Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

 

The theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge is “From Lines to Patterns” (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/lines-patterns/).  Today we went to a pop-up sculpture garden in a nearby orchard called “Art in the Orchard” and had an amazing time.  (http://www.parkhillorchard.com/art)  I took this photo of a shed that was covered in mirrors on the outside and the inside was a huge, walk in pinhole camera obscura.  It was amazing.  I think this fits the theme with the lines on the reflected image from the seams of the mirrors (part of the cool part of the mirror panels was that they were all different sizes, seemingly “found mirrors”).  I took pictures of several of the little signs detailing info about the pieces and the artists, but am kicking myself for not getting this one.  All I can find about it on-line is that it’s called “Shed” by Maggie Nowinski (http://maggienowinski.com/)

Here are a couple of my favorites from this week’s collection:

Illuminating the Invisible posted a series of black and white photos from the Otago University campus and wrote about her experience in such a beautiful way: http://illuminatingtheinvisible24.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/from-lines-to-patterns/.

Women Who Think Too Much has a few, very different, entries.  One groups is of aerial photos, which I love.  This one is a pattern of palm branches and maybe some kind of starfish?  I can’t tell, but it’s beautiful (and reminiscent of a mandala).   http://womenwhothinktoomuch.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/weekly-photo-challenge-from-lines-to-patterns/

And these, from WryGrass, are of Fort Macon.  They really remind me of a fort that we had an amazing time exploring on our honeymoon in Puerto Rico (El Moro in Old San Juan).  I took several pictures with similar angles and viewpoints.  I love her perspective.  http://wrygrass.com/2013/09/21/weekly-photo-challenge-from-lines-to-patterns/

Hope you enjoy exploring some other photos from these week’s prompt.

Mandala Monday

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Happy Mandala Monday!  I stole some time away from dinner tonight (it’s actually Sunday, don’t tell) to work on this mandala before the sun set.  My boy’s a notoriously slow eater, so his other mom sat with him while I puttered in the garden clipping some of my beautifully blooming plants.  Here’s what I used:

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The marigolds are from a huge bush that I put in my garden to help ward off pests from the tomatoes, but it’s kind of taken over (it’s okay, though, it was in the corner with the cucumber and that’s done for the year).  I love how vibrant the orange is and I really love the way it looks with the purple.  And the vine is growing up the side of my back porch. I love the way they look, but I know they’re not at all good for the siding (which was pretty poorly constructed to begin with).  When I first tried to shape it for the outside of the mandala, it made a kind of a loose heart shape.

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Have a beautiful week!

 

 

Mandala Monday

ImageMy wife said she was going to throw away a bunch of old herbs in a set that I’d had for probably about 10 years- from back when I thought it would be fun to learn how to cook and then realized that it really wasn’t (not my cup o’ tea, apparently).  I hated to waste them all (like I hate to waste anything) so I saved a bunch of each to use for some to-be-determined project in the future.  But while I was consolidating them (and making room for other goodies in the other jars) I decided to do my mandala.

It was such a relaxing process.  My boy was playing in his room and my wife was out shopping, so I had the craftroom/playroom to myself.  The herbs still had some fragrance (but I could tell they were nowhere near what they should have been to make them usable in cooking).  I used a sleeve to an LP to keep the shape and kind of played around with a strip of cardboard and the mixture of green herbs until I got the foundation shape of the compass.

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In looking at the celery salt and noticing that the little shaker top was removable, I thought about using it as a kind of a stencil.  It worked perfectly!

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I put one of the caps from the jars in the center with some pretty paprika on top and a little mustard seed trinity and then I added some crushed red pepper around the outside of the larger circle and then around the cap.

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It was still looking sparse, so I added some more of the green herb mix along the NW, NE, SW, and SE directions.  Finally, I sprinkled some caraway seeds in the middle and was done.  The whole process only took me about half an hour, but it was so relaxing and mindful- exactly what working on a mandala should be.  I took the photo with my Instagram app and used the Lo-Fi filter.  I mostly liked the boarder on that one, but it also works well with the graininess of the herbs and spices.

