Friday, April 30, 2010

A celebration of sorts

I have cause to celebrate. I noticed the other day that I reached 200 followers. As I'm writing this though, I see I now have 201. WOW! I can't believe it
I think that the best way to celebrate this is to do a giveaway. Yes that's right one of you will be a lucky winner.
Now what shall I do for a prize? NO, you can't have Duke. I am going to give the winner a choice though.
The winner will have the choice of one of the following:
 Choice 1 is the file folder project I did recently.
 choice 2 I will email you the full size file of the collage picture minus my mark on the bottom. I could print it and send it to you but my printer is currently out of ink. By emailing the file you have the option of either printing it out yourself or using it as a desktop background.

So how do you enter?
I won't make you tweet, blog or post on facebook. all you need to do is leave me a comment saying which one you would want if you win. You only need one entry to win so why go any further. I will mention though that Duke and I both respond well to bribes.
The winner will be announced on Monday. I haven't decided if I'll use a random number generator or let Duke pick the winning name. I'll work that out over the weekend.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duke has been updated

Duke had another adventure of sorts on Monday. It was time for a visit to the v. e. t. He was actually a little over due for his rabies booster and distemper shots. This was not a fun trip believe me. The closest Duke ever gets to other animals is when he sees another dog walking down the street. When we got to the vets office they were packed. All the other dogs were sitting so nicely quietly waiting their turn. Not Duke. He was barking, whining, jumping around and lifting his leg on anything in site. I lost track of how many times the receptionist came out with the mop.
 Finally they called us in. A little bit more waiting but at least he was busy checking out things in the tiny room rather than going nuts with all the other dogs around.
He did however lift his little white leg a few times in this room as well.
I was going to take pictures after the vet came in and get photos of Duke getting his exam but I chickened I don't know why but I always feel strange taking pictures when someone else is around. I really need to get over that.
The dreaded exam counter. Duke would rather I didn't talk about what happened here so I'll just end this now and come back tomorrow with a different subject.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One for Leeuna

The other day I was reading Leeuna's blog My Mind Wandered. She was writing about a comment she got regarding the use of the word lurker being used to describe people who read but don't comment. I suggest you read the post for yourself and don't stop at just this one because Leeuna writes some funny stuff. She ended with the following:
 Therefore I am issuing a challenge to all bloggers who read this and wish to help me stamp out the use of the word  ”lurkers”.  Write a post on your blog in which you use the term Silent Reader as opposed to the term lurker to describe those who read but don’t comment.

I'm all for making my silent readers feel more welcome. I don't think that I've ever used the term lurker before but I won't in the future.
So what's your opinion? Do you like the name silent reader better? What about those of you who aren't silent? Would like to be called something special too? I think contributor is a good name because when you comment that is exactly what you do, contribute to my blog. Silent or not, I appreciate you all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Any Volunteers?

It's a busy day at work and I was hoping for some volunteers to give me a hand. I made some new signs would you mind terribly putting them out for me. Could you put this one near the cakes.
and this one over by the rolls
Those pies are ready to come out of the oven. Would you mind grabbing those for me?
 We need to check the shelves and see if everything is full and all straightened out.
 Yep, looks pretty good to me. Next there's the island bar. If that needs anything we'll have to make a trip into the freezer. I do hope you brought a jacket with you.
I just see a couple empty spots, it won't take long to get that.
Well I want to thank you for all your help. You made my day so much easier. We should do this more often.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheer up Duke

On Saturday Duke and I were just hanging out with nothing much to do. So I said "Hey Duke, can I get your picture?"
He shook his head NO!
So I asked again. "Duke, please, let me take your picture"
 This time he shook his head even harder NO NO NO
"But Duke, why not? All of our readers want to see you. You haven't been posting as much lately. What's wrong little buddy?"
He climbed up on the couch, hung his little white head and through the sniffles I heard him say in a very sad voice "I look scruffy"

