My blog seems to be getting quite heavy with photography posts of late, but I hope you'll hang in there for yet another one.  I've just finished week one of an online workshop, Digital Layers taught by Susan Tuttle, and I'm excited to share what I'm learning.

This photo was from the project called, 'Combining Multiple Photographs' and was the most difficult for me, by far.  The goal was to layer three textures on top of our subject photo and I kept choosing the wrong textures.  It takes awhile of playing around to find just the ones that seem to fit.  Did you know (because I didn't) there is a whole world of free, downloadable "textures" out there?  Yes, free.  What generous souls, they who must spend hours putting these things out there for our use!  

All three textures I used came from ShadowHouse Creations, hosted by Jerry Jones, also known on Flickr as skeletalmess.  If you like to play around with Photoshop, Jerry has some amazing images on offer.  For this piece I used an image of rusty lace, an ethereal atmospheric shot and a sky with birds flying.  

Adding each layer reminded me so much of weaving, like weaving with light, because as you play with the various blending modes, areas of your image fade in and out of each other, providing many surprises until your tapestry is complete...

And now, time to rest.  Wishing everyone a relaxing, holiday weekend and I hope to see you here again soon.


Capturing the moment...


Where I live, we must take a ferry to travel back & forth to the mainland, the primary  transport across our watery highway, Puget Sound.  The ride is about forty minutes long - a good chunk of time for reading, doing a bit of stitching & beadwork, daydreaming, quality petting time for dawg, snoozing...you get the idea.

Every now & then, I feel like I strike it rich.  The ferry worker directs my jeep straight down the middle aisle to the very front of the boat.  Front & center, I call it.  On this particular evening, I was lucky indeed.  A rain storm was moving out and *god beams* started to appear.  Briefly, ever so briefly.

Not having my camera with me, I grabbed for my phone (ahh, technology). I'd recently uploaded an app called Hipstamatic which provides vintage film effects like the plastic cameras of days gone by.  I remember running around as a kid with my plastic wonder, shooting this, that and the everything - now that was pure joy!   

Here is a joyful moment, a good many years later...




...it came in slowly this afternoon and has been building steadily.  It's often like that on our little island.  A still day begins, a joy for working in the garden, then comes that first gust.  And soon another.  The frequency increases until I'll find myself looking up at the tall conifers that surround our property, watching their tops swing to and fro, and I'll be certain - windy hours ahead!

Time to batten down the hatches.  No more gardening for today...

I grew up in an area of California known for its hot, dry winds.  Called Santanas or Santa Anas, devil winds (translated from the Spanish) were known for their heat because they originated out of the desert.  We always dreaded them - they meant fire season. They'd arrive at the end of summer, at the driest time of the year when all the vegetation was like kindling.  A lot of myth surrounded these winds.  Some said they could make you crazy - something to do with all the negative ions being removed from the atmosphere which makes humans (and animals) unstable.  Myth making, indeed.  But they were parching.  They howled.  And they could continue for several days. Unsettling to me, without a doubt.

Much like the winds here.  Not hot and certainly not dry, but oh, the sound...

It's odd what sticks from childhood.

So I was thinking about how to turn this wind thing around.  I'm inspired by this artist who plays with wind and this artist who stitches wind magic. And this masterful photographer who often captures the wind through extremely long time exposures.  Ah, if I could only wait in the wind like that...

So tell me, what do you feel about the wind...?

'Windflowers', 1903
painting by John William Waterhouse 


Mingled yarn...


"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn,
good and ill together."

William Shakespere,  from All's Well that Ends Well

Just something I'm thinking about today...the way lives are knit together...how friends become friends, stay friends...or sometimes not...yet once there was a web between, binding, interwoven, unique.  Thinking too, how sometimes that web remains and sometimes it's blown away on the next season's wind.  Like loved ones who are with us for awhile...and then gone.

I took these photographs in early February.  One morning the entire hedgerow behind our pond was filled with these (seemingly) overnight creations.  I don't know which spider spins these webs, but aren't they the most marvelous constructions?  They suit my mood today as I look at them and wonder about "good and ill together."  Threads.  Mingled yarn.  Lives intertwined.

Today is my mother's birthday.  If she was still with me, she would be 88.  I can't imagine her that old.  But I like to imagine that one of those webs in the hedgerow is hers, next to mine, along with all the others we've known and loved...and have yet to know and love.  

Just something I'm thinking about today...