Tuesday, February 28, 2012

White Theme Photos

Nap time

white bowl

This week's Texture Tuesday has to center around the color white, which is a big challenge for me...most of my photos don't feel right unless they're filled with color. But I have to say that there truly is something beautiful about dreamy white photos. Kim is a master at achieving that look and I'm in awe of how breathtaking her images are. I was able to come up with two images that were mostly white, the first one being of my sweet dog sleeping. She's my constant companion and always wants to be nearby, even in the bathroom when I'm getting ready in the mornings...which is where I captured this shot. The second image was taken with a tiny white bowl and a beech nut blossom. Don't tell anyone, but I actually took the photo on our kitchen floor which has a creamy color...this floor has served me well for my white photos lately! For the dog photo, I used Kim's "Felicity" at Soft Light/50%, and for the bowl photo I used "Plaster Squared" at Soft Light, 100%.


Monday, February 27, 2012

After the Rain

We got some rain showers this past weekend, and when it finally stopped I ventured outside with my camera to see what I could find. I feel like I've pointed my camera at every last twig and tree in my back yard multiple times...I'm always amazed that I can find one more new thing to take a picture of! This is my submission for The Creative Exchange (button below).

fence leaf 2


winter leaves

after the rain

fence leaf

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's time for Scavenger Hunt Sunday...I'm really loving how this weekly prompt challenges me and keeps me busy with ideas and photo attempts! I'm enjoying it a lot.

1. Crossed. I may be stretching it a bit, but this was all I could think of...when I showed this to my husband he asked me why there was dust all over my shoes. So now I feel the need to explain that they're suede - there's no dust! lol

2. A Glimpse. I loved the sunlight in this photo. It's hard to believe I caught this glimpse of spring this past Monday, on a February day. Everything looks green! This is my neighbor's yard.
Glimpse of spring

3. Handwritten. These are some recipes handwritten by my grandmother. I was lucky enough to be given her recipe box when she passed away. I wrote more about it three posts below...it's something I truly treasure. I love seeing the old-fashioned names of my grandma's friends on the recipes: Edrie, Treva, Ruby, Esther, Mildred...you just don't see names like that anymore. They're from another time and place.
Grandma's recipes

4. Bliss. On this photography journey I'm taking, I've discovered that my bliss truly resides in the editing process. I know very little about my camera so far, but I feel pure joy when I can sit and edit my photos into something more beautiful. PSE is my medium, and its tools make no mess (and don't take up any space). Right now, my lovely point-and-shoot camera is more of a means to an end...maybe that will change with time and knowledge? I captured this photo of a fountain near Middleburg, VA, and it's the only photo from my archives this week. I had fun jazzing it up!

5. Gray. This past Tuesday, the clouds suddenly rolled in - I'm amazed it never rained. An hour after I took this photo, the skies were blue again. Weird weather!

Thanks so much for having a look!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I Love Instagram

iphone clouds 1iphone clouds 3

iphone clouds 2iphone clouds 4

On Thursday, I went to pick my daughter up from campus for the weekend - I took all four of these Instagram photos in the space of about one hour. The clouds were awesome that day! I love that, even while sitting at a red light, I can see a beautiful scene and grab my iphone. The clouds were constantly changing, so I was amazed at the variety I got.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Photo Art Friday

Spotted Leaves

I kept working on this one all week and I still feel as if it needs something...you know how when you're working on a piece of art and it doesn't quite feel done? But I ran out of time, so here is my Photo Art result for this Friday. I took this photo in my neighbor's yard last week...I was cat sitting for them and she gave me permission to wander her yard and snap away. I used Bonnie's "Splash of Gold" texture at Difference/100%. I used a reverse layer mask to bring out the difference effect only on the leaves themselves. I also put the image in RadLab to warm it up a bit, and also used "Oh Snap!" to make it pop a little more.

