Trick or Treat… and an Inkscape Super Hero

little boy dressed up for HalloweenTomorrow is the day for trick-or-treaters. I’ve stated in a previous post that Halloween is not my favorite holiday. I do, however have fond memories of trick-or-treating as a youngster. How simple and innocent life was then. Since I grew up in a city neighborhood where houses were less than a stone’s throw from each other, it didn’t take long to fill up an old pillowcase with candy. It was even safe for all but the littlest kids to go out with friends… no adult needed.

After returning home, pillowcases were dumped on the living room floor where candy was sorted and traded. If Mother and Dad were lucky, they might even get a few of our cast-offs. Since I seemed to be born with a sweet tooth, it didn’t take me long to begin eating my way through the stash.

I have to wonder now how all that candy did not make me sick, make my teeth fall out, or at the very least put a few pounds on me. But alas, I survived it all without any adverse affects on my health.

I am not offering my Super Hero as an SVG because much of it needs cleaning up. I would not want to share it without taking the time to fix it. However, there are a few simple tricks I used in this drawing that might be helpful to new Inkscapers, and I’ll try to get a tutorial up soon to share these.

Happy drawing.


The Open Clipart Library… and Celebrating Freedom

Photo of beach with American FlagSince it’s Independence Day here in the good ‘ole U.S. of A, and we’re celebrating freedom, I thought I’d mention some free stuff.  Anyone who’s been following my blog knows I love Inkscape, which of course is free.  There is also another freebie out there that I want to make sure you know about.  If you haven’t used the Open Clipart Library yet, it’s time to check it out.  Not only is the clipart free, but it is in the Public Domain, meaning you are free to use it however you like. People like me, contribute vector clipart to the library just for the fun of it so that others can use it.  I like to see all the cool things that people think to draw.  Because they are all vector illustrations, the clipart can be opened and edited as SVGs if you are interested in doing that.  Or…. they can be downloaded as PNGs to use online…. or anywhere else you’d like.  Those of you that like to draw might have fun contributing like I do.  (You can see what I’ve uploaded by clicking here.  My username is Laurianne.)

The Open Clipart Library occasionally has contests as well.  I like contests because they are a challenge and they motivate me to work at improving my drawing skills.  I recently entered a contest to create a logo for the Doudou Linux project.  Doudou Linux is an OS for kids that is definitely worth looking at if you have kidos…. and yup, it’s free.  I am super excited that two of my entries for the contest ended up in the top 10!  The developers will now narrow it down to 3, and then will choose the winner.  There are some really talented artists that contribute to the site, so I don’t expect I’ll win… but I figure it’s worth a try.

I’d really like to know what you think about the Open Clipart Library.  Please leave a comment and let me know if you’ve used it, and if so how.  Do you download, contribute, or what?

Note:  The picture above was created using two photos I took this weekend. The technique I used was similar to that in my tutorial titled “Using Inkscape’s Clip Feature to Edit a Photo”.  After setting the clip, I layered the flag photo on top and reduced the opacity.  The frame is just a rectangle sent to the bottom.  I then layered the text on the top and grouped the whole thing. Give it a try if you like and let me know how it turned out!

Happy drawing!


Who’s the Boss?

Picture of unedited photoShe stood her ground.  All three and a half feet of her….. those cute three-year-old cheeks flushed and her big blue eyes locked on mine.  I had just asked my granddaughter, my precious, perfect princess #2, to put something away in the kitchen.  After ignoring my repeated request she firmly stated, “I’m not going to.  You’re not my boss, Mommy is.” I explained to her that when Mommy is not home and Grandma is taking care of her, Grandma is her “boss”. She listened and contemplated, but I could see she was not fully convinced.  I decided I might need to adjust my strategy. Knowing that her daddy and papa where upstairs doing drywall work, I continued, “If you would like we can go upstairs and talk to Daddy about it.” I watched her as she took only a second to think through her options.  “I don’t need to talk to Daddy”, she stated. “I’ll put it away”,  as she quickly headed to the kitchen.

I think the idea of “Who’s the Boss” must have been something she was putting a lot of thought into because the subject came up once more that day. She asked, “Grandma, who’s the boss at your house?” I might have stuttered just a tiny little bit as I answered, “Papa”…….. of course…  😉

I love being a grandma, I love my grandchildren, and I love taking pictures of them.  The picture shown here is of the above-mentioned granddaughter.  Isn’t she a cutie!

I was a little disappointed in this picture because the dandelion puff did not catch the light the way I wanted it too.  But I remembered that I had been practicing using various settings on my new camera and had taken a few pictures of dandelions.  Aha!  I knew I could cheat a little by using the Clip feature in Inkscape to “cut out” the puff from from another picture and paste it into this one.  You can see how much more the dandelion shows up in the picture below. I’m sure a trained eye will know it has been edited, but for my purposes, I was pleased with the results.Photo edited

I’ve written a tutorial to show how I did this simple photo edit. Click here to take a look.

Happy drawing!