Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Canada in a Nutshell

     Why is it that when I go on vacation and have ZERO supplies of any kind with me- I feel the most inspired? Hubby and I took a road trip north of the border for an extended weekend and I didn't even pack a Micron to doodle with.  But I snapped plenty of pictures to remain in my brain for when I do get back in my den.
     We headed north and into beautiful Canada, Richmond and Vancouver to be more exact. No solid plans outlined but a hotel reservation on the outskirts and the possibility of imbibing a good brew. Ok- so that's not completely true- I had found out about the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park but hubby is not keen on heights so I knew it would depend on whether or not he would be able to handle the bridge. Luckily after a sketchy start, he managed and we went forward.  Here's a few pics of our weekend. It is a touristy location. We got there well before it opened to snag a parking spot and it allowed me to get some clean shots of the bridge without the hoards of people. 

    So you walk across the main bridge- it's only 450 feet long and 230 feet high. I felt the photos exaggerated the size. Overlooking the river gorge below. Not surprising none of my photos ON the bridges turned out sharp... all blurry. Because the bridge doesn't stop shaking exacerbated by a non-helpful camera setting. lol  On the other side of this bridge is the Treetop Adventure- just a series of bridges among the tree tops, not too high off the ground, but I imagine if you fell you'd either break your neck or suffer serious injury, not necessarily death.  'Cause that is how my brain functions.

     Lastly there is the Cliff Walk portion of the park. It's not bouncy at all, The path is cabled into the side of the cliff. It was fascinating and beautiful. That's when I realized my camera was set on a setting I had no idea what it was doing but hubby wasn't going to go through it again so I could retake the photos. Such a party pooper... kidding! He was a good sport for getting across the main bridge and yes- you had to cross it again to get back out. 

    Again- we were ahead of the crowds just enough to get clean shots with no people. Which is great, but you have no sense of proportion or scale. I LOVED this totem statue. It was a very clean park, no gum stuck everywhere, no graffiti carved or marked anywhere. (of course they had signs to not do that) But still, compared to every spot in the US- it would have been destroyed with senseless graffiti. 

     We also ventured out into Vancouver as well. We went to the aquarium where the highlight for me was the HUGE jellyfish exhibits... HUGE! They had several varieties in their own tanks.  Afterwards we walked along the famed seawall at Stanley Park. It was beautiful. It was a cool day with plenty of sunshine. Perfect for a stroll along the water. 

     Apparently the mark on my lens is INSIDE the camera- and with it being a point and shoot- I have NO idea how to remove it. I guess it's my new watermark?  meh....

So that was my weekend. Now I'm gonna see if I can tap into the inspiration that hit me when I was away from home.
Oh yeah.... I forgot one more photo - just for fun...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Zetti- Crazy

   I've been seeing Zetti for the past month. Crazy awesome images that require a double take to clarify what you are seeing. Whimsical and bright and just all around fun.  The artist- Teesha Moore, from what I understand created this genre of Zettiology.
     Thanks to my beloved Art Charms group I dove head first into creating for a swap. The goal: purse charms. The theme: All things Zettiology. It actually was a coincidence that she was closing out her stamp line on her Etsy shop just as this swap was gearing up. I was lucky enough to snag a grab bag of unmounted images.
    I am no stranger to altered dominoes. I have loved making them for well over a decade. I was however a bit rusty with my process. I have a tendency to get a bit ahead of myself when I get really excited about something.   I did not take photos of the process Oops... is it really necessary? I dunno.
My process for stamping and coloring dominoes is this...

1.) DRILL FIRST!!! Attach your screw-eye if that is what you are doing.. otherwise if you are adding bails you can add them later.

 2.)Stamp image using Staz-On, let dry, cure, heat set, etc. I have better luck if I flip the stamp over face up and put a piece of tape on the back of the domino for a handle and use it apply to stamp. Works most of the time.

 3.) Color - I LOVE to use the Adirondack Pigment markers- they blend, they are vibrant and since I get really hands on it's good that they wash off easily! These also don't interfere with the Staz-on ink which is a solvent based ink. I mean- yeah if you keep smearing it, it will rub off eventually... but for the most part it is good to use together.

 4.) Not sure if necessary, but I heat set with my embossing gun, basically make sure it's good and dry.

5/6.) Spray light coats of Spray Fix... and um... don't just grab the first can that has matte on it in the box in the garage... (like I did- or you might have grabbed the matte clear coat) Again- this is my preference, since I grabbed the wrong thing- it obviously doesn't matter if I use the spray fix or not. Light handed coats is what matters. Otherwise it will blur...and all your hard work and lovely coloring will be wasted. I take a large piece of tape and make loops and stick my dominoes to that and a shoe box lid- this makes it a vertical surface- easier to spray. Let the spray fix dry (if using)  If you are using a clear coat- apply several light coats to build up the surface... I prefer to let this dry and cure for a few days, depending on the weather before I add to this with beads and embellishment.

7.) If you are using a bail-you can add beads, baubles, dangles, bling, etc. chain and clasp.. whatever you are using it for.  Mine was for a purse charm swap so I added a small section of curb chain and a clasp.

Altered dominoes is so much fun. I used to jump start my creativity by turning out a few of these.  
Here's the images from the swap.

Happy September!