Wednesday, May 10, 2017

From my garden...

"Happiness held is the seed;
Happiness shared is the flower. -John Harrigan

Here's what's blooming in my garden.  This iris was transplanted from our Roswell home.  We bought it at the Iris farm in the Hondo Valley and had it planted in our backyard in Roswell.  The last time I was there, I dug up some of my favorite irises and shipped them to our new home in NC.  I was happy to see they over-wintered nicely.

Texture from Kerstin Franks

This variety of iris was given to me by a local friend.

"Spring came suddenly, the rain stopped, the days grew noticeably longer, and the afternoon light felt powdery, as if it might blow away."-Jane Mendelsohn

I am still trying to get used to the weather around here.  About the middle of March, we had several warm days in a row.  I thought, winter must be past, so I put away all my winter clothes.  Wouldn't you know that right after I did that, we had many days of very cool weather coupled with days and days of rain.  I asked a local resident if all springs were like this.  He said it's called blackberry winter.  After the blackberry plants set their blooms, it warms up.  Warmer temperatures are on their way...the blackberry bushes have bloomed...

I took this ordinary photo of a blackberry bush...
Blackberry bush...

and worked some digital magic into it... the words at the bottom left say, "each dawn is a new beginning."

See the girl in the right upper corner of the photo.

Hugs to all.  Be blessed.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Grandson magic...

"The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It is another rainy day which lends to creativity, and catching up on photo editing.  And making crazy composite images.   Here are my two photos I used to make my composite.

Here's my composite...

I hope the sun is shining tomorrow.

This and That...

"There is no abstract art.  You must always start with something.  Afterward, you can remove all traces of reality." -Pablo Picasso

Our camera club went on field trip to do night time photography.  It was not the most successful of our outings.  It was bitter cold, cars kept driving by... ruining our total darkness, and there was not a lot of interesting objects to photograph.  But it was fun getting together with others in a like minded endeavor.  Here are some of the results.

The view before the sunset...

Two of my girlfriends who went along with me...

one of our props...

Night sky...

The big tree was light painted.  There was a lot of light pollution from the town.

I had one photo that was almost completely blown out, but I liked the effect of the trees.  I decided to keep it to see what I could do with it.
Here's my before photo.  I liked the ghostly effect of the trees.

Here's what I did with it.

I added textures, an old map, I extracted the tent from my photo and added it, and then I used a Kim Klassen brush to add the dream words.  Loved the end result.

One of my friends asked me to design a composite using an iPhone photo  of them sitting on her mother's windowsill.  She had this vision of Christ pouring faith, trust, hope, and joy into each cup, and each one of these pouring out of us.

Her cups on the windowsill

Her vision

I removed the birdhouse, pole, and thermometer from the background of the cups.  Then I added what I thought was Christ pouring into the cups.  She had an acrostic for each of the words: hope, trust, faith, and love.  I added those to the composite as well.  Here's my design of her vision.

My result

The last bit of images is of a Wisteria bush...tree?  It was least 30 feet high.  It was mingled in among the branches of a tree.  I took one of the flowers, and made my own image.

That's about it for my images for now.  Be blessed.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Twins down by the River...

"My dream is to be on my boat...or an island...that's my dream! -Cameron Mackintosh

I took the boys to the Mills River park where they discovered a nice place to play at the water's edge. We discovered it quite by accident.  There's a nice paved area around the whole park that is about 1.5 miles in total.  People use it to run, walk, or walk their dogs, and kids ride their bikes.  That's what we were doing-riding bikes.  There was a picnic table beside an opening in the shrubbery with a sign that said, "Enter at your own risk.  Parents are responsible for their children."  We our own risk, and found a little bit of paradise.  It was a small river, creek, whatever its called, it was water...the boys loved it.  I let them explore for a little while, then we left.  I promised them we'd come back to play another time.  Finally, we had a day without rain, and we went to the park.  To keep the promise that I made.

The boys wanted me to take pictures of these birds on the fence post as we were walking to our destination .

I had to take two for each boy.

At the water...pure fun for boys.  Boats...


 Throwing rocks...

I could see they were not going to stay out of the water, so we took off shoes, and rolled up pant legs...

Several geese came floating down the water very close to the boys...

Waving at the geese... and watching...

Temptation...I know he wanted to see if he could catch these geese...
 Fun with the toy boat...

