Monday, December 31, 2012

Bark Carved Pottery Pot

wheel thrown pottery drying on a table

I have a few pots drying before the first fire. Many of these have carving, some are plain.

carved pottery container

I used a veining tool from a wood carving set to incise this pattern which reminds me of tree bark. You could probably do something similar with the tip of a vegetable peeler.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Carved Pottery Bowl With Stone Like Pattern

wet carved pottery bowl

This pot was was so thick I wanted it to resemble a boulder, so using the loop tool, I randomly cut chunks off. 

I enjoy the smooth interior with the hewn exterior. It's pleasant to touch.

glazed carved pottery bowl

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Deeply Carved Pottery Bowl

carved pottery bowl

This pot was very chunky so I took the loop tool and carved into very deeply. The edges were a bit too sharp so I used the loop tool to smooth it a bit after it was drier but not totally dry.

glazed carved pottery bowl

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Carved Clay Rose Petal Plate

carved pottery plate

This design was so much fun to do.  I started in the center, bent the flexible metal tool, and gently flicked out chunks of clay.  I think the pattern resembles an open rose. I used kiln space at my daughter's school so my glaze choices were limited, I basically did everything in blue or celedon.

glazed carved pottery plate

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Carved Pottery Plate

clay carving tools

 I've become quite enamored with carving clay pieces. I throw the pots on my daughter's wheel, let them dry to leather hard and carve them with simple tools.

The silver one is a flexible piece of metal that you can bend to cut shapes. The yellow one is a plastic cake decorator.

thrown pots drying

Carving suits me well since unlike Nissa, my pots are on the sturdy side. I can carve away a lot of clay to try to achieve a more elegant shape.

carved pottery plate

The leaf shape was created by heavily bending the flexible metal and you use a slight twisting motion to cut out shapes.

glazed carved pottery plate

Here is the plate glazed. The blue glaze has a left an interesting color variation that gives it lots of depth.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The World Can Be Amazing When You're Slightly Strange Poster

octopus in a top hat drinking tea poster with textThis would be strange.

The image is a digital collage, of sorts using separate vintage images. I processed the images in Illustrator to make them vectors (this allows me to make the images any size I choose), re-sized them, and colored the former white backgrounds. The exception is the monocle, which was made in Illustrator. I have the entire Adobe Suite but Illustrator is my favorite. Photoshop is wonderful but I like the freedom to change sizes and text works much better in Illustrator.

Available on Etsy

Saturday, December 15, 2012

California Typography Map Poster

typography map of California with cities Like many children, my first big trip was to California and it deserves the motto the Golden State. The map is filled with California phrases and landmarks.

Silicone Valley, pacific coast highway, Hollywood, death valley, traffic report, valley girl, Sacramento, grizzly bear, Disneyland, the golden state, sequoia national forest. Napa Valley, wine, sigalert, eureka, LA, actor, rodeo drive, San Francisco, organic, west coast, earthquakes, the strand, santa ana winds, golden gate bridge, Venice Beach, grapes, San Diego, Beverly Hills, palm trees, Beach Boys.

Available on Etsy

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Get A Life Mario Power Up Mushroom 8 Bit Gamer Poster

mario game illustration poster with text

I went old school while watching 12-12-12: The Concert For Sandy Relief on Hulu.

It's been awhile since I played the old games so it was a good thing my kids let me know which color mushroom to use.

The 8 bit look can be done pretty easily in Illustrator.
* You make a frame using the rectangle tool.
* object->path->split into grid
* choose the number of rows and columns and make the gutter 0.
* click on a square with the selection tool (black arrow) and fill it with color. If you hold down the shift key as you select the squares, you can color multiple squares at one time.
* You are left with faint lines after you remove the lines by making them transparent so I go to window->pathfinder->unite and combine the shapes as I color them them.

Available on Etsy

Friday, December 7, 2012

Star Wars Word Search Puzzle Wrapping Paper

star wars word search gift wrapping paper on a presentNow I know where the scrolling words on the opening screen for Star Wars movies go; they float freely throughout the universe until captured.

