So, I love pretty much ALL mediums of art – photography and digital editing not excluded. I’ve been playing around with blending textures in Photoshop and have been having SOOOOO much fun! I picked out a photo I recently took of The Bean (that I LOVE) and opened it in photoshop.
I Love this photo!
The I went to this site – an amazing resource for FREE, high resolution textures – and chose this texture…I think it’s some rust….
Rust, I think…
I paste the texture into the open photoshop file where it shows up as a new layer.
Selecting the background layer – original photo of Beans – I use the quick select tool to select the area of his face, smoothing and feathering the edge of the selection. Keeping the ants marching, I jump to the layer of my texture and blur the still-open selection with a gaussian blur @ 33 pixels. This allows The Bean’s face to match the color of the texture when blending the layers without compromising his features. I blend the layers in the overlay mode and there you have it…
The texture really brings some magic to the table…
So this weekend we celebrated my sister’s birthday. I was asked to bring a cake to serve 40+. Normally I would have totally made the whole thing myself, but between a 3 year old wild-child and an attention-gobbling 5 week old I opted for a store-bought cake. A Costco cake, to be exact. However, I didn’t want to be completely generic as I knowingly poisoned people with toxic processed butter cream and commercial food dyes…. So I made a gum paste cake topper to individualize the cake….
Gum paste lady
My sister is an aires, and she’s considered somewhat of a goddess in her circles, so…..how about a nekkid gum paste Aries goddess. Yes! That’s it! I used pieces of lollypop sticks cut to size to support the arms and head onto the body. I used a paint brush and food dye to paint the color on the hair, horns and nipples.
The Bean has a best friend – an imaginary best friend: Wuzzie the Rat. Wuzzie became a member of our family about 5 months ago. The only rat Beans had ever seen was a dead one a cat had put an end to. It must have made quite an impression on him. When he first started talking to me about Wuzzie I thought it was a phase that would quickly pass – I mean, come on, a flying rat?!?. However, the Bean’s relationship with his imaginary friend has only grown. My son will talk to Wuzzie for hours at a time as he plays with his toys, we have to wait for Wuzzie, Wuzzie sits with us as restaurants, Beans shares his meals with Wuzzie and the best – I can threaten to send Wuzzie home as an effective form of discipline. No kidding. So I figured it was only fitting that I sketch what *I* imagine Wuzzie the Rat to look like. When I showed Beans the sketch he recognized Wuzzie right away. He then asked me why I didn’t draw him riding on Wuzzie. I guess thats the next sketch….
We’ve all done it. Planted two or three tomato plants and then suddenly, mid-summer, we have tomatoes coming out of our ears! Here’s another method of preserving your herculean grow efforts – Tomato Powder!
At the height of ripeness dehydrate thinly sliced tomatoes in large batches. The pictured tomato products were made from Amish Paste tomatoes; a super-tasty heirloom variety. The tomato slices need to be particularly dried. On their own they can later be reconstituted in water or oil for various applications.
Dehydrated slices of Amish Paste tomatoes
With a blender, food-processor or (in this case) a Magic Bullet process the dried slices into powder. Reconstitute small amounts of the power for sauces, pastes or just to add rich tomato flavors to other dishes.
The variegated shades of powder in the jar pictured below is caused from the variety of dried tomato batches used in the powdering process.
Tomato Powder made from multiple batches of dried tomatoes
A jar of home-grown tomato powder makes a nice gift as well…
So, the 6 week postpartum appointment with my midwife is fast approaching. I am so sad that this journey together is quickly coming to an end as Dr Wendy has been an amazing friend and resource. I really wanted to get her something unique and special as a parting gift – as opposed to a restaurant gift card or another cookie-cutter gift. So – because I just couldn’t help my crafty self – I had my favorite placenta painting printed on canvas for her. Hope she likes it!
Printed Canvas wrapped in protective plastic from shipping
Yes, I saved my placenta. No, I didn’t eat it or encapsulate it. Yes, I made art with it.
I gave birth to The Sprout 2 weeks ago, but painting with my placenta was not high on the priority list so I froze it. After a good thaw, I mixed some black and green acrylic paint with water and “bathed” the placenta.
I used a sea sponge to dab excess liquid off the placenta. I used 140# watercolor paper and would gently set the placenta on top of each piece.
Printing with the placenta
Placenta Print with acrylic paints and natural fluids
The resulting prints are beautiful, unique, displayable pieces.
Today was a quiet day. It was Shabbat, so it was perfect for a low-key indoor activity. The Bean is finally on the mend from this nasty sickness and the baby is just super-easy, so I though some painting would be fun. Beans painted a wooden “J” with a hook, a kitty cat that I had primed black and some garden plaques. When he was done with the garden plaques I painted the names of his respective grandmothers and great-grandmothers. We will send them off on Monday. Once again, a cheap, easy pastime for a three-year-old.
The Beans and I are usually pretty active. We love to hike and garden and go on grand adventures as well as undertake all sorts of projects. But lets face it. I am one LAAAAAAZY pregnant lady. So even though my precious, active son really, really wanted to go somewhere and “do” something today, I just couldn’t bring myself to get us going. So I pulled out the bag of “rainy day” projects. This is a bag of easy, fun art & crafts material I horde for days such as this. Beans decided that he wanted to paint a birdhouse and a horse. Awesome. Plant the kid at the kitchen table with his little wooden (and did I mention cheap?) items and let him have at ’em with some (equally cheap) acrylic paints. It had been my intention to prime these wooden paintables and then spray paint them with a solid color BEFORE the Bean got to them…but I just never got around to it. I promised him I would take him to Michael’s and let him pick out some more things to paint tomorrow – I’ll try to get right on top of those and paint a base color on them as soon as we get them home – It just tends to make them look so much more finished…. So, Beans painted a horse and a birdhouse: it killed an hour, cost less than $3 and satisfied my son’s desire to “do” something. Win, win, win. AND he’s going to give them away as gifts. Whatta sweetie!
Ever look at the clouds and pick out the “things” that you see in the billows of white & gray? Sure, we all have. Today’s art project isn’t far removed from a cloud watching exercise. This morning my three year old asked me what we could do “together”. I’m feeling pretty pregnant and pretty lazy so not a whole lot of adventures came to mind. I remember seeing a blog not long ago that featured these “blob” paintings – where the artist would paint a “blob” and then interpretively sketch a character out of the near-formless painting. I figured I could tailor the project to me and my pre-schooler’s particular needs. I set him up with some watercolors and let him paint till his little heart was content. Then we talked about what he saw in each painting. It was interesting that we both saw many similar “things” in the paintings. Under the Bean’s directions, I’d sketch in what he interpreted his brush strokes to be. Lots of fun – AND he’s very proud…