Friday, March 25, 2005

Busy, busy, busy....

I'm trying to do a complete overhaul of my website while working on a computer that freezes up like my favorite summer drink!!! I finally got fed up with loosing work I had done and ordered a new Dell this morning. That of course means more work when it arrives. Getting all on this one saved to cd's to transfer over to the new one.

Then there is the fact that we are trying to clean up and spruce up and paint up our old house to sell this spring, or maybe fall. Depends on how much our aching bones can take with all the work involved. We have been here for 36 years, and one never notices little things piling up til you see your place through a prospective buyers eyes!

Needless to say, the screensavers are a bit on hold. I actually have four that are ready to go onto the site. But it takes quite a bit of time to set up the pages involved to do so. And I need to do all those pages four times.

After talking about the Terragen program a bit ago, I downloaded their newest edition and tried playing around with it a short while. It's still great fun, and I will go into it deeper when some time allows. Meanwhile, have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Tru Luv...a beautiful fractal finish!

tru luv, originally uploaded by collectincat.

Starting with that first fractal, I took a tool from PSP and made a large portion look like glass bricks with a glow behind them. And that lacey frame was perfect for a cat, or even better, a pair of cats, nose to nose, with a deep blue sillouette shadow behind them. Then pull out that blue and make a frame around the whole thing. Just right for my "Fractal Cats" screensaver.
What do you think????

Blue and golds fractal , perfect for a screensaver

blue and golds fractal, originally uploaded by collectincat.

Here's a fractal in great blue and gold tones. And you can see a perfect spot for adding a subject. There is a lace frame over on the right on a little hill. Of course, I thought of one of my kittys first.

Friday, March 18, 2005


caught, originally uploaded by collectincat.

Now we have a fractal that is framed, and shows a bird caught in that blue webbing, and a patient cat just watching. (He is my wild cat made tame, Rufus)
This cat was skinny and terribly shy and took a whole year of feeding and gentleness to make 'contact' with him. And look how healthy his fur and body look now!

blue rust fractal

blue rust fractal, originally uploaded by collectincat.

Here is a great fractal with rust colors and blue webbing.

Family comes first...

It's been a madhouse around here for the last week, but family always comes first over writing in my blog.
My son in Vt. had to move out quickly from his place, and in the same week, my sister and her husband got the word for their place they had been waiting for. So lots of boxes and packing took up the week. Sister is settled and happy, - son is on his way back to Ct(home) very soon. I'm sore and pooped but happy for all!!!

We were talking about fractals last time and I want to include a couple pics to show you what they look like. You may very well say "I've seen THOSE" but not have known what they were or how they were made. So now you are sooooo much more intelligent! LOL

Keeping it short for today, and am off to Flickr to get those photos onto the blog. Next breath I get to take we can discuss TERRAGEN. (great fun program)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

What in the world is a "Fractal"?

I mentioned in my last post that the Appleblossom Art screensavers were mainly pretty fractal 'savers. If you were puzzeled by the word 'fractal' you certainly are not the first. Again, Google comes to the rescue if you want to find some free fractal programs out there. That is what I did, waaaay back when I saw my first one. Here is just one possible link for a free fractal maker.
Fractal Explorer
And after you get that goodie downloaded, here is a tutorial for beginners.
Fractal for Beginners"

I don't know a technical way to explain them, only my observations from using the programs. They are a bunch of pixels in millions of colors that the fractal program helps you to push around until you get an abstract shape and color that pleases you. You will find yourself playing with them for hours, and occasionaly one is gorgeous enough to actually SAVE. Sometimes you will save only a little corner of one, that suits your further purposes for screensavers.

I have done a "Fractal Cats" screensaver that gives my kittycats a totally unreal background for the real cats. Check out the free sample if you would like to see how they combine for a fascinating 'saver.
Fractal Cats
This will bring you to the page for purchasing the full 'saver and you will find mention of a free sample. Just click on the free sample and it will give you instructions for downloading to your PC.

Fractals are beautiful on their own, or a super fanciful background for more ordinary objects like the cats. They would make for some interesting fantasy worlds as well.

Enjoy making some today!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Where to go for graphic help to improve 'savers...

I had my Paint Shop Pro to work with but not enought knowledge to put all those tools to a good use for my website. And now that I wanted to make screensavers, I needed to learn all the tricks even more so.

