Ferris Wheel - A WIP

It's a work in progress. I had to close up shop for the day - it's date night!! He better treat me like he means it!!

I did get up to page 14 or so of these 18 pages of instructions. Some of the instructions were hit and miss (on my part) but I really, really like what I'm learning in this exercise. It always takes me two or three tries to get it right!

xx's and oo's 'til later

Here'ssssssssssssss Maysen

Isn't she a beauty.....

and a photo altered beauty.....

Thanks to DJ Pettitt's "Memories & Manipulations" workshop, I am a free bird....flying through my photos - blending, masking, cropping adding layers and layers and zipping in and out of hues and saturations, brushing and cloning and whew...much more!!

"Bright Lights, Big Cities"

Mary Linda was out on the town! And boy did she see "Bright Lights and Big Cities."

Yes, the original is still there, just brushed her up a bit!

"Stairway to Cat Heaven"

More confidence today....I decided I would begin incorporating my quilts into photoshop altercations....oops, I mean alterations.

This quilt has been sold, but I retain the rights to any and all pictures of my work, so here is a snippet from my "Stairway to Cat Heaven" quilt with a few overlays and blends. I love the outcome. While I could never have found the fabric to make such an exotic moon, me and my cats can frolic under the light of this moon using photoshop.

Late at night, early morning, mid-afternoon high noon, midnight, sunset, sunrise, dusk, dawn....anytime is photo altering time!

Hope to be back to you after breakfast, but before noon.

Marty (I'm the one with a smile on her face)

It May Be DJ's Pettitt's Barn, But It's Marty Mason's Collage!

My newest little beauty.

DJ is trying her hardest to keep all 300+ of us on the same page in her workshop. (I'm not sure in working in my case!) But anyway, she sends us pictures with identifying labels. For instance, she labeled the pictures for this exercise DJ's barn1, DJ'sbarn2, DJ'sbarn3-4-5-6 and so on.....Well, I'm here to tell you that these may be DJ's pictures, but this is MY collage.

I remember some mantra I was told to say into a mirror when I was 13 or so years of age and I thought of it today, after all these years. It goes something like this "every day in every way, I'm getting better and better." I truly am. Instead of a 12 hour venture to complete an exercise, I finished it in under 4 hours!!

I continue to thank DJ every day for her patience with me. She is a joy to have as an instructor.

Where was I going?

Not sure yet where this picture was taking me, but I did extract the clock from another picture and the same for the butterfly and splattered them against this brick wall along with the tulips. Hopefully my composition will get better. For now, I'm just thrilled that I've learned the true meaning of extraction by masking!!

Now that I know how simple this process is - step 1, step 2, and so on and on, I wonder why it took me so long to get there.....

The dinner hour is over and I'm ready to snuggle down with a good book. Sweet dreams 'til morning.

Spotlight on Louisiana's Twin Cities

What a surprise I found this morning when I opened up one of my favorite blogs. Grace started her blog in 2004 even though I only recently discovered it. Design Sponge featured the Louisiana twin cities - that is, Monroe and West Monroe. Having lived here all my life, I knew about all these places that were spotlighted, but what fun it was to see pictures and accolades in a blog from New York.

The tour was compliments of Paula of Neutral Dwellings. We are described as "two small-town southern charmers." I think the description fits our area perfectly.

Just to name a few sites to see -

The Biedenharn Museum and Garden and Masur Museum.

Places to be - Enochs Pub & Grill Yes...it's an Irish pub and Yes, they serve green beer on St. Paddy's Day!

and, Coda Bar and Grill. I love going here for lunch. Plenty of food and fun (and did I say noise)!

Design guide with a local flair - Material Things owned and operated by personal friends of mine, Peggy Gonzales and Joyce Sims. It's much more than a gift shop on Park Avenue, Monroe.

3rd St. Market is another locally owned (more than a gift shop) that I love to visit. And, of course a stroll down Antique Alley makes for a pleasurable afternoon,

Dining at Restaurant Sage is a celebration!

Thanks to Paula and Grace for this tribute to the Twin Cities.

You rock Louisiana.

Who dat say de gonna beat dem Saints!

Thread Sketching Made Easy

"Hello, my name is Georgianna"...I am a thread sketched fabric art card!

"And I am Eunice Patricia"

Received current Quilting Arts Magazine yesterday and immediately jumped to page 46....thread sketching made easy. Boy, have I been mistaken! For the past several years,I have been stitching "Pretty Ladies In Smart Hats" into fabric art cards. But, I thought I was "thread painting." According to Susan Knapp, the terms thread painting and thread sketching are not interchangeable. Thread painting fills in the entire image with thread. While thread sketching (stitching) is the process of stitching an outline image. And that is what I normally do. I thread sketch. well, maybe I "thread paint" the lips! I am continuing in my process of Learning My Lessons Well. Thanks, Susan, for giving me the distinction between these two processes.

