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Friday, April 25, 2014

The Niceness of Miceness

Everyone loves their pets, and dog and cat lovers especially have a wide selection of products with which they can proclaim their pride and love for their furry family members. It's a little more difficult for those of us that have less common pets.

Our family includes an adorable—and I mean seriously squeee!-inducing—trio of mice. I've seen people wrinkle their noses at the idea of mice for pets, then gushingly fawn when the meet ours. We got them from a breeder who handled them a young age so they'd learn to be comfortable with human contact. Not only have they never bitten us, but they truly enjoy being petted. (Thank you Mrs. Beach's Brindle Empire!)

While cute mice can be found as the subject of assorted t-shirts and other adornments, there is clearly a dearth of such made specifically for the pet owner, so I'm making a contribution to that niche. "Mouse People" is my newest design on Zazzle, and is available on t-shirts, bumper stickers, bags and buttons, magnets and mugs, with more products possible in the future (see the request button on the right if you're interested in something particular!)

"Mouse People" mouse mug, Blue Text "Mouse People" mouse Bag, Green Text "Mouse People" mouse Magnet, Red Text

The design is available in red, blue or green text which can be matched to many different shirt styles and quite a few colors. Warning: Zazzle will not print white on all shirt colors, so choose your color and make sure it doesn't end up with a pink or green mouse on it! Different styles may have different color choices. All non-apparel products can be customized by changing the background color.

"Mouse People" mouse T-Shirt, Red Text "Mouse People" mouse Sweatshirt, Blue Text "Mouse People" mouse T-Shirt, Green Text

And I couldn't end this post without including a photo of Griswalda (with her roommates), my inspiration for this design.

Thanks for visiting and please come again!

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Savoy" is up for scoring on Threadless

A while ago I saw a Savoy cabbage for the first time, and fell in love with the pattern on it's leaves. Succulent veins webbed across this vegetable creating deep enclaves of darkness that seemed to tunnel into eternity. And it was green--a fresh, spring green that I absolutely love! My immediate reaction was to reach for the camera.

Close-up of Savoy Cabbage Leaf

Initially with this image I did some basic editing to enhance the color, lighting and sharpness. After that, I inverted the colors, which not only turned the yellow-green into a soft purple, but turned bulging veins into chasms and bottomless depths into mountainous peaks. Suddenly it became some other-worldly canyon.

Close-up Savoy Cabbage purple photo edit

I tweaked the lighting a bit more then desaturated the color, colorizing various copies with turquoise and deep red. From there, I played around with various filters, my favorite ending up the plastic wrapped effect. Looks rather like a close up of some ruby colored reptile, don't you think?

Close-up Savoy cabbage red photo edit

I may yet use this particular image, but as I've developed an interest in repeating patterns, I had to mirror it on itself to create one. Once again I desaturated the image, then colorized it in a variety of hues. They were nice, but with the intracacies of the texture minimized, it needed something more. When I used the color blending mode to add a reflected gradient, I felt I'd found the secret ingredient to give it that BAM! factor.

Savoy Submission to Threadless abstract photo edit multicolored tribal carved look

I'm not really sure how to describe the flavor of the overall design. Something about it looks tribal to me, as if it's a carving, perhaps from an area in the South Pacific or Southeastern Asia. If you have other impressions, please comment and share!

Anyway, the gods at had deigned to accept this design for scoring by their community (from now through the morning of April 25, 2014), and perhaps even consider it for printing. If you have an account there, please take a moment to score it and perhaps leave a comment. If you're not familiar with Threadless, do visit and browse their many designs on shirts and other products.

Now I really ought to find out how a Savoy cabbage tastes.

Thanks for visiting and please come again!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Variations on a Theme

Since I've spent most of my time these last couple of months researching the where's and how's of putting this blog together, I've not spent very much time actually working on art. I thought for this post I'd talk about a design--or rather, several designs--I made earlier, all from a single, seemingly boring, picture.

Here's the original:

Roof Shingles from Neo-Victorian structure

These are roof shingles on a garage that accompanied a house built in a Neo-Victorian style. I liked their shape, the subtle color variations and how they all tied together with sturdy black outlines. Not quite so boring when you take time absorb the details. And while it didn't show up very well in the original image, these shingles were bathed in sunlight and reflecting it in their textured surface.

One of the first things I did once I got this shot into Photoshop was to turn up the color saturation and WOW did it pop! Blues, greens, yellows, and reds materialized as if chips of colored glass had suddenly been scattered, melted and fused.

Roof Shingles colorful edit, blue green turquoise orange

From there I shifted the hues and distorted the shapes, playing like a child with Play-Doh.

Roof Shingles colorful edit, pink purple turquoise green Roof Shingles colorful edit, pinks gold rust purple
Abstract photo edit arches, blue green turquoise orange "Stained Glass Vortex" abract photo edit blue green turquoise orange

Something about this image kept pulling me back, and these are among those that followed:

"Throb" multi-colored abstract photo edit pink "Chasing Tails" abstract photo edit blue green purple yellow

... and even this, where I pieced together copies of a distortion to make this lovely tile.

"Kaleidoscope in Pink" abstract photo edit pattern pinks yellow purple

I feel the rich detail gets somewhat lost in this last one, given the diminished size and the attention drawn by the overall pattern, so I may have to return to it one day and pull out a portion to put in the spotlight.

In the meantime, too many other ideas beckon...

Thanks for visiting and please come again!

(By the way, the last four designs here (hover mouse over the images for titles)–"Stained Glass Vortex," "Throb," "Chasing Tails," and "Kaleidoscope in Pink"–are all available on many products at nharveyart on zazzle.  "Chasing Tails" is also available as "Swirling Seas" in which the design is predominantly blues and greens.)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mission Accomplished!

One of my goals for 2014 was to begin a blog about my creative endeavors. Here we are, 3 1/2 months into the year, and the voyage has begun! As this is my first foray into blogging, it's been a lot of work and a steep learning curve getting to this point.

First, a little about me...

I've always had a creative streak and did many arts and crafts growing up. As an adult, I've felt compelled to make things that are interesting and beautiful. Whatever I was into, I'd go just a little nuts, tweaking the directions or going completely off in my own direction. At one time or another I've been into bead weaving, crocheting, stenciling and mosaics. I've tried fused glass, baked some interesting birthday cakes and faux painted a night sky in a bathroom. I've written stories and music and design my own Christmas cards nearly every year. (Hover over pictures for descriptions.) Mosaic Mirror Carnegie Mellon Tartan Cake
Mouse Cake with Cheese Cake Bathroom walls and ceiling with faux finished night sky

In the past few years I've ventured into digital art. I simply started playing with my pictures on Photoshop, discovering various results from applying one effect after another. Some of my images end up like paintings while others are quite abstract. After giving some prints as gifts, I was told I should sell my designs and started my Zazzle store, nharveyart on zazzle.

Once I was doing more, I got frustrated with the difficulty of using just a mouse and purchased a graphics tablet. This opened up a new vault of possibilities; I started creating designs from scratch and doing a bit of drawing as well. I've made a few submissions to and the derby at (I'm "enaych" on those sites) and may do so again in the future.

My goals include increasing my productivity and skill. I hope that sharing my work on this blog with some frequency will drive me in this direction. I will display new designs, share my thoughts on them, and provide a link if they're available for purchase. When I enter a competition, I'll announce that as well. If I figure out something new or a new way to do something, I may post the occasional tutorial. I'll also show off any worthy miscellaneous projects.

Mission accomplished...and on to the next!