Thursday, May 31, 2012

Flower Art Friday #6 - June 1, 2012

Flower Art Friday - June 1, 2012


Welcome to Flower Art Friday #6 for June 1, 2012.   We open the gallery early Thursday morning and stay open until Saturday evening right before midnight.

This week, I decided to do something a little different and delve into a bit of mixed media for a vintage look and feel. There's nothing "warmer" to me than vintage art, which plays in well with this week's Texture Tuesday theme of "warmth." The lady with her dog and the butterfly were both freebies from Dover Publications. You can click the link provided here and get free weekly samples (Thanks to Geri from My Heart Art for this tip)

Below are a couple of resources for inspiration and freebies if you want to consider delving into digital collage work. I'm sure sure there are many more and if you have a resource, please be sure to leave it for us in the comments section.

Digital Collage Sheets

Digital Collage Studio

As far as texture and processing for this image, I pretty much threw the kitchen sink at it.

Kim Klassen's Canvas Magic Black and Paper 4
Pixel Dust Photo Art Memories of Paris and Soft Light Overlay
Ukandu Overlay 3_3 (a freebie I got for attending the Sandy Puc` seminar)

And of course, all this was cooked up in the Photoshop stew pot with a dash of Topaz Labs and a pinch of RadLabs.


Now, without further ado, the top three readers picks from last week are...

With the most votes, MG Atwood makes the top 3 again with this beautiful shot:



Again, we actually have a three way tie for second, so we get a bonus image to show off this week.

My friend Lisa truly has a way with flower photography and I'm so pleased to see her getting well deserved props for this breathtaking image.



Ruth of R.H. West Photography returns to the top three once again with this beauty. Visit her blog and you'll also see one precious pup, too!



M.C. Ryan shared with us her pretty pansies. She titled it "Cheerfulness" and I think it's the perfect name. Love!

Cheerfulness



Congratulations winners! Grab your badge!

flowerartfriday

Before we get this party started, here's just a quick reminder of the rules before we begin.


Flower Art Friday is a weekly gallery featuring your floral themed creations. We will have themes from time to time, but these will only be suggestions and you may feel free to deviate if you like. Obviously the theme revolves around flowers,and works submitted can be photos, digitally manipulated photos, textured photos, or mixed media collages.

Check out my resources page for information on some great sites that provide free textures, clip art, and tutorials.

The rules are pretty simple. Your link should go directly to your blog post or flickr post, and I ask that you post a link back to my blog in return. Post only your original work, and give credit appropriately to the source of images, clip art, or textures you may use in your piece. It would be awesome if you would grab my badge and include it in your post.

flowerartfriday


You also get to vote for your favorites. I will feature the top three picks on my blog next week, so if you participate please note that you are also giving me permission to repost your photo here. I will also be sending you a little email reminder to come back and vote and when the winners are posted.









Today's Linkups

Photo Art Fridaykimklassencafe



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Danielle LaPorte's Burning Question - Silence

silence


Having recently become a fan and an email subscriber of Danielle LaPorte, I discovered today that she regularly posts a "burning question" on her blog and invites readers to write their response. Although not the usual photography challenge, I found a photo from my archives and a quote that fit well with it, so I'm in.

This week's burning question is: What's your relationship to silence?

Soon, very soon, I will be going on what will be my sixth retreat into silence and solitude. My first retreat was taken in October, 2010 and my positive experience promted me to commit to going back to the retreat space I'd chosen quarterly through the coming year. I honored that committment and the last time I went on retreat marked the completion of that one year journey into silence and solitude.

Today's photo was taken in August of 2011 - my fourth trip to the "mountain."

The reactions I get from folks when I discuss my retreats are interesting. After expressing concern, most will say they think its a great idea and wish they could do something like that.

Why don't you? I ask.

The reasons given range from blaming other people (kids, job, husband) to fear of being alone or fear of going nuts in the silence. No, TV? No Music? No Internet?

Nope. Nothing but the sound of the wind in the trees, the occasional nut falling on the tin roof or mouse scratching inside the wall.

Whatever their reasons, and there were plenty of them, they would still sigh wistfully at the thought and say they really wish they could.

I even had a few say they would do it if they could tag along with me. Ummmm...what part of solitude are we confused about here?

I wish they would try it. I wish everyone would give this a chance because I can tell you that taking this time for myself has been the single most transformative and rewarding endeavor of my life. It was a bit of a stretch to do the retreats quarterly, but I have committed to continue these retreats twice a year as long as I'm able, and working in smaller periods of solitude when I can.

For years, I had thought about doing something like this and I was full of "yes, buts..." myself. What was different this time? Was there a tipping point, a crisis or series of crises, a straw that broke the camel's back, or just a desperate desire to stop the world for just a moment? Please?

Yes.

All of the above.

For that story, you'll have to read my memoir. :) In fact, I intend to gather up all my journals and materials from this year of silence and solitude and kick off my memoir writing on upcoming retreat.

