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Monday, June 28, 2010

I ♥ Faces - "Pets"

Now I just could not pass up this week's challenge. It also helps that I am not working today so I don't have a whole lot else to do except pack for my move and that just sounds boring. :) This week at I ♥ Faces the theme is "Pets" and I just love me some animals! I scanned through the photos that have already been posted and I see lots of cute and furry pets! I did also see a rooster and a frog on there so there are a few oddball ones. I am torn at this point as to whether I should us one of the adorable pics of my cat, Drizzt, or one of the awesome pics of one of my snakes. Sadly, I can only choose one, so let me take a look at all that I have and see if I can decide.

Well...after much debating and some opinions of others this is the photo I have decided to go with:

This is my ball python Madmartigan right after he got done eating. Since a snake's jaws unhinge to help move the move the food down their throats they tend to 'yawn' afterward to realign everything.

If you want to see a bunch of other Pet pics, and most likely no more snakes, then click the I ♥ Faces logo below and check them out!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Update on the Move

We have just a little over a week to go before we move. Packing is going...well...so so. I have yet to start packing up my room, but there is mostly only clothes in there. The closet won't take long to pack and neither will the kitchen. The bookshelf has already been packed as well as the movies. The kids have done a wonderful job of getting their stuff packed up, so I think we'll be on schedule for load day.

I will be picking up my truck and tow trailer at around 10am on the 5th of July. Then with the help of, hopefully, a lot of friends I plan to get the truck loaded with our stuff and head out that afternoon. I will have to stop overnight somewhere to rest up. That and I will need to give my cats a break from riding in the Xterra. I am concerned that they will get overheated on the journey, but I'll be sure to make frequent stops to ensure they have plenty of water and are not getting too warm. I figure if I roll the windows down some they should get some decent air flow to help keep them cool.

I don't remember if I posted on here about my laptop frying, but it did. FYI...do not leave your laptop on constantly or you will fry the motherboard! :) I actually learned that it is not good to leave any computer on as it increases the risk of them overheating and thus frying bits that you need for them to work properly. I had hoped to have the laptop working so that I could post updates as I travel, but since that is not the case, I splurged and purchased a netbook. It's rather small, but it actually has a very large hard drive. I hope to be able to connect to a few WiFi spots along the way and post some blogs about the journey as well as some pics. I still haven't worked out my exact route, but will be doing that very soon. I'll probably purchase a new road atlas to help navigate our journey. At this point my main concern is that every route I've looked at has me driving through Ft. Worth and Dallas. To those who know me, I DO NOT drive through large towns like these as the drivers there are all crazy and scare the crap out of me. Now it appears that I will be doing so while driving a 24' truck pulling my Xterra! Just keep your fingers crossed that I will make it through there ok if I cannot find an alternate route.

I guess that's all for now. Have a wonderful day!

This Week's Featured Image Week 18

Last week...well actually a couple of weeks ago... I put up this image for the Weekly Featured Image. A few months ago I ran across a tutorial of how to create smoke images and decided to give it a try. I intend to create a series of these, but have not had a whole lot of success with them as I don't currently have the proper equiptment at the moment. This is one of the few that turned out somewhat acceptable.

I do not have any of my smoke images uploaded to my Gallery at this time, but there are still a lot of other images available for purchase if you are interested. On another note, the current image in the title has also not been uploaded to the gallery yet. I am trying to get a few more images together before uploading. Look for it in the near future, or if you just can't live without it and have to have it right now then leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I'll get it in the gallery for you.

Hope you enjoy the image this week and have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shutter Love Tuesday

I have been rather busy lately and haven't had a chance to participate in any of the photography contests that I love. However, today I am going to share my entry to Shutter Love Tuesday from The Trendy Treehouse. This week's theme is "Smiles" and I think the picture I chose shows a gorgeous smile. It is of my daughter after the pageant she was in earlier this year.

You just don't get much more radiant than this. The real reason I think this smile stands out as gorgeous is because she did not place at all in the pageant and still walked off that stage with this smile on her face and her head held high.

Be sure to swing by The Trendy Treehouse and see what other people are putting up for Shutter Love Tuesday. You can click the logo below to get there.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Big Move

As I posted not too long ago, my kids and I will be making a move to the state of New York the first part of July. The kids and I have been working on getting things ready for the move and so far I think we are doing fairly well. The kids have managed to pack quite a few of their belongings already as well as the books, movies, and some other non-necessities. I have packed nothing as of yet, as I have been concerned with other matters. I have hired and gotten approval from the owners on a new manager to take over the store. This guy is a good friend of mine and I know that he will be able to keep everyone in line as well as keep the comfortable working atmosphere that I and my employees have worked so hard to attain. He has a lot to learn and only a couple of weeks to do so, but I have faith, both in my ability to teach him and in his ability to learn it.

