I've been wondering if the backyard plumeria would manage to bloom before the onset of fall. The mums have already bloomed and faded, and as of earlier in the week the pink petals were still pushing their way up.
The wonderful heat of the last few days has been like the summer sun of Hawaii, and the plumeria loves it! Seemingly before our eyes tonight, the petals continue to unfurl!
If only I could blog the sweet smell of the hot pink petals....close your eyes, sniff deeply, and you could be in Hawaii!
This weekend was the opening of an exhibit at the de Young, featuring 120 post-impressionist masterpieces from the Orsay Museum.
When I was at the Orsay, I am pretty sure Starry Night was missing, out for an exhibit.
And if my memory serves me correctly, this painting was also missing from the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.
Finally, right here in San Francisco, I get to see one of my favorite paintings.
As is my habit, I brought home a postcard as a reminder.
As is now my current hobby, I turned that postcard into a collage.
An original layout, starting with a blue background, over which I masked a starry paper from cajoline (summer night dreams collection) that I recolored from pink to blue. The postcard is feathered in place with a dissolve blend. A little capture of the ephemera from the day are collaged into the corner. Lots of golden elements are from Christina Renee.
"LISTED HERE YOU WILL FIND SPODE DINNERWARE IN THE FLEUR DE LYE. A COVERED SERVING VEGETABLE DISH. THIS PIECE HAS CRAZING AND STAINS ON IT BUT WE JUST CAN'T SEE OURSELVES THROWING IT OUT. THERE ARE NOT CHIPS OR CRACKS. WE ARE HOPING SOMEONE MIGHT WANT IT."
Here I am...someone!
I think it looks just lovely sitting with lots of blue and yellow accessories on grandma's trunk (painted blue) in the bedroom.
On the trunk is my Big Blossom Trio table runner done in Lakehouse Hydrangea fabric.
What to stash inside it?? Oh and if anyone else wants one, there is another available, in good condition, for $305!
The theme for today's start-to-finish Thursday Photoshop assignment was "The View From Here". It didn't have to be a literal interpretation, but I do tend to be literal, especially when ...Oh man, have I got the view!
I was so excited to get started, worried a bit about how I would approach it, then decided to use a template from Tiffany Tillman of Design House Digital, which I think worked out beautifully, although I did enlarge the accent photos.
The title font is a wonderful P22 Cezanne, the journaling font is informal roman...I love the way they look together.
Several masks enable the blending of the photos...one from Dani Moy Designs and one from Angela Powers.
I spent some time in the last week organizing all my digital scrapbook supplies. Although this killed my hands (all that clicking and dragging) it was SO worth it. Now when I want a template, I look in the template file, paper in paper, masks in masks, etc. It is saving so much time!
Still, I believe it took me a bit longer than 30 minutes to do this layout, but that's because it's hard to stop tweaking.
Don't I wish I were returning to Paris this week! But that's what photos are for!
So for my last weekly assignment in my Photoshop class, I am using pictures from our last january trip to Paris...one from each of seven days, to portray "one week...".
This is a two-page spread, which was quite a lot of work!
On the left...
I learned So many things ...additional applications for brushes, dingbat fonts, font blending in journaling (note the light transparent day numbers in the backgrounds of the circular tags), and so many quick tricks for doing repetitive things (Ctrl-Alt-drag,Ctrl-Alt-drag,Ctrl-Alt-drag,) .
Sam returned the other night...I came back to my desk and there he was, sitting there, right on the fence next to the weather vane. He saw me through the window and watched a bit as I quickly grabbed the camera. Then off he flew to grab another mouse on the hillside, but here he is immortalized in my Photoshop Friday lesson.
I've now learned how to rasterize and colorize text!
No one can say I am not taking my photoshop class seriously. I get homework, lots of homework, and I do it! (And oh by the way, it's really fun!!
This is another page for the "This is Me" mini-album, using a couple of pictures from Megan's Fashion Show and Graduation (she has 4" heals on!).
The background papers are from Crystal Wilkerson, my favorite Singer Sewing image is from my vintage ephemera collection, the spool from Jen Alyson of Design House Digital, and the very cool thread trail is a dynamic brush, learned in a Photoshop Friday class.
Another Thursday assignment for my Photoshop scrapbooking class...create a start to finish scrapbook page in 30 minutes.
The topic - Nerdy Little Secrets
This photo came immediately to mind, taken by Laura at the Pompidou Center last January, unbeknownst to the geeks pouring through our guidebooks, figuring out what to do next...
Part of the assignment was to use a non-square, non-rectangular photo mask. I used a cloud shape, and brushed it a bit. Both photos are by Laura Schmits. The mask I used for the background photo, much more sophisticated than my simple cloud mask, is from Danimoy Designs. The notebook paper lists are a modification of elements from Jessica Sprague.
Never has homework been so much fun! But phew, hard on my already-worn out typing and mousing hands.
Today's assignment in my intermediate Photoshop digital scrapbooking class was to create a mini book, all about me.
The expectation is that scrappers mostly scrap about others...their families, their pets, their flowers, travel, etc. Yes, I do all those things, but I have no problem scrapping about me, because I have this whole legacy thing going on.
So here is page 1, not in any order, but I love these two pictures - the one from Venice where I so sneakily tried on the gondolier's hat from the cart when the cartier was not looking, , the other taken by Yvonne in her recent visit here from London, Oslo, Paris or wherever she happens to be from today.
The half-page template is from Jessica Sprague, with papers and elements from dydyge , Katie Pertiet and Sara Shmutz.
