Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Tutorial: Easy Extraction..Well Maybe

I have always had a hard time with extractions, and when I saw this tutorial over at Scotty Girl Designs, I thought I'd give it a try. Now, this does want a fairly clear background and in the original tutorial she uses a patterned paper but one with no texture.

I had to go through my stash to find one like that or at least close. I used one from Katie Pertiet's ShellColl4 (no longer for sale). Katie's paper has a lot of layers in the creation of this jpg, I'd say. This is about as clear a background as I'd buy.

Ok, As Scotty Girl did with her paper,  I cropped that bottom left section with the red lighthouse.

Next step was to use the Magic Wand on the white background, with these settings.

After hitting CMD-X on my Mac (CTRL-X on a PC), I got this. hmmm. Not quite enough.

So I repeated the process and got more. But somehow this was telling me this was not the best way to get that lighhouse.

I finally bit the bullet and used the Quick Selection tool, by starting at the top of the lighthouse, and without lifting my finger from my mouse, continued dragging down the lighthouse. I then let go of the mouse, and right clicked, getting this choice.

I selected Layer via Copy and then had my Lighhouse on its own layer. Clean and neat  except that I forgot to include that top bit of the tower.

So I started again, with that cropped bit of Katie's paper. I used the Quick Selection tool from the very start, making sure to start my dragging from the tip of the tower. One selection and I had this.

There is the lighthouse, right on its own layer, with only one step. While Scotty Girl's tutorial might work for those who have very simple images to extract on very very plain paper, I think the Quick Selection tool works best here. But try both ways out and see what works for you. There are a million and one ways to do the same thing in all the Adobe software programs so you're sure to find the one that works for you! Happy Scrapping!

Monday, April 29, 2013

AAM Monday - Project Life Week 15

Lots of exercise classes are good for the body but somehow once again, scrapping has fallen behind. I know it's much better to be moving than sitting on my butt ...but...I want to do both! I'm not great at doing scrapbooking in the early am so getting up early is not the answer. Those morning hours work for a lot of other things, and I'm finding I'm willing to get up closer to 6am now. I think I'll have to note just what I actually accomplish between 06:00 and my departure for class at 08:15.  Off the top of my head, I can't think of what does get done.  bwahaha

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Still Smiling About This

I'm not usually a gullible person. I'm pretty much hip to the ways of devious people but...This year on April 1st,  I was fooled. I blame it on a strong sense of geekiness. If there's a new i-something, I want it. If a software updates, I'm ready. I may not buy right away, but I want To Know!

I'm keeping this image from the email that got me. I've thought about it several times this month and get a good giggle out of it. A good laugh at myself for being so ready for the next techy toy.

Next year, I hope to be aware of April 1st.  Not just that the month of March is over, but that I should take such emails with a grain of salt.  Fool Me Once...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five on Friday - April 26, 2013

I don't know what has been going on this week but it's been a full week and I somehow feel as if I don't have as much to show for it as I 'should' have. <--- Always a bad way to look at things, I know. So, let's see what I have as my five.  A  couple of firsts.

1. Today was the first day I ate lunch outside. (That means I did get the glass topped table cleared off, cleaned and ready for a sit down.) A very good lunch too - a turkey bacon blt, with spinach instead of lettuce on a whole wheat English muffin. Unfortunately, the wind picked up and it got a bit brisk when I wasn't in the sun. Sit in the sun and stay warm or sit in the shade and read?  I went inside.

2. Today was the first day I made sun tea. Ok, tried to make sun tea. It's a weak brew but it's tea. I can live with that for a few days.

3. Today was the first day I wore my Skechers to aerobics. Not the best idea. That dot in the sole is great for some of the Zumba type dance moves or Tai Chi, but the shoes didn't give me enough support. I now have an achy knee and damn sore glutes from a lot of hip work. It will be an Aleve kinda night.

4. Today I finally, finally took a load of winter clothes and bedding to my fave charity shop, The Lutheran Mission. My bedroom closet feels free! plus I got a 20cent Saveur magazine to read at lunch.

5. Today I went to the Amish Market, and a grocery store.  My kitchen was a total mess for a long time as I had  food to put away, food to cook and a lot of bits and pieces involved in the processes. I had a hard time believing the chaos would ever end by mid afternoon. This evening, it's livable.  There is also a big pot of posole half done.

