Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back, with a Jellyfish!

Here's a freebie I've been waiting to release, I have a sketch that goes along with it but I'll have to post it some other time. I haven't been posting recently because I was gearing up for my move to Alaska but now the move is done and all I have to do is unpack and find work.

Download (vector included)
Image Only (.png)

I have an incident that happened recently I'd like to share in the hopes it won't happen to you as well. I recently logged into my gmail account and found that it had been accessed from two other locations that I did not log in from, one of which was China. Essentially, they had managed to get in because my password was easy to guess, even though it had some numbers it had a word in it and could be figured out! I ended up spending a few hours devising new secure passwords and changing all of my login information, especially on my banking and email accounts. My beau's stepfather helped in this process and it was a huge benefit to have someone who knew what they were doing to help me come up with secure passwords.

If you're interested in getting your accounts under control and you need help with the passwords, he's devised a really useful system for creating passwords that are difficult to decipher but you can still remember. The system is available in a downloadable document for $1.99, cheaper than many digi stamps I've seen out there and I can attest to how useful this bit of information was for me personally.

Purchase for $1.99
(Paypal & major cards accepted)

The site you're buying from is very secure, the link I'm giving is the direct link to the shopping cart with the file ready to be purchased. After the purchase, you'll receive an email with a link to download the .pdf that will be good for 48 hours.

Shoot me an email if you have any questions or want to know more. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two Owl Freebies!

To make up for the lack of posts, I'm putting up two freebies today. Both of them are owl themed, I LOVE owls! The first one is a limited release, it's only available for this weekend!

***Only Available 4/15-4/17th!***

Download (vector included)
Image Only (.png)

I was going to wait to post this but I decided that I couldn't wait any longer! I now have an Etsy shop with some image sets up for sale. If you put in the code CHICKADEEBLOG you'll get an additional 10% off you entire order. I'm also going to be holding challenges here in the future with some of my free images where you'll get a chance to snag your favorite sets from my shop!

Click the image to check it out!


I'll hopefully be posting some new sets soon and some new freebies here. ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Requested- Kitty Freebie

A reader wrote in with an image request so I decided to give it a go. Michelle, I hope you enjoy the freebie! I love kitties and used to volunteer with them at a sanctuary. There are few things sweeter than a sleeping kitten.

Download (vector included)
Image Only (.png)

It's been a whole week since I've posted and I'm sorry to have gotten so far behind on my posts but I promise I have good reason. I'm working on lots of art right now and spending time with my beau. He's leaving for Alaska to get us set up for our new life in Barrow in less than two weeks so I'm trying to enjoy this time of peace before our lives get turned upside down!

Also, thank you to Michelle of MichelleMyBelle's Creations for a thoughtful award and link back on her blog. The thought is very appreciated! I'd like to pass it on to the following bloggers:

Nancy @ Inkcicles
For her wonderful detailed cards, inspiration and kindness. Without her I wouldn't even have a blog or the courage to have put my images out there in the first place!

Katie @ My Paper Haven
Another inspirational blogger, a friend of Nancy's whose blog I've been following for a while as well. Her art is beautiful and her style is so unique.

Ash @ "Hastkala"...Ashaon Ka
One of my readers, another blogger whose cards I really enjoy. Her use of color is interesting and inspiring, very beautiful work!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Over 11,000 hits! Free Dressform Stamp

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments, link backs, input and support! As a thank you to everyone, I've decided to offer this dress form and pincushion set for free. I know the sentiments are a little cheesy but I personally think they're cute. I noticed that there aren't many free dressform stamps out there and my last one went over fairly well, so here's a simple one along with a cute traditional tomato-shaped pincushion.

Download (vector included)
Image only (.png)

Free Programs

So let's face it, times are hard for most everyone right now. Most people don't have hundreds of dollars to invest in art software unless they do it as a career, and even those people may not be able to afford the price of the popular software options. But don't worry, there ARE free options out there!

Open-source software is awesome for many reasons. For one thing, it's free to use and distribute. Secondly, it's made by many people in a collaborative effort. The source code is available for developers to enhance and add onto so you can get lots of neat add-ons that sometimes eventually get added to the program itself.

