Hello and welcome to Blue House Studio's blog. Keep up to date on the goings on in my world of art and teaching! Also check out my art and photography that will be posted often!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday!

Cooking for Fun

Good Tuesday morning!  I was a bit under the weather yesterday....stomach flu is going around school and both my hubby and I got it!  Last night we were visited by 2 cute puppies.....Monkey was a little scared at first, but after that she want to drag them around my their little necks.......but I forgot my memory card at home so those won't be my sweet shot today. So....today's sweet shot is going to one I took for MCP Project 52, but its not the one that I put in the group.  I still really love it I use one of Nelly's Sweet Actions to make it look a bit retro.  My Monkey's kitchen center has some retro colors on it.  Check out my Flickr stream at the bottom of the page to see more from Just for Fun! 

Monday, March 28, 2011


So the Good to Wow theme this week is GREEN! Of course I think of spring when I hear green, but spring has sprung in NE Iowa yet so a plan B was put into action.  My Monkey's blanket is bright green, she loves it.  My sister got it for her before she was born, $1 at Target, drags it around the house with her everywhere.  Enjoy! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nelly Nero's Actions


First of all..... Thank you for all the great comments, my art "teacher's eye"helps me with my crops, of course I crop about 3 or 4 different ways before I actually decide on which one I am going to use. 
One of the reasons I love doing challenges is going to the other blogs and checking out the wonderful photography added by different photographers.  When you do that you also get invaluable resources, blogs that have tutorials, presets or my favorite ACTIONS!!!!  While checking out Now to Wow photos on Jill Samter's website I ran across and wonderful action used on a flower photo, it than led me to flickr where I got so download Nelly Nero's wonderful actions.  As of right now, I have only downloaded one of her sets, but it was HUGE!!!!  Tons, Tons, Tons of actions and they are WONDERFUL!!!!  If you read my Now to Wow post you can see my flower photos! So mt favorite photo got a 5 second reedit and I think it is wonderful.

My Digital Camera Class

So, my student teacher is giving me back my classes.......love it/hate it......I am getting a little bored not teaching, but it has been great to get things done in my office, computer, etc.  So I took back over my digital camera class today.  Its a bunch of seniors who are ready to be done, there are a few of them in there that are WONDERFUL photographers.  If you like you can check out our high school website...its my baby, I made it on IWeb, but everything is very custom it took me FOREVER to set up!  Check it Out HERE
Since I love doing challenges I have decided that they will be doing them as well, they are doing one similar to Good to Wow.  Friday's they get a theme, 5 photos are due on Monday, a tutorial shown to them on Tuesday and all the photos are due on Friday.  Thursday will be a shoot in class day where they learn something new about the camera or we set up a shoot.

This week Shadows/Reflections

I really hope it works!!!!!  Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Frosty Now to WOW!

So on Saturday I posted my SOOC shots of my frosty flowers!  Ashley posted the tutorial today!  Not so much a tutorial- she posted an action to use!!!  Its a great, simple action- I love simple!!!  Go to her website and check it out!  I edited most of my photos that I posted with the action, the sillouettes of flowers the action didn't do anything for......so I ran a couple different actions for those.  The one above is my favorite!

We than got to take them into Pixel Bender a plug-in from Adobe.  I had heard about it a while ago from a pod cast and downloaded it I was so excited because what I had seen them do was amazing!!!  Very much like Ashley's.  However, I only have CS4 and it isn't as good as CS5's version of pixel bender!!!   No oil paint on CS4......... :-(  So I made do, not loving it and really not spending a bunch of time messing with it knowing it won't do what I want it to.  My photos don't lend itself very well to pixel bender......however I will post some that will later!!!  You really have to open them in a different window to see what I did to them.

I was very happy with all of my flower shots.  They turned out very different!!!  So of them I just stopped at Ashley's actions, others I ran some MCP telescope from All in the Details and Coffeeshop Hot Toffee.  Here are the rest, some are the same SOOC shot just cropped different.
The Favorite!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday!

My Sweet Shot Tuesday post this week is from my Frosty Flowers Collection that I shot on Saturday.  I ran some MCP Actions and Coffee Shop's Blue Ice Action as well.  I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I do. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Grandma's Necklace

I have been wanting to blog all day long, but getting ready for the Digital Scrapbooking Class that I taught tonight at the community college kept me busy all day.  This weekend I took my SOOC, Now to Wow photos as well as my MCP Project 52 photos all before 9 am Saturday morning.  What great light!  I processed the From the Jewelry Box photos all Saturday afternoon while Monkey slept.  It was fun!  I love processing photos.  I use both Coffeeshop Blog actions as well as All in the Details Actions from MCP.  They work so well.  Of course it did create a bit of banding which I didn't realize until today when I was look at them large, but than again, I was looking at 5x7 photos HUGE!  

So lets get to the story behind these photos, because I love photos that have stories!  Now I could tell you tons of stories about my Great Grandma and Grandpa Grady (see why we always had corned beef and cabbage). How they came to Iowa, how my Great Grandpa was so proud to have sold moonshine to Boonie and Clyde.  But this story is about my memories.  