Quilting Arts Magazine....a must read for the art quilter or mixed media artist.

"Learn Your Lessons Well"

We relieved our housekeeper of her duties last year. That means we fired her! Oh, she was dependable enough and she worked through every room, but more and more items were getting broken. I asked her to clean the oven one day and I was quick to learn that "she didn't do ovens." She had one of those see-thru canister vacs and she was constantly showing me the dirt extracted from my house. And the cat hair, oh my. She was always so proud of the amount of cat hair she collected. I was thinking to myself - that's a lot of cat hair. How much can one (or two) cats shed and still keep warm??

Well, much to my dismay, one day I realized that the fringe on my oriental rugs was getting shorter and shorter and shorter. I'm a little slow...the fringe was practically gone by the time it hit me that the collection of cat hair in her VC was my rug's fringe!!! We're small town here...there's no rug shop that replaces fringe. I guess I could forego some fabric purchases or online workshops or occasional stays in bed and breakfasts, to send these rugs to Dallas for repair. Well, on second thought, maybe not!

I made HuMAN do it....fire her.....I didn't have the heart. She really is a nice person - just a little to exuberant with her cleaning.

So, every now and then huMan decides that it's time to clean and the decision was made last night that this morning was the time. I haven't been to exercise in over a month. But, guess who went to exercise today! I thought a delay tactic was in order. Didn't work. It was so close to lunchtime by now...this diversion didn't work either. Madam cleaned house this afternoon.....all afternoon. Didn't break anything and picked up a minimal amount of cat hair. I guess it's winter, so not much shedding. Or, perhaps I forgot(?) to vacumn the sofa and chairs! I had altering photos on my mind!

And, I did have just enough time to layer and blend four pictures. My extracted garden angel was first blended with the mum. Then I added a stained concrete overlay. We have a stained concrete back patio. We were told in the workshop that layers and brushes could be made from anything. I took DJ at her word and bebopped outdoors to get pictures of my concrete patio floor. Now, back to my photoshop layers...on top of the concrete, I added an antique writing parchment. I was gonna add some writing but it's time to prepare his next meal so I'll (I hope) do that tomorrow.

I'm learning my lessons well...toodle.do.

Marilyn Monroe and Photoshop

Marilyn Monroe, if not one of the most beautiful actresses ever, then certainly one of the most photogenic. HuMAN likes to be gifted a wall calender each year for Christmas. I like to alternate between Marilyn, Corvettes, Harley motorcycles, old cars, airplanes, etc and etc.....Every decade, I'll start the rotation again. I, on the other hand, prefer calendars that feature cats, dogs, porches, old barns, lighthouses....well, you get the picture.

So, here's the story behind these four pictures....I took snapshots of a Marilyn calendar that featured her in the movie "Seven Year Itch"....great movie if you can catch it sometime. I continue to love to watch that movie. But, back to my story...after the snapshots were taken, I printed the pictures on fabric to use in some future project...future not here yet! So after learning how to blend and mask and overlay in DJ's workshop, I decided I'd alter some of my Marilyn pictures. Not wonderful....not bad either. More practice and playing and definitely more time is needed to find just the right blends.

Have a great weekend. We've actually had two days without rain! Somebody help me....I'm beginning to dry out!


Extracted Objects in Photoshop!

I've been extracting photos today. A new gimmick DJ showed us yesterday. I only got 'round to it today, but oh what fun. Here's the original butterfly in a flower background. And here is my extracted butterfly. Not perfect, but this was my first shot at this photoplay!

Here's my original garden angel.

And here she is extracted from her herb garden background.

Sorry, no time today to put these extractions into or on top of or around in or among other photos. Perhaps tomorrow. Well, of course, I'll show you when one is completed. I don't squirrel away my projects. They are out there front and center on this (my) blog. DJ Pettitt's "Memories and Manipulations" workshop has done wonders for my photoshop learning curve! I told her yesterday that this has definitely kept me off the street and out of bars!

Altered Photos

It only took me a total of 12 hours to get this photo altered. Am I getting my money's worth out of DJ's "Memories and Manipulations" workshop, or what?

I'm begging you....don't look closely at my moth's feelers. Looks like a mosquito got into one of them!! I'm having the time of my life....have had this photoshop dohickey installed for over a year and all I could do was brighen and crop. And here I am merging, masking, blending, removing background and more to layers of photos. Ok, that's workshop talk. Time for dinner...later.

Thread Painted Fabric Art Cards

Here's Molly............
Monday is just the best day of the week...well, that is next to Tuesday - Sunday!

