Monthly Archives: August 2014

Smashing Flowers……..no, really!

What started out as a short discussion has been expanded a little further by popular demand. In this lens I will discuss the “art” of smashing flowers…fun craft for the kids (best if they like to pound on things!) or a use for all those flowers and extra energy for the adults! Read on for more information on how to smash a flower.

It all started when I was looking through some “how to’s” on the internet and randomly came across one on smashing flowers. I decided to try this myself. Since most of my flowers are yellow in the weeds here , I headed to Home Depot and picked up $5 worth of those bedding plants people replace every year (annuals). I then came home and grabbed some thick paper (watercolor paper), a hammer, and picked some of the flowers. I cleared out a spot in the garage and sat down………..

Method
I placed a scrap piece of paper down, then one sheet of heavy paper (use two if it is light)
I then arranged some flowers in a pretty pattern, added another sheet of heavy paper, and another sheet of scrap on top of that.

Then I took the hammer and started pounding on the flowers! It took me a *LOT* of taps with the hammer to cover the whole page.

Problems!1. The flowers added enough bulk that the papers wouldn’t stay on top of each other and kept sliding around. I solved this by gently setting a piece of plywood on the paper stack and doing a pre squish. I guess that’s why one suggestion was to tape the whole pile to the work surface! I was lazy and didn’t want to go find tape.

2. Some flowers are very juicy! Seems the thicker the flower, espically those with big middles, the juicier and messier they are. My first pounding ended up a wet gooey mess. I ended up having to take the middles out of any daisy like flowers, take off the stems of the succulent type flowers, and place the flowers further apart on the paper to start. I also learned reallllllly quicky to tap gently, not smash the flowers (contrary to the craft name!) unless you wanted to be wiping flower juice off of everything. (see section)

3. Tapping a piece of paper 100′s of times with a hammer triggers wrist pain…..I think next time I’ll use a sledgehammer (bigger surface area to tap with).

4. Some yellow flowers tapped into brown mushy messes. I ended up doing a test page of one or two petals of each flower type to see the results and discarding flowers from plants that didn’t smash well. (see section)

5. You have to make sure the surface underneath your paper can handle being smacked by a hammer… my garage floor was starting to show some wear, so if you value the area you might want to find another place. I highly recommend not trying this on your new hardwood floors!

Results
WARNING: Make sure the smashings are DRY before putting on the scanner bed. Gently brush off the loose pieces or it takes *forever* to get them off the scanning glass………..trust me……..

I did notice a bit of fading, and I imagine over time the paper smashings would change color due to oxygen exposure. I immediatly scanned/photographed mine to preserve the colors. I’m thinking that self adhesive laminating might be a good protector. After the smashings
have dried completely so there are no gooshy flower pieces hanging on, you might be able to run them through a hot heat type laminator. I have not tried this yet so flower smashers beware! The heat may alter the colors (definetly will if you don’t let them dry).

I ended up with some pretty cool designs……

Flamingo themed goodies

A closeup of some pretty pink flamingo feathers, by Susan L. Marsh

A pink flamingo on the left side of the photograph, with a white bird barely visible in the background. Cute bird image for any animal fan by Susan L. Marsh!

A flamingo with his head curved down standing in water. Text in pink that says “Flamingo” is in the lower left corner. Great design for anyone who loves flamingoes!

A pink flamingo eyes the view in this oil painting graphic. Great for flamingo lovers! Use the customize button to add your own text!

Custom Products Made From Animal Photography

Hi! Welcome to my gallery of products I’ve designed using my own animal photography. There’s a few wild animals, some farm animals, and of course just plain old “regular” animals. Cats, dogs, birds, peacocks, goats, ducks, chickens, hermit crabs, and more! All of these products are customizable, simply click on the one you like to be taken to a screen you can edit on. Add text, or even substitute your own photograph or design for a custom product! The pictures are available on dozens of other products, from keychains to t-shirts to posters and invitations.

Just to keep it even more fun, there’s fun facts and polls scattered throughout. Leave a comment, let us know what you think! If you see something you like but want it tweaked, drop us a line!

Custom Animal Mousepads
Your mouse will be happier with a cool animal custom mousepad than with that boring freebie you got from the bank. A happy mouse is a behaving mouse that won’t click on that baaaaaaaad site over in the corner…..

Or, give these as a gift to someone else so *their* mouse can’t be blamed for clicking on “that” site!

