Monday, October 31, 2011

Texture Tuesday, 'and then some'

Well, I missed last Texture Tuesday because my computer gave out on me. It was getting old and didn't have enough power to handle all that I expected it to. So now I am enjoying my new computer's speed and predictability. Yay! And double Yay! because Staples was able to retrieve everything off my old computer that i needed, mainly photos :)

I am ready to forge ahead with this week's Texture Tuesday
'and then some' eDition. All that's required in this week's challenge is to use the texture 'and then some' on one of our photos.

This weekend I paid a visit to one of my favorite places to photograph, Mountain View Cemetery. I wanted to see if the trees were showing more autumn colors, as it is one of the few places I can go to find leaves that change in autumn. I was sidetracked by some urns of flowers hanging on the wall of the tombs. I thought perhaps they would be good candidates for some texture.

Eventually I plan to open a tab devoted to Mountain View Cemetery. I have been photographing the place for 7 years, and I never get tired of it. It is really quite beautiful. The architect that designed the cemetery also designed Central Park in New York. It has amazing views of the bay and San Francisco, and many of the founders of the area are buried there.

I did get one photo of the autumn leaves I was happy with, but they have barely started to change. If I remember correctly, they will continue to change throughout winter, and sometimes they are still around in the spring.

All three photos were textured with Kim Klassen's 'and then some' along with:
1st photo: Yesteryear and Portrait
2nd photo: Portrait and Serendipity
3rd photo: The ladder and Serendipity

O.K. that is all for this week. Happy Texture Tuesday!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

No Tricks, Just A Treat

This is one of my foggy Mt Diablo photos with a Nelly Nero action, Milk. If you look in the upper left corner, you will notice the branches form a cat-eyed mask, so I thought it would go well with the Halloween theme.

Now for the Treat : ) Here is a fun recipe I want to share for Halloween. For those of you that are looking for a healthy alternative to the sticky-sweet caramel popcorn that is associated with autumn, I have a salty-sweet recipe for kettle corn. You can make this kettle corn on your kitchen stove, you don't need a big copper cauldron like the ones they use at the carnivals. If you know how to make regular popcorn on your kitchen stove, you already know how to make it, I just need to give you the ingredients and a few tips. If you've never made popcorn on your kitchen stove, only in the microwave, well you won't believe how easy it is! Now lets get down to business.

you just need 4 ingredients and a 2 qt sauce pan with a properly fitted lid

2 tsp of canola oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
1/2 tsp of fine sea salt (or table salt if it is all you have)
1 Tbl of white sugar (it can be heaping a little bit)
1/2 cup of popcorn

Put the 2 tsp of canola oil in the 2 qt sauce pan, along with 2 kernels of corn. Place the sauce pan over a medium-low flame or burner. Occasionally shake the pan while allowing the saucepan to heat up, until the 2 kernels of corn pop. Now add the 1/2 cup of popcorn. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the popcorn and swirl around to mix (see photo)

Put the lid on the pan and continuously shake back-and-forth until popcorn is finished popping. You will know it is finished popping when the popping stops or the lid rises (see photo).

The popcorn will feel a little sticky, but go ahead and pour the popcorn into an over-sized bowl and sprinkle it with the salt. Now gently toss the popcorn in the bowl, kinda like the chefs do pancakes. The tossing motion will distribute the salt and dry the stickiness of the popcorn. Do not skip the salt as the popcorn will have a very, very bland flavor (I know because I tried it :) If all goes well, you should have a crunchy, salty-sweet treat!

This is the first time I've posted a recipe, so if you have any problems with the directions, don't hesitate to let me know and I will get back asap with a solution. I am a "bit of this & a bit of that" type of cook, therefore I had to force myself to measure out the ingredients so I could post the recipe. It took a couple of tries to get it just right. I originally found this recipe in a magazine, I don't remember which one though, and I have changed it to accomodate my taste. I've tried adding more sugar and using a bigger pan, but I didn't get very good results. The popcorn was a bit soggy and the popped kernels were rather small. You could probably add a tad more sugar and get away with it, but I wouldn't add too much more. Oh, and for those of you watching your salt intake, all of the salt doesn't stick to the popcorn, you will find at least 1/4 in the bottom of the bowl when you are finished.

Happy Halloween to all you wonderful bloggers! I hope you try this recipe. If you play around with it and come up with some new ideas, please let me know so I can try them too. Happy Eating!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Texture Tuesday & Red

Well I have been working hard to come up with a picture for the Texture Tuesday theme, Red. It wasn't so hard finding something red, but it was hard finding something that was worthy of a Kim Klassen texture. I finally came up with one that would take a texture. It took a couple of days of playing around to get something I was satisfied with, and here it is, the shelf above my kitchen stove.

mouse over to to view before

click on this version to view larger : )

I used two of Kim's textures, Trust and Word. I dimmed the color with a gradient map adjustment to give it more of a subdued feel. The paint on my kitchen walls is a sunny yellow color, and I wasn't liking the way the textures looked on it. I like the look of these textures as they give a bit of a vintage look to the photo.

Here are some other "reds" that I was working on. They are abstract photos of autumn leaves. I was playing around with my 100mm lens to see how abstract I could get the photos. I still have some work to do to get more of what I wanted to accomplish. Here are a few of the ones that I kept.

On these photos I used Kim's Portrait texture. All I did was use the Multiply blend mode at around 50%.

Well that is all I have for the Red eDition...Happy Texture Tuesday everyone!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Gratitude & Texture Tuesday

Well this is another hard one! There are so many things to be grateful for, that it took some time to figure out what I would post about. Really, I can't just settle on one, so I will post about a few things I am grateful for right now.

While deciding on the picture theme for Texture Tuesday, I was looking through my unedited photos and realized just how grateful I am to live just ten minutes down the road from a grove of coastal redwoods. When I need my fix of nature, I wander through them. Here is a tree I pass on my way to the redwoods.

Whenever I pass this tree on a foggy morning, I have to stop and get some pictures of it. I used some of Kim's textures on it, Yesteryear, Serendipity, and The Ladder.

I tried some textures on the following photos, but they didn't take very well. I'm still new to textures, so it may be a while before I can get the results I want from them. Anyway, I love a foggy morning in the redwoods. I think these pictures tell the story why.

This is a picture of a redwood fairy ring. When a redwood tree dies or is cut down, the root system remains and starts sprouting trees that are genetically identical to the mother tree. The new growth grows in a ring. When the new growth is still young, it sprouts up like a gigantic wreath, with a bare middle. It is said that fairies come out in the moonlight to dance in them : )

Well, there is more I am thankful for. Mostly for coming across Kim Klassen's Cafe Blog while looking for a tutorial to make textures. I was so taken by her blog that I signed up for her free Skinny Mini eCourse. I didn't stop there, I had to take the Essentials course to learn more. Finally, it is through this discovery that I started my blog, and am able to be among a group of talented artistic women that I admire and enjoy sharing the love of photography. I just want to say thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who take the time to share their interests and talents. I truly enjoy your blogs and am grateful to be a part of the blogging community.