Sunday, 21 November 2010

MIA, a little digital and a new website

This could turn into a bit of a long post so you may want to make a cuppa before you start!  You may have noticed that I have been conspicuous by my absence over the last few weeks.  Despite the fact that my foot is still causing me problems, that wasn't the reason for being away.  At the end of October my Mum went on a longed-for cruise to America for three weeks and 2 days before the end of the cruise she woke up with a numb arm.  To cut a long story short she had had a stroke so DH and I headed down to Essex to be there for when she got home.  After a 5 day stay in hospital and some recovery time at home Mum is now staying with us until we can see what sort of recovery she is going to make.  Fortunately it is just Mum's right hand and arm that are affected and she does have movement in it but no feeling so fine movement is tricky.  She says she will bounce back and as she is a fighter I'm sure she will.

We have had some laughs in all this because Mum's speech was slightly affected in as much as she kept mixing up her words.  DH is now referred to as her 'un-in-slaw'!  She was talking to my brother today about 'ruvuccas' (verrucas) so the sounds are all there, just a bit mixed up. :)

Just before our dash to Essex I had signed up to Kim Klassen's Skinny Mini Photoshop workshop and couldn't start it until we got back home.  Kim is offering this class again in December and from what I have seen so far it is an excellent class to learn the fundamentals of Photoshop Elements, especially with the use of layers.  I have already learned a lot and had fun making the changes to these images. 

 This daisy image is one of Kim's and I think all I did was add the text and change the colour of it.

 Using the daisy image again this had a solid colour layer added and an adjustment layer.

This dandelion that I had photographed  has been cropped and text added.  The colour of the text was altered by colour picking from the stone in the background.

This image above is one of my favourite images from Barbara Hepworth's garden in St Ives and I used and adjustment layer (hard mix), added text, changed its colour and then warped the text.

This final image is one of Kim's and includes a texture layer and some judicial use of brushes.  

The best thing so far is that Kim is teaching some very useful habits to get into and I now appreciate why you should save photo files as PSDs once you have manipulated them.  With a PSD you get to save all the layers you have made so you can come back and work into it more later if you wish.  Magic!  

I'm at least a week behind on the course so I hope to get a few more lessons done over the next few days while Mum is resting.  Anyone who is a veteran at Photoshop will realise these are only baby steps in manipulation but that's what I need, a good grounding to demystify the process.

Some of you may know that I am a member of the Quilters Guild of Great Britain and within the Guild I am a member of the Contemporary Quilt Group.  This group has been invaluable to me since I joined and has been a constant source of friendship, inspiration and knowledge.  My main point of contact and chat has been the CQ Yahoo group but now we have our very own website!  

The site includes information about the group, images of members work and contact details for anyone who is interested in becoming a member.  The site is in its infancy but it already looks exciting and will be added to over time.  If I can manage it I will put a button on my sidebar.

Needless to say, crafting is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment.  Journal Quilts are waiting to be finished (3 still to do for this year), Stay Home Round Robin coming up in December, An A4 quilt for Another Little Quilt Swap.  Although my sewing table is now vaguely accessible in our bedroom I don't feel very inclined to get to grips with anything too complicated so I am handsewing some laminated fabric I was experimenting and may well end up handsewing my remaining projects this year.  Watch this space!  (My little Fantasy Bird has progressed but I keep forgetting to photograph it).

I can't go without showing you our gorgeous great nephew who is now almost 9 months old and who has just been to Australia and back to his uncle's wedding (in company with Mum and Dad and grandparents).

This little man charmed all the stewards on the flights to and from Australia and all the guests at the wedding.  He's learned to blow bubbles too and I can't wait to have another cuddle!


Genie said...

Hi Julie
sorry to hear about your mum, hope she gets well soon.
I have also signed up for Kims course in Dec.
Take care. Jean

Gina said...

Glad your Mum is recovering - it's good you can have a laugh about it. What a gorgeous baby. No wonder he charmed everyone.

sandra wyman said...

