Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Collection

Today's post includes all the artworks I made this month.

This is Mishchief the original I drew on paper with my bic red and blue pens.

Mischief by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

This is Mischief after I enhanced in GIMP.

Mischief too by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

The effects are subtle.

This next before and after are very strikingly different.  Here I drew Sunny with my bic pens and colored pencils.

Sunny by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

Sunny becomes an icon after I used alien map in GIMP. 

Mary by ~ravensartshack on deviantART

I entered a contest Stockpocalypse and I felt it challenged me to become a story teller and try to imagine an event that could have changed many lives.  I wanted a message of hope and here are my two versions of a New Tribe.

A New Tribe Before and After Noon.

I made my first calendar. Hurray! You can flip through the pages online at my zazzle store
Source: via Ann on Pinterest

I drew Fay and Kelpie on paper and enhanced with alien map in GIMP to make this tee shirt.
Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Mary tee shirt.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

I even made a guitar out of a candy box and played music. :)

I hope you too have fun writing or creating stuff!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Contest: Stockapocalypse

I am excited by this contest because it encourages the visual artist to look outside of the form on the blank canvas to become a storyteller.  Take a moment and ask yourself the question: what if?  The contest involves the scary idea of apocalypse.  How did it happen?  If you enjoy drawing or manipulating photos you can still submit some art till October 5, 2012.  You must use one of the stock images provided and be a member which you can join for free.
I browsed the gallery and found images with zombies, alien invasion with varying shades or horror.
I was so inspired that I decided tell my story.

I made my New Tribe in two versions A New Tribe before and After Dawn where this family finds a plane and A New Tribe before and after Noon when they walk along a  train.  I drew the figures with airbrush while the sky I used cora balls brush.  I made them completely in GIMP.  The word "Air" I made with my own digital brush after I took pictures of the native sagebrush in my back yard. I made her armored bra with my digital brush which I made out of a sequin image.

A few years have passed since the incident that changed everyone's lives. Some say it was a polar shift that caused the pulse that shut down technology.  Many lives were affected.  A new tribe rose along with hope.
Elders often talked about the technology they missed, but they also explain how the event brought them together.  Some villagers moved to more fertile ground building yurts or earthbag homes, cooking with solar ovens and woodstove.  Curious to see what once flew in the sky or hauled cargo on tracks many make a pilgrimage to visit the mammoth sized vehicle covered in silence and shrubs.  A child smiles and imitates the flight of a plane which makes a poignant image in time.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Favorite Tee Shirts

Today I will be posting my thoughts and some flash fiction about my favorite wardrobe. These tee shirts are availabe on zazzle.

Gardeners Make Better Lovers
I designed this tank to be naughty for the image resembles a bandaid designed to highlight the feminine form.  A figure hides among the lush tropical flowers.  Her red lips offer a kiss to her lover, but he must find her first.

There's A Dragon In My Salad depicts a playful dragon wriggling in a green salad.  Kids sometimes pose a challenge for healthy eating habits.  "Mom, who told you I eat vegetables?"  The little buckaroo asked before inspecting a piece of lettuce. I remember growing up and wondering how many attempts till I learned to like carrot salad or brocolli.  Mom still has so much patience with me.  Thanks, mom.

If you would like to draw your own dragon with my paint software follow my link to
Draw A Baby Dragon tee

A Good Date tee shirt Star Date 2525  (a flash fiction about this tee shirt)
It had taken him about two hours to foil his hair for no dude would want to woo his date with naked hair.  Of course not.  The evning before he had gone to the gym to upgrade his calf muscles, not that he needed it, no. 
Today Ruby had her hair polished at the salon and it blazed like red satin.  The stylist threw a caveat at her feet.  "If you get caught in a plasma storm it might make your erect hairstyle prostrate.  Ruby mulled over the words.  The weather report suggested a small percentage of a plasma storm approaching the city limits. 
He came to pick her up at their first date.  He knocked on her shop door Everything Vintage circa 2050.  She dusted her funny little nick knacks.  "Let me get you your shawl."  His silk jacket whisked her bare shoulder.  They stepped one foot outside and got caught in the plasma storm.

Here is another version of my happy couple caught in a plasma storm available as a print.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest
All Natural tee depicts a green pony.
I wanted to design an image that reminds me of summer meets Autumn.  I made a pony out of flowers I captured in the grocery store.  What if a topiary became a horse?  I would expect it to enter a maze, throw a look over its shoulder as if to ask,"Will you join me?"

