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Showing posts from February, 2011

Thinking about Gardening for Mosaic Monday

Lately I have been potting up the bulbs that I have overwintered in the basement and thinking about the new gardening season.   I am sure you are too.   The gardening magazines coming in are full of beautiful gardens and they are inspiring me to think about what I am going to do in ours.  This week I learned how to take photos using a white background to isolate the items I am taking photos of.   A mini studio if you will.   It consists of one of my dining room chairs holding the white bristol board and the items and me on my hands and knees behind the tripod with camera attached.  The other lesson I learned was to incorporate a patterned piece of  scanned scrapbooking paper onto the back of the photo.  There are some beautiful papers out there and those of you who do scrapbooking know that.   I am an amateur at all this.  
I am joining Mary at DearLittleRedHouse for another session of Mosaic Monday.   Join us won’t you.   I hope that you have an inspiring week.   Valerie.

In Bloom at the End of February 2011

I purposely kept my amaryllis bulb in the cool basement over the winter season because there were so many other things of colour going on.   I potted it up a few weeks ago and brought it up to the light last week.   You can see it is sprouting nicely.   At this point I am hoping that the sprout is a flower and not leaves but at this stage I can’t say for sure.   I will share it with you if it is a flower for sure.The Yellow Orchid has produced a second bloom so I wanted to share it with you.  So far the mealybugs are at bay on this plant.  \Despite taking oodles of photos of the violet this morning I could not get the violet bloom in focus with the buds.  I tried manual focus and auto focus and then I gave up….for now.    I just wanted to share with you that this violet as it is blooming its head off at this moment.    So, that is about the extent of blooms for now.   It is snowing outside and the weather people tell us we are going to have lots of snow to shovel by this afternoon.   …

Time for Potting Up

I have some tender bulbs that I bring in in the fall and overwinter in the basement where it is cool.   Recently I have noticed that they are in need of potting up.  They have little shoots sprouting up.This one is the Eucomis ‘Autumnalis’ or Pineapple Lily.    I could separate all the little bulblets around the outside of the mother but I prefer not to as I am going to pot them up in a container rather than plan them in the flowerbed.   This way it gives me a good show in the container. Sorry about the photo being slightly out of focus.    I filled the container up about two thirds full of good container soil and placed the bulb on top.    I put more container soil over the bulb leaving the tip of the largest one exposed.   Water it well.   I will leave the container in the cool of the basement to settle in for a week or so and then move it upstairs to a brighter light.This is what the bulb looks like in summer.   You can see why it is called a pineapple lily.   Now is the time to be…

Yellow Sign for Touch Up Tuesday

It was Family Day today in Ontario.   Unless you worked for the Federal Government you had the day off to spend with your family.   My husband and I took a little walk down by the river near our house.  Many snowmobiles use the river to zip up and down when it is frozen.    This is my SOOC.

This is my edited version using a texture.   I first edited the photo using Grants curves as Ashley Sisk suggested last week, and adjusted levels.   I added the first texture (paper stained light by Shadowbox Creations?) with a blending mode of multiply.  I added another layer of the texture at Soft light. I used a layer mask on both layers and took off the layer only on the sign.   Added my watermark and flattened the image.
I am joining Chelsey for Touch Up Tuesday at Paper Heart Camera.   Have a great day.   Valerie

A Vase of Colour

My husband gave me a bouquet of cut flowers for Valentine’s Day and I have spent hours of fun taking pictures of the blooms.   My mosaic today is a few of  the shots I captured.   Join us for Mosaic Monday  at Mary’s Dear Little Red House.  Have a wonderful week.   Valerie

A Valentine Bouquet

Yesterday I was out in the back yard replenishing the bird feeders.   The temperature was 9 degrees Celsius which to us in southern Ontario is a heat wave at this moment in time.   The snow was up to the top of my rubber boots yet.  The little boy sculpture that sits in one of the flower beds just seemed to be saying “hey get me out of here”.    We are going to have another day of these temperatures and then head back down to the minuses again.   At least you can feel the warmth in the sun and the birds are busy and vocal.   All good signs of spring around the corner.

My husband gave me a lovely bouquet of mixed flowers for Valentine’s day.   It was filled with lots of colour and fragrance and brightened up the living room that faces north.   I spend a good amount of time taking pictures of all the components for future photos.

