Nature Therapy

The mountains are calling and I must go. – John Muir

This one actually IS a photograph that I took, back when I lived in Colorado. I read a tutorial this weekend about various ways you can make a photo look more like a vivid painting, and I remembered this image that’s been sitting in my folder waiting for something fun. The original was pretty bland. Too gray. So… I thought I would give it a try.

The area where I shot this is beautiful though! This is a peek at the Arkansas River, running through a small town called Buena Vista. It was about 35 miles south of where we lived. I loved going there because it was at a lower elevation, so you could escape the cold and snow for a day, and have lunch on an outdoor patio.

I also forgot to mention something about my last post. I had to chuckle when I saw the colors I chose, because they reminded me of the old Pee Chee folders. I think I have back to school on the brain. I’ve actually been pretty anxious about it. Not stressed or scared, just more ready than ever… and the days seem to be moving as slow as molasses.

Anyway, I wanted to share the River photograph. I think it’s kind of soothing, so I am sending out peaceful vibes and tranquility.

I found that quote by John Muir and started thinking… YES, YES… I do believe it’s time for a short getaway to the mountains. I miss my travels! 😉

That’s about all for now. Have a beautiful evening! (or morning, or afternoon) ♥♥♥

Dream BIG

First of all… I will start by sharing the humorous part of my experimentation today.

I showed my mom this piece that I created and she asked me “What’s that supposed to represent?”

Ha! “Well… ummm… it represents what I learned how to do today on Illustrator!

Too funny.

I am over the top excited about everything. A week from tomorrow my writing class starts, and I actually hit the full speed ahead button (just a tad) and registered for one summer (online) class with the college. I am SO grateful that I now have this opportunity to go back to school… and do things right this time. It’s like beyond amazing.

Anyway, I just wanted to share today’s work. All of it was created on Illustrator.

I made the silhouette of my grandson, and then practiced what I learned about the blend tool, mesh tool, and curved lines. I like the dizzying lines. 😉

That’s about all for now. Have a beautiful evening, morning or afternoon.

Life is good, and God is GREAT!

A Moment in Time

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis

Last night I viewed my previous image via my cellphone, and I felt a little knot in my stomach. It barely resembled the piece that I had looked at on my computer.

I can’t be certain, but I’m thinking that creating images that reflect our mood for the moment might be a bit risky. 😉

Anyway, I wanted to counteract that crazy color scheme this morning… with something simple, calm and serene. A dreamy view of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Pier.

Also… about the going back to school…

I don’t want to get ahead of myself (yet again), but I can tell you that when I decided that it was something I wanted to do, I had NO question about it. It was like one of those Aha moments, when you just KNOW that it’s the right place, and the right time.

Truth be told, I have a little vision in my head that is sticking with me… and I need to learn a few skills that will help me to help others. Doesn’t everyone want to make the world a better place? So… learning a little more about writing, and graphic design for print, fits perfectly into the mix and will help me bring my plans to fruition.

That’s about all for now. Have a beautiful, blessed day!! Love you all!!

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. -Edward de Bono

Pier Madness

Some people wait so long for their ship to come in, their pier collapses. -John Goddard-

I am checking another item off of the 55 things list; took a photo underneath a pier. In all honesty, it may very well be the first time that I even stood under a pier! That I can remember, anyway. We did lots of family outings at this beach when I was a kid, so it’s pretty hard to say.

What’s funny is that I took quite a few shots, but the lighting is terrible under there! This was the best I could find, but the only thing that was a little “off” about it was that it captured my friend taking her photo, too! I thought about cropping it, but it just didn’t seem right. Plus her being there is what makes it so special! A special memory indeed! So… this image is very personal to me. 🙂

Good times and crazy friends make the best memories.

There were too many straight lines for my taste, so I did a little distortion and made the colors more vibrant. I actually like this one very much.

Anyway, I’m going to slow down on the edits now. Do you know that I was looking at my numbers and in January I did 98 posts! That’s an average of 3.16 a day! No wonder I was feeling like I was in high gear!

Off to my recovery class now.

Peace and Love!!

Photography Fun

You don’t take a photograph. You make it. Ansel Adams

I’ve been going through some of the images I shot Saturday, trying to see how to make them look artsy, or more unique. I’m still teaching myself how to use Photoshop and Lightroom, so it’s always fun to see what you can do in the programs.

I shot this city image when we were around the halfway point—when we stopped to take photos of the view and some slightly close up shots of the sign. The gentleman in the photo was in our group and stepped into my shot just as I clicked the button.

I took more, but I actually thought his invasion made the image even cooler! I like the fact that he looks a bit like a giant. I added some motion blur to him so that it looks like he is moving a little faster than he really was.

The hazy sky in L.A. tends to distort any photos I take of skylines or distant landscapes. I’m sure it’s just me, but I just love underdogs, so I always try to bring my worst images to life—regardless of how bad they look.

It’s funny that I was so excited to take photographs of the Hollywood sign. Once I got home and started going through them, they really aren’t that exciting! It’s just a mountain and a sign! So… I added some dramatic color and a rainbow- just for the heck of it. Just above the “L” you can see some tiny people. That’s about where I was when I took the images of the backside.

Anyway, I think I’ve already had my fill of the hiking images.

Life is good, and God is GREAT!