I now believe it's time for ice cream. Was your Friday busy one too?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - April 24, 2013

Mobile Picnic?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ryan who?

It's somehow been a busy couple of days round here. Good days though with a book sale, lunch out with a friend, and the birthday of himself. That led to another lunch out and a special dinner for him.

Today is another overcast, gray day...and darn chilly still. So to warm you up, here's a bit of eye candy.

Isn't it warmer where you are now that you've seen this? Talk about eye contact...whoa. No drooling on the keyboards, please.

How I Learned to Scrub

Recently, I've heard more and more people say 'scrub' in PSE/CS tutorials when they were adjusting a function that had a number value. Font size, percentages, opacity etc. I knew they were doing something but I could never quite see or understand what it was. This tutorial from the Digital Scrapper blog explained it perfectly for me! Now I can scrub with the best of them! Just don't call me a scrubber!

click right here to see the tutorial

Friday, April 19, 2013

5+ On Friday aka What's On Your...

A slight twist on the 5 on Friday straight from Ali Edwards, who got it from her sister, who got it...well you get the point! Blogland memes have a life of their own. I ended up shortening my list.

VANITY | I don't have a vanity but I do have a dresser which has a lot more 'white' space after I cleaned off the things that don't belong there. Need to get more BioSilk which is the best hair treatment I've ever found.
PERENNIAL TO DO LIST | Clean out unwanted/needed clothes, and work on having less in the studio. Less is my One Little World.
REFRIGERATOR SHELVES | Things from the JFX Market - fresh spinach, basil and dill, and recently made Indian style split pea soup with spinach.
ITINERARY |Just back from a trip to the Eastern Shore and off to a book sale in Bethesda this weekend.

FANTASY ITINERARY | I really don't have one. I've seen most of the world I want to see, and I don't think the Silk Road will be an option in my lifetime.
PLAYLIST | Podcasts The Digi Show and KCRW Good Food top my list
NIGHTSTAND | Books and more books. I usually have one book I'm reading in bed but with the option of about 10 others. 
WORKOUT PLAN | M-W-F Aerobics at 08:30 and M-W Tai Chi at 11:30. I really don't like having to go home in between but sitting and reading for two hours is not what I want to be doing.
IPHONE |Google Maps and The Paperclipping Roundtable kept me company yesterday. Newest app is Feedly which I haven't got around to exploring.
WALLS OF YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE | Benjamin Moore 2159-50 Wheatfield
LAST CREDIT CARD STATEMENT | Walmart for house odds and ends, Panera for dinner on the road, and Royal Farms for gas.
TV EVERY NIGHT | Not in this house. I may watch an episode of Heroes on Netflix. Sunday is my only tv night.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Lightroom 5 - I'm yours!

I have downloaded the beta version of Lightroom 5 even tho I'm really just learning LR4. However, the main reason I bought Lightroom was to organize and tag my digital supplies. I've loved how that works, even though it does take time. There is nothing like being able to do a search for this or that kind of thing and have the options come up lickety-split.

Well today I learned that LR5 imports and sees .pngs! Hallejuliah! My next step in May or June was to do a trial of Photoshop and spend that month converting .pngs to .tiffs. Not a fun option. But testing out the importing of those .pngs into LR yesterday sold me. It was so fast I couldn't believe it. Now I don't have to fiddle with Photoshop and be under the gun while trying to get all my supplies done in the trial period. I've been really happy with PSE so Photoshop isn't in my future. Probably.

That Lightroom import? Seeing is believing. These are just a few of my recent purchases and WOW!! How sweet it is.

If I continue to take exercise classes at my Senior Center, I will remain eligible for the student price. A double win for me.  Oh, LR5 also does clever things with images, but that's in my future. This feature is what made me a believer.  Have you downloaded the Beta yet? Get it quick..HERE.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ah Italia, How I Miss You

For most of this year, I have been watching the fares to Milan. I had hoped to go to Italy at Christmas or any time really other than the midst of summer. However, each email telling me of the latest fares has only told me of a higher fare. Until today.

