Tuesday, November 9, 2010

student of clouds (digi-conversion)

i made this little digi-collage for the font throwdown gina and i had waaaaaaay back in january. i liked it at the time, and i like it now, despite the fact that the excerpt of billy collins' poem "student of clouds" is not entirely readable...or well, at least not EASILY readable. i've thought off and on of making a hard-copy version of this, but wasn't sure how to solve the font problem...or make it TEXTURAL (which is one of the points of MAKING a hard copy, imo!)

but it's my friend paul's birthday and i know he really wants a version of this he can hang up, so i applied myself to both problems.

first i changed the gorgeous grungy script to a gorgeous grungy typewriter font. it pained me to do so, because the script totally had (& has!) the vibe i want, but the point is to illustrate the POEM and if you cannot read the poem, you're in trouble, right? so i bit the bullet and did it, and it looks quite a bit better than i feared, which is nice!

i tried a couple of things for texture, the first being to print on sticky-backed canvas*. (hey mari!!!) it looked cool, but (this is hard to tell from the photos) i was kind of wondering if it was a bit dull and soft-looking compared to the test-print i'd done on photo paper...and when he saw them side by side, LHJ unsolicited, offered the same opinion, so i decided to go with the brighter version (i will use these canvas words for SOMETHING, though, don't worry; and i'll be using the technique again...and OFTEN...i suspect!)

i considered and/or experimented with: a collaged background; more/higher contrast stitching; corrugated cardboard frame; distressed/darker edges; and a lot (A LOT!) of different mats. but nothing was really right, until, in frustration i just decided to pare down and go totally simple:

yep. torn edges, heidi swapp chipboard letters, all-white stitching, one dark mat, white background. go figure. definitely not the texturey dramatic masterpiece i was envisioning...but...the poem stands out AWESOMELY, which is exactly what i wanted! (happy birthday, paul!)

*in case you are wondering, as i was beforehand: this was completely easy, straight-forward, and drama-free. i trimmed a 12x12 sheet of the canvas (which is about the weight of cardstock; & the backing makes it fairly rigid) to 8.5x11" so it would fit in the paper tray of my (nothing special or expensive) HP photosmart inkjet all-in-one. then i pressed "print" and held my breath...but it was FINE! so yeah...i think a period of printing EVERYTHING on canvas, just to see if it looks cool or not, will probably ensue. i apologize in advance if this becomes tedius! :)


  1. Constable's clouds are stunning aren't they? Your work too Missus.

  2. Whoa!! That's a wicked piece girly!! I love the outcome & what a perfect girl for that someone special :)

  3. I do love the vibe of the original very much and I can see why it may have pained you to change the font, but the end result and the stitched Heidi Swapp letters are wonderful. Well done! You achieved some of that grunge with the torn edges and set the work of art masterfully with a classic mat and base.

  4. excellent...love seeing the process from before to after..you always do such magnificent work!

  5. Fantastic. It turned out quite lovely, er, ah, I mean handsome. Wonderful b-day gift.

  6. i love how it came out! it's fabulous and paul will love it! happy birthday paul! love the white alphas and the stitching. thanks for sharing and have a great day! *hugs* steph :)

  7. Gorgeous! I love the original and the new version turned out different, but equally fabulous! What a great gift!

    (-: Heidi

  8. Not what I normally expect from you, but FAB-U-LOUS !!! And I love that someone else experiments and shows the results, good and bad, like I do. Sometimes we need to see why you did it the way you did, thorns and all! THANK YOU! MWAH!

  9. Hi Lauren,

    Happy Birthday to your friend Paul and what a neat present, you gave him.
    You did a great job.

    Happy rest of the week

  10. You are just too good, you should head the IT/web department of Pixie! (when I can afford you!)

  11. Tedious? How so, girl?? You're brilliant! Even though it didn't work for this particular item it will open up all sorts of crazy things for you later. And possibly me too!

  12. Ahhh very nice. Yes that grungy type as much as I do like it, it was very had to work with. I love what you did with it!! Very cool. He'll love it.


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