Wednesday, July 30, 2008

cranefly at VAST

Today was the take-in for the Visual Art Society of Texas members' show. I took in my cranefly, which I had fixed up with a doubling of the main support wire, so that I think that it will not dangle so low. I was feeling pretty proud of it till I saw all the art at the show, which was intimidating.

Everybody gets one piece in the members' show. But I have to get a lot more practice and make a lot more things before I expect to get in the 125-mile, I think.

The show is up from August 10 until Sept 5.

Friday, July 25, 2008

thanks to a secret admirer!

Well, usually I check far too often in the course of the day. But yesterday, what with VADO in the morning and then spending much of the rest of the day messing with Photoshop Elements, I didn't check it once. And this morning I find two new shop hearts and four item hearts, after getting none in the last several days. This is a nice surprise. One of the shop hearts and all the items are from a secret admirer -- one of the maillers I have been Yahooing with? It's nice, anyway.

I worked more on the painterly kitty picture yesterday, and then tried printing it. Much to my disgust, my yellow cartridge appears to be out. So that's a priority this afternoon, getting that refilled before it dries up. I want to see if it looks pretty good on paper before I send it off to iprintfromhome for a giclee´.
I'm only going for a little one; actually I think I will put two ACEO sized ones and a 3.5x5 on one 5x7 for $8. Plus I need to get a print of kitten Agate and the prickly pear, in case anybody buys one.

Urgent today is to get the best of the new shots of my gothic choker printed, and the kitty painting printed, and mail off my application for the Prosper show. So I better cut short this blog entry and go do that.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

altered photo art

Oh, I'm pleased with myself! I feel like I have learned a new skill. I spent the morning at the VAST artists' day out playing on the computer with my picture of Little Floof and the yellow pitcher, and I produced something I am quite proud of. "Before" is below; "after" is at the head of this post. This photo was taken back when she was only fifteen ounces as an undersized six-week-old, and was mostly referred to as Miss Teeny-Cat.

Of course the original picture was snapped opportunistically, with no chance to do anything about the peculiarly large-scaled jade plant behind Floof, or the filthy window glass. But by use of the palette brush tool (I think, unfortunately I wasn't writing down what I did), as well as outlining and deleting half the bacground and fuzzing the edges both with the rubberstamp and the smudge filter, I think I produced a nice result.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

sigh ... destash

Well, I just sold the bright maxi-thin solar calculator that was in the office -- Isabel's desk drawer? I think I got it for them at a museum shop about the time I came home from NY. I sure didn't need it, and Carrie in Grand Rapids, Michigan wants it. Certainly $12 is better than giving it to the DUUF sale where they might get a buck, maybe. Still ...

Ayway, I can feel as ambiguous as I like, but Paypal has the cash and it's a done deal now.

insecta shimmerae treasury

I neglected to note my inclusion in a most impressive treasury by molecularmuse, she of the silver molecule jewelry, a couple of weeks ago. It was my cranefly, honored for the second time, among a whole cast of cool bugs.

Most people seem to like molecularmuse's serotonin, at least it is one of her best sellers. I prefer the playful-looking dopamine earrings here. Lots of cool stuff. (But I bet she doesn't really work at her bench wearing a spaghetti-strap little black dress, as shown in one of her thumbnails!)

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

picture proportions

There have been several threads off and on in the Etsy forums about involuntary cropping of pictures caused by Etsy's three ways to display an image. I hope this can make it a bit easier for people to get the biggest views of their items possible, without cropping off the edges.

All five (if you use all five) of your pictures show as the square thumbnails at the side of the large picture in a listing. The first one shows as that same square when your shop is viewed in List view. That same first one shows as a rectangle in Gallery view, as a featured image in the shop, or in a treasury (or of course Front Page if you get there).

When a thumbnail is clicked, the large view is shown 430 pixels wide and as tall or short as it is -- no cropping for this view. And if you click it, you get the original uploaded size in a new window.

So there is no cropping for the main view . The only consideration is that if your original is SMALLER than 430 pixels wide, it will be enlarged by Etsy and look blurry and awful.

Etsy recommends 1000 pixels for the uploaded shot. I actually usually use 860, which makes my original fill the screen nicely in the zoom view, and I fancy it eliminates any tiny distortions of scaling by being exactly 2:1 for the reduction. Some people upload an image exactly 430 wide. It is always disappointing to click on the zoom for them and nothing happens. At the other extreme, some upload hi-res images 2000 pixels wide. Aside from taking AGES to upload, these are a nuisance because the zoom is two or three times wider than the screen.

OK, for the cropping. All five pics will be cropped to the square thumbnails. Also the first one will be cropped for gallery, feature, or treasury use. The size is 155 x 125 pixels, or very close to a 6-to-5 ratio. If you make your uploaded image that size, but leave the right and left ends of it blank background or unimportant image, then it will look fine as the square thumbnail. If you upload a square, but keep anything important out of the top and bottom edge, it will look fine in gallery view. The proportions are shown in the sketch above. If the image is a 6x5 rectangle that just fits the gallery view, the gray ends will get cropped off to make it square. If it's square like the red outline, the orange areas top and bottom will be cropped to get gallery view.

If your image is really tall and narrow, or wide and short, it will be badly cropped to fit either gallery or square thumbnails, with only a strange, often mysterious center section visible. Better save those odd-proportioned pictures for the second through fifth images, rather than the one that you are depending upon to bring a click on the item.

Hope this is useful.