Photography is a love affair with life. Burk Uzzle

Backstage Pass

Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star, And everybody’s in movies, it doesn’t matter who you are. The Kinks, Celluloid Heroes

I’m sharing the end of yesterday’s day trip first, since it’s something I’m pretty darn proud of. I actually made it to the TOP of the mountain, so not only did I view the Hollywood sign (in person) for the very first time, but I hiked up to see if from the backside.

This is quite an accomplishment for me because… well… I am NOT a hiker! Ha! And I was the very last one in the group to make it up, but I kept going even though my legs kept saying “NO!”

Today I am definitely feeling the pain, but it was well worth it. My dear friend who lives near Portland is responsible for getting me off of my duff, and out into the places where those fit people” go.

And it was exhilarating! I do believe I will be doing more things like this. I’ve been a bit of a hermit since I broke both of my ankles two years ago (not to mention the excessive drinking I was doing, as well), so it’s about time that I use my legs more and get healthy again. It felt SO great to get out!

Anyway… just wanted to share this image from behind the sign. The gentleman sitting up top was our guide (a man from Australia, no less), and you can see Lake Hollywood in the image, as well.

Needless to say I’ve now checked off hiked to the Hollywood sign on my list of 55 things to do, that I’ve never done before.

Blessings!!

The greatest oak
was once a little nut
that held its ground.

Sweet Serenade

Life is just one grand sweet song, so start the music. Ronald Reagan

Yesterday was an absolutely wonderful day! I took this photograph from the Santa Monica Pier. Sometimes something (or someone) just captures your attention, and this was one of those moments. I saw this musician from the boardwalk and took a long distance shot.

A Little Moonshine

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. Maya Angelou

I used another cloud image taken the other day, and the moon I’ve used here was a shot taken in April—when we had the full pink moon.

On another note, I’m reading a book called Writing to Change the World, by Mary Pipher. It’s a pretty good read so far, and I’m hoping to use some of her suggestions on the blog in the future. Change is good!

A Lavender Glow

We are one leaf on the great human tree. Pablo Neruda

I’ve given a fresh look to an old image, just for the fun of it. I love the dreamy glow in the leaves.

I really don’t have much to share today. Everything is wonderful and there are lots of things in the works… but I am learning to wait until it’s time before I talk about things.

There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. Vincent van Gogh

Saturday a dear friend who lives out of state is flying in, and she and I will be hitting the beach, and doing some hiking (I can already feel my calves getting sore!). So… if all goes as planned I will have some exciting new photographs to share.

That’s about all for now.

Life is good and God is great!!

Love, Fear & Courage

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. -John Lennon 


Well… it seems that my study of the word trust kind of fizzled out. I knew a whole year on one word was not my cup of tea! 😉

Regardless, even a week (or a month) spent on studying a word is something I would recommend. It seems to work better as an evolving process for me. I move from one word to the next, as I learn and discover things.

Lately love, fear and courage are words that keep coming up.

I’m learning so much about self-love, which these days I would have to call acceptance. It’s not about my past, or about what anyone else thinks of me. And it’s not about what I have accomplished (or failed at); where I live, what I do for work, or even what I drive… it’s about being the best ME that I can be. And it’s about building character.

I read something about walking with God. It said that God cares more about how we handle our journey than about where we end up. Makes complete sense! And it helped me stop the worrying about where I’ll be in the future.

It really IS amazing how love and acceptance for yourself; for where you are at this very moment, changes your outlook on life… and your perceptions of others, too. The more I accept myself (just as I am), the kinder and more patient I seem to be.

Imagine that. 😉


The other thing- that I’ve probably heard (or read) a thousand times, but somehow never let sink in- was about fear and courage. That it’s not about the absence of fear, but the courage to go on in spite of your fears”. I don’t know why but when I heard that the other day it finally clicked. It helped me truly accept the fact that YES I still fear things… but that’s OK… because I have courage now.


Anyway, I thought this was a good topic to go with my image. Opposing forces. A Yin and Yang kind of thing.

I got a load of new books from the library today and I can’t get myself to sit and read even one of them right now. I needed some art time. My meditation.

It’s so nice to simply clear my head… create… and just BE.

That’s about all for now. Happy Saturday…  and Peace and Love to you all!

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. -Mark Twain

A Bright Burst

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado

My journey sure is getting interesting! Every day I learn a little something about myself, about my habits, and about the power of thoughtsContinue reading A Bright Burst

A Supernatural Glow

This is a bizarre piece. Doo do do do… (the theme from Twilight Zone- slightly off key)

Another shot of the neighborhood squirrel hanging out in the loquat tree. I layered it with a piece of metal and got attached to the bluish glow he is now nestled in.

I guess I’m going for the alien looking animal images this week!

Anyway… I didn’t get the job today. Long story, but I opened up too much about myself (and my personal life). I guess I’m too used to telling it like it is these days!! 😉 Like I told Gil, I think I lack a filter sometimes. That’s alright. It wasn’t the perfect job for me after all. I’m grateful that I was able to go through that interview process… because I can use the practice (obviously!).

And as long as I am putting forth my best effort I don’t have a cloud of guilt hanging over my head reminding me that I’m not even trying. Because I am. So… we will see what the next interview brings.

In the meantime, I’ll get back into the swing of doing my images (yay!!). And I am still looking forward to the writing class next month!! To be honest… that is so exciting that nothing can really bring me down, anyway!

Peace and Love xoxo

Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life. John Wooden