Thursday, November 29, 2012

I had a plan

Oh, yes I had a plan; however, as with most of my plans, it went horribly awry. My idea was to take Christmas pictures of the dogs. I had the props, a fully charged camera battery, the Christmas tree decorated, and a fire blazing. Have you ever tried to pose three dogs at once? I'd get one situated and the other two would wander off. Reminded me of my three toddlers from long ago. So I got the bright idea to lure them with treats. Lawdy, lawdy, Miss Claudy! All they were interested in was my hand and pocket. I tried outside shots and inside shots. Outdoors I was rewarded with muddy knees and shoes and nothing to show for it. Inside I was clean, but just as frazzled. Well, see for yourself how all this played out.
Daddy tried to help, but he only has two hands. Okay, two will do. He got the squirmy worms posed as best he could and I metered the shot all wrong. I had to rescue in Lightroom which caused major grain, so I imported to PS and added this lovely texture by Kim Klassen called Word.
Now Chance decides to enter the frame, but the settings are still all wrong. Then I got the giggles because nothing was going right which resulted in camera shake. You see? I cannot shoot indoors. I hate it. I suck.
Let's try outside! Light is too bright, creating harsh shadows. No matter, my precious babies are not cooperating anyway.
I gave up on the chihuahuas (temporarily) and decided to work on Chance. "See boy? I have a treat!"
He only looked at my hand from there on out. :/
Finally! A pose. But the sky is blown. Jeepers, what's a mother to do?
Okay, let's return to the chi chis and try the patio chair. Where's Izzy? Oh, never mind, I can at least get one dog to pose, right? Sigh. I guess not.
I know! I'll lure Sparky with the treat by putting it in the angel statue. Chance, unfortunately for Sparky, figured this out much quicker. And he's much taller. :/
IZZY!!!! Where'd Izzy go? Oh, there she is, hiding in the monkey grass, hoping I won't find her. Ever. I think she's pretending to be a lawn ornament.
Oops, Chance discovered her hiding place, too.
Back in the house we go! Let's try a more controlled setting. "Nah, ma, I don't feel like cooperating. If you don't give up that treat, I'm going postal on you. Doggie style!"
I just want one shot with your face and the antlers in focus! Just one, dadgummit!
Aaaaaannnddd! That's a wrap. This is good as it's gonna get. Notice that I did not put my watermark on a single one of these. Heh.
Okay, I need a nap now. I think reliving it added to my exhaustion. Hope y'all had a more productive afternoon than I. Or is it me? My English Major daughter will know. I'm off to make dinner, so I'll be back later to catch up.

Has anyone else had trouble with my blog pics downloading? Only one person has mentioned it so far, so I don't know if it was just her or if everyone is having that issue. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Geaux Local II

As part of my Geaux Local series, I am pleased as punch to share another creative soul with all of my animal loving friends. Nadine has been a longtime blogging buddy from my days as a chihuahua blogger. She has two sweet ones also, Chewy and Lilibell. I was so smitten with her jewelled collars, that I ordered some for Izzy. The quality of Nadine's work is exceptional, which I can attest to since Izzy owns four of her pieces. Since then Nadine has branched out, creating dog attire that rivals Versace. Nadine is also a dedicated voice for orphaned/neglected animals, giving a portion of the proceeds to rescue organizations. Please check out her Etsy site here and her Facebook page here. Below are the necklaces that were crafted by Nadine and modeled reluctantly by Izzy.

Lilibell's Couture link
Christmas, 2010 - My punkin wouldn't sit still, so I ended up with a bit of blur, but you get the idea.
Texture by Skeletelmess, Beneath the Surface
I think this was the first necklace I ordered. It looks so elegant.
This was a "bonus" necklace that Nadine sent. The ladybug charm is perfect for Izzy and the red/black/white color scheme is so White Stripes (a band I will always love)

Our little Valentine
Please note that Nadine of Lilibell's Couture did not solicit this post, nor was I compensated in any way. I am simply sharing my experiences of buying from independent designers/sellers. Sharing the love, that's all!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday afternoon

My sweet friend went with me today to Hoo Shoo Too Rd. It was a beautiful day, much too gorgeous to remain indoors. She needed practice with Mabel (my old 50D) and I needed to spend time with my new baby, who has yet to be named. We've had a bit of wind lately and I was afraid that all the leaves might have blown away since my last visit. There were a few less leaves, yes, but the orange tones were deeper, making up for the loss. Come see what I mean.
Minimal editing, just a very, very slight increase in saturation and levels adjustment in PS, but that's pretty much it.
Not meant to brag, but the 5D Mark II has made editing so much easier.
Mabel and Michelle 
I couldn't decide on the color or b&w version, so you get both.
Personally, I prefer the b&w.

