Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photoshop Elements...the New Frontier...for Me

As I sit inside watching the snow fall I have been teaching myself how to work with my Photoshop Elements to help get my photos pop off the page. I was a lost cause at first, I don't like to read directions, especially when it is a novel full of words that don't make sense. "AHHHHHH...," CB screams as she goes running from the room pulling her hair out.

My main source of help have been my friends in the company's graphics department. They have been patient when my confused face makes an appearance at their door, and wonderful at answering my questions so that I even understand what to do. They understood my frustration. Their tips got my feet wet, from there I dove into the kiddie pool playing with PSE. At first I had some minor success and I was getting more comfortable with the program. Soon I felt confident, maybe falsely, to stride forward and discover more ways to play with my photos.

Straight out of the Camera

One of the blogs I read, The Pioneer Woman, has photography and Photoshop tutorials, which helped me understand further how I had to develop layers and how each layer became a compsite of the whole. Then I found a blog, CoffeeShop Photography, with more tutorials and free downloadable actions for PSE. Their actions are awesome!

Color Enhancement following PW tutorials

I still have a ways to go. I am enjoying sharing my photos with friends and family. My little point and shoot is doing a wonderful job.

CoffeeShop's Classic BW & Bittersweet Vintage

I can't wait to learn some more.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It is Warm under the House

It’s Wednesday and everyone was up and at’em this morning with very little coaxing. Actually, they were just waiting for me; I think was the one hold out. It snowed last night, again, but we only got a dusting…and it is still snowing. I must say I am enjoying this winter. Snow all the time, my childhood dreams come true.

I went out of town last weekend and a friend stayed at my house with the animals. George decided she wanted to go out with the other cats, which is weird in itself, because she doesn’t like the cold or the snow, so she hibernates most of the winter. Well, she went out and decided she didn’t like…surprise, surprise… the cold and the snow so she went under the house with Jackson and Alec. One problem…to get out she would have to jump up about three feet. George isn’t able to jump very high, she normally uses her claws to climb up the bed, couch or my lap. She wasn’t able to get out and I wasn’t able to get under the house upon my return from out of town.

I set up a ramp for her to climb out with a bowl of tuna at the top to entice her to climb. No luck…she was warm and she didn’t want to get out in the cold and snow again.

She stayed under the house for a couple of days, while I was trying to bribe friends to lend me there small children to send through the small opening to retrieve my wayward cat.

Last night, as I was trying to call George out one more time before I went to bed my flashlight swept over what appeared to be another opening. Then I recalled there was a semi door to the crawl space. Normally it is hidden from view and I never have used it, I had forgotten all about it. I went over to the door, knocked it around a bit…it was frozen due to all of our snow…and was able to open the hatch. I ended up laying on my stomach with half of my body under the house and half of me in the opening and my legs sticking up in the air calling for George who wanted nothing to do with me. All the coaxing in the world would not make her budge. That all changed once I realized that shining the flashlight straight at her was blinding her. Smart Courtney!

George came out, a little hungrier and a lot dirtier, but no worse for the wear. Me, on the other hand, was covered in snow and lots of mud, and something in my hair that I don’t want to think too much about or I will get the hibbie jebbies.

Once I got George in the house she immediately chased the dogs and took over her regular spot. Even though she hasn’t voiced her appreciation, I know she is happy that I crawled down there for her. The things we do for our animals.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Waiting for Snow...

Tonight the weathermen have predicted another few inches of snow here in Central Kentucky. And....don't tell anyone but I am looking forward to it's arrival. The chance to build snowmen, make snow angels, have snow ball fights, and best of all, getting all cozy on the couch with a good book and not feeling any guilt. I could choose a new book or reread one of my favorites, Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. So many choices!!!

Kody is really looking forward to the change in the weather, but for other reasons. Being built for the cold climates he eagerly awaits any freezing weather, he especially loves snow. Christmas Eve this year we were visiting my parents near Oklahoma City when what we affectionately call the Blizzard of '09 hit. The wind was blowing hard and snow was falling fast. I was inside enjoying a toasty house. Kody was outside sniffing the air and refusing to come in.

He was in hog heaven!

Snow! What could be better than snow!?!

I can think of a lot of things, but during the winter I agree with Kody's sentiments.

Let the snow begin.