If at first you don’t succeed- try,try again with Gelli Arts

December 27, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

Gelli-Arts Holiday Prints

I was trying to come up with 2 cards last week- a Holiday Card and a card for a friend. I pulled out some of the new Easy Scraps stamps and started stamping and coloring. However, it just wasn’t coming along the way I would have liked it to. The “Friends” card was boring, and I couldn’t get the right mix of images and colors I wanted for the Holiday card. So, I pulled out my Gelli Arts printing plate and started making papers and then I also masked off the stamped image on one of the cards to make a cool background. Much better!! Here was one of the prints that I really liked. I loved the way the colors came out, but I wanted a bit more red and green.


Gelli-Arts Holiday Print 1


I liked this green print too.


Gelli-Arts Holiday Print 2


So I brought them both into Photoshop and combined them into something that looked like this-


Gelli-Arts Holiday Card 2012

Gelli-Arts Holiday Card 2012

My “Friends” Card meanwhile after masking the stamped/colored image, was printed using Gelli Arts for the background. I toned it down a smidge with some cream paint, and I liked the way it came out.


Gelli-Arts Friends Card 2012

Gelli-Arts Friends Card 2012


So, as usual, Gelli Arts printing plate came to the rescue!! PS- I used the Holiday Image (minus the kids pictures) on a clear bag using a transfer, and it came out so cool! I wish I had gotten a picture before I gave the gift away!!

Cool iPhone Apps!

December 25, 2012 in Digital Related Posts by Ursula Smith

I just tried this new iPhone App called PhotoToaster! It is pretty fun, allowing you to add different textures and things. I also downloaded a Photo Editor and an App that lets you draw on photos, so I can layer photos and test over other images. This could be fun!

Merry Christmas 2012

December 24, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

My Holiday card was coming along fine with my owl Rubber stamps. However the kids were not exactly excited to pose for the picture to go inside of the card. Even with teens it is hard to get a good family Holiday picture. So this year I just went with what I had. Something to keep in your back pocket when your kids aren’t cooperating next time ;-)

Happy Holidays!!!


Accucut and The Rise of The Guardians

December 21, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I haven’t seen the movie, The Rise of the Guadians, but I want to. I know it is a kids movie, but the funny, little hat people make me smile every time I see them. And let’s face it, after this past, sad week, we all need a smile right about now!

Anyway, I was thinking of trying to make a Holiday card along the lines of the funny, little hat people. I didn’t end up going with that idea, but decided to share what I did. I used an Accucut die shape and used it in a different way.

Here is the accucut die that I used-

Accucut Christmas Tree Die

Accucut Christmas Tree Die

It is supposed to be a Christmas tree, but to me it also looked like the funny little hat people. So I used the die, cut apart the tree base to become feet, punched out a circle and drew a face behind it (you could also use a stamp if you can’t draw a face). And here is the result-


Accucut and The Rise of the Guardian

My Rise of the Guardian Hat person
Happy Holiday prepping everyone!!

Sorrow over Sandy Hook

December 15, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I couldn’t post my weekly blog post yesterday. I couldn’t really do much of anything except think about those poor parents, and sisters and brothers, and grandparents and extended family of those children of Sandy Hook. Not only for the sweet babies that were taken so soon, so quickly, and so viciously, but for those children who had to experience that terror and witness such evil. I cried. I couldn’t focus. I wished there was something I could do.

I still have tears in my eyes, and my heart is still broken for those children and their families. But today I decided I had to do something other than watch the news coverage over and over. So I decided to try to get going on some Holiday cards. I sat down to carve some stamps, and one of them, a star looked like it was almost a tear shape- like the star was crying too. I wanted to do something with that star, and I brought it into Photoshop. I took the star and combined it with a piece I was playing with on thursday- a stenciled tile that looked like it was rusted. I placed one star for each victim, on top of the tile as if those tearful stars had rusted the tile. I was shocked and even more saddened looking at that number of stars. It is too overwhelming to look at that number and imagine the scene that the children, families and responders had to witness.

I guess I was hoping it might make me feel a little bit better, to work on a piece and get it off my chest, but if I am honest, it really doesn’t. I can’t imagine the depth of the families grief. This madness seriously has to stop. The only glimmer of hope is that maybe these 26 shining stars will guide this country to do something so that this never happens again.


Sandy Hook Sorrow

Coloring Gesso on Kraft Glassine

December 6, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts, Video Posts by Ursula Smith

Gesso sprayed with Dylusions on Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine

Ok, I know I  am a bit late posting the results of coloring the Gesso on the Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine! I finally got around to editing it, only to see the video is a bit wonky! I am not sure how I filmed it, but I think you can follow along anyway :D.

