Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pulled through a knot hole backwards!

Have you heard the phrase "Pulled through a knot hole backwards?" That is how I feel. I used to create photo mosaics in Picasa or I made them myself in Photoshop Elements. So when I opened Picasa and started to choose the photos for this mosaic to upload, it started to upload every photo on my computer! NO! NO! I DON'T WANT THAT! So I quit and tired again. Same thing. I hit quit. No way do I want every photo of mine on Picasa. I feel like I'm losing control.

So I went to Mary's blog, The Little Red House, and read her tutorial on how to make a mosaic. Then I had to try and remember how to deal with Flickr. Where is my password? What? This is Yahoo? Which email, which password, which "screen name?" EEEEEEEEEEE! HELP!

I'm into Flickr and have uploaded my photos. Now Mary says put them in Big Huge Labs. I'm in Big Huge Labs. How do I get my pictures there? I need a photo set??? What is that? Back to Flickr. Found the button and created a photo set. Instructions say hit the mosaic button. Where the hell is it????? Back to Big Huge Labs. Oh, I have to create an account. And link it to my Flickr account? Click here, click there. What am I agreeing to? Is this worth is? Okay, I'm linked. Put in the URL of the Photo Set! Does this never end? Choose colors for background and border. If I don't like the colors can I go back and change them? Apparently not. How many pixels between photos? How do I know how large a space 5 pixels is? Can I shuffle them?? Don't know. Okay - create. Figured out how to export and there it is on my desktop. Then I had to resize it!

I'm exhausted! Will I ever remember how to do this again?

I have not been able to find a free download to help me create a collage on a Mac. Photoshop Elements will create one like snapshots or other fancy things, but not like the style above. If you type in Google "create mosaic" you get those things where tiny pictures create a large picture like in the shape of a heart. And lots of the things don't work on a Mac. If anyone has any advice, please tell me! Please! There must be an easier way.

Now that I have calmed down,  I will tell you I have been in the yard taking pictures of mushrooms. When it rains they magically appear the next day. Aren't they lovely? The one in the top row in the center is the largest. The top of it is about as large as my hand. The others are from one and a half inches to four inches. I wish I had a mushroom book. Will have to check for one at the library.

I need to go to bed and rest now. My brain is smoking.

Oh, forgot to say I'm joining Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Monson, Massachusetts

This winter Mr. B and I went to Monson, Massachusetts. I was entering some photos to be considered for a juried show. Unfortunately they were not chosen, (what were they thinking?) but I thought it wonderful that such a small town has an art center. And many people were arriving with entries while I was there. Later I went back to see the art show during their opening day and it was packed!

We thought Monson a charming town. A river runs through it and there are old mill buildings. Sadly a tornado hit the town this summer and toppled this beautiful church steeple.

There are a number of large houses in town. Isn't this a beauty? How would you like to heat this? I would love to see inside! It is beautifully restored.

And this one. If it were a B & B I would spend a weekend there! Sign me up for the tower room!

We haven't been back since the tornado hit. I hope these lovely houses were not damaged.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Fun Photo Day

The air is drier and there was a breeze all day. Mr. B and I felt like getting out. We picked up my photographer friend and her granddaughter and went to see the Windham Regional Arts Council Show in the gallery at the hospital. The challenge for the show had been to use words in an image. Some artwork did that very well. Others looked like the words had been an afterthought, and some had no words at all.

Having a challenge pushed me to experiment and I'm glad. This is the photo I entered in the show. The background is a scan of a page from an old textbook, "Eldridge's Business Speller." The copyright is Great Britain, 1913. The book belonged to my great uncle. The photo is 8x10. Since it is a business speller it is divided by verbs, nouns, etc. and the words are not in alphabetical order so I couldn't find a page that had "bird" on it. Even so, I was pleased with the outcome of this female goldfinch perched on a sunflower seed head in front of iris leaves.

I have really been studying photography and my Photoshop Elements. Here I had to select the bird, feather the selection and decrease the opacity of the layer. The bird was one layer, the scan was the second layer and the green was the third layer. Then they all had to be merged.

