Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photoshop Play Date

A couple of weeks ago, I went on an around-town photo shoot. I'd been itching to take some pictures of Vulcan, the big cast iron man that stands atop Red Mountain, but the sun was not my friend that day. The pictures left something (better lighting) to be desired.

So I played in Photoshop instead. I kind of like the outcome.

I think the dramatic effects reinforce the iron man's reputation as god of the fire.

Last night, I drove home by the light of a beautiful full moon. I tried once again to take a picture of the night sky. My camera is just not powerful using one of the almost totally black photos I played in Photoshop until it looked like this:

At Wal-Mart yesterday I braved funny stares from the elderly greeter to take pictures of the gumball machine at the entrance. This picture has a slight fuzzy filter added to it to soften the edges.

Bubblegum anyone?

Gramma's Brag Book

Last Sunday I traveled north to spend the day with my grandkids, oldest son and DIL. It was a nice mild day outside. We started out for the park, the 2 1/2 year old skating, the 7 year old riding her scooter and the 10 year old running ahead. Gramma found it impossible to take the infinitesimal baby steps needed to match the skater's snail pace without her back beginning to ache. Oldest sister and I finally each had to take one hand each and pull little brother back home at an adult sized gait.

Little brother wasn't too happy at being told which direction to skate.

I took the crocheted hats I've been working on while watching TV this winter. I know it's almost Spring, but better late than never, eh?

Avery is the hat lover. Here she's modeling a headband, which she wore for the rest of the day.

Granny square hat with big flower on the side.

I got his head size a little wrong. Oldest sister said she will wear it until he grows in to it.

I came home with a request for a granny square hat from my DIL in a more subdued color scheme and my oldest granddaughter ordered a hat with ear flaps in purples, greens and blues. I'm happy to oblige. I've got the yarn so I better get started. They'll be ready just in time for next year.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sepia Saturday (with a little tint thrown in)

This photo is of my great aunt Belva and her children Vera Young and A. M. Yep, his name was A. M. and no, the initials didn't stand for anything. I've always wondered why anyone would name their child initials...what did they call him as a baby? His father's name was Albert Martin so I suppose he was named/initialed after his dad "Uncle Doctor." A. M. entered the navy when WWII broke out. His ship was torpedoed either leaving or shortly after it left New York harbor. He was among those that were never found. My uncles, who are all dead now, knew more of the specifics than my mother about this. She was a child at the time.

Aunt Belva died long before I was born, but "Aunt" Vera Young was a favorite visitor for us when I was growing up. She graduated from Auburn University and remained fiercely loyal to her alma mater all her life. In 1959, she moved from Alabama to Hawaii to become the home management and home furnishings specialist for the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

It was fun and games whenever she returned home. Her visits usually lasted a month or more. Friends in Honolulu always gave her 5 to 10 orchid leis upon her departure. Upon her arrival at the Birmingham airport, she would take them off and put a lei around each of our necks and while greeting us with many Alohas. Aloha means hello as well as goodbye for those of you who didn't know. Many times she brought boxes of birds of paradise stems and orchids sprays as well. She also brought us exotic souvenirs and Hawaiian material to make dresses and shirts. I still have a couple of the hula dolls. Aunt Vera Young was a people person who loved to tell stories and be the center of attention, which we were glad to give her. I have many fond memories of her.

See more Sepia Saturday entries here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Postcard my DIL bought for me at the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta recently.

I thought all you postcard aficionados might like a look at this advertisement that I found last week when I wrote this post about my maternal grandfather.


"The change in character of the mail, the tremendous increase in mail volume, and the revolution in transportation, coupled with the steep rise in manpower costs, made adoption of modern technology imperative and helped produce the ZIP Code or Zoning Improvement Plan."

You might like to read more about how the use of the five digit zip code came into use. If so check out this article.

Join the postcard fun at The French Factrice.

Random Photo Day

Do you see what I see?

A couple of weekends ago I went out taking pictures. I was loving photographing this parking meter.

Until I got home, downloaded the pictures and realized that bird poop covered the whole thing.

It might just be me, but these cookies always look prettier than they taste.

In case you missed it, I added directions. Do you see it?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Planning a Trip Soon?

You might like to stay a few nights in this unique hotel if you find yourself in Berlin.

