Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

So Many Toys

So many toys.....not enough time....
I don't know about your children/pets, but mine aren't satisfied until they have all their toys in the middle of the living area.  They, however, never put them back!  I love the commercial where the dog is talking about how his owners are not too smart.  They always hide his toys in the same place and then get excited when he finds them....then they hide them again in the same place.  If only our animals could talk.
After they have finished their game, Anna and Ollie have to rest!
Enjoy the day!
~ Give ~ 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Eastside Art Project

Getting ready for Wednesday's art project.  It's my turn to host the group of talented artists known as Eastside Art Group.  We meet once a month and this month  we will be making Christmas ornaments.....decorating clear glass baubles.
These are a few I did in 2008
I wanted to refresh my skill?? So I worked on these this past week.
I really like the look of the swirled mica and glitter together, and the green one was simply Pledge Floor Care dribbled inside and then inserted glitter.  It came out great!  Here are a couple websites if you're thinking of doing something with the  clear glass ornaments (you can get them at Michael's).
These are both fairly informative.  Have fun with these.  They are a nice addition to the standard decor and easy to make.
Go take on the day!
~ Give ~

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Fall Arrival

I have much to be thankful for.  Fall has finally arrived in Southern California.  Whew!! We had the hottest summer on record.  For those of us who live at the beach (and don't have A/C) it is more than welcome.   It was actually under 70 degrees yesterday. 
It's so easy to get ready for Thanksgiving..... a few branches, some candles and fall colors.  I found this adorable sequined pumpkin at Pier 1.
Branches are from Michaels. 

 Candles are from everywhere.
Here's wishing you and yours a full of wonder Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Orchid and Rose

A couple edits to ease myself back into Lightroom and PS.   I feel really rusty, so I'm just diving in.
First the orchids...
I used a LR preset called Old Polar to bring out more color in the foreground and keep the background soft and hazy. 
Next the rose....
This image seemed to imply sophistication with the black linen.   I chose the Park Lane font for its sophisticated look.  I used Kim's Dark Mood preset.
~ Give ~

Friday, September 04, 2015

Lightroom Fun

When I have an image like this, I'm tempted to delete it immediately.  However, I'm learning to hang on and use images like this for lessons.  In this image I focused on the berries in the glass.

It's Week 34 in Kim's Be Still class.  Though I did not use the prompt of spoons yet, I watched her video and decided to use this "throw away" image to edit.  I first changed white balance and increased clarity.  I've not used some of the specific tools in Lightroom, so following her instructions I adjusted hue in Hue Saturation Luminance panel to give the berries a little more purple.  It's a minor adjustment but I was happy to learn how it works.  I also cropped to get in closer.  Since some of the panels in Lightroom seem a bit daunting, it's nice to have her instruction.  Finished edit below.
Its' so worth taking Kim's classes as I've learned so much.  I started with her when I knew very little of Photoshop, and I've grown along with her.   She is amazing in her knowledge and her ability to impart her knowledge online.
Consider taking an online class if you have interests in art, photography, Photoshop, Lightroom.  You will be so glad you did.
~ Give ~

Sunday, August 30, 2015

"New" Old Stepladder

While "junking" with Erin at the flea market, I found this marvelous stepladder (heart skipping a beat). 
 Actually I found two ladders....the first was red.  I had been looking for the perfect ladder for several months and decided I'd just have to paint this red one.  Then just as we were taking one last lap, I saw this one and I fell in love!  The steps fold out (in) just like a ladder I had as a child.  It has obviously had a lot of use with its paint spatters.  I can't decide if I want to paint it white or leave as is.  It has a lot of character this way.  I was lamenting the fact that I didn't need both ladders as I'm really limited for space.  Besides what would hubby say?  Why was I bringing two stepladders home??  Erin was a sweetheart and bought the red one from me.  She has lots of primary colors, as you can see, in her garden.
My project this week was to learn more about my Canon camera.  I watched some YouTube videos and finally learned how to "back button focus". camera has a touch screen which makes it really easy.  I just touch where I want to focus.  I also wanted to experiment with creating more light using the camera since most of my house is lacking in it.  I changed exposures while working in live view.   I used my louvred closet doors as a backdrop which helped.  I also changed lenses from my 50mm 1/4 to my 18 - 200 mm.  What a difference.  Because my shooting areas are so tight I needed to have a wider angle view.

