Elements 3 was not going to allow me to do the projects in the book because my Elements was a bit to archaic, lacking the tools in the latest versions, but I was able to get started with my Photoshop CS3, even though it is pretty old as well.  So now I am happy to have the latest version of Elements so I should be eventually able to do all of the projects with ease or at least that is my wish :).  So I have been referring to the techniques and tools that Susan Tuttle illustrates in her book and have been applying them to my digital art  and voila I have had some success and am now feeling more comfortable with this new program and my frustration has diminished. 

We often forget. I know I do, that there is a  learning curve when you are try something new, and it can be so frustrating when you first start out, trying to figure out how to use the tools correctly to get the desired effects you are striving for, it takes a lot of patience and practice but it becomes easier as time goes by – you have to crawl before you learn to walk. 

I was excited when I completed my first collage on Elements 10 the other day, all the layers are

Open your heart, take your soul by the hand and let your spirit fly!

my own scanned art pages and then I added this great quote about living life that has become viral on the web ‘THE HOLSTEE MANIFESTO” ©2009 WRITTEN BY DAVE, MIKE & FABIAN DESIGN BY RACHAEL WWW.HOLSTEE.COM/MANIFESTO. This quote really says it all and made me take a long look at my life and how I really need to start dreaming and  living my life – be more adventuresome, be fearless and start taking action and do the things I love and dream about doing and stop over analyzing – after all we are only here for a short time and might as well make it the best it can be.  

Until next time

Take your soul by the hand and let your spirit fly.


Another Birthday, another year to look forward to….


Be Your Personal Best Birthday Art Journal Page

“Be Your Personal Best”

Another year has flown by, is it just me or is it the older you get the faster time goes.  Remember when you were a child and you were anxiously waiting for your next Birthday and you would say that you were 81/2 and now as a mature adult you don’t say you are a year older or 60 and a half you wait until the day of your Birthday before you flip over to the next number.  Funny though even though I am now 62 I still feel like I am in my 30’s inside and in my mind, except when I look in the mirror and wonder why my body does not reflect the youthfulness I feel inside.  I am trying to take aging gracefully, and enjoy the laugh lines, etc. and think of them as character lines but sometimes I wish that I could just take an eraser and rub them out so that my exterior reflects how youthful I still feel within.  Regardless of what age I am, I am very grateful for the wonderful year that has just passed and look forward to all that is coming in the year ahead. 

I created this digital collage as if I was doing an art journal page and the quote that kept jumping out at me was ‘Be Your Personal Best’ so that is the caption that ended up on the finished page.  So that shall be my mantra for this upcoming year.  Cheers to another year, looking forward to a lovely dinner with my daughter and her husband this evening, and some lunches with some of my lovely friends over the next few days.  Life is great!

Try to find a way to be creative everyday, til next time


My First Art Apron

“The trouble with trouble it usually starts while having fun.”

I have been playing with the idea of creating an apron to protect my clothes while I am messing around with paints, and gel mediums because I always seem to be splattering paint on me and then rushing to get a wet cloth to try to get it out before it in-beds itself forever.  I had bought some unbleached muslin a number of months ago and wondered if I might have enough fabric to make a full apron and sure enough there was exactly enough fabric for what I would need.  I used an apron that I wear while cooking big dinners at Christmas and used it as a pattern for my art apron.  It was quite easy and quick to sew and then I washed it  to remove the sizing out as it was very stiff, forgetting however how wrinkled unbleached muslin can become once it has been put into the dryer.  So then I had to iron out all the wrinkles and some of them just refused to disappear, oh well it  kind of lends a unique look to the fabric.

Art Apron

I decided to use a t-shirt transfer of one of my collages I had created a while ago as the main focal point of the apron and I created the words ‘Create Art Everyday’  and used another t-shirt transfer to adhere the words to the apron.  The  top border of the apron I used some acrylic paints, stamps, india ink, and gel pen as I wanted to keep it simple and easy on my hand since I am still only about 75% rehabilitated from my joint replacement 2 months ago.  It still gave me a feeling of accomplishment and progress being able to do a little painting by hand.  Most things I have created lately have been digital, but I am trying everyday to use a paintbrush. 

I really enjoyed sewing and creating my own little art and I am sure it will soon be covered with spatters of paint and goop before I know it, but that will just give it character and make me happy that I haven’t ruined another sweater. 

Until next time I hope you find some time in your day to be creative.



Whimsical Digital Collage – Just For Fun

Just for fun 

Believe in Your Dreams

I decided to play around with a scrap-book page of whimsical house images – scanning them so that I could select each house individually to create this digital collage.  I wanted to make it look like the houses were flying through the sky so I skewed them so they were distorted a bit.  I then added some background layers from my own hand made collages which included some lettering I had done a while back.  I loved the fact that the houses had blues and pinks because they are some of my favorite colours to use in my art. 

Til next time try to find something creative to do in your day.

Re-using Handmade Art to Create a Digital Collage

I have been experimenting further with Photoshop CS3 and digital collage over the past few weeks and I am feeling more comfortable with some of the tools.  I scanned a lot of my handmade art to use and have created a few pieces now that I am really liking.  I have done a few now incorporating a sepia vintage look and also just completed one using my scanned art. 

Only as much as I dream

In this collage I used a number of different layers which included a photo I took on vacation – the  flower.  I did a mask so that I could erase the layer and get the pink flower to show through to add a bit of colour to the sepia tones.

In the next photo I used only mixed media I had created and scanned, (except for the umbrella which is clip-art) to create the collage.  I really like the colours – it makes me happy. 
Dream – Believe

As much as I am enjoying the digital collage process and learning all these new techniques, I am getting impatient and want to be able to create with paint and glue and just get messy again.  My hand is improving and I have been challenging myself to some drawing exercises but it is a slow process getting the mobility back after surgery.  I am grateful for the creative outlet that digital collage has given me to keep me sane….lol.

Til next time take some time in your day to do something creative!