(all together now)
"Is that all that's bothering you?" I asked him. "I can't have my very best friend feeling down. How about we go for a nice ride in the car, that will cheer you up."
We took that ride and when we got back Duke was feeling like a new man.
Isn't he handsome? And he's even smiling now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Did you ever have one of those days where there was just...
 Or at least nothing that you want to do? Well maybe you don't but I have days like that all the time. On days like that my mind just sort of wanders. I start thinking about things. You know those lists people come up with about things that make you go hmmmm? Sometimes those are the things I think about. I got to wondering if it's true that...
Now some times my mind does a bit of a free association type thing. Naturally this led me to think about how some things may seem bigger than what they really are. Size led me to wonder if some of you might be curious about how big Duke is. Naturally I had to do a test so that none of my readers would ever have to wonder about their favorite canine. I went ahead and measured Duke for you.
I didn't take a picture but I also measured the span between my thumb and index finger. It's roughly six inches. So now you all know that Duke is approximately six inches in size. Hmm and I thought I didn't have anything to do today. Guess I was wrong.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Brenda Photo Challenge (4-24-10) Lighting

It's another Brenda photo challenge. This one I found to be a little difficult. The subject was lighting and this is what it said:
Alright! This is pretty well self explanatory! Just show how YOU would light your subject...Any subject!! Just show us Your way of doing it! the photo above, CAPTURE the lighting...Got it? Well, then, GO for it and just have FUN with it!
I was pretty stumped on what to do. First of all I'm a mere amateur photographer that barely knows her camera. I'm not saying that I can't take a decent picture now and then but lets face it, I'm no pro. I don't own any fancy lighting or any special lighting for that matter. So after establishing the fact that I have lighting envy I set out to get a picture that would fit.
Ok, I could give you a picture of an incandescent light bulb because that's how I would light my subject if I was taking a picture in the house at night. NAH, don't like that idea. I finally decided that my light source is mainly natural light. With that being said, here is my entry.
Now why not go check out the rest of the entries in the Brenda Photo Challenge

Friday, April 23, 2010

Yesterday I showed you how I made my textures. Today I'm going to show you a couple things I did using them. I wanted to combine several pictures to create something along the lines of a collage. I don't know if that's what these could be considered or not but I was happy with how they came out.
This was the dandelion picture I used yesterday with a picture of daffodils added and a third spring flower picture on top of that. It's basically the same procedure as in creating the texture. Here there was more erasing involved to get just the look I wanted. Of course it was topped off with the texture. This one is currently my desktop wallpaper. I'm really liking how it looks. I'm thinking this would also make a great greeting card.
After I did that one, I tried it with those pictures I showed you from Amanda. I figured the flowers and the butterflies together would look pretty cool.
 I loved the way this one looked too. Being me though I couldn't stop here. With this same picture I did one little thing that totally changed the look. All I did was hit cntrl + I on my keyboard and I got this.
 I can't decide which version I like better.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I always love the way the addition of textures adds to a picture. Ever since I discovered the technique I've been fascinated with it. There are plenty of web sites where you can find free textures, probably just as many who will sell you some or you can make them yourself. Since I'm all about free and do it yourself, making them is right up my alley. I suppose I could just whip up a download and give you some of the ones I've done but instead I'm going to tell you how I went about making my most recent one.

I started by choosing some pictures.
First I opened up the grass picture I showed you the other day.
Then I went to file>place and chose my second picture
I changed the blending mode on this to hard light and turned the opacity down to about 80%. Then again I went to file>place and chose a third picture
This time I changed the blending mode to hue and left the opacity at 100%. I normally just keep scrolling through the different blending modes until I find something that looks good to me. It's not always the same ones but my favorites seem to be either soft light, overlay and multiply. As you can see this time I didn't use any of those but this is what looked the best this time around. You can also use an eraser to erase parts of a picture that may seem a bit too distracting or don't seem to fit well with the look your going for.
The next step was to merge the layers together. Now I could have left it as is but I chose to do one more thing which was to lower the saturation.  You can do that by either hitting cntrl+U on your keyboard or by using a hue/saturation adjustment layer. After all this there was nothing left to do but to save the file.

So lets test it out now and see how it looks on a photo. 
 I opened up this picture then went to file > place and located the texture I had just made. With the new texture as the second layer I changed it's blending mode to soft light and now the above picture looks like this.