I had been in a Quilt forum and had a lot of fun with that, so I figured there must be forums that specifically work with graphics for websets, and images. I had been downloading other websets to make my pages at my website on Geocities and I really wanted to make my very own. But how to do all those frames and layers and placement of color, etc. So I poked around and found the Circle of Style Webring and the forum that went with it. It isn't there anymore, sad to say. It must have broken up sometime after I had left it. (Think they missed me??) But the ladies involved in that ring were soooooo smart and so willing to share anything they could. I learned tons of info and went to work improving my skills. I suggest going to any webring site and put in the word 'graphics', or "paint shop pro' or 'photoshop' and find a site that appeals to you. Most people involved in this are very friendly and helpful, as all creative people seem to be.

This was about the same timing for purchasing a digital camera. What great fun that was!!! So my skills are much better and my image collections are improving tremendously with the digital. I'm getting closer to being able to produce pics that are abundant enough and good enough to put together those collections I mentioned before.

Now I go scouting for others like me to see how they handle their web pages, and what they have chosen for their pic collections, and how they price them. More fun, as I try out many, many screensaver samples. I learn what I like and don't like, and hope I can make ones that others will feel the same liking for.

One of the sites I remember was Lady Dove Screensavers I just downloaded one today to see whether her 'savers were still "clean" with no other programs tagging along. Good for her---they were clean as a whistle, and still very pretty. She chooses to make the Java type, which are usually only one picture but with animations of some type going on. Obviously, I usually prefer the ones with many pics, as I love variety. But a beautiful tiger drinking at a pond was tooo tempting to pass up. Lovely!

I also found a new site (to me) called Appleblossom Art She makes some gorgeous fractal type and she gives them away in hopes that we will donate to her health cause. Go check it out, if you have a few minutes.

Have some fun and go find yourself a nice new screensaver. There are thousands to choose from, but maybe you could try one of mine among all those others. The link is right over to the left. Have a great time looking for something of beauty.

Monday, March 07, 2005

A mini-rant on screensaver 'extras'

I've been very dissapointed lately when I attempt to download a free screensaver to find I have to 'uncheck' for two or three other goodies they want me to have. I don't want them and I resent being forced to take them in some of the downloads. I find myself exiting without finishing the download. And I go for the personally made types of 'savers from people just like me. Not the professional flashy movie stars, sports, etc. (I assume they have the extra junk added, also) I guess they feel they can't afford to give away the 'savers.

I give away samples to encourage people to buy the whole product. I don't want to aggrivate them with commercials and tools for my browser, and things "you just can't live without".

If I am not downloading these 'savers with the bonus goodies, does that mean there are a lot of other folks doing the same thing?

If you are the designer of that 'saver, you are loosing me as a customer????

Even if you are giving them away for no gain, you are loosing a chance to show off your work if I, as a customer, refuse to download the garbage attached to your pretty 'saver.

If you are new to this endeavor, please try to find a way to avoid these gimmicks being added to your 'savers. If you already have this happenning--KNOW THIS


Now I'll get off my soapbox and get back to work. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Red Squirrel Visiting

Red Squirrel Visiting, originally uploaded by collectincat.

Don't think I made it to my screensaver site...

Couldn't seem to get it just right, so I'm back at Gotta get some pro help on just exactly what to call the paths to my site. Bummmmmmer!!!!!

So how are you all today? Hope your day is going a bit better than mine. It's at least showing some sun out there, but it is sparkling off that darned SNOW still!

Got a really cute pic of a red squirrel popping his head ouf the snow bank in front of our slider door. It was taken through the glass so it isn't the greatest for clarity, but the little buggers are very skitterish if you so much as touch the door to open it.

I chopped it down to size and did the best I could to clarify, but couldn't really get that super orangey-red color to show properly. Also, he is facing me, which is the lighter side of his fur. But he looks so cute that I know he will end up in one of my new screensavers. It may be in a winter one, or in a nature's critters one, or some different collection that I haven't even thought of...yet. Now I'm off to Flickr to get the picture over here. See ya...

Saturday, March 05, 2005

testing,,, testing... where's my blog?

