Sunday, February 27, 2011

The House that Jillsy Built.....

one of my sister-in-laws is a master gardener
somewhere along the way she began building fairy houses
and hers are quite amazing

it might be child's play
but the child at heart never stops creating

so, she challenged me to build one
and, i did ~ this afternoon


my back might punish me in the morning
but today i had fun


i call this one fairy tiki hut
it resides next to one of our backyard benches 
at the base of a tree


it was built with
:: :: ::
 dead hosta stems
:: :: ::
clumps of pine needles
:: :: ::
flimsy dead leaves from a back yard perennial
:: :: ::
moss
:: :: ::
pine cones
:: :: ::
dead stems from mexican heather
:: :: ::
nandina berries
:: :: ::
gumball


i might just decide to build more
since our backyard seems to be a wonderful environment for them
and they're wonderful subjects for my macro lens!





Friday, February 25, 2011

Quite Amazing....


as we tromp around our yards
do you ever stop to think 
what you might be stomping on?

well, i don't

that was, until i got my macro lens
it's not unusual for hubby to now find me crouched down low
 or bent over in awkward positions
examining the minuscule 
the world has opened up quite a bit
(or should that be "close"d up)

see those teeny white weeds that I circled in purple?
with the naked eye they merely appear as unattractive weeds, if you even notice them at all
but...
when examined more closely through a lens
look what appears (image on top)

quite amazing, isn't it!






Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Cup of Tea


m y   c u p   o f   t e a

happens to be English 
and begins with my husband

no one can be more into tea than an Englishman
and because I'm married to one
I have learned all about the healing powers a simple cup holds

it can melt away
a frantic day
or
solve the world's problems
just by taking a sip
and holding the warmth of the cup in your hands

if you've never tried it
do so
and you'll see 

unfortunately,
since i suffer from kidney stones
i have to watch my intake
actually, i shouldn't even drink it at all
but i love it
i have it weak, with milk and sugar
and, of course, a biscuit (cookie)

the tea set pictured above
was a wedding gift from hubby's family
and drinking from it
makes tea-time extra calming
  
this is my PROMPT ME! entry for My Cup of Tea
to hop on this week's Blog Hop and view other submissions




PROMPT ME! ~ My Cup of Tea




P o u r   Y o u r s e l f    a   C u p . . .

then pull up a comfy chair and join us for this week's Blog Hop.  

This week's topic is all about cups of tea.

Not necessarily an actual cup of tea, but maybe something like...not being able to walk past
a shoe store without your feet stopping dead in their tracks and screaming "take us in, take us in!"
You know....those kinds of cups.

Or...
maybe sharing your favorite china collection with us or that cute tea set you got from
your grandmother or the adorable mug you always use that your 5 year old son made
for Mother's Day.  

Cups of tea come in all shapes and sizes and always come attached with memorable stories.

So, give it some thought.  You have all week.

We'll be here waiting!


I highly suggest you grab the "What's A Blog Hop - Get the Code Here" code (down below in the Linky tool) so you can add the Hop to your own blog and have your viewers join in directly from your blog!  The more the merrier!



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tell Me....



1.  
You're going on vacation.  
How many days (or weeks, or hours, or minutes, etc.) before you leave, do you start packing your bags?

2.  
Which of the following do you eat most of?  
a.  meat   b. veggies  c.  sweets

3.
Is your home normally.....
a.  a mess    b.  clean but untidy    c.  tidy but not clean    d.  tidy & clean

4.
Your favorite spectator sport.

5.
Name the first animal that pops into your head.  






Monday, February 21, 2011

Stepping into Spring.....




answers can be left in the comments section
just be sure not to peek before playing!





Sunday, February 20, 2011

Featured Photographer: Vivian Maier

every now and then 
i come across a photographer 
that i just have to share with my fellow photography lovers

this is an amazing story
 about a street photographer who went unnoticed her entire life
whether it was intentional or not
she, obviously, was an extremely talented artist
as you will notice in this video

and to the person who discovered her...
well, he might just end up one extremely lucky and wealthy man!
(hopefully, he's gotten himself an attorney)

thanks goes to Lisleman for forwarding this video to me!




