Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Does your Backyard Make You Smile?

when i step out my back door these days
this is what i see...

this post is the recipient of
thank you Hilary!

and just for your info
i have suspended 
Words for Wednesdays
since participation was low

thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Words for Wednesdays (March 14th ~ 20th)

perched high in tree
neck stretched
but one thing
in mind
an unknown goal
s  w  o  o  s  h
off in pursuit

i think i was made to:
take photos
be creative
be practical
be a friend
and last but not least....

can you name 10 things you were made to do?

please join me in this week's

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Graffiti Artist

hubby called me outside the other day 
and told me to bring my camera
this is what he wanted to show me

i was more amazed at the tree
than i was at the bird
even though
i have never seen this bird before


we knew it was 
some sort of woodpecker
but needed to identify it
it ended up being a 
as far as the tree goes
we're not exactly sure what type it is
but the colors you see have not been altered
even though i have applied a texture
(kim klassen's ~ grunged up 2)
it truly is that orange!
here is the untextured image

although the graffiti
this little guy has created
is pretty awesome
i'm sure the tree doesn't feel the same way

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Words for Wednesdays (March 7 ~ 13)

come play along!

and don't miss the full moon tonight!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gumballs, one Mischievous Yorkie & a Quick Fix

Miles will be turning 7 months next week
it's hard to believe he's been a part of our family for three months already
but it's even harder to believe that Simon has been gone that long
there's still a hole in my heart for that little 7 lbs. of Yorkie love
but Mr. Miles has been working his 4 lbs. of charm on us
to fill the gap
Miles Loves Gumballs
not the chewy, bubble blowing kind but
the spiky, annoying kind that constantly fall to earth
every 37 seconds in both our front and back yards
from sweetgum trees
in fact,
just yesterday I was enjoying a warm cuppa tea
in the backyard
B A M!
one plopped
 right . smack . dead center
 into my cup
splattering tea all over
my face
my jacket
my pride
okay, maybe not my pride, no one was there to witness it
but what are the odds?
scared me half to death
anyhoo, that's beside the point...
Miles adores them
unfortunately, his stomach doesn't
so it's a constant game of yorkie & human
(equivalent to cat & mouse)

here's the typical jack rabbit run when mom gets too close
and the Kentucky Derby sprint
but, what gets me most aggravated (but in a cute way)
is when he stops, smiles and taunts

betcha can't catch me!
c'mon mom....i'm this close, try and get it

now... on to quick fixes....
it dawned on me right after i came up with the title for this post
there are actually two quick fixes to share with you today
the first one....
 was that Miles had "the" operation last week
you do know which one i'm referring to don't you?
and by the look of these photos,
you can tell it didn't slow him down one iota
and the second one....
is that i came up a new Quick Fix
for photos that are almost fit for sharing with the world
 straight out of the camera (SOOC), but need a little umpff  
i do believe that is a word, even if it is just in my own vocabulary
okay i just googled it and lo and behold
 it is a word
 the urban dictionary says so
  although they say it is spelled with only one f
but i feel a second f can be used for those times when a little more umpff is required
i upload ALL
 which translates to too many
of my photos to Picasa
and from there i pick and choose which editing software
to use, if any, on my images
being Photoshop Elements, iPiccy, Picasa or the almost defunct Picnik

of course, there are simple fix tools in most software programs
but i happened upon a little homemade formula of my own in Picasa
Picasa is the software i use for simple fixes
if you are not familiar with it, it is 100% free,
and not only does it offer simple editing software,
it is also wonderful for organizing your bazillion photos
all the images in this post came out either a bit too dark or lacking vividness
and all they needed was quick enhancement to bring out the best in them
the Quick Fix i'm about to share with you
 worked on all of them
below, is the top image before and after
do you see in the left image that you can barely see Miles eyes behind all that Yorkie fur
but in the right image not only are his eyes more pronounced, so is all the coloring in his fur?
even that darn gumball stands out better
(if only my eyes had this quick fix...half the time i don't even know he has one in his mouth until he ends up playing with one inside the house)

so...if you also use Picasa
or even if you don't
here's the super Quick Fix JillsyGirl special:

1. Go to "Effects" and Click on "Tint" 
 this will immediately change your image to black and white, 
(but it's not the same as using the black and white tool, i think it gives the image better contrast)
2.Then slide the Color Preservation Tool all the way over to the right or until you are satisfied with the look
 if the image is still too dark and you've slid the tool all the way over, 
then go to "Tuning" and "Fill Light" 

Bob's Your Uncle!

 i have tried all Picasa's other Quick Fix tools but this formula just gives a better result, IMO
not only does it pop the contrast, it also pops the color

let me know if you try it out and if it works for you!

leaving you with Miles contemplating his next move....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Standing Guard

i've only seen these amazing masked bandits
on other blogs
but never before in my backyard 
that is, 
until this weekend
i was totally taken aback
the second i walked out the back door
onto our deck
i don't know who
was more surprised
 or the flock of 15-20 cedar waxwings
that flew out of the holly bushes
 surrounding the deck

Standing Guard ~ these masked bandits take their jobs very seriously ~ available on Red Bubble
up they scattered
into nearby shrubbery and trees
 causing interruption to their meal
l o t s    o f    t h e m
 ripe for the picking

i happened to capture this little stinker taking care of business, so there's been some cloning done on this one!
50 yard dash
back inside

did i hear you say that you were thinking of leaving me?
i felt so privileged
they decided to dine and hang
at our B&B
this year

Don King wannabe
 but, it won't surprise me
if they're all gone tomorrow
to wherever
their annual journey
takes them
it's not here in

:: the creative exchange ::

Friday, March 2, 2012

Open House

real estate



day of
 house hunting


have a great weekend!