The best part is that I now have 8 empty jars that I can clean out and use for other things and then I can add them back into my pretty spice rack with my “crafting spices”.  I wonder what I should use them for to make the most out of this newfound lovely storage.  I’ll try to remember to add a picture to this post when it’s all put back together.

Mandala Monday and a Stampotique Challenge card

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Happy Mandala Monday!  It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve made a mandala, and a busy couple weeks at that, but here’s my contribution for today.  I opened up my flower press today and look at the beauties!  I made my design on a piece of scrapbook paper with a doily-like edge and used Instagram to keep the square shape.

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Here’s a close-up of the center.  There are three leaves forming a kind of a Celtic knot shape with two flowers (back to back) on top and a stamen placed, askew, in the center.  I can’t wait to find permanent pieces to uses some of these flowers and leaves in.  They really dried beautifully.

The Challenge

And then I had to make a card for a good friend of mine who is celebrating 17 years of sobriety this week.  It’s an amazing accomplishment that deserves way more than a card, but that’s what she’s getting from me.  So, I checked out some challenges I’ve found recently and picked this one:  the  Scrapotique July Challenge with the “Recycle It” theme http://stampotiquedesignerschallenge.blogspot.com/2013/07/sdc107-recycle-it.html

Here’s my contribution:

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Basically, this theme was created for me.  As you may have noticed, I hate throwing anything away if I think I can use it sometime in the future, especially as something other than what it was originally intended.  For the background, I used a couple of gel pens that I never could get to write very well, cracked them open, and dumped the ink on the card.  I used the pen liner to blow, stamp, scratch, roll, and otherwise manipulate the ink.  It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the ink has a little bit of glitter in it which gives it a beautiful sheen.  I’m so glad I didn’t throw them away!

Then, because it’s a stamping blog challenge, I stamped it up.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any stamps from the Stampotique Originals collection yet (and I mean “yet”), but they’ve opened up their rules to no longer require that you use their stamps yet.  Trust me, though, it will just be a matter of time before I get some.  Their shop is amazing:  http://www.stampotique.com/.  The coolest part is that they work with many different designers so there’s a really wide variety of styles from which to choose- from cute emo chicks to abstract graphic designs.  And the competition for this challenge is stiff.  There are some amazing cards and mixed media pieces from not only the design team but in the submissions.  You have to check it out.

I used a number stamp with black “Distress Ink” and then a yellow ink pad a few times on top.  Then I used the diamond pattern for a kind of a frame.  I stamped the number “seventeen” on a burlap sticker and then stamped the message on the inside.  The inside stamping is pretty messy, partially to match the messiness of the cover and partially because I haven’t gotten really good at lining up the wood block stamps I have yet.  I hope she likes it.

Mandala Monday (with a little Macro Monday for good measure)

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It was only in the high 80s tonight, so I worked on my mandala outside. I let some of my greens go to seed (oops) so I decided to use some of them for my mandala. My lily is full of blooms that are all about a day away from wilting, so I was willing to pick one of them, too. I took a few stones from my rock garden and here you have it:

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While I was working, a cute little pincher bug crawled up onto one of my lettuce leaves. He just kind of hung out with me for a while. And I love the close-up of the lily. ImageImage

When I was done, I just tossed the salad into my yard. I’m not sure what the dogs thought about it (I think it was too bitter even for them). Next time I mow it will just get mulched up with the clippings. The circle of life.IMG_6884 IMG_6883

My two favorite Mandala bloggers both had beautiful offerings this week. They almost make me look forward to Mondays (almost).

http://girlunwinding.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/mandala-mondayhoneycomb-mandala/ – I love Dawn’s detail and precision. I could really get lost in her mandalas (which is, I guess, the point).

http://bitze.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/mandala-monday-make-mine-a-double/ – Patty’s mandalas are much more soft and pretty. I also love the way she uses linens and china in the staging.