Blue Thunder
I was inspired by the wild Nevada horses when I designed this tee shirt, but mythology also played a part in the inspiration.  Odin's horse Slepnir was an eight legged horse that came from the sky. I envisioned a moment when a brooding sky grows battlship grey clouds that creep down the foothills.  Hot flash and thunderous reverberation release a herd of electric blue horses.  I could imagine the power unleashed and their hearts racing as they make their escape.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Candy Box Guitar Thoughts

You eat, bang it and pluck it.  What post consumer product is this? Answer: the candy box guitar.
What inspired you to make a candy box guitar video?  I had eaten some Mike and Ike candy and when it became 3/4 empty I discovered its musical possibilities.  I also enjoyed Good and Plenty and found the boxes had a slightly different set of notes when I hooked it up to my chromatic tuner.
What did you want to express in your video? I wanted to say you can make music with just a rubber band and an empty box. The simplicity and affordability of the instument does not make it any less fun.  Think about the possibities.  If you were stuck in an airport and had a rubber band and a candy box  you could make some music.  Your children could play their own candy box guitars as I did in this video.

Can you really play a candy box like a guitar?  Yes and some extra techniques you would not be able to do with a guitar.  The squeeze box method creates a ragtime sound when you place your thumb over one or two bands and squeeze.  The instrument forms a chord when you squeeze and release.  I have two candy boxes and I banged then together like I would a pair of erasers.  This bang method sounds like a drum with the added bonus of rubbing rubber bands together to strike random sequence of notes.  Plucking an open string produces a soothing bass sound.  I could slide my finger on the band and bend the notes.

Did you have fun making the video?
Yah, it was fun, but there were challenges. I recorded the video clips seperatly from the audio. Let's be honest, the video was not synchronized.  It took a while to set up the microphone and the audio equipment.  While I recorded I had fun and treated it as seriously as I would any instrument.  I focused on the techniques seperatly which I recorded in Audacity.  I transferred my samples to LMMS and and added effects and combined the audio tracks.  I tranferred my music back to Audacity and add  a few tracks to layer then converted it to an mp3 format.  I was amazed how many sound files I recorded to select a few for my tune.  If you would like to make your own candy box guitar you can visit my instructable for more tips.

What other post consumer items you have had a chance to work with?  Well, I collected a few empty tins which make decent shakers after I add some beads and shake it.  One of my large cookie tins makes makes an interesting drum giving it a bouncy resonance.  My windsor chair makes a decent cajon impression.  A cajon is a box that the drummer sits on and spanks with the palm of her hands.

Green horse apron
Green horse apron by RavenKing
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Book Review: Freelance Writing by Christine Rice

Freelance Writing; What To Expect In Your First Year As A Freelance Writer written by Christine Rice.  Ever wonder what it takes to become a freelance writer?  Christine Rice describes the steps from building a portfolio to ghostwriting. I am thrilled to be writing this book review.

When you embark on becoming a freelance writer you become your own boss.  Your goals include building a portfolio, polishing a resume.  Christine discusses online  publishing sites for your first articles.  Job search, free college courses and SEO  to make your writing more competitive and are discussed in this book.

Would I recommend this book?  Yes.  I learned many things including electronic signatures which include your URL and any contact information.  You might post your electronic signature in an email or forum post.  I would like to add that my blogging skills have improved since I have read Christine's book and I have increased pages views on my blog.  In Chapter Six the authoress explains that your blog is a way to market your writing  and how people will know you so get out there and write your blog at least once a week, but daily is better.  In chapter sixteen  she discusses the proper use of tags so readers can find your blog.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Freelance Writing earns a score of 5 stars out of 5.
You may find Freelance Writing; What To Expect You First Year As A Freelance Writer written by Christine Rice as well her other books: Essays For The Soul, Poetry For The Heart, My Not So Ordinary Life, An Autobiography.
Amazon  Smashwords  Lulu
Visit Chrisitne's blog

I asked Christine one question.  What is next in your writing goals?

My next writing goals for book writing are to publish Chronicles of a Troubled Girl in November 2012, Articles for the Mind in December 2012, and Freedom from Fat in May 2013.

