Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Digital Fun and Christmas Presents

It's a bit like London buses.  Nothing for a while and then two (posts) come along in one day!  We have had a very quiet Christmas but it has been a chance to take things slowly.  My Mum is still staying with us and will be for a few more weeks yet.  She finds it very hard to concentrate for more than a few minutes so we haven't got far with occupational therapy.  She is managing a little knitting, just 11 stitches to a row but she will only work one row or maybe 2 and has then had enough.  One big improvement though is that she no longer needs the zimmer frame to walk round the house and is managing with a stick.  I find it doubtful, though, that Mum will be able to live on her own in the future so some difficult decisions may well have to be made soon.
While Mum has been snoozing I have found time to play some more with Photoshop Elements and am continuing with my lessons with Kim Klassen.

This first image has been constructed using a texture of distressed flooring that Kim supplied.  The finished image has been made into a brush which I can now use to add texture to other images.  I shall have to play with that and show you how it works.

I am very excited by this image above which has been made with a brush that I made myself out of a few lines of text.  I got the idea from Judi Hurwitt's blog where she has been playing with stacked text in preparation for the Sketchbook Challenge that will start on 1 January.  ( I would very much like to do this new challenge but I don't want to give myself too many commitments next year, especially as I am sure to have a lot of sorting out to do for mum.)  I am going to work some more with this stacked text and making brushes in Photoshop as I can see great potential for it in fabric design.  Hopefully I will get more adept and imaginative in making my designs.  I can't thank Kim Klassen enough for the knowledge I am gaining by doing her courses.   

Christmas was a bit of a non event with us, although we did have a pleasant day, but I did have several very thoughtful presents. 

I was both surprised and delighted to receive this lovely book which is a sourcebook of fabric designs from my stepson.  Who would think that a young man would put so much thought into a gift?  This book will keep me happy for hours!  You can tell by the colours of the scrim and thread on the right that a special friend knows me very well!  The wool that came with this present is already being used in a knitting project.  Mum is knitting me a scarf............eventually! ;-)

Just a couple of pages from the Swatches book.

My other stepson surprised us by bringing us gingerbread figures and bourbon truffles that he had made himself!  We didn't know he could cook!  Clever young man.  He is a member of two Indie bands and is beginning to get airplay on the radio.

Red Shoe Diaries - Indietracks 2010 Teaser from Red Shoe Diaries on Vimeo.

He's the one with the beard on bass guitar!  (The band lineup has changed slightly since the recording was made)

I had another very thoughtful gift from a very special blogging friend who, despite her own considerable problems caring for her own mum at the moment, found the time to think of me and send me a beautiful gift.

Somebody else who knows me well!  This is a fantastic book with so much inspiration inside and is a joy to read even if you never made anything from it, which is hardly likely! 

Helena's beautiful inscription really touched me and I will treasure this book all the more for that.  Thank you Helena for your very generous gift.  I am unworthy.  Helena also sent me a very pretty little babouschka doll which I forgot to photograph because she's sitting in our little Christmas tree but she is delightful and will be pinned to a jacket or bag after Christmas.  Helena blogs as herself and for her alter egos Bob T Bear Esq and Dilly .  Dilly and Bob are typical brother and sister and their adventures always make me smile and cheer me up when I am feeling low. 



Such beautiful presents for you Julie, much deserved. I have the Laura Kemshall book and can vouch for it. It's a beautiful inspiring book. Glad to hear your Mum is making small steps in the right direction. I'm also hoping to do the Sketchbook challenge but haven't started Kim Klassen yet. I'm still tweaking my Brooklyn sketchbook which I'm enjoying. Near year blessings to you and your DH and Mum


New year blessings even !

ju-north said...

Double portion here! some great work going on!

quilthexle said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for the recovery of your mum! And if you have to make decisions ... I'll just wish you strength and energy to do what you have to do (been there - so I have an idea of how you might feel ...) The sketchbook challenge is VERY intriguing - and I'm pretty sure it is something you could do "just a bit once in a while". I'm going to give it a try - I need to gain confidence in my drawing abilities !!
Take care !! Frauke

Heather said...

Your digital experiments look very interesting and I love your presents - Laura Kemshall's work is wonderful and so inspiring. I keep reading about the Sketchbook challenge and it sounds very tempting. Great news of your Mum's walking progress and with a bit of luck, when the time comes, she'll make that decision for herself. Wishing all of you a Happy New Year.

Elizabeth said...

Dear Julie! you really are taking the photoshop class by stor- good for you!! It is a good project to work on with ahving to take care of your Mum. Glad that she is improving a bit but I know that there are tough times ahead for you. Do keep in touch with us even if your art work falls off- we are here to support you and help in any way that we can. I will be traveling the same road soon.
I ADORE the painted quilt and I ahve done many painted pieces with the stitching first and the painting second!!! Your stepsons did a wonderful job with their delightful gifts for you-they are very samrt they know a dear mum when they come across one!!
The very best New Years wishes to you my friend and do keep in touch. sending supportive and careing thoughts your way!!!!!

DILLY said...

Hewo Julie!!!!
Dilly glad like book!!


maggi said...

Lovely presents Julie. The Kemshall's book is certainly full of inspiration, you will love it. Good to hear that your mum is making progress and thinking of you with any decisions you have to make, they are never easy. You are going great guns with the digital work. Have a good New Year.