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Visit

recipe box

I'm working on some photo prompts this week, and one led me to my Grandma's recipe box that was given to me after she passed away. I hadn't looked at her recipes in awhile; in fact, the last time I did I felt her presence so deeply I wrote a poem about it (which I'll post below for those of you who'd like to read it). Anyway, seeing her familiar handwriting always brings back the happy moments spent in her house, in her cozy kitchen, enjoying all the wonderful meals she prepared for us when we'd visit. I vividly remember the aroma of the delicious food cooking and the loving care behind every dish. I still miss her deeply...what a wonderful human being she was, and I feel her presence so strongly when I see these recipes. Isn't it amazing how a small object in your hands can bring back such powerful memories and emotions? Grandma B., I miss you. This is my submission for This or That Thursday (button at the bottom of this post).


A shaky scrawl
On a recipe card
A moment in time
From the depths
Of my heart
And it hits me hard
She’s been gone
For so very long

A sting of tears
A tender comfort
There's an angel
On my shoulder
Visiting again
Stirring up lost love
A warm touch
Where none was

A moment’s rest
While I ache
From this crack
In my heart
But her visit
Softens my face
Comfort in this place
And the tears, they
Silently flow.

© Sherri Brannon

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Prickly Subject


For Texture Tuesday this week, we had to use Kim's "Felicity" texture with any image. I took this photo yesterday afternoon when the sun was shining brightly in our den. We've had this cactus for almost 25 years...it's one of the only plants that has survived my complete lack of a green thumb. It might be because it only needs watered every once in awhile. I used Kim' Felicity at Soft Light/26%.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunset Garden

Garden bench

I had fun "creating a mood" with this image. I came across the quote yesterday, and after reading it I remembered I had several photos of garden benches. I wanted to create an aged look to the photo, so I chose this grungy polaroid texture I had. (I don't remember where I got this, but I did a search at Flickr Creative Commons and found a bunch of them. For anyone interested, click HERE.) I also had a Brenda Starr "sunset" texture I had never used before, so I experimented and was thrilled to find that it worked...my photo taken in broad daylight now looked like a gorgeous sunset image! Brenda's free textures can also be found at Flickr. This is my submission for The Creative Exchange - click on the button below to visit!

Original photo:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I am enjoying Scavenger Hunt Sunday so much - I really enjoy getting prompts ahead of time that force me to think and plan about what I want in the photo and how I'm going to shoot it. I'm learning so much and enjoying the creativity! I stayed indoors for every prompt this week, because outside is completely lacking in color.

1. Love. These are the gorgeous flowers my husband gave me for Valentine's Day. They smell so wonderful!
Valentine flowers

2. Duplicate. This one took some thinking. I finally found a tutorial on making paper flowers; I took pages from the phonebook to create duplicate petals and then glued them together to form the flower. That counts, right? :) Click HERE for the tutorial.
Paper Flower

3. Trend or Trendsetting. I took the suggestion of checking Twitter for what was trending; at the time, one of them was "What Women Want". Most women love sparkly jewelry, so I got out my costume jewelry stash (I used to recycle it into new jewelry pieces many, many years ago). I gathered some extra shiny ones in this pretty dish.
Sparkly things

4. Paper. For this one, I took a photo of some of my latest watercolor practice pages. I used a Pixel Dust Photo Art texture called "life is good" over the top to give it a little more something.
Painting practice

5. Plastic. Another hard one...I couldn't figure out what to take a picture of for this prompt. Years back, I got fascinated with learning all about Polyshrink ("shrinky dink"). I spent a lot of time testing it, creating color samples, and experimenting with different effects and mediums. So, I gathered a bunch of my samples together and took this image.

Thank you for visiting! I look forward to seeing what others have come up with this week.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Color Me Beautiful

Abstract green branch

I had fun turning this sprig of green leaves into photo art...I used Bonnie's "Drops of Jupiter" texture at Difference/80%. I then used the dry brush effect on the image at 47%. Next, I added a layer of an old image I found at Flickr Creative Commons (public domain/copyright free) and used a reverse layer mask to bring in only the floral border of the layer along the edges - difference/100%. I loved the colorful results! Click on the button to visit Bonnie's beautiful blog and see some other creative photo art.

