Monday, May 28, 2012

Steampunk Beauties - A. Mucha Precious Stones & Flowers Series

I love the Art Nouveau Ladies painted by Alphonse Mucha
and decided to have a bit of fun with a few of my favorites.

I took three ladies from the "Precious Stone and Flowers" series and give them a
Steampunk look using digital scrapbooking elements.

Here is my finished Scrapbook/Digital Art Layout

Three of Alphonse Mucha's "Precious Stones" in an EKDuncan Steampunk setting.


This is the full set of 4 "Precious Stone" Ladies I had in my collection.
I thought Emerald, Amethyst and Topaz would work the best 
together for my project so I only used those three.

Here they are individually




Here is another look at the finished piece.

All the digital scrapbooking items used to create this project came from ScrapGirls
when originally purchased. They retire and discontinue items from time to 
time and some of the elements are no longer available from them. 

Thanks for dropping by to see my latest creation.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Assortment of Glitter Bokeh Texture Backgrounds

I'm constantly taking photos of items that I can use at textures in my digital art.
I recently posted a fun assortment of Glitter Backgrounds on my deviantART account
and thought I'd share them here as well.

A Sample of my available Glitter Backgrounds

Glitter and Bokeh images can add an interesting quality to digital scenes.
(Bokeh -  an aesthetic blur or out of focus area in a photograph.
They are usually more noticeable in highlights and background reflections)

I used one of my glitter photos when I changed this blogs banner early in 2012.
It's the banner currently at the top of this blog or you can re-visited that post HERE 
I also used a glitter background in my digital artpiece 
"Queen of the Spring Fairies" which can be seen HERE

 I had a bit of fun taking photos of glitter to use as textural backgrounds in Photoshop
and thought I'd share them here as well as on my deviantART account.

These and other high resolution images can also be downloaded directly 
from my deviantART gallery by clicking HERE

As with all my EKDuncan images
 You may re-post the image elsewhere but please leave the artist identification tag on it if you do. Document artist credit as either EKDuncan or and 
leave a link back to this image where possible.

If you use one of my images in your artwork and post it on the web; I would appreciate 
artist credit for the element used and a link back so others can access it too.  
Again please list artist credit as EKDuncan or whenever possible.

Do NOT repackage, sell it or take credit for this image as your own. 
From one artist to another - This is greatly appreciated!

Enjoy and create fun art!

Here are a few of the Glitter Backgrounds I created.
To see them all visit my Texture Gallery - HERE

I had a lot of fun photographing these glitter backgrounds.
There were so many diffident looks I could get depending on the type of glitter,
the light source I used and depending on the angle I took the shot.

Now I have a nice set of glitter shots to use as texture layers when I'm working in Photoshop.

I hope you are able to use some of them in your digital art too.

From my muse to yours...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Digital Cards using 18th Century Fashion Plates

Happy Mother's Day!

In celebration of Mother's Day have created 2 digital cards using 
vintage fashion plates from the late 18th century.

EKDuncan altered 1784 Fashion Plate was used for this digital artpiece
This vintage French fashion plate and others can be seen HERE

EKDuncan altered 1780 French Fashion Plate was used for this digital artpiece
This vintage fashion plate and others can be seen - HERE

I've spent the past several months posting vintage French fashion plates from the the time
 of Marie Antoinette on my regular blog

There is a large selection of fashion images including png's in a rainbow of colors 
I've created as well as some fun digital art using some of those figures.

Click HERE to see the Late 18th century French Fashion plate series over on my main blog.

Enjoy and Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Duncan Reunion - Digital Scrapbook Double Layout

My husband's family holds and annual family reunion and this year I decided to put some 
of my digital scrapbooking supplies to use and create a fun layout.  

December 2011 - Family Reunion digital scrapbook layout. Using various digital collections from ScrapGirls
I have a large collection of digital scrapbooking supplies, 
yet I have not really scrapbooked digitally very much... till now.  
That's my new goal for 2012 and going forward. 

I've created several "real" scrapbooks in the past and though they are nice, there is only one copy of each.  For example - My Mom has a book I created for her of her early years when she grew up in Spain and I did a book for my Dad of his life growing up here in the States.  Each was a labor of love and is a cherished item in their homes; however they were extremely expensive to create and very time consuming with still only the one copy at each of their homes; so it's not as if I, my brother or the grand-kids can flip through them unless we happen to be visiting.
Then another concern - what if... flood, fire, unforeseen catastrophe and they are gone forever.
(ya, none of us like to think of those things happening but it happens and most people lament the loss of family photos that will never be seen again. - Going digital can be a safeguard.)