I quickly forwarded the email to my dh. He looked into it and replied re this great offer..."We would kill each other before it was over:  24hr and 25 min to Milan and 18+ hr return!" Uh, here on the east coast of the US, we are about 10+ hours to Italy...Some good buys definitely are not value for money, unless you are a stronger man than I am Gunga Din.

So instead of planning that trip to Italy, I continued working on the last days of our May 2012 trip. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

AAM Monday - Project Life Marches On

When doing these layouts, I couldn't remember which week I was up to. Fortunately, my images are up at my Designer Digitals gallery and I often go back there to refer to something I used or a date. I also have made myself a list of Week # - dates. My weeks are always a Sunday-Saturday and I have a small calendar on my desk, but that little calendar is pretty (I made it!) and I don't like to write on it. I think when I do the next two months, I actually put the week # in the digital layout. I suspect I will still wonder at times....now what week am I up to?

Right here, right now, I know the next two Project Life pages I'll be doing will be for Week 15. What do you want to bet I still may forget?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's Market Time plus More

Trying for an early start to the JFX Market in Baltimore. It's a 25 mile drive but I can stop at Costco and Walmart on the same trip. Yes, I come home beat but it's worth it and it's a fun shopping day. At least that's what I think before I go.

It's probably early for the pea man but he may have some other goodie. He is one of the people that gets a serious line, and well worth the time it is. btw, it's hard to shop AND take photos but I had to capture this man a few years ago.

Shellled peas Baltimore JFX Farmers' Market

I have been searching for the cheap mini blinds to replace some old ones. Darn if I can find the 3 sizes I have. Of course, three sets of windows that are the same size, have three different sizes of blinds.  The solution would be to get all of the windows the same size blind, remove the old hardware, fill in the holes, paint and start anew. That's why I'm off to Walmart to hope for the sizes I am now using.

My wonderful new cleaning women really really clean, and the one assistant scrubbed the shit out of them. With all the time in direct sun, I have one broken blade, at least, on one side of a blind on each set. So right now, the broken blinds vamoosed into the trash, and the remaining blind is pulled up. Period.  Thinking about a totally different solution to my windows wears my brain out. I may wait to ask my on friend who is a great decorator.

But the market and all its goodies calls.  I even have a red shopping cart to haul the loot back to my car. I am so set!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five on Friday : Now That You've Asked

Lately, it seems I've seen, or perhaps just noticed, many newspaper headlines, Facebook posts, Tweets asking questions. I know it's supposed to be a way to pull you in and get you involved in the specific media, but I fear it's being over done.

Questions "I've" been asked recently:

1. Is cannabis treated unfairly?  I don't recall cannabis complaining.

2. What do I think about Kathy Griffin's Emmy speech?  Probably no more than Jesus does.

3. If you were in a public place, would you feel comfortable with this sitting 10 feet away from your children?  Depends on where the public place was. Outside Quantico? or on K Street N.W. DC? 

or did they mean the tacky guy in the jeans jacket...

4. Ever wondered how circus performers get so strong? Well...not so far in 68 years.

5. And I thought I could skip dessert ... What was I thinking?  Now this one I GET!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Genoa - Passeggiatta

Doing these pages about our trip to Italy, Genoa in particular, makes both of us seriously think about another trip. Italy is so so seductive.  However, looking at our calendars doesn't seem to allow any time until 2014! Can we wait that long???

It wasn't just the food. It was the whole ambiance of Italy. Even with an earthquake.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday Tutorial - Lightroom, Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

My Lightroom class has ended and while I still have the month of April to go over the videos, I need to find other sources of information I think. With Kim Klassen's class, you can buy a year's access to them but I've decided I'm not going to do that. I'm pretty used to having unlimited access to class material for my digital classes and was not overjoyed to have to pay for a limited access.  Chacun a son gout.

I just saw a link to this video on Twitter today and thought I'd share it.  If you go to Tipsquirrel.com and do a search for Lightroom, you'll see quite a few. Adobe has a lot of wonderful videos too. Short and to the point.

I had already forgotten the Tab shortcut to see hide the side panels. Just call me sieve brain! But this video shows you how to have your cake and eat it too, by hiding those panels but still getting information on your photos.

I hope this one is helpful to you Lightroom users out there! I'd love to hear of any video tutorials you've found also.