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Three Vases

Three vases continued

I'm participating in Kim Klassen's 52 week Beyond Layers class this year, and yesterday I was working on her challenge to set up some sort of indoor area for photography with natural light. I'm lucky that our kitchen gets a lot of sunlight in the winter (with all the leaves off the trees), so I set up an area right near our large kitchen window. I stacked two boxes on the floor, up against the kitchen wall, and then covered the boxes with a large piece of Bristol paper. The lighting was great - my only complaint was that I couldn't get the Bristol paper to lay completely flat. I bought these tiny glass vases at Target yesterday, and the baby's breath are from the beautiful flowers my husband gave me for Valentine's Day. All in all, I was happy with my results considering I have a point-and-shoot camera...as always, RadLab helped me tremendously. I used Lights On, Prettyizer and Oh Snap! to make everything pop a little further.

I also wanted to add another photo I took later in the day with my iPhone...I had placed the vases in my kitchen window and loved how they looked, so I couldn't resist an Instagram shot! The same three vases with a completely different look...I'm submitting both of these photos over at Deb Duty's This or That Thursday. Click on the button at the bottom of this post to go visit and see some other wonderful images!

Three vases instagram

Tuesday, February 14, 2012



This week on Texture Tuesday the prompt is to offer up a photo centered around happiness. I had to go to the archives for this one, not because there's no happiness around me (!), but because I just don't have any recent photos worthy of submission...every time I go outside, it's the same pictures of the same bare trees and brown leaves. I am so ready for spring! This photo makes me smile - I took it at the Botanical Gardens and when I saw the butterfly perched so delicately on the flower, I frantically grabbed my camera and tried to capture it before it flew off. I was in such a rush that I felt sure it would be a blurry mess, so I was thrilled later on when I uploaded the picture and saw the gorgeous results. It made me very happy! I used Kim's "providence" texture at Darken/30%, which gave a very subtle but pretty effect. Happy Valentine's day, everyone!

I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

~William Wordsworth


Monday, February 13, 2012

Frosty Coat

winter snow

I'm discovering that February is a hard month for me and my camera. I've taken some photos this month, but so many of them are blah. Where's the color?? This is one I took six weeks or so ago when we had a small snow storm one day. At least it looks pretty and covered up all the blah browns everywhere. I guess this is the time for me to start practicing more with my indoor photography!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I enjoyed Scavenger Hunt Sunday so much last week that I thought I'd give it another try. I like having an "assignment" of words to motivate me and give me ideas for photos. Here are my photos for this week:

1. Facial Feature. This is a shot of my daughter's eyes peeking over a stone wall near the lake by our house. I'm happy she got her Dad's pretty blue eyes. This is the only photo I had to pull from my archives this week, as you can tell from the green trees in the background.

2. Shadow. It was a sunny day last week when I took this picture...the diagonal shadow is actually me as I leaned over to take a shot of the leaf on our patio.
Diagonal shadow

3. Spicy. This one was tough! I wasn't sure what to do with spicy, so I bought some jalapeno peppers at the grocery. I experimented a bit with trying to capture natural light inside my house with this photo...this is an area where I have no experience. I was pretty happy with how it came out, but I took about 70 photos before I got one I was happy with!

4. Gold. I'm not a gold person; it's all about the silver for me. So my interpretation of gold was to capture the crocuses blooming outside in our yard.

5. Fabric. I love this scarf and its texture, so I knew I wanted to use it for the fabric prompt. I had my daughter model it, and added the bracelet to give it a little more oomph.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hop Across the Sky

Magical Bunny Cloud

For Photo Art Friday this week, I used a photo I took in Middleburg, VA last summer. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a perfectly shaped bunny in the clouds, "hopping" across the sky. It was fun to work with this image and make it look like photo art. I love collecting old images in the public domain (copyright expired) to use as layers and/or texture...Wikimedia is a great source, as well as the Creative Commons area of Flickr. For this one, I first added a pattern from the flyleaf of an old book at Soft Light 100%. I then used the dry brush effect on the image at normal, 100%. Next, I used an old black book cover with an etched "frame" design as a layer over the top, Soft Light at 60%. I used a layer mask to remove the frame from the grass area. Then I used Bonnie's Vellum texture at Multiply, 50%. I finished it up in RadLab and used Oh Snap! and Antique Tone.

Photo Art Friday