Mandala Monday- Best laid plans

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Happy Mandala Monday!  Just like I’d decided, I started my mandala on Sunday this week.  I actually cut one of my beautiful lilies (they die so fast anyway) and some flowers from giant hostas in my front yard.  I collected some blueberries and “mystery berries” from a bush that seems to be growing out of one of my blueberry bushes (I actually have to find out what that plant is because I’m debating whether or not to cut it down to save the blueberries or let it continue to grow).  Here it is, in case anyone has any ideas:

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So, I got my berries and buds inside and was thinking of using a plate as a background, like in this beautiful mandala post from Patty:

http://bitze.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/wet-july-mandala-monday/

I was starting to think about an arrangement when a little friend crawled out from inside my lily.  Now, I could have kept thinking and arranging, but I was in our bedroom and had this terrible vision of the bug flying around all night keeping us awake and my wife begging me to kill it.  (I’ve been doing all my work in the bedroom this week because the temperatures have been in the 90s and it’s the only room with air conditioning.)  I quickly scooped up the flower and brought it outside to try to free my new friends (there were actually a couple in there).  The mosquitos started eating me alive and those little buggers just didn’t want to abandon ship, so I gave up and left them, and the flower, outside.

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That left me with just the hosta flowers and the berries, so I made a simple design and called it a night.

I woke up the next morning, Monday, and was thinking what I could do with my mandala- print it and draw something in the center, try to recreate it, start over from scratch.  I had to drive to the eastern part of the state to go to the funeral of my pastor’s wife’s father, and I thought about my little empty mandala on and off for a lot of the trip.  It was a beautiful drive and I was able to stream Pandora on my phone the whole time (not always possible driving through some of the more remote areas).  As I was leaving the funeral, I saw this beautiful Peace Pole outside the church and knew at once how to complete my mandala.  They have always moved me, and today’s was no exception.

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So, here’s my offering:

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I’m wishing peace and comfort to my pastor and his family; peace and comfort to us all.

Mandala Monday and Rainbow ICADs

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Another busy Monday and electronic Mandala.  I did have the foresight to take pictures of some beautiful flowers blooming in my garden before work (and before the torrential rain).  (Oh, and this isn’t being uploaded until Tuesday because of said torrential rain and nearby tornado knocking out the internet.)  I couldn’t have brought myself to cut them to make a 3D mandala, anyway.  I used my handy dandy iPhone and PicCollage app to play with the focus, crop, and arrange them.  The one in the center is from a bulb I planted a little too late last fall (I was afraid).  It grew and bloomed magnificently this Spring, though.  (Of the 60 bulbs I planted, only about 10 came up, but they’re totally worth it.)  This flower took my breath away when I opened my door this morning.

One of the prompts for Daisy Yellow’s ICAD last week was “rainbow” so I couldn’t resist using it as much as possible.  I made my first rainbow card last week in celebration of the overturning of parts of DOMA, but it was a quickie and certainly didn’t do the rainbow prompt justice.  Here’s the link to her challenge:  http://daisyyellowart.com/icad/

I also started posting all my cards on Flickr.  Tammy, from Daisy Yellow, made some great theme-based collages with some cards from the first month so I’m hoping she’ll pick one of mine if she does it in July.  Here’s the link to her Flickr page:  http://www.flickr.com/groups/daisyyellow/pool

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I tried this background using a leftover piece of wire fencing I used for my chair planter.  I put it under a card and rubbed over it.  Unfortunately, I got too ambitions and tried to used too many colors (to go with the rainbow theme).  It ended up getting really muddled.  The quote was nice, so I experimented with a few different scripts.  I did a couple others with the crayon rubbing technique and only one or two colors and those came out much better (keep an eye out for them in future cards!).

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I rather like this one.  It’s a simple magazine page collage with a quote written on a cut-up card stitched on.  The quote is from “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough”, one of my favorite choreo-poems that was also made into a pretty great movie.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for looking.