Item specifics:

9.25″ x 7.75″ – Perfect for any desk or work space. Quality, full-color printing. Durable cloth cover is dust and stain resistant. Non-slip backing. No minimum order!

Click on any of these great custom animal mousepads to view larger and purchase.

Sleeping male lion head view photograph mousepad White tiger on green grass vertical frame picture mousepad Pink Flamingo group, lots of flamingoes picture! mousepad

Toad frog on hand hammered copper cup photo mousepad Emu saying HI! Open beak big brown eyes picture mousepad Blue dragonfly on pink flower green background mousepad

Toad frog close up photograph on white background mousepad Giraffe head against blue sky photograph picture mousepad Blue pool of cichlids swimming around design mousepad

Orange & White moth against dark background mousepad Monarch butterfly on yellow flower simple back mousepad Dolphin head in aquamarine water mousepad

Animal Stickers
Fun Fact: Rubbing alcohol takes off sticker residue! Test that it won’t hurt the surface first, works on permanent marker on non porous surfaces too!

Fun Fact II: The white goat peeking around the gate is a Saanen, often referred to as marshmallow goats due to their laid back personalities!

These stickers work great as reward incentives, envelope sealers, stocking stuffers, or just about anything else you can think of!

Sticker specs: 1.5″ in diameter. 20 small stickers per sheet, 6 large stickers per sheet. High quality, full-color, full-bleed printing. Scratch-resistant front, easy peel-and-stick back. No minimum order!

Click on any animal sticker to purchase.
Black Lab Pink Bandana Puppy image Heart StickersSeagull Left Corner of frame StickersOxen part color part black and white stickerFemale Florida Wild Turkey with baby chick Round StickerYoung Pelican Preening cutout Heart StickerGirl hand up dolphins back grunged stickers
Sandhill Crane Head PIcture with colours around sticker Peek a boo white goat! Cute goat waiting picture sticker Black and white cat big yellow eyes looking right sticker

Black and White resigned cat santa hat blue tinsel sticker Butterflies & Flowers Full Coverage Graphic sticker DogTongueOutBlueTinselsimpleframe sticker

Animal Magnets
Need a cool magnet to hold up your papers but are tired of all the cartoons? Let a real animal do the job for you! Add text or use these guys as is. Start a menagerie on your fridge!

Fun Fact: You can erase a hard drive by setting it on a big magnet. In other words, using your subwoofers as a laptop stand is a bad idea!

Click on any animal magnet to purchase.

Sleeping jaguar fence tree abstract photograph magnet Pirate dog, black lab, red hankerchief green grass magnet Pink Flamingo group, lots of flamingoes picture! magnet

Pink Pig nose close up photograph magnet Two zebra butterflies on foliage magnet Meerkat looking up from ground photograph pic magnet

Toad frog standing up against firework background magnet Giraffe head against blue sky photograph picture magnet White tiger against blue water walking photograph magnet

Blue pool of cichlids swimming around design magnet Toad frog standing up against bougainvillea back magnet Rainbow Lorikeet Colourful parrot photograph magnet

Animal Ornaments
Not just for holidays, you can use these ornaments as pendants or medals too! Use our animal photographs, add your own text, or even upload your own photograph for a custom ornament / pendant / or medal!

Ornament specs: Height: 3.32 inches, Width: 2.37 inches, Weight: 1.5 ounces
Full-color, full-bleed printing. White Ceramic. No minimum order and available printed on both sides!

Click on any animal ornament to purchase.
White tiger on green grass vertical frame picture ornament Sleeping male lion head view photograph ornament Pirate dog, black lab, red hankerchief green grass ornament

Seagull sitting on a dock posterized photograph ornament Blue black butterfly on purple flower, green leaf ornament Black White Mouse and Orange tea rose ornament

Dolphin head in aquamarine water ornament Florida Jaguar looking back lying down ornament Emu saying HI! Open beak big brown eyes picture ornament

I hope you enjoyed the selection!

Flea Pills vs Flea Drops

Dog scratching? Cat chewing? You’re getting bit too?

Fast forward to the pet store……..an entire aisle of “flea treatments”. Part of the display is the “available by prescription” medications. Part is less expensive. How do you choose?

