Monday, April 28, 2008

A Work of Art

I recently shared my bluebonnet photos on a local mom's board and was contacted by a fellow member. Christine, whom I had never met asked me if she could digitally paint one of my photos. Christine is extremely talented and I believe, truly has an eye for art. On her site JAZ Creations she shows off some of what she calls "Fractal Art" I'm not quite sure what it is, but I've never seen anything like it. It's kind of earthy and yet outer-worldly but it is all beautiful. She's now trying her hand at digital painting and wanted to practice on one of my photos. She was so sweet that she updated me as she went along in the process. (Which didn't take as long as I thought it would.) It was truly amazing to watch my not-so-special photo take shape into something so magnificent. Take a look at what she did.



What do you think? I think she can stop practicing now, I think it's absolutely stunning. Aren't I lucky that she picked my photo to paint? I plan to have this printed to canvas and put it on display. Soon she'll be adding this portrait to her website as she'll be offering digital painting to all you other lucky people. So if you are interested in having a photo digitally painted, Christine is your woman.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Frugal Friday: Help Me Win a $500 Gift Card

I know what you are thinking. How does helping me win $500 help you save money? I'll get to that, I promise. First, I'm going to have to beg for a minute. Kroger is giving away a $500 gift card and you can help me win! I designed my own Kroger bag and in order to be considered for the $500 gift card, I need your votes. You can check it out here. Or go here, and type in the number 23521 in the search field. You can also go here to design your own bag and here is where the frugal part for you comes in. You'll receive a FREE reusable Kroger shopping bag when you design your own and register your Kroger card. How cool is that? Saving money and the environment, that's a deal! Of course it might hurt my feelings a little if you then wanted to vote for your own bag and not mine. But I'll get over it, I promise.

Here is the image I used in my design of my bag, in case you want to see a better version of it. It doesn't show up very well on the Kroger site.

Ok, so now go vote! Pretty please?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Hills Are Alive With... Bluebonnets

It's that time of year. Time for thunderstorms, taxes, and the NBA Playoffs. Also time for Texans to precariously perch along the sides of busy highways to traipse their children through knee high grass to get that coveted picture of the Texas state wildflower. Bluebonnets. Fortunately, we didn't have to risk our lives for these photos. We found a lovely abandoned lot off the main trail in Denton for these beauties. You might have seen a sneak peek in my Wordless Wednesday yesterday, but I now present the rest for your enjoyment.

Standing amongst them

Found a ladybug.


Lots of running.

And I shall run until I can run no more.

This is when earth tilted on it's axis and we all went sideways.

What? You didn't feel that? Ok, just kidding, I don't know what happened, but I take good pictures on accident, don't I?

Bluebonnets are fun! (I'm running out of comments.)

Not a bluebonnet but I thought the DOF was neat.

Actually, I was just checking to see if he had clean fingernails. Phew! All good!

I actually had a request from Tokyo for a close-up of a bluebonnet, so here you go, lulu.

Ain't it purdy? All us Texans talk like that, ya know?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Bluebonnets

It's Bluebonnet season here in Texas!
Thanks for stopping by!
If you want more Wordless check out here and here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Next Stop Hollywood!

Preston had his television debut today! And Preston could have cared less. *sigh* Apparently when you are three and you've been on the cover of the local insert of the paper, finding yourself in a sea of faces on the TV screen is not that exciting.

A little backstory: I belong to a local mom's group online. It is a great community of moms from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and stages of life. Although the online group is confined to the DFW area, I have actually only met a few of these women in real life. At over 1,000 members it has become a challenge and Dallas is bigger than you might think, ya'all. The great thing about this group is that we are all moms and we care about each other. It has quickly become my biggest resource when I need to find the best park, kid-friendly eats, recipes, rash identifiers (really!), and just plain and simple good old fashioned mom advice. Granted some advice I'd just as soon do without, but that's not so much unlike real life don't you think? But unlike other mom boards there is that potential you might actually meet one of these ladies someday so a lot of the rudeness/self-righteousness is missing when there is no real anonymity. Not to say we don't have our drama, but most of the time it's all hugs and support. If you are going through it, 99% of the time another momma has gone through it too.

So recently our local news station WFAA has taken an interest in our moms board and decided to make it a feature in their Good Morning Texas show which airs after Good Morning America. During this segment they interviewed Nicole, the mom who started it all and showed clips from a playdate held on Monday that we attended.

You'll have to look fast, but when they show the group shot of everyone yelling, "Good Morning Texas" you'll see me (in pink) holding Preston. Look just right of the center behind the kids. He had no interest in standing with the other kids, or yelling "Good Morning Texas" or being on television whatsoever. So being the good mom I am held him up for all the world... er, Texas to see. He'll thank me someday.

For the life of me I cannot figure out how to post the video here. So please (pretty please) click on this link. Mom, see where it is underlined? Click that word. ;)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Workin' On My Skillz

Ok, I've not been posting much, I know. I have a confession to make. I've been with another blog. (GASP!) Yes, it is true Pioneer Woman has been stealing my time away from this blog. (Did that sound weird? Oh well.) It really shouldn't be that big of a surprise. I did mention, however briefly, my diversion to Pioneer Woman in my post about Bar-b-que Weiners. Not only does PW (that's Pioneer Woman - I'm lazy) cook, but she does take beautiful photographs. She also shares some great tips for those amateur photographers (like myself) who like to play in Photoshop. While I don't have any cows or Wranglers to take photos of I do have a very cute three year old (if I do say so myself). So just to show that all my PW reading has not gone to waste, I will share a little bit of what I have learned from good ole' PW. (I don't know if she's old, I just like using a little southern twang now and then - it keeps those west coast readers on their toes.) Sheez, that is the last time I'll use parentheses, I promise. (I think.)

Here is just a sampling of what I have learned:

A photo SOOC (Straight out of the camera - see, I really am lazy.)

Now, the same photo edited.

Besides the obvious black and white conversion and crop, I sharpened his eyes so that they sparkled a little more and added the "burned edge effect". Try to ignore the fact that the entire photo is a tad out of focus. Good thing I'm not taking any of this too seriously otherwise I would have felt bad for have not taken a better photo of a constantly moving three year old who has taken to actually putting his hand in front of the camera like I'm the papparazzi. Next time I will try hiding behind the bushes when he comes out of the 7-11. I hear that works.