Suffice it to say that I have experienced all of what Thoreau mentions during my time alone - refuge against all the outside forces that would bend me to their will, soothing balm for the spirit-owies resulting from my mistakes or follies, and a welcome place to rest in times of joy and great disappointment.

There were quite a few times when it was just a blessed relief to table dealing with a specific issue until the next retreat when I had time to breath, think, and be with it before making a decision. I have also found that since I've been taking time for solitude that I am turning on the TV or the stereo less often. I crave the quiet.

Another question that I get is, "what do you do while you are there?"

Basically, I keep it really simple. I don't make plans except for what food I'm going to take. The hermitage where I stay has a small kitchen where I can prepare simple meals. I pack whatever books I have that I haven't managed to read or want to re-read. Sometimes the experience is intensely spiritual, and others its more about goal setting and planning. Sometimes I would get a book recommendation serendipitously prior to my scheduled retreat and I would buy and it and save it for that time.

I walk. I journal. I sit quietly. I read. I sleep. I eat. I take photographs.

I have favorite sitting places and walking places, and I make my way around to them at various points throughout the day depending on the light and the weather.

Otherwise, I do not plan how I will spend my time or set any specific agenda. Sometimes I write more and read less, others I read more and write less. Sometimes I take lots of pictures, and other times I take only a few.

There are only two rules - silence and solitude. My times of retreat is like a big reset button when my life's computer program is one click away from giving me the blue screen of death. Sometimes, you just gotta reboot.


Today's Linkups







Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Peace

peace


Over at Beyond Layers there is a daily quote challenge going on. Each day this week, Kim presents us with a key word and we find a quote and image that corresponds to the theme. I'm already a little behind having missed the first day, but maybe I can circle back around later.

Today's word is peace, and this shot from last week's excursion to Leiper's Fork immediately came to mind. There was a small portion of this shot in my Monthly Mosaic post. I used Kim's "the veil" texture on this, with a little Rad Labs and Topaz Labs thrown in.

Here is the image, without the quote and texturizing.

Leipers Fork, Tennessee


This serene setting was located right outside what is known as "The Barn," which is a restored barn turned art gallery. It was closed when we were there, but it looks like a place to go visit soon. It has been awhile since I've linked up with Barn Charm, so I'm happy to have something to share there this week. :)

the barn


Today's Linkups


beyondlayersQuotography at {My}Perspective





Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Mosaic - Week of May 28




Before you read on, take a moment to remember those who died in service to our country. This image was posted today on facebook by the father of Philip P. Clark - a young man who served with my son in his first Afghanistan deployment.  All of these fine young men were personal friends of my son and served beside him. I am thinking of their families and their brothers today, and hope you will, too.


may mosaic


It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. ~Albert Einstein

This Monday's Mosaic is also my monthly mosaic contribution for Magnetised by Life's challenge.  The theme for May is intelligence and loyalty and the color is green.
  1. Mint growing wild at the corner of my house.
  2. Nehi Peach soda taken at Puckett's Grocery in Lieper's Fork, TN
  3. Sun dappled path along my morning walking route
  4. Bucolic scene taken in Lieper's Fork, TN
  5. Cucumber Canape's prepared for Mother's day tea
  6. Oregano growing in a pot on my deck
  7. Collard Greens & Green Beans served at Puckett's Grocery in Lieper's Fork, TN
  8. Potted plant display on the front porch of a Lieper's Fork Antique Shop
  9. Sun soaked leaf captured on my morning walk
This past week was as hectic and intense as I expected.    But, I survived it and gave myself plenty of time for R & R this weekend.  It amazes me how quickly the household can fall apart after I had everything all nice and clean for my guest last week, so it has been good to have some catch up time.

Many of the pictures in this month's mosiac were taken in historic Leiper's Fork, Tennessee.  I always like to take my team out for some local flavor when they are in town, preferably involving live music.   So we ventured out to the country Thursday evening for Puckett's Grocery Creole Shrimp Boil and Open Mike Night. 

It is amazing the talent you can find tucked away in Nashville's little nooks and crannies.  Guitarist Phil Brown, who toured with the band Little Feat and has written songs for Cher and Pat Benatar, hopped on stage and did a number.  Famous (or semi-famous) artists aside, even the guy who delivers the Mountain Dew rocked the house with a country fried version of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up."  Amazing.  We had a lot of fun.

I finished up the week with a seven hour (yes 7 hour) Sandy Puc` workflow seminar with Jack Davis.  It was an incredibly informative event and well worth the long evening.  I learned tons of Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw tricks as well as a clear vision of how to run a successful studio (if that is something I would like to do in the future).   I even joined the Nashville affiliate of Professional Photgraphers of America - even though I'm so not a professional.   They offer lots of learning and networking opportunities, so I figured why not?

I'm in the middle of pimping out my deck so this weekend I planted some containers and did some touch up painting on my deck furniture and a new bakers rack I snagged for $50 at a local flea market.  Pictures will come when the metamorphasis is complete.

