Stormy weather…

I was thinking about what a week of pretty foul weather we’ve had here in the West Country this past week… Admittedly, we haven’t had snow per se, although there was a light snow shower on Tuesday night in Milton Damerel, just enough to coat the cars’ windscreens, but it has been epically windy – even for here – and a constant battering on the psyche wears you down eventually.

We have two old-ish dogs – a Yorkie and a German Shepherd – both of which have appeared on my blog in photos and layouts, and on Wednesday night at around 11pm, there was the most horrendous thunderclap, which literally shook the house. It felt like an explosion had happened nearby. I have no objection to a Yorkie landing in my lap, quivering with terror, but fighting off a 40- kg. (85lbs. approx.) male dog, in a similar condition, is no joke! (It’s a funny visual though…)

Luckily, there were only 4 more thunderclaps and then just the persistent howling of the wind down the chimney, plus rain and the occasional hail shower, for the rest of that night…

Ergo, my haiku this week is dedicated to the tenacity of weather fronts in general!

The mighty wind roars –

thunderclaps, Nature’s applause – 

power clearly shown…

I got the lovely image HERE.

For more haiku, go to Recuerda mi corazon, hosted by the lovely Rebecca.

 

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My Memories Suite GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Those lovely people at MyMemories.com contacted me earlier this year and offered me the chance to play with their best-selling digital scrapbooking software program – My Memories Suite – then version 2.0. In return, all I have to do is host a giveaway on my blog – my pleasure!

When I first got the software, there was an awful lot happening at home and on the work front, added to which I have been using my phone as a camera – not ideal really. I am getting a compact digital camera for Christmas and I can’t wait….! I feel that I have made some lovely pages using the program, but the possibilities for the future are endless, and I have only just scratched the surface:

This is just a simple Quick Page to which I have added a couple of photos, my own choice of embellishments and text. It’s called “Grumpy Cat Quick Page” and is a freebie I downloaded from the MMS website! What a great vehicle to practise on, no? Yes!

This is my biggest reindeer from the Christmas collection that I have shown on my blog recently. Here I have used the software to create a December desktop background for my PC – how cool is that? I could also have used him as a background paper for an album… in various sizes, not all square!

I made this page for an album about my DD, Amber, completely from scratch… I was practising whilst watching the video by Lisa J on the My Memories blog, covering all the functions of version 3.0 (which I have upgraded to). I changed the colour of the background paper, the dragonflies, the frame mat for her photo… you can customise all the basics that come with the software.

I watched the Youtube videos on the MyMemories channel and was really impressed by functions like the Fast Fill, which creates a complete album for you, in a hurry, of all the photos in a particular folder, for example your holiday snaps, picnic party, or weekend away. In just 45 seconds, no less! You then can choose whether to burn that album to a CD, have it printed as individual pages or bound into a printed book by My Memories Suite themselves.

I created this page from scratch using my own background papers from my own files, adding text and embellishments along the way. It’s such a fast process, or it can be a lengthy one if you’re a fiddler, like me!! I’m one of those “What if…?” kind of people. I love to experiment, and MMS is ideally suited to that!  This page will be for an album about our pets…

This would make a fun greeting card for family/friends, wouldn’t it? My flowers form the background page and DD is in the forefront. I could make this a page in a calendar if I wanted to… and all using My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software. Amazing! 🙂

There are brilliant tutorials with accompanying pdf. files on the blog too; an active Facebook page with a weekly freebie giveaway of a kit or a page, etc. The blog hosts regular challenges with the chance to win vouchers or kits and of course you can follow along on Twitter for fast news and updates to stay informed.

So, how do you get yourself a copy for FREE from me? You just have to:

1. Go the My Memories website store and have a look thorough the new scrapbooking kits.

2. Make a note of which one you like best.

3. Leave me a comment here on this blog post, telling me which one it is.

4. Make sure you leave me a way to contact you – email or blog address, for example,  should you be the lucky winner.

5. Keep your fingers crossed your name comes out of the hat!!

I shall be tweeting this giveaway, talking about it on Facebook and I shall announce the winner a week from today, on Wednesday 21st December, here on the blog, on Twitter and on Facebook too.

If you can’t wait and want a copy of this amazing digital scrapbooking software NOW, get a $10 discount off the purchase price and a $10 coupon for the My Memories.com store – yay! Enter the following code at checkout: STMMMS23226.

This is a page I made to honour my Mother. The photo is an excellent likeness of her and I want to get this one printed up and framed, to have her near… I LOVE this program and its all-singing, all-dancing possibilities, and I hope you will too!

Good luck! ♥

12 Days of textures and more…

I seem to have a lot going on this week (again!)… Firstly here’s a photo of our Christmas tree, edited with layers and a new texture called lilly, from the wonderful Kim Klassen. Kim is sharing 12 days of [free] textures from today until Christmas day, lilly being the first!

The font I have used is called Curlz MT and it’s appropriately frivolous for the festive season, I think!

I have here a “free to use” Blog Christmas Card… If you like this digital painting of mine and would like to use it, please click HERE, and download it.

Happy Days!

I created this a while ago, and revisited it today so that I can have it ready for the Three Muses (‘Tis the Season) on Wednesday. You just never know how busy it’s going to get at this time of the year, do you?! I have discreetly embedded my name into the file so if you see someone claiming it as their own, do let me know, won’t you? If you download it for your own personal use, that’s great – you don’t even have to give me credit,  though it’d be nice!! 😉

Joyfully, I can post!

It’s been ages since I have taken part in regular art blog challenges – all my reasons were self-inflicted so I am happy to be able to just blog and post a photo with no agenda other than following a theme.