I know it...I'm vain...can't help but do a double take when my work is highlighted on a creative friend's blog. Mr X Stitch just gave me the thrill of the day. "Molly" the latest in my series "Pretty Ladies in Smart Hats"
fabric art cards was featured. I love to free motion thread paint....never know the shape of the face or the size of the hat until I cut the thread and declare the "portrait" finished!

Here are a couple more of my favorite thread sketched beauties. Yes they are!
I call this one my "heritage contradicted" fabric art card. She's native American, but her name is Willie May.

And, my all time favorite.....Callie. I really don't know how I got the most serene look in her face and in the tilt of her head. Genius was at work that day!

Check out the number one cross stitch and embroidery pattern site "on the planet."

Tallgrass Prairie Studio: A Neighborhood to Help a Neighborhood

Tallgrass Prairie Studio: A Neighborhood to Help a Neighborhood

A Neighborhood To Help A Neighborhood

That's what Jacquie has made....three neighborhoods up for auction. Three of the most delightful neighborhood quilts are up for auction to raise money for the hurting in Haiti. Go to Tallgrass Prairie Studio and see what a great, fun idea she has come up with to help the cause.

I've bid on the green neighborhood. But there is also a pink and a blue neighborhood. It's up to you. Which one do you choose?

Another Altered Photo

"Breathing Room" in sepia tone with the grunge overlay.

HuMAN and I went to see the Sherlock Holmes movie yesterday. We always go to the matinee to get cheap seats! I loved the movie, but the very best part of it was the credits that followed. Each actor was first pictured and named in color, then the credit faded to sepia/grunge. Was a WOW factor. I told huMAN this was worth the $5 ticket just to see all these altered images. I'll bet those smarty pants in Hollywood have PHOTOSHOP on their computers!!

Grunge Brush - A good thing!

I'm just a hopskip&jump away from being a photo altering genius! Hey, Hey, what do you say? Don't take the grunge brush away!

Check out the birds I added. If only you could hear me now....I'm singing a sweet tune. Thanks DJ and all my wonderful friends in the Memories and Manipulations workshop.

Abstract Art Quilts

"Knee Britches" abstract art quilt

Knees and elbows are always patched!! That gives me an idea....I just might make an abstract art quilt "Elbow Patch." Stay tuned.

Abstract Art Quilts

"An Architect's Dream"

A big boost....thanks Dorothy Domingo, for including my abstract art quilt in your Etsy Treasury.

And more abstracts at MartysFiberMusings
"Mustard Seeds"

"Hold The Mustard...Please"


They all make sense to me! Have a happy hriday...I mean Friday!

A Free Commercial Break.....

I have truly not been a devoted blogger these past weeks. I do occasionally go in and see what you all have been doing though and you are not forgotten. I'm back briefly with my favorite TV commercial of the day, or month! Broadview Security (formerly Brinks, they told me in the commercial) has one or two or three running now. I know you've seen them!

Here's the one I saw this morning....woman and child or in the back garden playing. Big sneaky man is peaking through the fence at them. They go inside, she closes door (hopefully it locks itself 'cause she didn't lock it) and sets the alarm keypad. Then bam! big sneaky burly with hatred in eyes breaks the door down. Alarm sounds and big burly tiptoes off.

Phone rings...she says in her I'm-ready-for-a-long-conversation-voice "Hello". Broadview guy says in his I'm-ready-for-a-long-conversation-voice "I'm Bill and your alarm just went off. I'm just wondering if everything is okay?"

She.."No, someone just TRIED to break in."!!!!

Here's where I'm going with this...
If my door is laying on the floor, I don't think I would answer with a "hello". It would be more like a scream with panic built into it's tone. And I don't think someone just TRIED to break in...I think it would be more someone just BROKE in.
And I don't think if big mean snarly burly with hatred in his eyes is standing in my house an alarm would frighten him off!

Does this commercial give it's audience false security!

Complete instructions included....grab handle tightly, turn to flat side and start swinging. This may give you a defense until security guy quits chatting and calls 911 for you.

Now that I've relaxed my brain and given it more space, I'm going back to DJ's workshop to alter more photos. This has been a blast!

Another Little Piece of My Heart.....

Yes, you guessed it...I've completed another project in DJ Pettitt's "Memories and Manipulations" online altering photos workshop.

Cheers to me and I'll be right back at you!!

Memories and Manipulations

I mean to tell one and all.....I want a big shout out. Now, one two three....SHE DID IT, SHE DID IT. MARTY ALTERED A PHOTO IN PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS. Just took me six days to master this little tweeter, but isn't he or she just a little cutie!!

