Sunday, July 22, 2012

Collage and Photo sessions

Well, I'm back.  I wasn't sure if I would be writing another post today, but looks like it.  Seeing that tomorrow, I will be back at the kids house and Julia will be confiscating my laptop again!  Darn it!  What's a mother for?  What's mine is their's.

They have ended up getting a lot of my things.  The girls usually see something and ask if they can have it.  Usually I give in, but sometimes no.  So far, I'm firm in keeping my mother's old tin box.  Last month for their birthday, my Dad brought up my mother's jewelry box for me.  I ended up letting Julia have it as I have one almost like it and mine plays music.  I forget what it plays.  I recently got a pretty picture music box that plays  Music Box Dancer.  I think that is the title.

This morning, I ended up doing another walk.  I had skipped on Friday and Saturday and made myself go on a long walk with my camera.  I was hoping to get up to the destination and see the horses in the field near the highway, but they were not there.  But I found other things to photograph.  I even photographed a close up of bark.  I've got a scrap booking idea for it.  I'm thinking of typing some words over it.

Age is just a number.


You are only as old as you feel.


I'm just young at heart

It was nice and cool this morning, and now it's hot and humid.  And then, this afternoon my boyfriend surprised me with Kentucky Fried Chicken.  That was nice.

But while he was gone on some errands, I had some fun with a photo session.  I pulled out a bunch of my collage pieces.

I had a folder of some old drawings of some dolls.  I had done these when my mom was alive and I must have amazed myself that I could get them done while the kids were sleeping.  They were younger.  I was just beginning to do some pen and ink drawings and exploring what colored pencils could do.  And then I decided to cut them out for some type of collage.  Most of them did not have legs or I hid their hands behind their backs.  I'm not the best at hands and legs.

I remember bringing the set of cut out dolls to a visit to Maine.  My mother saw them and said, "Now, there's something.  Paper dolls.  I used to collect paper dolls."  She and her best friend had trunks filled with them.  I always remember how fascinated she was with them.

She would see all the photos I would take of dolls.  She knew I always took a lot of pictures.  Once a year or so before she died, she asked, "What is it all for?"  I can't really remember what I said.  Probably something along the lines of just for the fact of creating.

And about a month or so before she died, she told me, "You're going to do so many amazing things."  Maybe she is looking down on me and seeing them.  That's a nice thought.

Back to the present photo session.  I started to set the pieces around the queen anne's lace and decided to use my red foil heart pieces for the scrap booking.  I am going to have to get a few more sheets of the foil paper next month as I can see some other ideas for it.

I love doing a photo session of still lives.  It is just so much fun to gather all your props and begin to set them up in a neat way.  It's definitely the process of it that sets the images in motion.  As you go along moving your props, you start to think, "Okay, now what if I do this?  What is it going to do to the picture?"

I guess it would be the aesthetics that are so visual.  In college, we were taught to be really aware of that.  The process of creating was sometimes more important than the finished piece.

The time it takes to do a drawing.  Once you set up your objects that you want to draw and get yourself set up, you are suddenly in the moment of your creation that is coming to life before your eyes.  And you usually won't rest until it is done.

And over time, I really take my time with my stuff and don't decide that it's done until I say so.  Not like when the kids were younger and when Nap time was done, the picture was also done.

And then, when I started to create the paper dolls, I really took my time with that.  Now, that is an involved process.

I can get a really great start to a real pencil drawing within an hour or two, but the paper dolls is a different story.

I start out with an outline, then go in with the real details.  And then there is the outfit pages, the backgrounds, and the fine tuning.  A full paper doll set would end up taking me a week to finish.  And that's in spurts.  It just is so time consuming when I use my ink pens.  I'm all about detail.  If there isn't enough detail in the background or on the overall page, I am usually not satisfied.

My Bun-Bun and Olga set was my first set I finished.  And that took a while.  Maybe more like three or four weeks.  It had eight pages to it.

And then there were these first paper dolls.  I really can't remember how long they really took.  But they weren't my first pen and ink drawings that I applied colored pencils to.

