Mandarin Orange Monday: 76



Good morning from a  windy Hastings today.

This is my first MOM for this year.  I loved LorikArt‘s post this week of Castro the cat.  When I opened up the IPhoto the first thing I found was this cat.  It is a calico cat – that is it has an orange, black and white coat.  So I am halfway there. LOL.


So first it is over to GIMP for the cartoon filter.

MOM cat 1

Then to FX Photostudio Pro for a vignette.

MOM cat 1 + vignette

Then I added a hot yellow filter.

MOM cat 1 + vignette + Hot yellow

Finally the hippie filter.

+ Hippie


First to GIMP for a cartoon filter.

MOM Cat 2

Then to FX Photostudio Pro for a vignette.

MOM Cat 2 + vignette

Then a lindale filter.

MOM Cat 2 + vignette + Lindale

Then the black and red comic filter.

MOM Cat 2 + vignette + Lindale + Black and red comics

Then the lindale filter again.

MOM Cat 2 + vignette + Lindale + Black and red comics=


First is the cartoon filter from GIMP.

MOM Cat 3

Then the vignette from the FX Photostudio Pro.

MOM Cat 3 + vignette

Than the sparta filter.

MOM Cat 3 + vignette + Sparta

Finally the lindale filter.

MOM Cat 3 + vignette + Sparta + Lindale

Here is Lorik’s post for you to browse through and admire.

Thank you for visiting.

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IPhoneography Challenge: Nature


Good morning from a cooler Hastings morning.  I hope everyone is staying warm and dry in the big freeze.  It looks sooooo cold.  So keep safe.

This week the challenge by Lens and Pens by Sally is nature with my IPhone 4S.  These images were taken the same day as the ones I took last week for architecture.  I was a bit annoyed at not being able to use my big camera to zoom in on these roses as it had rained the night before and the flowers were just calling out to me to take photos of them.  If I used the HDR setting on the phone it drained the battery rather quickly so I had to really make the photos count.  Still I was happy with what I took.

Phone 4Phone 3

Phone 2Phone 1

As you can see I had a bit of fun with the editing.

Here are some other great blogs for this challenge.

Phoneography Challenge: Nature


Thank you for visiting.

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Sonel’s Corner Photo-Editing Challenge:Shadows/Reflections




Good evening from a warm Hastings Evening. I hope everyone up north are keeping warm and safe with your storms.  Brave men playing football in minus temperatures.

Anyway  these are my original images.  I have lots of photos of reflections so the other day on my walk I decided to take some more photos of shadows.

First stop was GIMP to add some texture and details with the canvas and cartoon filters.

Shadow 4

Shadow 3Shadow 2

Shadow 1

Then it was over to FX Photostudio Pro to add some vignettes  and vintage filters.

Shadow 4 + 1

Shadow 3 +1Shadow 2 + 1

Shadow 1 +1

Here are  a couple of other great entries too browse through.

Photo Editing Challenge: Shadows and/or Reflections

Thank you for visiting.


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Esse’s Weekly Shoot&Quote Challenge: Music

Rain 1DSCF5025

Good morning from a sunny but definitely cooler Hastings day.  I hope that you are all safe, dry and warm up in the Northern Hemisphere.  I have been watching the news and have seen the devastation from the winter storms.  So I shouldn’t really complain about our 33 degree heat we had yesterday.  So take care everyone and look after yourselves and loved ones. 😀

This weeks challenge by Ese’ s Voice is music.  Now I am the most unmusical person on the planet.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love music.  I just can’t produce it.  When I was about 11 I had to learn the violin.  My mother learnt both the violin and the piano, so I had to learn the violin too.  I had just lost some of my hearing with a fire cracker incident so I really couldn’t hear the notes too well.  Anyway it was pure torture.  For a whole year my father used to come up the drive, hear us kids trying to practice and then drive out again for another 1/2 hour or so until we had finished.  That is how bad I was.  Another funny story was that because I was learning the violin I had to join the school orchestra.  Apparently they were short on violins.  Anyway one morning at school assembly we were to put on a small item. Unfortunately the bus driver had’t heard of it so was late .  Very late.  I only just got to school in time to have the violin tuned (by my teacher) and then start the piece.  Trouble was, I wasn’t told that the piece had two parts to it and we were to play the first part twice.  So guess what I did. Yup, I played the whole thing through.  I wondered why the teacher was looking at me with thunder in her eyes.  Ouch.

In the end on the way home from my violin lessons on Saturday mornings I used to take the violin out of the case and fill it up with fruit I found on the way home – mostly fejioas – a most beautiful fruit here in New Zealand.

After  a year my parents couldn’t really take the torture and mercifully released me from it and cancelled the lessons.  Yea!!!!

So here is the quote.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Berthold Auerbach

So my photos are of torrential rain one day late last year. I have tried to take photos of rain and puddles before but these seem to be my most successful ones so far.  They have been edited with GIMP and FX Photostudio Pro.

Here is the a great post to look for inspiration.

