Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking Baby Steps In Creativity

I have grand plans and schemes where my creativity and photography are concerned.  This past week, though, I've realized - despite having been a shutterbug for most of my life - how much I don't know, but want to know.  And looking at all of it rather sends me into overwhelm...

In the past, this would have likely caused me to choke, paralyzed me with doubt.  Instead, I'm looking at it as a grand adventure.  More to learn, which has my inner techie jumping with joy.

Still... I look at the things I've proposed to undertake/participate in, and... I have to admit that I'm a bit intimidated.  That, too, would have paralyzed me into inactivity in the past.  Not this time...

I want to become more skilled where my photography is concerned, and the only way to do that is to actually DO it, right?  Practice, practice, PRACTICE.  That's what I've been reading.  That's the only way I'm going to accomplish it.  So, that's what I'm doing.

Instead of participating in the Hops and Carnivals as I had planned, I'm going to take a baby step toward them... I'm going to start my week out by posting a picture that I took this past weekend. This will be my "before".  I'll do a bit of editing on it in the next couple of days (beyond the watermark) and post the "after" on Thursday.  It's a definite start, at least. *grin*

Our Beagle puppy, Lugh...  He loves sitting outside and watching the world move around him.

This one won't take too much work.  I think it came out pretty good SOOC.  The colors could pop a little bit more, I'm thinkin'.

So, there it is... I shall be back on Thursday with the final "product" and an explanation (in Gimp) of what I did.

See you then!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's All About the Journey...

I created a bit of a posting schedule for myself... I want to keep both my blogs (Hiccups In Time and here) active.  Both, are important to me for different reasons.  This post could seemingly pose a "failure" on my part, however, on adhering to it.  It is not.

See... over at Hiccups In Time, I'm participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap today.  My guest's post is already up, as is the one that I wrote for Waiting To Rise on Tips To Stretch A Buck.  That means that I have time to play whilst the wee'un is at PreK!

Yesterday, the book I ordered arrived in the mail!

 This is the first bit of time that I've really had to sit and go through it, and I have to tell you that I love it!  I absolutely LOVE it already!

I really like the idea of art journaling.  It's a concept that I've been learning about from others through my creative pursuits this past year.  My problem is the blank page.  It taunts me.  I never really know what to do with it.

Oh, yes!  I have LOTS of craft and art supplies.  I'm just rather... intimidated by them, I guess you could say.  So, more often than not, the page stays blank.

Recently, though, I had a project idea come to me.  It's going to be a photo/art journal.  Only... beyond the writing and photo aspects of it, I wasn't sure how I was going to pull it off.  Until now...  It's just going to take LOTS of practice on my part to get it the way I want, but that's okay.

It's all about the journey.  Not the destination...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good To WOW: Chalk Drawings

So, I'm getting really fired up where my creativity is concerned.  I've decided to focus primarily on my two passions - writing and photography - and go from there.  Previously, I was thinking about throwing some crafting of decorative signs in there too, but recently realized that I would only be running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I wouldn't be focusing on any one thing.

With that being said, I spent my weekend - while nearly everyone else in my family was gone - working finding spots to learn and improve where my photography skills (including editing) are concerned.  I'm getting very focused and... I have to say that I'm getting slightly overwhelmed.  I'm still feeling like a chicken with my head cut off or the very least a child in a candy store.

One thing I'm learning is - despite the fact that I've been fiddling with cameras for 30+ years - I don't know diddly.  I have a fancy (for me) camera, sure.  It's a D40.  By technological standards, though, (I know) it's rather outdated.  But, still good enough to learn the basics, right?

And that's where I am... virtually at the beginning.  My first goal is to get beyond simply pointing and shooting.  I want to learn to shoot (well) manually.  But, I'm ready to learn anything and everything that anyone is willing to teach me.

So... This week, I'm following along with Ashley and Jill and participating in my very first Good to WOW Photo Challenge.

I already started reading Jill's initial post and... Is this where the WOW comes in?  Because I was saying "wow" as I was reading it.  I watched the video about Exposure Compensation, which I learned a great deal from.  But it also brought up other questions... Such as "how the heck do I adjust it on my camera?" So, I pulled up the PDF of my camera's manual and began to read...  It is a start... right?

This week's theme for Good to Wow is Chalk Drawings...  Now, admittedly, I had to run to Wal-Mart this afternoon to pick some sidewalk chalk up.  Yes, I have a little girl, who has not been deprived of the sidewalk chalk.  We were just currently out because it had been all used up last year, and the weather has just recently gotten nice here.

Here is my SOOC shot...

My Inner Critic can point all the things that it thinks is wrong with it, but... Inner Critics aren't allowed at the Kreative Oasis.  I was actually fortunate to get this shot.  Both the wee'uns (two and four legged) were being really quite challenging this afternoon.

