Monday, February 28, 2011

"Before and After"

I finally finished adjusting the Celtic Mount Mat #1 that was too large to fit into a 8"x10" opening correctly.  In PhotoShop I learned how to cut out one part, reduce another part, and touch up using PS tools with the aid of a Wacom Tablet.

So, with no further ado's, here are the before and after prints .....



What do you think?
Karen Anne

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Wacom Pad To The Rescue!"

Remember that first Celtic Knot Mount Mat that I made, which was to large to fit in an 8x10 frame?  Well, a reader (Lise Winne, Hi Lise and thanks!) of my blog, told me how to reduce it without reducing the center square in PhotoShop!  I tried it out and was 75% successful, the other 25% I innovated on, but it is working!  I then decided I wanted to try and spiffy it up in PhotoShop and began trying my hand at using the erasure and pencils tools.  Working with the mouse proved to be quite tedious and cumbersome, when I remembered I had a Wacom Pad with a pencil that I could use?

I had purchased it about 4 years and was learning to use it when we acquired "Danny Boy" (our little miniature pinscher) to the family; during his puppy teething stage he chewed up about 6 inches of the Wacom pad cord, which was NOT removable!  With the cord chewed up and wire exposed, it no longer worked.  So I stuck it away, meaning to get it fixed at Wacom (in Vancouver, WA) and then completely forgot about it until today.  I was thinking this would be so much easier with a pencil, then I looked up and saw the Wacom pencil peacefully sitting on top of my computer cabinet, so I pulled out the Wacom pad and checked the wire, it didn't look that great, yet it didn't look that bad.  I wondered if perhaps a little electrician's tape might be a cure for what ailed it and decided to try.  Wrapped it tight, plugged it in, said a prayer to "God" and tried it out ... it works!  I popped back into PhotoShop and tried it out and WOW! was I delighted!  Magnifying the image up to 300% and using the Wacom pencil works wonders!  So much easier than the sloppy work I was getting from my mouse!  Now I am going to complete the entire project until I become proficient in using it (Wacom) to clean up various pieces of artwork.  I think it will definitely prove to be a life saver. 

I am slowly beginning to appreciate PhotoShop and learning how to use the various tools.  Sometimes I get stuck and the program locks up, but I figure if I keep on trying I'll eventually get it somewhat mastered.

Will share the finished results of this project once it is completed and then you can compare it to the original and let me know what you think.

Or ... maybe I'll be sharing the frustration of this project with you?  Hope not!

Thanks a bunch for listening and happy day to all!
Karen Anne

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"A Wee Bit O' Irish Cheer!"

St. Paddy's Day is just around the corner, may you be starting off right with a wee bit o' "Irish Cheer" in the charming company o' this spirited little leprechaun! 

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Five New ACEO's!"

I just love ACEO's!  When you have a little bit of time you can create a little piece of art.  An ACEO creation can be created just about anywhere, snuggling up on the couch, sitting in a car, camping, in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep, filling in time at a local art show .... they have to be an artist's best friend when one has only a bit of time and not enough energy to work on something larger.

That said, I have been squeezing in little ACEO's here and there for the past week and finally got them photographed and ready to list in my Etsy Shop later on this week.  In the meantime, I thought I'd take out a bit of time to share them with my friends.

"A Floral Knot"
"A Knot of Shamrocks"
"Three Tortoises" (already listed in my Etsy Shop)
"Mushrooms and Fern"

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and letting me share my artwork with you.
Karen Anne aka IrelandBrady

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Back In The Groove"

Hi everybody!

Well, it has been busy the past week or so.  Last week I was driving my sister back & forth for chemo treatments for a blood & bone marrow malady she is struggling through and I learned my friend in B.C. is being treated for her cancer weekly with her chemo treatments.  Our passports are in the works and should arrive sooner than later so we should be heading up north sometime in March!

In between taking my sis to her treatments I jumped into my own survival therapy ... art work!  First I designed what I thought would be a great mount mat for ACEO's in a celtic knot pattern.  I wanted it to fit into an 8"x10" frame so I measured carefully and laid out my pattern and began.  I finished it last Friday morning (2/18) and printed off my first copy and I was delighted with it!

Went to put it into an 8"x10" frame and, horror of horrors, it was a bit too large!  I had drawn it to exactly 8"x10" measurements, which when put into a frame obscures the outer edges because there is about an 1/8" ridge on a 8"x10" frame .... but I still like it, so here it is:
But, because I wasn't happy with the overall effect and I couldn't reduce because then the area where the ACEO is to be mounted reduces as well and then it doesn't look right.  So, not to be discouraged, I began a new plan of attack on a similar design with my drawing measurements being smaller, around 7"x9".  I just finished the new design today (2/21), putting in about 8 hours a day for the past 4 days, and I am really HAPPY with the results!  And it fits!  Yes!

