No Place Like Home


I spent a little time in my backyard this morning. And am hoping to go chase the giant sunflowers before too long!


Ruby slippers



I am in the process of equipping our 5th-wheel with everything we need, to make our getaways quick and easy.  So I went to Target, browsed for more than an hour, and felt frustrated at the high prices/cheap quality that I find these days.  I picked up a few small things, then headed to “GW Designs” (aka the Goodwill shop).  There, I found some of the exact same items in fine condition, but for under a dollar.  And other items, but of higher quality, for less than I could have purchased new.  Also, some real treasures, including a cream pitcher and bowl from England and two Wedgwood bowls.  So, pretty happy about that!

Adams & Sons creamer and dish.  I am drawn to all things blue and white!

Adams & Sons creamer and dish. I am drawn to all things blue and white!

I’ve also thought that I need to get some red shoes (Keds?) to remind me: There’s No Place Like Home.  I am always plotting photo adventures, driving miles away for “that perfect shot.”  Today, I made myself stay home, explore my own backyard, shoot the little things around my house.  The orchids at the top of this post were given to us by a friend, several years ago.  Despite neglect, they keep coming back.  I love their faces!

Wishing you a lovely day, and a warm feeling of Home.

Photoshop help

on the Missouri Gulch trail

on the Missouri Gulch trail

After a long absence, I’m popping back in, mainly as a “note to self.”  I want to capture the recipe given me by Charlie Lehman to help deal with some hot spots in my original shot.  

These are his instructions:  Here is a way using a luminosity mask. Open your RAW converter, whatever, ACR, LR, Nikon Capture NX2, etc. Lower your exposure compensation so that you have detail in the highlight areas of that image and save it as file D (dark), a 16 bit TIF file. Now, raise your exposure compensation so that you have detail in your shadows and save it as file L (Yep, Light), 16 bit TIF.

Open both D and L in Photoshop. go to file D and do a Control A (select all), Control C (copy the selection), and Control W (close that file). Now you are in file L, do a Control V (paste). It will paste the D file over the L file in a new layer. Press the Mask Icon at the bottom of the Layer window. 

Now, click your mouse in the bottom Background layer. Do a Control A and a Control C. You won’t see any thing happening but trust me, you are selecting and copying the bottom layer. Hold down your Alt Key and click in the Mask in the top layer. The mask turn white. Do a Control V (paste the bottom layer in the mask) and you will have a B&W image. Open the Gaussian Blur, set it to 40 Pixels and hit OK. Looks weird, right, all B&W and fuzzy? Just click your mouse in the Background Layer and, Voila, magic. You can flatten the images at this point and make it a 8 bit file too if you wish.  Now, the image won’t be pretty, you still have work, but you should have detail in the highlights and in the shadows. An image to work with.

I applied the instructions to the image above, then I added a layer of the original image with a layer mask set to “hide all.”  I brushed back in the lights on the water.  Much more work could be done, but I’m happy with the progress I was able to make.  And if this helps someone out there in the interwebs, thats great, too!

March 13, 2013



Yesterday’s hike brought us to this little grove where the trees are still holding tight to their crispy orange leaves.  I love the way their trunks bend this way and that.

Its the last day to save 30% at Kohls, but I’ve run out of time, so I’ll have to save 100% I guess.  My snorkel came today (!) and I decided to pick up an inexpensive Speedo one-piece at Costco since I don’t know if my ruffle-y tankini will be suitable for snorkeling.  I’m about ready to get out my suitcase and pre-pack.  Can’t wait!  Also, waxing done today.  E-yowch, but I do love the results.

And, I just read that my friend won one of Kim Klassen’s giveaway’s, which includes a class.  I’m so happy for her!

March 12, 2013 – Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen

If you’ve stopped by via Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday, Welcome!

I just reviewed the guidelines for today’s link party –

Tuesday, March 12th’s theme is Anything Goes

What does this mean?

Share a recent favourite photo…iPhone, textured, not textured….

That’s it…that’s all

Wait a minute, Mr Postman!

Wait a minute, Mr Postman!

I’m glad I waited to re-read the parameters, because I originally thought we were to share an old favorite, treated with any of Kim’s textures, and that sent me on a stroll down memory lane.

This is still one of my favorites, especially now that my sweet granddaughter is turning 8 this month.  It’s true what they say, that time goes by too fast:

She has an adventurous spirit

She has an adventurous spirit

I think it’s kind of interesting that, where Kim is Sweetness and Light, I’ve often used her textures to create more of a twilight mood (and I use the word “twilight” in the classic sense — I’ve never read the books):



I guess that is a large part of the community that Kim is creating: encouraging each of us in our individual styles and providing a forum to share ideas.  Thank you for stopping by ~ have a lovely and inspired day!



March 10, 2013


A lotta texture, plus a selection of fake birds

Just when I should be working on my Lightroom class, I learned of and bought DistressedFX for my iPhone.  Hmm, hmm, hmm.

Here’s a quick look at today’s hike:


Icy morning stream. Time to break out the boots and the tripod!


Does Rio look happy to be out in the snow? Yes. Yes, he does.

March 9, 2013

It’s a windy, chilly day with a few snowflakes in the mix, too.  And that’s the way Rio likes it.



I’ve been lazy today.  After our little walk I came home and crashed in front of my screen.  I did find a fun texture from SkeletalMess ( which I applied on this shot from my recent trip to Cali:

ccmailbox2   I found this mailbox at the Crystal Cove historical district.  Love the ivy and also the inviting open box.

And I’ll tell ya, I”m ready for some more warm weather!  I really do like the snow when it piles up soft and fluffy.  When the skies clear the next day and there is snow on the peak, the rocks, the trees.  But not such a big fan of biting wind . . .