So without further ado- here is the video:

The original post can be found here-http://ursula-smith.com/gesso-glassine-and-art-journal/.

And here is an picture of the results:

Gesso sprayed with Dylusions on Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine

Drupal 7 Instagram Feed

December 5, 2012 in Digital Related Posts, Technical Tips by Ursula Smith

I wanted to add an Instagram feed to the Creative Clearinghouse site, and was struggling to find the right way to do it in Drupal. I searched all over and tried using the Drupagram module (it worked but not exactly what I needed), and started looking into the Feeds module. Then I stepped back and thought “Keep it Simple, Stupid”. One other time I had been searching for an answer to something I was trying to do in Drupal, and many searches later I had no results. It wasn’t that there were search results that were wrong or old or whatever, there was just a lack of search results from people complaining that they had an issue like I was perceiving I had. Until I realized the answer was so blatantly simple that a novice would even be able to figure it out. I was just waaaaaay overthinking it.

And so this time, I started thinking along those same lines. I probably was over thinking it. All I wanted to do was get some Instagram pictures that were hash tagged with #creativeclearinghouse. There is an RSS feed from Instagram that does that. There is an Aggregator module in Drupal 7 that pulls in feeds. So I gave that a whirl. It worked with views and presto, I had my Instagram feed!

First I set up a feed under the Aggregator module configuration to the feed URL- http://instagram.com/tags/yyy/feed/recent.rsswhere yyy is a hashtag. Then I created a view that was created using an Aggregator feed type. Here is a great tutorial on how to do that - http://drupal.ucar.edu/forum/node/155 .

I ended up tweaking the Aggregator module. I know, I know this is NOT what you are supposed to do!!! However, I wanted to link back to the Instagram author and show the caption. These are not pulled in now by the Aggregator module. I wanted  the author to be set to the value of the media:credit tag and the description to be set to the media:title tag. so I added the following:


    // Resolve dc:creator tag as the item author if author tag is not set.
    if (empty($item[‘author’]) && empty($item[‘dc:creator’]) && !empty($item[‘media:credit’])) {
      $item[‘author’] = $item[‘media:credit’];



    // Resolve dc:creator tag as the item author if author tag is not set.
    if (empty($item[‘author’]) && !empty($item[‘dc:creator’])) {
      $item[‘author’] = $item[‘dc:creator’];


Also after:

    elseif (!empty($item[‘content’])) {
      $item[‘description’] = $item[‘content’];

I added:

    elseif (!empty($item[‘media:title’])) {
      $item[‘description’] = $item[‘media:title’];

   This was in the modules parser.inc file.



Update 6/5/2013:


I think what folks might be missing is this: in my view for the Aggregator View, I played around with the fields.

I have 5 fields:

Aggregator: Item ID (which I hide from display)
Aggregator: Author (which I used the option to rewrite the results)
Aggregator: Link (which I hide from display)
Aggregator: Title (which I hide from display)
Aggregator: Link (which I used the option to rewrite the results)
Aggregator: Body (which I used the option to rewrite the results)

For the Aggregator: Author field, I used the option to rewrite the results like so:

from [author]:

and I output the results as a link like so:

I checked off “external server” and “title text” was set to:

I set the Aggregator: Link field and the Aggregator: Title field to not display.

I added a second Aggregator: Link field and used the rewrite the results option with the following value:

<a href=”[link_1]”><img src=”[link_1]” width=”300px” /></a><br/>

and hid the results if empty.

For the Aggregator: Body field I also used rewriting and set the value to:

[description] <br/><br/>

Hope this helps!

Holiday Card Procrastination

December 1, 2012 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I am supposed to be working on my Holiday Cards, and making cards for a church thing, and prepping for a class, not to mention housework, laundry and other life/family stuff. So what did I do instead? I designed and made a stencil. Because, well that was going to help. Not.

And then because I really liked the way the stencil came out, I of course, had to pull out my Gelli Arts Printing plate, and try it. And then because I really liked one of the mono prints I made, I ,of course, had to scan it in to the computer. And then because I wanted to see how it looked layerd, I, of course, had to bring it into Photoshop and play with it.

I, of course, didn’t have to do ANY of those things. In fact, I shouldn’t have been doing any of those things. But I am glad I did, because I really liked the way the stencil and the prints came out. It was just like the kid’s storybook- “If You Give a Moose a Muffin”. So, next time I have a lot to do, I probably will end up making a stencil.

Here is the original mono print:



And here is the print I came up with in Photoshop:


Medallion Gelli Arts monoprint  blue