Saturday, April 21, 2012

Still Life - Three Different Ways

I had a lot of fun playing in Photoshop with this still life that I set up with vintage objects.  Here's the image three different ways in addition to the original which is way below.

Vintage sill life - three different ways

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3
Original image from the camera using a Canon T2i and lens 18-35 mm f/3.5-5.6.  I shot it at ISO 400, 106 mm, f 5.6.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tucker Four Ways

This week's challenge in Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers was to process an image three different ways.  Of course Tucker came to my rescue (hey I rescued him and now he's rescuing me) and posed as my model in my rose garden.  Actually at this point it's a weed garden with a few roses.  I need to make some time to get in there and weed, trim and all that but it's just not a priority right now.   But I digress... I put this collage together with the original (top left) and my three processed versions.  See them individually below.

This is right out of the camera with no Photoshop processing.  I shot it at Aperture Priority with my 85mm/f1.8 lens using a setting of ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/125.

 This is my dreamy, sepia toned version of Tucker.  I applied a Guassian Blur to soften him up, several adjustment layers and masks and KK's Happy Heart at Soft Light/100%.

I started with the processing for the dreamy image above but kept Tucker's right eye clearer in this photo than in the other.  Made changes to the adjustment layers and masks and manipulated the background to keep it dark.  Used KK's Happy Heart at Soft Light/100% and the new Abstract texture at Multiply/61%.

Again I started with the processing for the dreamy image but changed it up.  I used KK's textures Framed at Soft Light/42% and the new Cool Grunge at Soft Light/52%.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I love metal smithing

I don't know what was more fun, making the jewelry or making the collage in Photoshop.  But I do know that I love metal smithing...oh, love playing in Photoshop too.

This fun, funky necklace and earrings feature hand-made metal etched bead caps, green magnestie beads, lemon chrysoprase wire wrapped dangles, bronze and silver wire and deer skin leather. 

I taught myself how to metal etch.  It's easy really.  I first stamped a piece of bronze sheet metal with rubber stamps using permanment Stazon ink which you can buy at any craft's store like Michael's.  You use duct tape to protect one side of the metal and then basically float the exposed side of the metal in the etching solution, which you can buy at Radio Shack, which I poured into a shallow rectangular plastic storage container.  Needless to say, this container will only be used for metal etching.  You leave the metal in the solution for about 1 hour.  Then you rinse it and neutralize it in baking soda and voila...hand etched metal. 

Using my handy dandy disk cutter, I cut out circles from the etched metal.  I then drilled them and formed them on the dapping block that Joe bought me for my birthday (oh, how did he know!).  The ear wires are made from 20 gauge sterling silver - learned how to do that in Deryn's awesome earring class. The necklace has a focal similar to the earrings attached to a large bronze jump ring that I soldered closed. The magnesite beads are wire wrapped with bronze and connect to a bronze double ball hook and eye front closure. Deer skin leather forms the back of the necklace and connects to the beads with 22 gauge bronze wire that I balled on both ends, flattened with the chasing hammer and annealed to soften before I wrapped it around the leather.

Close up of the hand made jump ring, wire wrapped magnesite beads and focal

Double balled hook and eye.  And fun, funky wrap on the deer skin leather.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Healthy and Wholesome

A healthy home-cooked meal, with recipes mainly from the Power Foods Cookbook, made for a delightful, delicious Tuesday evening with my friend Stephanie.  Steph is my dear friend and the one who turned me on to this cookbook which I think is the best around.  It features interesting and inspired recipes using wholesome, healthy ingredients.  We have both made and shared lots of recipes from this cookbook.  Here's a taste of tonight's meal.

Easy side dish of roasted cherry tomatoes.  A bit of olive oil, basil, S&P over the tomatoes and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  Served this as an appetizer with goat cheese, hummus and whole grain pita crackers.

Fresh sliced fennel for the chicken breast recipe.

Chicken breasts with fennel, carrots, chopped dried apricots and sliced Greek olives served over Trader Joe's tricolor quinoa preceded by a salad of fresh shredded asparagus and radishes mixed with rocket, a bit of olive oil, vinegar and S&P.  

  My very talented and darling friend Stephanie

Finicky Tucker likes Stephanie. is good.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rustic Rhinestone

I just finished a new fun, funky, asymmetrical, long necklace using some of the closure techniques that I've learned, in Deryn Mentock's Art of Closure on-line class, including jump rings (which I soldered closed), a beaded toggle clasp and rhinestone chain crimp ends.  I added some sari ribbon which I've attached with rustic wraps made by first hammering the wire flat, drawing a bead on both ends with the torch and annealing the wire to get it soft.  I then did a funky wrap and twisted the balled ends together.  I have used bronze wire for the wire wrapping and the closures and have also strung some of the beads on beading wire and attached with crimps, some with sterling crimp covers which I patined to darken them up. 

This was a lot of fun to make and it reminds me of a fun, circus type lively necklace in purples, pinks and greens with the fun rhinestones, funky beads along with the semi precious beads enhanced with the green/purple sari ribbon.

Hand made bronze beaded toggle clasp

Fun dangles hang from the centerpiece which features a funky, purple crystal bead

Rhinestone chain and sari ribbon attached to a green crystal bead with hand made bronze wire crimps and wraps

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