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WIP scalloped assemblage

Hi art friends,

The assemblage art continues as I work on incorporating this style into my art.  You may recall from a couple posts ago, that I edited this image in digiKam for use in my digital photo collages.

Here is the actual work at the stage where I glued down all the elements and waited for it to dry before I coated it with white gesso.

The elements for this piece includes beads, buttons, a old key, sequins, string, paper die cuts from my Cricut machine and other random stuff from my arts and crafts stashes. I also used my Creative Paperclay and a silicon mold from Prima Marketing. I’ve made several of these elements and really like they way they add to an assemblage piece. You see more in future posts.

It’s a fun, spontaneous and messy process – I love it.

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Ello on driftwood

Hi art friends.

The Gimp experiments continue.  One of the books Sebastian Michaels recommends in the Photoshop Artistry Grunge class is “Photocraft: creative mixed media and digital approaches to transforming your photographs,” by Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck. It’s a terrific book with photography tips, Photoshop recipes, and mixed media projects.

Today’s post is one my favorite experiments with the Cross Processed recipe on page 76. In addition, I added a Gaussian blur layer (blue set to 20; IR method) with the layer was set to Multiply and opacity set to 42.


The doll is Wilde Imagination’s, Adrift Ellowynne, wearing most of her original outfit. The photo was taken at Canon Beach, Oregon. Since the cross processed effect works well with this photos, I’ll try it on the other photos I took that weekend. More cross processed photos to come.

What new technique have you tried recently.  Leave a comment. I’d love to know what you’re working on.

Happy creating!

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Life Book Week 7

Hi art friends,

The main lesson for Week 7 was with Wyanne Thompson, who works in giant wax paintings. Very cool, but it is not even remotely practical for me to have a large hot table in my studio. This is one of the few lessons where I watched all the videos because Wyanne’s work is gorgeous and I enjoyed watching the evolution of her piece.

As I watched, I wondered if I could get something similar-ish using my gel plate. My plate is roughly the same size as my Leuchturm journal, so I threw on some acrylic paints and made portraits of my beloved and myself. They are very loose and sketchy, but I like the way they turned out.


Have you watched someone work then figure out how to achieve that technique using the tools and supplies you have on hand?  Leave a comment and tell me about it.

Happy arting!

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Hi art friends.

I’m still processing the Sebastian Michael’s Photoshop Artistry Grunge class. I’ve reached the stage where I watch a video; figure out how to do the same moves in Gimp, then incorporate the lesson into several composite images. This is one of the images.

The doll is Rose, my Dollmore Youth Eve Lilis Liv (head) Special edition and Glorydoll body. Wig by Luts, outfit by me.

The original photo of Rose was taken in my studio; the stuff on the left side of the frame always bothered me, so my layers were chosen to minimize that stuff.

There are 3 photos in this image: Rose, a photo of the ceiling at the Rebar from a theatrical production of “The Ritz” and a photo of blue sky with clouds. All images are my own.

The Rose layer mode is Normal.

The cloud layer is set to Multiple with a layer mask set to white (full transparency) with one of the Gimp default brushes (very fuzzy circle), normal opacity, size 215, used to remove some of the cloud layer located unattractively on Rose’s face. Some of the blue remains on her cheek – not sure why. I don’t see it in the Gimp file, so perhaps it is because I didn’t flatten the layer before I saved it for this post? The experiments continue.

The Ritz photo was a ceiling filled with paper lanterns against the black ceiling of the Rebar (the name of the photo is: “Ritzy balls”). It is the most edited of the layers. Levels and Curves were adjusted to increase the contrast and increase the darks in order to hide the ceiling electrics. Next, I applied the Soft Glow filter at the default filter settings; a Gaussian Blur Radius to 20 and IR Blur Method. The layer mode is Screen and Opacity set to 20.


Here is the original, unedited photo of Rose.


Working on these composite photos, I’ve noticed that my photos are looking more and more like my mixed media art: complex imagery, a lot of layers, I’m adding more and more little details to examine, and low contrast.

I’m really enjoying this class, although with over 200 lessons, it’s going to take me a very long time to work through the entire class.  I’m enjoying how my photos and mixed media art are beginning to merge into my style. Stay tuned for more composite photos.  It is going somewhere; I just am not ready to say where.

Happy creating!


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Playing with digiKam

Hi art friends,

In working toward my goal of regular posts here at Tenukihandcrafts, I’m writing this post on March 24th, but you’re seeing it several weeks later.

It’s kind of timey-wimey, init?

About 2 weeks ago (from the post date), I signed up for Sebastian Michael’s Photoshop Artistry Grunge class. In Module 3, he talks about how he uses Light Room, which I don’t have because here at Tenukihandcrafts, we’re Open Source.

As I’ve mentioned in any number of previous posts, I use the Gimp for photo manipulation. I use digiKam for downloading images from my various photo cards. There was a period where digiKam would not transfer images directly from my devices, so I got in the habit of removing the card.

