Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shhhhhhh... It's Wordless Wednesday

Photo taken at Lake Forest cemetery

Texture Tuesday

The last time I posted my daughter had just left for Africa. Hard to believe that 2 weeks have passed already and she will be coming home next week. I was fortunate enough to talk with her several times after she arrived in South Africa. What a major relief that was! She sounds like she is having the time of her life. Even though I've got the worry-wart mothering thing going on, I'm still glad she had the opportunity to go.

I was unable to participate in last week's TT because I was out of town as well. Not out of the country just in another state visiting with friends & family. I had a great time with all of them and miss them already.

It seems as though the summer is just zipping past way too fast. I had grandiose plans of getting lots of fabric dyed, making lots of jewelry, doing some painting & sketching and also doing a lot of photography. Well, so far I've made one bracelet & a couple pairs of earrings. I've taken MANY pictures but that's about it.  I've really been in a reading mode so I've been spending time reading rather than in my studio. Which is good since I have a LONG list of books I want to read. There's only so many hours in a day...

**Now, for this week's TT... we had to use at least one layer of Kim's 'golden' texture.  The above photo of a goose feather floating in the pond was cropped, then layered with another photo of rain drops on the pond and I used a mask to keep the ripples from the rain off the feather. I played with hue & saturation, as well as did a levels adjustment.
Then I layered it with 2 layers of Kim's 'love in layers', both at soft light; one at 80% the other at 70% opacity. Then I layered it with 2 layers of Kim's 'golden' texture, both at multiply, one at 88% the other at 75% opacity.
The photo below is the BEFORE picture of the feather. As you can see the pond water was so still that day that it looked like the feather was lying on a glassy surface. That's why I added the photo of the rain drops on the pond with their nice little ripple effect.

Next photo was a shot of the cobalt blue bottles I have in my kitchen window. I stuck a few lilac blossoms in one of the bottles a few weeks ago when the lilacs were blooming. These blossom were actually picked before they started to open. I layered this photo with Kim's 'love in layers' texture at soft light, 12% opacity, then layered it with Kim's 'golden' texture twice; once at overlay 31% and once at multiply 67%. I also adjusted the hue & saturation as well as did a levels adjustments.
I think these textures really give this photo a painterly quality. I really like it!

The next & final photo for today is a close-up shot of my columbines when they were in full bloom a couple of weeks ago. I played with hue & saturation and did a levels adjustment. Then I layered Kim's 'love in layers' texture at soft light, 46% opacity. I added 2 layers of Kim's golden, one at multiply 70% and one at overlay 33%.

Maybe now that I'm back from my visit with friends & family and my daughter is coming home next week I can settle back into a routine of working on my list of projects. I would love to be able to share some artwork with you by next week. That is if I can force myself to put my books & my camera down!
Until your life creatively~

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown. In my heart it don't mean a thing." -- Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is right. A child is a child. Hard for me to admit as I constantly fought against my own mother's 'mothering', but it's the truth. As mothers, we have a VERY hard time letting go and allowing our children to sprout wings and fly away.
It's been 3 years since my daughter graduated from high school. The thought of 'letting' her go off to college was beyond my comprehension. I was certain I wouldn't be able to live through it. But guess what?   I did.  She is now officially a senior in college and I can't believe how fast the time has flown.

Just yesterday, I took her to the airport to take off on a study abroad program that is taking her to Africa for the next 3 weeks!  I'm immensely excited for her. I am living vicariously through her. I can't wait to see all her photos when she gets home. The thing is... it was almost as hard to leave her at the airport as it was to leave her in front of her dorm at the beginning of freshman year.

I thought I had grown... I thought I had developed a 'thick' skin... I thought that the past 3 years of her being away at school had toughened me up. I guess I thought wrong.

It's that dang motherhood thing! We just can never get away from it. We will always think of our children as children.   Sorry kids, that's just the way it is......

In celebration of my daughter's trip to Africa I am posting photos of all the horses that have been in her life. This is the first summer that she is not riding and she's not very happy about it, but going to Africa  didn't leave much time for horses.
(Also, this is my contribution to Texture Tuesday. Kim Klassen's lovely post with the horses inspired me to go through my horse photos. Thanks Kim!)

This is Lexie. She was one of the first memorable horses in my daughter's life.
She was a crazy mare, but we loved her.

Lexie was layered with Kim's 'jacob' texture and 'mayzee' texture, both at soft light.

