Monday, August 19, 2013

Peonies Photo in Etsy Treasury

My "Peonies in the Spotlight" photo is featured in an Etsy Treasury

Monday, August 12, 2013

Art Show in Norwich, CT

These pictures are from the opening of the show Dreamtime at the Gallery at the Wauregan, 200 Main Street, Norwich, CT.  The show will be up for the month of August. I have four pictures in the show.

This is my Digital Art work in the show. It is titled "Colors."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Messy Photography Studio

Don't you love how artist's and crafts people's studios are so very neat and organized in all the magazine pictures? That is not real life. I have been printing and framing art for three shows here in Connecticut. It is a messy process.

These prints are being considered for framing. 

 This frame had to be drilled with my dremmel for me to put hooks into.

I am participating in three shows that run for the entire month of August. Work has been delivered to the Dreamtime show at the Gallery at the Wauregan, 200 Main St., Norwich, Connecticut. Also two photos have been taken to the Windham Regional Arts Council show at the Windham Hospital Gallery, Mansfield Ave., Willimantic, Connecticut.  Next to frame is art for the Windham Arts August Pop-up-Gallery at the Thompson Library,  934 Riverside Drive (Route 12), North Grosvenordale, CT

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Creating Buttons

Notice my new linked buttons in the right sidebar. Now to go to my Website and my Etsy shop you are only one click away! Would love some feedback!

Making Life Easier

My friend, Carol, uses a salad spinner and her salads are fantastic. I am now the proud owner of an Oxo salad spinner. No more watery salads. This was on sale at Kohls, plus I had a 15% off coupon. And I paid for it with Kohls Cash!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Etsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Web site

I have been a busy person this month and it is only July 8th! I have decided to put my art online under the name Nancy Olivia Designs. Here is what I have done -

1. Revamped and renamed my web site -

2. Set up an Etsy shop -

3. Created a business Facebook page -

4. Set up a business Pinterest page -

If anyone has any words of advice, I would love to hear from you! Does anyone have experience with Smugmug, Zenfolio or Fine Art America? I would like to know the quality of their printed art work and how it compares to the others.

Doing all this is rather scary. It means putting myself out there. It is also a stretch technologically to create these sites and learn how to do all that is required. Actually, it has not left me much time to create any new art work.

I have been back at my jewelry making and hope to add that to my offerings along with photographs and digitally created art. Please visit my sites and do all the "liking & favoriting" that will make me look good! Thanks in advance. And if you could repin any of my artwork on Pinterest I would greatly appreciate it!

  Here a recent photograph taken in the "Quiet Corner of Connecticut."

                                       Nancy Olivia Hoffmann - Nancy Olivia Designs

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Don't you hate it when things don't look the same?

My boy Ken bought me the Updated version of Photoshop Elements (#11) when he realized I was 5 versions behind. He was updating my computer to prevent Elements from closing unexpectedly. There is a learning curve with the new program. Everything looks different! This is my first effort.

Mr. B often talks about "when my ship comes in." Well, when mine comes in I plan to buy ink and print my new digital compositions.  Hopefully it will be a real ship and not a row boat!

I am really loving creating these beautiful blended backgrounds.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Process of Making a Digital Montage

This Montage started with a picture of a purple hydrangea bloom. See the second picture below. I choose a background to put the cropped picture on. See the third picture below. The background is made from a photo I took of a stream in winter. Then I kept making changes, all in Photoshop Elements.

I like to keep several versions of a work as I go along. Just make a duplicate and continue to make changes to the duplicate. I work in layers. For the final product the layers are merged. Sometimes I put the work on a colored background to give the effect of a mat.

By keeping versions of the work in layers, it is possible to go back and make changes. Any layer can be deleted or added to. Any of the versions can be changed and made into something entirely different.

Original Picture

Second Step. Picture is cropped and put on a background.

My knowledge has come mostly from experimentation. I do have a book that explains Photoshop Elements. After studying that book, I just dug in and started. My first Montage I posted here. My work has improved and changed since that first Montage.

Monday, February 18, 2013

She's Back !

Somehow I drifted away from bolgging. But here I am. Still making digital art. Suffering from Cabin Fever or "Tired of Winter Syndrome." Today was seventeen degrees and windy. I was supposed to go snowshoeing but decided I am not hearty enough. Give me a warmer day and I'll get out there!

                              Without further ado .......... "Rose Montage"

by Nancy Olivia Hoffmann

Monday, June 18, 2012

Overdoing it - Who, Me?

I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Having learned  (but not permanently) my lesson about overdoing it in the garden, I had a day of overdoing it in the house. At least I am consistent!

After a full day, I decided to wash the kitchen windows, inside and out, and the woodwork plus the screens. At one point that required me to sit on the windowsill and put my feet in the kitchen sink. As I was wiping glass with my feet in the sink, my daughter-in-law called. While I was talking to her, and still wiping, I glanced behind me to the outside to see my daughter standing there looking up at me as if I were crazy! Well, I wasn't going to miss talking to my daughter-in-law just because I was sitting on the windowsill with my feet in the kitchen sink!

It was worth the effort because the kitchen seemed so much cleaner and brighter. Everyone in the family commented on it.

