Fences make good neighbors and good photos!

Here is another photo editing project that could be called a tutorial this time!


Background layer, enhanced:

Layer 2: Background copy: sepia tint photo effects filter at 75%

Layer 3: Pixel Dust Vintage Blue texture:  Hard light filter at 85% opacity

Layer 4: Pixel Dust French Toast texture, Soft Light filter at 75% opacity

Layer 5: Pixel Dust Notes to Myself texture, reversed,
Hard light filter at 85% opacity, partially erased at 80% opacity

Final photo:

Version 2: without sepia tint:

If you edit a photo using my 'recipe', I would love to see it!


The key is color

I consider myself a practical efficient type person. I don't like fumbling for a key, having to visually inspect it to know which one to grab.  (Or would that just be impatient?)  Anyway, my big ring of keys to my whole kingdom has the priority ones marked with some blobs of nail polish.  How tacky is that?  Efficient, yes. Artistic, no.

So when I recently downsized to an everyday key ring, I was still fumbling for the right key even though there were only 2.  But rather than resort to the old nail polish method, I did a little cutting and pasting.  And of course, some blinging.  I've been carrying these for over a week now and they are holding up well so far.

I am also a color-coding fool.  
Just a glance is all it takes
I cut bits of scrapbook paper for both sides of each key, glued the paper on with Mod-Podge then covered it with a thick protective coat and attached the jewels. 

Yes, I know they sell little gadgets for this purpose, but what fun is that?


Digital goodness

Continuing in my endeavor to capture beauty in the ordinary through the lens of  my camera, 
I used my own photographs to create this digital art.

Original  background photo taken by me

Photo taken by me
 I combined my own images with these from The Graphics Fairy.

Graphics Fairy
Graphics Fairy
 Textures are wonderful applications that
 I am still learning about.
There are so many variables with filtering
styles and opacity settings.
In hindsight, I realize I should have made note
of the styles and values I used to make this
into more of a tutorial than a show & tell.
I use PSE5 to do my creating--a dinosaur, I know,
but I like it and it fits my comfort level.
Why fix it if it's not broken, right?

All the textures I used in this creation were free downloads from a site I just found, but will be visiting often:  Pixel Dust Photo Art.

Textures source: Pixel Dust Photo Art
The last layer I added to my art was this grunge border,
 but I erased a good portion of the middle,
 using just the detail around the edges.

Can you see all the elements in the finished product? 
The effect of some of the textures is so subtle it is obvious
only when subtracted from the picture and added back,
 but lends just the right touch to the overall scheme.
It is the sum of the parts that is a magical thing.


Changing time, just because I can

Kristin's run-of-the-mill, off-the-shelf clock,
cute, but suddenly clashed when she moved:

Customized to match her new decor:

Easy Peasy

1. Deconstruct clock
2. Paint the frame
3. Seal with Mod-Podge
4. Cut paper for the face
5. Attach numbers
6. Reconstruct clock



Camp Craft

It has been so stinkin' hot around here!  We're talking 100 to 105 degrees every day! For two weeks and counting!  And because we blame everything on the heat here in Texas, that is why I'm just now getting around to photographing the gluebook pages I did on our little camping retreat.  Hey, it's as good a reason as any. 

 For the purpose of full disclosure, I also took these pictures in the dim coolness of my den......with a flash!  *Gasp!*  I did for a fact prop the book on the foot rest of my recliner and snap away, with only a whisper of natural light.  So just embrace the flash (it sort of enhanced a couple of the layouts in a neat way) and enjoy the pages.

I was cranking out the pages last weekend, so I'll have more to share later...flash glow and all.


Camping diary

What camping means to me: a bloggity essay

Where did the time go?  What did I do to fill the day?  These are questions I ask myself  after spending time away in the RV.  The days go lazily by with no schedule to fill, no tasks to complete, propelled only by the need to eat or sleep.   I don't know how long I could endure such a peaceful existence for I've never enjoyed it long enough for it to become boring.