Hope your Mum continues to recover, Julie - it must have been a difficult and worrying time. At least it's got to the stage where you can laugh about it. Thinking of you, love Sandra

Anneli/Bockfilz said...

Dear Julie,

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's stroke - but as she is in good hands and you can be humorous about it, I'm sure she will recover steadily.

My father had a bad stroke a couple of years ago - and now he's as good as fully recovered - visiting me a few weeks ago on his own (from Sweden) and we spent a very good time together.

So if you keep in mind how my father and I recovered fully after our strokes, I hope you can feel optimistic and a bit comforted by this.

Glad you have a few moments of your own, too, doing those Photoshop lessons - I think it's important that you take care of yourself and your own strength as well.

Su said...

Hope your mum makes a full recovery soon. Good you can laugh about it now. I need to learn how to use photoshop so might have a look at that course.



What a cutie, no wonder you can't wait to have another cuddle!

I signed up for Kim's class too, but I haven't done anything yet. My head isn't clear. I shall probably have a cram and do it all in one go!

I do hope your Mum will be ok and send my very best wishes to her for a speedy recovery. And you too! Hope your foot will soon get better :o)

Heather said...

Wishing your Mum a good recovery. Love your images from Kim's course - several other bloggers are doing it. What a gorgeous baby - he looks as if he already has a good sense of humour. Hope your foot will soon be better.

Susan D said...

Send your Mum my best wishes and hope she continues improving.

ju-north said...

Hope your mum will make a good recovery. Your photoshop work is looking good!

Emma said...

Wow, all that & time to write me a lovely comment! I haven't got very far with kim's couse, but I will!What a stunning little face!

Keep well, all of you!

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to add my voice to everyone elses and hope your mum continues to make a speedy recovery. It must have been a worry. I also hope your elderly friend is ok too.

But I see you've managed to do something very creative with the photoshop thing. My new computer came with photoshop but I have not the faintest idea how it works beyond the obvious "picasa" type applications. Maybe I need to sign up to the course too.

Sue Wild said...

Sorry to hear of your Mum's stroke and hope that she recovers well.
I like your Photoshop samples and have signed up to Kim's course. We've had Photoshop Elements on the Mac for some time but not had much guidance in using it (though my daughter-in-law uses the PC version).

Annette J said...

Love the work you have done in photoshop and the photo of your beautiful nephew. Home your Mum continues to progress successfully and quickly. Luv Annette

Jackie said...

You've made a better job of the Kim Klassen course than I did. I had to stop because I didn't have time to do it properly. I might sign up for the paid version where you have access to the classes forever.I hope you heal soon and that your Mum recovers steadily.

Marlis said...

i'm so sorry to hear of your mom's stroke julie. thinking of you and sending best wishes for a speedy recovery.

pam said...

Oh we have missed you - sorry to hear about your Mum - but pleased to hear she is recovering well and that you can laugh in adversity!! She is in good hands. The photos are so good shall look forward to seeing more. You take care and look after yourself xx

Angela said...

Hi Julie I hope your mum is making steady progress and you are all taking good care of yourselves.
Isn't your nephew sweet.

Cameron said...

Julie, How do I find out about that class? Love to learn about layers.
I will keep your Mum in my prayers. What a nasty ending to a great cruise, but glad you are keeping your sense of humor. Love and hugs.

dosfishes said...

So sorry to hear about your Mum, but it sounds like she has just the right attitude to recover and get going. Grand nephew is a darling one. Your photoshop course sounds great, I am learning it by trial and error, which sometimes is good, other time make me want to beat the computer silly. Nice images, continue to enjoy and share. xox Corrine

MargaretR said...

I do hope your mum continues to recover she was always very active, I remember you mentioning her when we met. You are having so much fun digitizing and I love the header!

Sharne's Bit 'n' Bobs said...

Sorry to hear about your mother, I hope she makes a speedy recovery. I have signed up for Kim's class and just have not had ime to do anything with it yet.