Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Revised layout

I worked on another of my montage layouts tonight, based on comments from my instructor. Basically, I lightened the main (lower) photo, made both of them larger, moved them a bit, and worked on the blending some more.

My DS came over to borrow an ice chest this afternoon, and he saw the paint can sitting out. He asked me if I was painting, and I explained that I was going to but couldn't get the lid off. He got if off for me, only to find that the paint was ruined. The can had rusted, so instead of off-white paint, it was now brown (rust-colored). UGH! So I went to the paint store for new paint. The paint was so old that they don't sell it anymore, so they couldn't guarantee that they could match it. I bought it anyway, since it was all I could do. I've already touched up a few places, and I think it's going to be pretty close (not perfect, but better than not touching up the spots that need it).

Finishing stuff

I continue to work on finishing projects. I've finished several since I decided I needed to do this. It feels really good. I need to take some pictures of all the things I've finished (and I mean quilted, bound, labeled, and sleeved!).

My DH is out of town for about 10 days, so I decided that while he's gone, I would do some touch up painting (he HATES the smell of paint). When we took our drapes down and replaced them with blinds, we had to fill a bunch of holes where the drapery rod had been. These are the spots I really need to touch up - and there is a one small water stain on the ceiling near those. So this morning I painted some Kilz over the water stain, then got out the old can of paint that has been in the utility room ever since we had the house painted many years ago. I can't get the lid off!! So I don't even know if the paint inside the can is ok or not. I guess I'm going to have to take the can to the paint store and have them open it. Bummer! I was all set to get this job finished too.

I've got banana muffins in the oven right now - the one banana that was left was way too ripe to eat on my cereal this morning. They're starting to smell really good - must be almost done. OK, timer just went off, so I need to check on those muffins.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Wedding Reception (Re-do)

I made a few changes to the layout I did for my son's reception based on comments from my Montage instructor. I think I like this version better.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hand Works

I'm taking 2 classes at the same time (probably not a good idea, but I'm doing it anyway). I've already mentioned the Montage class, but I'm also taking one called Cre8tive Photography. It's my third photo class from the same teacher (Jessica Wesolek, who is really good, or I wouldn't keep taking them). This one is more about what to take pictures of than how to take them. Each week, we're given an assignment (a theme) and we're to take 6-12 photos.

This week's theme was hands. We choose how to interpret the theme. I decided to take pictures of my own hands doing some of the things I do throughout my days. Here are the photos I took.

I was a little surprised at how compimentary Jessica was.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Using Not So Good Photos in a Layout

These photos are of my son's mother-in-law and her grandson (my daughter-in-law's sister's boy). They weren't very good photos, because the background was distracting. So I used what I'm learning in Photo Montage to make this layout. I'm delighted with how it turned out.

The background paper is from the class at Digital Scrapbook Place. Fonts are Times New Roman and Monika.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wedding Reception

Here is another montage layout - this one is of my son and daughter-in-law's wedding reception, which was 2 1/2 weeks after the wedding, since the wedding was in South Padre.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Montage Layouts

I did a couple more layouts using layer masks (this is what you use in making montage layouts). This is how you blend one picture into another (or into the background in the first example). It is also a way to make a rough border (as in the second example). I'm loving this class - I've wanted to learn these techniques for a long time, and with a class, you not only learn the technique, but you get critiques from the teacher as well. I appreciate that almost as much as learning the techniques.

Background paper from Taking Notes freebie by ksharonk, word art by Tina Chambers.

Word art from Simply Quotepack by Marsha Zepeda, background paper from Shell Seeker Kit by Jeri Ingalls.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Here Comes the Bride, part 3

Thanks to comments from Emma Powell, my instructor in Photo Montage, I made a few changes to my second layout that I think made it much better. Since the title was "Here Comes the Bride." she suggested eliminating the photo of the groom in the upper right corner. Of course, the groom is my son! But that's ok - it wasn't that great of a picture of him anyway. And he is in the bottom picture.

Color as an Element of Design

As I've stated before, I'm taking a class on Composition and Design in Photography (just one more week to go). Last week, while we were in Colorado, our lesson was about color. So I took this picture of moss on rocks. I thought it was a pretty good picture.

But when I posted it, the instructor said that it would be better without the stick in the upper left corner. What? I didn't think the stick was distracting at all. But I cropped it to see, and guess what? She was right. Here it is again, with the stick cropped out. Better, huh?

Modified Montage Layout

I changed my layout I finished last night. I think this version is a little better.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Second Montage Layout

I completed another layout for my montage class tonight. I like the first one better, but here it is.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Montage Layout

I signed up for a class at Digital Scrapbook Place that started August 1st, in photo montage. In case you're unfamiliar with the term, here is the definition that was in my first lesson: "a single artistic composition created by blending several images into one." We were in Colorado when the class started, and I wasn't able to get lesson 1 before we left, so I'm a little bit behind (lesson 2 was available today). But I did finish my first layout today. I only used one image in it, but I blended it into the background and added a couple of quotes.