The first choice you will have to make is drops vs shampoo vs pills. For now we’ll assume you already tried all the shampoos, and lets focus on the drops vs pill debate.
WARNING! CAUTION! CAVEAT!
ANY flea treatment can make your dog sick. I repeat, ANY. Vet brand, store brand, homemade, if the goal is to kill fleas it is 99% of the time a poison. Dogs, cats, any animal (including humans) vary in their sensitivity. When applying any flea treatment do it when you are going to be home and able to keep an eye on the animal for at least a few hours.

Drops pros

Flea treatments that come in the “drop” type do have two major good points.

First, they are easy to put on a dog or cat that flat out refuses pills, and are good for owners who don’t want to wrestle near teeth.

Secondly, they are usually cheaper than pills and easier on the budget.

Quite honeslty, in my opinion, those are the only two good things about the drops!
Drops cons

BIG ONE: Drops can poison your pet, espically if you go the cheap route. Pills can too, but they are more regulated it seems than the drops (currently) and I’ve not seen as many reports of bad reactions.

This is a HUGE turnoff for me, from personal experience. Go here and read this article about what happened to my dog: Deadly Flea Drops . Come back and finish this :)

Second negative-as discussed in the article above, when you apply drops to a dog or cat you are leaving poison on their skin. If a child or another pet touches/licks/grooms, they get the poison too. If you have a very flexible animal they may even injest it themselves and make themselves sick. When they lay against the wall (like mine do), the poison can rub off on the wall.

Third negative-Big oily streak. I’ve yet to find a drop that didn’t leave an oily patch on either the dog or cat! Living with an oily critter can be a major turnoff. Poor dog barely got pettings until it absorbed (this was before the poisoning incident).

Did I mention drops can poison?
Pill pros

Number one for me is the less likely to poison scenario. After going through drop sensitivity, I’ll never use another drop again. Not only from the dogs standpoint, or the cats, but from the standpoint of the animals/people around the pill is safer.

Number two is the ones I”ve used seemed more effective than the drops. This is my own experience, but I finally broke the pest cycle after we switched to pills! They just seem to work better.

Number three, which can be a con depending on your animal, is ease of giving it. The dog I can trick with a little meat, no more making her hold still to apply the drops!
Pill cons

I have to stick with number one being the possibility of poisoning. This goes any time you give a medicine!

The biggest con is the price factor. If you stick with the name brands, it’s going to run you around $20 a month (US), give or take, just for the fleameds. If a flea free house is your goal that may seem a small price to pay.

A problem for some animals is actually giving them the pill. The dog I can wrap it in a piece of sandwhich meat and she pretty much swallows her food and doesn’t notice it. I have another piece of meat out and ready so even if she noticed it, her greed for the next piece gets her to swallow. I have had to give it to her manually before I figured out the meat trick and that wasn’t fun.

Testing

I'm with the bass player band music gift stickersI’m with the bass player band music gift stickersBlack text reading “I’m with the bass player”. Perfect for anyone who enjoys the low end, or at least those who play it!

A selection of products with the keyword music from my online design store:

A selection of products with the keyword music from my online design store:

