Monday, November 30, 2009

Method Playground Challenge 55

Method Playground challenge 55 was my first issued challenge as a Design Team member. I have challenged you to design a layout using negative space, in any way you choose. Negative space is that space "around" a shape. For example, the left overs after you punch out die cuts or chipboard letters. Negative space is that space which defines a shape, without being the shape.

You can check out all the Design Team members creations here. I chose to create a spray inked background using a mask I made from a photo of myself. Here's how it turned out: You can see the use of negative space in that I did not create the shape of my face, instead I created the space around my face and the surrounding shadows.

Here is how I did it (the first four steps use Photoshop Elements 6). Remember, you can click on the photos for larger views:

Step 1 - Open the photo you want to use and crop it to the size of your background. I cropped my photo to 12x12. Step 2 - Create a threshold adjustment layer by going to -->Layer -->New Adjustment Layer -->Threshold. Step 3 - Name your new layer and click "OK". Step 4 - Vary the Threshold Level until you get a look you like. The higher the number, the more black, the lower the number, the more white. Remember, we're going to be cutting out the white portions to use as a mask, so you want a Threshold Level that gives you large, somewhat connected sections of white. Step 5 - Print your Threshold photo on medium weight cardstock. If you do not have a wide format printer you can print a smaller photo, you'll just have more background in the final product. Step 6 - Use a craft knife to cut out the white sections of the photo. Make any adjustments to the photo you think are necessary. Note, now is not the time to give yourself that nose job you've always wanted, you still want the photo to look like you, but you can remove distracting background objects, for example (I removed my hand from the upper left hand corner).

Try to keep your white sections large and semi-connected. I ended up with three large white sections. The more pieces you have, the more time you will spend trying to piece them back together in the correct locations (unless you like that Picasso look). Step 7 - Using temporary adhesive, adhere you mask to your background paper.
Step 8 - Using spray ink (I used Adirondack Color Wash in Plum and Glimmer Mist in Dewberry) cover your entire background paper. (Note: after this photo you'll notice I switched background papers, I liked the tone-on-tone result better than the on-white result). Step 9 - Remove your mask, blot with paper towels, and let dry. Step 10 - I chose to add some additional texture. I re-adhered my mask and stamped a text stamp repeatedly over my background/mask using black Staz-on ink. Step 11 - I then stamped again using a Tim Holtz circle stamp and Distress Embossing Ink. I embossed the images as I went with clear embossing powder. Step 12 - I added photos, stitching, and a title. And here's the end result:Come on over and play with us at Method Playground. This challenge will be active until December 13.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So far...

So every year, decorating the tree is like trying to paint a master piece to me. Here it is so far. Not done yet. Needs more pops of red. I have my eye on a red glass disco-ball looking ornament and some of my own Etsy stars. But here it is, so far....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday Deals...

Something tells me you may be seeing some screen printed items in my Etsy shop sometime soon (think Valentine's Day themes).

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This year I am grateful for many things (both big and little):

I am grateful our families are still healthy and happy.
I am grateful that we are both still employed.
I am grateful for our healths, although surgery is looming, it's not for a life-threatening condition.
I am grateful for the artistic opportunities I have had this year, to start an Etsy store, to join a design team, and to continue this blog.
I am grateful for finally getting out of financial debt this year.
I am grateful for my new car.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving.

And here's a little project to leave you with. November's ATC for the 2Ps monthly ATC swap. This month's theme was "favorite holiday" and the technique was "glitter". Don't love this one, wasn't feeling the mojo, but it is what it is.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taking Advantage....

I took advantage of a dark, dreary, rainy day to play with my camera settings and maybe get a few "December Daily" photos while I was at it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

December Daily - Opening Photo

I think I have my opening photo for this year's December Daily.

The poem is Shel Silverstein, the brush is Christine Borgfeld.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Art Journaling 301

Here is my final Art Journaling 301 book (except the title, still working on that):

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Class 8 - Art Journaling 301

The last class of Dina Wakley's Art Journaling 301 class covered binding using the coptic binding method. My binding isn't perfect, seems I may need to practice the technique a few times. One end of my book is bound a little tighter than the other end. And I think I might have messed up the method for attaching the back cover. But, it is what it is and it looks and works just fine. Tomorrow I will post photos of the entire book.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Quick How-to

Here's how I created the layout I made for Creative Therapy's catalyst 87 (see this post for more information).
Step 1 - I collaged strips of patterned paper (Basic Grey) with vintage dictionary and atlas paper.

Step 2 - Using repositionable adhesive, I adhered a clip art dancing girl. The clip art dancing girl I cut from a piece of medium-weight cardstock with a craft knife.
Step 3 - I randomly sprayed blue, purple, and gray spray ink (Glimmer Mist and Adirondack Color Washes) onto my background. I blotted the spray ink with a paper towel to tone down the dark colors slightly and to add a bit of texture to the spray ink background. The distressed looking edges I created by lightly going over my sprayed edges with a wide wet paintbrush.
Step 4 - Remove the clip art mask.
Step 5 - I added a piece of handmade paper that I think resembles a moon. I also sprayed a "ground" for the dancing girl using a dark gray spray ink and a straight edge as a mask.
Step 6 - Using a small wet paintbrush, I spread out any ink that seeped under my mask to make the overspray look like shadows.
Step 7 - I added a second "moon", sprayed over it with gray spray ink, and add charcoal to make it look like the moon was reflecting.
Step 8 - I added a title with stamps, Staz-On white ink, my handwriting, and a Sharpie poster paint pen.