Friday, October 30, 2009

Have A Safe And Blesssed Samhain
And Happy Halloween Everyone!

When Life Gives You Gloppy Frisket...

Use Illustrator

I love the idea of frisket, my problem is that it glops up too fast and buying it is a waste of money. Even though I seal the bottle in two zip lock bags and carefully clean the lid and lip of the jar the cap still manages to seal itself shut like a vice grip. After about ten minutes of working at the cap and finally getting the darn thing open I found that my frisket was a gloppy mess as usual. After having removed most of the gooey-ness I began a painting that I woke up with in my head of a little fish.

I love batik and I used to do it all of the time in high school way back when, I love the way it looks and at first I was going to create my very first design of a stork among tropical foliage. Painting a sort of faux batik using watercolor and friskit but somewhere in between it turned into a tropical fish that I must have dreamed about the night before.

Now the original painting was good with exception of the above mentioned friskit. The lines were just too much of a mess to fix and I found myself getting annoyed beyond anything. I was about to scrap the whole idea when I thought "Why not take it into Illustrator and make the lines there and add the painting to it afterwards?"

That is exactly what I did and I think it came out successful. I scanned the original painting into Illustrator and cleaned up the lines by drawing them from scratch. I then moved it into Photoshop and scanned in four sheets of hand-painted watercolor, one each of yellow, green, ocean blue colors and purple. I placed the appropriate color behind the different sections of my new drawing and digitally cut it out. The end result is very close to the original painting only much cleaner. Maybe I shall recreate my very first batik just for the fun of it

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Calico Christmas

I am getting a bit of a head start on the holidays and designed a group of Calico Christmas - Yule trees. This was kind of fun to design. I again started out in Illustrator and made swatches in green, red and ecru. I have stripes, gingham and snowflakes adorning the trees. The longest part was the tiny little snowflakes that appeares in two of the trees and the background. I wanted a simple country charm for this design, not a lot of bells and whistles.

I plan on picking up my paint brushes again soon, just lately when I look at the paper nothing comes out. It happens though and I never force out a painting just for the sake of posting something new.

Also Zazzle is having another promotion

Save 10.31% for Halloween
just enter code TRICKORTREAT

*10.31% of the net sale price will be deducted when the coupon code TRICKORTREAT is applied at checkout. For most products, the net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). For Zazzle Custom Stamps, the net sale price is the difference between the price of the Zazzle Custom Stamps (excluding shipping and taxes) and the face value of the postage. Offer is valid from October 19, 2009 at 12:01am PT through October 31, 2009 at 11:59pm PT. This promotional offer may not combine with any other Zazzle promotional or discount offers.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

FREE 2 day shipping on Zazzle

Use coupon code FASTSHIPBOOO

Please note that skateboards, dark apparel, dark bags, calendars, embroidery with digitization, photo sculptures, framed posters, shoes and binders WILL NOT arrive by 10/30 even when using the free Halloween 2-day shipping upgrade.

You must select 2-day shipping to apply this offer

To qualify for this free 2-day shipping offer, one or more Zazzle products must be purchased with a net sale price equal to or greater than 50.00 dollars. The coupon code FASTSHIPBOOO must be entered during checkout to receive the offer. The free shipping offer is for 2-day shipping to U.S. addresses only. Shipping charges will apply to oversized orders and orders being shipped on an expedited basis or outside the U.S. Offer is valid from October 26, 2009 through October 27, 2009 at 3:00pm PT. Your order must be placed during that time to qualify for this special offer. This promotional offer may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or discount offers. Offer valid on only.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great Sale At Greeting Card Universe

Take advantage of a great sale going on at Greeting Card Universe and get a head start on all of your holiday cards.

Buy your Christmas Cards early and Save 50 Cents per card!

Use promo code CHRISTMAS229 at checkout.

Thanksgiving Cards
Mabon Cards
Christmas Cards
Solstice and Yule Cards

Of course you can use it on any card you buy from my store.

New designs are on the way too.

Need matching Postage stamps or Sticker seals to finish off those envelopes?

Thanksgiving/Mabon Postage
Thanksgiving/Mabon Seals
Christmas/Solstice Seals
Christmas/Solstice Postage

To see the current Zazzle Coupon Codes Click Here


Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Designs Across The Board

Well it has been a busy last few days and I got quite a bit done and a few new designs to show off too!

New in 13 Black Cats Designs

Today's doodle is a quick pen and ink with watercolor. The idea just kind of popped in my head, well sort of flashed but flashed long enough to grab a piece of paper and jot it down. This morning I drew it out on a piece of watercolor paper, did the ink work and added color with paint. I wanted a kind of marker appeal to it, almost like a comic book and while that is not my forte I think I pulled it off a bit.

