Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Beginnings

Hi there everybody! How are you? This seems to be a very busy time of year, doesn't it?

We have two kinds of beginnings going on in our household. The first, and most exciting and important is that my baby is now a kindergartener. :) Lots of prep (like choosing the perfect dress for her first day of school), and nervousness (she woke up that morning and said she was sooo nervous and scared) beforehand, but she loves it. She has been so proud to bring her folder home everyday with a "green circle" on the daily calendar (indicating that she was a good girl all day). She loves her teacher and loves her new friends, and really really loves it that she is now "a big kid." You know me... I had the camera out while we left the house and waited for the bus. I took WAY too many pictures, and here are just a few:

The other "beginning" (really... not sure it actually deserves to be called that) is that I finally got myself off of full auto on my camera last weekend! The hubs, girl child, and I went to a little field in our neighborhood and I took pictures while daddy & Leah ran around like fools and goofed off just to humor me and let me practice with my camera. I made a few REALLY stupid mistakes, but am very excited that I took the training wheels off a little bit and actually got some decent shots. Here are a few of my favorites:

That's it for now... no stitching I'm afraid... I hear it distantly calling my name, but I've been so busy the past week that I haven't really been able to spend a ton of time on anything except maintaining day to day. And, I'm still pretty obsessed with the whole photography "thing" so it might be a little while before I really pick the stitching up again. However, I do have a bit of a crafty project brewing, probably for sometime this week. So, who knows... I may actually have some "product" rolling out of my craft room in the next post.

Thanks to all of you that commented on my last post! I got some comments from folks that I hadn't "met" before, which was very very cool, so thanks and welcome to you ladies!

Have a great week!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stitching In Stasis

Hi there everyone!

Well, as you can see from the title of this post - ain't no stitchin' here. None. At all. For the last... week and a half? Two weeks?

So, what have I been doing with my free time? Playing with PhotoShop Elements. Yep. I finally decided to bite the bullet and learn how to use the program so that I could quit my belly-achin' about all the pics I see from the pro-fesh-un-als (and non-pros, too!) that make me want to weep with envy, and drool all over my keyboard. Now, don't get me wrong. I got one of those million page long "Missing Manual" books when I got the program, and I did read it - somewhat. But I'm a hands on kind of learner so it wasn't really cuttin' the mustard, know what I'm sayin'? So, I did what any 21st century gal without a clue how to do something does - I went to YouTube, and watched hours of tutorials. There I learned about previously mysterious things like "layer masks", filters, actions, blah blah blah into the wee hours of the mornings. And when I was done there I searched blogland for some more help.

Eureka!! Via The Pioneer Woman's site, I came across this blog:

Oh my. There is a WEALTH (A wealth, I tell you!!) of information there for the new PSE user. And info isn't all!! This brilliant, awesome lady actually creates FREE actions that are usable in PSE (you aren't supposed to be able to create actions in PSE [an action is a recorded macro - no idea why Adobe calls it an "action", rather than a "macro"], which is one of the main differences between the el cheapo PhotoShop [Elements], and the full on [@$700!!!??!!!] PhotoShop)! AND, one of those free actions is the ability to create a layer mask on ANY layer in PSE (another of the key differences in the two programs). Score!!!!

Anyway... let me rein myself in here... So!! I've been fiddling around, and here are a few of my recent attempts. Most of the before shots are SOOC (Straight Out of the Camera).



After (a quick note - the point of this edit was to accomplish something [near to] "tilt shift photography" - the point of TSP is to make what you've taken a photo of look toy like. I plan on taking more pics in the future with the intent of them being TSP shots, so hopefully those will be more obviously toy like, but for my training sessions I've been using pics I've already got):

Before (another quick note - this shot is not SOOC. This before pic includes the basic edits I've been making since I got the program):



Before (Yet another note - I did not take this photo. My DH did [gotta give credit where credit is due!].):


So! There you have it! Hopefully this encourages someone out there reading this that it isn't actually terribly difficult to get really great results from a not ridiculously expensive photo editing program (trust me - if I can do it, you can do it!).

If you are at all interested in photography and editing your photos, but don't yet have the know how, I would highly encourage you to explore YouTube tutorials, then go visit the aforementioned blog (there are a few others out there, but the one I listed is the one I by far got the most "juice" out of). It really is a lot of fun!

Sorry no stitching this go 'round (and thanks for your comments on my last post)! I have been missing it the last few days, so probably will have something to show you next time.

Have a fabulous week, everyone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Touch & Go

Hi there everybody! This is going to be a quick - a "touch & go" - post (see the end of this post re: "touch & go")...

Not much going on, really, pretty much just day in day out kind of stuff... Leah is getting ready to start kindergarten in a couple weeks, so we're starting to get prepared for that. She's very excited to finally be able to go to "big girl school".

I have recently been bitten by the PhotoShop (Elements) bug... again - i.e. I've been drowning myself in tutorial videos, blogs, etc. trying to figure out how to use the advanced features to make my photos really fab, so there hasn't been a whole lot of stitching going on, but here is what I've done in the last few weeks:
Another Prairie Schooler Olde World Santa:

And some progress on The Blessing:

I also kitted up Olga (Plum Street Samplers) over the weekend and can't wait to start it. Someone (who prefers to remain anonymous) RAK'd the pattern to me, and I was overjoyed because I was going to "be good" for the sake of my wallet and not get her right away. She is just adorable! I can't wait to have her out when fall comes! Speaking of Fall... is anyone else ready for a break from the brutal heat?? Yeesh!

Okay, that's it for me (see, told ya it would be quick!), I'm going to get back to wrestling PSE into compliance. :)

Thanks for all of your comments on my last post!! I am always so glad to hear from you all! The notification "ping" on my phone is music to my ears. :) I was caught up on commenting on Sunday, but have since fallen behind... sorry!!! I'll get caught up very soon, I promise! Oh! And I notice I've gained a couple new followers! Welcome!

Okay, check ya later peeps!!

*Touch & Go: Okay, I'm an Air Force brat, so when I was trying to think of a clever title to convey that this post would be a quick one, I thought of watching fighter jet "touch & go" maneuvers as a kid. Now we weren't usually close enough to actually see the jets' tires hit the runway, but usually we could see them dip below view, and then lickety split streak back up again. It was very very cool, esp. for jet obsessed kids. :) As kids it didn't occur to us that the pilots weren't just having some fun. These were real drills for pilots that could find themselves in a hostile situation at any moment when deployed.