Saturday, February 28, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa Fedele

Mary and Salvatore Fedele

Are theses not two of the cutest people you have ever seen? How can they both be so happy? they are Ernie's grandma and grandpa Fedele. They raised 9 kids above the candy store they owned in Rochester, New York. They were both born in the gated city of Gaeta in Italy.

Mr. Salvatore Fedele

Do you see all the damage to this photo? What a lot of work. But, I needed a photo for my online class which the assignment was to restore and colorize a photo.

It took me two full days just to get the lines out of Grandpa Fedele's face and the top part of his suit. (I don't believe it was a pin-striped suit he was wearing). I then cropped just his portion of the photo so that I would have something to colorize and turn in that Sunday night.

The teacher suggest that perhaps I should have just colorized his hat and left his shirt and carnation white. I think I did a horrible job of colorizing his shirt. What do you think about whether the shirt should have been white or pink?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

By Hand or Adobe Photoshop?

Card made by hand

A couple of weeks ago I started taking a online class called Hands on Print through the wonderful San Diego Continuing ED. The teacher is Jane Newcomb and I had taken some of her classes before on site at the North City Campus.

Throughout the semester we will study Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat. Right now we are on the Photoshop unit. The second assignment was to make a collage using layers and Photoshop. Since I have been making all my aunts this year, hand made cards in celebration of their birthdays, I decided to have a go at doing one on my computer.

I decided to make a comparison by using most of the same elements in both cards - on done the old fashioned way with paper, glue and ephemera and one scanning theses elements in to photoshop and manipulating them and making backgrounds from scratch.

The above example is the card I actually sent to my Aunt Sonie today. She will be 89 March 3. (be sure to click on the photo to see it up close). Only my mother and the youngest of the sisters have died. That leaves seven with the oldest living. Aunt Jean, having celebrated her 95 this past January and the youngest, Aunt Lee. celebrating her 78 birthday Feb. 23.

I essential used paper and glue and a metal charm. I printed out a photo I had of my Aunt Sonie after sizing it in Photoshop and cut it out and glued it on. One of the background papers had little metal rivets and added texture. The bird was cut out from a napkin. I could not adjust the colors, their brightness or the hue and saturation. It was made to fit a standard 5x7 card.

Photoshop Card

This is the card made in Photoshop. One of the first differences is that I did not cut out Aunt Sonie's image with a pair of scissors. I "extracted" her image using Photoshop tools. I also added a shadow to her image. I scanned in the ripped brown box material and had to resize it because our canvas for class had to be a 7x10. I should have darkened the shadows in the corrugated material. . . I added an addition sticker with the "Come Sail Away" and stretched it and enlarged the sun sticker. The green background I made exclusive in Photoshop from scratch. I was able to sharpen everything and brighten the colors. Each image was on it's own layer so I could manipulate them independently.

The final evaluation: I believe that each was created and looked best in the venue it was created. I love the card I sent that was made by hand. But, on the computer screen, the card that was created in Photoshop looked best on the screen. The one made by hand and scanned looks washed out on the screen, but looked great as I slid it into an envelope that had a short Happy Birthday note included and sent it off to Florida. Happy Birthday Aunt Sonie!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Leslie Altman's Friendly Plastic Class

Leslie Altman's Sample

I have been wanting to take a Leslie Altman's Class for a long time. I have never worked with Friendly Plastic and had no idea what it was or what you did with it. The class was at Stamping Details and ran from 9:30 until 3 pm. What a wonderful day and a very well-prepared teacher. We really had time to complete all our projects. It's my fault, mine are not all finished.

Below I am showing some of Leslie's samples from her sample board. They are copy protected and can not be used for sales or anything that would make money for you from them. She gave me permission to photograph them and put them on my blog.

Leslie's Pin

Leslie hung a dangle from the bottom of her pin and embedded little seed beads. Click on the image itself and it will open up so much bigger.

The leaves and flowers are from Leslie's silk wallpaper collection.

Above, the hair is designed with Friendly Plastic.

The hair to the left
was created with a hot glue gun.

Below is one of Leslie's "women."

Here are my renditions of some of the many things we made in class. Leslie had already cut the mat board and sprayed gold webbing. We just edged it with gold Krylon pen.

The house shape is a canvas board that Leslie supplied. We just had to add Lumiere paint and gold Krylon pen to the edge. She used the Cesanne font for the message. She created the man and woman in her editing program. The face she provided. It is from a mold and made out of paper clay. We used water color pencils to color the face.

Missing Door on left

To my surprise, my friend, Diane Chen from the stamp company, Pugnacious Stamps was also there. She is the one who helped me and the gal next to me learn how to make the lace look.
Diane had it down pat.

Lace affect used for "hair"

For the pin below the face was supplied by Leslie. It is a classic photo that she has sized and had it heat set laminated. You have to be really careful with the heat gun around the laminate!

A shower hook is colored with gold Krylon and used as a hanger for the pin. How very cleaver!

Pin that I made that needs a dangle

On the right is the beginning of my girl's head with hair made from drizzling hot glue from the hot glue gun. Haven't finished coloring it and it needs to be mounted on a card.

Work in progress with glue gun.

Dress? Above on the left is my first attempt at making a dress. Can you see the bust line, waist, hips? Next, I will have to add a head with hair. That should be exciting.

Tomorrow I will be taking another class from Leslie in "wet media coloring techniques". I am so looking forward to it!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scrapbook Royalty Charity Event

Last Thursday when I was sicker than a dog with sinusitis and liquid in my ears (but not contagious), Georgia and I drove to Elena's Scrapbook Royalty charity event at Summers Past Farms just out the 8 and east of El Cajon.