Right now, I am creating using only free software. I had the Adobe suite for many years but after a change of computers in November I lost all of my programs and decided not to go through the trouble of installing my outdated pre-CS version of Illustrator and Photoshop. I needed to find new options so I looked to open source and free software and I'm very happy with my current workflow. Here's what I use.

Vector software, open-source

This program is excellent and I've found it's much simpler and intuitive than Illustrator. Don't get me wrong, Illustrator CS5 has some far more advanced tools and they serve their purpose, but as a basic vector program for creating clean images, Inkscape is pretty amazing. The only downside is the lack of keyboard shortcuts which feels cumbersome if you're accustomed to Adobe's programs. I feel like for simple black and white images the tracing features are far better in Inkscape, which is really nice if you like to draw by hand and scan in images. It does not handle large or intricate images very well, but I've been told that there are people working on that issue.

Raster software, open source

You can do just about anything you can do with a professional photo editing suite with this program. The learning curve can be a bit steep if you're used to Photoshop, but it's a really solid program and many artists use it exclusively. The color tools are fantastic, and it also has many standard features like levels, curves, contrast & brightness and much more. I'm not a fan of the clone stamp or repair options, but they'll likely be updating it in the future to get up to par with the other programs available.

I plan on writing up some tutorials for creating using these tools in the future, but for now you might want to download them and play a little bit. :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Free Stamps, Vine and Bird

I've been working on a a few projects even though I haven't been posting the past few days. Right now we're staying with my boyfriend's folks who have graciously welcomed us into their home while we wait to hear back on a job in Alaska that my beau applied for. Hopefully this time next month I'll be looking to head north! His mom is the crafty and creative Nancy of Incicles, go check out her fabulous cards! It's really fun to see how she works and creates, it's nice to be staying with someone who likes the same things I do. :)

Today I'm posting up a couple of free images I put together really quickly for a banner I was making. The bird is a finch but it could be colored to be many different kinds of birds. The vine is simple, but would make a fantastic accent piece or repeating background.

Download (vector included)
Image only (.png)

Download (vector included)
Image only (.png)

I hope you enjoy these freebies, I plan on using the bird as a logo of sorts for something I'm setting up but I would love to see it get used and enjoyed by others! :)

And again, thank you for the support. I now have an email set up just for the blog, so if you'd like to message me about something in particular and need a response contact me there. craftylittlechickadee@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lucienne Day

This past summer I had the opportunity to go to Washington DC with my beau. He was arriving by train late on our first day there, so while I had the city to myself I decided to go check out the "girly" things he wouldn't be interested in checking out. It turns out that the Textile Museum was a short walk from the hotel we were staying at so I wanted to go see it. I was grateful for the short walk because we had the brilliant idea of planning our trip in the middle of their heatwave, it was around 104 degrees outside! (We couldn't actually find a hotel at first, most of them were dealing with power and water issues, yikes!)

Anyways, at the time they had a large exhibition on Lucienne Day. Being very interested in abstraction and modern lines in art I fell completely in love with her work. I'm now pretty heavily interested in textile design and fabric as art itself. Many of her pieces read as fine art, you could easily frame out a yard of her fabric and put it on display. If you have the opportunity, please look her up and read about her life and work. She's a great source of inspiration!

Untitled (Bird Chair) -Lucienne Day

Above is one of my favorite pieces by her. It really captures her whimsical style and use of unusual shapes and colors. I would LOVE to have a vintage sofa made with this gorgeous fabric.

Taking inspiration from that piece, I made a cute set I'm calling Wire Bird. It reminds me of wire wrapped jewelry. I added hearts and a sentiment and simplified the designs quite a bit.

Download (.png only)

I have a couple of other ideas for Lucienne inspired sets, so if this one is useful to you please let me know. :)

I'm also hosting a desktop image I made with this set over on my DeviantArt.

Thank you to everyone for the kind words in my comments. I don't have time right now to respond but please know that I read every single one and I really appreciate everyone who enjoys my work!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring stamp

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this, but I was eager to share this one so it's getting posted today! Spring is here and to celebrate I've made a gardening hat and a daffodil. Cleaned up vector included this time.