The photo was one that I took at my son's wedding in South Padre Island in May. The background paper and the word art are by Jeri Ingalls, available at Scrapbook Elements.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Home at Last

We have a problem with brown recluse spiders in our house, so right before we left on vacation, DH set off bug bombs in every room of our house. Now I realize that we didn't plan it very well. Our kitchen cabinets have a gap between the doors, so I've spent most of the afternoon and evening washing dishes (that would have been clean if not for the bug bombs), sheets, towels, and some clothes from our trip. I've done 3 loads of laundry and either 3 or 4 loads of dishes (I've lost track). I figured out that if we ever have to do this again (and we probably will - this is an ongoing battle in our part of the country), we will cover all of the gaps in the cabinets with plastic so I won't have to wash clean dishes. I sure wish I'd thought of that before!

It will be good to sleep in our own bed tonight - we really miss our waterbed whenever we're away from home.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Vacation Posts Part 6

Saturday, August 4, 2007

This is our last night in Colorado. We went to the Crested Butte Festival of the Arts, which is a juried arts festival. We found some great things to buy there – I got 2 pairs of earrings, a hand woven jacket, a little felt ball (for a pin cushion), and a sheepskin hat. We also bought a beautiful wood clipboard for our son (for taking care of our pets while we were away) and a cutting board for ourselves. We ate lunch at a restaurant called Calypso, where I had a very good salad (a bit pricey for the amount of food, but still good). After lunch, we shopped some more, and then came back to our Inn for the rest of the afternoon to read, review some photos, and catch up on email. We went to one of my favorite places for dinner tonight – Marchitelli’s Gourmet Noodle. We returned to the store we’d been to yesterday to buy a gift for our daughter-in-law. On our way back to the Inn, we took some more pictures. I have been trying to get a good shot of the houses in Crested Butte, and I never really got what I wanted, but this one is close.

We made a reservation at a motel in Dodge City Kansas for tomorrow night.

Vacation Posts Part 5

Friday, August 03, 2007

We’ve just had one good day after another. DH wanted to fish for just a short time this morning, since it was the last day of his 5-day fishing license, so I went along to take pictures again. He caught a big brook trout after a pretty short time and was satisfied. Then we went for a walk and I took lots more pictures.

We packed up, because we were heading up to Crested Butte today. We stopped in Almont for lunch, where I ate WAY too much – but I had a grilled Portobello mushroom and Swiss cheese sandwich and fried sweet potatoes. I rarely eat French fries, but these were great.

Next we started out for Crested Butte, looking for 2 more letterboxes along the way. The first one was near Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery, and there were more mosquitoes there than we’ve run into in a long time. We took the box up to the car to do our stamping. The second one was on the road to Kebler Pass, and we’d never been on that road before (this is one of the things I like about letterboxing, we get to see places we might not think to go to otherwise). It was a beautiful drive.

We are staying at The Nordic Inn in Mt. Crested Butte for tonight and tomorrow night. We checked in after our drive, then went to The Wooden Nickel (in Crested Butte) for dinner. After dinner we shopped in one of the stores I like here. I found a couple of gifts for friends. We actually have Internet access in our room, so I tried to get caught up on email. I didn’t get through all of it, but I did get caught up on messages from my photography class and actually uploaded my pictures for the week.

Tomorrow we’re going to the arts festival in Crested Butte.

Vacation Posts Part 4

Thursday, August 02, 2007

We had a pretty quiet day today. We started out by going fishing and picture taking. One of the pictures I took yesterday was blurry, and I wanted to try to take it again today. I don’t understand why it was blurry, since I had the camera on a tripod and used the remote shutter release, but I think our 80-400mm zoom lens isn’t very good quality, so that may be the problem. But I was able to get the shot today.

After that we took a walk. We spent the rest of the day in the cabin, reading (DH) and sewing (me). I got as much of my appliqué project done as I could – the next step is layering and quilting, then adding the 3-D flowers and crystals. I started the other project I brought with me, and did almost as much of that as I could too – I didn’t seem to have quite enough of one of the fabrics, so I’ll get more when we get back home. We ate trout, sweet corn, broccoli, and potato for dinner. Then we played backgammon tonight.

Vacation Posts Part 3

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

We had another good day today. We started by going fishing and picture taking (again).

After breakfast we took a walk, then I worked a little more on my quilt project. I got about half of the appliqué pieces fused on. After lunch, we headed into Gunnison to see the quilt exhibit we found out about on Monday. Then we searched and found 3 letterboxes on the West Elk Scenic Byway Loop. The first one was pretty hard to find, since the clue mentioned a “slice-of-pie-shaped boulder.” It was a challenge figuring out which of many boulders it was, and then finding the letterbox, which was well hidden. But we finally found it. The second and third were both much easier to find, and the second one had an awesome view – really glad we saw that one.