My great grandma's name was Amy, she had 10 children so close together they would sleep in dresser drawers because they didn't have any room in cribs for them.  She was a southern belle, a homemaker, a lady, and best of all a quilter.  She and my great grandfather came to Iowa with literally no money.  They made a life in Iowa from the ground up.  Although she passed away when I was in 3rd grade I still remember her quite well.  I remember her home in Gillmore City.  I remember the light in her narrow kitchen that was so bright, it was a stark contrast from the dark cupboards.  The whole house was like that, an artist light; perfect.  That kitchen produced the best smell in the world.......homemade bread.   Whenever I smell bread I think of great grandma's house.  I remember the stained glass window at the top of the stairs we couldn't climb and the landing that we would play on and read the old school books by grandma had gotten to teach my great grandpa how to read, my mom has those books and my sisters and I played school with them for years.  I remember her smile and her wrinkled, lady-like hands.  They were so graceful even in her old age.    Even then I was a visual kid.

Now, she didn't teach me to quilt, but she did teach my grandma how to quilt. Who in return made a quilt with me every year I was in 4-H, starting at age 9, the summer after grandma passed away.  Quilting has been a part of my life for so long and I love to do it.  It is a part of my art as well, not just in the themes, but in composition as well.  

Last year I painted a portrait of Amy and Dennis's grandfather, Fred, who was 2nd generation church decorator, which Dennis now does.  We were both so connected to them that I wanted a painting that tied the two of them together.  The photo is of her and a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, all hand pieces together, which now covers my grandmother's bed and will someday cover mine.  It turned out exactly the way I wanted it to and that is the painting that is behind grandma's necklace.  

As for the necklace in the photo, don't remember if it was Grandma Amy's or Grandma Polly's necklace, but grandma gave it too me and I keep in the the night stand next to my bed.  The genuine stones cost $6 originally, the price tag was still in the box.  I don't wear it, pink isn't my color, but it ties me to my past, with out her and my grandma I don't believe I would be the artist and teacher I am today.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

1st Day of Spring......tomorrow????

Tomorrow is the first day of spring!  Also my little bro's bday!!!  Big 19!! 
In Iowa weather is crazy.  This month we went from 40 degree weather to a snow day in a day.  This morning we woke up to a nice frost.  But at least most of the snow is gone!
My Monkey decided to sleep in and my husband left to work in Rochester with his brother.  So, I decided to go out side and take some pictures. The sky was so clear and the sun was out, lately you don't know if that will happen.  This week SOOC theme is flowers, well the snow has barely melted from my flowers, but the frost on the brown flowers from last season was beautiful!  Here are some of my shots, I didn't know I would like so many of them.  I can't wait until Thursday when Ashley posts her edits, of course I will do some editing before that to some of them!  I hope you like my not so typical flower photos!

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Designs.....

Nicole (my student teacher) and I have applied to do an art market in Rochester, MN.  We have applied together because its a pretty big show and our stuff goes really well together.  Of course we needed a name so I designed on really quick, like 5 minutes quick, but I LOVE it! We had to add a little art teacher humor to it as well......lol.
Being a teacher has helped my design skills so much, especially since I teach Photoshop class.  I think that it is very important to teach students design skills so they can be marketable.  In today's world you have to be creative to get a job and keep it!  I just hope that we are all teaching the students 21st Century Skills they can really use in the next two seconds since technology changes so fast!

Notice I also redesigned my blog header!

Random thought......listening to Glee Radio on Pandora and Rocky Horror Picture Show is on!!!!  Glee Rocks! 

Colcannon Update

Colcannon- aka Irish goop.......LOVED IT!!!!  However I would change a few things with the recipe......no mashing potatoes and I would put it in the oven with swiss cheese on top and french fried onions and back until bubbly!  It really would be great today with left overs for the corned beef and cabbage.    I will have to post my version of the recipe!  No pictures, its not very colorful!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A green tradition and an Art Moment all Rolled into One!

Two posts in one day!!!  I was going to do one, but they didn't go together.

Happy St. Patty's Day!  I love St. Patty's day.........for many reasons!  It always reminds me of home....my mom's grandfather was Irish/Indian, quite a mix.  However Irish blood is pretty strong, strong enough to eat Corned Beef and Cabbage every March 17th.  Its a tradition, my mom would cook it all day and as much as I love to eat it, I hate to smell it cooking, I mean HATE.  I don't know what it is about the smell, it just doesn't sit well with me.  If the 17th was on a weekend I would find any way to get out of the house!  Once mom invited me and my soon to be husband over on a Friday night for it....during lent! H eat it!  But it was always something we would do as a family, a tradition.  I want that with my Monkey.
So, tonight I am going to make my little monkey and I a traditional Irish meal....  Colcannon (basically creamed cabbage with corned beef).  All Recipes is my source for the recipe so we will see.  I like everything in it so hopefully it will be good.  I will let you know tomorrow maybe I will even take pictures.

