Saturday, 19 October 2013


So now we have snow. Although it's now lighter and not pitch-black in the evening, I'm not feeling overly delighted about. I guess I might be happy about it if I didn't know that it'll be there now for the next six months. Yes, it might melt away for a while, but it'll be back, and the melting away is almost worse - although I don't love it, I don't dislike snow as such, but I do dislike slushy roads, slippery roads, icy roads and streets.  Also this means we'll be ploughing and shovelling snow for months and months. Better Half already did the first take yesterday afternoon, and today it was my turn to start. Again, it's not too bad, I actually like it, when it's not too heavy and wet and there's not too much of it, but it's the fact that you have to clear the snow, whether or not you have the time or inclination, if you are to move at all…

I'm off work for almost a week now. Might perhaps get a challenge or two done? Today I cleared one: day 60 at BL. Before I got so far, however, I did some serious pruning in my photo archives from this and last year, and got rid of about a thousand photos, and am feeling awfully accomplished. I got myself Lightroom last month, and don't regret it - it made doing away with the photos so much easier, although I'm only just beginning to learn to use the program.

Anyway, day 60 challenge at Beyond Layers was to use some scripted textures and follow another recipe by Kim. I was not overly enthusiastic about using the scripts on top of the images as such, but I thought I could do something with them if I found the right image. (Read: a photo with enough white space, not green, like most of my non-winter pictures…) So I dug up a picture of leaves that I took about a month ago when rummaging in our old house. The leaves have effectively mummified - they have been standing on the window-sill of our old abandoned house since before we moved away from there, and that was ten years ago. I did slight modification in Lightroom and then followed Kim's recipe as such, until the scripted textures. The first scripted one, Sonnet 2, I blurred at 25 px Gaussian blur, to get only the tone from it, no text. Then I added Sonnet Magic at blend mode screen but turned down the opacity to 68% and masked out most of the script. I didn't add any photo filters, although that was part of the recipe, since I found that would have taken away all depth from my photo.


- texture Sienna, Sonnet 2 & Sonnet Magic by Kim Klassen

Now to see if there'e enough for the birds to eat, when their last feeding rush for the evening starts. They have been crowding our feeding post ever since we started feeding them almost two weeks ago, and I have a feeling I need to do a refill, although I filled everything up to the brim in the morning.

Friday, 11 October 2013


Fun for Friday evening: tackled Beyond Layers challenge for day 59. Kim shared a recipe and three textures for us to try out. The problem (for me, at least) with these challenges is the huge amount of time it takes to decide which photo to process. Ordinarily, you'd start building with a picture. Now I'm always looking at the kind of processing done and trying to find a photo I imagine could benefit from it. I never find anything similar to Kim's examples, but somehow I always have to try to match it at least on some level.

This is the third picture I tried this particular recipe on. In the end, I of course tweaked the recipe, but at least I started with it and used the texture, called Paper-Stained Music.

Fragile, c'est son nom
- texture Paper-Stained Music by Kim Klassen

I took the photo in May in my little makeshift "studio". I have no idea what these flowers are called, but they opened beautifully from a bell-shape to this translucent disc, after standing for about two weeks in a vase. They were the last of the bouquet to survive.

The text on the picture just plopped from somewhere, when I was staring at the beautiful fragility of the flower on my screen. "Fragile, c'est son nom" I thought, and remembered things I did'nt know I remembered - it's a song by Patrick Juvet, which I suddenly remembered, too. Must be from somewhere early 1980s - the album was called Reves Immoraux, if I remember correctly. I think we had it on a C-cassette. I love how these things pop up, although I've been listening to Baroque Arias sung Andreas Scholl and Patricia Petibon the whole evening.

Sharing at Texture Tuesday.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Painting With Light

On day 58 at Beyond Layers Kim challenged us to watch another video lesson and either try the technique on a photo by her or on our own image, and of course I went for a photo of my own. The topic of the video was how to use light to draw focus on a subject.