I had been there a couple of times over the years and thought this was a marvelous place to hold an event. Elena, with her sidekick and best helper, Kat, did a marvelous job transforming the upstairs of the barn for us to dine, socialize and decorate an Owl chip board book They were so cute.

Upon arrival we were treated to scones and muffins, teas and coffee for our morning snack as the rest of the group trickled into the barn. We talked and visited and got to know people a lot better that previously we had thought of as casual acquaintances finding we had mutual interests and backgrounds.

At some point Elena directed us to the downstairs garden. She had the owner come over and tell us about some of the events that are held at Summers Past. The most interesting event to me is a Fairy's Sunday where children come dressed up in their fairy outfits and also bring little gardens they have made using some of the miniature garden accessories like arches and wheelbarrows, etc. etc. that are sold here. And, there is a parade!

Elena is on the right sitting down

In the meantime, we shopped and took pictures of everything and everyone. So many cameras were available. All wanted the photo on their camera. Kat's assisted us in granting our wishes. Kat was always there with a helping hand and a smile.

Everyone was hungry and lunch was ready. We returned to the upstairs of the barn to find it magnificently set out with beautiful sheer covers to protect our meal. We all toasted each other and Elena with sparkling cider and then jumped into the buffet that had been set up for lunch.

The Owl Book

Before starting to make the project Elena had brought , an adorable Owl book for us to create. Those of us who brought items to be included in a silent auctioned, stood and described their gifts. I brought a book I had made in a Leslie Altman class (F.Y.I. - she's teaching this coming week at Stamping Details in Poway).

Gloria on my right

Finally we sat down to begin putting our Owl together with paint and paper and glue. There was not enough time to complete the elaborate project, but we all took photos and promised to go home and finish the Owl book provided by Jennifer. We didn't need to bring anything with us because Elena provided us all with gifts of scissors and dots to take home with us.

As we went to leave after a really fun day, Elena showered us with gift after gift including: the oriental satin cushion that we had all been sitting, a porcelain little box with darling buttons, the sheer canapes that covered our place setting, flowers to be planted, a porcelain white little bird on the end of a stick for your garden decor. And there was more. Some of guests had also donated things to be given out. It went on and on and on.

Check out the cushions, aren't they cute!

On the way home, after all the goodbyes were said over and over again and pictures of everyone were taken together and with Elena, Georgia and I stopped by a new scrapbook store in Point Loma. What a darling store. Very shabby chic. It's called Scrapbook Tale. While we were there purchasing things we really didn't need but had to have, we saw a project on display that our friend Jane had been in the process of creating during Elena's bookclub at Pink Pineapple in Vista. It was a darling crocheted cupcake and the crocheted frosting top came off to show you that it was a box.

By the time we got home, I was tired and Georgia still had to drive home to Oceanside in the traffic up the 5. But, a really fun day was had with wonderful women all supporting Elena's cause in one day at Summers Past.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Aunt Lee's card

Happy Birthday

My natural mother, Irene, had 8 sisters. The youngest living sister, Aunt Lee and my mom shared their birthday date - February 23. I have only met my Aunt Lee one time when I was back at Aunt Chris' home visiting and doing genealogical research. She is just darling and so petite!

As you can see, the card I made for Aunt Lee has a Valentine's Theme. This happened just because her birthday is in the month of February and on my desk I had all these colors already. It's a collage with different papers and finished off with a pink silk ribbon that I found at the Paper Store at the Forum in La Costa. Yes, that's Martha's bird punch. The bird is a really sparkly paper that I also found at the Paper Store. The heart is out of the same paper. There are heart rhinestones across the paper ribbon at the bottom of the card.

On the back of Aunt Lee's card is a memoriam to my mom. "May She Rest in Peace."

I have learned that some of the sisters get together to celebrate their birthdays. There are more than a couple of my Aunts who now reside in Tom's River Cedar Glen, New Jersey. I hope they have a great time getting together. I wish I could be there. By 2010, I will have made a card for each of my aunts. I've already got Aunt Sonie's started!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Big Night

You say it's your birthday.
You're going to have a good time.

In 1996, the low budget movie, "Big Night" was released. It was about two brothers, Primo and Secondo (yes, that was their names) were getting ready for the big night when they were sure their restaurant was going to be known by all due to a famous person coming to dine at their humble resturant. It stared Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony, Isabella Rosselini and Mini Driver.

I personally found the movie to be about the magic of Italian food. The dish made famous by this movie is Timpano or Timballo which translates to kettle drum. The recipe I followed can be found at Ciao Italia

Timballo fresh from the oven

February 5, was Ernie's "Big Night". Monday,I started grocery shopping at Mona Lisa's on India St. On Wednesday I made the sauce, browned the bread crumbs, cubed the fresh mozzarella and formed the marble sized veal meatballs. Kari came early from work on Thursday to learn and help to prepare and build the drum. She is a great one to "brown" things, since she is more meticulous than her mother and is willing to go slower and cook over a lower heat. . . Later that evening Erik and Shannon came for dinner and to help celebrate Ernie's 66th birthday.

"Oh, no" - Kari in the kitchen

Originally I saw this recipe on a Saturday morning PBS cooking show that a little short, plump Italian woman was hosting. It looked very intricate and I took notes on pages of little butterfly shaped note pad. I then made this for our Mah Jongg group consisting of Carole, Patty, Julie and Alice. It was amazing that it came out alright at all, since when I went to bake it before the girls arrived, I found my oven no longer worked. This was during the time I was going through a divorce from Michael and lived for two weeks each month in an apartment near our home. (The other two weeks I lived at home and Michael lived with his parents). TMI?

"I know a dark secluded place,
where no one will know your face. . ."

This is a photo from that day with Carole dressed up as some sort of Italian sneaking into my apartment. (No one but theses 4 friends and my two children knew where my apartment was).