Thursday, October 29, 2009

DH and I are currently in our beloved Santa Fe. My heart soars to the heights of the rugged rock formations and thrills to the colors of afternoon light glancing off the mountains.

Yesterday we visited Chimayo (apologies for the spelling), a tiny village tucked into the mountains about an hour north of Santa Fe. The village is home to a tiny church, built in 1816 that is called the American Lourdes. So many faithful have come here for healing of the body or spirit.

The adobe walls are surrounded by candles and makeshift crosses people have fashioned from anything they could find (twigs, popsicle sticks, cut tin cans, nails, and the like) and then fastened them to the fencing around the parking lot. Fascinating.

There was snow here in the high desert yesterday and we woke to a beautiful dusting of powdery precipitation on the pinon trees, adobe walls, and grasses. What beauty there is here! It is so inspiring, I've been working on a concept for a new book.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remember the altered photo of parrot tulips I used for the padfolio project? Here is it again, with some of the color changed to purple. It was fun and easy to do using the Replace Color feature in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements.

It has been printed on fabric and is just waiting to be stitched!

This is the way it looked after altering using the pebbles Displacement Map (#8 on the CD in the back of Next Steps In Altered Photo Artistry) + watercolor + poster edges.

This is the original photo—just a snapshot taken in the gardens across from the courthouse here in Fort Wayne.

Let me know if you're interested and I'll prepare a tutorial on Replace Color!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This is the piece Lori and I finished for the “Art to Gogh” benefit for Mental Health America in Allen County yesterday. It is entitled “News from Home” and has a collage of the local newspaper on the left side and a Threadography of the Fort Wayne skyline on the right. The tattoo stencil on top in Earth Safe Finishes copper Shimmer Translucent pulls the sides together.

It was really exciting to be in the room with so many local artists. Here I am stitching away on the panel. The canvas with the collage is on the floor to my right, just waiting for the finished panel.

Once the Threadography panel was secured to the canvas, I stenciled a swirly tattoo design to pull the sides together. Translucent copper Shimmer was perfect because it drew the color out in the stitched panel without overpowering the composition.

This is a detail of the tattoo on top of the stitched panel. You can see white thread in the clouds and the texture of monofilament thread in the blue sky.

Jay painted a still life from actual tomatoes. Other artists around the room painted from photographs, pictures in magazines, illustrations in books, and some from memory. It was an education for me to watch the painters in action.

Justin is a law student, who works in acrylics. He has sold more than 300 paintings to help put himself through school!

This is one end of the room at Moore and Associates (Thank you to Chris Moore for providing a venue for the event.) There are two gourd artists, a wood carver (amazing work), as well as artists working in oils, acrylics, pastels, and spray paint.

This young lady was working in pastels, creating a hauntingly beautiful piece in a children's theme.

The fanciful work of this acrylic artist was very popular during the bidding yesterday evening.

The mayor was on hand at the dinner and live auction last night to raise money for Mental Health America of Allen County. What an interesting mix of people, music, food, and lively bidding. In spite of the fact I found a chunk of pottery in an egg roll, it was a delightful evening—and once again I'm honored to participate in this small way.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Janet Hartje wins the pendant!

Thank you to all who posted about the dichroic pendant to help breast cancer research. Janet Hartje wins the drawing! Janet, please e-mail me with your snail-mail address—and congratulations! In my opinion, as we work together to battle breast cancer, we all are winners. DS says this sounds corny, but I don't care. :-)

November 10 and 11 I've been invited to speak to RiverWalk Quilters in Naperville, Illinois. Sharing the adventure that has resulted in Next Steps in Altered Photo Artistry and Altered Photo Artistry is always a pleasure for me.

I always send or take a small Threadography piece to be given away as a doorprize. The photo above will be taken home by someone at the meeting that night. If you're in the area, I hope you'll join us!

This is the original photo. Hard to believe, isn't it? In the workshop on Wednesday, the 11th participants will work on their OWN altered photo, stitching it and turning it into a fascinating altered photo panel ready to be framed or finished with binding.

Doesn't this just beg for beads? I love the stitching and have been including collage and mixed media techniques more often.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The drawing tomorrow for the beautiful dichroic-glass pendant to benefit breast cancer research will be tomorrow and there are only TWO names in the hat!!

You could have a really good chance to win it! Just leave a comment and the name will be drawn tomorrow.

BTW: Art Now For Autism is over and raised more than $4,000 for the cause. Claudine Intner did a wonderful job of organizing the auction and I would like to thank her for the opportunity to contribute to the cause in some small way.

I'm getting ready for a benefit auction on Saturday for the Mental Health Association here in Fort Wayne. 27 artists have committed to creating pieces on site during the day. The pieces will be auctioned at a gala event in the evening. I'm so blessed to be able to contribute in this way!! Stay tuned; background tests are being conducted today, the focus composition is complete, and a test print has been made. Can't wait to see it all come together!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Padfolio Instructions

The padfolio instructions have not been published yet on either C&T's blog or The Quilt Show's newsletter. So many of you have asked about them, I'm including a link to a pdf file with instructions and photos.

If it doesn't appear as a link, copy the URL and paste it into your browser window. The download starts automatically.

If you make one (or several), please send a photo. I'd love to see what you do with the displacement maps and the instructions!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Are you enjoying the displacement maps? Aren't they fun?