Speaking of metamorphasis, I did have a hair appointment yesterday and got quite a bit taken off the bottom for a cool chin length bob. It seems the great grey grow-out of 2012 has somehow morphed into channeling my inner blonde bombshell.  I'm practically platinum now. It's taking a while to get used to, but I think I'll like it.  We are start using demi-permanent color next time to blend the gray further, leaving me the option to go all out silver fox if I choose down the road. We'll see.

I will post pictures at some point and I failed big time this month when it came to Urban Muser's "In the Picture" self portrait challenge. I'm not giving up, but I'll have to just call May a wash and start over again in June.

Last but not least, every week I am amazed by how far the bar is raised in the Flower Art Friday Linky Party.   I look forward every week to see what you have in store. Voting is open until tonight at midnight, so if you haven't had a chance to vote for your fave go on over and cast your vote.

With that, I have a lot on my plate today and still more catching up to do on this "holiday" so I'll wrap up for now. Here's hoping all my American friends are enjoying their long holiday weekend!

Today's Linkups



magnetised by life badge












Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flower Art Friday # 5 - May 25, 2012

Flower Art Friday - May 25, 2012


Welcome to Flower Art Friday #5 for May 25, 2012.   We open the gallery early Thursday morning and stay open until Saturday evening right before midnight.

My floral image for today was another shot taken at Lowes, and I used Topaz Labs Remask, Adjust & Simplify to mask out the background. The texture I used here from Shadowhouse Creations Painterly collection.

Our top reader's picks from last week had one clear winner - this magnificent cactus flower from Yvonne Michelle who shares her work on her blog Photoecstacy:



The next three images received the same number of votes, so we technically have a top "four" this week.

Andrea Dawn of The Art of Life joined in again with this bright and beautiful Cosmos:




A talented photographer whose blogs at Pieces of Contentment, shared this spectacular image:



And finally, this dreamy and French inspired piece from Camelia Danielescu.




Congratulations winners! Grab your badge!

flowerartfriday

Before we get this party started, here's just a quick reminder of the rules before we begin.


Flower Art Friday is a weekly gallery featuring your floral themed creations. We will have themes from time to time, but these will only be suggestions and you may feel free to deviate if you like. Obviously the theme revolves around flowers,and works submitted can be photos, digitally manipulated photos, textured photos, or mixed media collages.

Check out my resources page for information on some great sites that provide free textures, clip art, and tutorials.

The rules are pretty simple. Your link should go directly to your blog post or flickr post, and I ask that you post a link back to my blog in return. Post only your original work, and give credit appropriately to the source of images, clip art, or textures you may use in your piece. It would be awesome if you would grab my badge and include it in your post.

flowerartfriday


You also get to vote for your favorites. I will feature the top three picks on my blog next week, so if you participate please note that you are also giving me permission to repost your photo here.

Okie doke, let's go, shall we?







Today's Linkups

Photo Art Friday



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Light Post

path


Today's Quotography challenge and Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday challenge are both themed around light. For Quotography, the theme was sunshine and today's image and quote is my offering for this week's challenge.

The image; however, didn't lend itself to texturizing so much, so I went with a a different image for Kim's challenge. I used Kim's "Chase" texture on this one. Both of these photos were taken at the same time, and this vibrant thistle blossom on the side of the road captured my attention with its face shining in the morning light. They may be weeds, but I think they are so beautiful and not just when in bloom - like here or here.


beauty


There's not much time for blogging this morning because I had a late night at work and an early morning today. I'll be back with a new Flower Art Friday bright and early tomorrow morning!


Today's Linkups


kimklassencafeQuotography at {My}Perspective

PS. Last week's quotography entry made the top 3!

Quotography at {My}Perspective






Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Mosaic Week of May 21




mosiac tablescape



Today's Mosaic is a table I set for a little lunch I threw together for my photography friend Suzan who came over for some help processing photos. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flower Art Friday # 4 - May 18, 2012

ATTENTION FLICKR MEMBERS! I've started a new group on Flickr called Flower Art Fabulous. Feel free to share all your creative and beautiful flower art there as well!


Flower Art Friday - May 18, 2012


Welcome to our Flower Art Friday #4 for May 18, 2012.   We open the gallery at 8:00 a.m. CST on Thursdays and it stays open until Saturday evening right before midnight.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Day



a day


I decided to participate in the ADAY.ORG project. Each participant was allowed to upload ten pictures in the categories of "home," "work", and "connection."

I started this day as I do every day with my morning pages journal.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Texture Tuesday - Free & Easy May 15th

bottles on the wall


Since I've not been shooting as much this past week, I went to the archives to find a shot for this week's Texture Tuesday challenge. This once was shot last July while my daughter-in-law and I were visiting with my sister and her family. They took us to this quaint little restaurant in Corinth, Missisippi with the unique name of Pizza Grocery. The restaurant doesn't serve wine, but patrons can bring their own bottle and the restaurant will provide the setup. Thus, the walls, windows, and every available horizontal surface held empty wine bottles.
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