For Take a Word this week – “JOY”!

Thanks to Nancy Donaldson for the great texture! These 3 are sitting on top of a DVD unit next to the Christmas tree. Frosty is one of those annoying battery-operated xmas toys that sings the song and I love it!! The other 2 are part of my reindeer collection…

I’ve been writing a lot lately and working more regularly away from home, so I get tired more easily these days. It’s lovely to have a couple of major projects out of the way now, so I feel I shall be able to relax and thoroughly enjoy the Holidays when they arrive. 🙂

‘Tis the season…

Another Photo Art Friday entry, this time featuring my favourite big reindeer! He’s really soft and cuddly and is one of a number of reindeer that I have collected over the years. I really adore toy reindeer – no idea why! I used to get  a new reindeer every year till I realised that we’d soon run out of space for them, so I haven’t bought a new one this year (yet!!).

He’s sitting on my printer at the moment, smiling benevolently at me as I type… Well, I like to think so anyway! I used intensify, vintage wine label and holey grunge, adjusting blending modes to keep him soft and fluffy-looking. The font is Ace Crikey and I wish all the PAF participants a very Happy Holiday Season, whatever their beliefs.

See you all again in January 2012!  🙂

All I want for Christmas…

… is a bit of peace, good food and time to enjoy it!! For PAF this week, I have used a couple of Bonnie’s new textures – vintage wine label and intensify – to enhance this pic of my DD and her friend contemplating the proximity of the Holiday season… I also used one of Jerry Jones’s photo overlay tints (sunshine), a green colour layer, and a mask from Nancy Donaldson!

Addis ababa is the font…

There will be some gorgeous photos on display over at Pixel Dust Photo Art, so do have a look. I’m going to be browsing after I get home from work tomorrow… Hey-ho! 🙂

Let’s celebrate! TT

Our photos are centred around the theme of celebration this week for Texture Tuesday, using at least one of Kim’s textures. I chose the latest one from her – “Look-up”.

I am celebrating how much I have learned from Kim, Nancy and Bonnie, about photos, photo art and textures – plus the joy of play in Photoshop. To anyone who doesn’t consider this an art form, have a go. You’ll be surprised just how easily you can lose yourself in a virtual palette of shades, tones, moods and atmosphere… I dare you!!

I took this photo with my mobile phone. The clematis sits on my front window sill behind a net curtain which is quite dense, to give us a little privacy! I tucked the curtain behind the plant to get a decent shot and when I started to process it, the magic of Kim’s linen-like texture was revealed.

I copied the image first and used screen @70% to make the flowers stand out. When I added ‘look-up’, it made the curtain fade away completely – wonderful! I copied this layer 3 more times and used overlay, colour burn and multiply all at 100%. I did use a mask on the final layer to ‘clean up’ the flowers a little.

To that I added a layer of Nancy’s texture with text – colour burn 100% – and erased it from the flower heads…

The font is “chiller”.

You can find lots of wonderfully textured photos over at TT – the Cafe.

Texture challenge from Nancy…

I really have fallen in love with textures, haven’t I? To the degree where I feel less guilt every day for not making any mixed media artwork. Ooops! That’s my secret out now, no more “guilty pleasure”…

So for her latest texture challenge, Nancy Donaldson gave us new grungey textures to play with – oh did I enjoy this one!

All I have done is use one of the garage textures, and duplicated it until I got the right blend mode, changing them up can gave such unexpected results.

Method: garage1 – (all at 100%, unless I say otherwise!) – multiply, colour burn, overlay @71%. Then a further 4 x colour burn, using the mask feature to erase some texture from the leaf and stem/s.

My Mahonia never looked this good before – although admittedly, that is just my opinion!! Obviously this pic has a couple of texture layers, and is much more “extreme” (hint!!), plus I used a gradient and curves too.

Edit: I used 3 layers of texture garage1 and the “drippy” one, with multiply, colour burn and exclusion @100%. I then added a gradient overlay which changed the colours to green/red and messed around with the curves, which seemed to shift the emphasis of the tones around. I played with a mask on that last layer to remove a little of the colour/texture from parts of the leaves and flowery bits! Forgive my lack of botanical knowledge – I can only say what I see! 😉

I’ll share my process later – but I really must go iron a shirt for work… *rolls eyes* 😉 Done!

PAF – Photo Art Friday

Bonnie has challenged us to post an image featuring a method, tool or style that we have been wanting to try. Now although I sometimes use brushes, I haven’t combined brushes with layers before as such, so I wanted to try that. I also wanted to see if I could work with the exclusion mode, so here are a couple of examples. If I had more time, I’d certainly experiment more!! I guess it’s just a busy time of year…

The stone angel is a great image, if a little spooky! Here she is treated differently:

I’m not very good at “subtle” layering, just as I don’t handle “traditional or elegant” themes very well, but I can work with grunge and contrast!

Thanks to Bonnie for the use of her fab textures, lovingly layered here… There’s some wonderful photo art over at PAF – why not pop over and see, but do take coffee and cookies, because you may be a while…!

TT- The Gratitude eDition returns…

For Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday:

Here are this week’s TT challenge details.

  • your image must contain at least one layer of any of my textures, and center around the theme of gratitude.
Another garden photo, taken close-up with my Samsung Monte.
Here’s the method, using  Kim’s ‘poetic’, my own meringue texture and Nancy’s architectural encaustic.
I love that I can ‘dodge’ and ‘burn’ so closely – it always makes me giggle!!
I am grateful for the layers in life, which I can peel back at will, to reveal what lies beneath…    😉