Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Doctored dahlia...

As those of you who have been using picnik.com know,  they are closing shop in April.  Since the premium options are now free I've taken advantage of the opportunity... until I set up photoshop on
a new computer sometime in the not too distant future.

Maybe you remember this downward dog positioned dahlia from last summer..a SOOC shot that drew a lot of compliments.  

Now she has been antiqued and grained with writing and texture for a new look or two...amazing differences, so thought I would re-submit her to Lisa Gordon's Creative Exchange for one more go around. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Textured window...

One attempt to add texture to a photo I took last summer...more to come in the days ahead..entry for  Photo Art Friday......I still do not have photoshop so hope this result from picnik.com will work for now.

Pixel Dust Photo Art

          with only one layer with a vintage focus...

   ....and after....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Haiku Wednesday... Silhouette...

See more haiku at Jenn's website...

Learn more about these silhouettes

by klr

She curtsies, he bows 
framed hand painted curios
Proper etiquette

I used to pretend
faces shadowed from the light
Future groom of mine

Carriage awaiting
 umbras assigned to players

Casting an eclipse
in silhouettes on the wall
Fitting fantasy

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday...already

Time flies by when one is housebound...finally, the roads are clear and what is left is the cleaning up of debris from the ice storm.  However I am still needing to to say at  home most of the time,  keeping my foot immobilized for the duration of 6 weeks due to a torn Achilles tendon due to bone spurs on my heel.  Therefore, I have very few new photos...but I have collected several from my stash taken earlier in the year for Scavenger Hunt Sunday, which I started doing because of the fun word prompts.. this week they are:

1.  Sunset...
This was taken in Gearhart, Oregon last year.  I go there several times a year to beach comb, breathe salty air, stay in the Inn there, browse the one antique shop, and for nostalgic reasons.
2.  Black & White...
My mannequin, Milly, who has been dressed in the same lacy white top and straw hat all year and sits on my dresser with a picture of my granny.  This summer she will most likely don a vintage bathing suit, scarf and sunglasses. I was able to use any premium apps yesterday over at Picnik.com as they are closing shop  in April and kindly allowing anyone use their site,  at their leisure, until then.. free of charge.  Here is a little texture.  Then I realized it is more sepia toned and added the more apt black & white photo below that I arranged.  Also, you see a vintage streetcar being used by citizens of Butte, Montana in the 1890's.  The old photo is in my great aunt Bessie's album.

3.  A Day in My Life...Easy one, as my 9 year old grandson was here for the weekend and snapped this picture before we started our game.

4.  Four...as in set of 4:
Part of a project I am working on for the family heritage album/book which I started last summer and have only begun to scratch the surface of.  My grandfather, Ned, his mother Alice below him.  My grandmother Eva fishing and a group gathered together in 1925 or so at a real picnic in Butte, Montana.  My mother was 1 year old.

1.  Colorful:   
A tiny cloisonne box lid close up macro shot...

Scavenger Hunt SundayScavenger Hunt SundayScavenger Hunt Sunday

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yes, we have snow bananas?...

Forgive me for I had not planned this nor do I think it is particularly artistic...why and how does one combine the bananas and orange and the icy snow storm for a story?  I am snowbound, have all I need, but not much fruit which is the prompt for Ana's Wonderland photo shot over at her blog and this is my contribution.

Nothing fancy here with the camera either.  To be sure, the storm here in the PNW has caused many to face dangerous circumstances, and I am fortunate to live on a pretty creek, away from the traffic, and not have to leave home.  But as you can see, there are branches that have been cracking and falling due to the heavy weight of icy snow.  I've been hearing the noise all day and see that they are continuing to populate the creek and the yards in the neighborhood.  Plenty of cleanup work for someone in a few days, after the rain.

Silly I suppose, but the thought did occur to me that both the tangerine, yellow and titian colors combined with photos of the white and brown and blue-green of the trees are a fun play with color.  Am I kidding myself?  Then,  I imagine both snow and fruit can be plentiful, ubiquitous - as opposed to barren, empty, or unfulfilled.  Might I be stretching the analogies here?  But there must be a point to this post...or must there?!
It's not about Fire and Ice, a good book by the way.  It could be about frisky animals running about, but there is not a toad or rodent tale here to tingle the imagination.  The 'yield' or result here is simply that it might be close to the height of smugness on my part that I even think there is a story here to tell...or there is,  and someone else would do it better justice.

