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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tales from Kobi: Mom Needs to Get Out!

You know, as much as I like it when Mom takes my picture, she really needs to get out more. With her focus on the job hunt, taking classes, processing her photos, and watching TV, she's only taken me out for a few walks this week. And at that we've been staying close to home. I'm working on encouraging her to take some of those long hikes like we did last fall. Boy, I really liked that and I came home tuckered out, but a really good kind of tuckered.

She loves to tempt me with my toys. And you all know how much I like to play. Here, I'm just watching ... waiting. I'll go after it when I'm ready.


mouseover to see before image

How many of you find you get cooped up in the summer? Is it the heat? Or is it just lethargy? What do you do to get away from the computer and the TV? Do your kids hanker at you so much that you give in? Do you just get fed up and need some sunlight therapy?

Well, I know Mom has some tutorials she has to do today, but after that I'm going to let her know we really have to go for a loooong walk. Maybe I'll convince her to go someplace new and we can show you some interesting pictures.

Until then, have a great weekend, my friends.
Thanks for stopping by to visit.

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: emptypage and autumnburst
Check out her Behind the Scenes course. It's fabulous!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Animated .gif

Kobi waits at the top of the stairs for me to kick the ball down.

Texture thanks to French Kiss: Deep Lemon Fresco

Catching up on Behind the Scenes. Creating an animated .gif out of a series of stills is a fun little trick. And of course, Kobi is my favorite subject. Here he has gone down the stairs to retrieve his ball and is running back up to do it all again.


I'm looking forward to trying this out more, especially since I saw a little girl "dancing" at an outdoor jazz band last night.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tales from Kobi: What is Your Tennis Ball?

My mama said I need to tell you this story.

One day a few weeks ago, we were out on Coal Creek trail--one of our favorite walks. It's close to home, so easy to access. On the way home, I found this tennis ball in the grass and carried it all the way home.

I used to chew through tennis balls, so after a while my mama only bought tough Kong toys for me. No more squeaky toys for me. But I guess I've grown up a bit and I really like playing with this ball. Of course, I still like my Kong balls.

I really love it when mama throws the ball for me and I can run up and down the stairs until I'm exhaust with happy. Then I plop down in my chair to rest ... until the next time.

While I'm lying in my chair guarding my tennis ball, mama talks to me. Most of the time I understand exactly what she's saying, but occasionally I'm not sure. "What?" I cock my head. It makes her laugh ... maybe that's why I do it ... to make her think I don't understand. I love it when she laughs ... it's like music.

Ok, enough talking about me and my toys. The real question is what's your "tennis ball"? What makes you so happy that you want to do it day after day? What do you love so much that you want to bring it to everyone's attention? How determined are you to share your tennis ball with everyone you meet?

I'd love to hear from you so I can share with my mama. She loves to play with pictures and she likes to tell my stories. Sometimes I have to go the extra mile to get her attention though. I whine and fuss a bit ... not too much, just enough to let her know I'm there. Then she'll throw the ball and I get to play some more.

I'll be waiting ... don't forget to share your "tennis ball."
Thanks for stopping by to visit.

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen and Texture Tuesday: emptypage, Pixel Dust: Impressionist Music, and Shadowhouse Creations: Raised Effect.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Behind the Scenes: 5 Questions Link Up Party

Kim and Xanthe at Behind the Scenes invited us to answer five questions that they posed to get us thinking.


In case you have trouble reading the questions, I'm listing them here:

1. What makes you happy?….. in 5 words or less….?
2. What is your favourite movie, book or both?
3. Which talent would you most like to have?
4. Which words or phrases do you overuse most?
5. If you could go anywhere in the world for a creative retreat where might it be?

I love the possibilities this type of exercise has. It's another way of manifesting dreams, of bringing new experiences into your life consciously. I've never done this with creative imagery other than a dream board using magazine pictures, but I have had experience with writing out how I would like my future to evolve through journaling. I've been amazed at the synchronicity of outcomes. These types of exercises are really quite powerful.

Please pardon my expletive, but I'm afraid I do use them in the privacy of my car and home to let off steam and frustration.

Question 4 was particularly difficult for me because I am a bibliophile and movie watcher. It's almost impossible to choose a favorite. I love to learn, so whatever my current immersion is I will have stacks of books on the subject: writing, marketing, InDesign, Photoshop, personal growth, and more. I spend an inordinate number of hours watching movies. I love movies that focus on the underdog-makes-good and relationship reconciliation. Marilyn, one of my classmates, mentioned several other movies I really love here.

And question 5 was hard to nail down because there are lots of places I'd like to visit, but I went to Vancouver Island about 10 years ago and really loved it there. I think it would be a fabulous place to have a creative retreat.

Thanks Kim and Xanthe for all that you packed into this course.

For Behind the Scenes participants, I'm linking up at the Linky Party here.
Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: framedwhite and bentedges.
Thanks to Krist Adams for his Circle Dots.

So happy to have you visit, my friends.
Would love to know what's on your lists. ;->

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Buttons/Badges

There's so much going on over there at Behind the Scenes that I'm starting to feel scattered, not knowing what to do first. You know that feeling, when you're standing at the practice batter's box or on the tennis court with the ball machine throwing the balls so you can make sure you get your swing down? And somehow the machine goes berserk and starts spitting out so many balls you're not sure which one you should swing at? Well, that's where I am right now!