Thank you for visiting.

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Look Up, Look Down: Week 20: Glass


Good morning from a grey muggy Hastings.  I don’t want to complain about our weather when I saw on the news last night of the storm Hercules hitting America, the temperatures hitting over 34 in Brisbane, Australia and the storms battering England.  I hope everyone is okay and safe.

Sooo yet another challenge.  OK. I do a lot of challenges but I do take a lot of photos.  Though not as many as before.  That is thanks to the challenges.  Question: Why do you take photos?  Another question: What do you do with them? Last question: What do you want to do with them?  So to answer my own questions.

1.I love the idea of capturing a moment in time.  When I am out anywhere I am so aware of my surroundings and subconsciously framing pictures even when I don’t have my camera.  Embarrassing for my children and husband when I do have the camera with me.

2. Until I had this blog they just clogged up my computer.

3. I did think about joining a physical camera club but didn’t like the idea of my photos being minutely scrutinised.  Also here in Hawke’s Bay they are purists and do not appreciate photo editing which I love.  It is the creative side that I really love and that is why I do these challenges.  They push my boundaries.

 I love looking at other artists’ works.  I do not care how they got to the final image ( apart from learning the techniques myself). Life is too short to worry about  all the small detail.  It is about enjoying and appreciating everyone else’s work for what it is – a work of art. That is the fun of the challenges.  Just to see other peoples works too and their interpretations.

I would love to hear your views on what you do with your photos.

Anyway this challenge is the Look Up, Look Down Challenge.  You can join in the challenge here,  This challenge is appropriate to what I do when out on my walks.  Looking up or Looking down, just eyeing up interesting shots.

Looking up is an old fashioned street lamp outside a school nearby.

Looking down is a shard of glass that I found on the ground.


They have been edited with FX Photostudio Pro.

Here is another great interpretation –

Thank you for visiting.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Beginning of the day.

Good morning from a sunny Hastings day.  I just want to say how I am feeling for those around the world hit by natural disasters.  I know Wellington got hammered with gale force winds, England have been having a good dumping of rain and the US are have a massive snow storm.  I don’t know about you but to me it seems to be a lot of these natural disasters at this time of the year.??????

Anyway The Daily Post weekly challenge is BEGINNING.

What does beginning have to do with this cobweb? Well it was taken at the beginning of my walk, at the beginning of the day while the sun was just beginning to rise.
Get the meaning> LOL.

Rose bud 1Rose bud

Here are some more traditional beginnings.  Rosebud just beginning to reach up for the sky as they slowly begin to open up to reveal their true beauty. Below are some other great entries:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

What a great post for the beginning of the year.

Thank you for visiting.

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Free and Easy

Free and Easy

Good morning from a sunny Hastings.

Yesterday on my walk I came across this huge dog.  The owner was out clearing out his garden and for a change he was happy for me to take photos of his dog.  He had another dog, a Rottweiler who did not want his photo taken.  This one got up to walk to me, sniff me and then went and flopped down again.

So this has been edited with both GIMP and FX Photostudio Pro.  The GIMP was used to add a canvas texture while I used the trusty vignette filter in the FXPhotostudio Pro.   I wanted a painted look to it.

Then I read about and the

Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge with Sonel’s Corner and her gorgeous photo and thought this would fit the bill perfectly.

So it is called Free and Easy just because of the way he just flopped down and then looked at me with those eyes. He couldn’t care less about the world around him.  A nice way to think actually.

Thank you for visiting.



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iPhoneography Challenge: Architecture.

Untitled copyHOUSE 2

IMG_1869 1HOUSE 3

Good morning from a sunny Hastings.

I love this challenge byLens and Pens by Sally as it makes me use my phone a bit more, not just as a source of music when out walking.  I had corrupted my memory card so I had to use the phone the other day.  It is hard to go for a walk anyway without a camera.  I have itchy fingers and get frustrated when I see something interesting.  I drive my family nuts.  At least I have my iPhone 4S on me.

Anyway as usual I digress.  I thought about this challenge while out walking and decided to take some images of these houses just down our street.  Our house was also built at the same time – the 1920’s.  What makes these houses so interesting is that they survived a big earthquake in 1931.

Here is what they say in Wikipedia. (They say it better than I can.)

The 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, also known as the Napier earthquake, occurred in New Zealand at 10:47 am on Tuesday 3 February 1931, killing 256[1] and devastating the Hawke’s Bay region. It remains New Zealand’s deadliest natural disaster. Centred 15 km north of Napier, it lasted for two and a half minutes and measured magnitude 7.8 Ms (magnitude 7.9Mw). There were 525 aftershocks recorded in the following two weeks. The main shock could be felt in much of the southern half of the North Island.

Nearly all buildings in the central areas of Napier and Hastings were levelled (The Dominion noted that “Napier as a town has been wiped off the map”)[4] and the death toll included 161 people in Napier, 93 in Hastings, and two in Wairoa.[1] Thousands more were injured, with over 400 hospitalised.