I made this for my hubby, a huge word search and Star Wars fan. The puzzle contains 40 Star Wars related words and phrases. I'm such a geek, the font family is the same one used in the rolling opening credits.

 Available on Etsy
star wars word search gift wrapping paper

The things to search for:
death star, lea organa, ewoks, chewbacca, wookiee, tie fighter, star wars, sith, sand people, tatooine, endor, dagobah, padawan, padme, kessel, droid, jedi, palpatine, yoda, the force, R2D2, C3P0, luke skywalker, laser brain, aunt beru, bobbafett, echobase, alderaan, may the force be with you, light saber, lando calrissian, mellenium falcon, clone wars, darth vader, obi wan kenobi, bantha breath, rebel alliance, moseisley, anakin, skywalker, space station

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Helvetica Snowflakes Poster

snowflakes made from letters poster
The snowflake crystals are made from individual letters using the font, Helvetica. The snowflakes are made, in order, from the letters a-g, h-m, n-r, t-v, x-z, s and w.
Available on Etsy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time Flies Like An Arrow Fruit Flies Like a Banana Poster

Banana bow on a clock face poster with text
Some people think that Groucho Marx said "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." but there is no proof that he was the source.

I simply enjoy the absurdity of the phrase.

 Available on Etsy

Monday, November 26, 2012

Merry Christmoose Christmas Card

moose with christmas lights hanging off his antlers
The handsome moose is from a vintage engraving that I recolored and then illustrated the lights. He has jaunty Christmas lights draped across his antlers.

 Available on Etsy

moose with christmas lights hanging off his antlers christmas card

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Victorian Houseplants In Fancy Planters Poster

potted plant in front of wallpaper
I re-visited another old design and did some more retooling.  I enjoy white space and the older version felt a little claustrophobic.  I also increased the size of the illustration in relation to the the stripped background.

These wonderful illustrations were scanned from a Victorian gardening book and then I played with them in Illustrator.

Available on Etsy

potted plant in front of wallpaper

potted plant in front of wallpaper

a row of 3 framed images of potted plants in front of wallpaper

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Lake Harriet Poster

illustrated poster of Minneapolis skyline and lake
 I tweaked an older design and I like it a lot better.

The changes include size, font, border, and Chain of Lakes was added.

Available on Etsy

Monday, November 19, 2012

Science Fiction Phrases Typography Poster

space ship silhouette on a circle of text

It started as a car game, there's a lot of cussing in space. I put a vintage style rocket in the midst of it and the porthole are expletives from Firefly.

The Sci Fi lingo includes insults and epithets. Just to be incredibly nerdy I put the phrases into a spread sheet so they could be alphabetized. Things are tidy in my section of the #@*! universe.

Available on Etsy

science fiction expletives text

Friday, November 16, 2012

Barbie Flying like Peter Pan Poster

female doll falling from sky poster with textWhen we weren't jumping off the roof pretending to be Wonder Woman, we were playing with Barbies.

The Peter Pan quote is "The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it."

Available on Etsy

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Every Day Is A Good Day But Some Are Excellent Poster Print

photo of dog looking outside a car windowIs there anything better than the wind in your hair on a sunny day?

Our westiepoo, Marilyn, loves to drive with the windows down. We were going down a gravel road in northern Minnesota and you can see the lake in the distance.

She was a having a great day. Steak and eggs for breakfast, a deer in the yard and cows to bark at.

Available on Etsy 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

May Your Days Be Merry Christmas Card

Christmas card of scared boy in front of caroler statues
Don't blink, they might get you.

This photo from the 1950s shows a wary boy in front of a stranger's lawn decorations. The boy is my DH and the culprit was his much older sister.

You forget the brilliant color that was obtained by color chrome slide film processing.

Available on Etsy 

boy in front of Christmas decorations

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Argyle Fez Blank Greeting Card

Fezzes are cool, just ask The Doctor. I would love to have socks with little fez on them.

Available on Etsy

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hey You Blank Greeting Card

close up of a card

I remember thinking of you cards.  They were a friendly note to simply say I was thinking of you and wanted to let you know. I care about you and I'm glad you are in my life.