From my humble office window I see two ducks scouting  for more bread to be tossed their way.  Earlier they were slipping on the foot deep icy crusted snow, racing for food.  

Fortunately I feel safe during this time, but I have a torn Achilles heel tendon which means
I have to wear a boot and keep the foot immobilized for several weeks from a week ago.  So I will feed the birds and squirrels and 

now go back to the jigsaw puzzle on the table. Luckily, I still have power, so there are options of watching a movie, baking banana bread, or perusing the Internet.  My mind is not as prolific as the snow and icy rain have been, however.  Nor is my head producing any fruitful ideas, so I will heed the loud voice inside that tells me to forsake this course of prolonging  anyone's boredom.  Consider it another experiment in blogging, and I trust that,  if there are no responses, it could indicate or prepare me then,  for my future blogging prospects ;-)  I hope all affected by the storm have better weather tomorrow and not a lot of flooding...and safe and bountiful days ahead.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday...


Please check out the other great entries to this weekly posting of photographic art at Ashley Sisk's web site. Most have learned the details of using texture to alter or enhance their works.  When I am able to free up more disc space on my computer, I will be able to download tutorials on the subject, but for now, I'm afraid I am having to stick to the SOOC mode. Prompts are below...
1.  Stacked up...

Just a few of the stacks of books I have scattered around the house that I have not finished or intend to read, purposely faded to a lavendered hue...

2.  Winter Wonderland....

Poor St. Francis gets the brunt of the weather where he stands in my garden bed...today he has a hat of snow and the birds he holds actually look a bit warmer because he is holding them...

3.  Sweet
Ordinary whole wheat toast with raspberry jam and butter...there is a lack of 'sweets' in this house right now...

4.  Hole...  a keyhole


This little man is in the music box I haul out every Christmas, so it's a recent picture...he is skating (not so swiftly) on an icy pond.                                  Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Friday, January 13, 2012

January Night...

by klr
Whilst we gaze on high
suppose the stories are true
January night

I took these photos one late evening last week when driving home.  Before I added the snow, adjusted the exposure on the branches and made the moon more yellow, I realized how nicely the three look together as a group and the collage turned out better than I thought it would...kind of a coincidence;  and that is the extent of my creativity this week ;-)  Then, someone who saw these photos suggested there might be a story behind them.  I want to thank Jeanne;  this is what I came up with as a result:

    Moonlight is the theme.  Be it light streaming through a stained glass window, moonlight casting shadows on forked tree branches, or the grandeur of a classic yellow moon, which we are privileged to look at most months of the year, they all touch the very light in us that longs to speak back.  In the form of a certain qualified holiness, we respond with admiration and love in the forms of wistful poetry and inspired songs. We long to transcend that magical, invisible stairway to heaven where all life mysteries' answers are given and our souls set free.

     Many a moon (pardon the cliche), I have planted moon flower seeds in my back yard, taking care that nothing disturbs them; and just as often they have not survived.  The white blooms that result glow in the dark of the night, as do other seasonal species with white blossoms.  By placing them in a hanging basket outside a bedroom window, or by an entry door, the vine stemmed flower sends a lovely fragrance indoors.  So this year I hope a moon flower's little light will beam against a night sky..starry or not.

     We have been captured by the moon's powerful haughtiness, as we are grateful and heartened by its kindly phosphorescence as a lamp or lantern to gently guide our way on a path, be it spiritual or actual.  As a beacon in a lighthouse, we have romanticized it to the point that its mantle can make us tremble.  It can be a welcome incandescence in a time of need, or a cue to a proposal.

     So the light of flowers that provide a show in the garden at night will not be as luminous as the moon, but they will inspire us by exuding exquisite scents.  Perhaps it is part of that same childhood moon of fairy tales we remember, and again sparks our wishful thinking.  It's what hastens us to dare say from a small window in a country home nestled in a meadow, or from the rooftop of a city dwelling, "Goodnight, Moon." 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Haiku Wednesday...Brilliance...