The local landscape changed dramatically, with the coastal areas around Napier being lifted by around two metres.[4] The most noticeable land change was the uplifting of some 40 km² of sea-bed to become dry land. This included Ahuriri Lagoon, which was lifted more than 2.7 metres[4] and resulted in draining 2230 hectares of the lagoon. Today, this area is the location ofHawkes Bay Airport, housing and industrial developments and farmland.

Within minutes fires broke out in chemist shops in Hastings Street, Napier. The fire brigade almost had the first fire under control when the second broke out in a shop at the back of the Masonic Hotel. The hotel was quickly engulfed in flames. The wind at this point also picked up strength and began blowing from the east, pushing the fires back over the city. With water mains broken the brigade was unable to save many buildings. Pumping water from Clive Square they were able to stop the fires spreading south. Only a few buildings in the central Napier area survived. Some withstood the earthquake only to be gutted by fire. Trapped people had to be left to burn as people were unable to free them in time. By Wednesday morning the main fires were out but the ruins still smouldered for several days.

In Hastings, the fires were quickly brought under control.

The death toll might have been much higher had the Royal Navy ship HMS Veronica not been in port at the time. Within minutes of the shock the Veronica had sent radio messages asking for help. The sailors joined survivors to fight the fires, rescue trapped people and help give them medical treatment. The Veronica’s radio was used to transmit news of the disaster to the outside world and to seek assistance. The crew from two cargo ships, the Northumberland and Taranaki, also joined the rescue works, while two cruisers, HMS Diomede and HMS Dunedin, were dispatched from Auckland that afternoon with food, tents, medicine, blankets, and a team of doctors and nurses. The cruisers sailed at high speed overnight, arrived on 4 February and provided valuable assistance in all areas until their departure on 11 February.

A group of prisoners working at Bluff Hill in Napier had four of their number buried in a landslip by the quake. The remaining prisoners dug them out, but two had been killed. The prisoners re-assembled without any attempt to escape and were locked up in the Napier Jail. In Taradale, Mission Estate missionaries accommodation block had been built and opened in February 1931. The next day the Hawke’s Bay earthquake struck, causing serious damage to the entire Mission. Two priests and seven students were killed when the stone chapel was destroyed. In Havelock North, St Luke’s church was damaged (but not destroyed) just before a wedding was due to take place. The couple got married later in the day, but outdoors.

Within four days of the quake, cinemas around New Zealand offered news specials about the disaster.

Another casualty of the earthquake was the Napier trams. The tracks were twisted by the earthquake, and were never restored.[5]

New Zealand’s first commercial air disaster occurred six days after the quake, when a Dominion Airlines Desoutter monoplane crashed near Wairoa. The small airline had been making three return trips a day between Hastings and Gisborne, carrying passengers and supplies. All three on board were killed.

The Napier Daily Telegraph had recently celebrated its diamond jubilee with an article describing Napier as “the Nice of the Pacific”. The newspaper office was destroyed by the quake. The Hawke’s Bay Herald offices in Hastings were also destroyed.

It is still possible to see the original path of the earthquake from Napier Prison.[6]

 The rebuild of both Hastings and Napier were carried out in the Art Deco style which I love.  Every year in February we have the Art Deco Festival with Great Gatsby picnics, cabarets, vintage car parades and other activities.  We all dress up in Art Deco costume which is so lovely to see such colour.  The atmosphere is just brilliant.  So much fun.

We do still get earthquakes but thankfully nothing as bad as this one.

I used FX Photostudio Pro for the post editing.  I thought the sketch filter suited the images and gave a more timeless look to them.

Sorry about the history lesson – this is for lady sighs.

Thank you for visiting and have a nice day for the last one of this year.

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Sunday Stills: White


A good evening from a warm, muggy Hastings.

I was just playing around with my photos when I saw the email from Sunday Stills come in with his challenge –     Sunday Stills, the next challenge: White!      .

So of course I searched out for some of my white flowers.  Since we don’t have snow where we are the next best thing I can do are these images.

White flowers are actually quite hard to get the textures etc when there is a strong sun.   Just like red, it gets bleached out.


Of course I have my favourite roses.


Then there are other white flowers around.  I am not sure what they are.



These have been edited with FX Photostudio Pro, but only minimally with vignettes and frames.

Thanks for visiting and take care.

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Travel theme: Birds

Sparrow on the lookoutjpgRuffled sparrow in bushjpg

Caught red handed with breakfastpgThe early bird catches the wormjpg

Blackbird in the sunpg

Good morning from a grey, overcast day.

I loved the post this  morning by Cee’s Photography for the Travel Theme is birds.

So here is my contribution to it.

I have discovered a new editing programme which I saw on lady sighs entry for     Sonel’s Photo-Editing Challenge ~ Nature      .  The GIMP.  Anyway I have been playing around with it and have not really progressed past the round edges.  But as always it is fun to try.

Thank you for visiting and have a nice day.

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