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Alphabet Soup: Text As Design Elements

March 10, 2009

It’s a shame we have to get sick to have down time. I never used to call in sick for work when I held a 9-5 job. I would haul myself out of bed and get myself there come hell or high water. Literally. I remember once heading home in squalls that warned of an impending hurricane. Our skeleton crew at the office had stayed till the bitter end that day. The parking lot was 2 blocks away as I sloshed down the street with my umbrella that had turned inside out from the wind. The drive home was very lonely and scary, let me tell you. Ah, the stories!

So now, being my own boss, I’m still hard on myself. Old habits die hard. But an artist needs a day off now and then, so yesterday and today I’ve been taking advantage of some down time. Shhh! Please don’t tell anyone. I feel absolutely fine. Giddy almost!

Remember the big text I planned to cut out of some magazines yesterday? Well here are some of the results. These are only a big handful of the letters I’m collecting. First I put them on the scanner . . .


Then I played with the color, added some layers and zoomed in a little  . . .


And zoomed in some more . . .


Text. That’s all, just text. Alphabet Soup.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Sherrill Pearson permalink
    March 10, 2009 7:21 am

    Poor Martha, what a kick in the pants that must have been – the virus that is. Glad you’re up and about and playing with your toys again. Jeez, that’s amazing how you did that on the computer with the letters. As you zoomed in you begin to see just abstract designs. I like that trick.

    I start ‘messing’ with my self-levelling gel yesterday in earnest. And, you are right it is often more interesting on the reverse side. I used parchment paper and did some sneak peels and it comes off nicely. But today is the big day and i get to remove it completely. Can’t wait to see what I come up with.

    Also, can’t wait for the rest of your little gem tutorials. Have a great day Martha and give the pups a pat for me.

    • March 10, 2009 8:07 am

      Sherrill, just a short bout of that makes one thrilled just to be feeling good — which I do now, thanks!

      I love to zoom in on things. It’s a long established habit of mine for abstracting reality.

  2. March 10, 2009 8:47 am

    Oh I hear ya Marsha……I was going along a hundred miles an hour last month and got hit like a big semi with parts of the fly bug going around. Caused me to just rest and stay warm for 10 days….my body’s way to telling me to slow down!
    Sometimes we forget we can’t continue going hundred miles an hour everyday and think we can get away with it!!!
    Glad to hear you are feeling better!
    LOVED this alphabet play time – will have to try it also.

    • March 10, 2009 9:57 am

      Dale Anne, I can’t tell you how many people I know personally who have been dropped for a week with that flu! Yes, just like being hit by a semi, exactly. Fortunately mine was just an intestinal bug, and maybe even food poisoning, since it didn’t last very long. You’re right — we can’t get away with just going and going. We need to take time for ourselves.

      Glad you liked the letters. I can see you making quilts with them!

  3. March 10, 2009 9:15 am

    ooo there is something about lettering and text I love. This looks like fun! thanks as always for your inspiration!

  4. March 10, 2009 10:07 am

    I love text of any kind and find your explorations quite interesting. I am totally afraid of Adobe Photo Shop except for very basic applications. I’m amazed when I see what interesting compositions people come up with using software. You keep inspiring me Martha. I have a list of should- trys from your site. Hope you have a good rest and feel better.

    • March 11, 2009 5:05 am

      Margaret, I hope you’ll decide to just play around in PhotoShop a little bit once in a while when you have some time. That’s the best way to learn it. The online help is very good, and there are tons of online tutorials as well — even videos!

  5. March 11, 2009 5:18 am

    Martha I hope your feeling better. These are so neat! This is the best Alphabet Soup I ever had! Hugs…. xoxo

    • March 11, 2009 2:05 pm

      Ahh, Joyce, I do feel much better — thanks! Yes, this makes me hungry for homemade alphabet soup!

  6. March 11, 2009 10:50 am

    Martha — what fun! is this a process of “ob/literating the literate”?!!

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