I used Kim's Sunday preset on left image, Quiet Dreams on right image and no preset on center image.  
Have a great week.  I'll be working on lighting and exposure for the next photo sessions.
~ Give ~

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Just Another Face

#18 of my 100 faces.  I like to paint a background in my journal and then draw over that.   Can't tell you how many times I forget eyelids, and this is one of those times.  Would we look silly without eye lids?  I think so.  Or maybe we would just look Asian....nothing wrong with that.
Well, there's a slight hint of eyelid here,  but......
Have a great day!
~ Give ~

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Do You Have My Muse?

I've lost my muse.  I'm really not motivated to do any photography at the moment except with the iPhone.
I'm not inspired to paint either although I sat myself down and did this little lady.  I already had the background.  I drew the face with Stabilo All black pencil and then went back and painted in her face.
I think she's a fashion model.  She has that gaunt look.   Only 82 faces left to draw.  I think I'm supposed to do one every day though.....not once a month!  LOL
I could blame it on the's been so hot and humid, and with no A/C I just wilt.  I find myself wanting to go vegetate in the library just to get cool.
Did you have a marvelous week?  I hope so.  Maybe I'll get inspired soon. 
~ Give ~

Thursday, August 06, 2015

A Walk in My Back Yard Garden

I hope I haven't disappointed my readers.  I've been out of circulation for a few weeks.

I've actually been off trying to get acquainted with Instagram (I know..... I'm a late bloomer).  I've also tried to be a little more active on Facebook, or at least looking at everyone else's posts to the Studio Online group.  I've been learning to really use my phone for images and editing those images.  I'm getting better.

I've contemplated closing my blog because it seems people are more active on IG and FB.  But.....after reading Carol Hart's post regarding same, I decided to keep it going for a bit longer.  I started it as a sort of diary/journal of my art work.  So really, it was primarily for me to keep tabs on my progression. 

 I discovered that what I love about blogging (aside from seeing my progression) is the personal connection with fellow artists.  Facebook and Instagram just don't do that in the same way.
Today I'm sharing a walk around my back yard garden.  These images were taken on my iPhone.
Wishing you a beautiful day!
~ Give ~


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Berry Love

As members of Kim's Studio Online group, we are given prompts to play with.  A most recent prompt was "berries".
If you're a photographer, I'm sure you've had a few shoots, especially still lifes, that have given you less than exciting results.  I have done three different shoots for the "berries" prompt.  So frustrating, I wasn't even going to post my photos.  However I decided to post as every shoot is a learning experience.  These are the best of 80 shots on different days.  I used Kim's "Prairies" preset for this one.
Below I used her "Raw" preset.  I like the wide aperture setting on this one as it blurs the background.
I was determined to use my vintage table cloth for this shoot.  It was a bit of a challenge to keep the overall image clean and uncluttered looking.  I used Topaz Simplify for the painterly look  of the two images below.

Finally, my Canva layout.  Still learning how to use their labels.
Have a great week everyone!
~ Give ~

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Wednesday Photo Shoot

 Seems Texture Tuesday is on hiatus.  But, I've been more involved with Lightroom anyway and Texture Tuesday was all about layering textures over photos.  These days we can get gorgeous looks with presets in LR.  Sad to lose TT though.
We have one tomato plant in a pot that overwintered.  Our nighttime winter temps in So. Calif. have only dipped below 60 degrees maybe in Dec or Jan. this year.  We have an overabundance of tomatoes - bright, juicy, flavorful and  so much better than store purchased tomatoes.  They were part of my shoot this week.
I also shot some photos of this teacup and chocolate.

For some interest I clipped a rosebud and some thyme from the garden.  I now have the thyme hanging upside down to dry.....didn't want to throw it away and didn't need it in the dish I cooked.  This china was my mother's.  I think it was the first china she purchased after she married or maybe it was her wedding china. It's Syracuse china and actually says "Made in America".  How old is that???
Hope all you lovelies are having a great week.  If you're a photographer, try putting a little Lightroom love in your life.
~ Give ~ 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Edit Wow

My membership to Kim Klassen's The Studio Online entitled me to her Studio Collection of presets - about 80 of them.  Her presets are so artistic, it would take me forever to make my own.  And....let's face it, I'm lazy. 
I discovered I can get a beautiful edit without doing anything other than adding her preset.  Below the original...
It's a so-so photo.  But with one click of her preset in Lightroom and cropping to square I got this.  

