Today the Colonel is in the Southern Kitchen makin buttery Toffee. For those of you who do not know the Colonel, he is the Entrepreneur of all things Vintage, Time Travel, inventor and the delightful host of www.etsy.com/shop/ColonelSprocket
You see the Colonel aided by his lovely wife Charlotte develop all kind of wonderful things for your pleasure. Perpetual Vanilla, Soaps, jewelry, vintage design and the list grows. And as I said today the Colonel felt like Toffee. You see there's a very quaint business that makes toffee in California. However they do not ship toffee in the summer. Why? It melts in the delivery truck.
So what is the Colonel to do when he has a yen for Toffee? Well make it himself of course! Using his very own Lovely Perpetual Madagascar Vanilla in it.
"We set up a test kitchen today to develop our own toffee heah in Georgia using of course the finest Southern pecans. " Drawls the Colonel.
Now for those of you who do not as of yet know it, Colonel Sprockets is a subsidiary of GrafXQuest. Several years ago a friend introduced us to the wonderful photos of the Colonel and his family and we haven't looked back. Going to the Colonel's Link above you can experience more around the Colonel and his family and the wonderful story based shopping experience like no other. Join him for wonderful tales of Time Travel and invention.
As for the toffee well we all think that we have developed something mighty tasty heah. And nothing motivates an artist like good Tonks Coffee and Toffee. If you would like to taste the Colonel's Toffee let us know. We would be more then happy to send you a trial sample all we request is the postage. It may be melted though now ya heah? After all it tis summer now. Mmmm Mmmm good!
My question to you is not literal. Although the pizza does look extra gooey. When I ask "Have you eaten?" I am asking you what have you done to feed not only your belly but your whole being. Your life. Your soul. You see life lived in HD "High Definition" means you have broken the molds and no longer see life in black and white. If you can achieve this. You have fed your being.
If you find in life that you follow the majority then I ask you. Isn't it time to break the mold? Do a reassessment? As Mark Twain said; and take it from a man who knew how to dress, "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, tis' time to pause and reflect."
When is it that you find you are having the most fun. Is it when you are playing a game? Think about that. I don't mean the kind of game where you have parked your rump in front of the TV and immerse yourself in your XBOX or Sony. Although we won't entirely push this example aside if you are engaged in a game where you are playing strategy against another on line player. Mark Twain
What I am talking about is the kind of game you probably played at a party or with a group of people. You were engaged with others and there was a strategy involved, you were laughing and of all things using your brain. Its' these times you are at you best because you are on your toes excited adrenaline pumping trying to win. At the end of the night when you walked away you remember wanting to do it again sometime. You fed your life and soul with laughter, camaraderie, ingenuity, and the desire to win.
So why is it we walk away and the next day return to our lives and live them exactly the way were living them yesterday. Leaving ourselves starving for more "the next time" and settling down for another day pushing that fun from last night to the back burner. Couldn't we just incorporate those feelings we felt when playing the game into today and what we are doing now? Why not? Who said you have to live your life inside four walls in two colors. As an artist I work with color everyday and it wouldn't be much fun if I were restricted to just the black and white tubes of paint. I am also sorry to break your bubble but life is not all black and white. Choose to step outside of yourself; feed the soul and be the RED tube of paint. And not just any red be blood red, magenta, cherry red, Brick red. There are so many variations pick one and wear your color on your soul.
Now that you see life differently paint a new picture and figure out a way to make each day and everything you do a game. Bring the excitement of the color you have chosen and the game that draws on your adrenaline to the surface of your pizza. Wait what? You remember the pizza above that has so many toppings on it? Yeah THAT pizza. Be the pizza envision you are the pizza. HOT, Bubbly, many faceted, lots of color, changes with heat, delicious and spicy. You want to be spicy don't you? Who wants to be a cracker. One flavor that tastes the same every-time.
Make your day competitive. Challenge yourself. Make a list if you have never made a list of things you want to accomplish. Challenge someone to do it with you by giving them the same list and see who can complete more on the list by the end of the day. Bet on it. (Not that I am promoting gambling here). But the point is to feed your life with new exciting experiences so that you can be your best everyday and capture the fun.
Remember to embrace your inner pizza with your own color of red sauce but most of all ask yourself today "Have you eaten?"
Have a great weekend. What will you be doing? TONKS where are you?