So, there it is... I hope you'll pop back over on Thursday for the edited shot.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Brilliantly Slow To Go...

Today, I'm joining everyone over at Kind Over Matter for...

This week's theme...  Looking Up...

I took this photo this morning... I wasn't sure what subject matter to use at first.  Indeed, the sky is a bright, brilliant blue today, but that just didn't seem enough.  So, I took this one...

This is the tree behind our house.  It's budding, but like so many trees here in the North Country, it's still quite bare.  That, mixed with the brilliance of the sky and sun, illustrates what spring is like here.  Brilliantly slow to go. lol

To all of you dropping by today... WELCOME!  Welcome to my newest spot on the web.  My creative spot.  It's still a little sparse, but it, like my personal/life blog Hiccups In Time, will grow with care and time.

For the time being, though...  If you are a visual artist, crafter, writer... I hope you'll consider linking up to the Kreatives Kafe, a budding new directory for creatives to connect with one another.  Feel free to link up your blog/website, Etsy page, Twitter account, and Facebook Fan Page.  One or ALL, it is all great!  Please help me to make it one of the biggest resources on the net for finding and connecting with other creatives.  There's even a button you can grab to share with others.  Thank you!

And thank you for dropping by today!  I truly look forward to seeing you again, hopefully, soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Playing Around With Gimp

So, one of the things that I'm working on is something of a combination pack, I guess you could say.  I'm working on my photographic skills...  Admittedly, I could be working harder on it, but it will come in time. And the other thing is my photo editing skills.

I've really enjoyed graphics manipulation...  Ever since I first started learning how to do it.  Never became too much of an expert, really, but I enjoyed making icons and avatars when I used to hang out on Live Journal, Greatest Journal, and Insane Journal a lot.  (At different periods of time, of course.)

So, this was something of a natural progression, I suppose...

Now, I have a Mac these days.  When I had a PC, I used to use PSP.  When I switched to the Mac, I had to find something that I could use, but that wouldn't cost me an arm and a couple of legs.  I found Gimp, but had to figure the program out and became rather discouraged at times, but used it for a project or two.  Last night, though, I decided to really begin to learn how to use it...  So, I went tutorial hunting.  I found several things, but the one that I decided to give a go was a selective colorization tutorial over on Gimp.org written by Eric R. Jeschke.

This was my original photo...

This was my finished photo...  

I love it!  Will definitely have to do more in the future...

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

For Me...

Not too long ago, I reconnected with a dear friend of mine.  In addition to being a good friend, she's also a muchly valued mentor.  She was the one that inspired me to create Hiccups In Time.  With our busy lives, we lost touch with one another, but started chatting again a few months ago, and it was great!  It was as though no time had passed in the least.

When she invited me to a community that she was creating (The Storyteller's Village), I was excited, to say the least and rushed to join as soon as I was able.  Since then, I have jumped on board the Creative Nachos train and am helping her out with Marketing and Advertising, basically leaving her to be able to focus on the creative side of the house as much as possible.  As a result of being a member of the SV and my new position, I'm getting right back to where I want to be... among all you wonderful creatives!  Truly... I have returned to the oasis within the desert.

So, I was watching everyone's vlogs and video posts this morning... I did some poking around, following links and buttons, and the door was opened wide to me!

Originally, I had planned to have this blog as my own personal marketing, advertising tool for the creativeness that I'm going to be engaging in very soon.  I was also going to include links and advertising for my Scentsy business.  Then I came across Micael Chadwick's page with regard to blogging without givahootery, and something said there really struck me...
"Don't give a hoot if Tara Diddle gets a bajillion comments a day because she's whoring herself on the corner of Desperation & Whine and paying people in hand jobs, boo hoos and Skittles."
If I made this blog into what it was originally intended, it would only become what Hiccups In Time has become...

Now, I'm not saying that as a bad thing.  Hiccups has its purposes.  It's my mannerly, motherly, proper side, I guess you could say.  There is a lot not said there...  A lot of mySelf, which goes undisclosed.  Not that I'm not being authentic.  I'm being authentic with those sides of myself that are considered "acceptable" to the masses.  The rest... well... I will reserve for my creative, goddess side here.

So, I will be blogging without givahootery here.  The good, bad, and, yes, even the ugly, which will be coming up not too long from now because I'm jumping on the vlog train.

I have come home!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Like A Dream On the Horizon...

... the Oasis is born.


This space was one that I was going to get up and running "sometime in the future".  It is a part of a great dream that I have and is one that is starting to manifest before I had anticipated it would.  So, I guess I ought to get my rear and gear and start giving this space... this oasis... a bit of form in the here and now.

This is certain to be a wonderful and magical ride.