Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Texture Tuesday

My swan couple was taken last month at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. They were being extremely friendly for swans. But of course, people were throwing bread crumbs to them which probably contributed to their cooperative nature. Sometimes these beautiful creatures can be a bit rude or downright mean! I do love the way the pair up for life. It's kind of nice that they are that committed.
I processed this with The Pioneer Woman's 'heartland' action for photoshop, then layered Kim's 'canvas magic' on linear burn at 35%,  Kim's 'kkpaper2' at overlay 34%, adjusted the levels, then added another layer of Kim's 'kkpaper2' on linear burn at 89%, then layered it with Kim's 'kkpaper4' times 2-one on overlay 32% and one at screen 45%. Seems like a lot but this photo was taken on a cloudy day and the water came across as really gray/black so I was trying to warm that up yet keep the swans nice & light but well blended. (or maybe it's just that I've been absent from playing with photoshop for so long that I just felt like adding & adding and playing with adjustments!)

I love this little guy! He was so cute. I took this photo the same day I took the banded galloway cows in the previous post.  He was in the same pasture but off by
himself. He looked so lonely. Then as I got closer I realized he was asleep, standing up and his eyes weren't closed. He was just in a trance. I took about 6 photos of him and he never even moved.

What a cutie!

I processed this with Kim's 'canvas magic' on difference at 78%, then added Kim's 'kkkpaper2' on multiply at 70%, then 'kkpaper4' on multiply at 32%. I did use a mask on all layers to bring back some definition in his face. His eye looks like there are dots painted below and I wanted to be able to see them clearly.

Glad to be back and playing along with Texture Tuesday.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone : )

Live your life creatively~

Friday, November 18, 2011

"We can't plan life. All we can do is be available for it." Lauryn Hill

The above quote really sums it up...
Yesterday felt like the first day in a really long time that I have been able to relax & breathe. Sometimes life just comes flying at you at the speed of light and days go whirling past. It seem as though you're on a roller coaster that just won't stop. Such has been my life since September. Some good, some bad...
The good-went on a trip to see kids & grandkids then scouted out a potential area for retirement.
Got home from that trip in time to celebrate my baby girl's 21st birthday! Got busy making loads of jewelry for a local gift shop-Peg Ann Kompany and for the Fine Art of Fiber gift boutique and for the Deerpath Art Gallery's holiday celebration. Shipped an art quilt to Fermilab Gallery for their 'Stitched Together- Art & Science' exhibit. Went to college for 'Dad's weekend and to do some tailgating & see a football game. Busy, busy but all  good!
The bad-my husband had a sudden, severe asthma attack and had to be on a ventilator in Intensive Care for several days. It was like an out-of-body experience for me as well as him. Just like the quote, I was 'available for it'. I put on my take-charge/be the boss/show no emotion 'hat' and dealt with everything that came at me. A pretty good coping mechanism that helped me get throught it. Funny how something like that causes you to really get your priorities straight! Suddenly, the only thing that mattered in the world was being available for my husband. I lost track of whether I was eating or bathing or sleeping.  Yet, when I was at the hospital I was fully aware of everything going on and spoke with doctors, nurses; asked questions and advocated for him since he was under heavy sedation and incapable of doing anything for himself.
Fortunately, my husband recovered from the severe attack, was discharged and is doing much better. Still some issues to deal with due to his many years of smoking but retirement is sounding really good to me about now! If only I could convince him of that.
The other little itty, bitty bad thing is- I had another biopsy! Teeny, tiny- not a big deal in the scheme of things but so annoying. I have had so many little biopsies of moles that I should've lost about 10 pounds with all the little bits of flesh they've removed. Anyway, hoping for a benign diagnosis next week.
The bad from my husband's emergency is still lingering with me at times. I think about it periodically  and wonder if it was just a bad dream.  Cannot believe he/we went through that. Pretty scary that asthma can be provoke such a life-threatening situation.

Anyway, that's how my life has been going lately. Showing up, being available, dealing with what the day brings and trying to maintain your sanity is about all we can do.

The things which help me maintain my sanity are yoga & art.  I've been so busy lately that there's been very little time for either. But things are looking up!  I'm back to playing with photoshop, blogging, checking in with friends on Facebook and also making more jewelry. I have some jewelry posted on my Facebook 4 Art site if you're interested. But because of my biopsy I'm not supposed to go to yoga for 2 wks but I may sneak back sooner than that.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos I altered in photoshop this week.
These cows are 'banded Galloways'. They were at Fearrington Village  near Pittsboro, NC. Saw them on our 'retirement location-scouting' trip. The bull was HUGE and the female was loving on him big time. I used Kim Klassen's 'phoebe' texture on this photo as well as a vintage peeling photo frame of my own.

This photo was taken near my house at a prairie preserve. This is an original log cabin on the property. I thought the fact that the gate was painted a beautiful periwinkle blue was really odd but cute! I used Kim's 'phoebe' texture on this one also, along with her 'thursday' & 'scripted' textures. The 'scripted' texture was used at such a low opacity that you can't see the script but it added a lightness to it that I liked.

This photo of 3 little birds sitting on a fence was also taken while in NC. I applied several of Kim's textures and a couple of my own to create this one.

I was so excited to get this close-up shot of a grasshopper on my purple coneflowers before the frost got them.
He was very cooperative even with me getting so close to him. I only used Kim's textures on this one.
This final one is a blending of 2 separate photos then added textures. I used a photo of a dying tree wrapped in vines that had turned a gorgeous shade of red but you can't tell in this photo because I changed the levels, hue & saturation to the point that it looks more like fluffy, golden grasses.
Then I added several textures and played with blend modes. Lastly, I added a photo of actual grasses at the edge of a pond over everything and played with blend modes until I got it right!

Wednesday I was wordless, today I don't know how to stop!
So I'll just make myself take a break and go put those new bracelets on my Facebook page.

Glad to be back among the blogging community! Hope to pop in for a visit to see what's been going on with you folks real soon.

Lesson of today...if you are still smoking-QUIT now! Otherwise you are probably looking at a diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in your future. Not the way you want to spend your senior years, believe me!  The other lesson is-if you're still baking yourself in the sun(or tanning bed) for that
beautiful golden glow-STOP now! The sun truly damages your skin in more ways than just wrinkles. 
You're capable of saving your lungs & your skin. It's your choice.

I will get off my soapbox now and say have a great weekend everyone!

Live your life creatively~


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Fall's last leaves.......
I am truly wordless-speechless today. I attempted to write all that has happened since I last posted but words fail me today. To quote the Grateful Dead-it's been a long strange trip.
Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to reflect on the activity of the last couple of months and show some more photos.
This is my first Texture Tuesday (albeit on Wednesday) in sooo long!

Art Elements Forest Theme Reveal

Wow! I blinked and May has disappeared. This month's theme over at Art Elements was chosen by Sue. I absolutely LOVE this theme. I have...