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Showing posts from December, 2011

Happy New Year from the Sandbox

My goodness how time flies when you are having fun or does that happen the older you get.   We are saying goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012 tonight.    I do hope that you and your families have a very happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you again in the New Year with a sense of renewal and a promise of good things to come.   God Bless.  Valerie

Winter Solstice

The skyline from our deck this morning at 7:30am shows a little pink in it.  Winter Solstice is when the Northern Hemisphere is at is maximum tilt away from the sun and occurs today December 22. It is the beginning of winter and also the shortest day.  The bright side is that from this day until summer solstice in June the days will increasingly longer.  

I used Kim Klassen’s texture called Providence today for the Twelve Days of Textures.  

I am joining Skywatch Friday and Kim Klassen’s Twelve Days of Textures.   Valerie

How Did I Get Here?

Just happened to be fooling around yesterday afternoon.  It sort of looked comical.  I am joining in the Twelve Days of Textures with Kim Klassen.  I used the texture “magic scratches”.         Valerie

A Christmas Memory

I was sitting with my coffee this morning and reflecting back to when the boys were small and some of the great memories of Christmas’s past.  One in particular comes to mind to when our eldest was just a wee boy perhaps 2 years old or so we used to go to the early Children’s Mass at church.   The children were encouraged to sit up in the front pews just adjacent to the manger with Jesus, Mary and Joseph in it.   During the story of how Jesus was born in the stable in Jerusalem the Priest stated that we were going to sing a hymn.  Out of this little lad came a big voice…"Are we going to sing Happy Birthday now?”   The congregation had a big laugh.   I have never forgot that.    I have a dining room table full of gingerbread cookies needing to be iced.  I had better get at it.   Have a Very Merry Christmas to you all.    ValerieI am joining with Lisa for The Creative Exchange.

Merry Christmas Mosaic 2011

The big day is almost here now.   I have lots of things left to do so this week so I will have to put the blinders on and get it done.  I know it is probably the same at your house.  I am assuming that Mary will not hold a Mosaic Monday next week so I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas from our house to yours and thank you all for your friendship.   It means so much to me to be able to participate each week and share my little creations with you as well as being able to visit with you.  Let’s do this all again next year.     Love and Best Wishes.   Valerie

Lensbaby Bokeh

Last Sunday afternoon I was playing around with my camera trying to get some bokeh.   I used mainly my 70mm macro lens at an f-stop of 1.8.   I remembered that I purchased an extended kit of disks for my lensbaby that had shapes in them and thought they might make some interesting bokeh.  

This is the lensbaby composer lens and the disks.

This is the various disks that came with the Accessory kit.  The main part to this kit were two macro lenses and two wide angled lenses.

I am sure there is a name for this shape but it is not known to me.

Stars bokeh

Star bokeh
If you are interested in trying out this technique with your camera visit the website of Darcy at  There are various tutorials in the blogosphere about making a covering with a shape that fits over any lens that can create the same kind of thing as my lensbaby kit. 
Have a great day.  Valerie

Visit Jaymi for her Holiday Bokeh Party.

Peach Christmas Cactus Bloom

The Peach coloured Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) just bloomed.   I love the salmon pink in the petals with the bubble gum pink in the stigma and pearl like stamens.  I am joining Lisa for The Creative Exchange.   Have a great day.  Valerie

Fun with Bokeh

Bokeh is the blurry unfocused shapes that appear in the background of a photo when you use a lens with a wide aperture like a 50 mm or macro lens that can stop down to 1.8 or so.   Christmas time is an excellent opportunity to play with this technique as most of us have holidays lights as a part of our indoor d├ęcor.    The Christmas tree was my light source yesterday afternoon as I played around with various items.   I used my macro lens for these pictures.   Later on this week I am planning on posting  another set of pictures that I took with my lensbaby and some disks that create shaped bokeh.  I hope that you check back to see.  I have to thank Isabel LaFrance for the mosaic template and Coffee Shop Rita for the sleighbells paper for the background.  

I will be joining Mary for Mosaic Monday.   See you there.   Valerie

An Old Glass Christmas Tree Ornament

Some years ago my Mom gave me some ornaments that she said were the first ones that adorned their tree when Mom and Dad were first married.  That makes them just a little older than me and I’m as old as dirt.   They are not in very good shape but I just cannot toss them out yet.   For Kim Klassen’s challenge for Texture Tuesday this week we were to think “Celebrate”.   I have lost two friends in the last two years to Cancer and I have to celebrate that here I am still kicking and still celebrating on their behalf.   The textures I used were Kim’s “silent night”.  I used two layers and then I added a texture from Betty Jo called “Seaglass”.   Looks a bit festive.  I will be joining with Lisa Gordon for The Creative Exchange and Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday.

Winter or Is It?

The weather here is unpredictable.   One morning there is a layer of frost on everything and the next is mild and rainy.  Today is gloomy and rainy.  I am supposed to be finishing up the Christmas tree but I keep wandering away from it.   I used another of Coffee Shop Rita’s templates for my mosaic today.   I am joining our host Mary for Mosaic Monday.   Hope you are getting your holiday shopping done.   I will be out there this week.   Valerie


Spiral, a photo by In A Sandbox on Flickr.

Do You Have Any Photographers on Your Christmas List?

A few suggestions from the SandboxI love a book and I have been collecting a few photography books over the last couple of years.   This is my collection of camera books that I have bookmarked and highlighted with coloured pens and even christened with coffee or jam to show you that I have my head buried in them over my lunch or breakfast.   Everyone of them gives me inspiration and very detailed how-tos to get that great picture. I thought I would just point out a favourite of mine that is well thumbed.I have found that I read and reread this book over and over.   You may say “doesn’t she get it the first time”?   Well, the answer is no.   I find each time I read it I discover something I missed.  Bryan is a wonderful photographer and knows his subject inside out. I recently took his course on this subject that I found very very good.   I can’t say that I have an eye for photography.  I know what I like and I try my best to convey it through the lens but I have more flubs than great …