Monday, 17 June 2013

Home again

Back at the computer again after a fabulous and wonderfully busy week.

On Thursday, 6th June, we left the doggies at the dog hotel and then me and M drove south to Järvenpää to attend the International Oriental Dance Festival there. M was busy, of course, first rushing off to do some dog judging training on Thursday evening and then having enrolled on altogether five courses during the weekend. For me it was a time of away-from-home-not-having-to-do-anything, in other words, holiday. We stayed at this nice peaceful hotel away from the town centre, with hares and squirrels and birds of many kinds right outside the window, and while M was on courses, I basked in the sun, listening to the birds and shooting photos and knitting. It was simply wonderful. The weather was fantastic all the time. In the evenings we went to see two Oriental Dance shows. The Friday show was something of a disappointment, and the Saturday show with 3,5 hours was simply too long, although most of the performers that day were top notch.

Schoolyard Folly
A folly or something on a schoolyard where I sat knitting in the warm sunshine. See my backpack and water bottle on the bench.

Resources used:
- texture 335 by Sirius-sdz
- framing action Simple by Chain

Then on Sunday we took the 500-odd-kilometre-drive back home, got the doggies home and I packed, since I was off again, had to be about 430 km south-west by 10 o'clock on Monday. So I got up at 3.45, drove off at 4.30 and picked my friends from the vocal ensemble up and headed southwards again, this time to a barbershop singing course.

It was another wonderful four days. We sang almost all our waking hours, when not having a meal. We worked really hard on quite a few new songs, and on our final day we gave a promenade concert of altogether nine songs. Our teachers, the barbershop quartet Carpe Diem, performed three songs in addition to ours, and it was all absolutely amazing. I just keep on hearing all the songs we sang together, they are ear-worming me one after another, and I don't mind a bit. I love it.

We drove back home on Thursday evening, singing, yes, but even more importantly, summing up our experiences from the course and planning the future.

Then on Saturday, there was another dog show to attend, this time only about 30 km from home. Me and M were working in the office, doggies travelled with us and happily snoozed in the car. It was a cool and cloudy day and we were fearing it would rain all day since that's what the weather forecasts had promised, but no. Just some drizzle early in the morning and then some in the afternoon. How lucky we were! It was only when we were driving back home that the rain began.

Now, since Sunday, I've been enjoying a flu. I'm sure I caught it from the other singers, since at least three of the tenors were ill during the course. But since I'm not working anyway at the moment, it's just a bore, nothing more. Just have to make sure I'll be ok again by the weekend, since I've promised to work in the traditional Midsummer dog show at the Arctic Circle.

At the Beyond Layers catch-up, for me it should be a week of quotes. I think I've stated before that I'm not really a quote person. At least not a great fan of inspirational quotes. Often they feel to me… either dry, flat or syrupy. Pasted-on or slightly icky. So I think I'll skip this challenge altogether.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Off stage

After a month on stage, I get back to the blog. First, there was our vocal ensemble concert & sing-along event, then in a few days, the Oriental Dance show where I was not dancing like my friends but acted as the hostess,  then a couple of weeks after that, my basic level vocal recital at the music school.

Now this is day 37 -- since the original course of Beyond Layers expired without my having time to finish it, I took on the challenge of Beyond Beyond with the access to the original BL, too. But here's a snag: MY course, BL2, was not available, so I had to take BL1. Mostly the same, but still a bit different, so I find myself going back to day 37 again. Oh well.

Anyway, here Kim gave a challenge of placing a photo inside bulky text. I had a look at this technique about a month ago, just before the concert our vocal ensemble gave this spring, so I made an "ad" of the concert for fb with the technique. I am rather pleased with the result. The picture is from our concert in 2011, and at the moment we were singing California Dreamin - which I thought was rather apt, since Kim's tutorial had California in it, too.

Vocal Ensemble Nais-Girls on stage

The original image was a video capture, awfully dark, so I processed it as follows:
- Levels adjustment preset Lighten Shadows
- Curves adjustment to cut down the yellows
- added my own texture Mute Light 01 at Screen 72%

Then I created a new document, following the tutorial, but added another layer of the same font with the words "on stage", at 66% Hard Light. That way I could display a bit more of the original picture.

- my own textures Mute Light 01 & Mute Light 02
- font Gill Sans Ultra Bold
- font Respective by Måns Grebäck