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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 ūüėČ

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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Duck, Turtle, & Koi

In 2004, I celebrated my 40th birthday with friends and family with a day of festivities at the Seattle Arboretum, the Japanese Garden and finished with dinner at the Queen Anne Sam’s Sushi.

Today’s photo is one of from the pond at the Japanese Garden. The flowers and critters were out in full force that day.

This photo was cropped and color enhanced in the Gimp.


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26 Minutes to Armageddon

Back in 2004, I was working in the South Lake Union area. ¬†Bus commuting from the South Slope of Queen Anne to South Lake Union was ridic (and still is).¬†I won’t go into the silliness of that and leave it as I tried walking to work for a while. ¬†I took the digital camera I had, a Powershot S50.

I like graffiti.  Not tagging mind you, which makes me want to run out, buy spray paint, and tangle around it.

There was someone going around Seattle at this time, spraying small bits of graffiti art. All unsigned, so I attribute it to that most prolific artist: Anonymous.

26 Minutes to Armageddon

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Old Brick Building

Back in 2005, I was a techie/designer with Open Circle Theater.  When the theater was located in the Lake Union area. Back then, that neighborhood was a pretty run-down, semi-industrial area.  The biggest draws were Fred Hutch, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and the Museum of Wooden Boats. Long before the industrial buildings were knocked down for Amazon, the Slut, random biotech firms, etc.

This photo was taken with my Canon Powershot S50 using the black and white setting. The building was next door to the theater. This view is from the alley behind the building. Yes, those are trees growing out of the brick work.

I did 3 layers with this image to deepen the blacks and to sharpen to overall image, layered over the original.


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Atomic Laundry

In 2011, I accompanied my mom to Pasco, WA for total knee replacement surgery. Mom was out for a while post-surgery, so I wandered around the neighborhood with my Canon Rebel.  It was a cloudless October morning. Pasco is part of the Tri-Cities area and is near the Hanford Nuclear plant, so there are lots of atomic-themed shops.

This photo needed minimal processing. I cropped and added a color enhance layer. The sky was fairly blue, but the color enhance pass deepened the ombre look.

Mom’s surgery went very well.


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Hummingbird Nest

Hi ho friends. ¬†I know the posts have been sporadic of late, I’ve been fiddling¬†with the look of this site. ¬†The design upgrade reminded me of¬†a project I’ve had on the back burner for far too long: re-organizing my files. I’ve owned cameras since 1982 and my first digital camera was a gift from Mr. Thompson in 2002. ¬†You’d think that for all the years I’ve taken photographs, that I’d have some brilliant filing scheme. ¬†Oddly enough, I apply my vast organizing skills at work and get home and, well, it’s the last task on the chore list.

It was scanning my paintings and converting them to art prints that finally pushed me over the edge.  Virtually speaking, my files were strewn everywhere.  Duplicates abounded. As with most tedious chores, I put it off as long as humanly possible.

Truthfully, though, I got as far as Stage 1: getting files into a system. I’ve chosen to group by year. ¬†Stage 2 is to make sure files have a name rather than the Canon file convention of IMG_number. ¬†Stage 1 took just long enough that Stage 2 will happen in a month or so. Stage 3 will getting my 35 mm negatives scanned and cataloged.

More photos than I expected had names.  Unfortunately, a large batch of them were taken with my circa 2002 Canon PowerShot S50, which took photos at a whopping 4 megapixels!

I haven’t run prints¬†but I can’t image the images from era will end up as stand alone photo prints. I can see using parts in photo collages, brushes, and filters. The other benefit to this file clean-up is I can reboot¬†my From the Archives series.

First up, this charming humming nest image from 2004. ¬†The original photo was taken by my Powershot, at night. ¬†We were visiting our friends Pat & Lisa one evening. Lisa mentioned the nest and I naturally grabbed my camera to capture it. Using¬†the flash, I knew I’d get only one chance to capture the bird. I’m surprised the photo came out as clear as it did.

The original photo is pretty standard. I cropped it because the bird was so close to the left edge of the frame.  My current process is to work in layers, flatten the final image and export it to jpg for posting. For this photo, I used color enhance, neon, a layer using the airbrush tool and made blobs of green, pink, orange, and white.

I will start¬†a new¬†series soon called Unfinished Paintings, or UFP. ¬†I have a stack of 9×12 watercolor paintings that are in various stages of completion. I’m hoping that scanning and editing the images, plus a post about them will get the creative juices flowing.

