Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Do You Measure Unconditional Love?

There is nothing quite like a cat resting on my lap or nestled up against my legs in bed at night. Here are the current members of the family---Lizzie, Boy, Zeus and Linus. Actually, this is not quite accurate. Zeus, the black one with the white bib, died from complications of diabetes a few months back, but he still lurks around the house. For several weeks after he died, the other cats poked around under dust ruffles and furniture and in closets, looking for him, I think. I, too, kept expecting him to appear, and Boy stopped eating for 3 days before deciding that grief was no excuse for going on a hunger strike.
I just returned home after being away for five days. When I first walked in the door, I was ignored. Then Lizzie, always eager for a tummy rub, gave in and threw herself on the floor in front of my feet. Sucker! That's the way it is with beloved pets. Their loyalty bounces back. Their love is unconditional.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How did you do that?

Have you heard about a nifty applet that allows you to take running text and create a word "picture"? While saving the randomly generated design is a bit complicated without a postscript printer that will save it to a .gif or .jpg image, you can get around that problem by printing the screen, and then scanning the wordle.

The collage above is the first I created using layers in Photoshop, a powerful program I'd had for years but didn't use much beyond resizing pictures. However, desperate people do desperate things, I'm told, and if I wanted to integrate a Wordle into a card, I was going to have to learn how to work with "layers."

Have you seen how huge software manuals have become with their impossibly small print and B&W screenshots? Mine gather dust until they become outdated and are finally tossed. However, I found a magazine on digital scrapbooking at Borders that launched me easily into the wonderful world of Photoshop. The two-page projects featured simple, numbered steps and glorious pictures. Layers were a mystery no more!

If you would like to try your hand at creating a wordle, go to and play with it. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fabulous Freebie

I found a wonderful resource on the Internet today, and it is FREE! If you go to you will find an on-line publication catering to all kinds of collage artists, including those who specialize in Altered Art, Chunky Books and perfect 1-inch art cards for trading!

If you have some time, why not check it out?

Getting Started...

I don't fancy myself an artist, yet when I came across an article a few months ago on the Internet about something called SoulCollage, it grabbed my interest immediately. There was something freeing in knowing that I didn't have to draw. That I could put a bag over the eyes of my inner critic and simply create.
The first step is often the biggest step in any process. Yet as soon as I started browsing through the boxes of magazines I'd stashed or hauled around with me over the years, I was lost in the process. I tore, trimmed, treasured and sorted the images that suddenly took on new meaning independent of their textual context. They stood alone now, waiting to be reassembled into something...different. New.
Assembling took time, however. For three weeks, I did nothing but turn pages and tear out images that caught my eye. No judgment. No plan.
"Get with the program," I finally said to myself. I spread out some of my treasures on the kitchen table and started assembling them, without any particular intent other than creating a pleasing array. In no time at all, ARTIST'S FANTASY emerged right before my eyes.