With the dogs snoring around me this Saturday morning, I picked up a photo and started to process, following Kim's suggestions. This time I took a photo of Da Man about a month ago. He was sitting and watching by the back porch, with a dried yarrow funnily framing his face. Again, Kim's picture and mine were so different that I didn't create the effect she did for hers, but I do like what I got out of this picture with the recipe.

Dog and Yarrow
Photo taken on 7 September, 2013.

- texture Heartfelt by Kim Klassen

Sharing at Texture Tuesday.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Quote Challenge revisited

After a good while, I decided I'd play along the quote challenge from Beyond Layers day 39 anyway. I had already had a look at some quotes, so I went back and did some digging for photos. Seeing the results, I'm happy I did.

First Tulips

A picture of the first tulips pushing up, taken on 2 May 2013. Thought the quote was pretty apt for the image. The prompt word was "life".

- font KG Ways To Say Goodbye by Kimberly Geswein


The quote challenge word was "peace". This made me think of our latest little puppies when they were little puppies, in this picture less than a month old.

- textures from Shadowhouse October Square Texture Set 2 by Jerry Jones
- font Learning Curve Pro by Blue Vinyl Fonts

Foxy - Indian Summer

On reading the prompt word "change" I knew immediately what my quote would be: Dorothy Parker's poem Indian Summer. Ever since I first read it I've loved the poem. And I roughly knew what I wanted to do with the images, too - originally I associate the poem with our second-ever Dandie, Veera, whom we called Madame, because she was very dignified, self-assured and definitely not one to fool with. She was a businesslike, no-nonsense personality, but charming. However, since she left us years before the age of digital cameras and even the scans I have of her are not of very high quality, the dog in the photos is our present Madame, called Foxy. Totally different, with a lot more sense of humour (yes, Dandies come equipped with that), but certainly a lady who knows what she wants, who turned nine this week. In the last picture, by the way, she is not growling but actually smiling.

- template 018 by myself
- background papers from paper pack Green Finch and Linnet Bird by myself
- font Lavanderia by James T. Edmondson

By The Frozen River
The fourth prompt was "intentions" and for this, the Douglas Adams quote was my absolute favourite. It's so true for me in so many ways. The picture shows my home town since 1987, where I definitely didn't plan to move. When I first went to study, I somehow thought I'd end up in the south, Helsinki or thereabouts. And here I am, 600 kilometres north, and have been happy here for more than a quarter of a century. Oh my. I took the picture on a walk in the centre on 1 May this year. Yes, it was pretty cold.


The last prompt was "focus". I like the quote, and the photo is one of a series I managed to take on 8 June of a gang of Jackdaws, who landed on the grass and  were a bit shy of me, obviously thinking the treat on the ground might belong to me. They circled around, trying to appear nonchalant and uninterested, until one of them started the approach. Unfortunately none of the photos I took of the actual attack turned out any good but well, that's life, right?

Type Tricks

Another Beyond Layers post. On day 56 at BL Kim offered us a couple of new tricks, how to type text on a path and how to create a rounded rectangular frame. With the latter technique I've been working for years already, so I just played with the type.

For this is used a photo taken at the barbershop singing course me and three of my vocal group friends attended at the beginning if June. It was taken by our new friend Reija during our extra, ladies-only evening rehearsal.

How We Sang
- texture Musiclovin by Kim Klassen
- texture Savor by Kim Klassen
- font Tipbrush Script by Måns Grebäck
- font KG This Is Not Goodbye by Kimberly Geswein

This afternoon, in fact, we had a first meeting of our new barbershop quartet, consisting of the oldest singers in our vocal ensemble. New, because we have never actually sung four-part harmony just the four of us together, and I have certainly not been singing the tenor part. We cleared half the piece we were rehearsing, dwelled on some of the chords over and over again just because they sounded sooo sweet, and concluded happily that we most definitely have learned something in the dozen or so years we have been singing together. Which is nice to notice.