I took a macro of the lily for Macro Friday at Laura’s at BloggingfromBolivia.   I am also joining Tootsie at TootsieTime for Fertilizer Friday.   Have a grea…

A Winter View for Touch Up Tuesday

SOOCWhen you try a recipe out for the first time do you follow it to the letter?  If I am baking a cake or cookies I follow the recipe just as the cookbook says and then the next time I will add some different kind of fruits or chocolate bits to it for my own tastes.   I am doing the same in this big world of photography that I am learning.   I really enjoy the tutorials posted about editing photos and am learning so much about programs that I did not have a clue about running several months ago. I am kind of like a kid in the candy store.  I want to try them all.    My touch up today was an edit I learned through the Skinny Mini Course given by Kim Klassen  Cafe some months ago.   I am getting braver about adding my own blending and opacity modes but the recipe is basically hers.Duplicate the layerDo a levels adjustment, a hue and saturation and a photo filter adjustment to my own satisfactionAdd a texture:  This one was Celebrate by Kim Klassen. Blending mode MultiplyAdd same textur…

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine treasures are people who
have often crossed your mind,
family, friends and others, too,
who in your life have shined
the warmth of love or a spark of light
that makes you remember them;
no matter how long since you’ve actually met,
each one is a luminous gem,
who gleams and glows in your memory,
bringing special pleasures,
and that’s why this Valentine comes to you:
You’re one of those sparkling treasures!By Joanna FuchsWishing you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day.   ValerieI am joining Mary for Mosaic Monday.

Recovered Orchid

Phaleanopsis or the Moth Orchid is a pretty easy variety of orchid for most people to grow and maintain in their homes.  They do not require special lighting or misting.   They just need sufficient light in a east or north window and regular household temperatures.   I had five orchids growing in a north facing window a year ago.   One of them (a present from a well meaning husband) came into the house with a hidden pest.   In the leaves was a  nasty little pest called the mealybug.  By the time I found it and identified it the pest had invaded the other orchids.   The flowers dropped off my very healthy plants and the leaves all withered up and died.  It was a mess.   I had to throw out one of the orchids.  I could not bring it back.  Three more are putting on new growth and one looks like I may have to dispose of it too.   Some time back in a copy of Horticulture Magazine was a tip to try of placing a teaspoon of Dr.Bronner’s Peppermint soap in a quart spray container and giving the…

More tulips for Touch Up Tuesday

I was in the grocery store the other day and I found myself gravitating over to the flower sections. What really brought me over there was the lovely fragrance from the hyacinths but when I looked at the specimens they were in poor shape.   But, I did spy these unusual tulips that were a lovely shade of orangey-red  with wrinkled up petals and I just had to take home a bunch.This photo was edited in Photoshop Elements using the open as Raw tab explained last week by Ashley of Ramblings and Photos.   This tab has been my new go to this week for editing new pictures.   When I was finished pushing all the sliders and getting it the way I thought it looked good I flattened it.Then I decided to add a texture to it and I chose one from Shadowhouse called Slightly delicate.   I used a blending mode of colour dodge (opacity ?) and then another layer of same and blending mode of soft light (opacity?)   I got so excited about the result I forgot to write down the opacity.   I hope you think it …

Cactus House for Mosaic Monday

Allan Gardens Conservatory is a great place to visit at any time of the year but especially now in the blah months without colour.    The six greenhouses making up 16,000 square feet of seasonal plants, trees and shrubs is a feast for the eyes and mind.    My favourite greenhouse is the cactus house.   It is filled with lots of colour and texture and shape and it usually the warmest of the greenhouses.    I find that I take more pictures in that one greenhouse than the others.   You might spy my error in the mosaic.  It is Allan Gardens and not Allan’s Gardens.   I am most interested in the barrel cactus as they have a wooly mat on the top of them and fine spines that stand straight up.  For colour there is kalanchoe plants of red and yellow. Giant yucca’s occupy the beds and from the rafters are lots of hanging baskets with Christmas cactus and other types of succulents.    Botanical gardens and Conservatories are a great place to spend the afternoon just enjoying the sights or take …

Pretty in Pink

This week as we in southern Ontario were bracing for a winter storm my friend Jen of A Garden of Threads decided to pack up our photography gear and head down to Toronto to Allan Gardens. We just needed to see what was growing in the greenhouses and take pictures of flowers.   Unfortunately, it was between seasons in the greenhouses.  The Christmas plantings were gone and the bulbs were just popping up in the beds.   We did manage to find a few blooms despite the lack of sunlight.The Abutilon x hybridum or Flowering Maple is a houseplant in these parts.  It can be placed outside in the summer months to grace a deck or patio.   This plant is a tropical shrub or small three that if carefully looked after should continuously bloom. The crepe paperlike flowers come in colours of red, yellow, pink, orange or peach.   This one was a lovely shade of pink.  I loved the veining in the petals.  The leaves of the plant resemble the maple leaves of the deciduous tree.  The white variegated leaved…

Colourful Flowerpots

A while ago I purchased these three colourful little flower pots at the Dollar Store.   I intended them for the window sill with herbs in them.    It never happened.  They ended up with pencils etc in them.   The other day I was looking for something to photograph and this is it.   I am not unhappy with it just as it is.I love the art of putting textures on photos though.   I used a texture lesson from Kristy at lnr-laboratory to place a texture on the pots.   The method is practically the way she instructs you to do it.   The texture I used was one from Kim Klassen called Coffeeteaorme.   I loved the vintage effects of the photo.   Chelsey at Paper Heart Camera hosts Touch Up Tuesday.   Come by and see the fantastic things other photographers can do with some editing.   Have a great day.  We are expecting a big snow storm to come through today.   Valerie