before the storm

before the storm
The wind started to blow, which made me look out the window, which made me grab my camera, which made me run outside, which made me ever so grateful for our little home among the saguaros.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

write a real letter and mail it... today

I like getting real letters. My college roommate still writes real letters. M has written me a letter or two. WB wrote me letters when he was in England. I had so many wonderful cards when I was recuperating earlier this year. I get cards on my birthday and at Christmas. Email is wonderful, of course, but nothing beats that excitement of seeing an envelope resting in the mailbox. I am constantly amazed that I can put a 44 cent stamp on a letter and it arrives just where I want it to go in a couple of days. It seems like magic to me. There is nothing else in my life that I can think of that only costs 44 cents.

Reading yesterday that the post office is close to being broke is so sad. I don't want mail to change. I would gladly pay 50¢ (I just found out how to do the cents symbol on the keyboard - alt - 0162 on the keypad with num lock) to keep that magic alive. I want to continue to find wedding invitations, postcards, thank yous, baby announcements, birthday greetings and Christmas wishes in my mailbox.

So in the spirit of helping the post office, send a real letter to someone today. You will sure make someone (and the post office) happy. All for only 44¢.

(Did the cents symbol go away when the typewriter did?)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


cracker jack texture by Kim Klassen

I have a love/hate relationship with Photoshop. When I first started with digital, I didn't want to alter my photos at all. They were what they were. It took me long enough to even think digital was a good idea so altering my photos was never going to happen. I saw photos that were altered so much, previously lovely children almost had an alien plastic doll look with eyes like no one had ever seen. I knew I wasn't interested in that. I saw photos of middle aged women without any smile lines. I knew I wasn't interested in that. I saw photos that had the look of all my faded photos from the bad film of the 70's. I knew I wasn't interested in that. Then I realized that I could change my photos to black and white. I could make them just the kind of black and white I loved - dark blacks, white whites and lots of contrast. Then I realized that I could tone them a bit to look like different eras of black and white film. All of a sudden, I was cropping, sharpening and even popping the color once in a while. I still didn't know much about Photoshop but I could do a few things.

Adding textures to photos has intrigued me for a long time but I really didn't know how to do that. Friends led me to Kim Klassen, queen of the textures and extremely generous with her creations. All of a sudden, I actually liked playing with Photoshop. It was fun to take a photo and then alter it with Kim's textures. It became art for someone like me who can't draw or paint.

These days, I do love Photoshop. I still rather spend my time behind the camera instead of in front of the computer but I do have fun. And I have to admit, once in a while, I change a photo to look just like those faded pictures from the 70's.