On this morning I woke up slowly, rested and content, nestled in with Roxy and Benni (Bobby was already out fishing)  I made a pot of coffee and had a bowl of blueberry frosted wheat cereal.  A sparkling view of the lake surrounded me from left to right, a gentle breeze lightly disturbing the surface of the water.  I shared bites of cereal with Roxy.  Although I would never allow it at home, Benni joined me on the table to look out the window as I ate.  I finished the cereal and gave her the milk.

After breakfast, I opened my computer to edit a few pictures of last night's sunset.

The beauty  of nature captured by my lens reminded me of scripture and prompted me to read my Bible.  I sought out the verse in Psalm 1 about the tree planted by the water, then continued to read in Proverbs about wisdom, all the while sitting in my chair sipping coffee, enjoying the lake nearby and watching the squirrels and birds outside the window.

Scurrying scratching noises overhead  told me the squirrels had moved their playground to the trailer.  I imagined them romping along the length of the roof like I had seen them doing on the ground earlier.

There were strawberries in the refrigerator.  The thought of them tempted me.   I remembered there was also vanilla yogurt.  The combination was too much to resist.  But before I sunk my teeth into them, I staged some photos; the natural light at the table along with the bright red berries on the blue and white plate was another irrestible combination.

As I washed the half dozen dirty dishes and the handful of silverware, I marveled in the simplicity of less.  That is one of the inherant beauties of camping to me--less of everything.  So few dishes, so few belongings, so few activities.  Makes me pause to consider how much easier real life would be without so many things.

With the kitchen and bedroom restored to order, it seemed a good time to get dressed.
Roxy and I took a walk outside while there was still a little breeze and the thermometer was hovering at 90.

Then I settled down at the table again, this time with my glue book, another thing so resplendent in its simplicity.  As I worked, my mind was seranaded with soothing piano music from the CD "Wishes".

One of the pages I was working on featured a replica of sheet music called Roses of Picardy.  I had no idea what it sounded like, but I imagined it to be the song playing on the CD.  In a turn of serendipity, when Bobby returned from a quick trip to town, he brought me a bouquet of apricot roses, surely Roses of Picardy.

A knock at the door brought visitors from home--my parents were in town and drove out to the lake to surprise us!   We enjoyed a nice visit, simple lunch, and too soon said goodbye.

Bobby read and I made more gluebook pages until our eyelids grew heavy. We retreated to the dark cool cavern of the bedroom, lined up across the bed: dog, human, cat, human, bathed in the soothing piano on the CD "A Peaceful Soak".   Before long I was immersed in peaceful sleep.

I was hardly awake good when my FIL called from across the campground with an invitation for supper at a catfish/shrimp buffet just up the way.  We freshened up and headed out.  I dined on fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, and shrimp cocktail.  Cap'n Dan and Forrest would have been proud. All that was topped with some fresh fruit and just a smidge of soft serve ice cream.
Taken with my not-so-smart phone

We returned to camp feeling full and lazy.  Roxy and I took an evening walk around the cove while the men-folk visited. The sunset was not as spectacular as last night, but it must have been a little cooler as there were some boaters out tonight.

Our evening concluded listening to a Ranger baseball game on the radio, edtiting the day's pictures and reading our books.

I'm ready to do it all over again tomorrow and see what serendipitous surprising events get sprinkled into the day.

This is how I "rough it."


Walking home.....

.....and what I saw along the way.

We walked up to my folks' house last night for a little family event.  I had my camera with me.  These are some images I captured on the way home.

The neighborhood is decked out for the 4th.

My photoshop attempt at vintage analog,
(the Hipstamatic App, et al)

Muted with textures and edits.

I so admire photographs taken by some of you of ordinary things that you see every day, but shown to us in a creative artistic way.  I have been known to grumble inwardly that I don't have anything interesting/pretty/artistic to photograph, but then I realize the photos I enjoy most are of things that are common to the photographer, just brought to new life by the camera lens and editing software.

This is a house that I have passed so many times it is invisible to me. But on this night I was looking with photographer's eye and was pleasantly surprised. 

Which makes me wonder:  what else is there that I'm not seeing?

That sounds to me like a challenge to myself.  I'll use this blog as accountability and show you what I discover!


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