Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beyond Layers, Day 47, Polaroid Love

This was a really fun exercise from Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers. She shared some Polaroid frames for download and told us how to make 'fake' Polaroids :)

I edited this photo of my daughter using some presets in Lightroom and a couple of vintage color stylets in RadLab.

I think her scraped-up knee is a nice touch and adds to the feeling of summer, but she would probably disagree. She thinks she has a major wound!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Texture Tuesday--Flower Edition

I used one layer of 'peony' and one layer of 'reverie' on this image. For Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Image for Beyond Layers Day 45

I did a challenge for Beyond Layers on the same day it came to my inbox!

Kim is keeping it a bit more light for the summer, which is welcome for me. It is not that I am too busy, but in summer, it is always more difficult to do projects and computer work because of the longer days, the growing lawn (though we have been in a drought and I have not mowed the lawn in weeks . . . but today, just now, we are getting a bit of rain--yay!) and the feeling that we need to be getting out as much as possible and should not be sitting in front of a screen so much.

For this exercise, Kim shared some of her favorite fonts and gave us a recipe and a few tips to follow in Photoshop. I followed the tips, but I could not help myself and I used Rad Lab on the image as well . . . not sure if I've become too dependent on that app--maybe, but I sure like Rad Lab.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Spine Poetry (Day 52, Beyond Layers)

I finally got around to doing my book spine poetry for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers. I would really like to catch up and do every exercise, but I think that I might have to skip a few of the challenges at this point.

This was a fun exercise that I enjoyed. I have not been reading as much or as fast as I'd like. It is taking me months to finish one book, but looking at my books on my bookshelf made me feel like speeding it up again . . . if I can.

This is 'my' poem :)

Lives of girls and women
In the land of men
out of the dust.

taking chances

A while back, Kim Klassen wrote to those of us in her Beyond Layer class about taking chances (I'm terribly behind in her class). I have always lived my life safely and I have always done the normal thing. I have wrote about that before. The biggest drag on my life in recent years has been my job. Now I know that I should not complain. I know that I am lucky to have a job--a good job with a decent company (most of the time) and with very nice benefits. This is what some people themselves dream about--especially in this economy; it's just that I had no passion for it anymore. It was worse than feeling like a cog in a machine. Honestly, I am okay with that because at least the cog has purpose. I felt like I was a cog spinning outside the machine for several years. But I felt like I could not quit . . . at least not without another opportunity so I could continue to meet my responsibility to support my family financially.

A couple of years ago, I was about to take a big chance. I was going to go work for a former boss (the best boss I ever had) at the company she had started working for as a Vice President. I was going to move out of Indiana and back to my home state of NY (I will always think of that as home) and I was going to be able to work from home full time. I was as close as I could have been but then my former boss got disillusioned with her job and experienced some management changes that caused her to take the chance and resign so she could pursue studies in bio-ethics and try to get a job in academia. I felt like it was the right thing to do for her and in addition, I felt like she was lucky and brave to take that chance (but also, I realized she somewhat set up for it since she had reached retirement age at the company and while, perhaps not drawing a large pension because it was early retirement age, she at least had health benefits . . . let's face it, that is a big and maybe the biggest reason why people work for corporations in the US! Private insurance is just too expensive.) So in the long run, it all may be for the best.

After that fell through, I (admittedly) badgered my husband into buying a vacation home in the a town called Raquette Lake, NY which is in the Adirondacks. This is one of my favorite places in the world. It is another chance that may not be paying off right now (we do plan to rent it out but are off to a slow start on that!). The real motivator was to just do something toward my dream of moving out of Indiana and be able to spend longer amounts of time there. The realistic idea is that after we retire, we can sell our house in Indiana and split our time between Raquette Lake and Idaho (another favorite place and where my husband has family). The, perhaps, unrealistic idea is to be able to go there for a month and work from there for 2 or 3 weeks and take a little vacation time, too. My husband tells me I'm dreaming about that and I probably am, but I also have some work colleagues who have said that it should not be a dream and I have to agree! Why not, right? Even there, I would have all the tools I need (though cell phone service is spotty, but there is a perfectly fine land line). But not sure . . . not many people do things like that at my company; I just think they should. There is really no thought of moving there year round and permanently, though. It is a town that has no kids. The school is 20 miles away . . . just not a place to bring up kids.

I did recently make one small step and I got a new job in the same company I work in. It is not a major chance, but it is something. I think I will like it okay, but I'm off to a slow start. One thing I know is I do like my new boss better than my old one.
                                                                            . . .
The picture above is of my daughter, Margot. I like the way she appears in the picture: she appears to be at once up to something and dreaming of something. She wants to be a veterinarian or a paleontologist or a marine biologist/dolphin trainer when she grows up. I love her dreams and aspirations.                                                                      

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Quote Week Day Four: Intentions (Beyond Layers)

Sometimes I think that the grass is  greener somewhere (almost anywhere) else. Sometimes I wonder that if only I could go somewhere else or had gone somewhere else, do something else or had done something else, what would my life be like? Sometimes I spend a lot of time looking forward to the next thing: 'just wait until such and such a day comes or such and such a thing happens, then I will be happy.' I do not think there is really harm in looking forward and in planning for a future, but I have also grown to realize that I need to appreciate where I am and bloom where I am planted. . . . that is my intention.