A couple of days ago I went to visit the facility where I did the bulk of my clinical training, it's a fantastic nursing home for people with dementia, Alzheimer's and similar issues involving mental function. One of the residents loves to do water colors and he puts some out in the hallway for people to buy if they'd like to so he can buy art supplies and treats. He was having a really good day and we chatted about his watercolors and acrylic paintings, I ended up walking away with not one but TWO of his paintings (He's also a very talented salesman!) I can't find them at the moment, but when I do I'll be sure to share them here, his work is really good and totally deserves to be shared! One of the most interesting things about the people there is that you never know what they might teach you or reveal about themselves. (On another occasion, a woman who can hardly remember her own name most of the time recited some beautiful poetry for me on one of her better memory days. It was a wonderful experience to have her share that talent with me and I will always remember it, even though she doesn't. She was a housewife with a passion for writing in her younger days and also drew and danced. How interesting and I'm lucky to have met her!)

So, the gentleman with his paintings gave me the inspiration to try out some watercolors of my own. I typically paint with acrylics and I've taken basic painting in college but this was really much more difficult than I thought it would be. It may be that my paints are on the cheap side, but the colors got a little grainy when trying to mix them. I had a calla lily image I had outlined and decided to try out the water colors on it. For a first go, I don't think it's too bad.

And I also tried an abstract image, just to use up the paint I'd put on my palette. I don't believe in wasting perfectly good art supplies so I figured I'd play a bit.

I'm probably going to watercolor the sketch I've been working on. I'm really excited for sharing that, I've got 3 projects going at once and there just aren't enough hours in the day right now. Once I've moved maybe I'll get a chance to catch up on my projects. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bath time!

I haven't posted in a few days, I was finishing up my nursing assistant training and I'm working on a cool ink sketch that's been taking up a good chunk of my time. I'm also in the process of moving house right now and enjoying all the stress that goes along with that. I'll hopefully be posting my sketch up here along with a related free stamp once I get a chance to sit down and finish it. I'm going to leave you in suspense as to the subject matter but so far I think it's pretty cool and unique! :)

Today I'm posting a set I've been working on for about a week. It's sketchy and has a cool hand-drawn feeling to it. There's no vector this time, the file was taking too long to try to clean up. I'm totally in love with the bar of soap, it's so cute!

Download (.png only)

I know there's been a distinct lack of projects on here, but I'm really excited about drawing right now. I think that for now this blog is going to mostly serve as a free resource. I'm also working on a couple of tutorials for the programs I use to create art.

And also, thanks to Nancy (my boyfriends mom) and Cassandra (his aunt) for promoting my work! His mom makes beautiful cards and his aunt is a fantastic life coach, you should pay them both a visit. :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Clover Freebies

A new image already, I came up with this one today for St. Patricks Day. It's a unique clover, I tried to make it a little different than the typical shamrock. I made two versions of this clover, one simple and one with a little more detail. .png only, no vector this time. I couldn't decide which version I liked more so I'm posting them both!

Download (.png)

Download (.png)

Flower Power Freebie!

Another free image, I've been working on a few different images just playing with tools and figuring out my workflow. I'm pleased with my results so far and I'm looking forward to posting more stuff here.
Image Only (.png)

Simple flower shape with matching leaf and sentiment. 300dpi and clean vector file that should also work in printing and laser etching. See my terms of use. :)

I have some art to share but I'll wait until next time, it's way past my bed time. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free digi stamp + vector file!

I've decided to go through my vector art and see what I have that could be of use as a stamp or something. To practice with Inkscape I drew a dress form with a gown on it. It's a little simple but would probably be a lot of fun to color. If you haven't heard of Inkscape, it's wonderful substitute for Adobe Illustrator in a pinch!

The image file is a bit big, it's set to 300dpi to ensure it prints with clarity. The vector file should also be formatted for use with a laser system that works with vectors. Please look at my terms of use. :)

I'll be uploading some sets in the coming weeks, open to requests and suggestions if you have any. :)