ART TEACHER MOMENT #1 (of this blog)
 New Sheldon Wet/Dry Triple Decker by Jeff Koons
Photo from Des Moines Art Center

My student teacher is doing Star books in class.  Each student has to research an artist from a list that we give them.  I love this unit you get to talk about artist and why they create crazy stuff.  Every once in a while you get that kids who is really smart and can carry on a good conversation with you and 2nd hour was no exception.  He hated Jackson Pollock, his art shouldn't be art!  A monkey could do it.  My come back is a but a monkey didn't!   So we talked about different pieces that some people do for the meaning behind them.  For example the 3 shop vacs in clear boxes stacked on top of each other at the Des Moines art center.   I went there 4 times in high school and it wasn't until the last time that the docent actually made sense of these 3 vac sitting on top of one another.  Now, I don't know if it was the docent or the soon-to-be art teacher in me that made sense of it, but it was a moment I will never forget!  I still talk about our need as a country or society to have bigger and better things and how we run out and get that new shop vac when it comes out, art to make a statement, .  Maybe its a different size or color, but we need it!   Do you know how much more it is to get a colored washer and dryer????   

So ask yourself.......how many vacuums do you have in your home?????  Me........5!

The Yellow Giraffe

Yellow SOOC

It's Thursday and Ramblings and Photos posted the Thursday edit for SOOC!  Here are the actions I used before I started the tutorial:

MCP Actions:
Complete Workflow-Touch of Color
Complete Workflow-Oops I blew It
All in the Details- Telescope
Touch of Light And Dark (this is a free one)

Than I did the tutorial......fun, would be great on the outdoor photos I took yesterday!

I even created my own Frame Action just for this!

Also check out the new water mark!!!  I revamped it!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday!

Life with My 3 Boybarians does a Sweet Shot Tuesday each week!  I posted there last week and dcided I would do the same this week.  I picked one of my orginal "hair photos" not the polaroid ones. 

Which made me start to think about my Yearbook class....why my yearbook class?  Today we signed up for a camera each day so they can take candid pictures and photos in classrooms, they seemed less than enthused about this.  I don't know why, it was one of my favorite things to do when I was in yearbook.   I need to find a way to get REALLY good pictures, not just the regular snap shots that have kids avoiding the flash.  So, I think I will post themes on the yearbook blog and have them post them there.  It will also be good advertisement for the yearbook!  Now I just have to think of yearbook related themes!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shake it Like A Polaroid Picture!

So on Sunday my little Monkey decided to take a 4 hour nap.  I guess the shopping on Saturday tuckered her out!  I wanted to take some pics of her for my MCP Project 52 challenge, but she slept a really long time so I got a couple, so we will see.

After discussing if I should wake her up or not she shot up from the couch so fast I thought she was going to catapult herself right off!  So instead of shooting photos for MCP I just got some random shots and took them into Photoshop and ran some actions on them.  Including a great Polaroid action I found! I really do miss Polaroids!  Shaking it to see if you could speed up the processing.  The waiting for the picture to turn out to see if it was good!  Being able to write a little note on the bottom!!!  Oh how fun!   I know they have new ones out, but they are not the same.
So, I make them in Photoshop!  This action is so real, texture and everything!  You can even put emulsion on them!  So enjoy and if I can find where I downloaded the action from I will post it!!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

And I think to myself....What a Wonderful Photo!

So I spent the greater part of 2nd hour looking at the Group Pool for this weeks MCP Project 52's theme "Childhood Toys".   If you read my earlier post I did mine on Wednesday's snow day.  I really liked mine this week.  Upon looking at the photos from the rest of the MCP "family" all I can say is WOW!!!! Kudos to this weeks moderator great theme!!!  All of the photos are soooooooooooo good!!!  This could be one of my favorite weeks.  I can't imagine going through all of these photos and only picking 10.

You all should check out this week's photos on flickr.  Here is the link http://www.flickr.com/groups/mcp-project52/.  Enjoy the eye candy and hopefully it will inspire you to take some creative photos as well.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lemon Meringue's Senior Picture!!!

Before I start this post I want to give a shout out to my good friends and English teachers' blogs.  They are rockin' good and gives you a glance at how great our English department is! I am a bit jealous on how great you two write!   Check them out, they are in my blog list.  Coffee with Chloe and Fountain!!  You go girls!!! Snap Snap!!!

So another snow day and I am home from school.  I needed to take the photos for my Week 10 of MCP's Project 52.  The theme Childhood Toys!  How much fun!  I dug out some of my toys a while back for my daughter to play with.  My favorite Cabbage Patch, who still smells like baby powder, my possible doll, Fifi la Femme; who stayed on my bed in high school, and today I found Lemon Meringue, who still blows you lemony kissed of joy!!!!  Of course I had to include some of my favorite books, Charlotte's Web (I read 100 times) and some of my Little House on the Prairie books, I had all of them and mom and I would read them all the time.

My original idea was to take the photos on my bed, like they used to be perfectly placed as a kid so my mom wouldn't yell.  However, the only pic I liked was the one of Lemon Meringue........it reminded me of a traditional senior picture!!!!

Here are the two other photos that I worked on, not sure which I will post so you will just have to check out my Project 52 page to find out!

Oh and stay tuned for my short tutorial on how I created these photos!!!!
This is Also my Photo for "Sweet Shot Tuesday"