Thursday assignments are usually hybrid assignments, and since I am not really motivated to print anything right now, I'll save these for another time.
But today's assignment was to repeat the lesson from Monday by creating our own circular collage frame and mats.
I decided to use some of the great photos we took in LA recently, featuring the architecture and landscape. In the middle is a great Urban Grunge overlay from Jen Maddocks, with another grunge frame from Sara Shmutz.
All other photos original.
Lesson learned...you really can't change the shape of your circular elements after you've created the background mat. Oh well, better luck next time!
On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays we get extra homework assignments in my Photoshop class.
Alas, I have fallen behind!
The Wednesday assignment was to take 4-5 pictures of something that makes us happy, then scrap the results in 30 minutes or less.
This assignment just stumped me...I am running out of new pictures and materials to scrap. Especially since I just covered all the things that make me happy in my recent 24-hour, 24-post blog-a-palooza.
But, I am working on a secret project, and I realized that one of the layouts in my secret project pretty much fit the bill.
I can't guarantee that I accomplished this page in 30 minutes, but it's certainly possible, as I had all the pictures ready, and didn't have to look for much stuff, using my own photos and creating my own photo mats. The background is made from an original photo, after removing the color and using a filter...I love this effect! The grunge mask behind the main photo is from Miss Mis Designs.
It's a little harder to make scrapbook pages if you weren't actually there, but not impossible. Had I been there, I either would have bitten the bullet and taken the lift, or hiked an extra hour to get to the top of Caples Crest (more likely).
This layout is from my week #2 assignment in my Jessica Sprague Now We're Rockin' with Photoshop class. I learned several fun new things...recoloring! overlays and blending modes, and a hint of typing paths.
Tod took the photos on the 'assessment trip' to Kirkwood.
(And the assessment is there is quite a lot of work to do!).
Last evening we were enjoying a wonderful dinner on the patio.
The weather was beautiful as usual, Megan was with us, making it special, and dinner was a delicious reminiscence of dinners in Hawaii...fresh grilled mahi mahi with homemade tropical salsa, sweet corn on the cob, artisan bread in tuscan-flavored olive oil, and oh yes, mai-tais.
Suddenly the sky above us darkened a bit. We are somewhat used to this, being in the regular flight paths of not only Reed Hillview airport, but also the many turkey vultures who comb our hillsides and keep them clean.
But this was a little different...an eagle has landed...right there on our rooftop!
He arranged his beautiful feathers, which looked so soft and lovely, and looked around for a bit, taking little to no notice of us. And then...
"Sam Eagle here, wishing everyone a happy labor day. And now I shall be off for my dinner".
And with that, he swooped down, with nary a flap, glided within feet of us, but only low enough to clear the fence and descend upon the hillside, just in time to catch a little morsel.
The other night I was browsing through my Netflix instant queue and decided to watch "Where Angels Fear to Tread".
Not more than a few minutes into it, a distant scene of an Italian hillside and I exclaim, to my empty-but-for-me house, "OMG, that's San Gimignano!".
I had a doubt here and there...no, there is no train station like that in San Gimignano, and wait, they are calling it "Monteriano", but oh yeah, there's the cisterna (the well in the central piazza), and that's the hotel La Cisterna, where we stayed last year!!
I was so excited to recognize these places, and so inspired by the memories.
I opened my folder of San Gimignano pictures...hmmm, how to pick from among the 120 photos that I took in this one town??
Well, I remember opening the window of our room in the morning, a room with a view, and the mists were hanging over the valley...just like they show it on television. Later I sat on that wall, so content. And how many not-very-effective self-portraits did we try to take with all 14 towers in the background.
And when we climbed up one of them, how cool to look down on the piazza.
Almost as important to me as the travel, are the photos of the travel, for through the photos, I get to travel again. Sound like a quote? It is...it's me.
Even if I never return, I will never forget the wonder that is Venice, unlike any other city in its state of elegant decay.
And here the subject of a photoshop sketch...
Let me see if I can remember what I did here...the background is a photo I took of the famous Rialto Bridge that spans the Grand Canal. I first turned it to black & white, colorized it to sepia, then used a filter to find the edges and create a sketch.
Layers of paper and masks (Jen Maddocks and Dani Moy Designs) create the background, onto which I placed an extracted streetlamp and sign from another photo, word art from Christina Renee, and 3 of my favorite Venice people photos.
Although this trip was in September of 2009, I remember it like it was yesterday, with the help of my pictures and my friend photoshop.
So, I am taking this class in intermediate digital scrapping with photoshop...and I love it!
Today's assignment was to take an off-center photo and make a page out of it, with the theme of "Today", so something everyday and ordinary, and get it done, start to finish, in 30 minutes.
As usual I didn't read carefully, so I did finish the page in 30 minutes ( we were allowed to have all the photos open and any fonts downloaded and ready to go at the start of the clock), but I needed a few extra minutes to save it off and upload it.
Anywho...this is what I did...
Not long after we moved into our new house, I discovered this very cool mirror tunnel effect which happens in our hallway of mirrored closets...been wanting to take a picture of it.
And I do love to take pictures of my own reflection...not quite so well as I enjoy taking pictures of my feet, but a close second.
Added to that...my view, the mums, the thermometer reading a hot hot number, and those are my reflections on the day.
my blog, I get to do what I want, and I want to art and craft and art and craft...
and with a little time, I may get to write about it every day, for "art" is the theme for this month's blogging.
And with a little luck, I will get to see this Starry Night painting before the month is out! Until then, I'll be taking pictures and scrapping them, maybe working on a thing or two in the sewing room, and wishing there was more time to...art and craft.