New Journal Designs: Part 2 - Victorian Christmas

A couple years ago I started getting back into digital collages. This is something that I did for fun when I was a teenager, and it's how I learned to use Photoshop. I've been accumulating antique illustrations for years and wanted to do something with them, so I made a set of scrapbook papers called "Victorian Christmas". I still sell them through my site and have every intention to make more scrapbooking designs, but other projects have kept me busy. I thought the papers would make nice journal covers, so I designed this set of journals using the papers. These are available through Amazon.com and all major booksellers, as well as some indie bookstores, although you will probably have to order it. Each journal is printed in the USA and they do pay me royalties on them so don't worry about that! Just click the images below to be taken to the Amazon page for the journal.

I'm still working with the printer to get a couple designs approved, so I'll post another blog entry with more journal designs later this week after we iron all the kinks out. To see all of my journals currently available on Amazon, click here.

New Journal Designs: Part 1!

This month I've been working on some way overdue journal designs. These journals are available through Amazon.com and can be ordered from major booksellers. Some indie booksellers actually get physical copies of these in stock, but most major bookstores don't keep them in stock, so you'll have to ask for it if you wish to buy one from your local bookstore. The pictures are links to the journal shown. Just click the picture to go right to the page on Amazon where you can order it directly from them.

Each journal is printed in the US and costs $12.99 when retailers are not running a sale.

There are several more journals still being processed by the printer, so I'll post more updates over the next week as new journals become available. You can also see all the other journals featuring my older art by clicking this link: CLICK HERE

Carpenter Bee

Over the summer we were visited by a number of carpenter bees. Most people think they're just pests that bore holes in your house. While it's true they've punched a few holes in my exterior trim, they also devoted their entire summer to pollinating my eggplants so I can't be too sour about them.

I don't actually mind them - they made a few holes, but then they reused those holes all summer. I think in the spring I'm going to put a couple of posts with pre-drilled holes in my garden and see if they take those over instead of eating the fascia on my porch. My patience and tolerance with them has paid off a few times. More than once they chased wasps away from where I was sitting on my porch, and the other day one kindly modeled for me.

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Okay - so he was caught off-guard by a cold snap and I discovered him half-dormant in the basil I was trying to harvest before the first killing frost. I moved him to a branch on my Chinese maple and then ran inside for my camera and snapped a few dozen pictures of him.

These pictures aren't perfectly in-focus. He was a big bee, but even a big bee is a small thing to photograph in a tangle of fringy maple leaves. Thankfully my new contacts have enabled me to seriously pursue photography again and I was able to manually adjust my camera, although I am a bit rusty from years of relying on auto-focus and being blind as a bat.

The photograph above was heavily processed to expose the glittering pollen clinging to his furry little legs. The photographs in this package are "raw" and the colors, exposure, and contrast have not been corrected. These photographs are for drawing or painting reference and are free for other artists to use.

I set the lens at different focal lengths so you can see the veins on his wings in one shot, the hair on his legs in another, pollen on his butt in another, etc.

Click here to download the .zip file

InkTober

Year after year, I've wanted to participate in InkTober, but not had the time. I vowed this year would be different. Somehow, between helping all my relatives move, school events, Halloween parties, costume making, and of course redesigning my site, working on paintings, and shipping orders, I would make the time to do InkTober every day.

Clearly, I'm insane.

I haven't managed to do it every day, but I still think I'm doing fairly well considering all the other things I also have to do! Here's three pieces I've finished so far, plus all the inked graphics on my new site design.

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These will all be available for sale later - I'll be auctioning 3 of my InkTober pieces towards the end of the month, and some will be included in my online show next month. I'll post more information about my online show later on!

Newsletter subscribers will get a free printable coloring page on Saturday, plus they'll be getting an exclusive show preview and early access to the paintings in the show. If you haven't joined the newsletter, there's no time like the present!