What’s on your work table? ¬†Leave a comment and link to your latest project. I’d love to see what you’re up to.

Happy creating!

Hummingbird next @ night
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Women’s March 2017

Hi Ho friends. ¬†I admire people who protest, but it’s not for me. ¬†I have a severe aversion to crowds. ¬†Today’s protest in Seattle had over 120,000 women. ¬†I may be too freaked out by crowds to march, but I still want to show my support and voice my opinion, so I created this gal, who I will call Luci the Virtual Protester.

I used 9″x12″ Canson Marker paper and sketched her in pencil. I colored her with Tombow and Auqa Markers. ¬†I tried blending with one of my water brushes. I don’t recommend it on marker paper – it pills the paper rather badly. ¬†I switched to my Aqua Marker blender, which worked better, but the paper still pulled in toward the center.


I scanned this gal on my Epson flatbed scanner @ 300 dpi and as a .tiff file.  Edited in the GIMP.  As I learned from Tam in her digital dreams class, I create new layers for each adjustment and leave the original layer intact.  The background was done as digital layers using the air brush tool and different default brushes in blues, greens and purples. I adjusted the size way up to 300.  I added a handwriting layer and used the ink brush as the smallest setting.  The writing was black Р I selected the Overlay layer mode. Overall, this is quite a lighter color palette than I normally use, but I really enjoyed making Luci.

Cropped it down to 4:5 ration so it would print as an 8×10.

The my-body-my-choice-tenukihandcrafts is a pdf file.

In case you’re wondering, that’s what the L stands for.

While Luci is not the first piece of political art I’ve created, she is the first released to the world.

You don’t have to hit the streets to make your voice heard. Be yourself.

Much love to you, my friends.

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Digital Photo Madness

Originally published on my blogger blog on 07/17/14. Moved here as part of the 2016 Blog Thread Separation project.

I picked up several Stampington publications with their recent sale, including the Spring 2012 Somerset Digital Studio. I stopped on page 22, with Susan Tuttle’s article on iPhonography.

Needless to say, I have gone quite mad playing with various apps. Here are a few of my creations, featuring my Dollshe Bernard, Ethan. His faceup and outfit are by me. Expect more of this sort of thing.

I used Aviary and Pixl-r-matic to edit these images.

Happy crafting.


digitizedginger imhound lysander

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September Moonrise

Hi ho lovelies.

I’ve been pretty good for the past couple months of scheduling weekly fresh posts. ¬†My next blog goal is to refine by¬†type of posts (my current classes, planner updates, photography, etc.) on a regular schedule. ¬†I just need an afternoon to sit down with the planner and plot it out – I probably should schedule that ūüėČ

Here is an edited (and hopefully improved) version of the sunset and moon rise photo I posted on 9/13.  The image was shot with my cell phone and enhanced in Gimp with filters and blurring on the two figures.


I’m¬†already dreaming of blog plans¬†for 2017, so if there is something specific you’d like to see more of, please leave a comment.

Happy fall (or spring, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!)

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Rin & Soah

Hi ho, my lovelies.

Looking through my doll photos recently, I found an old favorite. ¬†It’s a sweet photo of two of my smiling dolls: B&G Rin, called Hiro and Elfdoll Smiling Soah, called Ginger.

When I first got into the bjd world, I wasn’t very interested in editing a photo to make the dolls look more real by smudging out the joints. ¬†I mention it because I also didn’t have the skillset to made other corrections, like “erase” stray hairs, fix cracks in the face-up, and what have you.

However, I’m beginning to use my doll photos in my mixed media art and leveled up my GIMP skills, so editing the doll photos opens up some new art possibilities. Tonight, I spent as much time as I had patience for tonight fixing Hiro’s hair by smudging it out. ¬† His wig has always been a flyaway mess. I took about a billion photos before I read S Dink’s trick for wigs: she spritzes them with water. ¬†Brilliant. ¬†I’ll have to try it during my next shoot.

Anywho, this photo involves four layers: plasma, my own boccea type filter, and 2 copies of the photo Рthe original and a version that I Oilified, Clothified, and Cartooned.  I fiddled with adjusting the layers, flattened it and here it is.


I may be sharing a table with a co-worker for the Swedish Arts Bazaar, if the stars line up and the group organizing it puts us down for a 6′ table. ¬†Stay tuned for deets.

Happy creating!