An old A&P sign tucked behind one of the campsites.
Chained up dobermans growled and barked while I quickly took this shot which I missed on the previous visit.
While I hate seeing any dog chained up, I was praying that these particular chains would hold.
I also missed this old houseboat last time. 
I kept coming back to this scene. I couldn't help it.

Meet Kevin. He was very pleased with his catch and happily posed for us.
I hope everyone had a nice weekend. As for me, I've been feeling very drained, physically and mentally. I forced myself to decorate the house on Friday, finding a few things that were damaged during the move, and a favorite harp ornament that I broke while decorating the tree. Probably should have waited until I felt better. On Saturday, I shopped 'til I dropped, with a blister on my foot to prove it. We are now off to eat at our favorite restaurant, The Chimes, so I will be back later tonight to see what you all have been up to. Laissez les bon temp, rouler!

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Friday, November 23, 2012

Geaux Local

Now that Thanksgiving is over and our bellies are full, it is time to concentrate on Christmas.

Giving is a joyful experience, or it should be. Supporting a local or independently owned business is a wonderful way to magnify that joy. Corporations are made up of people, so I'm not saying to avoid them completely; however, instead of buying all your gifts from huge corporate retailers, it would give such a boost to mom-and-pop stores if we each purchased at least one item locally this Christmas. With that in mind, even our blogging neighbors can be considered local, offering unique, well-made crafts, one of which I will showcase in this post.

Maureen at Cottage960 caught my attention with these beautifully crafted camera charm necklaces. I think these would also be fun to hang on the rear view mirror in your car. On one side is a vintage photo of a woman holding a camera and the other side has a saying or quote of your choice. I love these pieces and a very special someone will be a recipient this Christmas.

Aren't these delightful? Maureen did not ask me to promote her business, nor was I compensated in any way. I thought to do this post only after I received the order. As part of my Geaux Local mantra, I am happy to share her talent—it's as simple as that. Check out Maureen's Etsy shop here. I will be sharing similar posts like this one from time to time. YOU could be next! :)

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hoo Shoo Too II

The day after my son was found, Double D suggested some photography therapy. Besides, it was too beautiful to stay inside, my beloved observed. I have been wanting to go back to Hoo Shoo Too Road ever since discovering it a few weeks ago, hoping the color was still there. Just a ten minute drive later and there we stood on the banks of the Amite River, oohs and aahs spilling from our lips as though anointing each autumnal leaf. You have to remember that in Texas, where we lived for 30+ years, it is mostly brown this time of year. Here, the bald cypresses are turning a gorgeous shade of orange, stealing the show, but there are also bits of red and lime green vying for attention. Come along!

Reflection shot

Bright red leaves hung like a necklace of rubies between the spanish moss.

The golden hour

Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Watery Wednesday

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Peace and answered prayer

Last week I was desperate. In addition to posting on my blog, I revoked my privacy policy about Facebook, putting out a plea asking for help there, too. Several times I went to delete it, but resisted. Overnight I had over 30 friends and family reaching out and praying, each person either sharing my post on their own wall or by phone, text, or email with others. There's no telling in the end how many people were praying.

Last night I slept horribly, waking at 4AM, wondering if I would be in limbo like this for months or years, never knowing what happened to my son. At 11:41 AM I received a call from my younger son that JB had called him and he gave me the number. Hearing JB's voice, weak though it was, filled me with a joy so intense that I thought I would burst. Although I can't go into details, he is at a hospital in Los Angeles--one that I didn't know of--and has been for 2 weeks. They did not allow him phone calls or his phone.

Praise God for hearing our requests and to all the prayer warriors that battled on our behalf. The hospital seems like it is tailor-made to help him with his issues. My prayer now will be that this is so.

I am so humbled by all of you that reached out to me during a very stressful situation. 'Thank you' sounds so trite, but it's all I have. From the depths of my being I am so very grateful for your support, concern, and/or prayers.

Today I went out into the yard and snapped this dove sitting on a "wishbone" branch. Peace and a wish! How appropriate for me today. Love y'all!!!

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