Chronicles is a compilation of all of my journal entries from age 9 to age 30. At the moment I have one journal left to type up and then I will be finished with the first draft. It is really exciting, but I probably won't be able to continue working on it until after the end of the Freelance Writing Guide blog tour, which ends September 25th.

Articles will be a compilation of all the articles I published online as a freelance writer in 2011 (I will have gained back the rights to them all in December 2012, which is why I intend to publish the book that month). It fits into the same title theme as Poetry for the Heart and Essays for the Soul.

Freedom is a compilation of journal entries and blog posts during the most recent years of my weight loss journey. It will cover my dieting and exercising experiences from 2010-2013, which is a time when I have kept continuous track of my weight loss experiences. I plan to reach my goal weight by May 2013, which is when I will be publishing the book. Although, my true weight loss journey began in 2000, so I have a lot of knowledge and experience to share.

I also would like to write another book in the "Freelance Writing Guide" series. The next book might be about what can be expected during the second year of a freelance writing career :)

Besides the books I'm writing and publishing, I hope to increase my client base for my editing services, take on more ghostwriting assignments, and branch out to do client-based ghostwriting. I plan to continue writing book reviews and blogging.


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Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Trailer: The Broken Destiny

I spotted a fresh book trailer today: The Broken Destiny written by Carlyle Labuschagne.
The images are gorgeous and the sound is dramatic. 

Dreams Both Real And Strange

Dreams Both Real and Strange II written by K.W. McCabe is a collection of short stories in the fantasy genre.  Her stories have a dream like quality.

 Choices is a prequel to The Angel of Death.  Thomas is sick and tired of working for the Grim Reaper who taunts and belittles by him.  He knows the game of Choice is unfair because it lets people think they have more time and if they give the wrong answer they have to work for Death for an eternity.  His daughter has given birth and Thomas is forced to offer her the game of choice.  In order to save his daughter he must challenge Death and ask why Death chose him?

A young lady named Kara feels an unexplainable pull to the sea.  There is some tension between Kara and her mother.  What I liked about this quick read is the delicious irony Kara finds a suitor, but not one her mother expects.  After reading it I thought about it for a long while for it seems a reflection of life with differing outcomes than one expects.

Escape is a modern fantasy set in the hood where there is much suffering, shooting and dying.  The area is especially hostile to young women.  Aisha meets a stranger in the park.

Wraith Part II
This is a sequel to part I which was published in Dreams Both Real And Strange I.  Lena lived in fear all her life since she could make crops grow. Now she searches for her daughter.  The authoress explores the relationship between mother and daughter.

 Fairy Foibles is a tongue in cheek spin on Sleeping Beauty.  Three fairies, Dyna, Myrta and Flyrta attend the christening of Princess Rosalee.  The three fairies are charming and quick witted. They come to rescue Princess Rosalee after Grydela curses the baby to die on her fifteenth birthday.  The royalty gasp. What I like about this story is the more the fairies try to be helpful the deeper in trouble they find themselves.  They find themselves taking care of a charming baby while on the run.
I highly recommend Dreams Both Real and strange for it's exploration of parent and daughter relationships and the tensions involved as the daughter grows.  Why?  In growing up the daughter's desire to choose her own path some times conflicts with parental expectations and these issues are explored in landscape where magic and reason coexist.

You may find Dreams Both Real And Strange II here written by K.W. McCabe

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Poem: Too Many Kisses

Today I write a poem and an essay about this art.

Too Many Kisses
Is there really such a thing?
Baci from Perugina
Besos from Barcelona
Warm soft petal kisses
melting a tough
rocky road heart
to your granite
and I, your fresnal lens
collecting lumens
rock hard
ebb and flow
ebb and flow

Too Many Kisses by ~ravensartshack on deviantART
I am not sure what compelled me to make Too Many Kisses other than I had a kind muse.  I drew a bare bones of a sketch.  I took a photo with my nintendo dsi and used it as a sketch pad using only red and white colors.  It grew in GIMP and I added blue stripes.  I twisted my colors thinking about light traveling on my subject and the phsychological aspects to suggest movement.  I named my first image Red Hot Lips.  I wanted my image to grow.  The subject, a single pair of lips, was lonely and hungry.  I added four pairs of lips for a sense of symmetry in circle movement.  I also want to convey the sense of longing and the desire to return to that intial moment of pleasure.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Red Hot Lips mug
Red Hot Lips mug by RavenKing
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