The bed is a castle and the other furniture is houses

Created entirely of square wooden plates covered with black and white graphic images

Here's how the website describes the City Lodge aesthetic.
Everything is different!
The PROPELLER ISLAND CITY LODGE is a - truly - VERY extraordinary location. All rooms and objects were created by the German artist Lars Stroschen. Much more appropriate than "hotel" is the designation "living in a work of art".
30 rooms with an absolutely unique and personal ambience. "Unique" is meant literally, for the entirety of all furnishings and other objects you will discover here are custom-made, individual handiwork. None can be found anywhere else on this planet - one could consider the CITY LODGE to be a MUSEUM with guest accomodations or a stay-in work of SCULPTURE.
The rooms are designed and constructed without compromise (!), varying from the tame to the extreme, and are well able to more or less alter your perspective of reality - according to your taste and sense of adventure.
If you have managed to make the right choices, you will experience an unforgettable stay at our place! Therefore, it is essential to take a look to the photos in the web. After all, your trip is intended to be relaxing and pleasant and to give you complete satisfaction.

Features a all blue bath, lilac walls and nude photos
Diamond shaped room with mirrored walls gives the impression of sleeping in a kaleidoscope.

Every room is different. Let me know if you go. I'd love to hear about your experience.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Perfect Match

The scratch followed quickly by a slight hissing sound produced a tiny torch of light in the gloomy dusk. Touched to the bedside candle, the wick caught and a flame roared up.

Now he understood why the modern hotel, appointed with so many nice amenities, had also supplied the rooms with several candles and a big box of matches. Electricity was still unreliable in the post-communist country.

The weary traveler settled in a chair, a book in his lap. As he sat in the circle of flickering light, he thought about his wife. She hated it when he was away from home. He stood and slipped the box of matches into his luggage.

When his wife asked him why he'd brought matches home from his trip, he would whisper in her ear; "Because they reminded me of how beautiful you are in candlelight."

Fifteen years and many business trips later, she still kept the box of matches.

Check Willow's Magpie Tales for more stories inspired by her photo prompt.

Sweet Home

Making fun of our Southern selves:

If you stick to the seats in your vehicle, it is Spring.
If You need to let the car 'get some air' while standing next to it with the doors open for a minute before you can stick your upper body inside to crank it and get the air going, it is Summer.
If you are sweating even with the windows down, driving 55, it is Fall.
If you finally turn the AC off and roll your windows up, it is Winter.

If you ask for a 'coke,' and they ask you, 'What kind?' This is not a trick question. Tell them you want: Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Root Beer, etc., it's all 'coke' to us.

All tea is sweet. If it's not sweet you have crossed the Mason-Dixon Line. Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you are two. Most Southerners like a little tea with their sugar.....I'm the exception to this rule.

We don't push buttons. We mash them.
We don't get ready to go anywhere...we're fixin to go.

Speaking of fixin...I'm fixin to say...

Bye Ya'll!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taking Time Out From Winter

One of the advantages of living in the South is what happened to us this weekend. The temperature warmed up considerably and we've had 3 days of sun and nice weather.


I was off work Friday and Rachel, Elijah and I went out for a few hours. Our first stop was a favorite middle eastern restaurant where we decided to take advantage of the warm sunshine and sit outside.


I don't want to gloat, but man was it nice!!!


Don't be too jealous. I'm sure it won't last long.


I've hit the road today traveling north a couple of hours to visit with my oldest son and his family. Have a great Sunday everyone.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sepia Saturday

Clarence Grover Thomason Sr., my maternal grandfather, was a newspaperman through and through. He reported his first story at the age of 12 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. At 14, he began working for the Anniston Star. During the 1930s, he founded a community newpaper known in the beginning as the Ensley Shopper. Later it was renamed the Industrial Community Press. In 1958 he was elected president of the Alabama Press Association.

He spent his life reporting on the people and the events that shaped the little city and the surrounding communities of Ensley, Alabama. This is how he recalled his life as a newspaperman, "I have lived and worked in what I think the most interesting and changing period of American and world history...from the horse and buggy days to high powered automobiles, jet propelled airplanes and the exploration of outer space. No other period in history to this time records so many changes in our country and its people. However, I predict much greater changes, and, I hope progress and human advancement in the years ahead."

