Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Touch of Clouds

Mouse over to see "before" image

I started with a photo of a gull flying through a clear blue sky.  In Photoshop, I duplicated this image to give me a second layer to work with.  On the duplicate layer I used the filter:  Render, Clouds, blended at Soft Light, 90%.  I loved the effect!

Draw your mouse over the image above to see the original photo.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Texture Tuesday - Warmth

Mouse over photo to see the "before" image

As I've mentioned, probably more than once, I'm taking the Beyond Layers II class.  (You can still register and join the fun!  The class will continue for a year.)  One of the options in Beyond Layers is to participate in Texture Tuesdays.  (Note my cute little link icons on the right side of my blog.)  Kim Klassen, our teacher, provides a texture sheet for us to use, and suggestions on what we might do.  The theme this Tuesday was "warmth."  I decided to use a photo from my traveling days that I took on the small island of Ventotene.  This wee place is in the Mediterranean, and is off the western coast of Italy.  I picked this particular photo because the idea of leaving flowers for Mary spoke of warmth to me. 

In case you wonder about the structure in the photo - there were white-washed walls that lined the roads of the island, usually blocking off the views of the houses, or whatever else might have been behind them!  Often, when I reached a corner in the road, I'd see a small "shrine" like this one built into the wall.  This time I got lucky and saw someone adding flowers to the shrine. 

Original of the slide - you can't see Mary at all.

This photo was probably taken in 1986.  We took slides back then.  Packages of slide film would be mailed to the States for processing, and then sent to my parents' home, as they received all our mail.  We might not actually see the results of our efforts for several months....  So very different with digital film these days!  Anyway, we weren't great photographers, the slides were "preserved" rather carelessly, and decades have passed.  When I scan the slides now, I'm usually disappointed with the quality of what I find - which is one of the reasons why I rely so heavily on Photoshop when processing my slides! 

When I started working on this slide in Photoshop, the first thing I did was use the "equalize" adjustment. 

Thanks to the equalize adjustment, Mary made an appearance!

I then took this image (which you might actually like better than the final image at the top of the page....) and used Gaussian blur, Kim's texture layer (called Sunday), gradients, hue/saturation, and so much fussing around that I lost track after a while.  It does have an aged look to it, which isn't surprising, considering how long it took me to do it.  (joke....)  Anyway, did you notice my other new trick?  If you draw your mouse over the image at the top of the page, you can see the original image hiding underneath it.  I learned this by watching one of Kim's tutorials, and you'll probably see a lot of it in the future, since I'm totally tickled by being able to do this.  :o)

Please note:  If you get notified of my blog via email, I believe you have to come to the actual blog to see the mouse-over effect in action.  A click on JEAN MARY at the bottom of the email will take you right over to the blog.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby Blanket #2

This is the second of the baby blankets I'm crocheting.

Actually, my blankets tend to keep growing, so this may be more of a toddler blanket....

There's a third blanket that's about 2/3 of the way finished.  Here's a link to baby blanket #1, with an explanation of where these blankets are headed.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Turkish Texture

This is a photograph of the fishing boat, Yarik Kaya, that we "rescued" when we were in Turkey on our sailboat, Tropic Moon.  

Image Cropped

We were motoring down a long bay and we saw a couple fishermen in a small boat. They were waving something and trying to get our attention, so we motored over to see what was wrong. 

Used "Stay" texture layer, Overlay, 75%

Their engine had died so we played out a rope to them and took them in tow. They wanted to go to an island on the opposite side of the bay so we towed them for 3-4 miles. It would have been a long ways for them to row! 

Used Hue/Saturation to adjust the colors

When they thanked us, they gave us a fish that they had caught, and we put it in a bucket in the cockpit. That afternoon when we reached Datcha, Ed cleaned the fish and I cooked it for dinner.  Ed made it into two fillets and we each had about a pound of fish to eat!  Since we didn't have refrigeration on the boat, it was eat it, or toss it overboard.... 

The filter, Poster Edges (2-1-2) gave me this final textured image

We didn't know what the fish was until we started eating it, and then found that it was a fresh tuna.  Really delicious!

Monday, May 14, 2012


Husband, Ed; My painting called "Cezanne's Farm;" The ever-adorable Casey Cockatiel;
Bookcase; Out the kitchen window; Rocker

A recent project in our Beyond Layers II class was creating storyboards with some of our photographs.  Kim Klassen provided templates for us to use.  The photos in the first storyboard represented my day on May 1st. 

Flossie seeking her inner frog; From a READ Poster; Flossie at her computer;
Herbie, Flossie & Kermit hitting the port; Buddy in his BMW, Herbie riding his bike at Cezanne's Farm

I really enjoyed the project so I decided to do a second storyboard.  I had lots of photos of my frogs in my files.  One little note - Herbie (bottom right) is riding his bike in my painting that's in the top storyboard, top center.  Also, in the port drinking photo, that's one of my quilts in the background.  There's another of my quilts behind Flossie (at her computer), but this one is showing the back of the quilt, rather than the front, which was too busy to use as a background for this photo. 

I use Photoshop for developing my images.  In Beyond Layers, we worked on our storyboards in Photoshop.  This class combines projects using both photography and Photoshop - two of my loves!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Cost of a New Hip

MarTech Building on campus, Carteret Community College, Morehead City, North Carolina

I don't have pictures of my new hip (consider yourselves fortunate) so I thought I'd just stick in a couple photos I'd taken on campus at Carteret Community College.  Now on the the hip.  The operation was done at the beginning of April, and the statements have started arriving from my insurance company, Blue Cross, Blue Shield of North Carolina.  The first couple statements were a little alarming because they talked about what wasn't being covered.  My initial alarm proved unwarranted, but it did get me to wondering just how much this whole thing had cost, and what our share was going to be.

Well, BCBS has an excellent online site where I could see all of my statements to date.  It looks like most major claims have been filed, and the total cost has already topped $63,000.  And it looks like our cost will be around $4000.  Still a lot of money, but, obviously, peanuts compared to the total! 

Reading through the statements, I saw that the hospital had filed claims totally almost $50,000!  Now, I was in there for three days, but the food wasn't all THAT great....  We noticed that there was a separate little code for each of the many claims filed by the hospital, the largest claim being for $27,000.  Being curious folk, and hating to "not know," Ed looked online and found a code book used by hospitals filing with BCBS.  It's a pdf file, 253 pages long, which he added to my Favorites.  (Thanks, Ed....) 

We compiled a list of all the codes used in my statements, and, in particular, checked out the code related to the big expense.  It said, "Implants."  Okay, I'd never giving any thought to the fact that the pieces being used to construct my new hip had to be purchased, but there they were.  The "hardware" for my new hip costs $27,000.  Wow!  Silly though this may sound, I am inordinately pleased to know that I now have $27,000 worth of value added to my body.  I'd always heard that the elements in a human body were worth about a dollar, so this it quite a leg up, so to speak. 

On campus, looking out over Bogue Sound

Well, enough silliness for today.  I am more than thankful that I have good health insurance, and it brings to mind all the people who have to deal with medical issues without any insurance to fall back on.  I am blessed....