So, here's my mini-project for today. My badge or button, whichever word suits you. I had one for a while and wondered who would use it or what its purpose is, so I took it down. Now I redesigned it and decided to put it back up. It's over there on my sidebar too. See it? Ok, I'm done acting like a little kid who just got her new Keds! or PF Flyers! Oh, is that before your time? Not to worry. Feel free to grab it if you want to be part of the club. lol

laf Custom Designs

I know it will come in handy if I do a linky party one day or maybe something else will come to mind to entice people to put my badge/button on their site. For now, it's just kind of a e hinge to have and I'm going to leave it there. And I'm sticking to it. ;->

I look forward to seeing yours too, all you "Sceners." ;->

Monday, July 16, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Photowalk, Layout, and Effects

Sometimes we just have to walk away ... from the computer, that is. I mean, really ... how do we get content, where do we get photos to process if we never go outside. So last night I took Kobi for our semi-ritual walk down the path near my house to Coal Creek. Kobi is always patient and accommodating. I think it's his favorite time. But now he's looking back at me saying, "Mom, what's that thing at the end of our path?" ;->

In Behind the Scenes, we were asked to share our surroundings and play with layout. I don't have Lightroom, so I did my layout in InDesign--another way to arrange and size photos.


I got my fences in there too for Beyond Layers. They aren't very glamorous, but they're there.

I had some fun trying my hand at a little painterly effect (upper right) and different blending modes to give the sky several different looks.

Added the before and after of this as an after-thought.


mouseover for before image

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen and Texture Tuesday: Reverie and Scriptededges

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bring the voice of the creek into your home

I experimented with a couple of things today. First, I want to introduce my voice. We rarely have an opportunity to hear one anothers' voices, so I thought I'd take an opportunity to do so here. You can also get the sense of the gurgling of the fountain if you click the introduction player below. (Kobi helped with the sign ;->)


I used a neat little recorder app I found for iPad called Rec Lite. It was only $.99. I emailed the audio clip to myself and uploaded the .m4a to my FTP site on my laptop. I'm sure there is an easier way for iPad blog creators, but I figure if I can accomplish the task, that's the object of the game.

Have you ever made a table top fountain? I made this one TEN years ago for my corporate office! When I was laid off and the pump had died, I brought it home and it landed in the garage. It's not that I didn't have another pump, it's just that I was ... eh-hem ... lazy! Well, today I finally got motivated to fix it/recreate it. It was nice to have an excuse ... to create instructions on how to make one. I hope you find it useful.


Click the image above to see the complete Snapguide on making the fountain.

I played with Snapguide, another form of social media and instruction platform, and made my very first how-to guide on making this indoor fountain. I discovered I have to take pictures in portrait format. If I take them landscape, they import sideways into the guide layout. Oh well, live and learn. Now, it should be a piece of cake to create my next one.


This is what it looks like in place, bringing the creek into my home. Kobi loves to lie beside my chair in my meditation room. Obviously soothing for him too. Maybe I'll spend more time there now!

Texture thanks to Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers: Yesteryear used on all images in this post.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Perfect Partnership - Kobi and me

It was a great, lazy Sunday morning. Kobi and I snuggled as we usually do, this morning watching CBS Sunday morning. Since I didn't sleep well last night I dozed on and off. He just enjoyed the time together.

Textures thanks to Kim Klassen: lookup, theladder, and thursday

Friday, July 6, 2012

Beyond Layers: Another Color Storyboard

This is really a fun application. I know some of my friends have been doing this color storyboard/color palette thing for some time, but since it's new to me, I'm having fun experimenting.
Thanks to Kim Klassen for texture: Phoebe

Now, you know it's hot when the butter melts just sitting on the kitchen counter! This was taken a couple of weeks ago, but as much of the country is experiencing, we have been experiencing record heat. Today we are cooling off just a bit and should only get up to 88º. That will feel cool by comparison!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beyond Layers: Playing with Colour Storyboards

In Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers, we're playing with making a color storyboard from the colors in an image. It makes for a nice composition. I'm not sure this is the best photo for this application, but it is from our recent walk to Coal Creek.

Thanks to Kim for her texture: greydayVintage
I was sitting on a bench and Kobi had decided it was time to go. I was telling him I wasn't ready yet. Let's just stay a bit longer. So he plopped down to wait. Of course, I couldn't resist capturing his patience. ;->

Behind the Scenes: New Tagline

Just a quick bop in to chat about taglines. A tagline gives a little bit more information about what the blog is for/about. So here goes. Here's some history and where I ended up.

It started out: Books, Newsletters, and Photomagic because that's where I thought my focus was. My initial intention was for this site to be a sort of portfolio to direct people to in relation to getting work. Where is says Impressions and Inspirations it originally said Creative Portfolio. Not very original or inspiring!

Then I changed the tag line to graphic design and photomagic, which I thought was general enough that I could grow into things other than just books, newsletters, and photographs.

After reviewing Kim and Xanthe's notes on taglines in Behind the Scenes, I laid on my back on the front porch looking at the leaves on the tree in my front yard against the night sky. I came up with where graphic design and photomagic play. I like the lightness of this tagline.

So, here was my inspiration--a long exposure at 11:20pm. It's hand-held, so a bit blurry, but it was something about the way the leaves played with the clouds that gave me clarity. And, yep, that white spot in the midst of the clouds is a star, well probably a planet! But, I'm not up on my astronomy to know the details.