One of my worst habits maybe is watching TV while I work. Probably not a good idea because I have an information overload as it is. My mind is constantly thinking of what project to work on next. Not what I should do but which one. It would be safe to say that I have at least a thousand projects on the burner and its a matter of what where and when. Most artists focus one type of art and try to hone that art for years. Striving for perfection. Yet I look at some of these pieces of art and I am wondering what people are thinking. Why some people think certain pieces of art are great when what I see is a blob. Now don't get me wrong because I see beauty in every form but a blob versus say an Arabian Stallion well there just is no comparison for perfection versus a round bulbous mess.
I suppose you could argue that the blob has beauty in its rounded postulating form but come on how do people sit and contemplate a piece of art like that. You could understand someone looking at the horse and contemplating did the artist get its form or movement right but why is it that some artists can draw a pen stroke and its a masterpiece? Well it has everything to do with the viewer and of course how famous that artist.
For instance if I were a famous artist and people were collecting my paintings, I could squeeze a tube of paint onto a canvas and I would be able to sell this blob just on the name alone. Ridiculous but true. If an artist has some prime great pieces it becomes important to collect everything they do including the art they did in kindergarten because maybe there is an inkling of the genius coming through at that young age. What I have noticed is that art follows trends and its the people who determine whose really an artist and who is not. A really good example of this is Robert De Niro Sr. His entire life dedicated through his art and recognized for how brilliant he was but never to anyone's taste at the time because it didn't fit the current styles.
I honestly think the sign of being a great artist has everything to do with ADD in one form or another. You either have the really focused kind where your are tuned completely into your work and see nothing else or you are like me one who moves from one room to the next and finds a new project to do before making it to the bathroom. I almost envy writers who get writers block. Why? Because they probably get some much needed rest. I of course don't understand how one gets writers block for more then a month or two because I even dream about my projects in my sleep. I really need to keep a journal near my bed side to write this stuff down. I hear Stephen King does that and has enough stories to keep a ghost writer busy for another lifetime after his death.
Back to the TV. Sometimes I can follow a story but for the most part I put non essential stuff on because I only pick up bits and pieces of whats coming through. I keep it on for noise. I like noise in the background. It helps me think. I actually get ideas from commercials and shows but mostly what not to do HA! What happened to quality in programming? But actually I watch what is current. I look for color and ideas in the backgrounds of the shows and the commercials. They can show trends. With that I conclude. I have so much to do and no time to do it in because there is only so much time in a day and my pain levels seem to keep me running at a minimal sometimes well most of the time. However we will ignore the feeling that my left arm fell out of the socket because we still have another one that works almost as good LOL. So lets turn off the TV and get this day started.
For those of you who don't know much about what I do. I do lots of things! One of the things I do is create a lot of banners/headers for blogs and web sites, twitter facebook, Etsy. Banners usually go to the top of your page which is why it is called a "Header". Today I was working on the above banner for a customer. His previous banner which I will post below needed some help and he hired me to fix it. His instructions were that he wanted it to look dark misty/ghostly, have his title and the caption about sending in your photos. He said he had no set image in his mind.
GREAT! Those are my favorite kind. I love when I get the freedom to do a banner using my own ideas. Direction is great and needed because I don't do free marketing developing a banner. So with his idea of it being "dark and misty" I decided it would be really cool to focus on a energy wisp that is commonly seen in ghost photos. Sometimes they are blue, white or red. I went with the blue and decided to have the ball leave a trail behind it as it moves having spelled out the title in a neon appearing text. I then brought the ball around the edge from the right and into the scared girls face.
The ball is just a circle made up of several other circles. Each circle contains a different color of blue. I then used a smudge tool and smudged it in a circular motion creating movement and a 3 Dimensional look. I then took a photo of a man and changed the opacity until it was nearly transparent and put it into the center of the ball. This give the appearance of a specter in the ball. There is a little more to it then that but it gives you the general gist of it. I then reflected the blue ball into the girls eyes so it appears as though she is looking at it terrified.
To make the misty trail, it is made up of airbrushing a transparent white and then blue on top across the area I wanted. Then I come back in with a smudge tool and start pushing it around to give it a wispy movement. The idea is to kind of make it look sort of like cigarette smoke that curls and twists. But not too much. Again I was trying to achieve a mist not smoke.
Here is what the original banner looked like.
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Life in general is an art and I will show you how to find the beauty in everything you see and do. Subscribe and receive a free weekly download and updates.
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