Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter "festival"

I've been in a photo slump lately. Nothing's been inspiring me. Then I noticed in the newspaper that there was going to be a winter festival this weekend, with ice sculpture creations at the local ski area today from 9 to 3. I thought it would be a fun thing to photograph and get me out of the house and lift my spirits. I was expecting all these ice sculptures in the snow with the green of the surrounding pine trees as background.

Yeah, not so much. My friend and I got there at about 10:30 and saw this:
Oh, but wait. There's a sculpture. Lovely background, eh?
Oh, look, another sculpture...that's exactly like the other one.
There was also this guy. He was pretty cool. But he was behind a wooden barrier so I couldn't get a full unobstructed shot.
And that was it. I wish I'd had the wizard's crystal ball to tell me not to waste my time.
Winter festival: pfffft!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Shaker building

An oldie from this summer:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Neglected hobbies

My neglected hobby is stamping.
I used my fisheye on this shot since my 24-70 was in for repair. (It just arrived home from the Canon hospital, though!) I already have a hard time using my flash, and the flash with the fisheye was extra challenging.

Tops of re-inker bottles:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Since my stepsister moved to Switzerland she was getting rid of lots of stuff, and when she came to visit at Thanksgiving she brought this little tea set for my DD. All it needs is a little lace doily.
Playing with turning a photo into a sketch in PSE:
Shot with my 100mm macro lens. I am really missing my 24-70 these days. Did I tell you all that I broke it and it's at the Canon Service Center? I dropped it on a ceramic tile floor--I am an eedjit.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mr. Blue Sky

Anyone remember that song Mr. Blue Sky by ELO? I was an ELO fan back in the day. Back in the day when I was 10. I'm pretty sure Out of the Blue was my first album purchase. I remember being in the record department of a discount store with my big brother and picking out that one and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. My brother disapproved of the Saturday Night Fever choice. He still disapproves of my music choices more than 30 years later. He checks my kids' iPods to make sure I'm not influencing them too much.

I have ELO and Saturday Night Fever on my iPod now. I have a whole playlist of some of my favorite songs from when I was a kid in the 70s, which include:
The Night Chicago Died--Paper Lace
Convoy--C.W. McCall
New York Groove--Ace Frehley
Billy, Don't Be a Hero--Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods
The Locomotion--Grand Funk Railroad

What I don't have is Delta Dawn by Helen Reddy or any of (my first true love) Andy Gibb's songs. I see a visit to iTunes in my near future.

I really wasn't planning on writing about 70s music, but I saw the sun and blue sky today (yay!) and "Mr. Blue Sky" popped into my head when I was titling my post, and off I went. In fact, I'm listening to Mr. Blue Sky right now.

We're supposed to get more than a foot of snow tomorrow so no Mr. Blue Sky tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My inaugural fashion

Do you like my new hat?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lack of color

I'd love to see a little color this time of year, but there's none to be found in my yard.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Coffee table as reflective surface.
I like the way macro lenses make us see things we normally don't. I think these beads on my bracelet look like Earth and Jupiter. Or maybe Mars. What do I know, I'm no astronomer.
The focus on these is not good, but I wanted to get something up that I shot today. I was too busy playing Word Whomp today to concentrate on photography.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yarn in macro

The latest knitting project. I can't decide if I think the yarn is fug or not. It looks better here than in real life.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dreary winter days

January in Maine: when the days are often so dreary there's not much difference between a color photo and a black and white one.

And the sun struggles hard to make an appearance.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I love my macro lens as much as I love my TiVo.

Two crops of the same shot:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My favorite technology:

Best invention ever:

Yes, thumbs up to you, my spindly-legged, antennaed friend, for bringing me all the trashy TV shows I love anytime I want.
Speaking of technology, I had a PRIMO view of the inaugration...
...from my couch. Much as I'd have loved to experience the historic moments, just the thought of being in that crowd makes me feel all squirrely.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Hey, I'm feeling much better. Thanks, guys! I don't why it is, but when I get a cold the symptoms themselves don't bother me much, but I have unbelievable fatigue for the first two days. Anyway....

