Learning wisdom

lilacs

 

Good morning from a rather chilly, but sunny Hastings day.  Just when you think the weather is getting warm we get hit by these spring storms.  At least it isn’t snowing here like down in the South Island.

By going out with my camera I am really starting to take notice of and learning about flowers.  I am not a gardener, I am actually allergic to a lot  of weeds and am prone to infections should I even go near a garden.  But I do appreciate the lovely gardens around me.  I must apologise for getting ranunculus mixed up with  peonies.  Now I must google the flowers to check that I actually  have the right name to the flower.  I do know that this image is of lilacs as I bumped into a horticulturalist who showed my what to look out for.  When I do my quotes I try to keep to the meaning of the flowers.  For example lilacs are both whimsical and childlike according to the website flower choice.com.  It is full of a gentle, sophisticated promise of wisdom, celebrating a growth of innocence into experience – from childhood into adulthood.  so I chose this quote from Confucious about the experience of gaining wisdom.

I cropped this image of some sunlit lilacs that I had taken.

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Then I made these three embellishments out of other photos from other lilac trees I have seen.

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To give a more three dimensional look I changed the opacity of two of the embellishments, one at 70% and the other at 85%, while the third one was at 100%.  It was just a matter of resizing and arranging to suit the image I had in my mind.

The text is Dumbledore 1 – chosen for it’s wise quality – I love Harry Potter.

 

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

 

Greensleeves

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Good morning from another beautiful Hastings day.

When I am out walking my eyes are everywhere. I’m not just looking for beautiful flowers and reflections.   leaves can be just as interesting and fascinating.  Especially when backlit.

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I love the strong colours and lines in this leaf.  The contours and thickness of the leaf also show up, from the sun shining through.

Brown and green fernAspiring to reach the top

 

As you can see from my first image, ferns are another favourite of mine.  There are so many ways to highlight the fronds and ways to use them as you can see from the second image.

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By pointing the camera skywards the image becomes black and white for a more interesting perspective.

 

Close to nature

 

They add a distinct New Zealand flavour and colour to my scrapbooking.

DSCF5264Dark shadow

 

Other leaves have strong lines to them.  These leaves just stood out as I went past them, so of course I had to stop for photos.

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I am constantly amazed at the way just small sun beams can highlight just one leaf out of many as in these two photos.  The leaves really stood out.

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The same goes for these branches against buildings.

Midges everywhere

 

This final photo was taken into the sun again, which shows the leaves and empty flower in relief.  The white spots are midges flying around.  I spent some time trying to see if I could capture these little critters, as you can see I managed to get them, but also managed to get bitten.  Ah! The life of a photographer.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

Satisfaction of life

Satisfaction of living

 

Good morning from a lovely sunny Hastings.

I love going out for walks just to see how beautiful the world is through my camera lens.  I love to see the bright colours of the flowers and to smell them and really appreciate the beauty around us.  It is a wonderful way to relieve stress.  I put my favourite songs on and just go for it.  A couple of hours later I arrive home uplifted by some of the beautiful sights I have seen and hopefully have on my memory card.  I am getting well known along the routes I go as I stop and take photos of colourful gardens.  I have had the owners come out and talk to me which is a little bit embarrassing but generally people are really nice about it.  It is the men who get quite uptight that I am standing on the footpath zooming in on some flowers, but the women have been really nice.

I have an idea in my mind usually when I am taking the photos as to how I would like to show up the beauty.  Not always successful but the success rate is improving.  This is a lovely garden just full of snapdragons.  All the embellishments were taken there as well.  Firstly I had the background image of the garden itself.

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I had some trouble with the opacity of the background when it came time to add the text.  In the end I just deleted the layer and started again.  I right clicked on the small lock icon on the right in the layers panel and then I found the opacity button.

Because I didn’t want to lose the embellishment arrangement and text I saved it and added it to the image.

Living well

I find it is less stressful to save as I go to avoid the problem of starting all over again.  Learnt that the hard way.

I have also learnt about adding a three dimensional look to the embellishments by adding shadows.  It is amazing the difference it makes when the shadows are added.  My daughter said it wasn’t necessary but then watched as I added some shadows and then she said it does matter.  I still get amazed at the transformations from flat images to a more three dimensional look.  I have been studying the Dummies Guide to Photoshop Elements 10 just to learn my way around the different functions and brushes.  Here are the individual embellishments.

SnapdragonWhite snapdragonsSnapdragons pink

 

Here is what I mean about the shadows.  Here is the ivy I did the other day.

 

Ivy 2

 

Ivy 2

 

Now you can see the difference it makes with the shadowing.  It is rather dramatic to see the transformation.  That is what I love about photography and editing.  It is very addictive.

Cheers and have a nice day,

Raewyn

 

Nelson’s Victory

Page 19

Good morning from a windy Hastings this morning.  The spring winds have arrived to play havoc with my photography.  It is hard to take a photo when the bush is moving frantically in the wind.

