Category Archives: prints

What’s Going on Around Here?

I have (mostly) not abandoned my blog, although it probably looks like it. Honestly, I am desperately trying to play catch-up (and tackle a ridiculous task of epic proportions in my pain-in-the-arse backyard) now that I am back in Baltimore.

I apologize for my lack of, well, everything around here. No Friday Favorites? No nothing? Yeah, pathetic. But I really, really needed a break from pretty much every aspect of my life and that break somehow managed to last three weeks. The only downside (aside from my shameful neglect of this blog) is that my muse decided to stay in northern Michigan (as I wish I could have). So, instead of creating (I haven’t touched my art supplies at all since arriving home), I’ve been focusing on the aforementioned ridiculous task…that, and falling down the basement stairs. Boy, am I sore.

So, for those of you who missed me (What? You didn’t even realize I was gone? Sheesh.), here are a few random tidbits.

  • Friday Favorites will be returning ASAP, now that I am once again in the Land of the Reliable Internet Connection (also the land of freaking Code Red air days and stifling humidity).
  • My trip was not completely devoid of creativity. In fact, I shot (what I think is) a very nice series of photographs while in northern Michigan. I even sucked it up and created prints for sale in my Etsy shop. Please check them out and let me know what you think!
  • I have once again fallen way behind on my 365 Project. Hopefully, I’ll get all caught up by the end of the week. I really can’t wait to be done with it.
  • Mosquitoes only like to bite the back of my left calf. What the hell is up with that?
  • I have really missed reading everyone’s blogs and looking at Illustration Friday submissions. I really need to get back into the swing of things and hope that I can coax my muse to come back east.
  • I chickened out on the gallery thing. I know, I know. Lame.
  • This place is fantastic. Try the Auxerrois  and the fungus wine (sounds disgusting, but it’s actually quite delicious).

photo : lakeside II by yours truly (available for purchase here)



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What’s New in the Etsy Shop

I am continuing to make strides in updating my Etsy shop. Most of the jewelry has been cleared out, but a few pieces are still up for grabs. At 50% off with free shipping, they won’t be around long though!

I have added some new prints to the shop too (something I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while now). I have a few more coming soon.

Here’s what’s new…

someday sweaters : image size is approximately 5×7″


midnight birches : image size is approximately 5×7″


six red : image size is approximately 5×7″

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Limited Edition Prints : Izzy the Dog

Well, the stats speak for themselves. My readers are tired of missing dog posts and are ready for a return to normalcy. I can truly sympathize and I plan on doing my best to get this blog back on track. Please bear with me.

With that said, here is a post about art (and my missing dog…sorry).

Losing Izzy has been very hard on us and she sneaks her way into everything I do right now. I’ve never been very good at making the best out of a bad situation, but I am really trying now (mostly for the sake of my family’s mental health). So, when I sat down to work on Illustration Friday last week, out popped the character Izzy the Dog.

Like the real Izzy, Izzy the Dog is a cute, friendly, (mostly) happy hound. Fortunately, unlike the real Izzy, Izzy the Dog doesn’t smell like a hound (anyone who has ever lived with a Basset, beagle, or other hound knows exactly the smell I’m talking about – it’s stinky, but it grows on you). So far, I have only finished two illustrations in this series ‘Izzy the Dog Picks a Flower‘ (for the Illustration Friday topic ‘cultivate’) and ‘Izzy the Dog in the Rain‘.

Originally, I had no idea what I was going to do with these illustrations. But, as more and more people assist us in finding Izzy, we have realized that not only do we want to give a significant reward to the person or persons who bring our Izzy home to us, but we also want to give as much as we can to the people who have been helping us. So, I am offering limited edition prints of my original ink and watercolor Izzy the Dog illustrations on Etsy to help boost our reward offering and provide a donation to the agency that is helping us track Izzy.

The prints are very reasonably priced at $10 each. Image size is approximately 5×7″ and each print is numbered and signed.

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Make Art Not Web Sites

heartsMy motivation to finish start the actual web site portion of this site continues to wane. It’s one of those things that I know I have to do, but there are so many things I’d rather be doing like working on my art or…getting a root canal.

I can hear my old nemesis, Etsy, calling to me more and more…

Ruuuuuth, c’mon, forget the web site. I’m cheap, I’m easy, I’m far less time-consuming and soul-draining than web desiiiiiign. That’s why your clients like me better…

The siren song is hard to resist. However, I still hold hard and fast to the precept that any professional needs his or her own web site whether selling on Etsy or not. So, I’ll forge ahead…at some point. Not today. Maybe next week. Meh.

In other news, my scanning skills are coming along (as evidenced above). The key seems to be much tweaking in Photoshop. It’s tedious to be sure, but worth it in the end. Now to find a place that makes good quality prints at a reasonable price – suggestions/recommendations are welcome.

photo : untitled watercolor on paper by yours truly

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The Fine Art of Scanning a little spottyLast night I finished the first piece in my current watercolor series. I am working on the second piece now. The pieces in this series are small (approximately 4.5″ square). They are also a little rough as the watercolor pencils and I are still establishing our working relationship. Heh. This is definitely a test of my perfectionist tendencies, but so far I seem to be handling it well. This first piece (partial photo at right) is a little spotty, in more ways than one.

I figured that since I managed to finish this piece, which I probably won’t sell, I would try my hand at scanning it for printing purposes. I did a little research and discovered that professional scanning services can be pretty pricey – definitely more than I’m willing to spend on a ‘practice’ series such as this. So, I contacted one of my web design clients who is a professional artist to see if she could offer any advice. Surprisingly, she told me she does all of her own scanning in her studio with her own scanner. Interesting.

I have a pretty good scanner. I’m pretty well-versed in tech junk. And I have (reasonably) mad Photoshop skillz. I can do this, right?


Friends, believe me when I tell you, scanning is not so easy…not for a lifelong perfectionist (in recovery) like yours truly. Now, I can hear you all saying, ‘C’mon, Ruth, how hard can it be? You just throw the piece in there, make sure it’s straight, click the scan button, and voila!’ And to you I say, I shared your cockiness for about 35 seconds until I saw the life sucked out of my piece right before my eyes. It was like a pretty girl after a run-in with a vampire, one minute it was all bright and vibrant and the next – totally pasty and unappealing (Ya like that analogy, Twihards? Heh.).

The first scan was so bad that no amount of tweaking in Photoshop could bring it back from the dead. Several setting changes later, I managed to create something that I could work with. The next part of the process went something like this: run upstairs, open file, adjust, look back and forth between screen and original piece half a dozen times, tweak, send to printer, run downstairs, grab test print, sigh with disappointment, run back upstairs, start process all over again. After a few times through, I managed to come with something fairly reasonable, but it is obvious that for awhile it is going to take me almost as long to scan these pieces as it does to paint them. Eh, at least I’ll get some much-needed exercise.

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