DJ Pettitt is to be commended. There are over 300 members in her online class and she hasn't murdered any of us YET! I'm still alive (I'm sure) because I live in Louisiana and she's in Oregon. Too far for a bullet to reach.

Some of my classmates are very advanced, but, thank goodness, I'm not the only beginner. I was beginning to think I was the biggest whiner in class, but today a couple of others stepped up to the whining plate. DJ just takes it all in stride. Not only is she talented, but also patient. Even if each of us asks one question a day, that's 300 questions she takes care of. But believe me she doesn't get off with just 300!

Now that I'm considering my progress, I WILL master the next exercise! That means I did a Danica Patrick...stamped my little foot and said I WILL! If you aren't an Indy Car follower....Danica has a bit of a temper. When she jumps out of her car and stamps her foot, that means the boys better move over. More to follow.

Are we having fun yet???

Photoshop Elements

I've neglected sharing my days. But then, nothing much has been happening in my days to share. I've been very busy...just have nothing to share for my efforts.

Being a goal-oriented type person really has its drawbacks. My goal this week was to learn more about Photoshop Elements. But, what I've learned is not at all what I wanted to learn. I wanted to learn how to use this complicated system. What I learned is that I cannot learn this system.

My spirit is not broken yet. Not only am I goal oriented....I am very tenacious. Can't give in to failure.....Will not give in to failure. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.....Yes I can!

Now, I'm back to PSE to see if I can figure out where my brain went brain-dead yesterday. Hope your day is full of joy and altered pictures.


A Fast Paced Weekend.....

"Sand Pebbles" an art quilt. (terrible picture...something I need to work on. SOON!)

Yes, I'm still here. The new year has started off being very, very busy. But, that's a good thing.

Had the usual black eye pea for luck on the 1st. I added cabbage and dearest added spinach for the green. We both could use a little more of it this year. I continue to be optimistic! Sewing and eating....that pretty much took care of Friday. Moving on to Saturday....

We drove over to Shreveport and picked up my new computer and my very own printer. Not that I mind sharing my toys with him (???) but this should help make both our lives a little more loving. It all started when I tried to add the Wacom graphic writing tablet to my old (I did say old) computer and learned that it was not compatible. Big decision, do I return my newest toy or do I upgrade to a newer one? Guess what rationale won out!

While there we visited Dearest's family cemetary and replaced faded flowers. Always a time to reflect on the lives gone before us, but, more importantly, what to do with the life we have. Then Sunday....

I've told you so many times that I get up early....I consider this my very own personal time. Dearest always sleeps in an hour or more. Well, now, I cannot say he always sleeps in. I can't say he bounced out, but he did get up with me. When I tried to push him back in bed, he mumbled that he couldn't sleep anyway...too much computer transfer stuff to do. It took all day! Don't ever believe it when a geek says nothing to it. There's is a lot to it and it isn't easy.

Most everything is done now except that I haven't been able to get my Flickr badge in an upright position. I'll work on that later today. But for now....this is my first post on my new computer. It was worth all the hard work.

Not pieced but patched

Not pieced but patched
Originally uploaded by Ann StewArt
I resolve to stay whimsical this year! This is a most delightful quilt design by Ann StewArt. Don't you agree! I couldn't resist sharing this fun quilt with you.

Happy New Year - I resolve to

Go for the gold.....but I'm still enjoying working with aqua and orange. No picture available yet but I resolve to get one posted really soon.

And red with white....lots of white!

And red with black....lots of black!

And red and black and white....lots of each!

A Freddy Moran quilt pattern. Well, its actually two of her patterns I combined. I used one of her patterns to make the houses, then another pattern to set each block on point and finish with the pieced 2" squares for the set-in triangles. Tedious to make? Yes!

And then there is pink and brown. Can't use this anywhere in my house (not my colors), but I do like this quilt. I really, really like this quilt. "At Piece With Time." Available at Marty's Fiber Musings.

Getting closer to gold - "Hold the Mustard....Please" a major mix of mustard color fabric put into one little collage. This is part of my art quilt series "Studies in Mustard."

And another one in the series - "Mustard Seeds"

So, how am I going to go for the gold when I have these other colors in my stash. I could buy gold....not hardly! All this leads me to my new year's resolution.

I resolve to stretch this year...venture outside my comfort zone. I think I should dye fabric. I could get the gold in there somewhere. I should do more fabric stamping. Yes, I could use lots of gold paint here.

But, I don't like resolutions. They can be such a monkey on one's back. Not that I don't need to change some of my habits....I really do. I won't even begin to go there...not enough space. So, I'm simply going to resolve to make the most of what I'm given this year.

Happy New Year Everyone. What a great year 2010 will be.