Monday, April 8, 2013

AAM Monday - Back on the Chain-gang

My exercise break is over and the new semester of classes start up again today. One thing that makes no sense to me is that in the dead of the dark winter, our aerobics class started at 08:15. Now as we have sunlight before 07:00, our class starts at 08:30. Shouldn't it have been the reverse? or does that make too much sense.

Monday's are my full days.
08:30 aerobics
11:30 Tai Chi
13:30 Chair Tai Chi
Today throw in a Doctor's appointment at 09:00 so there will be no aerobics for me today. I don't like missing the first class but it is what it is.

No, we won't have matching outfits, nor will we be outside. But we will look like this set of west coast geezers. Wednesdays I have Aerobics and regular Tai Chi and Fridays I have only Aerobics. So the week gets easier and with more free time for me. I like that. btw, the Tai Chi instructor teaches straight through about 4 classes a day. I bet she's teacher'd out by Friday and so her classes are only two days a week, or one for that chair one.

As my house is only about 3 blocks from the center, I shall soon start walking to and from the classes. However, I don't know what I'm going to do about that hour between the Tai Chi classes. Is it enough to walk home and back...for??? or do I bring a book, my iPad or something to do for that time. Oh yes, bring some lunch? I also am not sure if I'll really stick to the chair Tai Chi. That one was added after I signed up for the beginning Tai Chi. As a Senior, I can take as many classes as I like once I pay my $80 registration, so I signed up after a demonstration so that the class would be a go for those people who cannot stand. Right now, I can stand, but it will be interesting to see how I feel after an hour of it!

Anyhow, despite a bit of whining and sniveling, I am glad to get back to the exercise routine. I know it's good for me and I actually have come to ...dare I say it...enjoy it. ;-)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Food Memories...Make Me Hungry

I realized that I had never finished the pages for our trip to Italy ...last May. Well, before I have another trip to think about I figured it was time to wrap this one up. Today's page is a start. One day at a time, maybe one page at a time. At least I got a good many photos culled in iPhoto, imported into Lightroom and now ready to work on in PSE.  Every page has its own back story of process.

Guess who's having Italian food for dinner tonight???? Italian sausage, gnocchi, maybe even with pesto. I think I'll get vanilla ice cream for affogato.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five on Friday: April 5, 2013

It's been a bit of a hectic day in our home. The long awaited installation of the shelves to raise the washer and dryer is almost happening. Lots of noise chez nous. Drilling kind of noise.

1. Patience with workers in my home is not a given. I may have gratitude but I am short on patience. Just get it done and stop chattering.

2. Today was a pedicure day, going from deep blood red to a bright red. I was sorely tempted to consider a gel manicure. I really haven't had many manicures since my years in Thailand...the mid 70s...and I apparently have no ability to keep polish unchipped for more than a day or two nor to do it myself. But $32 for a two week guarantee? I think I may stick to the buffing cube.

3. My middle child is moving the week from AZ to CA. He is the son who thought he was fairly apolitical  til he moved to AZ. I'm so glad he's out of the place where they think it's a good idea to 'put the panic back in Hispanic.'  Dear God almighty. Do they ever wonder..WWJD?

4.  I was thinking this week of an old practice that my mother taught me. If you still use bars of soap, buy a couple when on sale, and take them out of the wrapper. Put the bars in a drawer of clothes to scent or out in the open in a basket in the bathroom, but more importantly, to dry out. A month or two is good but even longer is better. Dried out, a bar of soap lasts a long time  If you have children using bars of soap you'll know how fast one can get used up. Dry your soap out and watch it last longer.

5. The vivid yellow of forsythia and daffodils looks so very good in my yard. It could look a lot better if the beds were weeded and mulched but I'll take what I have and enjoy the color contrast as it is.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Project Life, Moving Along - Week 13

I was glad to get this week done, as it had this poignant image of my dil's dog Ranger. He is always a good dog to sit for but oh he misses his family. This dog-sit was only a brief three days which is usually about the time he starts to come around.  When it's a full 7 days, he tends to be a little less needy by day 3.  He's getting older - aren't we all! - and he has always had mournful eyes. I hope he'll still be around for a sit during the annual beach week. I enjoy his presence.

