Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge -The Colours Blue & White

The theme this week for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC) is the Colours Blue and White. We are onto a new series, and it sounds like fun, with happy colours and themes. The only thing is I feel a touch monotonous……Blue and White to me is water & waves, sky & clouds and flowers………

I would love to do some balloons of even candy (lollies for us Brits and Aussies), but alas I have nothing to offer :-), maybe someone else will.

-Julz

Faeries in the Garden?

I seems to me that my day to day themes are continuously adapting, changing and taking on new form. Today I just wanted to put in a few pics that I did as a trial for me Photographic Studio, I took the basic pic of a little girl posed on a chair, floor etc and then photoshopped in the Fairy Environment, with various other photos, and filters, brushes, gradients and who knows what else to create the fantasy images.

Now on the surface most people I have shown are going WOW……..however there a few issues with them and I normally am not looking for critique on my work, but if anyone has some helpful suggestions it would be appreciated, but please be nice 🙂

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Now I know I need to fix the foot on the reflection……..but the reflection sis still to perfect. I have blurred it with a gaussian blur but it is not quite enough??11393125_1456839781281506_5454779097077507092_n

I added a cast shadow and a drop shadow but she is still not in the picture so to speak, just popped in, i tried blurring the background a little, but still didn’t help………..any thoughts?11392771_1456851384613679_6221927420710898043_n

I need to add a reflection in the water, but same issues as above, how to make a good water reflection believable? Would love any feedback.

Happy snapping

– Julz

The Daydreamer Challenge – Day 4

The Daydreamer Challenge – Day 4 – Blogging tips

I know when it comes to blogs I really enjoy reading it is when something is genuine and usually amusing, I also like pretty pictures, but they should have a reference, for instance why put up a image of a cat playing piano if you are discussing taking a dog for a walk? It’s just not relevant. So I try and emulate that sort of blog, I write from the heart, not always what people want to read, but what I want to get out……….I have found that if you write what you feel there are so many people out there who have been there, know exactly how you feel and can sympathize or at least empathize with you. If it’s a funny tale, often people tell you it brightened their day.

Just because you are new it doesn’t mean you do not have something to offer. I found one of the best things I did when I first started blogging was Blog101 and Photo101, I learnt so many things about blogging and photography, I also ‘met’ a lot of very interesting people who in turn taught me more. I picked up lots of readers and made many new friends. Some people say if you do not want people to comment on ‘it’ don’t put it on Social Media, however I find that I can write things on my Blog, that I would not necessarily put on SM like Twitter or Facebook. I know that some people like to link all of it together, but I must admit due to my ‘venting’ on my blog I don’t tend to put it on SM.

So I guess what I am trying to say it keep it real, make it appealing and don’t forget a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

words

– Julz

Winning Streak – Blog/Photo 101 Wrap Up

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Winning Streak.”

Well I started both the Blog101 and Photo101 to hopefully help me further my education in blogging (I was very new and really did not know what to say or do). I was challenged in the writing part, and hopefully put up a few pieces of meaning; for at least myself.

I enjoyed the Daily Prompts, and I will try and continue to write something daily, However I must admit I found some topics particularly hard. The Photo 101, was a blast, Not only did I meet up with some amazing people, I got to play and learn a lot about my camera and photography in general. So I guess I really did post at least 1 every day, in some case more than once a day. I have learnt that almost everyone on the Blogosphere has something special to say and there are some amazing reads out there, as well as Photographers! We are all the same, we all want to write well, write meaningfully, share with a community and connect as human beings. I wish to say thank you to everyone who helped me, encouraged me or inspired me. Below are some of my favorite pics from Photo 101. These are some of my favorite images I shared from Photo 101

Even animals need to connect

Even animals need to connect

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Will continue to see all of you around the traps so to speak…….keep blogging and have a Happy New Year.

– Julz

 

Dear Granddad, Thanks!

suitcase-on-a-globe-getting-ready-to-travelIn response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Never Too Late.”

I guess I need to Thank my Grandfather ultimately for where I am today. It’s funny in so many ways we never really saw eye to eye, and never really got along all that well, but I bet if he was still around now, we could have some great chats on photography, painting, drawing and travelling.

He was an amazing man, he was a painter, a photographer, an adventurer, and a story-teller.  We often forget that when we see a doddering old man, he was once a vibrant young man, strong, ambitious, with hopes & dreams, it’s sad.  Even at his memorial service, I was in awe of some of the amazing things he did, my children never even knew most of the stories about him, a lot I didn’t know either. Sure he was a typical kid from the early 1900’s; used to put penny on train tracks and chase frogs, tease his sisters….but as a young man he took on the Outback, in the early 1920’s with a very unreliable old junker of a car. He took photos and painted and gathered stories. Don’t get me wrong it did not skip a generation; he Married my Nan and turned her into a great adventurer…….they had my Mum and she was just as talented and an adventuress as her parents. Then she met my Dad, and wow they really took the world by storm, covered it from one end to the other; usually with me and my brother in tow. Still today they travel, not as far and not quite as often, but they still travel.