I did about five or eight other pen and ink drawings where I started to do color.  One has a gorgeous butterfly near her.  I should find some of those earlier ones sometime.  This last week, I started organizing  them, so that I know where most of them are.  And one day, I saw a design I did of my Grammy's old curtains and suddenly I can't find it.  I'm hoping it didn't fall out somewhere.  I had some of them in a portfolio in my car and one day they fell out on the ground.  And as I was picking them up, I saw the picture and then later, I sifted through the pictures and I couldn't find it.  But as I am thinking, it might have been a color photocopy I saw and the original is hopefully somewhere else.

I'm wanting to gather all my drawings and edit them in Picasa and then upload them to the blog.  I don't want any more sideways pictures like some of the old photos were.

So, that is another feat that I am tackling.  I went through and edited all of July's photos in Picasa yesterday and then, I had to go and delete the ones I didn't give names to or the ones that were blurry.

I'm thinking, I should go back and do this for every month's pictures.  It will also give me an opportunity to weed out.  And then I should be figuring out how to get some onto backup  I have one backup that has the majority of last years photos, but I should be doing that to this years.  I think I might decide later on to get a pack cds and start saving pictures onto them and dating them so I know which ones are which.  And keep them in cases so they will stay good and not scratch.

I just love photographing and am probably an unusual shutterbug.  As you can tell!!

Collage photos are kind of fun.  Sometimes I feel as if that is what I am doing.  I've been doing it for years.  I think it started in high school.  I remember doing some photo sessions of myself in my bedroom.  I would wear my mother's old hat and situate myself near my bedroom window on my sisters bed.  I had some fabrics and props.  I should find those pictures sometime as they are probably awesome and I will never get back to that age again.

Then, in college, I started to photograph a few of my porcelain dolls that my Mom had given to me.  One is named Jennifer and has a big gold key that goes into her back to play her music.  And another pretty doll plays Lara's Theme.  This was when I was into black and white and I was taking photography in school.

I've got all my old contact sheets somewhere and my old black and whites I did in college.  One year, I borrowed my sister for a few hours and she drove us into the cemetery and I photographed her.  I've got one picture of myself and her kneeling near some stones and one year the picture and one of her with a horse in the background got in the Portland Press Herald contest as the top winner.  That was exciting.  I think I might have gotten ten dollars too.  I can't remember.  I've got a bunch of my old certificates somewhere.

And then, all through college and after and into marriage, I was big time into still life photo sessions.

I also went through a real experimental phase while married when I photographed the dolls and flowers.  I would get a cardboard box and cut a slit in the back and drape some fabric inside.  I would cut out rectangles on the sides for sunlight to filter into the box.

I also had this phase where I would gather wine bottles and clean up the labels and flower vases would get saved in abundance.  Then I would fill them with water and situate the dolls behind them.  It acts as a magnifier.  And I would get a piece of glass and rub it with Vaseline and shake baby powder on top for a snowy effect and a blurred soft effect.

Some pictures came out really neat and then there were others that didn't come out great.  I would get really disappointed when some pictures came out so dark.  35mm and guessing on the manual settings.

I like the digital camera so much better.  We've really progressed into a modern photography age.  35mm is almost obselete.  Except, I think the college kids love them and photographers that are really dedicated to the art of 35mm.

I was one of the photographers that didn't really follow the Ansel Adams bracketing and I probably should have tried to be more exact with that.  I did try to keep a log of my bracketing at one point during my marriage, but didn't follow.

And even my digital camera, my son, Sean knows more about it than I do.  I should try to figure out how to use the timer though.  I was thinking of taking pictures of just my hands holding something like flowers or something.  Maybe some interesting pictures could come out of it.  Who knows.

But, back to the cemetery photo-session.  That was really fun.  And growing up, we lived near a marsh and my sister and I walked down to the marsh.  This was during the early spring or late winter and part of it was still frozen and we could walk across part of it.  I got further than my sister and I looked back and she was standing in her calico dress and my favorite sweater and I could tell she wanted me to come back.

