Saturday, August 30, 2008

Etsy Shop!

I cannot TELL you how many times I have been *nagged* to get this thing going... *grins* And I finally got the motivation (see yesterday's post, heh), plus a new set of skills. Much of what I'll be offering will be digital based! Not much up there yet, but it's a start... ! But here's my favorite:

Heather Taylor, Etsy Orchid Thank You Card

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ack! I need a job!

One of the websites that I take care of is looking for a new owner, and that's half my income per month (which is less than $100, heh). But I do need even that little bit of income... So, anybody know of any online leads? I could do occasional travel, but I need to be able to do most of the work from home... it could range from graphic design to low-level website work to teaching to writing. Just putting it out there!

And here are a couple of calming layouts from the past couple of days:

Heather Taylor, A Moment of Wonderful

Credits: Vinnie Pearce's new "Moments of Wonderful" kit for the background paper, the little corrugated heart, and the wordart. Other two "beads" from her "Thank You" kit. Font for the date: 1942 Report.

And from yesterday's walk:

Heather Taylor, Our Walk

Credits: Everything by 3 Pixel Chicks. Template is their "Buy Scraps In Bulk Edition" (Express Chick Out Lane). I also used 1 paper from the "Chick Your Grade" paper pack for the background, and 2 different papers from the "Hand-Battered Wheat" paper pack for the lettering and leaf (a great alpha that's included with the photo template).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hilarity Over Glitter (plus some natural beauty for your delectation)

Too funny, this poster by Because Studio (ganked from Design Is Mine):

Because Studio, Glitter Herpes

And here's the natural beauty, from our walk yesterday (oh, I do so pity myself that I have to look at such things so frequently ;):

Heather Taylor, Pelicans

(Credits: Frame by Jesse Edwards (Designer Digitals, Web Challenge 08-03-08). Font: Ebola.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just Playing Around: Ray Paper At Work

I had fun creating all the cute little elements (that owl cracks me up!), and then didn't know what to do with it all--but the ray paper really worked here! Man, that extraction of Allen took me forever--look at all the little places between the spokes of the wheel, both on the tricycle, and then in the shadow! Yeesh!

Credits: Everything mine (ray paper is Little Boy Rays from the Rays paper pack freebie), except for the little heart flair (pin), which is by Denise Liemert (Sunshine Studio Scraps, Mango Tango Freebie Kit). Font: Soupertrouper.

Heather Taylor, There He Goes

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rays Freebie

I've been noticing an increased incidence of sun-ray paper, recently--no doubt a take on retro. As I happened to find a tutorial on creating your own ray papers (at that makes use of the duplicate-and-transform-again method (alt+ctrl+shift+t), I thought I'd go ahead and share the results. Just in case you need more rays! [no longer available, sorry]

Heather Taylor, Rays Freebie Paper Pack


A layout to go with the freebie...

Heather Taylor, Ephemeral

Another wistful, melancholy one, I'm afraid: Allen climbing on Andrew's playset...

Credits: Papers, frame from my freebie mini-kit Mediterraneo; dots under the journaling and mask from my freebie DSO-Graffito kit. I also used 4 masks of Anna Aspnes (Designer Digitals, FloralArt 2 & 4). Fonts: Porcelain, Inked God, and Loved By The King. Journaling reads:

"ephemeral, these days
these days of sun and play
of endless talk and questions
these days of cautious experiments

today I see you; tomorrow I will see
only what I have chosen to keep
and I never know if my eyes
have been discerning enough

always time and fact slip away
and memories shine on
with the power of love

who can tell which is more true?"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Finally, a freebie!!

It's been so long since I had a chance to design some stuff... *phew* Not that I really had time, recently, but I -made- time, because I really needed to destress. So here are 6 beautiful watercolor-y Italian marble type papers, 1 tag, 1 long skinny frame, and 1 stone flower. For you, for free! [no longer available, sorry]

Heather T., Mediterraneo Freebie Digital Kit

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Morning

More new stuff from Vinnie Pearce... I just saw that deep blue the other morning, and thought that it might be nice to document why it is that I think it's such a great idea to wrest myself from bed every morning at 5:30 or after 5 hrs of sleep, whichever comes last...

All papers by Vinnie Pearce's new "Your Heart" freebie kit (I used 3 of 4). Fonts: Mechanical Fun and [ank*]. Journaling reads:

but briefly
for the dog
deep blue
of dawn's
sleepy eyes
barely awake
we cross
and I stare
at my art"

Heather Taylor, My Morning


I really had fun going back through these baby pictures...

Everything by 3 Pixel Chicks, with their Chick Chat template and the papers that come along with it. It was sooooo much fun going through these old pics! Font is Footlight MT -- appropriate, eh? ;)

Heather Taylor, My First Steps

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Moments Like These

Another opportunity for magic created by Vinnie Pearce... =) And oh, how I've needed the escape! One of my other jobs is a nightmare right now...

Credits: Papers by Vinnie Pearce (I Live For and Today Freebie Kits). Other elements by her, from those two kits and from her Thank You Freebie Kit: beige buttons, cool flower/shell-looking button, little paper heart, newspaper frame, and word art. Big frame by 3 Pixel Chicks (Hand Battered Frames). Button flower by Mindy Terasawa (Designer Digitals, Green Tea Kit). Metal button/brad by Anna Aspnes (DD, Fruehling Kit). Button heart by Michelle Coleman (Little Dreamer Designs, Lighter Shades of Pale 2).

Heather Taylor, Moments Like These

I've been having a lot of fun with all the stuff from 3 Pixel Chicks as well -- I feel like I'm at the candy store!

Heather Taylor, My Excuse for Pink

Everything from 3 Pixel Chicks. I reshaped their freebie July Card Template to fit the square format, then used their Spring Chick Paper Pack. Font: Auburn.