After the art show Mr. B and I had errands to do. A stop at the hardware store yielded small hook eyes and picture wire to complete another project. Then we went looking for the Gurleyville Gristmill in Storrs, CT. Those pics aren't ready yet so I will share them another day.

When we arrived home I had a little time for more photos before starting supper. This is the best "yard shot" of the day. All in all, a lovely day. And still time to try printing photo cards on my new Big Boy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Is this a face you could love? The turkeys came frequently last winter. They started by eating out of the bird feeder. When we realized they were hungry we put out corn for them. I came across this picture while looking through my photo files.

Having realized I have taken over 9,000 photos in a year and a half, I decided it is time to view them all in iPhoto and make some tough decisions. Of course, I delete some when I load them into the computer, but still I have lots, and lots. I love having someone to show my photos to. Do you some time? Don't worry. There are only about 8,000!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

There is a new Big Boy at my house!

An Epson Workforce 1100 that prints 13 x 19 and uses pigment inks.

Now I have no more excuses! You know how that goes. "If I had a better printer I could....... print larger photos and sell them for big money....... print my photos on fabric and make wonderful art quilts worth hundreds of dollars!"

It is "put up or shut up time" and I am terrified! What if I can't do all those things I always thought I could?

Can I possibly claim I need any more equipment or supplies?

Here is my "old" printer, my scanner, my sewing machine, and an antique treadle machine. 
Do I need more?

 Because we haven't been able to sell our lake house in Virginia (see the side bar), we are feeling the pinch and need some income. I have tried to get a job. Really, I tried. I applied for a few. But employers see me as "over the hill." And I have no one to recommend me because I was self employed for years. And I really don't want to go out and work and miss all the fun times with Mr. B. We have been giggling a lot lately. Would I want to miss that?

So, Etsy store, here I come. With fear and trepidation. Can I do all the techie things necessary? Advice anyone?

Just so you know. I didn't spend big bucks for Mr. Big Boy. He was the cheapest wide format printer I could find that uses pigment inks, the kind that last 100 years. He was on sale for $99 and free shipping from Amazon.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Avery Point, CT

For my son-in-law's birthday we took him to Avery Point for a lobster. A branch of the University of Connecticut is there right on the ocean. Since it was a weekend, the huge stone mansion that houses offices was not open to the public.

This little house sparrow was on the railing next to the outdoor eating area. Don't worry. Mr. B shared his roll. Click here to learn about house sparrows and hear his chirp.

We ate at Finn's Cafe on the campus. Our group had lobster, hot lobster roll, lobster bisque and fried clam strips. The clam strips were by far the best. Don't order the lobster bisque if you like the traditional flavor. The atmosphere and view were better than the food.

As we ate we could watch the boats coming and going. It was a very gray day and the light was dull, so I transformed this picture of the view to black and white.

This Avery Point Light has undergone a half million dollar restoration. This site shows a Before picture. There are two other lighthouses at Avery Point.

There is a nice brick path along the rocky shore where you can see the "Sculpture by the Sea." I loved this pink pig.

I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Stranger and Stranger

I was drawn outside by the rays of the sun slanting across the lawn. The threatening storm had passed over us and since I was surprised to see the sun, I grabbed my camera and headed outside. After taking a few pictures, I walked around to the front of the house and looked up and saw these incredible marshmallow clouds.

As the sun colored the sky this is what I saw. Notice the two clouds in the center, just above the tree line. Look at the bottom picture and you will see those two up close. Don't they look like two faces, male and female? Strange! I have never seen anything like this!

As I was snapping shots, Mr. B drove up and asked if wanted to go where I could see more of the sky. I jumped in we were at the golf course in a few minutes where the sky was very dramatic.

All in all, a very satisfying evening! I sent my sister a picture of the strange clouds and she checked in her cloud book and told me they are Mammatus clouds. Here is the link so you can read about these fantastic clouds.

I'm linking to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Visit and see all the marvelous mosaics.