Thank you all for your favorable comments on my photo montages. Since I work alone at home, it is nice to get feedback. This montage features a cosmos and a butterfly photoed in my yard. Of course I changed the color from yellow to orange. You can see the flower repeated in the top left and the bottom right. In the top right you can faintly see a peony which is repeated in the bottom. The background is a single photo of a cluster of white astilbe blooms over a color layer, covered by a texture layer. This is done in Photoshop Elements 6.

Legal Seafoods in Framingham, MA was the site of our Father's Day dinner. Our son, daughter and son-in-law treated us. Mr. B had raw oysters but I was not brave enough to try one. Why are they called "naked cowboys"? Anyone know?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Overdoing in the Garden

Have you ever worked so many hours in the garden you can barely stand up the next day? It seems I never learn and I keep working as I think, "I'll quit when when I finish this, and this, and this." And then it is too late and I'm nearly crippled. At least I can still recover in a day. But I know it would be better to garden two hours at the time.

To make my Saturday gardening adventure even more severe, I had pulled weeds for two hours with other garden club members just the day before. Our Garden Club of Windham maintains many public spaces and the largest is the Garden on the Bridge where we were working. I truly believe in the mission of the club to beautify our area, so I help by weeding, trimming, planting and picking up lots of trash. Willimantic has so much going for it. Many new restaurants and other businesses have opened on Main Street in the past year. Making the area prettier and cleaner can help in this rebirth the town is experiencing.

This new work of mine is different for me in that it has a face in it. The lady in the hat was taken from a larger picture that has some of my ancestors in it. I think it was made around 1914 in Surrency, Georgia. The pansies are from my yard as are the astilbe you can see outlined in the background. 

Join other bloggers at The Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Special Flowers

This is one of three pieces I entered in the Juried Vernon Art Center Show. The others were a print/collage and a fabric/weaving piece. All the flowers except the roses were photographed in my yard last summer. It is wonderful to have so many photo ops just outside my door!

Today I take my entries to the Windham Regional Art Council Show at Art Space in Willimantic. Each artist can use four linear feet.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Productive Year of Art

The Windham Regional Art Council's annual show is coming up in June. That makes me realize that it has been one year since I have been pursuing my art seriously and putting work in shows.

My first show here in Connecticut was at the Windham Art Council show in June of 2011. Since then I have had two solo shows, been in three juried shows, won a grand prize for a photograph, and shown in two additional shows. I sold a framed photo at the Digital Art Show sponsored by the Vernon Community Arts Center and also sold two matted photos from other shows. Not bad for one year!

I have learned so much, all by reading, research and experimenting. And I'm loving it! Now what I would really like is an agent so I can just create and let someone else market my work.

The deadline for the Windham Art Council Show is this Sunday, May 27. For the juried show at the Vernon Community Art Center, I have to deliver my work on Friday, May 25. Keep your fingers crossed that I get a piece accepted into that show. It is always good to be accepted  by a jury.

Here is one of my newest pieces. Should it be in the upcoming shows? The really fun part here is creating the backgrounds. I can experiment with photos, layers and textures! The tulip and the butterfly are from two different photos, both taken in my yard.

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Friends - Old Friends

Spring is flying by and I don't have much to show for the days. I have had lots of lazy enjoyment and read a ton of books - pure escapist fare. I am still not feeling like doing much. Maybe I should stop worrying about that and roll with it. Normally I try to accomplish a few things every day that I can look back on at bedtime and feel good about. Is reading a book a day enough?

I have a new friend. We met at the Windham Garden Club meeting and she has already been here for coffee. We hit it off instantly. She has moved here from Virginia but is originally a Connecticut girl. JP is the outgoing type of person who hugs you when she meets you.

Moving here at this stage of my life - (being old) - has made it a real challenge to meet people. Normally one connects through one's children. My answer was to join clubs and get involved. JP is doing the same thing. The problem is that when you are the newcomer everyone else has their friendships formed and groups in place. There don't seem to be a lot of new people here in Windham.

An interesting thing about JP is she is a fellow blogger. Now I can say I am friends with a blogger like many of the rest of you. Check out JP's blog, JP-aquietcorner. She is referring to me as Mona but I told her it is okay to use my real name. (An artist has to spread her name around :)

The place where I had the most friends, Cooperstown, NY, had lots of new people in town because of  the Imogene Basset Hospital. A few of us started a Newcomers Club. From the original six, the Club grew to over thirty members. Never having lived near family, I learned how important it is to create a support group of friends. Maybe because I grew up in a small town, I love seeing people I know when I go to the store or the post office. My sister on the other hand didn't like people knowing her. She wanted to be anonymous.

Mr. B and I are blessed with having "old" friends still living in Massachusetts where we used to live. We have been friends with that couple for forty years. We knew each other when we were younger, slimmer and were new parents. C and I have gone up in clothes sizes together. Fortunately I have stayed a size behind her so she gives me her lovely hand-me-downs!

Speaking of Mr. B, he has found out I refer to him as "Mr. B" and is not happy about it. Too dull he says. I think he would prefer me to call him "Stud" in my blog.