This next picture is her first horse show with Luke. He was a very good boy!

The above photo was layered with Kim's 'mayzee' texture at soft light x 2.

This next one is our very own horse, Dizzy. We bought her for Chelsea's 16th birthday. She was a beautiful, crazy mare. She lived up to her name!

The photo of Dizzy peeking out of the barn window was layered with Kim's 'mayzee' texture x 2. One at soft light and one at multiply. The saturation was reduced first.

And here is Chelsea riding Dizzy.

The above photo of my daughter riding Dizzy was layered with Kim's 'mayzee' texture once at luminosity.

After we sold Dizzy, we leased this pretty little black mare named Elora.

This is one of my favorite photos!I used Pioneer Woman's 'heartland' action and then layered Kim's 'mayzee' texture over it at soft light.

And here is Chelsea & Elora at a horse show.

The above photo was a shot I waited for so long! Trying to get the horse with all 4 feet off the ground over a jump--very difficult, at least for me. The photo was layered with Kim's 'memorable' texture and her 'mayzee' texture, one at soft light and one at multiply.

The final horse is Corona. We leased him last summer and he was a pretty chestnut with a very playful personality.

On the last photo I used Pioneer Woman's 'colorized' action and then layered Kim's 'mayzee' texture over it at soft light. Works really well with the beautiful shade of Corona's coat.

There were actually a few other horses in her life prior to Lexie, but they were also prior to my digital 
camera and I didn't feel like going in search of the actual photos to scan and alter.
Hope you enjoyed the equines in our life. They are such beautiful creatures. I love to photograph them.

Right now, my daughter is somewhere over the continent of Africa. Her flight will get into Johannesburg early this afternoon, which will be almost 9:30 at night their time. She pretty much hates long flights so that was her biggest dread of this whole trip. Being in a plane for 8 hours from Chicago to Amsterdam and then another 10 hours from Amsterdam to Johannesburg.  She was armed with her ipod and several books, plus a bottle of dramamine! So hopefully it wasn't as bad as she was expecting.
I'm supposed to get a phone call from her when she gets to South Africa and that will probably be the only time I get to talk to her until she gets back!!! I will busy myself with photoshop until I hear from her today.
Cheers to all the moms in the world who have learned to cut the 'apron strings' and allowed their children to soar!  Even though we may learn to 'let go' we still never stop worrying.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time for Texture Tuesday

Settling back in after vacation is not much fun. Especially when your dog is sick, your refrigerator decides to begin a slow death, your oven freaks out and your lawn sprinkler system quits working during 90 degree temperatures.  My saving grace is yoga & playing with my camera and photoshop.
I was fortunate to be a winner in last weeks Texture Tuesday over at Kim Klassen's website. I won her entire Studio Collection of textures!!! Lucky me : )
The theme last week was a 'garden party', which was great since I've been taking lots of photos of flowers lately.
This week the challenge is to add text to your photo or have text in the photo itself.

Here are my offerings for this week:
This photo is from Grand Cayman. The sun's rays were peaking out from behind a cloud in the late afternoon. It was gorgeous. I layered the photo with Kim's 'golden hour' texture x 2.
One layer at soft light the other at
multiply and added the text.

Next photo is a close-up of bits of coral that had washed up on the beach. There were tons of coral, especially brain coral which you see some of here-very cool textures all by themselves!
I layered the photo with 2 layers of Kim's 'golden hour' again one was on multiply the other soft light,
then added the text and lowered the opacity of the text.

The last photo is a close-up of a conch shell that had washed up on shore. I layered the photo with 2 layers of Kim's 'just blush' texture-one on multiply and one on soft light. I also added Kim's 'sonnet overlay', lowered the opacity & added a layer mask to mask the shell and add some shadows beneath the shell. Lastly, I added the text.

As I look at the conch now, I realize I should've lowered the opacity of the text. My initial thought was that if I did, it might get lost in the sonnet overlay text but I think I still could've lowered it just a tad.

One of these days, I just have to get back to creating something with fabric, thread, beads, paint, etc.
OR maybe this photography/photoshop thing is just what I needed for the summer. Taking a break from the normal path of creativity and doing something new!  Doesn't really matter, as long as I'm having fun!
And I'm definitely having fun.
Last week, I promised a photo for Wordless Wednesday but was a slacker and didn't post one.
Tomorrow I already have it planned out-stay tuned~
Until your life creatively~

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