And there you have it. Of course you could lower the opacity on the texture layer to give it a more subtle look. It all just depends on what you like. So go ahead and pull out some of those pictures you have that you don't think are good for anything and start playing around with them. You just might be surprised at what amazing textures you can come up with.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Duke's advice

Duke has some advice that he thinks all dogs should be made aware of. He also thinks that cats can benefit from this as well.
Duke has priorities, especially when it comes to eating. He knows that a bowl full of yummy dog food is very good for him but he also knows that dads dish is full of things that are much tastier.
 That is why he always sits patiently waiting and watching to see what dad might have to offer.

Even though his bowl is sitting right there with food in it. He also knows who is more likely to slip him something good and that's who he watches the most. Either way though, Duke will not touch his food until all plates have been cleared from the table, just in case.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wrinkled Butt

Today I'm sharing an email that I got recently that I hope you enjoy
This is how the world works lately...

If a man cuts his finger off while
slicing salami at work, 

he blames the restaurant.

If you smoke three packs a day

For 40 years and die of lung cancer, 
your family blames the tobacco company.

If your neighbor crashes
 into a tree while driving home drunk,
blames the bartender.

If your grandchildren are
 brats without manners, you blame television.

If your friend is shot by a
 deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer. 

And if a crazed person breaks
 into the cockpit and tries to kill the pilot at 35,000 feet, and the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the crazed deceased blames the airline.

I must have lived too long to
 understand the world as it is anymore. 
So, if I die while my
OLD WRINKLED BUTT is parked in front of this computer, I want all of you to  sue Bill Gates. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

File folders aren't just for filing

We have a storage building where I work and occasionally I have to go over to get supplies. This building has tons of stuff in it and I would love to spend a day rooting around to see what I can find. One day when I was over there I saw a huge bin that was full of old files that had been shredded and a ton of used file folders. I immediately thought of a project I had seen a long time ago and wanted to try. I asked my boss if I could have some. He told me he didn't care but he wasn't digging them out for me. Hey, no problem, I was planning on going and getting them myself if he said yes anyway.
So here is what they turned in to.
Part of the folder is folded up creating a pocket for each of the inside sections. You can slide in a note pad, papers, pictures or whatever.
My battery went dead after I took the second picture and by the time it was recharged it wasn't too nice outside anymore so this last one was taken in really bad light in the house.

Between the containers, cardboard and now the folders that I've brought home I'm finding that my job is an excellent source of craft materials. And better yet, they're all free.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More cardboard crafts

I finished a couple more cardboard craft projects recently. The first one is along the same lines as the first one I did but this time I glued on a mat with photo corners so that I can change the picture if I want.
I spray painted the cardboard black then I glued on a strip of gray fabric and a strip of black glitter felt. I cut a doily in half and glued that to the bottom and added the yo-yo flower. Then I finished it off with a bow I made from a small scrap of the gray fabric. I really like the way this one turned out except for the photo corners. The picture fits but you can see part of the white mat I glued on underneath it.

This next one I tried something different. I took an old frame as a template and traced around the outside and then the center. I cut 2 pieces and glued them together for extra strength. Then I painted it, used some crackle medium and then another layer of paint.
 I finished it off with a coat of clear acrylic sealer the when it dried I added fabric leaves, a yo-yo flower and a little lady bug button. I loved how it actually ended up looking like wood. The cat in the picture by the way is Pringle. He's the one who taught Duke how to act like a cat.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Around the house

You wouldn't know it by looking outside today, but last week we had some beautiful weather. We actually had to mow the lawn for the first time. I suppose "we" could actually be considered incorrect though since "we" didn't mow, Wade did. I was out there though taking pictures of him doing it.
 There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh mown grass. It doesn't do much for the allergies though.
I also walked around the house and took a few pictures of flowers that I could find in amongst the weeds.
This is the forsythia on the side of my house.

 This I found sticking up out of my Japanese Iris. Every year I say I'm going to clean all this stuff up in the fall so it doesn't look so bad come spring but every year I forget about it. I would show you what the flower beds looked like but I'm afraid it would be too much of an embarrassment.

