The Open Palette
Red Hat Magazine started a series of of tutorials on how to create art with Free and Open Source creative tools. The first in the series, authored by me with help from Mairin is titled How to use Inkscape’s new blur filter and is a celebration (albeit a little late) of the 0.45 release of Inkscape.
go and read the article
I used my own research on orbs, a little inspiration from Ryan's tip about 3D text combined with other minor elements (trace, inset/outset. boolean operations) and excessive use of blur.
The same technique can be extended, even to create something like this:
The column in Red Hat Magazine will continue (probably monthly) with other interesting subjects (we already have a list of ideas), but the tutorials posted on my own site and blog are put on-hold for the time being, due to the lack of reaction to my previous call for help.