A very simple design I rendered in Illustrator a few days ago called A Cup Of Joe
Cup Of Joe Mug mug
Cup Of Joe Mug

This design started out as a circle, flattening the top and adding a few swirls for the handles and steam

New In J'adore Paris - 4 new designs premiere

Arc de Triomphe Triptych Print print
Arc de Triomphe
Triptych Print

The first one is a collage of different shots around Paris set into a color slide filmstrip. The second, Marie's Sunflowers, are a field of sunflowers growing nearby The Hamlet Houses, were Marie spent her last days before being taken and later beheaded. The third, Paris Fruit Market was shot just wandering around Paris. Not only does Paris have these beautiful gardens scattered about everywhere but they also have these beautiful, unique storefronts that are obviously taken care of with great pride. The last design for J'adore Paris is a triptych of the Arc de Triomphe, standing in front of it looking up. Unfortunately I could not shoot this further back, It would have meant I would be road kill for that is one serious round-about that I would dare not cross. I fully understand the reasoning for the underground passageway to get to the "island" the Arc sits upon.

and finally what's new in Pen And Ink...

Crazy Squares Letterhead letterhead
Crazy Squares Letterhead

Crazy Squares started out in Illustrator with colored diamonds amongst black and ecru ones. Then was finished up in Photoshop with a bit of a cubism effect.

Well, there are my last few days in a nutshell. I really do enjoy what I do and want to thank all of my customers, fans, followers and admirers. I am honored that you take the time out of your day to follow what I am doing and I am happy to share my work with you. Until next time have a great weekend!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Breast Cancer Month

Everyone knows that October is breast cancer month and how important it is to be aware. Zazzle gave a call out to it's designers to donate a design for their Pink Ribbon Store. This wasn't too hard for me, the design came very easily. I drew it in Illustrator adding the words into the ribbon, brought it into Photoshop - shaded and highlighted it then used a select focus.

Unfortunately my family has been touched by cancer as so many others have too so this is a way to remember my loved ones. *I have donated the design below to the Pink Ribbon Store for sale on T-shirts and Postage where Zazzle will donate 20% of the net product sale to breast cancer related causes* The rest will be available in my store for sale.

*pending review and upload by Zazzle

**20% of the net sale of all the products in The Pink Ribbon Store will go to support breast cancer awareness causes. For postage products, net sale is defined as the difference between the sale value and the face value of the postage.

I thought I might add some great designs from artists I admire:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Burned Butterfly

Burned Butterfly Sticker sticker
Burned Butterfly Sticker

Latest design on Pen and Ink and 13 Black Cats Designs too!

I began fooling around with brushes and swirls in Illustrator yesterday to see if anything would come of it. I began to randomly draw swirls and they started to take the shape of a butterfly wing and so a butterfly was born.

After getting one side of the wing finished I had to expand the brush strokes so I could reflect it to the other side. I drew the body using circles and ovals and tied it together with a solid wing behind the swirls.

Originally I was going to do a monarch type butterfly in orange but when I opened it in photoshop it just wasn't working. I accidentally fell upon a teal color when randomly clicking around the color box. (Art is so precise isn't it?) Once the teal color was chosen I thought I would set it against a dark brown so I made a background, added the noise filter and then crosshatched it to give it a bit of a vintage look. The butterfly was still a bit too bright so I change it's opacity to Color Burn, merged it with the brown background and gave it a bit of a glow.

Since this design started to develop a vintage feel to it I made a background like an old newspaper. First I started with a cream background and burned the edges, added a slight bit of noise and applied a monotone color of brown to age it. I typed some random letters to fill the page and changed the opacity to overlay and then 50%. merged it down and there you have it, old newspaper! The full line can be found on Pen And Ink and a variation of it can be found on 13 Black Cats Designs.

From Pen And Ink:

From 13 Black Cats Designs:


Friday, October 2, 2009

This Is What Happens When You Sit Alone In A Sushi Restaurant

While I was sitting alone waiting for my NY Roll of tuna, apples and mayo and an Eel Roll I began to read the menu board behind the man making my sushi. The creative names they have given the various specials began to spark an idea in my head. Hanging behind the tables on elaborate wallpaper were brightly colored advertisments for various things which I could not read and next to them on a table sat a Maneki Neko smiling back at me. Well, they seemed to mash themselves in my brain and the above design happened. While I am aware that the title I chose for this design was based on a Chinese movie and not Japanese, I thought it an appropriate name. I imagined this guy hiding behind the fake palm tree in the corner, stalking any sushi left unattended.

This was a fun design to do, totally unplanned and drawn fully in Illustrator. It took me a little while to form the cat's face but things fell into place without much difficulty. Crounching Tiger, Hidden Kitty is available now on Zazzle. It even makes an appearance on Zazzle's brand new Avery binders.

I have put Jadore Paris on a bit of a hold because I am working on a side project to be unveiled soon. I hope to add more photos and artwork within the next week. If I can only get the staff to work a little harder but they are always busy taking naps in the sunshine coming through the window so I am on my own for now. I can assure you that I will keep everyone posted here when my new project is unveiled so stayed tuned.

meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow
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