Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Photographs and Memories

Tonight I've been laying around with layers and textures in PSE. I really want to learn more about using masks but it is proving to be  difficult for me. I remember I had a tough time grasping the concept even when I was in school and taking a Photoshop class.
These are tangled leaves skewered on a stick that I saw on my last walk on my trail in the woods. Black and white with a little bit of light on them, possibly proving there is always at least a tiny bit of light available.
And the vine is entangling one leg of the tree, not yet choking it though, possibly proving there is always something to be grateful for.

My art room has been under siege for months now. First we moved a dresser out from there up to the country. That meant I had things emptied out all over the bed. Then my youngest had a couple of friends who stayed several nights in there. That meant my things got emptied out all over the desk and the floor and whatever smooth surface there was available. I got back in there and started trying to organize things a bit. I found a venomous "love letter" note. It is based on a template I got from a substance abuse counselor, basically you work through several emotions and it tends to end up positively. At first I didn't know to whom the note was addressed but I finally figured it out. I hadn't put a date on it, either. I finally figured out who I was writing to but I still don't have a clue as to when I wrote it!

Then I found scraps of paper with half-written poem ideas on them. One was a haiku that went like this:

Waves roll, wash footprints
away. Memories remain,
sparkle like sea glass. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weekend Reading

I am a tiny bit hooked on perusing Amazon for free books for my Kindle. It's a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack and requires some patience (and it makes for an eclectic reading list). Recently I snagged a copy of The Woman's Book of Resilience: 12 Qualities to Cultivate by Beth Miller. It is a very interesting book!

When I finished reading it I realized I had no clue what the 12 qualities to cultivate actually were! I found the qualities listed underneath the chapter titles in the table of contents. I felt a little obtuse for not having noticed them sooner, and for not having absorbed them while I was reading the book!

Here, from Beth Miller, is the list of qualities:
  1. I will admit and embrace my vulnerabilities.
  2. I will practice and increase my ability to connect.
  3. I will find parts of the problem that I can manage.
  4. I will discover and get my needs met.
  5. I will recognize and develop my own special gifts and talents.
  6. I will develop my ability to say no.
  7. I will increase my ability to transform resentment and forgive.
  8. I will develop and use my sense of humor to help me through stressful situations.
  9. I will explore the range of responses and possibilities to improve things.
  10. I will endure suffering.
  11. I will find meaning in the crisis.
  12. I will stand alone, independent in thought and action, but I will not be afraid or reluctant to rely on others.
I think I've done relatively well at developing many of these qualities. I think there are a few of the qualities I need to work on. I am now re-reading through the parts of the book I had highlighted.
"I often wonder what our world would be life if each one of us committed ourselves to the inner shadow work, the work of looking for, admitting, and consciously integrating the darker aspects we all carry." ~Beth Miller, The Woman's Book of Resilience.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Unfinished Story

I read this in a free book I downloaded to my Kindle, "Crones Don't Whine." I'd recently been joking about being on my way to cronehood and I'd also recently accused myself of whining, so the book seemed meant for me at this time. It was free when I got it, but I see it is now $9.99. Score! For me, at least! Anyway, the book is very good (though I don't  know if I'd pay $9.99 for it).

I've been discouraged and in a bit of a funk lately, and needed the reminder that the curtain has not yet closed on my story.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Playing Around

I have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off this week for Mardi Gras. We had a freeze last night and it has been raining most of the day so I will not be partaking in the festivities this year. I have been staying inside like a hermit. I've also been staying up late and sleeping in a little in the mornings. I installed the latest version of Photoshop Elements and have been fiddling around some with that. Here are a few things I've worked on.

 The ice was quickly melting when I finally realized how much there was! I went out and took a few photos with my good camera. Nothing too spectacular but still, fun.
 This is an old one I'd take at a plantation garden in New Iberia. I've added a texture layer and played around with the impressionist brush a bit.
And this one is a donkey I'd seen at the Christmas tree farm. I removed the fence bars in front of his face and did some expressionist painting on him then I added the photo to a larger canvas and put the text below.

Monday, March 03, 2014


Something I wish I'd learned at an earlier age:

In case you can't read it clearly:
Every path has a cost--there are no free rides (the toll booth is in there somewhere, and often it is beyond the point at which you could have turned back, though many people will glibly say "It's never too late." On the other hand, there are always other forks in the path and so, often the most practical thing to do is to just keep moving.")

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Stumbling Around (in a good way)

On the heels of my regular weekend, I am going into three days off due to the madness that is Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana. I don't know whether or not I will brave the crowd to get pictures. I am looking forward to my three days at home.

This weekend in the country I noticed my narcissus is blooming. 

On the way into town Saturday morning, we spied this Icee Bear sign out in the woods. I have no idea what it is doing out there.
On the way home, my mom and I stopped to get a photo of this phenomenon. We would have gotten closer but it was too muddy for our shoes!
We also stopped at a very old cemetery that had this creek running behind it. There was a bit of a dam in the water and the water was singing as it flowed. There was also a very nice "sitting rock" where you could look down into the creek and sit a spell. But since I was with my mom, I did not take the time to sit and meditate upon life's wonders!
We were returning from a quilt show. The upper left corner of this collage is one of the quilts I liked best in the show. There were lots of prettier ones but this one just caught my eye. All the other photos are where I played with the original photo with several of my phone apps.
It's been a while since I've taken time to get out and wander around to see wonderful things I could stumble upon. I'm glad I got to do it this weekend.