Tuesday, July 23, 2013

More Hydrangeas and Texture Tuesday

Another Texture Tuesday rolls around...

I wanted to post two images that are similar but have different looks due to the processing and the texture(s) chosen...

This first image is done with two textures:  Kim Klassen's roidlove and a grungy texture called All Hell Breaks Loose from Shadowhouse Creations.  This processing and texture gives it a very grungy and gritty look, but also gives it a look of an old photograph damaged by age and exposure to the elements.

This same image has been processed much paler, with much more of a light, airy look with a painterly texture again from Shadowhouse Creations.

I've adored all the classes I've taken from Kim and will continue to take.  She is so generous and I will never be able to measure all I have learned from her...and how much I will learn from her in the future.

I started another class on blending and textures by Linda Sattgast to get an additional perspective.

Here's a photo I did in the first week of her class...using one of the textures she provided.  The focus of the lesson was having a white/light background and putting a texture over it, using a blend mode of Darken (not one I would normally have thought to use).

To be honest, I'm a class junkie.  I'm taking four right now at one time...and I am always tempted to take more...but I hold myself back.  Can anyone relate?

But I love learning...and sharing it with you all, as well.  Thanks for indulging me...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Finds and Some Randomness

Well, a photo of today's Friday Finds would be pretty boring...so I'll decorate my post with a nearly "straight out of the can" photograph of my backlit hibiscus.

Today I was at my alma mater, the graduate school of social work at Case Western Reserve University taking a continuing education course.

As a mental health professional, I historically diagnose mental disorders using what is known as The Diganostic and Statistic Manual IV-TR.  Well, they've upgraded to the DSM 5, released this past May and boy have I found  LOTS of changes...and some changes we had hoped for did not make it.  I learned a lot.

For example:

  • The DSM 5 is like Shakespeare; nothing is done without meaning or a reason.
  • There is no longer a category for disorders of childhood and adolescence.
  • Mental retardation has been replaced by "intellectual disability."
  • Asperger Syndrome is no longer a diagnosis.
  • There is a section that focuses on internet gaming disorder (and they don't mean internet gambling).  
Now that I've let you watch paint dry...I'll give you another photo to view, followed by five random movie quotes...can you recall these?

"I won't be ignored, Dan!"
"...and on such pretty stationery."
"These potatoes are so creamy."
"I have a prostate gland the size of a bagel."
"Anyone? Anyone?"

Answers:  Fatal Attraction (said by Glenn Close); First Wive's Club (comment about their college friend's suicide note); While You Were Sleeping; The Paper (said by Robert Duvall); Ferris Bueller's Day Off (said by Ben Stein).

Have a fun weekend...make some memories!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Furry Friends for Day 25

Well, Kim wanted us to try something different this week in Beyond Beyond.

No stills...

           No flowers...

                     No landscapes...

Today it is our furry friends!

King Arthur of Chestnut Hill

I'm biased...it has to be my Arthur.  I took this shot early evening today.  I desaturated the image after some editing in Lightroom and then added a white, feathered vignette.

He FINALLY stopped in one place panting...after trying to herd our boxer, Bruno.  What Bruno has in size and weight, Arthur is low to the ground and can nip those ankles of Bruno.  They are a hoot to watch!

What's Not to Love???

Now, Arthur's favorite place is under our bed.  It's where he sleeps.  It's also where he puts and protects his Milkbone stash.  Bruno sometimes is aloof, even though they get their Milkbones at the same time.  He's looking the other way and off goes Arthur with his and Bruno's bone in his mouth, stashing it under the bed in the middle...and guards it!

And at times...when something is discovered...USUALLY one of my flip flops are missing and I know he has it...he hides under the bed.  He thinks if he can't see me...I can't see him.  But that nose ALWAYS gives him away...

What a joy he is to our household!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Texture Tuesday Already?

I had so much fun with this setting from the hydrangeas Edster bought me...I thought I would make another up for Kim's Texture Tuesday...

...and then I couldn't stop.

I desaturated this photo in lightroom, then brought back some of the blue and some green.  The texture used was an older one of Kim's called, "Start."

This one...from above...was not done with a pattern...some of you may remember that early on in the Beyond Layers class.

Sepia Still

Then I just had to do one in sepia...using Kim's 2303.

And of course, then...I had to do it in color...using Kim's July-2.

And then just one last one...using Kim's Avery texture...

What fun!  Nothing heavy today...just enjoying making pretty art and grateful to be able to do so.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Backyard Friday Finds!

I have mentioned in other posts that I have invested more in my garden this year...planting some new perennials.

Today I looked out found that I had two different hibiscus plants blooming.

This lovely pink and white beauty...

and this crimson stunner.


And by the looks of this, there are many more to come!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Solace of Flowers

I have started a new class called Start to Finish...more about the creative process and inspiration than about specific how to's...

