Monday, March 23, 2015

As Promised

Before I get to my promised face and story, I want to share with you my entry for Texture Tuesday.  I did two different images from this shoot, and two different edits.  The first one I edited as Kim did in Week 7 of our Be Still class.

After some minor adjustments in Lightroom and using her "Breeze" preset I added quote and her "Simple" texture in Photoshop.  
The second image is a bit more dramatic.  I used Kim's "Darkmood" preset in Lightroom.
and now for that face and story…..
Face #16

I told you I would have a story related to my word for the year…. "Give".
Last week I stopped at Mother's Market for some produce.  In  the parking lot I saw a  young man in a wheelchair.  
One of his legs had been 
amputated at the knee.  I figured he might be a veteran, maybe even without a home.  He asked me if I had a dollar I could spare.
I opened my wallet and discovered I had no singles.  I thought to myself, "Don't be cheap", and then pulled out a $10 bill.
He was most thankful and did an immediate U-turn right there in front of me, and as fast as his wheels would take him, sped to the liquor store at the back of the parking lot! 
I started to laugh, but thinking of what Wayne Dyer said when he was laughed at for giving money to a panhandler on the street corner….."It's not between me and him, it's between me and God", I realized that it is truly between myself and God.
Have a great week!
~ Give ~
Kim Klassen dot com

Friday, March 20, 2015

Long Way to Go

Finally here is face #15
You may recall some time ago I started my "100 Faces" project.  I certainly got sidetracked.  Nothing new about that.  Happens all the time.  This is only #15!  I wasn't going to post her because…..guess why?  She's not good enough?  How am I ever going to be good if I don't practice?  So, I'm forcing myself to post the not so good with what I consider good.  Her eyes are a bit wonky, but my eyes are a bit wonky too!  In fact I bet everyone's eyes are a little wonky.  Don't we all have one foot that's just a tad larger than the other?  The great thing about the way Dina Wakley does her faces….she always uses Gesso on her pages….for more than one reason.  It's a great foundation for acrylic paint.  But it also is great for drawing with the Stabilo All #8046 pencil.   I usually just scribble over lines if they're not in the right place, 
but I can use a baby wipe to remove the pencil.  No gesso, no 
"erase".  I promise to try another face today or tomorrow.  And if I remember, I'll tell a funny on myself in relation to my word for the year - give.
~ Give ~

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Glorious Imperfection

I love the term "Wabi-Sabi" - perfect imperfection.  According to Wikepedia, "The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect. impermanent and incomplete".  Life is so 
wabi-sabi, so it makes sense that we would see the beauty of imperfection.
In week 4 of Be Still, Kim edited a photo similar to this one, and I have followed her lead as far as the edit..a bit different but with a similar effect.  I started in Lightroom with some adjustments to clarity, contrast, saturation.  I tried many presets but in the end I did not use one.  I shifted over to Photoshop and added three layers of Kim's "Dusty Rose" on soft light blend at 72% brushing it off the cut glass vase and a bit off the rose.  I think it would be fun to do a whole series of wabi-sabi flower photos.
For the image  below I did edit in Lightroom as well and used a preset "Touchof Drama".  I took it into Photoshop and added a layer of Kim's "Daisy" from the Downton collection and one layer of "Sweettart".  I added a slight faded vignette. 

~ A beautiful thing is never perfect ~
A proverb quote

Linking to:
Kim Klassen dot com
And to Be Still
~ Give ~

Monday, March 02, 2015

Anatomy of the Bouquet

A special friend sent these to me for my birthday… pretty and in colors I love.  Thank you, Shelley.
I kept looking at the bouquet all week.  What I noticed was that the vase was just crammed with flowers, each vying for attention.  The  dozen long stemmed pink roses would have been more than sufficient.  But then I do love hydrangea and stargazer lilies.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought about the importance each flower plays.  The roses, hydrangeas and stargazers are the stars, like the kids in school who were the most popular.  Then there were some type of Asiatic  lilies in the group too…..those wanna be's from school….not as spectacular but nice too.  The lemon leaves and wax flowers were there to fill out the bouquet, but they are just as important ….. they were the ones with the spectacular grades.  Then there were the tiny white carnations….they were the ones I made friends with….they were loyal and steadfast friends.  They are still here when the rest of the bouquet has been tossed.  They smile at me every morning.  They give me a peaceful, easy feeling. 
So….for Texture Tuesday and Be Still I did a little photo shoot with my good friends, the carnations.  I used Kim's "Hazey" preset,  took it into PS and added the text.  
and the top down shot
and with Kim's postcard texture
They are my good friends.

Kim Klassen dot com
Live a beautiful life this week.
~ Give ~

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


That's what I've been feeling this week…just lots of stuff going on.
That said, I'm really behind in my Be Still class, but I just have to take one day at a time.
So for Texture Tuesday I first made some adjustments in Lightroom and then added Kim's "Gentle" preset.  Next into PS 
for some texture and text.  I used Kim's "Carmel" texture on overlay at 64% opacity, and her "Luxe" texture on divide at 42%.  The text is a font called "Reswysokr".  Don't you wonder how they come up with such odd names?
I'm planning to spend tomorrow doing some photo shoots.  Hopefully I'll do some catching up in my class.  
I wish you all a beautiful week!