Hip Hip Hooray

Three cheers to Wade for bringing my computer back to life. Yes, that's right I'm back up and running on my pc again as of yesterday.
Last Saturday we went to Staples and bought a new hard drive. Wade put it in when we got home and went through the installation process only to find that it wouldn't recognize the disks that HP had sent.

My computer sat for a few more days with it's insides hanging out until we could get back to return the hard drive and try another one. Wednesday after work we made the exchange and he once again started the long process. By late that evening he had it all good to go.

Yesterday he hooked everything back up and most everything has been reinstalled now. I just have one more program to do. As much as I love my laptop, my pc has been with me longer and I missed it.
The only loss here was some email addresses that I had in my contacts and some websites that I had bookmarked.
Now the plans for the weekend are to do some crafting, work on getting ahead on my posts and maybe, just maybe I'll squeeze them cleaning in there somewhere.

This was supposed to post last night. I had it scheduled and I even double checked. This morning I see it is listed as a draft. GRRR 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

an offer I can't refuse

I got an email from Amanda the other day.

Ian and I went to the butterfly pavilion and insect center in denver on Saturday and I just thought i'd send you a few pictures showing you how wonderful my pictures turned out. You're not the only one thats obsessed with her camera ;)
Then I got a text message saying that I could use the pictures for my blog since I was feeling uninspired. So I decided to take her up on her offer. Here's the pictures she sent me.
 It could be my eyes but the pictures look a little on the blurry side here. The ones she sent me aren't though. Maybe I fuzzed them up when I shrunk them to post. Well either way thank you Amanda. And she's still the bestest daughter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gotta love meds

I mentioned before that I have scoliosis and therefor have frequent back aches. Over the years it's just something that I've gotten used to but the older I get the harder it is. Every morning, I get up, go to work and come home moaning and groaning for the rest of the night. Other people call their doctors and get great pain killers or excuses for light duty. Not me, I get the old "oh we just suggest taking ibuprofen for that". Well Yesterday on my lunch break I called because now the backache has turned into a back and hip ache. Was I ever shocked when they told me to come in. I wonder if it was because I used the words burning pain? Well she said that it was most likely a sciatica type thing and gave me actual drugs. Wooohoooo!!!!!!!!!!!!
The only reason I'm telling you any of this is because I may be blogging in a drug induced state and may appear loopier than usual.
So on with the post. Or maybe I'll just go take a pill and show you a picture I took the other day.
Over the weekend I was laying around  feeling very artistic and had out a sketch pad and pencil. Yes that does say "I hope you dance like a funky chicken" Believe it or not, I wasn't on drugs at the time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's about time

Yes, it's all about time. We either have too much time on our hands or not enough. In my case it's usually not enough. There are just too many things I want to spend my time doing and being an employed person really gets in the way. I think I need a vacation.
If you had more time to spend on the things you enjoy most, what would you be doing today?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rose colored glasses

I think I've spent enough time looking at the world through rose colored glasses to know that things aren't always as they appear.
My glasses have clear lenses but I probably should clean them off once in a while.
It may help me to see that I keep making a spectacle of myself.
Well at least I crack myself up playing with words and pictures. This is of course my lame attempt at a post for today but it's better than nothing. I'm feeling so uninspired lately.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hide and seek

Today Duke wants to play a game with you. First he says you have to close your eyes and count to ten while he goes and hides.
Ready or not Duke, here they come.

hee hee, they'll never find me here.
uh oh, I think they spotted me, but if I lean way over maybe they won't see me.
Ok, do you give up, here I am.

This is the forsythia bush on the side of my house. Duke has dug into the side of it and made a nice little hole underneath and he loves to go in there and hide. I guess it's just a cool spot to sit and watch over things. It makes a much better hiding spot when it's covered with leaves though.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Brenda Photo Challenge (4-10-10) Black and White

I had every intentions of being very prepared for this challenge. I wrote the date down and had it sitting right on my desk so I wouldn't forget. That would have worked IF I was actually sitting at my desk. Lucky for me I was reading Donna's blog this morning and saw her entry.
So here are my entries
a white church in black and white
a white Easter lilly in black and white
 And a little white Westie in living color. A black and white photo challenge would not be complete without Duke.
Go to the challenge blog to see who else is participating.
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