There's Something About Mary
by klr

Ground, whetted, and buffed
 facets shine like diamonds
pouring from her soul

Her light radiates
from her nurturing big heart 
Thus her brilliance

God please take care of my foal

She cares for others
The benevolent are blessed
Thus, his genius

My daughter, Mary at Age 3 in 1973.  She now has a family with husband and two children of her own and is a nurse.


I believe diamonds and brilliance are 3 syllable words ;-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday...

 My selections for this week's word prompts at Ashley Sisk's website: Ramblings and Photoshttp://www.ashleysisk.com/search/label/Scavenger%20Hunt

1.  One Color:                           Pinkish sky

2.  Laundry:                   Antique washboard

                                                       3.  Empty:   Pitcher

4.  Dozen:  Depending on how you 
count these stone pillars, whether they are attached in places or not

 5.  Soft:         Winter Solstice sky 2011

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Escargot anyone...?

It began as a small boarding house in 1896 and now brags international awards for its cuisine and unhurried hospitality.  This could be a public relations plug for a place, but it is a short story of the first (and only) time my daughter and I ate escargot.....

The Shelburne Inn and Bed & Breakfast in Seaview WA. boasts one of the best of the Pacific Northwest Regional restaurants, The Shoalwater Inn.  With it's own organic garden and patio views, I had stayed there before, but  this particular night was a departure for us,  and a rainy and foggy one...and, it was New Year's Eve, I believe 1984.  Loving the ocean year round, we had finished a walk in town and on the beach, and then found ourselves sitting at a corner table in the dining room of this period decorated old hotel at about 8:00pm.  After the entrance, one passes the cozy hearth and sofas for visitors and wall plaques depicting the history of the building and town.  There is a staircase leading up to rooms with comfy four posted feather beds and claw foot tubs.

There were holiday lights and decorations but only a few people sitting across the room from us.  Carols were streaming from a speaker in the room.  I remember sharing my glass of white wine with my daughter as the waitress served  the appetizer order -  Escargot !!  It wasn't a dare, but rather that I had always been taught to try new things and was passing the idea on.  With a bit of hesitation we took our first bites - expecting to swallow it whole, and for it to be slimy, or spit it out.  Once I had tried overly cooked calamari and found it to be horribly rubbery and without taste.  I was surprised to experience a mellow, tender, pleasing taste...a flavor all it's own.  Alternately with the wine, needless to say,  they went down smoothly with a few chews.  We both were amazed at how delicious they were and knew then why they are considered a delicacy.  I do not have their recipe, and they serve it only in certain seasons when snails are harvested in the area.  The dish in the picture above is mushrooms stuffed with escargot (ours were seasoned in wine and I'm not sure what else, but alone) and sounds very tasty with bleu cheese and pecan sauce.  Together with their cranberry bogs, kite and music festivals, the town draws quite a crowd all year long.

After our meal of clam chowder, shrimp dishes and salads,  we waited for dessert.  Time passed quickly by as low voices came from two other tables.  At about 10:30pm, when we decided to leave, we were asked if we would like to stay for the New Year's party and, of course, said yes.  Soon we were brought the shiny hats that strap under your chin with a rubber band and two noisemakers each...the horns to blow and the hand held kind you wave in the air that make a loud clanging noise.  When they began the countdown to midnight, everyone, including the owners and staff, joined in to sing Auld Lang Synge...so we rang in the new year and rang out the old... with the 9 or so strangers in this dimly lit room.  Everyone saluted one other.    My daughter was 14 years old.  Along came the cake and ice cream with sparklers,  no less,  and finally we said goodnight.

We awoke to a hearty sausage and egg breakfast with their freshly baked signature scones along with the jam, lemon curd and DevonShire cream, complimentary with a night's stay.  We ate quietly, paid our compliments,  and headed out into the blowing storm, ready to drive the 100 miles back home to Seattle and begin our new year.  To this day, it is one of  my fondest memories...and Mary's as well.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Haiku Wednesday word prompt...Resolve...

With and without it's foliage, it has it's own beauty...the Thorny Bush of South Africa:

Stay the prickly course
Resolve to climb past the thorns
despite bloody wounds

                                                      Images from web..