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

Michelle

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!
 
Michelle

Photo Collage – Experimenting with Adobe Photoshop

Since I have been living a left-handed life for the past 5 weeks, I have  continued to play and learn more about doing digital collage.  It is a very interesting medium since there are unlimited things that you can do with Photoshop and its many tools and filters.  This past week I have been trying different things using my own handmade art that I scanned, the various filters, the masking tool, and practicing selecting objects from photos.  One of the projects I have been working on is a picture of my girlfriend and I that we took while on the ferry coming back from Vancouver Island in the summer of 2010.  We had such a wonderful time on our road  trip up and down the island so I thought it would be nice to take the photo and create something that I could frame and hang on the wall to remind me of our adventure.

I changed the colour of the photo to sepia because

Road Trip Summer of 2010

I wanted a bit of an old fashion look to the layout.  Some of the background layers are scanned corrugated cardboard, water-coloured canvas and I selected the raffia ribbon from another painting and added it as a border.  I also used some custom brushes that are black writing over top of the corrugated cardboard layer.  

I want to increase my skills with Photoshop so I ordered a book bySusan Tuttle ‘Digital Expressions’ Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements – it has arrived, so I plan to do the different projects to increase my knowledge of the various tool, brushes and filters.  Apparently the methods she uses can be created in both Photoshop  Elements and Photoshop CS3.   I figure this is a great way to keep my mind active learning new things and the creative juices flowing.

So til next time enjoy creating an artful life. 

Michelle

Entering the World of Digital Collage

Since I have been restricted from my regular creative routine for the past 3 weeks I have been in  search of something I could do that would be creative and not require my right hand.   I came across Somerset’s Digital Studio magazine that profiles a number of digital artists who generously give instructions on how they use their own artwork and photography transform it into digital collage using layers, masks, etc.  Since I do have an older version of Photoshop CS3 I decided I would give this a try to see what I could create.  I haven’t taken Photoshop since 2000 and I had forgotten how to use a lot of  the tools, but with some trial and error and following some of the instructions from Digital Studios I have been experimenting and have created some pleasing digital collages. 

Before Picture

The one I have had the most fun with is a picture of my sister when she was a young girl, she just recently turned 80!  I played around with some of my scanned paintings and collages as backgrounds, photos, using masks, filters etc.and I love what the finished piece looks like.  Now I just have to figure out what I want to print it on and how I will frame or mount it.  If you have any suggestions I would be very grateful to hear from you. 

Here is the finished digital collage. 

Timeless memories of a young ballerina

I’ll post some more of my digital collage creations later….still doing some tweaking. 

 I have to say that I am really enjoying this process and it is helping me get through this rehab period from my surgery you could say it is saving my sanity….lol.
 
Until next time happy creating,
Michelle
 
 

Recycled Baby Board Book into Birthday Book

My daughter celebrated a special Birthday yesterday and I wanted to do a little walk down memory lane in the way of a Birthday Book.  So I decided to take a bunch of pictures of her growing  up and incorporate them into a recycled baby board book. 

Recycled Birthday Board Book

I got the board book at Value Village, they sell little bags of kids books for $0.99.  I painted gesso on all of the pages to cover up the original pages and then added acrylics to the pages.  I printed copies of the photos in colour then cut them out to fit on the page and attached with soft medium gel and added some text and stamping to the pages. I also added some of my art journal pages that I copied and some other ephemera on the back pages with some beautiful quotes to follow your heart.  

Where ever you go - go with all your heart!

To finish it off I covered each page with modge podge to seal them.  It didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned it – but I do like it and my daughter thought it was beautiful and I learned a lot about the different mediums I was using and what doesn’t work and that you need a lot of patience especially when it comes to drying time. 

Birthday Board Book

What did I learn from the process – I probably should have roughed up the pages with some fine sandpaper to get the paint to adhere better to the pages so that the paint does not chip off; that chalk ink pads smear when you try to cover with gel mediums so does the black gel pen I used to do some of the text, spray varnish is hard to control and takes a long time to dry so that the pages don’t stick together. 

I have a few more board books to use in the future and will try adjusting my techniques to see if I get better results.  It is all a learning process…..

Until next time happy creating!

Michelle

 

Reflection and Memories – creating a Birthday card collage for my niece

I have a niece who is four months and 11 days younger than me, yes my mom and sister were pregnant at the same time, something you don’t hear about to often.  We have a rather different family story as I never had contact with her for close to 48 years because when my sister and her husband divorced her dad took her away when she was about six and her brother stayed with my sister.  So all these years I wondered where she was and if I would ever get to see her again and then miraculously I was able to find her about 6 years ago.  She was living in Victoria, BC.  So I wrote her a letter and when she received it she immediately called me with great excitement that she was going to be able to reunite with her mom and family.  We had a reunion shortly after this with my sister and her youngest daughter and my mom.  It was a wonderful and emotional reunion.  Since then I have seen her many times, she has reconnected and spent time with her brother, I went to her dad’s funeral a few years ago, she attended her grandmother’s 100th Birthday and I have had the opportunity to meet her two grown children and her grandchildren.  My sister has developed a relationship with her long-lost daughter and with her granddaughter and her children.  We are looking forward to another reunion with my niece’s children and grandchildren this coming July. 

Since I enjoy creating collages I got this brilliant idea to create a Birthday collage for my niece.  I had this vision of incorporating a

Baby Bonnita

 picture I had of her when she was just a baby of six months sitting on her mom’s lap.  I also wanted to include a picture of her mom as a baby and found a picture of her grandmother as a child to include as well.  Her Birthday is on April 5 so the deadline for mailing a card was getting really close so I knew if I was going to actually do this I better get started.  Of course I have been stalling  for about the past five days, afraid that it won’t turn out the way I envisioned it and that it may not be art-worthy or good enough to send and share with her – that old FEAR thing again.  So yesterday I took the first steps  and reduced the scanned photos, created some text and decided to use an old book cover for the canvas. I read about using old book covers for canvasses so thought I would try it. I  did feel guilty cutting the cover off a book, but I did find it in a free bin, so I let the guilt go.  I painted the book cover and then put it aside as I didn’t know quite where to go from there.  Today I got busy and started adding ripped piece of coloured and patterned scrapbook paper, then added the photos and framed them with these little paper frames that I found, then added the text.  Next I covered the area that still had paint showing with a crackle medium to create an aged weathered look.  So that the collage could be

Birthday collage on recycled book cover

 hung up I added a piece of recycled sari silk with a couple of buttons to finish the ends off.  Then I added a coat of Modge Podge to seal it.  On the back I will write a personal note.  I am pleased at how it turned out and I hope that my niece likes it and if she wants she can display it.  So there – I did it a Birthday Collage Card – another very fun day of creating.

Til next time – happy creating!

Michelle