1. So I'm printing a bunch of cool custom-designed journaling cards for my upcoming class at CKC Buffalo, and I'm printing them out on kraft cardstock. And my printer refuses to see kraft cardstock. It is the WEIRDEST thing. I have to run the paper through three times before it will accept it as a form of printable paper. Anyone else have weirdness with kraft cardstock? (And are you coming to CKC Buffalo? Because I am working my tushka off to make that 60 minutes WELL worth your while!)
2. Last night, we went to Aidan's last volleyball game of the season. I took 7 pictures then I stopped, because I realized fairly quickly, they were all going to look like this:
Ain't no amount of fancy actions gonna turn me into a decent sports photog. (Side note: the team's color is maroon, and dan is the assistant coach, and always wears some variety of maroon shirt, not that this photo would indicate that to be so.)
3. Speaking of Dan, after the game he decided to run home from the rec center. No small feat, at 7.5 miles. Apparently, when he was closing in on mile 6, a woman walking on the street flagged him down to ask him if she could bum a smoke off him. Nice. (And no, that last sentence isn't me talking about myself in the third person.)
4. How many of you thought of Puffle Christ Superstar while watching American Idol last night. Oh you KNOW you did.
Listen Puffle, I don't like what I see… all I ask is that you listen to me… and remember, I've been your right-hand puffle, all along…
Go Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber... Go Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber… it's your birthday, it's your birthday...
I'm fairly certain most of you lovely blog readers are also readers of the fabulous Pioneer Woman website (and if you're not, stop reading this right now, go click that link, and spend a few days immersed in the fun and frolic that is life on the prairie with Ree. I guarantee you it will be worth your while. The girl's got mad writing/cooking/photography skillz.)
And with a recent website overhaul, there's way more goodness to choose from, including a recent set of free actions featuring some of her coolest processes. Because I've decided to become a better post processor in '08, I decided to play with a few of the actions last night, and the photo you see above is one of the super processed results. But I'm kind of digging it, because it started like this:
I know what you're thinking... drab-o-rama (no offense, Aidan, darling, but your mother CLEARLY has issues understanding exposure.)
Now I do realized the better the photo is to start with, the better the result. You know, crap in, crap out? But actions are fun to play with. I combined several of Ree's actions to make the end result above.
I also took a photo that I think I posted here before, that was actually good to start, and made it a bit better. Here's Nana before, with the closest to perfect exposure that I ever get:
And here's after applying the PW Fresh and Lovely actions, and the Slight Sharpen:
WOW! Now that is a difference you can HARDLY SEE!
But still... who's a good dog? WHO's a good dog?
So go download actions and play. There's lots of help for those of you who might be new to actions, and also, even help if you use Photoshop Elements.
I finished up my acrylic album over the weekend (save for some journaling that needs to be added) that I started at Inspired (cool slide show, Paolo!).
The cover is something is a graphite transfer I did in Kal's class, over the top of one of my favorite photos (the same one I made into a tape transfer on the page that says, "Hopeful.")
Totally took Ali's idea of incorporating stuff from the event itself. That kind of thinking rarely finds a home in my brain. If it's not in the handout, well, then hellO, it so does NOT belong in the same room as me. But a funny thing happened as I worked on this album: I felt moderately adventurous.
What I mean to say is that as a designer, especially in my work for the magazine in publication design, I have a very carefully controlled way to approach any given project. I am of the belief that in publication design, it's all about how to communicate the information in the most direct way possible, lest you create chaos. (pronounced, just for fun, as "chowce")
And don't get me wrong, I still have issues with tilting and believe that good design is essentially balanced and linear, but... I did feel just a tiny bit out of the box for me.
And I realize that my "out of the box" might look like your "anal retentive freak of nature."
But go with me for a minute here.
I mean, tape transfers and alcohol ink, y'all. It's like I got really, really drunk and now, can't really remember what I did the night before, but, I woke up feeling like I did something I could regret, but that it was likely very worth it.
I love when that happens.
The lack of regret, that is. Not the super drunk, hangover part.
Materials (not a complete list, and a lot of this product wasn't part of the actual class,but for those who need to know) •Tim Holtz Adirondack Inks in Lettuce, and Denim •Scenic Route ruled patterned paper •Tiny Alphas in black from Making Memories. •Rub ons from Luxe (these heart rub-ons are SUPER lushous!) •7gypsies' ATC Inserts 97% Complete (i just cute off the tab parts and used them as journaling cards throughout.) •Big Timber Line Technique Tuesday stamps (an old stand-by fave!) •Heidi Swapp Damask stickers and block alphas, that I can't find a link to. Anyone? I love those stickers, too. •Other patterned paper is by My Mind's Eye and I used Prismacolor Premier colored pencils to color in some of the stamped letters and some of the rub ons (also called Pencil Crayons in an earlier post.) That's what cute Kal calls, 'em. Maybe it's a Canadian thing?)
So one of the cool things I learned at Donna's event was how to do a tape transfer, courtesy of the super cool Stephanie McAtee. (Yes, I realize I might be the last one standing in the Have Never Tried Tape Transfer room, but what can I say? I cling to the tried and true with a vice-like grip.)
Does everyone know how to do this? Am I the last one? Really? You just put packing tape over a laser-printed image, submerge in water, and rub off the paper? Really? I'm that behind?
And after seeing how Ali incorporated some of the work from the various classes at Inspired, I decided to do the same, because I'm "lemming" like that. I'm going to work on it over the weekend, filling up my acrylic album from cute Tena's class. And playing more with pencil crayons, now that I officially adore Kal Barteski, who showed me how fun they are.
And speaking of Kal, her artwork is absolutely amazing, and I have to show you an illlustration she did that got me majorly verklempt. It's this piece. It absolutely nails what so many of us don't see, myself included, when we look in a mirror. I bought a signed print and I plan to gaze on it daily and work on giving myself more of a break.
When art gets you in the gut, I think it's pure magic. Kal, you are conveyor belt of magic.
And with that, I'm off for a super highly productive day of creating design comps for the so-new-I-can't-even-link-it upcoming Simple special issue, tentatively titled "Mini Albums You Can Make in an Evening," and then I look forward to a weekend full of tape transferring anything in my house that moves.
p.s. Those stamps are by Fontwerks. And the rad photo on the transfer by Tara, who makes me look good.