band on stage colored pencil music themed design clipboardsband on stage colored pencil music themed design clipboardsband on stage colored pencil music themed design
bass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin sleeves for MacBook probass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin sleeves for MacBook proAn awesome spraypaint painting with a musical theme by Susan L. Marsh, featuring a bass guitar body outline , planets and other outer space imaging.
hand playing keyboard bw male music iPhone 5 coverhand playing keyboard bw male music iPhone 5 coverClose up on a male piano player’s hand, done in black and white. This piano is actually an electric keyboard! Great music themed design for a custom musician gift. Add your own text!
acoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. cover for iPhone 4acoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. cover for iPhone 4An original grunged photograph of the corner of an acoustic guitar against the female guitar players flowered dress. Great music image for any band fan!
guitar electric music grunged background baby pacifierguitar electric music grunged background baby pacifierA brownish red electric six string guitar, focusing on the pickups and strings with a faded grunge effect applied. Great musical instrument design for any musicans or fans! (c) Susan L. Marsh
hand playing keyboard bw male music case for iPhone 5Chand playing keyboard bw male music case for iPhone 5CClose up on a male piano player’s hand, done in black and white. This piano is actually an electric keyboard! Great music themed design for a custom musician gift. Add your own text!
band on stage colored pencil music themed design watchesband on stage colored pencil music themed design watchesband on stage colored pencil music themed design
acoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. iPhone 5C caseacoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. iPhone 5C caseAn original grunged photograph of the corner of an acoustic guitar against the female guitar players flowered dress. Great music image for any band fan!
guitar electric music grunged background tri-fold walletguitar electric music grunged background tri-fold walletA brownish red electric six string guitar, focusing on the pickups and strings with a faded grunge effect applied. Great musical instrument design for any musicans or fans! (c) Susan L. Marsh
bass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin clipboardbass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin clipboardAn awesome spraypaint painting with a musical theme by Susan L. Marsh, featuring a bass guitar body outline , planets and other outer space imaging.
hand playing keyboard bw male music iPad mini coverhand playing keyboard bw male music iPad mini coverClose up on a male piano player’s hand, done in black and white. This piano is actually an electric keyboard! Great music themed design for a custom musician gift. Add your own text!
acoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. iPad mini caseacoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. iPad mini caseAn original grunged photograph of the corner of an acoustic guitar against the female guitar players flowered dress. Great music image for any band fan!
hand playing keyboard bw male music MacBook pro sleeveshand playing keyboard bw male music MacBook pro sleevesClose up on a male piano player’s hand, done in black and white. This piano is actually an electric keyboard! Great music themed design for a custom musician gift. Add your own text!
acoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. sleeves for MacBooksacoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. sleeves for MacBooksAn original grunged photograph of the corner of an acoustic guitar against the female guitar players flowered dress. Great music image for any band fan!
bass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin wristwatchesbass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin wristwatchesAn awesome spraypaint painting with a musical theme by Susan L. Marsh, featuring a bass guitar body outline , planets and other outer space imaging.
band on stage colored pencil music themed design gift wrapping paperband on stage colored pencil music themed design gift wrapping paperband on stage colored pencil music themed design
band on stage colored pencil music themed design iPad folio caseband on stage colored pencil music themed design iPad folio caseband on stage colored pencil music themed design
electric keyboard keys grunge scratch music iPad folio coverelectric keyboard keys grunge scratch music iPad folio coverSimple photography of electric keyboard keys, grunge effect for a great musical background image!
bass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin gift wrapping paperbass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin gift wrapping paperAn awesome spraypaint painting with a musical theme by Susan L. Marsh, featuring a bass guitar body outline , planets and other outer space imaging.
bass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin iPad folio casebass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin iPad folio caseAn awesome spraypaint painting with a musical theme by Susan L. Marsh, featuring a bass guitar body outline , planets and other outer space imaging.
electric keyboard keys grunge scratch music pet bowlelectric keyboard keys grunge scratch music pet bowlSimple photography of electric keyboard keys, grunge effect for a great musical background image!
band on stage colored pencil music themed design pacifiersband on stage colored pencil music themed design pacifiersband on stage colored pencil music themed design
guitar electric music grunged background cake pickguitar electric music grunged background cake pickA brownish red electric six string guitar, focusing on the pickups and strings with a faded grunge effect applied. Great musical instrument design for any musicans or fans! (c) Susan L. Marsh
band on stage colored pencil music themed design trifold walletsband on stage colored pencil music themed design trifold walletsband on stage colored pencil music themed design
guitar electric music grunged background plannerguitar electric music grunged background plannerA brownish red electric six string guitar, focusing on the pickups and strings with a faded grunge effect applied. Great musical instrument design for any musicans or fans! (c) Susan L. Marsh
hand playing keyboard bw male music iPad folio casehand playing keyboard bw male music iPad folio caseClose up on a male piano player’s hand, done in black and white. This piano is actually an electric keyboard! Great music themed design for a custom musician gift. Add your own text!
acoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. iPad folio coveracoustic guitar flower dress grunge scratch music. iPad folio coverAn original grunged photograph of the corner of an acoustic guitar against the female guitar players flowered dress. Great music image for any band fan!
Smiling Stick Figure Girl holding bass / guitar Pinback ButtonSmiling Stick Figure Girl holding bass / guitar Pinback ButtonA smiling stick figure girl holding up a stringed instrument that’s either a bass or a guitar (depending on which one you think is better!). Great for any musician or stick figure fan, use the customize button to add text
bass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin baby pacifiersbass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin baby pacifiersAn awesome spraypaint painting with a musical theme by Susan L. Marsh, featuring a bass guitar body outline , planets and other outer space imaging.
bass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin tri-fold walletsbass guitar red green planets musical spacepaintin tri-fold walletsAn awesome spraypaint painting with a musical theme by Susan L. Marsh, featuring a bass guitar body outline , planets and other outer space imaging.