Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

The other day we spent some time outside, and of course it's taken me over a week to get these images processed and posted... I have lots but here are a few for Wordless Wednesday.

I recently posted the steps of this edit here is the link

I tried to put the steps of my edit into an action, so I wouldn't have to repeat the process of creating duplicate laters.  It was super easy to create the action in Photoshop but I'm not sure I did a good job since this was the result of running the action:

I kind of like the faux film-esq look of this, even if it is too cool. Of course, I know how to fix it I just don't have the time at the moment!

Linking up with:

One hundred mornings - day 7: the little things

I sit at the window and watch my girls get on the bus. 
I sit here for a minute more
I listen to my boys
they're playing in a big box
that Eli's big car seat came in

There is nothing like a sick day
to shock you awake to your purpose in life
to send your maternal instincts into overdrive

And there is nothing like the day after a sick day
to make you appreciate 
the little things in life

After a sick day
life feels so much easier

I am content to simply be
in the moment
in the mess
the important things in life 
in my arms
playing near my feet

And there is nothing like a sick day to make you appreciate the value of a good nap. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One hundred mornings - day 6: sick day

There is nothing like it,
startling awake
baby ready to hurl
dash to the bathroom
lean over the sink
wait for the heaves to subside

There is nothing like it
to jolt you awake
to your purpose in life
(at least for right now)

I sit in my big chair by the window
Listen to the torrential rain
Start to count my blessings
Warm, dry home
Nothing to clean up in the carpet

We drift off to sleep together,
my baby and I
we visit the sink a couple more times
over the course of the night

The Hubs gets up and
offers to take a turn
I lay in bed
count one more blessing
sleep for a couple hours

the baby & I color
and toss the ball
I try to convince him to take some electrolytes
I sit on the couch with my sleeping baby
and watch TV with my boy
Wait for my girls to come crashing home

Monday, February 25, 2013

100 mornings - day 5: significance


This morning I watch a ladybug crawl up my coffee mug.

I sit with my boys and we eat raisin bread squares

I think about my life



seemingly insignificant

like a ladybug on my windowsill


When I was a girl, getting ready to launch into life as a woman I wanted to be a high school literature teacher. I wanted to marry my love for reading and the really good books of my childhood and my love for teaching into something I could love doing every day. I thought this would be my dream job. I knew a lot of my students wouldn't get it. I knew not every day would be note-worthy. I would say "if I could change just one life that would make everything worth it". Well, those plans didn't pan out... but still, I kind of go around with that mantra if I could change just one life.

The reality is that I've already changed just one life. I changed my parent's life simply by the act of being born. For better or worse I dramatically changed the life of my husband. I have five extraordinary people I have grown inside me and birthed into this crazy beautiful world. I have far and away fulfilled my desire to change just one life.  But let's be honest - this doesn't feel like that.

My life is not some dramatic plot that will one day make a best-selling read. This is peanut butter and jelly made and eaten day after day. It is gallons and gallons of milk bought and drank, diapers changed and soiled and changed again. Carpets vacuumed and messes cleaned and kisses and hugs and precious but ordinary life.

So let's be honest: I don't want to change just one life. I want everyone to love me. I want that red carpet walk and the award for the best screenplay or whatever. I want to be well known and well loved.  Motherhood is only glamorous when your kid is the next Anne Hathaway or Billy Graham.

Yikes - being honest is painful.

I feel like there ought to be another paragraph in which I reconcile my desire for everyone to love me with the reality of my ordinary life... but sometimes all we have is unanswered questions and sometimes it's just time to step away from the computer and join the dance party in the living room.

Today I'm joining:
miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Saturday, February 23, 2013

another steps of my edit post: without running an action

open image
DSC_2684soft light
right click on background > duplicate layer (from background)
set layer style to soft light
duplicate layer (from background)
set layer style to soft light
filter > other > high pass
run high pass filter (2.5 pixels) to just sharpen a little, not too much.
DSC_2684 highpass 8pixels
This is an example of a high pass filter at 8pixels. I think it looks a little bit over-edited, especially around the jacket. I try to never sharpen more than 4 pixels because then it looks over-sharpened and over-edited. That's just my opinion. I'd love to know if you do it differently.
layer > new adjustment layer > levels
I adjusted the midtones to make them brighter
I adjusted the  darks to make them a little darker
DSC_2684 color1
 layer >new fill layer > solid color >  (#f0ece6) set layer style to screen reduce opacity to 12%
DSC_2684color 2
duplicate color fill layer, change fill color to #120d04, change opacity to 6%
layer > rasterize > fill content
click on the erase tool, set the size to about 300px and the hardness to about 23%
make sure you've selected the dark fill layer
erase around the face
layer > new fill layer > solid color. adjust opacity to 12% change color to #c09748
I like the warm, creamy look so I added another layer
DSC_2684vintagy edit
for a more vintage looking color you could use a deeper rust-brown like #b98114
or for a more reddish tint you could use a color like #783508 you could also use blue or green or purple depending on the final look you want to produce.