Finally, it's time to go...putting the shoes back on was quite a chore.   We finally had to ditch the socks, and just put on the shoes.

Next time we will come back with water shoes, and shorts...

I thought I'd do a fun picture with Tate on the toy boat...

Happy sailing... Till next time.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


"We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does.  Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining--they just shine." -Dwight L. Moody

Celebration of Easter has taken place for several days around here.  It started with an Easter egg hunt with the grandkids on Wednesday.

I found some lego candy which they loved putting together more than eating it... These guys love legos.

Maggie had to see what all the building was about.  I don't know why, but the boys liked to open all the eggs and put the candy in piles...

I wanted them to know the real meaning of Easter as well as having fun finding the eggs.  We read the Easter story, and watched a video of Jesus on the cross with the two thieves beside Him, and the empty tomb.  Then we made a version of the crosses and tomb.

Here is our project with the rock over the entrance of the tomb...

Here is the rock rolled a little to the side...with the shroud of Jesus visible. 

The boys enjoyed putting this together, and I think it gave them a wonderful visual of what Easter is really all about...Christ risen, not the Easter bunny and eggs.

On Saturday, I participated in a "Carry your Cross 5K."  The last 2/10 of the race you were given a 2x4 to carry up the last hill.

Before the race...

Waiting... to begin...

During the last mile or so there were signs with scripture written on them posted along the race path.  Along with the signs, they had Christian music playing.  I thought these two touches were very nice, and it made the race a little better to endure.  Here I am at the finish with my board.  It wasn't exactly easy running with this thing...and uphill.  Many of the boards had scripture or names of people on them.  When you finished the race, you could write on your board.  They use these boards year after year.

The church that hosted it was located in such a pretty area...Candler, NC...see the mountains in the background.  I might add, the course was very hilly indeed.  Most of the second mile was all uphill.  I ran down the hills, but walked up the hills.

I finished first in my age group...not a second or a third.  It was 1st place.  That is a 1st for me as well.  I have never won any races I have participated in.

I am very sore today...and I have shin splints.  It was a fun race to do to commemorate Jesus carrying His cross.  All proceeds go to missions, so it was for a worthy cause.
Hope your Easter was fun! Be blessed.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

What's Happening around here...

"My work is nothing more than a visual diary of a very long walk."-Andrew Stark

Our photo club recently went on a field trip to the New Belgium Brewery, the River Arts District, and the Tobacco Barn, which is now a converted antique barn.  Here are some photos from that field trip.  First the brewery.  I only selected a few photos because beer is not my thing.  I think these are pretty unique.

If you look closely at this photo, you will see a reflection of me.

see my reflection?

I love the colors here...

Let me introduce you to Dennis Guffey.  He is a member of the photo club, and is very good to send photos to those he has taken a photo of.
Dennis Guffey

The following pictures of me were taken by Dennis on this field trip.  It is tradition that the Belgium Brewery have a slide in its facility.  I thought the guide was kidding when he told us that.  It is an easy and fast way to get from one level to a lower level.  The guide told us we could try the slide or walk down the steps.  I was the first to go down this dark, twisty slide.

Photo by Dennis Guffey

Photo by Dennis Guffey

Photo by Dennis Guffey...notice I am wearing my favorite shoes...Boots!

The River Arts district is known for its graffiti.  I had a fellow club member take this photo of me in front of my name.

Wow, it seemed my name was every where.  I don't know who the "Rob" is that is memorialized on the side of the building, but I was happy to take advantage of my name by having me stand underneath it.  

I found another bit of graffiti that I thought looked like it could be my name, so Dennis took my photo here as well.

Photo by Dennis Guffey

Photo by Dennis Guffey

In the Tobacco Barn, I was working on an abstract technique that will be our April challenge.  So the photos are meant to be a little strange.

Can you tell this is a chicken?


In this abstract, I thought it would be fun to add a ghost effect with my grandson to the picture.  Isn't he cute added to the photo?

My little ghost...

I liked this bin of letters... too cool!

That's my photo field trip.  The last picture was, also, taken by Dennis.  Photography is my joy, and a great pleasure for me to do.  That's why I really love this photo.  It captures who I am, and what I love.

Photo by Dennis Guffey (thank you, Dennis!)
Happy April!
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