This delightful altered zinnia is from Gigi Kandler. Gigi and I met in an online class two years ago. Two photos of her altered-photo quilts are included in my new book Next Steps in Altered Photo Artistry.

Gigi surprised me this morning with a photo of a zinnia she altered using the displacement map feature in Photoshop Elements.

If you'd like to share your photos altered with displacement maps, please send a copy of the original and the altered version. It's so much fun to see the before and after!

There is a link in yesterday's post that will take you to a video showing where to find displacement maps (don't worry, few know where to find them) and how to apply them to a photo. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Displacement Map Video!!!

Yes! Yes! I know I'm suppose to be working on taxes, but the thought of making a video about using displacement maps has been flooding my head and I just couldn't wait any longer!!

Here is a link to a Jing video I just made, showing where to find and how to apply displacement maps in Photoshop Elements and Photoshop.
The image in the video is the same one used for the padfolio in the photo from yesterday's posting.

Just click on the link, or copy it and paste it into your browser, and it will take you to Screencast, where the video is stored. Click on the arrow and you should have audio as well as video. If you're on dial-up, there may be occasional pauses as the file is accessed slower than if you're on cable or DSL.

There have been so many comments on C&T Publishing's blog, on this one, and questions from various discussion groups about the displacement maps, I just HAD to share this with you! Displacement maps don't seem to be a popular feature in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Even some graphic designers don't know about them, let alone use them.

Hope you enjoy the video. Let me know if you have questions!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I am now the proud owner of a bright and colorful padfolio. Step-by-step instructions are available in the newest newsletter from The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims AND on C&T Publishing's blog this weekend. This is to celebrate the release of my new book Next Steps In Altered Photo Artistry.

The padfolio outside features an altered photo (what else?), printed on fabric, and heavily stitched with free-motion stitching, using lots of glorious threads. Inside is a 5" x 8" junior legal pad. The whole padfolio fits neatly into my purse!

The photo is altered using one of our exclusive displacement maps that are on the CD inside the back cover of the book. In my opinion, displacement maps are the best-kept secret of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements! This alteration included multiple applications of the same displacement map, until the image was quite abstract. The final touch was applied with an artistic filter to define the edges.

By the time the image was wrapped around the notepad, the effect is quite abstract—just what I was going for!

This is the photo before altering. I took it in the garden next to the courthouse in my home town this spring and have been saving it for something special. Since I won't be traveling to Houston for the book's release at Quilt Market, this cheers me up and helps me focus on paperwork this weekend.

Inside is a pocket for pens (on the left), the notepad in the center, and the flap on the right. Because of the shape of the flap, it required two Velcro dots to keep it flat while closed.

Inside the padfolio rust-dyed fabrics add depth, interest, and variety. You can see the pocket on the left has a scripture verse printed on the fabric.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Three examples of techniques we’ll explore in the Tattoo Your Style! workshop at SOZO Gallery in Kendallville, Indiana on October 24th, from 1:00–4:00.

For more information, contact Peggy at Sozo Art Studio (260) 347-5000. I hope to see YOU there!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Isn't this dichroic glass necklace beautiful? It is the work of glass artist Phyllis Crawley from South Bend, Indiana. She sells each piece for $16, with $10 of the sale going to the Susan Komen Foundation for breast cancer research!

Personally, I can't imagine how that even covers the cost of the materials to make the piece and present it in a beautiful black jewelry box.

Phyllis and I reconnected at the Syracuse Art Festival two weeks ago and she gave this necklace to me to share with you. That's right, it's a giveaway!! Just become a follower, leave a comment here between now and Friday, October 17 and this beautiful dichroic piece could be yours. I'll pay shipping within the US; you pay shipping outside the 50 US states.

Please visit Phyllis' Etsy shop to purchase one of the ribbon necklaces (great holiday gift for someone special!)—or any of her other beautiful dichroic pieces.

If you have trouble leaving messages on Blogspot, please contact me directly and I'll put your name into the drawing!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What a happy painting! “Sunburst” is part of the Art Now for Autism exhibition, which begins today, and reverse auction, which opens October 5th at 9:00 am EST. All artwork will be $90 until the 7th. At that time the price drops to $70. October 9 and 10, the last two days of the auction, any remaining pieces are available for $30!

I fell in love with “Sunburst”—but wait ‘til you meet the artist! This year, there is a special section of artwork done by children with Autism or Asperger’s. Candace Waters is one of those artists.

Every Mom cell in my body sang with joy when I realized the artist of the beautiful, happy sunshine paintings is an 8-year-old!

Here is the info on “Sunburst:”
Artist: Candace Waters
Medium: tempera paint with glitter glue on canvas
Size: 18 x 14 inches

Artist statement:
Candace “Candy” Waters from Park Ridge, IL is a beautiful redheaded 8 year old girl who has autism. Candace likes painting, music, swinging, playing in water, jumping and pizza. Candace is the Inspiration for the song "Faith, Love & Hope". Her song has influenced and inspired Politicians, Autism Organizations and most importantly Parents around the WORLD!!! Also, her song is the favorite of former President Bush and his wife Laura!

Candace is the inspiration for the Radio Program “The Candy Store”on Autism One Radio. She is happy to share her song with other parents to let them know that they are not alone in their struggles. Never give up on “Faith, Love & Hope.”

I’m proud to have contributed in some small way to benefit children and parents living with Autism! Take a look at all the art at This year there are 160 pieces in the exhibit from 89 artists around the world, including my two small art quilts.