And finally...

Heather Taylor, We Have A Reader!

Credits: Layered Template by 3 Pixel Chicks ("Chicks With Class", coming soon). Font: Effloresce. Journalling reads: "Thank you, all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, and Daddy too, for all the reading you've always done with Allen. See? It pays off!"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Life From Stone

Just felt like playing around with layers--layers of meaning, layers of paper, meaning and paper all jumbled together. As for the photo, sometimes these small things just stop me in my tracks...

Credits: All Designer Digitals. Papers by Kellie Mize (Winter Surf Kit) and Lynn Grieveson (Nanyang Kit) (and one by me too). Clipping mask by Anna Aspnes (Mama Page Set). Frame for photo by Katie Pertiet (Simply Framed), other frame from her Krafty Frames No. 1. All tags and papers by Katie Pertiet as well (Curled Journal Spots 2 and 3, and Little Round Tabs). Font: Helena's Hand. Journalling reads:

"Can you imagine
a greater contrast:
green against gray,
soft against hard,
breeze-blown and still,
life from stone?
There is much to be said
about persistence,
and forgiveness,
and the strength that blooms
between them."

Heather Taylor, Life From Stone

Friday, August 8, 2008

Working With Shadows

This week's challenge at 2Peas is how to work with shadows. Kate Teague uses a method I haven't tried yet: duplicating the element, changing it to dark brown, then using the warp tool to drag it around until it looks right. Here's how I did mine:

Extract your element, then give it a drop shadow in the layers palette. Now, right-click on the little eye symbol on that layer, and choose "create layer". Now the shadow is on its own layer, and you can transform it any way you like! Ctrl+click on the thumbnail of the shadow so that the entire shadow is selected, then go to Edit-->Transform-->Perspective. You'll see a transform box come up, as usual, but when you approach the corners and mid-points, you'll see that your cursor changes to some different arrows. Play around with it a little, and you'll see the shadow elongate and get skinnier up on top, as if it were receding in the distance. You can apply the effect, and also go back and choose the Skew function, which will keep the same proportions, but move the shadow side to side or up and down, changing the slant of either the horizontal or vertical axis.

Once I'd finished messing around with mine (make sure the shadow originates with whatever touches the plane your object is sitting or standing on), I realized it was too dark, so I lowered the opacity and put some Gaussian blur on it. Et voilĂ !

Another option is to use the warp tool (Edit-->Transform-->Warp), especially if you want to move your shadow into curved shapes (perhaps you're following a bumpy surface, for example), so just pay attention to what your object's relationship is to its base and background.

Do click on the image for a larger version and to read the journaling...

Heather Taylor, The Giraffe's Dream

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

3 Pixel Chicks

Guess what? I'm on their Creative Team! I'm so excited to be on my first CT team. I hope to be on another soon, too, but that's not quite set up yet...

3 Pixel Chicks have a really extensive and fun set of papers and embellishments, as well as a cute alpha for back to school stuff, or, in our case, first day of school stuff! Here's a little card I made for their The Chick's In The Mail August Challenge:

Heather Taylor, School O Boy, O Boy!

It's coming up, I'm nervous... =) More nervous than he is, I bet! Credits: Everything from 3 Pixel Chicks. Card template for the August 08 challenge, papers from the Chick Your Grade Paper Pack, and most elements as well as the alpha from the Chick Your Grade embellishment pack (other doodles are from the card template).

Go check'em out--their prices are more than reasonable, too!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Photo Papers Freebie

Found a fun challenge over at make papers using public domain images (I used the 6 they suggested from It was a fun and challenging couple of hours, and here are the results [no longer available, sorry]:

Heather Taylor, Photo Papers Freebie

It's not as easy as you might think, especially as the initial photos are quite small (about 3x5 @ 300 dpi). Here are some close-ups:

Heather Taylor, Photo Papers Close-Up

I don't like all my solutions equally, but I'm pretty pleased overall... =)

In other news, my Ooh la la, Artsy! Shop! is going to be changing from an immediate download link to a simple paypal link, and I'll e-mail customers when I get notification of payment (or within 24 hrs). I know immediate gratification is expected nowadays, but since nobody's really shopping, I can't afford the fees for the service that generates those (e-junkies). I guess I don't have to worry about it too much, since nobody's shopping! =)

In other other news, I'm just now getting over a major bronchitis--courtesy of little Allen, who got sick from playing with little Andrew, who picked it up who knows where. Isn't sharing nice?

In the third other news, here's a recent layout that's full of peace, which I sorely needed this weekend (everything's mine, except for the button from Vinnie Pearce's Freebie Thank You Kit; fonts Distro Light & Father Nelson):

Heather Taylor, Our Path

Journaling reads:

sometimes this is life

the shore we are crossing to
is shrouded in fog
and the goal is yet up another
steep cliff
and even the path there
is slippery and wet
and mostly just cobbled together
and you’ll really have to
pay attention

if you don’t want the icy shock
of reality to soak through your shoes

but also

don’t forget to stop
and let the mist bless your hair
with its tiny moist sparkles
and marvel at how the beauty
flows together so well
and realize that you’re standing
right in the middle of it all

Interesting that I feel able to complement my poetry through this medium; in general I dislike movies made from books, for example, as I always feel my imagination is capable of generating far more intense visuals than film. In the case of poetry, however--as wide open as it can be to different interpretations--the photographs, as well as the specific choice of elements to accompany them, contribute towards a guided reading that more intimately suits my needs; the need to be understood, the need for empathy, the need for resonance.

Ok, ok, I'll stop with the high-falutin' analysis already. ;) Hope everybody's having a great weekend!