I used "Rumpled" preset.  I just love the effect here.  I'm going to try several more presets, but this one really wowed me.
If you are into photography and still lifes, and you have not yet joined The Studio Online, hurry over there and sign up.  It's a huge value for the money and there are so many talented people you can learn from.  If you do love still life photography, Hans Blomquist has a beautiful book called "In Detail" which you can purchase from Amazon.  I'm ordering that for myself.
Wonder of wonders, we actually had a sprinkle of rain this afternoon.  I guess we're getting the monsoon moisture coming up from Mexico.  It wasn't really rain like we need but it was so exciting to see the sky get dark, and listen to thunder.
Plus, the rain smelled wonderful!!
~ Give ~

Thursday, June 25, 2015

And Then There Was Canva and a New Computer....

Have you seen Canva?  I found out about it through Kim Klassen.  It's a fantastic site with probably hundreds of templates, stock images (or use your own), graphics and on and on to help you make any kind of layout you wish.  You can do a header/banner for your blog, a Facebook cover photo, business card, ad, presentation is the limit.  
I did this is about two minutes.  Yes, you can do it in Lightroom or Photoshop, but this is sooooo quick.  I typically do my layouts in the print module of Lightroom and then take them into PS to add text.  With this, it's a bit quicker.  It's free unless you choose to use their illustrations or stock images.  Those are $1 each.  Most of us have a million images, so there's no real need to use theirs.
I've been missing on my blog because I bought a new Mac desktop and have been getting it set up.  It's such a pleasure to and effortless.  My 2009 iMac was very tired and slow and I had the max amount of memory on it I could get.  It was time.  Apple had my computer for a couple days to do the data/file transfer from the old to the new.  I must say everything seems to be as advertised.  
Go try Canva and have some fun.  I think you will like it.
~ Give ~

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Signs of Summer

It's beautiful summer weather here in Southern California.  On the coast we have our usual "June gloom" but the sun comes out in the late morning or early afternoon.  We are so enjoying the balmy temps in the mid 70's during the day and mid 60's at night.  Melons are coming into season and I dearly love watermelon.  
I've been wanting to take macro shots and didn't want to pay the hefty price for a Canon lens.  So…..I did the next best thing….I purchased an Olloclip macro lens for my iPhone.   I had a go at it in the back yard.  These are tiny blooms or what's left of them on my Heucheras.

 And here's a shot of lavender
Finally after many tries I got one decent shot of this little leaf bug. He wanted to cruise around the lip of this paper cup, and I asked my friend to move the cup to keep him in somewhat the same spot so I could get the pic.  I was really overjoyed to get this.  
Linking to Texture Tuesday, The Studio Online and Be Still

Kim Klassen dot com

Happy summer!!
~ Give ~

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Something Dreamy

I've always loved Kim Klassen's style.  I've taken many of her classes, and I'm grateful to her for all that I've learned….photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, still life and the list goes on.  I did this shoot and culled these out of 85 images.
They are as close as I can come to her "dreamy" style.  This one is pretty much straight out of the camera except for minor adjustments.  I shoot in raw, so there has to be some post processing.  I did not use a preset or texture though.
This was fairly blown out but I adjusted exposure,  clarity, vibrance and highlights.  I also cropped it.  Today was a really gloomy day, so I used exposure compensation and upped my ISO to 400.  I love the beautiful light that I managed to capture. 
I used Kim's "Dreamlike" below.
The first of the peonies arrived in my Trader Joe's last Friday.  I had every intention of doing a shoot on Saturday, but life kept getting in the way.  So now it's Tuesday and they're fairly bloomed out.  One more day and they would have been shattered.
I'm a little late but think I'll link to Texture Tuesday, Be Still and The Studio Online.
~ Calm ~

Kim Klassen dot com

Monday, May 25, 2015


I posted these images a couple years ago, but they bear repeating.  Regardless of how we feel about the war(s), our soldiers only follow orders. 

So many have died in service to our country.  The real shame is in the lack of support for those who are able to return home.  I'm taking a moment here to remember them with honor.  The flag walk at Castaways Park, Newport Beach….. every year volunteers put out 2001 flags in this park overlooking the back bay and blue Pacific.  It is breathtaking and seems to go on forever.  

My tribute in collage form…

~ Calm ~