Something Pithy Here

"Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop." -- The King of Hearts

I'm an adopted Texan. As they say, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" I post pictures and opinions as suits my mood, mostly because I can. Hooray Internet! 

So far I have three blogs here. By the Way is the oldest. I started it in 2003. I lost a couple of years to Vox because I was too lazy to bother to export when they shut down. I consider it an exercise in accepting impermanence. When I followed my husband to Singapore for his first expat assignment, I started (T)expatriate: A Southern Girl in Singapore. That covers 2010 and 2011, give or take. Next came Oslo, and (T)expat 2: Norwegian Boogaloo,  in 2012. Now I'm back home, and back on By the Way.

Pix live on Flickr. I toss links out on Twitter when I feel like it. I'm still not sure what to do with G+ but I kinda like it.


PostCrossing 1: The Colored Zentangle Series

Hooray! My first postcrossing postcard was marked received yesterday, all the way from Germany :-)

I’m using postcrossing as an excuse to learn how to use GIMP. My plan is to work in batches, making a series of similar layouts so that I get to repeat the techniques I learn several times. Plus I like groups of things, and it sounds so capital-A Artsy to have a series.

Thus, the Colored Zentangle Series (plummy BBC accent, please!)

A while ago I scanned one of my conference call doodlings and have been thinking since then that it would be really cool to color it in.

doodling at work

  • If I didn’t have a pen and paper around during conference calls I’d go nuts….

This turned out to be a bit more complicated than I had expected. I started just using the Fill tool, but that left little white artifacts along the boundaries between the color and the black lines. So I did some research and learned about the Color to Alpha tool. That got rid of the white, but using Fill on the result still was not satisfactory. Then it occurred to me to make the alpha-ized image its own layer, on top of the background, and color on the layer beneath. That way the color could come right up to the black lines, or even extend into them a little, and since the lines were on top, it would look nice and neat.

For most areas I could use the Fuzzy Select (magic wand) tool, grow the selection by a couple of pixels, switch to the background layer and fill with color. For areas that had open boundaries or where the scan was not as clean, I experimented with the Free Select tool, which I really liked once I got the hang of it. For very small areas it was easier to just color freehand on the background layer. I got a lot of practice with my pen and tablet!

Here is my first result:

(Note: The postcrossing links won’t show the postcard’s journey until it is marked received at the other end.)


I also made a simpler color-blocked version:


From here it was just a matter of playing with the sliders in the Hue and Saturation dialog to come up with some other color combinations that I liked.




I love them! They look really nice printed on photo paper, and I’m using 4x6 adhesive labels for the address side. I hope they stand up to mailing well. (I suppose I could mail one to myself to find out….) Now that one has been received, I can get a new address to send to, so I’m off and running on my next batch, the Medieval Collage Series.

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