I have also been looking for someone to buy my house, or at the very least, take over the payments. I have succeeded in doing so only yesterday. Yet another good friend of mine who has been looking for a place of her own made the final decision to take my house. It will be rather large for her and her chihuahua, but honestly, for the price, she can afford some extra room. I also made arrangements to sell my washer and dryer yesterday. I will, of course, be using them up until I leave as I have no wish to start going to a laundry mat this close to such a big move.

The kids and I gathered some items to have a garage sale Saturday and Sunday. We did pretty well on Saturday, but had only a few people stop Sunday. I made roughly $40 and the kids made out pretty well with their stuff. My friend who will be taking over my house is planning to have another garage sale after she gets moved in and has offered to try to sell my leftover items then and send me the money. I think I'll take her up on that.

I am almost through with Ashe's dresser, it has been wood-burned, sanded, and stained so far. I still need to use the wood-filler on it then seal it and it'll be good to go. That will be a project for next week since both the kids will be gone or busy. Amy has church camp this coming week and Ashe is joining the youth group to help out with the Community Rehab project. Community Rehab is where select homes in the community, usually low income families or people with disabilities, get some work done to the outside of their homes for free. Energy efficient windows, doors, etc, new siding, fixing proches and overhangs and such. It's a great project to be involved in and I am proud of my son for taking part.

I apologize for the lengthiness of this post, but that is the update so far. I have the truck and trailer reserved for our move. Everyone needs to wish me luck driving those as I have to use the largest truck available (24") as it is the only one with 3 seats. Hope everyone has a wonderful day, week, & month. I'll be sure to update again before I leave.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

This Week's Featured Image Week 17

I know I have missed a couple of weeks and I hope that I have not disappointed too many people. The move to New York has been taking a lot of my time, well, at least the preparations for it. So here is last week's image:

This is one of the images I took with my phone after discovering that the digital camera I intended to use would not work. I was rather impressed at how well the images came out, and I think this might be my favorite of the Farm Life Series. I don't recall what all processes I used to attain this look, but it reminds me of some of the very old photos that were taken with some of the first cameras. I hope you enjoyed this image (especially since it was up for like 3 weeks...lol). This image and the other previous Featured Images can be purchased as prints at my Shop.

Note: the image for this week is for a series I have begun that has not yet been posted to my Gallery. Therefore it is not available for purchase at this time.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spam Comments & Captchas

I just deleted my first spam comment. I have been blogging now for a little over 6 months, I don't require captchas and I don't moderate my comments. If the spam begins to start being a real issue, then I will possibly consider one or the other. Personally, I can't stand captchas. They annoy me, what can I say. Partially it was due to the fact that I used to do most of my blog reading on my phone browser (when I was at work and bored out of my mind). Now, I don't have such a great data plan on my phone and I don't get around to reading as many blogs either. Sorry everyone! So here is the lovely and interesting spam comment that I recieved:
     "Friday, May 28, 2010

I ♥ Faces - Fix It Friday #56

Yes it is Friday again, and besides the fact that I get two whole days off in a row now, it is Fix-It-Friday over at I ♥ Faces. I love to participate in these but don't always get to every week. This week's image is of the cutest little twins...well, they may not be the cutest anymore since my niece and nephew were born. ;) Here is the original image:

The submitter of this image loves the interaction of the twins, but thinks it's a bit dull. I agree...while I like the pattern of the background, I didn't care for the dingy gray tones it produces. Here is my fix:

Now for what I did, please keep in mind that I do not use Photoshop, but a program called PhotoImpact. If you wish to follow my steps I am sure that there is something compatable to the actions and such that I used to get these results.

First I went to Smart Curves as I usually do but I could not find a preset that worked well.

Having failed on Smart Curves I went to Brightness and Contrast and increased those to B +20 C +15.

I then went into Color Cast and added just a touch of green to diffuse the red in the image.

I applied a mask to the babies and the white cushion then cut them out.

I opened a picture I took a while back and cut out a little piece of the sky then pasted it to the original image.

I then returned the babies to the original.

I merged all the layers and used clone and blur tool to clean up the edges where I made the cuts.

Lastly I used a font called KRDecoFrames and added the frame to the image.

That's it...hope you enjoyed my fix and to see more click the I ♥ Faces logo below!

Posted by Jayde at 5:33 PM

Labels: Fix It Friday, I ♥ Faces, photo editing, photography


. said...

wow, that is totally different than everyone else, I love your creativity.

May 28, 2010 6:13 PM

Fabienne said...

Cool ! Even though I love the original background, I must say I like what you did! Great job!

May 28, 2010 11:19 PM

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So do you use captchas? Do you do comment moderation? Why? Just curious about other people's reasons. Hope you all have a great day!