For an old fashioned sentiment I chose to do a faux printing style. You offset the elements, add some transparency and a slight texture. Voila!

Available on Etsy 

hey you greeting card

Friday, November 9, 2012

Start Where You Are Poster Print

folded banner with text
folded banner with text
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

I don't know why I find folded ribbon layouts so timeless, perhaps it's because I follow the path visually. I'm also drawn to pathways and doorways, they are slightly similar.

Available on Etsy 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Coffee If You Are Not Shaking You Need Another Cup Poster Print

coffee illustration poster with text
Wise words...

This poster is made to resemble a vintage lithograph; the colors were taken from a 1940's photo of the glamorous Dorthy Lamour. The background has a field of coffee cups ready to fill or be washed. 

 Available on Etsy 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We See What We Want Typographic Poster

poster with part of text missing we see what we wantIt's amazing how much detail you can eliminate from text and still read the message. You really do choose to see what you want to see.

I made this yesterday while hitting refresh to view the latest election results.  Nuff said.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fibonacci Color Block Poster Print

fibonacci spiral with cmyj and rgb colorsI'm back to doing math related posters again but this one has a design aspect to it.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144...

The colors represent the 3 primary color systems in the order I use the most. RGB for light, CMYK for print, RYB for painting.

Available on Etsy

Monday, November 5, 2012

Duck Camp Vintage Travel Style Poster Print

illustration of duck camping vintage poster style
You can learn so much by watching wildlife in their natural setting.

I used to wonder where ducks lived, what they ate, and how they spend their days. Now I know.

Available on Etsy  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cappuccino Mug

coffee in a blue mug
Nissa made me this pretty mug, it holds 2 cups of espresso plus foam. Coffee tastes so much better when it comes in a mug made with love.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Always Be Yourself Poster

folded ribbon banner saying always be yourself unless you suck
Always be yourself, unless you suck, then try to be better. So true.

I think my concept of a motivational poster is a bit on the snarky side.

Available on Etsy  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dear Santa I Can Explain Poster

santa illustration text says dear Santa i can explain
Oops. Have you been naughty or nice?

Santa is a wonderful vintage illustration that I colored digitally.

Available on Etsy 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy DIY Lacy Style Fancy Mask

young woman wearing black lacy mask
I saw this pattern from Sprinkles in Springs and was struck by it's elegance and simplicity. I must admit I would never have thought of using Puff Paint for anything, much less a mask.

It peeled off the saran wrap beautifully and I used Tacky glue to attached a satin ribbon on the back of the edge.

We found sheer, flesh color fabric so it looks like it's floating on my daughter's face and the ribbon matches her hair color.

I would suggest checking the eye holes before making it since heads come in all sizes but we didn't have to adjust it for Nissa.
how to make the mask

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Face Carving

carved pumpkin face
I was inspired by Villafane Studios and purchased a pumpkin today at Trader Joes.

My abused, vintage pottery carving tool gave out midway and I finished with a melon baller.Nissa is going to pick me up a new one at the student union (darn, no trip to Blick) and I will add a bit more detail.

They have a nice carving demonstration video on You Tube

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Candy Corn Crocheted Dog Jacket

black dog wearing a crocheted candy corn design sweater

I found this wonderful free pattern on the Etsy Facebook site and it's from DIY Maven. It almost took longer to go buy the yarn than it did to crochet.

Zelda is 5.5 pounds and she's feeling a little naked after a recent trip to the groomers. I followed the directions for the small dog and it fit well.

I am going to make her another one a bit longer since she likes her middle covered.

I will be adding 2 yellow rows and 3 orange rows before the leg opening.

I like having the seam centered along the bottom so when it was time to time to make the leg opening, I slip stitched into the the double crochet stitches until I was 11 stiches in. On the 11th stitch I started my chain 3 stitch and then double crocheted 33 stitches. There should be 10 chain stitches on both sides of the center seam.

black dog wearing a larger crocheted candy corn design sweater

Here is the jacket slightly longer, I think it's a better match for Zelda. I'll run the other one over to the Humane Society this afternoon. Perhaps a holiday sweater will help someone find a new home.