I also soon grew tired of running out of this or that and not having a good color match when working on a layout. I always seemed to be at a loss for the right color or right item or size needed for my layout regardless of the huge assortment of papers, embellishments and supplies I had stockpiled.   Then there was the huge process of dragging everything out and put it away again when I'm through.   Basically I gave up on scrapbooking and moved on to rubber stamping and other crafty projects. 

Then in 2011, I took the dive to learn Photoshop and started playing digitally.  
One of the first things I did was purchase digital scrapbooking supplies to use in my digital creations.  And I've even created digital scrapbooking supplies of my own - see HERE 

I've decided for 2012 I want to create a series of these double page layouts to commemorate special occasions or family trips.  This way I have them and I can easily share them with friends and family. (and if something happens to my copy there will be other copies out there)
I love scrapbooking digitally! Now I always have the right color paper or embellishment and I don't run out of anything!!!  I buy a product once and get to use it over and over. I can change the color or adjust the size anyway needed.  It's just so much more fun and enjoyable to create layouts this way - at least I thing so.

The Full 2 page layout

So the Duncan Reunion from December 2011 was my first large digital layout.
I created it so it could be printed and placed in 8.5 x 11 sheet protectors in a binder;
 just in case any of the recipients wanted to print them out and start an actual "book".

Left side of Layout
I used downloaded fonts already on my computer for some of the wording.
Family Reunion is font type - "Giddyup Std"
Duncan Gathering is font type - "Pristina"
Angier, NC is font type - American "XBd BT"

The Bold Lettering for DUNCAN and 2011
is from the Alpha portion of "The View Collection" from ScrapGirls

The hinges that connect the two pages and the copper hinges on some of the
photos are also part of "The View Collection"

The "Leather" items (Buckled Strap, Ring with leather trim and the Leather Corners)
all came from the "Persian Breeze Collection Biggie" from ScrapGirls

Right Side of Layout
I had a lot of photos to work into this two page spread so I scanned through my ScrapGirls collections and found several sets that worked well together.  This is one of the great things about purchasing digital collections thought sites like ScrapGirls.  The items in the collections are made to work together so you are not pulling your hair out finding things that "play nice" with other elements on your page.  Then again you can alter colors, shapes and sizes as needed and you don't run out of anything since you can use the products over and over again. All for one small investment. I call that a Win- Win!

Tip - I always stock up on the sales - especially the 40% off ones.
I keep a "wish list" and every time they have a big sale I buy several items from my list.
Don't forget to sign up for their daily newsletter - this gives you tips and tricks to using the product as well as great layout examples. It also reminds you to download the "free" item of the day.  That's right "FREE" items!!! 
Backgrounds, Embellishments, Word Art and more... for FREE!


Here is what I used for my Duncan digital layout.

I wanted to keep my layout quick and easy to put together 
so all my digital items came from collections at ScrapGirls

Please Note - Items do retire and artist leave from time to time so it is possible that some of these products may no longer be available from them.  That is something else I quickly learned - if there is a collection you want don't wait too long to buy it or it could disappear. 
Sigh - it's happened to me a few times.

Retired - No longer available at ScrapGirls
The colorized version of these Portrait Frames by Jan Hicks
are now available over at "Happy to Create" - HERE

Retired - No longer available at ScrapGirls
I did not see these at "Happy to Create" under Jan Hicks.
(You could always email them and see if it's possible to get them)
I have a thing for vintage frames so, I'm glad I have mine! - grins

I used the Rust one listed as 3_8 as the bottom background layer
I bought the Value Pack that has all 
three Gesso Collections for one low price.
Gesso 1 (Reds) - Gesso 2 (Blue/Greens) - Gesso 3 (Neutrals)
and I also bought THIS Value Pack of Gesso Styles for Photoshop.
Can you tell I have a thing for stucco looking textures???

I really do save by purchasing the Value Packs and it's a Super Savings when 
they run their 40% off sales; so I always look to see if a product I'm considering 
for purchase is part of a "Value Pack"

I used the Christmas ornaments on the Left page of my layout
Christmas Angel Dust Collection by Brandy Murry

The embellishments are available as a separate purchase from the paper set;
 or if you like the whole collection you can save some money in getting the full set.
That's what I did with this one.

I used several of the "Leather" items from this collection
Persian Breeze Collection Biggie by Brandy Hackman

The embellishments are available as a separate purchase from the paper set;
 or if you like the whole collection you can save some money in getting the full set.
That's what I did with this one.

I used the Stucco-Washed Background, Window Frame, Shutters 
Hinges and Alpha Letters (DUNCAN & 2011)
 The View Collection by Brandy Murry

The Stucco background in this collection listed as "Stucco Washed"
Was used to create the two upper most background layers.
The top background (the lightest) is the paper as it comes in the set.