Here, for your viewing enjoyment, is my "new and improved" B & W Celtic Knot Design Mount Mat for ACEO's......
Would love to hear how you like both versions and what you think of these pieces.  I will be posting the second version in My Etsy Shop later on this week.  First I have to take a few photographs of how it looks framed.
Karen Anne aka Ireland Brady

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"I Am Numb"

I met my bestest of friends in the entire world back in the early 1980's, up on the Queen Charlotte Islands (now known as Haida Gwaii).  She is a one in a million friend and we and our families have grown up with each other.  Who would have known that meeting someone in another country could bring so much joy, amusement, laughter and adventures to ones existence ... I sure didn't!  But it happened and I am so delighted and grateful that it did.

My dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 years ago.  She had the mastectomy, chemo, radiation and everything looked good!  HooRay!  Well, things were going good until a few weeks back.  Then she went in for an exam, learned "It" was back.  In her liver and probably in her bones .... no!

I found out today, from a mutual close friend, that her liver is basically destroyed and the cancer has most probably moved into her bones.  She had tried to tell me in a round about way, but I couldn't accept it, I realize now that I was in denial.  She told me her doctor's said that "it's quality of life vs. quantity of life" and asked me to come to her soon, in fact sooner than soon because she wants to enjoy our company while she is still "normal" and  before she is no longer able.

If she lived in the US it would be sooooo easy ... but she lives in British Columbia.   Our passports expired nearly 5 years ago ... we have the renewal process begun but what I want to ask now .... please, "Pray that the process for Jim & Karen works quickly!".... and please pray for quality of life and enjoyment for her.

When her husband died of cancer, we made about 9-10 trips up there to support them in their worst of times.  Please offer your prayers so that our passport renewals will take less than the 4-6 week process time so that we can go up to BC to support her.

Your prayers do count and work ...
Take care & God bless,
Karen Anne  

"Two More Flapper Cloche Hats"

Since St. Patrick's Day is approaching, I thought I first list the cloches in greens in My Etsy Shop.

The first one is pale green with a white carnation ....

and the second is mixed green yarns with a green carnation...

Happy St. Patrick's Day all!
Karen Anne aka IrelandBrady

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Celtic Knot Shamrock"

St. Patrick's Day is on its way and I thought now would be a good time to try my hand at some Celtic Knot designs. My first attempt at this beautiful style of art is a piece I have titled "Celtic Knot Shamrock".   I have the original ACEO as well as Open Edition ACEO art prints now available in My Etsy Shop.

I am going to try my hand at some more celtic knot designs and hope to be sharing them with you in the near future.  Wish me luck (of the Irish?) in my latest endeavors!

Your friend,
Karen Anne aka Ireland Brady

"Obsession? or knot?"

I found this adorable crochet pattern for a flapper cloche hat and made up a few dozen to give away to friends and family at Christmas time. I loved the webbed design in this hat and decided it needed a little something extra so I added a darling crocheted carnation (with a safety pin for easy removal) to the side. 

Since then I seem to have become obsessed with crocheting this particular hat with flower and in the evenings, when I am sitting back watching television, my hands just seem to have to be crocheting one after another. I now have more than enough for this coming Christmas and am still making more!

Finally, my husband pointed out that I have more hats than I need, especially if I keep on making them. Both he and my daughter (who loves her many hats) suggested I list them in My Etsy Shop and share them with others. So that is what I am now doing. 

No two hats are exactly alike since I do like variation (except for the pattern).

Happy Day!
Karen Anne aka IrelandBrady

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two more Zentangle Valentine's!

As Valentine Day rapidly approaches people search out a special card for that someone special. With an ACEO Valentine you can give a card that is also an art piece which can be framed and viewed with loving remembrance of that special day on which it was given. These Valentines are titled "Me + You = Us!" and "You + Me = We!". After all, Valentine's Day is really a celebration of a couples' love for each other. 

Happy Valentine Day to all the couples out there!
Karen Anne

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

An ACEO Zentangle Valentine "One True Love"

Valentine is quickly approaching and I decided to try my hand at an ACEO Valentine. It seems we meet many people in our live but there is only one who is really extra special in your life, so out of all the loves in one's life I present the "One True Love".

I was lucky enough to meet my "One True Love" and marry him 43 years this coming February 17th. We would have gotten married on Valentine's Day, but it fell on a Wednesday that week, in 1968, so we opted for Saturday the 17th ... figured people would show up for the wedding that way!

Please keep in mind that, because the drawing has been scanned to the computer, the image is considerably larger than the actual art piece. Therefore, you can not realize the delicacy of the line work and fine detail of the image as a result.

"One True Love"

A happy Valentine Day to one and all!
Karen Anne aka Ireland Brady