I put together a still for the challenge provided on Day 1.

The Solace of Flowers

My Edster bought me several cut hydrangeas at the Acme...and it got me to thinking (which is always scary)...

I've truly enjoyed my garden this year...planted a lot of new perennials and some different annuals.

But what is the purpose of flowers?  Yes, I know the botanical theories and that they are needed to pollinate for procreation of ongoing offspring year after year.

But God is beyond genius.  His wisdom and ability cannot be contained.  He could have accomplished this same objective in a variety of ways.

I like to think He chose flowers as a special gift  to us...that He knew their beauty would bring us comfort, inspiration, and solace.

He always gets it right...

For each perfect gift of thine
to our race so freely given,
graces human and divine,
flowers of earth and buds of heaven
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
this our sacrifice of praise.

- words from Folliott S. Pierpont, c. 1864   

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Eleanor and A Promise - A Texture Tuesday

Free and easy today...

As I looked at this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt...it struck me as familiar...reminded me of an older quote...a wiser quote!

...and as your days, so shall your strength be.
Deuteronomy 33:25 (ESV)

And my question I pose, if this is God's promise, why am I relying on myself alone?

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Natural Friday Find!

July came bringing a surprise...

The first sunflower of summer in my yard has just started to show it's pretty yellow head and face.

They are all volunteers...under the bird feeders.  And it's all good.

What did you find this week?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day ~ from a Daughter

I worked today...but gave time to ponder the meaning of this day...

I've been watching The Revolution on The History Channel since I got home.  An eight-year war, filled with disadvantages against the greatest army in the world.

I am a Daughter of the American Revolution.  The Daughters of the American Revolution National Society defines themselves as:
Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution.
My fifth great-grandfather, Henry McWhorter was a Minute Man in the Continental Army, enlisting at age 15.  In preparation for adulthood, he became an apprentice in the trades.  But these were the days of slaves and working conditions could be very in humane.  McWhorter ran away and enlisted in early 1776 and remained through the end of the war.

Henry McWhorter's Cabin

This is his cabin he built in 1793, after the Revolution.  It still stands at Jacksons Mill, near Jane Lew, WV.  He is the progenitor of the surname "McWhorter" in this country.

Edster grew up in the Valley Forge area.  I have walked those grounds.  It was not only the threat of being killed in action that tested our fight for independence, but also the horrendous winters, specifically in 1777, starvation, disease, exposure, often without clothing or shoes.  How could the most fervent and passionate zealots of the cause for freedom not be discouraged amid eight long years?
O beautiful for heroes proved 
In liberating strife. 
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life! 
America! America! 
May God thy gold refine 
Till all success be nobleness 
And every gain divine! 
May we not only be grateful for the freedom of this great country, but may we also be willing to fight to the death to preserve it.  It is a precious gift from God.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer of Color 2013 - Charcoal and Light Pink

I've been participating in a six-week challenge called Summer of Color 2013: Artist's Choice...

This week is charcoal and pink...

After work, I saw the clouds coming in to cover the sun, eventually bring rain... I love to  take photos of flowers in diffused light at times.  I had no intention of photographing something for the challenge.  Just to take some photos of flowers in my yard.  Especially since I spied the first sunflower of the summer starting to open (you'll see that in another post).

But without intention when I took the original photo, I started playing around with an image...finding just the right quote...that made my heart sing!   It was like a gift.  It is not always easy to keep up faithfully with these photo challenges when one works full-time.  It WAS a gift.

I took the photo and made some minor edits in Lightroom, then sent it to Photoshop Elements for further edits.  I then added a black and white gradient map adjustment layer.  Using the quick selection tool, I selected the flower. I took a soft round brush, 18% opacity, and masked off the flower.  Added a grungy texture from Shadowhouse Creations.  The quote is by Alfred Stieglitz.

Here is the original photo...

Hope you love this unexpected gift as much as I do.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Quickie for Texture Tuesday

A free and easy edition of Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday...one of Kim's textures added to an image (this one with Kim's newest kk_touchof-1).

There are times I am very attracted to doing landscapes...kind of light and airy with hint of detail.  This scene is rather nondescript...ordinary..could be anywhere.  But the marker to the right tells the tale of this site:
This episode is result of August 1882 election-day fight. Tolbert, a son of Randolph McCoy, exchanged heated words with Ellison Hatfield, which started a fight. Tolbert, Pharmer and Randolph McCoy Jr. stabbed Ellison to death. Later the three brothers were captured by Hatfield clan, tied to pawpaw trees, and shot in retaliation.
This is in Buskirk, Kentucky...3/4 mile from the Kentucky/West Virginia border...near the town of Matewan, West Virginia.

Can you imagine how many stories there are in all the nondescript places in this world that bear no marker?