The slightly darker layer below it is the same paper but I added a
color filter in Photoshop to change the look.
Also by using drop shadow and outer glow effects
I got a nice "rim" on the backgrounds.

My finished layout

 I created my Duncan Reunion layout by taking parts and pieces from the above 6 collections.

 I'm a bargain shopper so I collected most of  these on the 40% off sales ScrapGirls has a few times a year (another reason to sign up for the newsletter - you won't miss the big sales).
 I've got @ $30 invested in the 6 collections I used.  I've already created this one great layout and have not even scratched the creative possibilities these collections still contain.
(I can use all the items over as many times as I want and adjust them as my layout calls for it.)

If you hurry you can take advantage of the 40.5% off sale that ends tonight
February 29, 2012 at Midnight.

I've already bought 2 more collections to add to my ever growing stash!!!

Here is what I bought yesterday.

Blossoms and Blooms winter Embellishment Biggie by Brandy Hackman

 Frame Groups Embellishments by Brandy Hackman

Happy Shopping and Scrapping!

If you want to see other ScrapGirl related posts click HERE

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A New Look with a bit of Marie Antoinette Style

I'm starting a new vintage fashion plate series in the Marie Antoinette style over on my main blog at and thought this would be the prefect time to give My Fanciful Muse a bit of a face-lift as well.

This is the "new" look I've come up with for this blog - My Fanciful Muse
I've made a slight modification to the last swirled background I created for this page
and I've finally created a title bar for this blog - complete with a
vintage fashion beauty in the style of Marie Antoinette.

She is just one version of a 1770's fashion plate I'll be posting about on my main blog 
in the near future - so don't forget to come and check them out.

I started by finally creating a "title bar" for this blog and making a few
alterations to my background.I liked my original swirl pattern on the
background so I just softened it up a bit, changed the texture in the center
as well as its color to a softer sage green.

(if you want to know what the old background looked like click HERE)

I created my title bar by first choosing my fashion lady in the style of Marie Antoinette.
Yup - she is one of my adaptations from an original 1770's fashion plate.

EKD Dancing Marie #3 - Blue & Green version
I thought this image looked like a Fairy Queen would make a nice topper.
She is just one version of a "Dancing Marie" I'll be posting to my
EKDuncan blog in the near future, so she is just a teaser for now - giggles.

I could not resist using one of my Ackermann Repository images of a "Country Seat"
as the title bar background; and this amazing stately estate just seemed to fit the ticket.

1823 Eaton Hall - West, Front View - Ackermann's Repository
 This and other Regency Era estate landscapes can be found
on my EKDuncan blog post for Country Seats - HERE

My fanciful lady just had that Fairy Queen look to her so I wanted the feel of fairy dust about her.
My hubby says it looks like snow but the rest of us knows it's fairy dust - right? ... wink.

Green Glitter Shimmer Texture - photo taken by me
 I love textures of all kinds and one day I dragged out various glitters,
took my camera and had a blast taking shots from many angles
of various types and colors of glitter.

I used this shimmer texture at a reduced opacity over my title bar
background to get what I think is a "magical" or "dreamy" look.

I used a fun text style and added one of my vintage frames to finish off the look.

One of my favorite frames from my vintage collection
 A bit of adjusting in Photoshop and this frame fit over my Title bar just right.
It takes a bit of playing with in sections so that the side bars are all
the same thickness when your done but it is worth the effort.

My "adjusted" title bar frame

Put it all the elements together and I had a fanciful title bar for my blog

And I think it blends in pretty well with the updated background

Updated background for this blog
If you are wondering about the "faded" portion at the bottom...
I recently discovered on Mac devices when you scroll down on a blog,
the background does not stay constant like it does on a regular computer.
Instead there is a harsh ending between a blog background and the
solid background color for your blog.

I don't know why this happens with iPads and such, I just know it does.
So now when I update a new "look" to my blogs, I grab my hubby's iPad and
keep testing to see if I've "faded" the bottom of the background enough
so this is not an issue for those viewing my blogs on a Mac or iPad/iPhone.

I'm not sure if there is a better way to handle this "issue" but if any
of you know one, please drop me a note in the comments section.
I'd love to know an easy "fix" for this.


Thanks for dropping in and I hope you check out my fun new series
on Marie Antoinette vintage styles at

May you...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Regency look using Ackermann Repository images for my Main Blog - EKDuncan

I decided to to update my main blog for 2012 by changing a few things about it.  I've got a new background, an updated title, a new banner, changed my profile picture and even created a blog button to be grabbed.  A good start to a new and wonderful year!