We also saw a deer right next to the road and I managed to get a few pictures of her, although none were very good.

If you’ve never heard of letterboxing, you can find out more information about it here: http://www.letterboxing.org/. But basically, someone hides a box with a book and a rubber stamp somewhere and publishes clues to it on the Internet. When you find the letterbox, you are supposed to use the rubber stamp in the box and stamp it in your own book, and use your own rubber stamp and stamp it in the letterbox’s book. The last time we searched for any letterboxes was 2 years ago in Colorado. We were going to search at South Padre, but I forgot to bring our books and stamps, so we didn’t.

We ate dinner at a restaurant just outside of Gunnison, and then came back to the cabin to review the day’s pictures and read.

Vacation Posts Part 2

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today we hiked to our mountain. The first time we came to this area 22 years ago, we hiked this mountain. We looked on a map to find the name of it, and as far as we could tell, it didn’t have a name, so we named it (Our Name) Mountain. We’ve called it that ever since. And every time we come to this area, we hike to it again. DH fished there and I took more pictures. I saw a marmot sunning itself on a large rock, and it wasn’t too afraid of me – so I got lots of pictures of it. Here are a couple of pictures of him:

And this is our mountain:

We spent the afternoon in our cabin, reading, playing backgammon, and cutting out appliqué shapes (I’m almost done – it’s really amazing how much longer it takes to cut out the shapes than to trace them).

We ate trout for dinner again.

Vacation Posts

We've been in Colorado without internet access for the week, but I had my laptop with me, so I actually wrote up blog posts each day. I don't know how interesting they'll be for anyone, but I'm going to post them anyway. LOL!!!! They're pretty much a day by day account of our trip, and I will try to post some pictures to go with them. I think I will do this in several posts (one for each day). So here is my first one:

Monday, July 30, 2007

We made it to our cabin yesterday without incident. The place where we’re staying only has 4 cabins; we’ve stayed in 2 of them in the past. This is our first time to stay in Cabin 4. There are 2 older cabins (ours is one of them) and 2 newer cabins; we stayed in one of the newer ones 2 years ago (Cabin 2 I think) and the other older one (Cabin 3) 4 years ago (we tend to come to Colorado every other year). Cabin 3 is my favorite, although all of them are fine.

Yesterday on our way through Gunnison we stopped for lunch at a little deli called Firebrand. The food was great – I had a turkey and avocado sandwich on a sunflower wheat roll. Then we went to Harmel’s for dinner – it’s another resort with cabins about a mile south of where we’re staying. We really like their restaurant, and I ate too much. But we’re on vacation after all. In the afternoon and evening, I started on a new quilt project and realized that I had forgotten to bring thread with me! I forgot the power cord to my sewing machine one time a couple of years ago, so when I was packing my sewing stuff, I made very sure I had everything for my machine. And I got all the fabrics I needed for both projects I brought along with me, as well as tools like rotary cutter and cutting mat and rulers. But somehow I overlooked thread. Luckily I have a bunch of bobbins with me, so I started out using one bobbin in the machine and another one for the top thread.

This morning DH went fishing and I went along to take pictures. I got some good ones and some not so good ones. But the most exciting thing for me is that I saw picture opportunities everywhere – I’m learning to see more creatively, which has been my goal for a long time now. I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m really excited that I can actually see progress.

After fishing, we went back to the cabin for breakfast, then I worked on my project some more – there’s a lot of appliqué to it, so I did all of the tracing on fusible web. After lunch we went back to Gunnison to look for a quilt shop so I could buy piecing thread. Yesterday, I had seen a store with the word Threads in the name, so I figured it was a sewing store. Wrong! It was called Treads and Threads, and it was a clothing store. I told the clerk that I was confused by the name of the store and did they know of a sewing store in town. No – there isn’t one anymore. The only place was Wal-mart (ugh!). Then we went to the Gunnison Arts Center (which had a quilt exhibit last time we were here). Some quilters were in the process of hanging a quilt exhibit that opens Wednesday (we’ll be back to see it) and I asked them where to buy thread. One of the women used to own the quilt shop that closed a few years ago. She actually offered to go home and get me a spool of thread (quilters are such nice people!), but she also said that in addition to Wal-mart, some grocery stores sell thread. We went back to the grocery store (since we needed a few more things anyway) and I bought a spool of thread there. It is cheap polyester thread, and I’m only going to use it if I run out of thread on my bobbins, but at least I’ll have some thread if I need it.

I worked some more on my project this afternoon, getting all of the fusible web ironed on to the fabrics and some of the cutting done. We ate trout for dinner (DH did go fishing this morning, after all). Then tonight we played some backgammon and went for a short walk (until we heard thunder and decided it would be smart to turn around). We got back to the cabin before the rain started, and I’m glad we did – it rained pretty hard for a few minutes. That pretty much covers the day.