Friday, February 18, 2011

Foggy Mornings

for a closer look ~ click the image


i love foggy mornings
when the air is damp, the wildlife is at ease
and only a soft whispering of sounds in the distance

like falling snow
a magical scene
where i want to walk through it
to experience it in its glory

a sunny day normally follows
which was no exception yesterday
in fact
i experienced my first butterfly sighting of the year

spring must be around the corner


answers can be left in the comments section
just be sure not to peek before playing!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blossom

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
~ Anais Nin ~

you can click to enlarge all photos to get a closer look

there's not much blossoming outdoors right now
but indoors...
 hubby gave me two stunning orchids for Valentine's Day
that are in full bloom and absolutely wonderful subjects to shoot
could that be the reason i switched prompts this week?


it could be flowers
or possibly a new venture or passion
but whatever it is
come jump on this week's blog hop and share
 what's blossoming in your life.


to join in this week's blog hop

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PROMPT ME! Wednesday ~ Blossom

i threw a wrench in the pot
and switched this week's prompt
at the last minute

women are allowed to do that, you know
it's our prerogative

"sticks and stones" just wasn't talking to me today
so it went into file 13 for the time being

and I switched to this....

go ahead and use the prompt as a springboard for your creativity in any format you choose
and remember ~ there's no right or wrong!

you have all week to join in, 
but I highly suggest you grab the "What's A Blog Hop - Get the Code Here" code
so you can add the Hop to your own blog and have your viewers join in directly from your blog.


Have fun!
(and I promise I won't change next week's prompt listed on the sidebar!)


Monday, February 14, 2011

A Day of Love....



      Click Here

~game players~
you may post your answers in comments,
 but just don't peek at the other comments if you want to figure it out on your own!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday Five (on a Saturday) ~ Jumble

I have been told that my Friday Fives have been missed over the past couple of weeks
my apologies...life calls!

so in the spirit of keeping my viewers happy
 i made a special effort to put five together this morning
so you can all ponder them over the next 48 hours

for those unfamiliar with jumbles
each group of letters is a word with the letters all mixed up
your job is to unjumble them!
the photo are hints

Have Fun!

answers and winners will be posted on Monday
 and comment moderation will be turned on until then

 #1

#2

#3

#4

#5


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Treasured Gift


early on in mr. jg's and my courtship, 
one saturday we took a drive with some friends up to the northern hills of georgia
 and went gold digging
gold digging, you say?
  I see you with your noses all wriggled up, gold in georgia?
yep, ya didn't know that did ya?
and it comes straight out of a bucket

back then (in the dark ages of the early 90's)
it would only cost you five bucks a bucket
 and in return you received a full bucket of wet dirt and sand
just like in the good ol' days of gold mining
but none of that stuff like having to go down into some dark cave

nope, just a bucket and a sifter under a wooden shelter
and if you were lucky
after about ten or fifteen minutes of sifting
 you might find yourself some slivers of gold

well, wouldn't ya know it?
it was our lucky day and both mr. jg and me found ourselves some georgia gold!

we were given a couple of little vials to keep our precious finds safe
i took mine back to my apartment and displayed it proudly on a shelf

a couple of weeks went by
and mr. jg showed up in my office one afternoon
he told me to close my eyes
he took my right hand 
and i felt his hand slip something over my pinkie finger
when he told me to open my eyes
 there it was, the cutest little gold ring
 glistening right at me

i was a bit confused at first because of its unusual design
but it didn't take me long to figure out where it came from
little did i know he had used both my vial and his to create it
somehow he had nipped mine without me realizing it

to me, that ring symbolizes our relationship
i wore it, faithfully, on my pinkie finger up until two years ago when i broke my wrist
and the doctor had to remove it
not only had my finger gotten slightly larger over the years
but with a broken wrist and a swollen hand, it was nearly impossible to get off
it took a piece of string, some lotion and lots of patience, but he finally removed it
unfortunately, i haven't been able to wear it since

this is my entry for A Treasured Gift on this week's PROMPT ME! Wednesday
to view other submissions and to climb aboard this week's Blog Hop


and....

since this post fits in so well with this week's FOCUS52 prompt Love Me, Baby, i'm including it there as well!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PROMPT ME! Wednesday ~ A Treasured Gift


Yes, I decided to continue on with our weekly get-togethers despite the small cost it incurred.
I do enjoy them and I hope you do as well.

When I thought of this week's prompt, it didn't even occur to me that it would end up being the week of Valentine's Day, but it is actually quite suitable for it; although, do not think that your gift has to have anything to do with the holiday.  
Tangible or not, tell us about a treasured gift that you hold dear to your heart.

where expression flows freely from blog to blog

pull up a comfy chair and take a seat on this week's Blog Hop anytime through Tuesday, February 15th

I decided to try out the Thumbnail option for linking up ~ hope you like it, but let me know if you don't!  NOTE:  If you would like the Blog Hop to also appear in your post, grab the link where it says "What is a Blog Hop, Get the Code Here" and then paste it into your post.  That way your viewers can join in directly from your blog!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cruisin' with Picnik


As I've mentioned in the past, I love using Picnik editing software
Since I am just learning Photoshop Elements it is still quite time consuming 
which I know will improve as I become more comfortable with the program,
but for now, there are days when I want to edit a photo and time is of the essence.