Kim Klassen dot com
~ Give ~

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Flea Market Addict

Saturday, Erin of My Painted Garden and I went to "Behind the Picket Fence" vintage marketplace.  I discovered flea markets are one of her passions, and I believe they will become one of mine.  I was looking for props for still life photography, and I found so many neat things.
Erin found the cutest vintage metal rolling cart shown below in the upper left corner,
 She also purchased a round metal tray with some little tea lights.  I found a  vintage box/crate that I can use to put items on or that I can shoot a display inside like the one in the upper right corner of the image above.  I almost bought the chippy painted chair in the first image and I know I could use a stepladder for display but I remained calm and not too free with my allowance.  We found a most fun booth called "Far Away Hood" where a mother and daughter team make custom signs to order.  They made mine while I waited.
The one above that says "Jardin" is like mine.  I think it will look cute on my fence in the yard.  Ooops….forgot I was looking for props.  Oh well, a gal's got to have a little fun.  These ladies will be at The "Vintage Marketplace" at the Oaks in Fallbrook scheduled March 13th - 15th this year.  I also purchased a really cute metal etagere for my garden….I know, I know…. I veered away again from my original intent to purchase props.   But…it was such a good price! 
Anyway, a fun day it was.  I met Sunday Hendrickson who is a stylist for some major magazines like Romantic Homes and Sharon Hughes of Launch Your Creativity organization….also Lidy of French Garden House She buys and sells beautiful vintage items and antiques. 
Yes, I think I will be a Flea Market addict. 
~ Give ~

Monday, February 09, 2015

Room to Breathe

I've longed for an eternity
To return to this space
Of silence, of stillness
~Jason Westlake~

Week 2 of Be Still 52 is all about room to breathe. This means taking time to be still and just breathe as well as leaving room in our photos to breathe (white space).  
My exercise for giving myself room to breathe was this painting.
I wanted the airy, ethereal feel of a wash.  It's an exercise that gives me calm and serenity.
For Texture Tuesday and Be Still I took these photos.  I'm using my new crate I found at Behind the Picket Fence flea market Saturday.
I used Kim's "Dark Light" preset above. All editing was done in Lightroom.
Above I used Kim's "Serendipitous" preset.  It almost looks as if it has a texture applied.
This final photo was a preset experiment 

The preset was MoodyDark with slight vignette.  Visit Kim's site
by clicking on the badge below.  You will see a lot more creativity there.

Kim Klassen dot com

Hope you all have a beautiful week.  
~ Give ~

Monday, February 02, 2015

Just Keep Shooting

When I visit others' blogs, I'm always impressed with how beautiful their presentations are….the photos….and how well written too.
I don't know about you, but there are just some weeks when I'm not terribly inspired to do a shoot.  The weather is cold and overcast or  it's just plain winter!!  I should not
complain knowing how a lot of the country is buried under snow and ice.  Here I sit in beautiful sunny (not always) California.
I took almost 50 shots of this subject and had only a couple maybe sort of worth working with.  I had to laugh at some of the shots.  The chocolate looked like little turds….nothing picturesque
at all.  This is the final result.  I know I just need to keep shooting. 
I applied Kim's "Grunged" preset.
After looking at my edit, I decided I wasn't happy with the blown out highlights and went back to Lightroom and used the radial filter.  A little better…. 
This mug is one of my favorites.  I got it at a restaurant in Chicago….called, oddly enough, "Scoozi".  The cup must be 25 or 30 years old.  I wonder if "Scoozi" is still there.  We had a delightful dinner there one evening.  It had one of the biggest bars I've ever seen.  
I'm linking up with Texture Tuesday over at Kim's and also with Be Still 52. I used Kim's "Distressed Wood" texture.  I liked the texture it added to the backdrop and the base under the composition (in first shot).  I think the radial filter did away with most of that 
wood texture in the second shot. 
Here's to lots of joy in your life!

Kim Klassen dot com
~ Give ~

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Kim Klassen's "Be Still 52" is just starting, and I'm reflecting on stillness, quiet, breathing, meditation.  Periodically I sit and just breathe to get centered.  I've always loved Buddhas.  I think it's the stillness I sense.  I have one in my garden…
 I did most of my editing in Lightroom before I took it into PS. I used one layer of Kim's "Autumn Burst" at 83% hard light and added text.
This Buddha sat in my mother's garden for many years and now he has adorned my garden for 18 years plus.  He seems content to sit quietly.  He certainly brings serenity to the garden.
Other Buddhas I love…..

~ Give ~ 


Kim Klassen dot com

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cardboard Journal Workshop

Yesterday was my day to host the workshop for our Eastside Art Group.  There are eight of us, each with differing artistic talents.  Eight beautiful souls participating in a monthly project.  I can't remember how we met individually.  I do know I met Jacki first.  I think she invited me to come to Linda's annual holiday boutique where she was selling some of her art.  The others were there.  Linda suggested that we get a group together and do 
monthly art projects.  The rest is history.  
A few months ago I was searching for some inspiration for my project.  I didn't have to go very far.  I found it on Michelle Ward's blog.  I was so excited to do this project as I knew each and every lady in our group would make journals in their own style.  I knew Erin's journal would be flowers and rain boots…..
I knew Jacki's would have a paper collage face in it…..and here's the beginning of a face.
I knew she would use interesting papers because that's what she does.  She's a paper collage artist and collects anything paper.  She has quite a stash.  She had to leave early today so this will not give you the "finished product", but you get the idea….
I expected Linda's to be eclectic and unique.

Libby's would be free and easy just so like her!

Diane's would be really colorful and fun!

Norma's was a surprise.  Usually she does projects as a gift for her granddaughter.  But hers ended up a representation of a "getaway" for her.

and mine (still unfinished) - I loved Michelle's black and kraft theme, so I went with that.  It was fun collecting stuff that fit that theme.

A big thank you to Michelle for the idea and instructions.
~Give ~