Saturday, August 31, 2013

Monsoon Season In AZ

Rainy Days. Created in FotoRus.
We're having a rainy monsoon season this year. It's nice to have so much rain! When we first moved here from upper state New York, I couldn't figure out why people ran to the windows or outside when it rained. It's just water! After being here for almost 25 years, I understand! Now, I'm the one running outside or to the window to watch the rain!  With an average yearly rainfall of 6", we can go months between rain and storms.

I love taking photos when it looks stormy outside.  The first photo I created from a new app that I found called FotoRus. I've been having fun playing with it. You can create magazine style pages with your photographs, collages, picture-in-pictures, as well as editing your photographs.

Bright blue sky peeking through the many storm clouds. 
I was surprised when I downloaded the photos to the computer.  I loved the drama in this shot -the bright blue contrasting sharply with the grays, yellows, and purples - the swirling motion in the upper left. This is one of my favorite pictures  I may check into getting the sky printed onto fabric.  It would work great for skies in quilting landscapes.

Stormy clouds as the sun is setting. 
 Again, I like the play of the oranges and yellows against the dark blues and purples of the sky. It almost seems surreal.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Still Life

I bought some nectarines at the market today. They are so colorful, I thought I'd take photos of them to create a still life.

Two nectarines. 
This first photos of just the nectarines turned out okay, but it seemed something was missing. I like the bright reds and yellows with the highlights and darker purple shadows. I like the green of the leaves, although I'd like to see more green. The main problem is, I broke the rule of "use an odd number of items". It doesn't look right with just two nectarines. So I added some other fruit - a plum and three cherries.

Two nectarines, a plum and three cherries. 
This still life photo looks better. The added plum and cherries help.  I took the shot from above the fruit because I wanted to see the leaves on the nectarines. I like the play of the bright green against the orange and yellows. I like the deep purple of the plum and the deep reddish-purple of the cherries. But the lighting didn't turn out the best. The nectarines look duller and the cherries and plum are just dark with very little highlights. So back to the drawing board.

Fruit Still Life. 
This is a much better shot! The lighting is much better! The plum and the cherries have color now. The reds and purples of the cherries and a variety of purples to bluish purples on the plum  show. The green leaves of the nectarines and how it plays against the reds, oranges, and yellows of the nectarines can be seen. The shadows of the fruit have color. I like the dark background and light foreground. 

After taking all the photos to get this one decent shot, I realized I should have worked harder on my set up. I should have draped some fabric in the background and added a bit of lace. Oh, well, by the time of thought of that, the fruit wasn't as delicious looking. So another time!! I think this shot will still work to create a painting from. 

Friday, August 16, 2013


I've been trying to stick with art and crafty items for this blog, but I couldn't resist these photos of my grandson. He is just over 18 months old. He is all boy!! Full of energy, orneriness, snails, shells, and puppy dog tails.  He is learning right from wrong and is definitely testing his boundaries, as well as, giving Mom a heart attach!! He knows he wasn't suppose to be in the refrigerator, so he hid when he heard Mom coming! Good think Mom is on her toes!!
Mom won't see me if I hide in the fridge!!

Is she looking?


I'm thinking of making a whole-cloth painted quilt out of this last photo! He's just so cute!! Glad Mom keeps a close eye on him, though!!!  He is a handful!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

ATC Cards

I joined a group at Craft Fusion in Chandler to exchange ATC cards, which are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces of art or Artist Trading Cards. Every month we have 2 themes to pick from. The month of Aug is "It's All About Time" or "Sweets, Cakes, and Candy!".  I chose to make mine with the time theme. Here are a couple of the cards I created.

ATC Cards - watercolor wash on 120 lb watercolor paper. Then I divided the paper into the individual cards. On each card, I used watercolors to paint a profile of a girl. I gave the girls a variety of hair colors from blond to red to auburn to brunette.  I added a watch face to the head to symbolize our brain always thinking about time - how the past affects the present, which in turn affects the future. I used watch parts for an earring and hair clip.                                                  

Some of the other members of the group also created ATC's with the them Its About Time. 
A few of the other ATC cards with Its About Time theme. (1) A stamped clock with paper hands for the hour and minute hands for "Time stands still when I'm with you.". (2) An old-fashioned clock in a tripod stand that would normally hold a globe on a variety of torn papers. (3) Different framed facial views for various times with a clock halfway in the picture and the number 3 on the other corner. Makes me think of the rat race and how we scurry here and there trying to beat time to accomplish this and that, while really accomplishing nothing. And (4) the sun and moon and a bird stickpin with the saying, "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time" by Abraham Lincoln. 

The rest of the members created ATCs with the Sweets. Cakes, and Candy theme. There were some very creative cards. Cupcakes was a popular theme. I liked the cupcake made of brown caulk from the hardware store. It really looks like a chocolate cupcake. I loved the TV set with the episode from I Love Lucy  when Lucy and Ethel were working in a factory making candies. That episode sure brings back much laughter!
ATC Cards - (1) TV with I Love Lucy episode. Tiny buttons were used for the dial on the TV and straight pins for the rabbit ear antennae. (2) The other card has a paper punched embossed Teddy bear  with a bead nose and flower bow in front of with gumball machine.Other beads are on the floor for the gumballs that have fallen out of the machine. A jumper ring holds a dangle of beads and a shrinkydink gumball machine. It says "What a TREAT". 
ATCs with a (1) pink paper sucker with crystal bits for candy wrapped in pink saran wrap on a paper doily on stamped pink paper with more crystals embellishments ,  (2) real individually wrapped Jelly Beans and PEZ candy on paper with candies that says "For the love of sweets", (3) Homemade Goodies - homemade pie and coffee pictures with crystal lacquer on green paper with yarn around the edge - the corners have been punched giving a great finish to the ATC card, and (4) a fluffy iced cupcake (paper) with a cherry on top (bead) on coordinating papers.  The icing has "crushed crystals" glued on to make it appear glittery. 
ATCs - (1) cupcake made with brown caulk from hardware store with 'sprinkles' (confetti) and a paper cup recycled from candies with a shrinkydink dangle of a girl holding a cake (2)  A small cupcake created with a paper punch with a tag that says "Life is Short, Eat Desert first!" and (3) another paper cupcake in a foil cup with a saying, "My soul has had enough chicken soup, now it needs cupcakes." 
All the ATC cards were great. Everyone is so creative. It's a fun group!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sunsets in Ohio

Besides clouds, I also love sunsets. These are a few shots I took while we were in Ohio.

From in-laws front yard looking across the street.  Sun is just starting to set.
Returning to in-laws after visiting friends. The brilliant yellow sun is
beginning to set, casting the whole sky in warm reds and oranges. 
Stopped along the road to get this shot. I love the vibrant reds and oranges.  They really stand out
against the deep blue and purple clouds, cool gray sky, and silhouetted woods.