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Showing posts from March, 2011

Retreat House

Hello Everyone:   I have received messages that the pictures cannot be seen on my post today.  When I check them they show up as normal.   The comments I received say that if you click on the pictures they come up in their own window.   I am not a computer techie so if that works for you please use it.  I have no idea what is happening.  Thanks so much for your patience.  

My husband and I took a drive one Sunday and we ended up at a historical setting not far from our house.   The initial property was owned by Sir Henry Pelham the fellow that built Casa Loma in Toronto.   This was part of his estate in his later years.   What attracted me was the beautiful stone used.   My edit began here where I used the eraser tool to remove the no trespassing sign and the tv antenna and then I cropped the picture to exclude as much of the trailer in the side yard. Next, I adjusted levels and corrected the white balance, another adjustment for brightness and contrast and finally a hue and saturati…

Artful Tablescapes for Mosaic Monday

Following the theme of”Rhythms” at  the Canada Blooms event this year the booths were decorated with the “Juno” vibe.   It may be possible to read the signs at the back (by clicking on the mosaic) to tell you who won the Juno for any particular year and what the colour scheme was for that year.   It goes back 40 years so even I reminisced about some of the groups and singers I idolized at the time.    In the Garden Hall were tablescapes too with beautiful arrangements made by various garden club members.  The picnic table was in one of the gardens. Had to include it as I love a picnic in the summer.  Music was a large part of the displays.  Top left was a piano in the Tribute to Oscar Peterson.  Apparently this amazing musician loved to play his piano out on his patio in summer. Wouldn’t you have loved to be his neighbour?  CDs/DVDs were used as a display in the main gallery as you came into the show.  In one of the gardens “ A Symphony of Delight” was a pond made to look like a piano…

Amaryllis Bloom

The Amaryllis bulb that I potted up some weeks ago is blooming now.  It is a lovely white bloom with just a tinge of pink and lovely green filaments and brownish anthers.    I dressed it up with an antique overlay from Nelly Nero, a Florabella Classic Vintage action and a AmaPad Border and Frame action.
I am joining Macro Friday with host Laura at Blogging From Bolivia.   Have a Great Weekend.  Valerie

Colour at the Show

Canada Blooms was all about colour to get us into the mood for spring.   I thought I would show you some of them today.  The photos have not been edited but are SOOC.Who would have thought to see blue orchids.   Lona Dawn of a Hocking Hill Garden showed a photo of blue orchids on her blog a week or so ago when she was at the Ohio Garden Show.   I just had to show that they were shown at Canada Blooms too and a price of $39.99 a pot.Home Depot was a big sponsor of the show this year and everywhere were these bright orange Emperor Tulips.   This was at the Home Depot booth. Jully Black,  a Juno winner, had a garden  based on a song of hers called “Running” that emphasized that although we are all of different races we are all equal.   She used lots of pink rhododendron and tulips in her garden.Even in the market place there was colour everywhere.   I loved how this booth put all the like colours on the shelf together.  Those pots are so pretty in plaid.My husband took this photo as he w…

The Rhythm of Canada Blooms 2011

The theme of this year’s Canada Blooms event was called Rhythm to mark the celebration of 15years as a Canada wide event and also to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Canada’s Juno Awards.   There were 26 individual gardens at this years show.  

The Rhythm and Flow of Kyoto was one of the gardens at the show designed by Wolfganag Bonham.  A lovely and tranquil garden.  Donations were accepted at this garden for the Red Cross to be used for Japanese Relief Fund.

In the Bienenstock Natural Playground was a series of sand sculptures done by Karen Fralich an amazing artist.   The features on these sculptures was incredibly precise. 
I hope to share with you in future posts more gardens and features of this years show.    I am joining Mary for Mosaic Monday.  Have a great week.    Valerie

A Touch of Spring at Canada Blooms

This week I had forgotten how it was to get up get cleaned up, dressed up and get a lunch together in the early hours of the morning and then rush off into traffic to get to the big city of Toronto.   I am exhausted already.    The show is wonderful though and there is much to see and smell and touch.   I have taken well over a hundred photos and I have another day to go.   

