Archive for May, 2008

Scattered interests

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

This morning i determined that i should give my Golden fluid acrylics a try as a stamping ink for “block prints” with cork and eraser. I have the acrylics & glazing liquid, i like blending the colors…. All i need is a breyer. I can always give the Speedball block printing inks a try later. I am delighted to see a kit of six with primary red/yellow/blue plus white, black and bonus gold are available. This is in response to the continued nagging sense that stamping pad inks are a rip-off.

Meanwhile, i’ve been working on the Yellow/Blue Trefoil Stole and an idea occurred to me.

Yellow/Blue Trefoil Stole

What if, instead of the trefoils, i had a beaded leaf? That introduces some issues: what one would string the beads on? Something thin enough for seed beads would be awfully slow to work up in a scarf. So, what if one ran a beaded thread along with a heavier weight yarn. Could one thien just do the leaf in the thread?

Beading & leaf experiment

The answer seems to be yes! That’s about a foot of random seed beads on[Y5] DMC Traditions Ecru along with some natural colored Lion Worsted cotton from IrisDragon. The worsted i worked with G/6-4.25 mm hook (blue); the thread with US7/1.5mm (steel). I rather think i need more practice working with the beaded thread. My leaf pattern seems ok — the back view is pleasing. The beads down the center of the leaf work well. I wonder about using a high sheen floss that gets lost in the worsted weight but stands out well when worked into the leaf pattern.

Well, i would like to order the PhotoPOSTOS now, but there’s some problem with PayPal. And I’d like to order a brayer, but if i order online, i should pick out enough stuff to balance the shipping & handling. I’m off for business travel, so i’ll take my yellow trefoil net work for the plane. I might continue thinking a bit about 2.5″x3.5″ ATCs and some ideas around a “green fire” theme project.

Lessons Learned

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

RitzPix’s digital photobooks are a nice product. I found the online web layout tool to be wonderfully flexible. In one photo of a trail, i was able to put a small inset of the stone grain with a penny for size. The “flaoting frame” could be placed anywhere, with edge effects that were different than other photos. The edge effects offer some interesting flexibility and images could have their transparency adjusted. The total was around $25 for a 6×6 hardback book with twenty pages counting the inside cover and the back page. One surprise was that the pages had a white boarder — they weren’t full bleed. I note that they do have a notice to this effect on one of their pre-order pages.

Admittedly, Apple’s hardback book looks like it may be a better deal in some ways: 8.5″ x 11″ hardcover keepsake books include a suede-like cover with a foil-printed title on the cover and a customizable dust jacket. 20 pages (10 sheets) $29.99 The dustjacket is a very nice touch as most hardback books lack any sort of printing option. (Some have inset windows to see a cover image and title.) Another aspect that’s better about working through iPhoto: you don’t have to upload all the photos to a remote server before you begin your layout work. I don’t recall the layout being nearly as flexible as RitzPix’s, though.

The most remarkable difference about the RitzPix book, though, was that i was able to pick the book up from the Wolf Camera on El Camino here in Mountain View the next day. I may have even been able to pick it up in a hour. That’s a wonderful “immediate gratification” aspect that stands out.

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Another lesson was RitzPix’s photo cards: one can layout images on a 8″x10″ sheet. The “card” and the high price led me to hope i was getting prints on cardstock weight paper. Nope. I’m not sure what the benefit to the purchaser is in choosing this function over the standard reprints. To duplicate what i received for $9, i could have purchased 3 different “4×6 Plus 2 Wallets Glossy” at .49 each and two 4×6 Glossy Borderless at .21 each — $1.89 (and i’d have more photos).

I risked the order because i continue to wish to make photo postcards in small quantities. The cost per card with other print on demand options (plus waiting for shipping) doesn’t appeal to me. I did find adhesive photo postcard backs for photos: 50 4 X 6 PhotoPOSTOS $13.99 (.28 back+.21 print per ~ .50 ea). There is the opportunity to commission custom backs in sets of 1000: i’m not sure that’s within my needs and means, but it is a very clever marketing ploy.

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And more lessons: Our camera is bloody noisy at ISO equivalent 1600. On the other hand, i think i’ve figured out how to manually set the focus to infinity, and i think that’s better than the auto settings in my attempts at sky photography.

Grainy ISO 1600 Moon & Mercury in Conjunction

night sky, print on demand, postcards, photo books