2011 Calendar

November 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm (Family, Photography) (, , , , , , )

My holiday gift to you! Time flies . . . so capture a moment and make it last. Twelve months featuring family collages and Victorian-era bird illustrations. Feel free to download for onscreen viewing or printing. (Click the link reading _2011_Calendar_12mos-online to download. Let me know if you have any trouble with the PDF. 6.6 mbs)

2011 Calendar Cover

2011 Calendar—Time flies, so capture a moment and make it last!



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More Photoshop

October 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm (Photo Gallery) (, , , , , , )

First, I must apologize for neglecting my blog all summer. I guess I just like to play outside too much to sit in front of the computer long enough for blog maintenance! Last spring, I took a semester-long Photoshop class at Oakton College (ART 257), 16 weeks of excellent instruction and inspiration (thanks to teacher Jody Lepinot). You’ve already seen the first half of my work from the class in the gallery below. Here are the remaining images created for the final critiques.

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Level Headed (or Bird-Brained?)

April 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm (Garden) (, , , )

image of Birdbath Meniscus

Birdbath Filled for Spring!

Hoping we will not experience further hard freezes, I have filled the birdbath for spring! It’s always a challenge to get it level after winter heaves the ground, but as always, I am not satisfied until a meniscus forms on the water in the basin. (I’m sure we all have our little pet peeves . . .)

Welcome spring birdies!

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A Cautionary Tale

April 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm (Home) (, , , , , , , )

Image of bathroom sink and vanity 2003

Bathroom remodel 2003 featuring new sink, granite counter, and vanity

Image of Kohler glass sink shattered

Kohler Spun Glass sink cracked into sharp shards after water temperature change

image of new sink

Spiral Vessel sink from Menard's, April 2010

In 2003, we remodeled our bathroom. (Click here for more on that project.) Given our limited space and budget, I am still happy with the way it looks to this day.

Unfortunately, last week while Laif was trouble-shooting a sluggish drain, there was a mishap. Due to filling the sink with hot water, then filling it with cold—CRACK!!—and the entire sink shattered into shards! Realizing this was an error I could have easily made myself, I could hardly be mad, especially since Laif was mad at himself enough for both of us. This $700 sink (in 2003) now costs almost $1000, so over the weekend we checked out the home centers. Of the three, Menard’s had one sink I though would work, and for a fraction of the Kohler price at under $200 including a new pop-up drain. We ordered it Saturday, it arrived Wednesday (not bad for a special order, with excellent email notification of the order’s progress), and Laif installed it right away. I like it! It perfectly matches the room’s paint job and sparkly accents. (And we can replace it four more times before reaching the Kohler replacement cost! ;-)

After researching online, it appears they recommend against changes of water temperatures exceeding 50 degrees in glass sinks, and perhaps this was. There are other stories of tempered glass spontaneously shattering for no reason at all, so I guess we’ve been lucky, all things considered!

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Spring Fever!

April 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm (Garden) (, , , )

Spring-blooming perennials

A great fix for eager gardeners in the north!

Total Spring Fever here in Chicago-land! A week of unseasonably warm temps in the 70s and 80s has my spirits soaring. Good Friday off work helped too, with a frenzy of garden clean-up and the sore muscles to prove it! I also found a great way to have my “too-early cake and eat it too,” if you will. Home Depot is selling cute containers planted with early-spring-blooming perennials, just ready for instant gratification. My $25 dollar fix includes columbine, forget-me-not, pansies, coral bells and more. It easily popped into a hanging basket near my front path and should withstand April’s freezes. Then it can be replaced with summer-blooming annuals and planted in-ground. This and a budding rhododendron on the front stoop have chased away the stale winter dregs and perked up my curb appeal. Come what may, I am ready for Spring!

April 2010

Spring blooms emerging

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Hello world!

March 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm (General)

Here I go, attempting my first blog entry. Really I just want to set up a place to post images and/or information to easily share with friends and family. I don’t know what I’m doing–oh sure, I get the theory, but the details are a bit vague so far! :-) Now I will go investigate how to add images . . .

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Photoshop Composites

March 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm (Photo Gallery) (, , , , , , )

This gallery features digital photo compositions from my current class on advanced masking and compositing in Photoshop. My goals include sorting my plethora of photos, both digital and vast collections of old family photos, and documenting collections (both virtual and physical). Some of my inspiration comes from the styles of Maggie Taylor and Martina Lopez.

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