DSC_2684colors used in this edit

strait out of camera

my edit

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Chevron Afghan: part 1

in which I decide to really, truly do this thing

Last night I posted a photo of the afghan I was working on. To which I got a note from my mother reminding me that I'd mentioned wanting to do this chevron afghan next...

Source: via Faith on Pinterest

Wait, back up - before that...

I've been working on this afghan for about a week and have reached the point where I am halfway between loving it and hating it. I love it because it's the first thing I've made since Eli's baby blanket and I love that I actually went out and bought some yarn. I hate it because I'm working size six yarn in a single crochet and I am starting to think it will never really be cold enough to use such a heavy blanket. I don't like having afghans with lots of holes in them but I also don't like afghans that make me sweat. I also don't like the length - it took me nearly an entire skein to do two complete rows - that's how long this thing is and as if that wasn't enough I didn't really plan out what colors I was going to do, I just started with my favorite color and added other colors randomly, which I don't like. I don't like random and I don't like looking at my afghan and wanting to rip it out. 

So I think I really am going to unravel the whole thing and start over and this time I'm going to use a pattern, because I'm almost thirty years old, I've been knitting & crocheting since I was maybe ten and I don't think I've ever finished anything that required following any type of a pattern, at least not since I made this huge beast of an afghan that did not turn out well twelve years ago... it was awful. 

So... I think I'll do try this whole chevron afghan thing. I found a video tutorial:

and I found some awesome ideas on Pinterest:

So I think I'll give it a try! I bought some new yarn today, in case I decide I want to leave my monster-blanket as-is, but I am really, truly excited about this. We're driving to Atlanta for a birthday party soon and that is the perfect excuse to spend lots of time getting this thing started. I'll keep you updated on my progress...

100 mornings - day 4: hiding

I wrote this on Tuesday night. I wasn't going to publish it but since I can't seem to write anything else until I do here goes...

I forgot to run the dishwasher.

It's been one of those days when I sit down at the computer to do one little thing and an hour later the littles have started running around the house and I'm asking them for what feels like the bazillionth time to please not bark like a dog in the house and I'm feeling a lot less quiet.

I have a friend coming over to drop her daughter off in the morning and I am so glad to get to play with this sweet little girl and I'm so happy to help a friend and I'm also nervous. Afraid of being seen. Afraid of showing the real me who still has a crock pot soaking from Sunday and REALLY needs to mop the floor. I think my friend is one of those "never goes to bed with dishes in the sink" type people, oh man I wish I were more like that. I struggle a ton with this stupid, simple thing

I feel the crazy-panic start to kick in (and I mentally kick myself because it's not like these plans were last-minute) but I remember what I said to my small group just the other day, encouraging them to let each other into the mess of ordinary real life. I'd just be really glad if they didn't see MY mess thankyouverymuch! I think about this as I wash my pots and pans from dinner last night.

I realize I hide because I'm afraid. Afraid that if people knew the real me, if they visited me in the middle of my mess, they would reject me. I want people to like me, I want people to think of me as kind of like perfect, because maybe if other people thought of me as perfect it might make it easier for me to live with my imperfection. You know, since me and perfection are pretty much separated by an entire continent.

Here's The Truth though - while yeah, now and then someone might come along whose strengths are my weaknesses and who doesn't want to be my friend, I think more people would rather be real friends with the real me, even the messy places of life. So I need to work on being self-disciplined with how I spend my time, but also let people into my real life - mess and all.

By the way - we had a wonderful time and my friend was (of course) super-sweet when she came over. I can't wait to have her over again! 
I so love these photos of my Emma & me - click here to see them full-size

Thursday, February 21, 2013

photos of my Emma

My kids had Monday & Tuesday home from school, which I thought was the perfect opportunity to get a couple fun photos of my Emma...

My boys are a bit under the weather today so no words today, just a few fun photos!

DSC_2412 copyblackandwhite copy
I loved how this turned out it b&w and color and could not choose - so here you go: both.
DSC_2410copyDSC_2434 step1alt crop3DSC_2451

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

steps of an edit

It's been awhile since I took time to edit photos, even longer since I saved my edit step-by-step.

DSC_2434 step2
I was really distracted and am not at all happy with this crop
Here are some alternate crops: 
DSC_2434 step1alt crop3DSC_2434 step1alt cropDSC_2434 step1alt crop2

DSC_2434 step3
sharpened with High Pass filter
DSC_2434 step4
ran action
DSC_2434 step5
reduced action
added additional light layers
erased some of the light & dark layers with a large soft brush
to reduce some of the shadows 
DSC_2434 Screenshot of Photoshop
click on image to see it larger - see my layer pallet in Photoshop
DSC_2434 step6
cloned out some of the shadows
DSC_2434 step2DSC_2434 step6
Before > > After 
So I am fully aware that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to edit. So what do you think? What would you have done differently? 
Linking up with Project Alicia for Wordless Wednesday
and also Live & Love Out Loud, Jenni from the Blog, Sarah Halstead, Create with Joy, Good Girl Gone Wife, Washing-line Revelations, Three in Three & Blackhouse Studio

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