A fellow stopped by my friend Jennifer as we were taking pictures in the Garden Hall at Canada Blooms, an area  that is dedicated to floral design and horticulture.   As with people with the same interests he got talking  about taking pictures and lenses and composition with her.   I was off taking pictures of other things but I did come back to see what was going on.   He was showing her how to do a macro and use a feature on the camera that I have never used and that is the viewfinder.    He let me try out his 100m macro lens on my camera and showed me how to find a spot to focus on and get it perfect by zoomin…

Green Tea for Touch Up Tuesday

I am thinking green this week in honour of St. Patrick’s Day.   I took a photo of my cup of green tea in a green cup and saucer and then played around with some textures.Straight out of the CameraI need to brand my edits into my memory.   I always fail to write down what exactly I do and always remember I am to do that after I have flattened it.   The photo was put through Grant’s actions for a custom white balance.   Then I do the layers adjustment for levels, saturation and brightness.   Then I added a texture layer twice.   I used Kim Klassen texture paper stained light because it had a green cast.  I used multiply at 56% and then Overlay at 47%.   I then dragged a copy of the background up to the top and desaturated it a bit with a adjustment layer.    Have no idea what I am doing but I keep playing till I like it.   It is finally flattened and saved.I then remembered that I downloaded a lovely texture from Florabella this week from her facebook page that had shamrocks on it.   I …

St. Patrick’s Day Mosaic

Even though my husband’s family and my own came from Ireland many years ago to Canada we like to wear our green on St. Patrick’s Day each year.  Ireland is a wonderful place to visit if you ever have the chance to go.  I have used a Florabella texture as a background that was offered on her Facebook page this week.   Have a great week.   I am going to be at Canada Blooms this week soaking up the smell of spring flowers and dirt.   I am giddy with anticipation after this long long winter.   If you are at Canada Blooms this week on Wednesday I will be in Room 102 at the Master Gardener stage where I will be introducing the speakers until lunch and on Thursday I will be one of the tour guides for the early morning tours.   Stop by and say hello.   ValerieOn Monday Mary is our host for Mosaic Monday.  Come join us.

What a Difference a Year Makes

Last year at this time we were having an unusually early spring with temperatures that were so warm we were running around in sweaters and not coats.    The plants were enjoying the warmth of the soil and were sprouting early too.   Unfortunately, this March has been a different story.   Today is rainy and I suppose you could say that is a good thing as we do not have to shovel it.    I went back into my photos for last March and pulled out a photo of the tips of the tulips emerging from the leaves by the foundation wall of the house on March 9,2010.

As you can see there is no tulips emerging at all March 10, 2011.  I do however, see the hardy cactus emerging from the leaves but then it is an evergreen and just needs plumping up in the spring.

This is the tip of the Pineapple Lily or Eucomis autumnalis that I posted about a few weeks ago.   It is growing like crazy in the north window of my living room.    This is a macro shot of it that I took last week. 

This is the Pineapple Lily…

Icicles that Sparkle for Touch Up Tuesday

Sunday morning we woke to find that more snow had fallen.   By the afternoon the sun had warmed things up and we had icicles dripping from the eaves.   This one just caught the sun in the right way as it looked like gold sparkles.

The first edit was just to get a custom white balance and then an adjustment for levels and hue and saturation.   I did not want to look any of the detail in the icicles.

I used Nelly Nero’s action Gold Flake to give it some pizzazz.  
Drop over to PaperHeartCamera for Touch Up Tuesday to see what magic is created there.   Valerie

Vintage Thimble Holder for Mosaic Monday


I was looking for something in a drawer for St. Patrick’s Day which is next week and I came upon some boxes that I had forgotten about.   In one of the boxes was this lovely little vintage thimble holder.  It belonged to my husband’s family and I do not know if they made it or purchased it.  It is so sweet.  I can sew but I have not put those talents to work in years.  I can still sew a button on a shirt but the sewing machine has dust on it.   This lovely little piece would have been in the sewing kit of the lady of the house and handy for a quick mend.   Someone put a lot of work into it.   Hope you like it too.
Stop by Mary’s at DearLittleRedHouse for Mosaic Monday.  You will find real treasures there too.    Have a great week.   Valerie

Floral Headband for Macro Friday

At a floral trade show a group of women from a Community College were madly making headbands from faux florals and inexpensive headbands and then offering them for a small donation. It was a popular destination that day for many.   I was taken with one of the offerings and wore it that whole day.    I kept it on my dresser and it caught my eye for todays macro.I recently downloaded some new actions.  This one was the free MCP mini fusion.   I am joining Laura at BloggingfromBolivia for Macro Friday.    Have a great weekend.   Valerie

Garden Display for Touch Up Tuesday

I went into the archives for this one.   Last spring one of my favourite gardening centres had new displays of the season’s hottest gardening items.   This display was in my favourite colours of spring green and had lots of birds in it.    Just had to get a snap of it so I took it with my Nikon point and shoot that I carry in my purse.

I edited it by opening it in Photoshop Elements 9 in the raw format where I got a custom white from the daisies.  I then used a levels adjustment and brightness and saturation adjustment.  I then flattened the photo.   I went into my action player and grabbed Flora Bella Bella Lighten and Brighten and changed the opacity to 60%, a new addition to my arsenal of toys.  Kim Klassen  gave a tutorial to her Essentials class on how to do a diptch last week.   I love tutorials.  
I am joining Chelsey at Paper Heart Camera for another addition of Touch Up Tuesday.   Have a great day.  Get out and take some photos.    Valerie