Baxter says hi.
Maybe you didn't hear him. He'll come a little closer.
Doggie smooch!

So here's how I messed with my photo yesterday. I am so NOT a Photoshop guru. It was really very simple. First I turned the photo black and white. I didn't do my own conversion or anything; I just used PS Elements' tool. Then I added this cool texture:
It's "Ominous Clouds" from Ghostbones.
I set this layer on multiply at 100% opacity.
Then I flipped the texture photo (to get the dark part in the lower right) and layered it on my photo again. I set that layer on soft light at 51% opacity.
I added the "moon" by setting my eraser at 8%, setting the brush to the size I wanted it, and just clicking in the same spot a few times until it was the brightness I wanted.
(I discovered that part by accident when I tried to erase some of the texture. Cool, huh? Not as good an accident as discovering penicillin, but whatever.)
That's it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Photoshop fakery

I came down with a cold and spent most of the weekend on my couch watching E! Television. In fact, I can feel the couch's gravitational pull on me right now. In an attempt not to be a complete slug, I decided I should get some fresh air and decided to step outside with my camera this afternoon. I didn't get more than a few steps from my garage before I changed my mind and headed back to the couch. All I managed to get were a few boring shots of my yard in the middle of a snowstorm. Here's one SOOC (except for being cropped).
Since this might just be the most boring photo ever, I dragged myself off the couch again to see what I could do with it in Photoshop and came up with this:

I think I'll return to the couch and get myself hopped up on Nyquil.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Girl in a hat

Just a couple of quick snaps of DD in my latest knit hat.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fisheye fail

What's the fun of having a fisheye lens when your dog won't cooperative for a fishy nose shot?

Another old one from June:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Use of texture

Texture on a shot of my husband's bamboo plant:

The original shot:

I still have so many photos from 2008 that I haven't edited yet. I'm going to try to start doing a few a day. This is from back in June.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I've been on a knitting kick lately.
I've mostly been on a hat kick, but I've made a few felted items too.
Those of you who saw a Poland Spring vending machine in my photo yesterday were correct:

I just thought it was kind of funny to have this beautiful museum building with a vending machine plopped in the entryway. But at least it's a Poland Spring one in the Poland Spring museum!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Poland Spring Preservation Park

The chapel that I posted a couple of weeks ago is on the grounds of Poland Spring Preservation Park. You've probably all had a Poland Spring water or two in your life, huh? The building on the right in this photo is the original bottling plant. I posted a photo of the smaller building(where the original source of the water was) on the left back in October. The Source
I liked getting right next to the building with my fisheye and looking up at the tower.
Here's a wider shot. Can you see what's in the entryway?

Monday, January 12, 2009


It sure does fly. A recently scanned photo of DH and DS from 14 years ago.
Between looking at this photo and joining Facebook a couple of days ago and finding some high school and college friends, I'm feeling old and nostalgic. Speaking of Facebook, why does it make me nervous to request people as friends? I am such a weirdo.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Here's what DH and I spent our weekend doing--painting our living room. I love it. It looks just like coffee ice cream. So much that I just want to lick the walls.

This all started as a plan just to move the television from the family room to the "formal" living room, which was rarely used but is much roomier, with furniture that's in better shape. Then we decided to get a new TV. We went with one of the big LED ones, so it didn't fit in the current entertainment center. So we went to the furniture store to buy a new TV stand. And before I left the store I ended up ordering this set for the living room:
It will be here in about six weeks. So we decided to paint the room before it gets here. Below is the current set, which is kind of great-grandma-ish. It will go in the basement TV room where the kids hang out when the new stuff gets here. The dusty rose (gag) valance I had there before painting is gone now. I loved that so much when we had it done 10 years ago and now I hate it. When the new set gets here I'm sure I'll be posting another photo and asking for advice on a new window treatment.
So the project that should have cost $0 has become pretty costly, but I love my new coffee ice cream walls.