Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all…

I am happy that 2011 is firmly behind me/us. As a family, it was a real year of change, ups and downs, some very unpleasant times that I thought would never end and a real learning curve. It taught me that I will go to almost any lengths for my family and that I can and I will do what makes us happy as a unit. If they’re happy, I’m happy – simple!

I resolve to be more positive this year and to be happy with what I have, instead of unhappy wanting what I haven’t got – which can be illusory at best!! No, no more time wasted thinking I need things I don’t… I have more than enough to make me happy – I don’t need to chase rainbows to achieve my goals. I’m looking forward to moving home and moving on this year; taking more and better/more interesting photos; playing with textures and digital art; making photo art and getting back a reasonable level of fitness.

I have another busy and happy year ahead of me I think! 🙂

I want to wish you all that you wish for yourselves and your loved ones this coming year – most of all I wish you health, fun and laughter.  Be well, be safe and smile, a lot! ♥

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Leftover leftovers…!

I made spicy potato cakes for brunch today and now I have leftovers from my leftovers… 😉

All I did was cook a sliced leek and add that to the leftover potatoes, along with seasoning, a knob of butter and some cold stuffing. I heated up the pan, coated the base with a little oil and fried them on both sides. Yummy!

Served with cold chicken, pickles and beets – and now we have some left over… 😉

Photo taken with my new camera – a Finepix T200

Edited with Kim Klassen’s “Lilly” texture!!

Sleeping with the enemy!

Does anyone else have pets who pretend to get along but beat other up when you’re out?! That’s the only explanation for Millie and Shadow… Shadow’s a complete swine and really ready with the “paws” – he’ll box anything his size, bigger or smaller. Millie’s an attack-dog in her head, but can be really cowardly too… Hmmm – so this is quite a rare capture!

I wonder what that cat’s thinking? 😉

Gratitude…

I am feeling content today – there’s the wonderful aroma of good food cooking, family gathered, DD’s napping and DH is playing on the Wii. Life is good and I am so grateful for the abundance we have.

Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year… ♥

 

Stormy weather…

I was thinking about what a week of pretty foul weather we’ve had here in the West Country this past week… Admittedly, we haven’t had snow per se, although there was a light snow shower on Tuesday night in Milton Damerel, just enough to coat the cars’ windscreens, but it has been epically windy – even for here – and a constant battering on the psyche wears you down eventually.

We have two old-ish dogs – a Yorkie and a German Shepherd – both of which have appeared on my blog in photos and layouts, and on Wednesday night at around 11pm, there was the most horrendous thunderclap, which literally shook the house. It felt like an explosion had happened nearby. I have no objection to a Yorkie landing in my lap, quivering with terror, but fighting off a 40- kg. (85lbs. approx.) male dog, in a similar condition, is no joke! (It’s a funny visual though…)

Luckily, there were only 4 more thunderclaps and then just the persistent howling of the wind down the chimney, plus rain and the occasional hail shower, for the rest of that night…

Ergo, my haiku this week is dedicated to the tenacity of weather fronts in general!

The mighty wind roars –

thunderclaps, Nature’s applause – 

power clearly shown…

I got the lovely image HERE.

For more haiku, go to Recuerda mi corazon, hosted by the lovely Rebecca.

 

Texture challenge from Nancy…

I really have fallen in love with textures, haven’t I? To the degree where I feel less guilt every day for not making any mixed media artwork. Ooops! That’s my secret out now, no more “guilty pleasure”…

So for her latest texture challenge, Nancy Donaldson gave us new grungey textures to play with – oh did I enjoy this one!

All I have done is use one of the garage textures, and duplicated it until I got the right blend mode, changing them up can gave such unexpected results.

Method: garage1 – (all at 100%, unless I say otherwise!) – multiply, colour burn, overlay @71%. Then a further 4 x colour burn, using the mask feature to erase some texture from the leaf and stem/s.

My Mahonia never looked this good before – although admittedly, that is just my opinion!! Obviously this pic has a couple of texture layers, and is much more “extreme” (hint!!), plus I used a gradient and curves too.

Edit: I used 3 layers of texture garage1 and the “drippy” one, with multiply, colour burn and exclusion @100%. I then added a gradient overlay which changed the colours to green/red and messed around with the curves, which seemed to shift the emphasis of the tones around. I played with a mask on that last layer to remove a little of the colour/texture from parts of the leaves and flowery bits! Forgive my lack of botanical knowledge – I can only say what I see! 😉

I’ll share my process later – but I really must go iron a shirt for work… *rolls eyes* 😉 Done!

TT- The Gratitude eDition returns…

For Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday:

Here are this week’s TT challenge details.

  • your image must contain at least one layer of any of my textures, and center around the theme of gratitude.
Another garden photo, taken close-up with my Samsung Monte.
Here’s the method, using  Kim’s ‘poetic’, my own meringue texture and Nancy’s architectural encaustic.
I love that I can ‘dodge’ and ‘burn’ so closely – it always makes me giggle!!
I am grateful for the layers in life, which I can peel back at will, to reveal what lies beneath…    😉

Healing spirit of pets…

I have always believed that we choose to live our lives with “pets” – in our case, dogs especially, because of the unconditional, non-judgemental love they give us. Our big old German Shepherd Dog, Thor, is a spirit healer. He has always known when a friend or visitor to our home is “hurting” or in need of some calm and kindness. We used to say he could sense the “damaged souls”…

I wish our friend Joe could meet Thor – I’m certain they’d have bonded. So here for Joe, (who needs to heal), is a visual message from Thor:

Deep, dark, soulful eyes;

Your compassionate nature

heals those who touch you…

Faithful, loving dog –

proud bearer of the Norse God’s

name – you are our Thor.

~~~ We named him Thor because he had such huge paws as a puppy! You could hear him thundering across the laminate wood flooring. Even then he was heavy and at 10 years of age, he weighs almost 40kgs! (about 88lbs.)

Thanks to: My DD, Amber, for the fabulous photo of Thor – xoxo; Kim Klassen for the textures.

See more haiku and photos at Recuerda mi Corazon, where Rebecca hosts our weekly “Haiku my Heart Fridays.

Nearly time…

It’s nearly that time of year again, where kids get mesmerised by adverts on TV, parents get bombarded by “I want…” cries and I get all “Bah Humbug!” I can’t bear all the hype and commercialism, so when I saw that Take a Word’s challenge this week was to use “Time” in our artwork, I altered a vintage photo from my collection.

I may well use this as a Christmas card this year!! Enjoy all the entries HERE. ♥

Of “fierce” and Falcons…

Here’s the falcon image transfer I referred to before. I have lost a bit of his back and some plumage, but his amazing face and eye are still there. I just added a little colour with the Inktense pencils and a charcoal one to the left, and wrote around him:

RAJ this week is all about words and word-play – love it! I am also taking Shwe Khit’s “Sweetened Simplicity” self-study class to learn how to create lovely faces in Photoshop. I am LOVING it… Nick is away to France this week for the World Carp Classic and he has treated me to this great class, because he could see how excited I was when I found it! I am learning so much about Photoshop tools that I never knew, I can’t begin to tell you what a revelation it is! ♥