New Look for my main blog -
  I originally had an extend title on the banner that was EKDuncan - My Fanciful Art Quest.
Now the new banner title is EKDuncan "My Fanciful Muse"

So, why the change?
 I decided that going forward I wanted these two blogs to tie in better and thought this would 
be the best way to do it since this sister blog is
This way the sister blog name plays a prominent role on the banner of my main blog too. 

I've not posted a lot in the past here, to this blog;
so my hope is that going forward I will use it more.

For example on my main blog I've been posting a series of Regency era pieces
tied to the 1809-1828 publication Ackermann's Repository.
I've been posting images from those publications for the past 6 months.
I never expected to spend so much time on that series but it has become a labor of love.

 I did not want to break the rhythm of the sequence of those posts so on occasion
I placed a few non-sequential or non-Ackermann projects here to this sister blog.

Yesterday I decided to let the two sites become more strongly linked together
- so we'll just see how it all goes.

I like the new changes I've made and I hope you guys do too.
 These are the new digital designs I created for the main blog 

New blog Banner with updated title - EKDuncan "My Fanciful Muse" instead of the old EKDuncan - My Fanciful Art Quest
I think this is a big improvement over the old banner - see HERE at the bottom of the post.
I could not resist adding a few more Ackermann images to the mix.

New blog button for
My first ever blog button creation.

My closing tag line to every EKDuncan post is "Grins and Giggles"
I even created a new graphic to close all my posts with.

All the images used to create the above items are from
Ackermann's Repository a 200 year old Regency Publication from England.

These are the individual images I used.

The Fashion Ladies of Ackermann Repository

Ackermann's printed 2 fashion plates in each of it's monthly issues from 1809-1828.
There were hundreds of hand-colored plates in the 20 years of publication.
Many of my favorites were Ball, Evening, Court and Traveling Dresses.

  I took several of my favorite Regency fashion plates and created png images
so they could easily be used in digital art creations.
These were the just three I used for this project.

The 1809 Gentleman and the Lady at the Mirror from my blog background can also be found
in the below zip file with the 41 png Regency Fashion Plates from Ackermann's repository.
I've created 41 of them into an easy to download zip file
that can be found on my deviantART account HERE

 To see more posts about Ackermann Repository Fashions
from 1809-1828 click HERE or see the below links.

All the Ackermann Repository Fashion plates for the 20 years
of publication can be found on the below links.

I created 1 post for each years fashions and then
I created some fun artwork using a variety of Ackermann images.
I hope you enjoy them.

 Ackermann's ran series 1 from 1809 - 1815
(this is a fun digital art piece I did using many of the above ladies)

Ackermann's ran series 2 from 1816 - 1822
(this is a fun digital art piece I did using several Ackermann's Repository images from 
series 2 and one fun lion man from J.J. Grandville, who was another Regency period illustrator.)

Ackermann's ran series 3 from 1823 - 1828
Ghost Ladies of the Regency
(A whimsical piece of artwork I created using several Ackermann's Repository images.)

Here are several links to EKDuncan digital scenes
I created using Ackermann Repository images.

Waiting for Midnight
Happy Christmas
Beautiful Day for a Walk
Regency Ladies with a Gothic View
Regency Ladies with a Curtain View
Regency Beauties - Set the Stage
Ladies in a Midnight Garden
Regency Ghost Scene

The Curtain
Ackermann's Repository posted a nice selection of curtains as part of its ongoing furniture series.

This is the version I used on my new blog banner for EKDuncan.blogspot
 To see all the amazing curtains from Ackermann's Repository - click HERE
My png versions of these Regency curtains can be found on my deviantART account  - HERE

The Landscapes

 There were many series in the pages of Ackermann's that included scenery;
some of my favorites were the "Garden" series & the "Country Seat" series.

I used this as a backdrop in my new blog banner - I reduced the opacity to make it more transparent.

I used this "Country Seat" on the left side of my blog background - behind the seated gentleman

I used this as a backdrop to my ending Grins and Giggles signature and
the un-altered version of the same image was used on the background for my blog
- behind the lady at the mirror.
This is actually my version of a digital scrapbooking background page.
I created a whole series of them - HERE

 Other "Garden" landscapes can be seen - HERE
Landscapes of "Country Estates" can be seen - HERE

I started posting images from Ackermann's Repository at the end of June 2011.
My first post was a deck of Regency Era Playing Cards  - click HERE to see the post.
And I've been posting Ackermann Repository images and articles for over 6 month
with several more posts to go before I'm done.
I'm currently posting Furniture Plates with the first of 3 in the series - HERE

I hope you will check some of these link out.
The images are beautiful and I've also included some of the original articles
and descriptions so you truly get the fell of what it was like to read a period Regency magazine.

Now that I've got my main blog looking nice and pretty for 2012;
 My next project is to do the same her on this sister blog site.

Might prove quite interesting.

Till next time.