As a kid,  none of those stories ever really impressed me, but I find myself wanting some of these things. I now in my middle age I guess have again picked up a camera, a far cry from what Pa had I am sure, I don’t paint so much any more on canvas, it’s more in my photos. I still collect, write and try to tell stories, but now I want some adventures…….I’ve had a few small ones, I am building up to the big ones still to come!

Sure I can thank my parents, and I do. But I guess it’s from Pa that my Mum and I both get the artist, the travel bug. So Pa, thank you, and we miss you! Love J.

The Worlds Best Roast

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Shaken and Stirred.”

Roast Dinner

A Long Time Ago…………..In a Galaxy Far Far Away…………………

Moth and I had recently started Dating and things were getting fairly serious. I thought it about time he ‘Meet the Parents! ‘ Shock Horror, right? Well it was all fairly simply; I invited my parents over for Dinner, and of course we would spend a simple evening, just the four of us. My parents were pretty cool, no real issues with any of that.

Anyway so I went down to the local market, back in the day which had the Saturday morning sales as back then they didn’t open past 12noon on a Saturday and the closed for the whole weekend, which meant great specials (I didn’t have a lot of money back then). Anyway you know how markets get with everyone yelling out items and special prices and such; VERY noisy! I was attempting to talk to a butcher about what cut of meat I should get for our special dinner that night. He said he had just thing! and came back with some Beef all neatly wrapped up and a really good price. So very grateful, I did my remaining shopping and then dived back home to start getting everything ready.

Now I was not exactly an expert cook back then and had probably only ever cooked a few roasts in my life; sure I knew the basics and was not rattled, I knew this is one meal I could do! After an hour or so of cooking, the meat was still red, looked like it wasn’t cooking. By this stage I was getting a little concerned so I ended up ringing Mum. So over the phone, Mum check over everything  I did, how big it was, oven temp, what time I put it on, how I had prepared the meat etc She asked what cut it was and I confessed I wasn’t really sure, the butcher had picked it out. A Little perplexed herself, She said perhaps it just needed a little longer to cook. Anyway not too long after that Moth arrived, to find me frazzled in the kitchen, my parents arrived shortly after that. Moth came into the kitchen (Not that he could cook!) and offered little help and said he smelted great! My Mum came in the kitchen and went through the check list again, checked the roast and stabbed it several times and said it was not bleeding, but lest give it a little bit longer.

After another 30 minutes the edge of my amazing roast had started to burn, but it was still red? So I served it up anyway, the veggies by now were overcooked, and the whole meal was turning into a disaster. I was near tears, the whole night appeared set to be ruined. I took it out to the table were everyone was sitting, with tears in my eyes I announced dinner was served. My Dad and Moth attacked the plates of meat and veggies and taking a tentative bite, they both beamed at me and kept eating. Mum and ,I a little confused sample the fare before us…………..IT WAS SO SALTY!!!! “Oh My” exclaimed my Mum, and then burst out laughing. It turns out that the butcher had given me a cut of Corned Beef, not Roast. If you do not know what Corned Beef is it is very English dish and it is salted meat which is boiled, not roasted!!! I guess there had been a big miscommunication at the markets, or the butcher gave me the wrong parcel, but I had a large Corned Beef……….which I had Roasted not boiled!

I ended up giving the rest of the meat to Mum, who then boiled it – apparently made great Corned Beef! To this day it is still a running joke in my family, Moth and Dad still claim it is the greatest Roast I have ever cooked, and their hearts are still OK, so I couldn’t have overdosed them too much with salt. Moth and Dad have been great mates since then, and my cooking has improved dramatically!

– Julz

Standing on my own two feet

Calling Uncle Bob? Have you ever faced a difficult situation when you had to choose between sorting it out yourself, or asking someone else for an easy fix? What did you choose — and would you make the same choice today?

Usually I don’t call on anyone, unless I have to. I find that if it’s something I can do or even figure out for myself, then I will do it, I am one of those horrible people that finds that no one does the job as well as I can do it myself………I know it’s a burden, but hey what can I do?

If it’s something that I really cannot do physically or technically I will call the expert, aka Moth (Hubby) or an Electrician, Plumber etc. There are some things I just cannot face along…………Great Big ugly Huntsmen Spiders for instance….eeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!

But when it comes to doing the laundry, vacuuming, dusting, putting flowers in a vase, creating agendas, monthly reports, marketing, creating website pages, graphics, artwork, food shopping, cooking, talking family happy snaps, furniture placement, garden design, oh should I continue??????? Well lets face it I just like to make sure things get done, and done properly. There are things I leave to Moth (mainly because I just can’t be bothered or they frustrate me endlessly or it gives him more pleasure than me) Christmas Decorations, Computers, rubbish, renovations (I design he makes).

However, you put the shoe on the other foot? Oh I hate it when people ask me for favors, so often it comes back to bite me in the butt; especially at work. It gets to the point you are loath to do anyone a favor. Sure some things are simple and you happily do them without question; but it’s those big favors, especially trying to help someone cover something up…………..that never ends well.

