Sunday, September 15

The Best of Fall


Everyone knows that Fall is my favorite time of the year.  The weather is cooler, the air is crisper, and everything is just a little bit cozier.  Here are some of the things that make fall special for me.

Sweaters

I adore wearing sweaters....closest thing to a hug 🤗



Warm Apple Cider

Nothing tastes more like Fall than a warm mug of apple cider.



Football

I LOVE watching football.  



Going Leaf Peeping

On your way home from wherever you are, go ahead and take that detour to see all the beautiful fall foliage along the way.



Cooking Homemade Soup

Nothing warms you up from the inside out like a hot bowl of homemade soup.



Sitting by a Campfire

 There may be no better place to catch up with good friends and family than outdoors and sitting around a campfire. There’s no email, no Netflix® and no distractions. We relax, unwind and let our guards down a bit more around the soft glow of a fire. Because of this, conversations are deeper, stories are funnier and you’re guaranteed to learn a few things about the people you’re with that you never knew before.



Hayrides

Whether you're cruising through a pumpkin patch, going on a haunted hayride, or just going around a fall fair, there is a certain pleasure in going on a hayride.



Favorite TV Shows are Back....

Say goodbye to repeats and browsing Hulu for endless hours looking for something new to watch. Starting in September, TV shows are back on a regular schedule. So sink in to your couch and watch some new TV… finally.




What are your favorite things about Fall?  Would love to hear from you.




 iStock

Friday, June 28

Flower Therapy

Good morning all!  I had a pretty craptastic week :-/  My car broke down on Monday and I certainly hadn't planned for THAT to happen......$500 gone :(   

On Tuesday I woke up with a really annoying buzzing in my ear.  By noon I couldn't  hear out of that ear and the buzzing was really getting to me.  Got in to the doctor and find out I have a bulging eardrum (from fluid build-up) and it's caused from.....allergies.  I just KNEW that grass-cutting day in the neighborhood was gonna get to me. *grins*   Ok, so I get meds to clear up my ear and, oh yeah there's a catch.  While I'm taking these meds I can't take aspirin or advil.  Ok so come yesterday I was irritated, nauseous, deaf in one ear and in pain and it was in EVERYONE's best interest to stay far far away from me LOL.    

I decided I needed some flower therapy.....at least they looked pretty and didn't talk :dying













I had to throw a few dark and moody ones in there too *grins*





Hope your week was much better than mine.  It's the weekend now, no work for a couple days.   I'm sure that alone will improve my mood a lot.  I've got the countdown to retirement going....2 months and 27 days!


Monday, June 17

Creating a Bokeh Brush in Photoshop



In photography, bokeh (/ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay; Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light".



I have recently become obsessed with bokeh in photos.  I was determined to figure out how to create bokeh in photoshop.  This is the method I've come up with.  I'm sure there are tons of other ways to do it, but this is mine.  😊

In PS, open a new image about 500px x 500px and 150 resolution.  Next pick a hard round brush about 400 pixels.  From the menu choose Edit, Define Brush Preset and name it Bokeh Brush.




Next you will define the brush settings.  From the menu choose Window, Brush Settings (or press F5 on your keyboard.


First choose brush tip shape:


Next choose Shape Dynamics:

Next choose scattering:

Then choose Transfer:



Once you have all your settings, click on the new preset icon at the bottom and save the new bush preset.

Open the image you want to add bokeh to.  Create a new blank layer.  Choose the new brush you just created by opening the brush palette.  Brush on bokeh on the blank layer where you want it.  If you have too much, choose your eraser tool and erase the bokeh you don’t want.



The next step is to apply a gaussian blur at about 20 pixels.

Then change the blend mode to soft light.


At this point you can adjust the opacity of your new layer to your liking.

I hope you find my method helpful.  Bokeh doesn't work on every image, but it definitely improves a blah image, in my opinion.  Thanks for reading to the end.  Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.


Tuesday, June 11

Every Storm Runs Out of Rain




I saw you standing in the middle of the thunder and lightning
I know you're feeling like you just can't win, but you're trying
It's hard to keep on keepin' on, when you're being pushed around
Don't even know which way is up, you just keep spinning down, 'round, down

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

So hold your head up and tell yourself that there's something more
And walk out that door
Go find a new rose, don't be afraid of the thorns
'Cause we all have thorns
Just put your feet up to the edge, put your face in the wind
And when you fall back down, keep on rememberin'

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

You ever feel like you are standing in the middle of a storm and there is no light ahead?  Yeah, I feel like that a lot.  Sometimes I feel the darkness surrounding me.  Those are the days I call “my alone days”.  I feel like I just need to sit quietly and contemplate.   I can’t “people” on those days.  Sometimes I don’t get out of bed.  When I get to that point, I try to concentrate on all the positives in my life.  I have an awesome family who is always there for me.  I have a nice home and food on the table.  And I have my photography.

I pick myself up and take myself in to my “picture room” as my grandson calls it.  In there I’m in a different world.  There are no politicians, there are no mean girls, there is no murder….its just me and my camera and whatever I choose to photograph.  Sometimes in my darkest moods I create my best images.  I’m really liking the ones I came up with today.  I know dark and moody is not everyone’s cup of tea but it works for me.


What do you do on your dark days?  Do you have a routine that keeps you grounded?  I'd love to hear about it.  Please leave a comment with your story.





Saturday, June 8

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