But this is how I remember him best....reading the paper.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blue Tablecloth Week: Day Five, Otherwise Know as Postcard Friendship Friday

Blue tablecloths and postcards...what do they have in common? Nothing except the day of the week.

Owls may deliver the mail for witches and wizards, but Muggles must get it the old fashioned the Postal Service.

Most people save their letters and postcards in boxes, some tie them together with a satin ribbon.

Others blow them up really big and decorate with them.

Blue tablecloths and must be Friday. Happy PFF!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blue Tablecloth Week: Day Four

I'm just gonna lay it all out on the table....I have a potential problem. I have a favorite brand of ballpoint pen. I love this pen. I love to write with this pen. I love to draw with this pen. I just went shopping for more of these pens. When I got ready to write this post, I gathered up all of this brand of pen in the house. I have more than a few.

But, I have a problem.

Pentel might be discontinuing production of my favorite ballpoint pen. At the very least, stores hardly stock them anymore. Everyone wants the gel pen or the roller ball. Not me. I want the Pentel R.S.V.P. ballpoint pen. It's ink glides on smoothly rarely depositing glops of ink on the paper. It doesn't smear. It's fine point draws a fine line. I know it's probably not archival ink, but my sketches aren't archival quality either.

Speaking of archival and quality, my Moleskine is filled with mostly blank pages. And I've carried it in my purse for over a year now. The paper in it is smooth to the touch. The little notebook is so nice...I can't make myself put Pentel to paper. I might mess it up. This is stupid I know. But there you have it.

The truth is I am much more likely to draw on my worksheets at work than I am on my nice Moleskine.

I have more than one very nice hard bound watercolor tablet. I even have a small Moleskine watercolor notebook. Have I made more than one or two watercolors in them? No, instead I use highlighters and magic markers and Sharpies to make pseudo paintings.

I really planned to paint my Valentine tulips. Instead, I did this.

It's like Rachel and her love of Lisa Frank products all over again. She had stickers, pads pencils...she had tons of product. She loved it. She still had tons of product...when she cleaned out her room before she got married. Tons of Lisa Frank products that she had never used because they were too nice.

I've instructed Rachel not to throw my (unused) paper products away when I die. Someone will use them. If you've drawn and painted and used your Moleskines up and need more, send me your name and I'll put you in my will.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blue Tablecloth Week: Day Three

There are some snacks on the table today. Take your pick...fruity or sweet.

Elijah tried the banana, but after one bite he tossed it on the floor.

It just didn't taste right. That might be because it's made of felt.

Rachel is busy with a new hobby....making fake food. She's working on a pizza today.

I guess they are great if you're on a diet. Very low cal. Have one?

Blue Tablecloth Week: Day Two

Day two of Tablecloth week is all about my long lasting love affair.....

...with cobalt blue (did I have you on pins and needles?)

Sit down and have a cuppa.

I really should pull out the cobalt KitchenAid and whip us up something delicious.

But I can't pull myself away from the window because it's another sunny day here in tablecloth world.

Tell me about your love affairs/collections.

I'll paint a little more while we chat.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter Weather Advisory

Today is the 3rd day out of the last 4 that we've gotten snow.

the 12th: 2 to 2 1/2 inches.
the 13th: was a no snow day
the 14th: snow blew in from MS and left us with a dusting and icy roads this morning
the 15th: I walked out of the grocery store after work and IT"S SNOWING AGAIN

Toto, we're not in Alabama anymore!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blue Tablecloth Week: Day One

I'm officially declaring this week Blue Tablecloth week. Because I adore these colors. They remind of the season coming instead of the current dismal one.

Sit down. Enjoy a cookie or a cup of iced tea with me. We can look out the windows and talk about spring. Did you see the squirrels? They chase one another up and down the oak tree all day long.

There's plenty of room for everyone. Come on in. We'll pull up some more chairs if we need too.

Isn't the centerpiece pretty? My oldest son send them to me for Valentine's Day.

So take a sip of your tea and tell me something funny that happened this weekend. Or maybe a tidbit of juicy gossip...promise I won't tell. Is something bothering you? Get if off your chest. Leave it on the blue tablecloth and take home a dish of cheer instead.

While I'm sitting here chatting with you, I might just try and paint that vase of tulips. Want to join me?