The Pearly Story Behind "Dusting in Pearls"

I always feel like a walking paradox. I can get out in the garden with my shovel and sledgehammer and love every dusty dirty minute I'm out there. I spend the majority of my life dressed in my "grubbies". Yet there's a part of me deep down inside that still likes "the frillies", "the pearlies", and "the sparklies"--all the pretty things. Maybe it's all the great classic Hollywood movies I watched as a kid. I don't know. All I know is that I can be dirty and sweaty and still want to put on heels when it isn't practical; buy the prettiest apron even if it will get dirty; and don pearls when all I'm going to be doing is dusting and vacuuming the house. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to. I've decided to claim it, celebrate it, and have fun with it... and create some "pearly" goodness along the way.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sharing creative inspiration

More than anything else, I like to see others get so inspired by something that they create something new--a dessert, a garden, a painting, or even a memorable moment. Over the past summer, I've reflected a lot on how much joy it brings me to watch someone else go through that precious and very rewarding creative experience. This reflection has caused me to have my own creative epiphanies. One epiphany I had was that with my own work, I would rather inspire people more than having a profit reflected on a spreadsheet.

That huge epiphany led to another one... I could create a digital download shop where everything was free or nearly free. And the big plus with having it be a download shop is that someone has immediate access to the file instead of having to wait for an order to arrive.

As soon as I created the shop, Rosehaven Cottage Digital Download Shop, ideas started pouring in with all the different things I could share. Here are some ideas I came up with...

Textures and overlays are the secret weapon of digital artists and are really easy to use in programs like Photoshop Elements (or the more robust CS3 or CS4) as well as any other graphic software that works in layers. Just like putting a photograph under a piece of gauzy transparent tracing paper or vellum, you can put a digital photograph under a texture or overlay layer to give it a soft look.

Here's a quick example... I took this photograph of some flowers in a vase on my mantle:

Then in Photoshop, I placed the texture Spring Dew (see above) as a new layer over the top of the photograph at a setting of 60% Screen. After a little strategic erasing with a soft-edged eraser set at 10-20%, I got an image that looks like a colored pencil or pastel drawing. Here it is...


For some people creating photographic art isn't their thing. Some people prefer to work with their hands with something tangible. That's where a "background" can be used. Over the past few years, I've created various different backgrounds for lots of projects. I decided I should make them available for download so others could print them off on their printers with their own paper so they could create whatever they wanted with them--scrapbook pages, origami, invitations, whatever. Or someone can also use the background in its digital form to create something like a digital scrapbook page.

I also have sketchbooks with lots of doodles and sketches in them that I realized would be great as clip art or embellishments for someone's blog, scrapbook, posters, artist trading cards, greeting cards, and more. So as I've gone through my sketchbooks, I've finalized some of my favorite sketches and made them available for download too. I've still got lots more to come.

I came up with the idea of blog graphics just last week. Every so often I'll get a really neat design idea for a blog. But I don't want to change up my entire blog just so I can see the new design I thought up. The solution is to simply make the blog design elements (header and sidebar graphics) available for download at the shop for anyone that wants to use them on their own blog. And I was even able to make this header customizable so someone can change the title to whatever they choose. The "Cheery Cherry" design is the first one I've made available, and I'm certain there will be many more to come.

My Dusting in Pearls online shop is still there for those that want to order fine stationery and art that is already done. But for those that want to do some creating of their own, please visit the Rosehaven Cottage Digital Download Shop. Then drop me a note with your feedback, ideas, suggestions and creative stories. I'd love to hear from you because it makes my own creative process even richer and more rewarding to know that I've inspired you to create something!


Brenda Leyland said...

Cindy, I'm so excited to read your latest facebook comment, which led me to your dusting in pearls blog, which led me to your posting for today about sharing creative inspiration.

Wow! You have really found your heart, haven't you!! All that heart rending soul-searching has brought you to a new level of beauty!

When you say that you would rather inspire people than have a profit reflected on a spreadsheet, my heart went 'yes!'. Me too!!!

I've always loved encouraging people to reach out for their dreams.

You're giving out will come back to you in all manner of measures, I just believe it for you!

BTW, I love your photo with your long beautiful hair down. Great pose!

Cheering you to even more wondrous heights..... Brenda

Joanie said...

I love this post about creating. I love that process. I first learned that with quilting. It wasn't just the finished quilt that I like but the whole process from choosing the fabric to throwing it into the washer (it's not a quilt until it's washed!) but I've applied it in so many other aspects of my life... enjoy the process or journey, not just the destination.

IMPORTANT "PEARLY" NOTE: If you are using Internet Explorer, you aren't having the most beautiful "pearly" experience that you could have if you were viewing this site with Mozilla Firefox for the PC or Firefox for the Mac which is available for FREE download at the above links.