In my last post dedicated to Picnik, I posted about isolating color.
This time I want to talk about Cloning and Layering
Cloning has several uses, but for now I just want to focus on removing unwanted objects.
We all have them...those shots we love, but darn it! Why did those stupid power lines or that ugly dead bush or that kid crying in the background have to be there?  Well, with the clone tool you can salvage those situations. 

See those three obnoxious signs in the photo below (2 For Sale Signs and 1 Truck Sale Sign)
Well, look again up above! Not a sign of them!

the original of the above edited image

Editing Tools I used:
1. Black & White: Converted the image totally to B&W but left a hint of color on the chrome areas
2. Clone: I removed all the signage.
3. Layers: I applied Kim Klassen's Celebrate January texture
4. Vignette ~ I applied a subtle vignette around the edges.
5. Text: I did not use Picnik. I applied text using Picasa only because Picnik doesn't allow you to use your own fonts (one negative for Picnik)

If you use Picnik but have never used these particular tools,
or if you have never used Picnik and would like to learn,
 here are two simple tutorials
(both cloning and layering are part of the upgrade for $25.00 a year and worth every penny!)





So, go ahead and try these tools out if you haven't already done so, I know you'll have fun with them!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Focus52 ~ Framed



This week our prompt is 
F R A M E D
Framing is an important element in every shot 
and I always think about it whenever I shoot
sometimes (err...many times)  I end up having to crop the image to help with the framing
but I do always have it in mind when I take the shot
I still don't know the exact parameters of my camera....I need to work on this!

Sometimes the frame of an image is so subtle you might not even realize one is there
but if the composition makes your eyes focus on the
a certain subject or subjects within the image
then the photographer has done their job
Other times, specific framing helps achieve that goal
In this image, I chose not only a texture to frame the bottom and top of the photo
(Kim Klassen's Magic Edges)
but also applied a subtle vignette along with adding text

thanks for stopping by!


focus52Blog

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One World One Heart ~ And the Winner IS.....

AND THE WINNER IS....


I was so excited this morning to make my visit to the Random Generator
and find out who the lucky winner would be for my door prize!

It's been such a wonderful event and I've tried to get to as many new blogs
as possible to say hi, but I have to admit I couldn't keep up!
There are just so many hours in a day and there were SO MANY blogs to visit!
I traveled miles and miles through many countries and the doors were wide open for me and so many others.
The hospitality was amazing!

So, here we are on the 17th and our journey ends.
But, it ends in excitement for meeting so many new friends.
I want to thank all of you for coming to visit my home!

And the winner of my door prize for the
 Jillsy Girl Studio Card 4-Pack

goes to 
Ardith @
click HERE to visit Ardith, if you haven't already

Thanks again for stopping by!



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Bird a Nest, The Spider a Web, Man Friendship


this quote had me thinking all week
how are they all connected?

the bird creates a nest for her young ones
the spider creates its web for food
and man creates friendships for companionship
so how do each tie in with one another

it had me stumped
so i went googling
(or as some might put it ~ i cheated)
and i found a very interesting interpretation
i'm not sure it's the official meaning of the quote
but it sounds good to me

The quotation by Blake subtly hints at both the aspects of friendship. Friendship can be positive and nurturing like that of a bird's nest. Its often like the safe and secure home of birds where the newly hatched chicks are protected and taken care of by the parent birds till they are old enough to fly away.  However, friendship also has a negative side to it. At times friendship can become exploitative, selfish and mean. A person can be trapped by emotional blackmail in unfulfilling and unhappy relationships without knowing how to extricate himself. He is now like the victim which the spider has caught in its web to prey upon.  Blake, being the genius of poetic compression has very pithily presented both aspects of  'friendship' in as few words as possible.

for the original PROMPT ME! Wednesday post
or you can simply join in our weekly chat and Blog Hop by adding your post below


PROMPT ME! Wednesday

where expression flows freely from blog to blog

I've decided that I would submit my weekly post
in the same fashion everyone else does
and that is, after I post the PROMPT ME! Wednesday post on Tuesday evening.
(It will also give me some extra time to come up with my idea!)

So, here it is ~ our prompt for this week


I have some ideas tumbling around in my head
but nothing concrete yet.

I hope you are doing better than me!

Looking forward to our weekly get-together ~ tea and cookies are ready!