Friday, January 21, 2011

Huntington Beach Pier

When Water Hits Resistance.
I am seriously trying to learn everything about photo shop before it's obsolete. Here I have taken a photo of the Huntington Beach pier. I added sun flair and then polar coordinates in filter. I like the effects. Wouldn't want to be surfing in it though.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tag, You're It!

If you've been reading my posts, you will know that I have two extremely talented sisters. One, an interior decorator/organizer extraordinaire, and the other an illustrator/mega-talented artist. I am very excited to say that I have been, and am able, to work with them.
My decorator sister posted on her blog about tags that she made as her thank you notes. (See, she follows through on the things I want and should do.) I have a difficult time in keeping myself on track.. The artist sister created the painting that I posted here. The squirrels are happily carting off a tree for the holidays. Now I know you're probably very done with the holidays, but this year we will be launching her line of art on etsy. This tag is a rustic version. I took her work, added the wording, printed it, backed it in several pieces of decorative paper and card stock, then antique inked the sides and partial top. After it dried, I took sandpaper to the paper - roughing it up and taking off some of the color. I then painted a matte finish on the entire tag and stapled ribbons on, lastly added a huge brad. This is a one-of-a-kind tag.
Now let her know if you want it on etsy!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Senior Ads for Yearbook

I have never purchased an ad in the school's yearbooks for my kids so I thought for Mag's senior year, I would put in a 1/2 page tribute to her. After spending a day working on several types and designs, I put one together that I really liked. However, she didn't like the photo that I chose. I really should have known that it wasn't going to make her happy but I thought I could pull it off without too much resistance. She said it doesn't look like her and that everyone would be able to see it forever. So-- here is the new version.
I used photo shop to change the color of her dress from a baby blue to a more muted teal, desaturated the photo a bit, added sun spots and wording. The last photo had quite a few people in the background walking around on the sand. I love that it doesn't really matter what happens with the surroundings, photo shop can wipe them clean. I also fixed a portion of her dress and part of her hair that I thought needed to be cleaned up a bit. Then added highlights, color boost, center fill lighting and vignette.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Clutters Last Stand

Here is a piece of art to show my clutter-on statement.
I really like good graffiti. I only wish it was on canvas instead of block walls.
This has ten different layers to give it the final effect. Clutter on~

Keep Calm and Clutter On

"Clutter is a grand parade that follows us all our days from a playpen of the places we call home." A quote from the book; "A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life" by Mary Randolph Carter.
I have admitted to being polar opposites from my one sister, the interior designer. She is unbelievably talented in design, color and organization. My other sister and I have the great quality of being able to function in mess, hence not feeling the need to have a home for everything. But what it does do to us when it gets really bad is that we freeze up and can't function at all. That forces us to put things away and begin the creative process all over again. I found this book over the weekend and thought it was very enlightening. I have just begun to read it. I wanted to share a few things I've read so far.
"Though there seems to be no research on the tidy gene, there is an interesting study about what offices and bedrooms reveal about our personalities. Undertaken at the University of Texas, Austin, by psychologist Samuel Gosling, PhD, and his colleagues, and published in the March 2002 issue of APA's Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the study looked for physical cues in the environment, such as tidiness, organization, and decorating style. People with distinctive decorating styles got high marks for openness; those who were neat for conscientiousness."
Now, clutter is life lived out in the open, things not hidden, shared. However, even in this book, the clutter is not a dirty mess. It's clutter with intention. It's organized mess. Creative clutter. And as I read or skim through this book, I'm still seeing tips on how to keep it within limits, i.e., don't let the overflow from one project run into another: Finish one, clean it up and put away. Try to clean up at the end of the day, take one step at a time, create a schedule, start with what you hate most.... all these are tips that my sister lives by. Me? I only apply when necessary.

T.G.I.M. thank goodness it's monday~

I have been combing through old photographs that I have taken in the past years looking for some that I can post on my blog. Since my camera lenses are still in the shop for repairs, I wanted to at least post something. Funny though, I can't find any that I think are worthy. I've come to the conclusion that when we're on vacation, my husband's always in a hurry to get to the next place. We don't sit for long. I call him the Tasmanian Devil. He rushes in and rushes out... leaving behind the wind whipped debris.
Glad it's Monday. He's at off at work. ;>)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Let me introduce Romeo-Zorro-Carlos

A few months ago a friend of mine told me that there was a stray cat that had been saved but was in need of a home. She said he was about to be placed in a shelter if someone didn't take him soon. I couldn't imagine that and so I offered to keep him until he found a permanent residence. I won't get into the details, but the permanent residence turned out to be with us.
He had been named Romeo because he loved to snuggle and was so affectionate. We soon found out that he had another side to him, hence the name Zorro.
He spent the first few weeks in my son's room. See, Abbey, our dog, scared the fur off of Romeo-Zorro and Romeo would hiss and hide under the bed whenever Abbey came near. Sam loves the movie "The Hangover" so he nicknamed the cat Carlos. Carlos stuck. Romeo wasn't quite the name we thought he should have and since he really didn't answer to anything for us anyhow, we figured we'd call him Carlos. He's only missing his sunglasses.

He is truly a sweet cat. He sleeps within a few feet of Abbey now. They can easily be in close quarters together without too much hair raising and Abbey loves Carlos' food.
PS: My main two camera lenses are in the shop as they never focused very well this year. They are being fixed and while they are, if I want to take photos, I have to borrow my daughter's or use my old basic lens. I probably won't be taking pictures for a while. :-(

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Idea for Documenting Life

My son went on a snowboarding trip to the local mountains yesterday and filmed his runs with a new camcorder that sits on his helmet. We watched it today and it was really interesting to see the perspective and the interactions he had with other skiers. I had an epiphany. For all the stay-home moms out there that have their husbands come home and speak those five daunting words; "What did you do today", here's the answer. Wear a helmet with this contraption. As you go through your day of diapers, driving kids here and there, making breakfast, lunch, dinner, doing dishes, making beds, laundry, etc., he can see first hand just what you did all day! I kind of wish I had this thing-a-ma-gig a long time ago. Now, I don't do all those things anymore. And if I do them, I usually only can get one of them done per day. And today's not the day. My husband always made the "joke" that all I did was sit on the couch eating Bon-bonswatching Oprah all day. So one afternoon at 3PM I actually was sitting down watching Oprah and just as it would happen, up the walkway- here he came. Sheesh. Busted. I quickly grabbed a handful of flour and tossed it on my face, turned to greet him, implying that I was hard at work making dinner.

For the new year, I decided to get organized. As I was sorting through things, I found this old photo that had been taken 30 years ago. The condition of it hadn't changed much. At the time it was as bad as you see here, but I chose to keep it anyway.
As technology would have it, I was able to scan it and restore it to an almost good condition. I then took a current photo of myself and made it look old. (older) Yes, like me. I changed the coloring, added noise, and added some vintage textures. So-- here is me. 1978 and 2010.
Here's to a new year. Make it intentional.