So please unless it’s something small don’t ask me to do it for you, and If I can do it myself, if you offer help, I’ll usually say thanks but No I can do it,  so please take it personally.

– Julz

Pushing My Own Boundaries

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Envelope Pushers.”

When was the last time you took a risk (big or small), and pushed your own boundaries — socially, professionally, or otherwise? Were you satisfied with the outcome?

To push new boustopndaries huh? Well I guess this Blog is really pushing new boundaries. I little while back I was sick, like really sick, I guess it makes you re evaluate your life, and what is important. I discovered myself, I have always had my family and friends, my work; but over the years I guess I have lost a little of myself (But enough of that).

Anyway so I have spent the last few months, re inventing myself, my dreams – so far things have been good. I started to write this blog, mainly for myself. I didn’t want a pity party from family and friends, so none of them really know what I write, to my knowledge none of them have seen it, quite frankly I don’t care, this is purely about me. This WordPress Community is great, the encouragement I have received, the amazing stories and images which have inspired me, I have decided I want to get back into photography, but not just average photography, I want to take some truly inspiring photos…….it’s a big dream but hey why not? Don’t get me wrong I don’t particularly want a career in it, there are already so many amazing photographers out there, I just want to be able to look at some photos and go “Hey I took that shot!”.  Maybe it will help advance my career, but I’m not banking on it.

They other guilty pleasure is writing, just blogging about what ever has been quite a learning curve, I can say what ever I like, my readers either agree or not, but I don’t mind. I also like to read other peoples thoughts and stories. Some people have great, funny adventures, some people have overwhelming courage and conviction. I just have simple thoughts.

But it has pushed me to start writing a novel which has been brewing away in me for years, I have the basic story line and characters mapped out, just have to put it all together with some details. So far I have written 5 chapters; maybe one day I’ll take that particular blog off private. If anyone is interested in reading the first chapter for some instructive criticism, let me know………..maybe if there is enough interest? I do not expect to be the next JK Rowling either, in fact I think maybe I only have ideas for 1- 2 books and maybe a few short stories, but this is also for me, If 100 people read it and like it I would consider my self a success.

– Julz

Spinning Yarns or Telling Stories?

storyteller3

What makes a good storyteller, in your opinion? Are your favorite storytellers people you know or writers you admire?

I think there are different types of story tellers, there is Uncle Brian (RIP), Pa and even my Dad who always had a yarn to tell, advice to give and a wicked joke (well not my Pa but you get the idea). These guys always spun yarns, mostly exaggerated stories about misspent youth, or urban legends; most people have at least one in the family.

Then there are the people who can tell a story through pictures, there are some amazing photographers, painters and artisans who can tell a whole story through a single image.

Then there are the writers, personally I like fiction, a novel needs to remove me from my life entirely and place me in a world of fantasy. Witches and Wizards, Dragons and Ogres, Demons, Villains and Heroes, Faeries, Princess Brides and the little guy who can do amazing feats of courage and heroism; he (Or she)never  thought possible. Some of my all time favorite writers are Terry Brookes, David Eddings, Anthony Eaton (Australian), Sheri S Tepper, just to name a few.

Then there are the people who read these fabulous books, those who truly understand what is written can tell a story about those books, how they were taken away, transformed into someone else, became friends with the people in these stories and boo’d the Villains. It still amazes me that no two people seem to take the same away from the same book. My hubby and I frequently read the same books and have discussions about them, and we both see, think, and feel differently about each character, plot, story line………I guess that is the beauty about books, it truly takes a reader to make a story come alive, without the reader the story is just a bunch of pages!

– Julz

The Perfect Day

Sparkling or Still

What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time.

Zen&Coffee_2The Perfect day starts with a coffee in bed, not necessarily a sleep in, but definitely the coffee. Then a leisurely morning strolling through an organic market, craft market or similar, including morning tea of local fare or at a great bakery.  Perhaps a drive through some beautiful country to get there and back; great tunes in the care or a long chat with a friend or hubby, you know some catch up time 1 on 1. The followed by a long lunch somewhere secluded and relatively quiet on a balcony in the sun, watching the world go by, or perhaps a family BBQ or picnic in the park.

Afternoon spent pottering in my garden, walking the dogs at the park, going shopping with some of the girls, or a massage (or even all of the above).  Or sitting in my garden reading a good book (Or on the couch if the weather is bad). Perhaps round the afternoon off with some family and friends coming over for a BBQ feast, we have a large entertaining area and BBQ spot, where we can all catch the last of the days sun, perhaps have a few drinks, some really good food and a lot of laughs. Alternatively curling up on the couch with hubby and watching a movie or two with come pop corn and ice cream, cuddled with up the dogs.

Eventually fall into bed, relaxed, happy and content and tired from a full day, without stress, worry or work! And Sleep!!!!!!!!!! Deep Sleep!

– Julz