I just tried getting my blog over to my own site, and I want to see if I did it right. Sometimes those url addys can drive me nuts. Can't remember which name I called a page, and did I call it that at the site, too?????? Hopefully my latest post will show up when I click at my site to the new addy.

Want to be sure all who are stopping by and reading my info can continue to do so.

Hope it works!!!

Screensavers from snapshots?- Professional?

Well, of course you can make professional-looking screensavers from snapshots. As you can see though, from my last post, you do need to do a little work with them. I didn't have a digital camera at first, so for Collectin Cat Screensavers, the work was a little harder. Scanning a photo gives a lot less clear pic to work with. So you make it clearer in Paint Shop Pro, and you cut out the un-interesting background stuff, -or smudge it over -or clone good parts of the pic into the not so great parts. You can even totally change the background. Make new and different fantasy backgrounds for ordinary subject.

I don't want to give lessons in cleaning up the pics involved, as this would be terribly time-consuming and many have already done so with great tutorials on all the different aspects of 'painting' with your computer. Go to the Paint Shop Pro home page, or the PhotoShop one. Get yourself a decent paint program for a million other things besides screensavers. If you are at all creative, but a bit clumsy with the 'real' thing, using the computer programs available to create is the perfect answer. It is so much NEATER that doing it yourself at home.

Know that you can do fun and creative things with your computer, not just surf the web for viewing other's work.

What have you tried with your computer tools?

Do you have photos you would love to organize and show off?

Post a comment, let me know, share the info with the rest of the blog community!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Chauncey at seaside

Chauncey at seaside, originally uploaded by collectincat.

There he is -looking so content. Wish I was there with him. Getting very tired of this snow. Just love it when it comes down the first time of the year, and now there has been enough!!- it gets old.

I wannnnna beeeee down by the seeeeeaaaaa!

As they say here in New England, wait five minutes and the weather will change.

This pic is at Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island, and I have inserted the picture 'tube' of Chauncey into the sand. I take a tool that pushes color and push a little tip of sand over his feet and soften the lines of his fur into the backgound of sea and sky and you are hard put to tell that he isn't really there.

And this pic is now my wallpaper on my desktop and will eventually be in a screensaver!!

Chauncy pic "tube"

Chauncy pic "tube", originally uploaded by collectincat.

Now we can see the beauty of the cat without all that stuff in the background. Paint Shop Pro is my only graphics tool program. I love it. Touched briefly on Corel, years ago, and it was tooooo confusing at that time. I just recently bought PSP 9 to upgrade from my ol 7 that has been so good to me. I've been so busy that I still keep clicking on 7 because I haven't got time to figure out the new stuff and the different arrangement on the 9 version.

Origina snapshot

Origina snapshot, originally uploaded by collectincat.

Here is the snapshot without any work done on it. A great cat pic, but lousy background. You have to look sharp at some of your pics to see the good stuff you can use in them. This one almost didn't get my notice.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Sorting the best from the rest.

It begins..... the decisions for the first screensavers. Of course the cats are right out in front, but I want lots of variety. There is the vacations to help- Bermuda, Arizona, Texas, Vermont, New Hampshire, the beaches in Rhode Island, and here in Ct., and that great trip to St. Croix. Then there is my own little town with all it's pretty spots, and the nearby touristy places.

And I should include little close-up things, like my garden and all it's flowers, and my own collections, quilts, etc.

Now the themes are taking shape. One must think of what others enjoy LOOKING at, because that is the idea for when your screensaver comes into play. Something for folks to stare at while you are not using the screen. In business, it is the standard dots, or snowflakes things, or swirls, or maybe their company logo. You probably used the ones that came with your computer,- right! At least until you gave it some thought.

But personal ones have a greater degree of lattitude than you can believe. When you go hunting for them, you will see the amazing choices you have. Even when you 'search' for one subject you will have a huge choice. So I'm hoping you will give MY 'savers a chance because they are just enough different, and have just enough quality pics for you to enjoy without an overwhelming size that never gets to the end. I have seen ones advertized with 75 or 145 or some such large number. About 30 seems like the most comfortable number for me to watch and actually get to see all the pics. Then I need to be thinking of how to present those pics.

Do you like larger ones?

Do you prefer the ones that are only one picture and have animation?

Do you like having music with them? How soon do you tire of the music and hit mute?

Le me know, please?