Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sunny Saturday

At last a lovely sunny day that I could spend indulging in some art work.  I have been doing bits and pieces, but nothing that I have felt worth sharing. I have decided to sign up for 'Design Matters' Creative Sketchbook Course. Meanwhile today I have been taking a few photographs in the garden and drawing.
First I collected a selection of different yellows and laid them out on some white paper in the dappled shade. I set the camera white balance on 'shadow'. A little tweak has brought out the colours especially in the shadow which looks a bit like a watercolour wash.

I then switched the WB to 'sunny'.
The courgette flower was crying out to be drawn.

I sat it on an old ink bottle, but it just wanted to close up

I love the contrast in colours.  I drew round the shadow cast by the senecio,  but the alchemilla mollis ...

 and the Ladies Bedstraw flowers were just too small to draw, but I love the shadows.

As the courgette flower curled up this little chap emerged from the petals.

I came indoors and added some colour to my page and got out the yellow embroidery threads.

Not sure where I shall be taking it next.

It is nearly the end of July and I shall be thinking about my calendar for August next week. 
July seems to have been quite a busy month for me. 
I am going to try and catch up with all of your posts as I have only been making quick visits lately.
I do hope you are having a sunny weekend too.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Do you have a MAC?

I shall have to change my computer soon as it is VERY cranky and grinds horrendously when I edit photos. Several friends are encouraging me to get a Mac and I have been to a friend's to familiarize myself with the format.  I am sure I would soon get used to it. However on my PC I use the program CoralDRAW Essentials 2 quite a lot for simple graphics.  It is very flexible and allows me to draw shapes to  exact sizes and position items on a page with accuracy.  I use it most to help Mr T create CD covers.  I have also used it for greetings cards and to manipulate images for the Postman's Knock project.  I have also created labels and inserts for my Etsy shop as it so much easier than Works, unless you are doing straight forward stuff. The only drawback is that they are stored as CorelDRAW files.  However that is not the problem.  If I get a new PC they no longer produce CorelDraw Essentials, but they do a Home and Student edition which I guess is the similar. But this is not compatable with  Mac.  What I think I need for a Mac as a substitute is PRINTshop.Pro which is certainly cheaper, but I don't know anyone who uses this.  The review sounds as if it will do what I want and more so I am wondering if anyone out there can help me with some simple info. Other people have suggested that I shall be able to do this sort of thing with Photoshop Essentials. I have Essentials 5 and the graphics part certainly isn't flexible enough for what I want.  If any of you have any suggestions I shall be very grateful.  I do not want to pay hundreds of pounds for a program. So if you have PRINTshop Pro can you let me know what you think of it.

This is the sort of thing we do - only in coverting it from a Coral file to a Jpeg the white background has turned black!  By the way this was the give-away for our guests at our garden do.

Meanwhile back to the creative stuff. I am doing a bit of experimental sewing - more of that another time, but I had to get the camera out in the garden yesterday as the sun came out in the late afternoon and I do like a bit of back lighting,

Honesty seed heads are just delicious at any time of year, but the sun shining through was stunning...

and I think purple and orange is my favourite colour combination at the moment. 
What a shame the Buddlea isn't full of butterflies. Are you going to take part in the Big Butterfly Count ? I did see five species yesterday despite the dull weather.
Do have a good week,

Monday, 11 July 2011

Still here

June was frantic and the first week of July busy too, and now I feel all in the doldrums - without any wind in my sails, rather than fed-up. 
 I finished my little boat I made from Ann Wood's pattern here.
I made the boat ages ago, but have been waiting for inspiration for the sail.  My upcycled plastic bag bunting provided me with the inspiration I needed so I was able to hang it up as part of the decorations for our party.
 Ann has some very pretty ones for sale.
Meanwhile last week I went to the Isle of Wight for a couple of days to stay with my Dad.  It is not far, but it takes ages as the ferry crossing adds an hour and a half to the journey. My sister will be moving onto the mainland later in the summer, so it may have been my last visit to her bungalow. She lives in Gurnard so we had lunch at the beach cafe and took a stroll along the seafront. It was very windy and I wasn't feeling very inspired.

 The beach huts which I have photographed several times.

The sun catching these sails really made them stand out - it was so blustery it was hard to stand steady enough to get a good shot.
And here our a few shots from our 'do'.  Luckily the weather held out, and although it wasn't that warm, we managed to stay outside 'till midnight.  I failed to photograph the spread,  thank you to Sainsbury's and Heather who made veggie bites and some wonderful little desserts.  And I failed to snap Marvin who helped himself from the buffet when we were all outside -  I had to clip the covers on the platters with clothes pegs!

 Everyone said they enjoyed themselves, and Mr T had friends there going back to his school days.

 Mr T rigged up speakers in the garden and had lined up suitable music.  We warned our neighbours we would be outside till late, but Sara from next door said she could hardly hear us from indoors, so we didn't keep her little ones awake! I think she had a little smile to herself about us 'oldies' having a good time.
 Strange how everyone congregated round the 'bar' - can't think why.  It made an alternative to the kitchen.
Luckily our friend Dave who does a lot of wedding photography took charge of my camera and managed to get portraits of nearly everyone. That is Dave on the bottom row reading the Sunday paper next morning.
I had to sneak Mr T from our recent self portrait as he got missed out - and yes that is me second from the end - I wish I could remember what was so funny.
I've nothing much up my sleeve at the moment but I am hoping inspiration will return soon.  Meanwhile I have a couple of projects that need finishing and I may give myself a couple of 'exercises' to do, (that is the textile sort - not physical, in case you were wondering,) which will fulfill my aim of just doing something. Postman's Knock is great for keeping the creativity ticking over - I've got a few ideas for my next topic, so I won't be idle for long.
Have a good week - I am gradually catching up with everyone.