We're getting close to the end of the first quarter of the year. I think PL makes me more aware of the seasonal changes and the passage of time. It's sort of the analog version of scrapbooking, even if the process is done digitally!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Travel With Me Tuesday - Nurnberg

November 10th was a more serious day as we were in the city of Nurnberg (Nuremberg). In addition to being the day before Veterans day, most of us had seen, at some time, the newsreel films of the cheering German crowds, cheering Hitler on. It was always a sobering thought as one saw a person looking as if they were in their 80s. What had they been doing in the 1940s...

After breakfast our 4 buses drove to Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Our guide was an American now living in Germany.

I didn't need  to see her photos showing how it had once been. My father served in Germany during WWII so I knew this history pretty well, though he never wanted to talk about the war.  Many of  us just walked around and considered the horror that had been here. A lot was felt in that silence.

Afterwards we walked up into the Documentation Center. Here we saw 

"On 1,300 square meters, the permanent exhibition "Fascination and Terror" looks at the causes, the context and the consequences of the National Socialist reign of terror.
It focuses on the topics which have a direct link to Nuremberg, and is centred on 19 exhibition areas which are structured in chronological order: the history of the party rallies, the buildings of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the "Nuremberg Racial Laws" of 1935, the "Nuremberg Trials" of the main perpetrators of Nazi crimes in 1945/46 and the twelve follow-up trials, as well as the difficult problem of dealing with the National Socialists' architectural heritage after 1945."

It was a very large exhibit, tiring physically and emotionally, as we walked through display after display each with sounds for our headset. Again, I felt I really didn't want to hear the crowds, hear Hitler, hear the shouting any more. The images were saying enough.

How beautiful and peaceful the pathway near the Rally Ground was. How different the past had been.

Back to our buses for a drive into the heart of Nurnberg but first passing these cemeteries.

I was looking forward to our lunch, a restaurant lunch we would be sharing with a college student. We at at the Heilig Geist Spital, a restaurant that had been the Hospital of the Holy Ghost during the Middle Ages. I believe I enjoyed the conversation so much that I neglected to take any photos of the meal. Our student was delightful and even put up gracefully when some of our group asked him loaded questions about current American politics. Our table had a few people who were not at all happy with the election results and some who were delighted.  Our student handled it all very diplomatically.

An iPad is a universal tool and he was checking out some apps. We iPeople had a lot of fun with that.

After our meal (undoubtedly pork though I know we had apple dumplings for dessert), we waddled out, and walked around the market square. There was a market going on with lovely pre Christmas flower decorations and some food. I was pretty full from lunch so I passed on the roast chestnuts. Fresh ones were 79cents per 100gms. I had no kitchen so I passed on them also.

The roast maroni seller in the center was the one who caught my attention but oh dear ...too full for more. Plus afternoon coffee time was coming up soon!

Once again, I passed on more food though I did buy one piece of lebkuchen for my daughter in law. It turned out my one granddaughter loved it.

This sort of thing - a mime or someone dressed up in a costume - seems to really be popular in Germany. I do recall seeing the same kind of thing in England too.  Do we do this in the US so much?

Here our guide tells us about the Schoner Brunnen, the Beautiful Fountain, now protected from vandalism. If you need to meet someone in central Nurnberg, this is a popular spot.

It was getting time to go back to the boat, and soon would have to get on our buses. But first there was an opportunity to walk - quickly - up to the castle. So up the hill we walked.

At the midpoint, our guide pointed out the Castle UP the hill and said she would wait for anyone who wanted to walk up - quickly - and walk back down. I laughed...That street had a good incline!

So down the hill I went because there was something I wanted to photograph. I left the hardier ones behind.

Christmas decorations were being installed on this building and I had hoped they would be a bit faster. No such luck but I did have time to dash into the building on the corner and get three little glass souvenirs for my grandchildren. Not much but sometimes they do like these little bits.

 Finally, it was time to wander over to one of the main bus stops and wait for our four buses.  Not this one...it was going to Martha & Mary Diakoniewerk, as far as I can tell, a Methodist Social Services Agency.

Once we got back to the boat, I had signed up for a kitchen tour which was really interesting but I wondering if he had had the better idea...a nap before dinner! Each day had a lot of activities to keep one occupied but even thinking back to it all makes the idea of a quiet nap or book very appealing. It was certainly a full day.

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