Then, we drove out to this deer road near my Grammy's house.  It's a deer sanctuary and you can drive all through it and look for deer and some people have horses out there.  So, I've got pictures of my sister trudging through these bushes and trees where the deer would probably walk.  I've got some awesome pictures of her there.  And she will never look like she did then either.

Well, I'll end this with a bunch of today's photographs.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted July 22, 2012

I've been wanting to do this for a while.  I was seeing other people's pictures with these and was wanting to do my own.  This is my boyfriend's set.  I had a set and then I was missing pieces so I got rid of it.  And then, wouldn't you know, then I get the idea later.  I like collecting dice and things like that for grandchildren someday.  Maybe I should start to collect Boggle when I see it at yard sales.  I was trying to spell Bella Loves Edward and I couldn't find an extra D.

A rose on the way back from my walk.  Kind of pretty.

Here is one of the pictures of the bark where I am going to apply words to.  I'm not sure if I will be using the whole picture.  Maybe.  Or I might do several different ones and pick and choose the best one.

These are some design pieces that I did about three years ago.  I liked cutting out these little designs.

The two heads behind the words are some scallop paper punch pieces I just cut out from a card stock copy of my Audra paper doll set.

More paper punch scallops from rubber stamps that I used.  And the one in the middle I must have done a few years ago and had fun drawing on it.

The bigger doll pieces in the background are the first paper dolls I was talking about.  The one near Bella is a newer one.  And the collage piece next to Edward is a magazine piece of a doll I liked.  She's an expensive Helen Kish doll.

I think the flower shape in the middle might have been traced from a store tag.  I sometimes collected store tags with neat shapes to create my own shapes or little tags.  I probably used some of mine for the craft shows about three or four years ago.  That's why I'm due to do some again.  Long over due.

Some pretty chairs on my walk this morning.  I didn't get too far and saw the pretty chairs, and took the time to walk back for my camera.

I love the little bird house and could see this one ending up in part of my scrap booking pages.

A close up of a drawing I did about three years ago.

Rascal sleeping last night.  My boyfriend and the two cats were zonked out last night.  It was funny.
You know they're asleep when you start to hear them snoring.

More of the first paper dolls.  I think they were all from dolls.  One might have been from a magazine image I liked.  The one on the right was from this red head barbie doll that I still have.  I had a phase where I would buy myself a barbie doll in the stores once in a while.  They are perfect size for drawing paper dolls sometimes.

I will have to look for more of these.  I know I have others that I did at that time.  And then I had a phase a few years ago where I was copying my finished paperdolls onto more art paper to do different things to them and these ones I actually cut out.  Right now they are all uncolored.  I was using one for a bookmark a few years ago.

A close up.  I can see myself creating another version of this one in Adobe Elements 7.  One of these years I will hopefully have the newer Photoshop.  Right now, I can't use any of the freebies from Brusheezy as you need the full version of Photoshop for it.

I like my Audra paper doll as she seems kind of gothic.  Maybe more inspiration for the gothic paper dolls line.

Here is the full image of the artwork.  It was larger as I had it in a frame and it warped so I decided to cut it for scrap booking.  I've got to get my other drawings out of old frames and then just pick a few later on and get them professionally framed.  Especially the one I did of my Grammy and Nana.

My cabled bracelet I whipped up last night while my boyfriend was sleeping.  I finished it before he woke up.

My boyfriend's marble collection.

Rascal looking out the window.

      Tinkerbell wanted in on the action.  I like the one below.


  1. I am loving your paperdolls! I can't draw and love to see people who can! I loved paperdolls as a girl, and still have a set of Anne of Green Gables ones. Have you seen Claudine Hellmuth's paper dolls? I love her collage work and paper dolls. I took a collage class with her once and LOVED it. (I think).

  2. Really beautiful art. I really love the dolls. I am stopping by from the weekday blog hop. I am a new follower. Hope to see you at True Aim! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank-you Winnie, I never heard of her. I will go check her out. Thanks for the share. Thanks Tulip, I will go check out your blog too and follow.