Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 Ways to Get in Trouble Before Breakfast


I understand that at 5-1/2 months, Little Buttercup is in the terrible teens -- she divides her time about equally between sleeping and getting into trouble.  Here's a list of the kinds of things she's up to these days:

1.   Run crazily around the house between 6 and 7 AM, bounding off the couch arms, leaping over the ottoman, landing on the kitchen table.  If anyone tries to get you to slow down, bite and scratch them (not hard).

2.   Play a drum solo on the knobs at the end of the blind cords, waking anyone who's not already up.

3.   Look very cute watching tv (she loves the US Open):

"I love Rafa!"

    but not very cute when you try to climb on top of the tv:

"No, really, I won't scratch the screen . . ."

4.  Torment the ever-patient October until he hisses seriously enough to make you back off.

5.   Climb up the window screens to get closer to those birds you'd love to eat.

6.   Leap between the slats on the blinds.  This is a new trick that is apparently a lot of fun.

7.  Interfere with anyone who's trying to do anything in the house. 

"Come on, you look like you need some help --"

8.   Climb up the bedroom bookcase, knocking down various boxes of art supplies, sketchbooks, etc. etc.

9.    Jump repeatedly up the wall to try to catch the spiderweb you see hanging from the ceiling.  (Yes, I'm a terrible housekeeper . . . )

"I'll get it if I can just jump a little higher . . . "

10.   From your vantage point on the bedroom windowsill, have a great time batting and clawing the necklaces I have hanging from a fixture on the wall, some of which are fairly expensive . . .

There's more (like playing with the cord when the very hot iron is plugged in, jumping up on the kitchen counter while bacon is frying on the stove . . . ), but I think I'll stop here.  I understand that this phase lasts only three or four months.  Lord give me strength.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Faded Prairie: wednesday's whisper no. 3...


Faded Prairie: wednesday's whisper no. 3...

". . . that was the day she made herself the promise to live more from intention and less from habit . . . "

A beautiful sentiment -- one I need to give a lot of thought to. I am a total creature of habit. I've also given Faded Prairie one of my "Versatile Blogger" awards --

A Versatile Blogger --


Thanks very much to Nita from Artistic Composition for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award!  I truly appreciate it.  I'm supposed to tell seven things about myself and then nominate others for the award.  I agree to do the following things:

1) Thank the blogger who awarded me and link back to her.
2) Share 7 things about myself.
3) Pass the award along to 15 other newly discovered blogs.

 So, seven things about me that you don't already know . . .and I realize that I did this kind of thing once before, so I have to come up with NEW things:

1.  I was married for 28 years, then remarried three weeks after my divorce papers were signed.  The craziest thing I've ever done, but it has turned out very well.

2.  I was quite religious as a kid, but now I'm not really any more, though I love Christian imagery and music.

3.  I love mythology and have taught a class on contemporary writers that use mythology as their subject matter.  Medusa is my favorite.

4.  I love having a garden, but I hate to garden.  So I have a wonderful woman (who is now my friend) who does everything for me.

5.  I skipped first grade.  This caused all kinds of problems in my life.

6.  I started out thinking I'd be an actor in life, as my dad was -- but then I decided I'd be mediocre, so I became a teacher instead, which to me is just another kind of performance art.

7.  I'm the only person in my extended family who has finished college, and I went all the way to a Ph.D.  This has made me a kind of freak in my family.

So there you have it.  Here are the bloggers and blogs I really enjoy, and since I'm pretty new to blogging, they are all "newly discovered," as far as I'm concerned:

1.  Nancy at A Rural Journal
2.  Henrietta at Homesick 
3.  Dawn at Bohemian Valhalla 
4.  Kristin at Faded Prairie 
5.  Adrienne at La Vie Quotidienne
6.  Kristy at Life-N-Reflection 
7.  Linda at Linda J. Makiej Photography 
8.  Kristi at Live and Love Out Loud 
9.  The Muses at The Mortal Muses 
10.  Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art 
11.  TexWisGirl at The Run*A*Round Ranch Report
12.  Cat at The Whimsical Gardener
13.  Christy at Urban Muser
14.  Ms. Becky at Shaking the Tree
15.  The ladies at The Sketchbook Challenge

Some dahlias for you . . .

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm thrilled --


Two of my pictures have been accepted for an art exhibition, "Works on Paper," at the Santa Cruz Art League!  I decided to go ahead and put in an application, even though I felt I had little chance of getting in -- they do art, not photography. 

When I got the letter in the mail, it was very thin, and I thought, oh well, it's a rejection.  But it wasn't!  I couldn't be more thrilled.

These are the two pictures that they accepted.  I have to have them very nicely framed!  Yippee!

Monday, September 5, 2011

More Dahlias


Dahlias come in so many beautiful shapes and colors!  It's pretty overwhelming to be in a room with hundreds of them (I should have taken a picture of that -- )

[Linkup to Picture Perfect]

I love the spidery ones -- yellow and red, purple and white -- some of them are huge.  This is one I brought home --

These are all processed partially with Nik Software's Color Efex Pro, one of a group of excellent photo processing programs I bought last spring.  So far, I've only used Color Efex and Silver Efex (haven't had the time to put in to learning the others), but they're wonderful -- they offer so many possibilities for different effects.  The one right above is supposed to look like a Polaroid picture.  The black-and-white effects you can get with Silver Efex are just stunning.

The programs don't come cheap, though -- the individual programs are $100-200 each, but you can buy the whole set for $299.  That's what I did with my income tax return this year :)

Anyway, hope you enjoy the dahlias.  I have about a bazillion pictures to process.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

One of my favorite days . . .


. . . of the year.  Today I went to the annual show of the Monterey Bay Dahlia Society.  This is the third year that I've gone, and I really enjoy it.  It's a very challenging environment for taking pictures -- poor light, bad backgrounds, people all over the place,but I really like doing it.  I take my monopod, and off I go. 

[Linkup to The Simple Things]

This year, there were many, many flowers, each one more beautiful than the next.  My goal is to get the best angle I can and then I work with it in Photoshop -- lots of cloning, lots of texture.

Sometimes I can achieve quite dramatic effects --

(Linkup to Quotography)

And then I usually buy a bunch of dahlias when I leave and go home and try to get them in a better light, using the 100mm and so on.

(Linkup to Your Sunday Best)

When I got home, I put the flowers in a vase on a high table, and shortly thereafter, Buttercup decided she needed to admire them.

  [Linkup to The Creative Exchange]

Of course, she couldn't leave it at just smelling them, and things went quickly downhill from there.

Before I knew what was happening, she was knocking over the flowers, trying to climb up several pictures on the wall, sending two other framed pictures crashing to the floor, breaking a tile that was under the flowers -- good grief!  Bad kitty!

But of course I still love her . . .