So I moved indoors for this weekly quilting block.

It is called Nelson’s Victory and commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar and the flagship of Lord Nelson – HMS Victory.  It was first documented under this name in 1906. A century later! As the triangle and small square make up a larger square it can be changed around to make different designs including a three dimensional affect.  As you can see I am getting better at the set in squares and joining the points accurately.  This is a really great way of learning new skills with out the pressure of a full quilt at once.

So for the scrapbooking I looked at another hanging quilt I had done some years ago with machine embroidery.  The embroidery design is by Sue Fox.  I just love her designs as they are so accurate and well filled in.

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I then took photos of various designs of this and then edited them very slightly to make them into background paper.

Machine Embroidery 6

This one is just to the left of the first photo of the quilt.  I just love this little kitten worn out from playing with the wool.

Then I thought about what tools are needed for quilting and took photos of them.  I then spent all last night working on making the into embellishments in Photoshop.  Finally I managed it.

unpickersafety pinsafety pin 1Cotton reelS1ironc

 

I added the iron as that is  so important to get good lines and makes it easier to join the seams.  The unpicker is also crucial.  I use it constantly.  Sometimes the seams don’t join up accurately so of course it has to be undone.

Then I just added some lace at the bottom.

lace rose

The cream font is ‘Discover Beauty’ while the writing on the journal is ‘Noteworthy”.

Have fun with this block.

Time to brave the elements and go for a quick walk before my family get up.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

 

Pretty in Pink

Page 51

 

Good morning from a beautiful sunny Hastings this morning.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit blue with the America’s Cup result so while I was working on my digital scrapbooking last night I decided to cheer myself up with the colour pink.

On the other side of Cornwall Park there is an absolutely gorgeous garden full of peonies and poppies.  It is so alive with vibrant colours.  Roses are my favourite flowers but I have fallen in love with peonies.  They are such magnificent flower just bursting with life.  Of course I have taken a lot of photos there.

With the background paper I used a close up of this magnificent specimen in the photo and edited it with photoshop.

Pink Peony

I didn’t do too much to the image as I wanted the pinkness to be kept as well as the details of the petals.

Pink and Purple Hydrangeas

 

Coming back through the park there is a greenhouse or winter garden which is used to grow the plants for the various gardens around the park.  At the moment it is filled with hydrangeas and gerberas.  Close up shots of tightly packed petals make great papers as well which I used here as an accent paper.

Finally I added the embellishments which I created from other photos.

Pink peonies doublepeonie buds 2Purple peonie

 

I felt for the font it needed to be rather traditional so I used the Great Victorian Swashed font.

It certainly brightened up my night doing this page.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

Background Florals

Flower - macro wisteria

 

Good morning from a wet and miserable Hastings today.

Yet another day of wishing Emirates Team New Zealand all the best on the waters off San Francisco.  I have given up watching as it is too heart breaking.

I have also been doing some playing around on Photoshop with my photos to try out different affects for background papers.  I find myself using the cutout brush a bit for a more bolder look,

Flowers - magnoliaCoral FlowerFlower - bluebell

while the poster edge brush gives the images some definition.

Flower wisteriaFlowers - pink blossoms

Flower - geranium

I have also used the plastic wrap brush as seen with the geranium.

Flower - freesiaLavender

For the freesia  and lavender images I finished off with the pencil brush but I find that it really washes out the images so really only use it in bold colours

.Flowers - pink blossomsFlowers - pink rhodos

When I go out to take photos I try to see if I can find some bold prints such as the ones above.  They make great bold background papers.

Flowers, blossoms

I wanted something a bit different for this image.  With this one I can add a saying without adding any further images.

When I go out photo hunting now it is with a purpose.  It is now always at the back of mind what the images could be used for and how I could edit them.  This has meant that I have cut back on the number of photos I do take.  So that is a good thing.

Cheers and have a nice day.

Raewyn

 

 

 

 

Sunset Magic

Page 26

 

Good morning from a beautiful sunny day from Hastings.

Yet another nail biting morning this morning.  Yesterday’s racing was canned due to poor weather conditions.  Everywhere people were sitting in front of the TV only to see nothing in the end.  I can only imagine what the teams are both feeling.  But anyway good luck to Emirates Team New Zealand.

I love sunrises and sunsets.  There is something magic and spiritual in seeing the colours come out when the sun comes up or goes down.  During the winter it was great to be able to go out at a civilised time just to see the sun come up.  Equally the time was good for the sunsets.  I can’t describe the feeling I get just seeing the majesty of the event.

This image was taken on the 9th September.  I loved the way the rays of the sun come up through the clouds.This was the original image.

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I then edited it with Photoshop to get this image.

Sun 2

I added it as a background but used the transparency tool just a smidgen to tone the colours a bit.

The photo is the same image.  The backing card is this paper from another image I had edited.

Sunset by numbers

 

The font is the Great Victorian font.

Now to bring the cup home to New Zealand.

Cheers and have a nice day