"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."
- Stanley Horowitz
As I continue learning how to balance work, rest, and play, I've been grabbing every moment of fall that I can possibly hang on to. I love the peaceful warmth and the rich colors beckoning me to come play. It feels as if I'm being refueled and filled for the coming winter, and as storms come, it will be easier to get through them. As much as I desire to get back to my routine, this has been a valuable lesson for me. I'm learning to enjoy, and slow down, and just be.
Yesterday I finished another mini journal to send to my very special friend who has been going through chemo.
And fabulous news...
the chemo has decreased the size of the cancer.
I'm so very, very thankful.
And one last thing... I posted a photo of a Damselfly a while back and inadvertently ID'd it as a Dragonfly. I love that Debra emailed and corrected me. I had never heard of a Damselfly. I looked it up and enjoyed learning the differences between the two insects. Here are a few of them as presented here.
|Eyes||most have eyes that touch, or nearly touch, at the top of the head||eyes are clearly separated, usually appearing to each side of the head|
|Body||usually stocky||usually long and slender|
|Wing Shape||dissimilar wing pairs, with hind wings broader at the base||all wings similar in shape|
|Position at Rest||wings held open, horizontally or downwards||wings held closed, usually over abdomen|
and as you can see... it's definitely a Damselfly with those wide-set eyes!
Beauty sat bathing by a spring
Where fairest shades did hide her;
The winds blew calm, the birds did sing,
The cool streams ran beside her.
It's been a while since I posted a mini tutorial so I thought I'd show you what I've been up to today. This is a fast and easy way to add a fun frame and texture to your images. You will need a graphics program that has blending modes and uses layers. If you are familiar with this technique already, hopefully you will find some inspiration to spark your creativity!
Here's the photo before adding the texture:
Begin with a textured background. You can find really nice ones on Flickr that people generously share, or you can create your own. I've added the one below to my flickr site here. It's free to grab and use.
To create your own, use grunge brushes to erase or paint white around the edges of a photo. Save it so you can reuse it later. Here are a few more that I created and have been using today:
You can also use them inverted:
Next, choose an image that you would like to add your textured background to:
Layer the image on top of the textured background:
Your layers palette will look similar to this:
Next, change the blending mode on the top layer (the bird) to Overlay. The blending modes are in a drop-down at the top of the layers palette here:
And that's it! The result looks like this:
Pretty neat huh? Below are a few I played with today. I've tweaked some of them, and added masking and minimal adjustments, but not much. I'll also post the before shots so you can see the difference.
This is an old tintype that I photographed while at a yard sale. It was such a fun time with the owner helping and encouraging as I took photos of a couple tintypes and the purple bottles below. The tintype is amazing enough, but the extra textures make it look even more old and wonderful.
Even though we don't have fall colors yet, the days are definitely feeling like fall. New birds have arrived that we haven't seen since this time last year. Several Evening Grosbeaks visited yesterday. It's always exciting to see their vibrant yellow and comical beaks.
Today I went to Lithia Park, and was so excited to capture my first shot ever of a dragonfly. It's a bit blurry, but I'm posting it anyway becasue I'm so in love with his intense blue eyes!
Here are a few more from the park:
and the beginnings of a new painting.
I've been gone for about a week visiting my friend Cindy, in Los Gatos CA. It was a fabulous time of relaxing, exploring, taking photos, collecting, creating, filling and being filled.
While in CA, I experienced my first visit to the renowned Alameda Point Antiques Faire
An amazing and dreamy vintage world...filled with interesting people, great food, and seemingly any collectible treasure imaginable. Shortly after walking through the gate I was hit with complete sensory over-load...I basked in it...soaking it in slowly...enjoying each step and every moment. I didn't make it to the end of the vendor rows, and we were there 6 or 7 hours!
Below you can see me taking a photo of some old bottles and jars... click to make the image larger, and look closely at the reflection of one of the bottles I was photographing.
I tried to open the shop before leaving but I was having some computer issues (small, but annoying) and wasn't able to finish. I think I have it figured out now, and will be working on it as I have time and energy.