But I digress.

My alternative to Light Room

The point is, after watching Sebastian’s video on how he uses Light Room, I thought I’d play around with digiKam’s basic photo editing features and see what I can do with my images before I open in them in the Gimp.

It turns out my random pick of digiKam was a good choice. According to a brief interweb search for Open Source alternatives to Light Room, digiKam has the most features. Score!

How I’m using digiKam

As previously mentioned, I use it to import my Canon raw photos onto my laptop. It has been a handy way to organize my photos, although I admit that I’m still trying to figure out the best way to sort them for using them in my art. Now that I’m getting further into photomanipulation, I’m feeling the need to re-evaluated my filing system.

But not today. That would be procrastination.

I liked the results I got using Curves and Brightness/Contrast/Gamma.  I prefer the way Levels in Gimp works – you get a mid-range slider that digiKam does not offer. It’s warrants additional experimentation, though.

I liked the Color Effects, particularly the Instant Photo filter. Didn’t like the Frames. Text is handy for adding a watermark.

My main complaint with digiKam is it seems to lock up quite a bit, so I need to check the memory setting. Perhaps bumping that up will help.

Here are a few of the photos I edited using only digiKam.

This first photo was a selfie I took as homework for Vivienne McMaster’s class, Be Your Own Beloved. I adjusted the curves, added a moss filter, gave is an edges blue. While I still am not excited about photos of me, this class got me to like such photos…a bit. This is one of my favorite selfies. It might be the successful pin curl wet set 😉

The second and third photos are of assemblage-style mixed media works in progress, as part of my infatuation with the Finnabair style art. Having experimented quite heavily with Gimp and photo layering, I want to incorporate these as either backgrounds or overlays.

The photo with the lace pieces was processed with just a curves adjustment. It already has great color and texture. The third photo I applied the Blue Crush filter then dialed down the effect.

What on your work table, virtual or otherwise?  Leave a comment and link; I’d love to see what you’re up to.

Happy creating!

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Under a flower

Hi ho friends.

I’m digging into the photo archives for one of my favorite photos from Hollyhock, the remote hippy retreat destination on Cortes Island, British Columbia.

The location is gorgeous, situated between Vancouver Island and the mainland. This particular summer was spectacular and I took about a zillion photos of the Hollyhock garden.

This trip took place when I was using my old Canon Powershot, with a whopping 4 megapixels.



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Life Book Week 9

Hi ho friends.

Life Book Week 9 had 2 lessons.  This post is about the mini lesson with Effy Wild. I’m familiar with Effy’s style, so I downloaded and reviewed the pdf and remembered that I’d painted over some journaling.  This lesson was a great way to make use of the background.

I mixed some gold mica flakes with Finnabair gold mica power and smeared the mixture around the pages with a palette knife.

The flowers were drawn with Pitt big brush pens.  I used Finnabair soft gel to glue down the tissue paper with the words written in Pitt pens.

I enjoyed this lesson and I like the way these pages turned out. It reminded me of one of Effy’s previous Life Book lessons, which I also enjoyed.

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Life Book Week 7

Hi ho, friends.

Life Book Week 7 had 2 lessons.  This post is about Tam’s mini lesson, featuring a quirky bird.  I loved her Quirky Birds lesson from Life Book 2014 and had a lot of fun with this one.

I watched some of this lesson.  This week was in the middle of Noir City, so once inspiration hit, I got to work.

I’m working these lessons in my Leuchterm bullet journal, which is my planner and diary.  I’ve been journaling since collage, but it wasn’t until I found mixed media art that I realized I could just paint over journal entries that I don’t want read.

Such journaling is the background of this page.  I Golden white gesso mixed with a little bit of Golden Teal acrylic and fluid Quin Magenta, using a palette knife that has a pattern on one side of the blade and if flat on the other.

The bird itself was rendered in Pitt Big Brush pens. I really like the way this page turned out.

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Life Book Week 6

Hi ho friends.

Life Book Week 6 is a main lesson with Tam.  I love Tam and her videos, but there were 2 hours of video and I had to get my household chores done in preparation for Noir City 2018 the following week, so my time was limited.  I watched her intro video and about half of the first video and got an idea.

I wanted to work with Dylusions sprays and more of the textured stencil designs.  I used London Blue and Bubble Gum pink.  Once the inks were dry, I pushed some modeling paste through the doily-flower stencil and some heavy gel through the smaller flower stencil. I let the gels dry overnight.

When I came back the next day, I found the inks had reactivated a bit with the modelling paste and partially colored the paste.  I really liked how some of the paste was colored and some wasn’t, giving me some contrast. I added a bit more of the blue and pink sprays and added my gal. I hadn’t made a 3/4 face in a while, so it was a nice refresher.

I’m pretty happy with these pages.