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Saturday, August 31, 2013

friday finds: 2 good arms

This Friday Finds me at home, recovering from shoulder/rotator cuff surgery.

my new shoulder

Try as I might I can't quite seem to wrap my head around the whole picture that is the ingenious design of the human shoulder. No worries: I have an excellent surgeon. Just look at his work: a combination of masterful engineering and fine stitchery. All done arthroscopically, of course. Amazing! (I am reminded of my doll- and teddybear-making days long ago.) 


Did I say 'I'?
I meant 'we.'

Bob had the same surgery just five weeks ago. His shoulder injury apparently dates back some 13 years, while lifting weights. He did what any guy would do: tough it out and learn to work around the 'little bit' of pain...until a couple months ago when he tore his bicep tendon. After a week and some wicked bruising he finally asked me for the name of the shoulder doctor I had been seeing...and the rest is history. Oh yeah, and let's not forget the broken toes on his left foot, which happened the night before his surgery when he dropped a steel target on his foot. Or the wasp sting on his throat earlier that same day (which swelled up like a golf ball). We weren't sure they would even proceed with the scheduled surgery. But they did, and he did fine...and the fine folks at Panorama Orthopedics looked after his foot too.

We do get the most curious stares when we go out together in public. Bob has fabricated a parachuting mishap story, which is infinitely more interesting than reality. I believe my injury stems from last winter, when we were helping my mother pack up and move, so she could sell the family home. There were at least a few days of heavy lifting...and it's been sore ever since, and this time swimming didn't help. It actually made it worse.

The doctor prescribed physical therapy early in the summer, but it only got me so far. Even the eventual MRI didn't reveal the big tear that was hiding beneath the surface. So no one was expecting this much repair work, until Dr. Johnson got in there on Tuesday. Otherwise he would have waited a few weeks to give Bob a chance to heal a bit more before incapacitating me too. (My only request of the doctor was that we do this ASAP so that I/we could better focus on Erin's situation.) How fortunate we are to have a surgeon that doesn't just see a shoulder, but rather a human being...a family.

We do work well together, the two of us, each with his/her strong arm in a sling: between us we have two good arms. And many family and friends helping out as needed.


the lovely floral arrangement sent by
my friends at the bank

I will be on short-term disability from the bank for several weeks. A lot of time on my hands now, but I won't be in my studio, or able to operate my big camera for a long while, but with my computer and iPhone I will have plenty to amuse me. I was specifically instructed to learn to mouse with my right hand. And of course there's Physical Therapy - twice weekly for several weeks. Bring it!


Lillian is good company too


All photos taken with my iPhone 5,
then edited on my iPad mini,
with PicTapGo and Snapseed apps.

Monday, August 26, 2013

happy anniversary

you became...

Mr. & Mrs. Aaron McFadden

May God continue to bless you
with a long and happy
life together.



I made this for Kelly and Aaron for Christmas last year,
pairing a favorite photo with mementos I saved from their special day:
the 'silk' thistle boutonnière and the 'Mr & Mrs' gift tag.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

a weekend hike

I took a short hike last Saturday after work in the foothills just west of town. I donned my hike hat, shorts and shoes, grabbed my iPhone and took off in the hot afternoon sun. Thoroughly enjoying just being in the mountains I was also in 'gathering mode' - gathering images for the wonderful Photoshop Grunge class I just signed up for.

Up, up, up I climbed...almost to the top of the mountain,
with a magnificent view of the Denver area down below.


I collected many texture photos,
but as always, the wildflowers beckoned...

I love the color of the soil in these parts...a beautiful, dusty pinkish-terra cotta.

I'm not really sure what any of these flowers are called.

I know...these dandelions are actually weeds.

The Good Lord is an amazing gardener, isn't He?
He doesn't seem to worry about the weeds.

Linking up with:

  • Friday Finds these trails are my streets
  • Beyond Beyond where we are making textures this week
  • Texture Tuesday these excursions are truly Stolen Moments...I used Kim's kk_avery in the texture I created for this post (see below)
  • A Weekend Walk you gotta check out Helen's wonderful blog and join in the fun

All photos were taken on my iPhone 5, with the ProCamera app.

I made my own texture - 'RockGrass' - by combining these two photos, then layering with kk_avery,  following Kim's Photoshop tutorial, and playing around with it a bit on my own:

Here's my RockGrass texture:

All photos were edited on my iPad Mini with the PS Touch app. Just a bit of cropping and one spot removal (that spot alone took me at least a half hour by the time I figured out the Clone Tool); then one layer of RockGrass - Multiply blend mode @25% opacity.



Sunday, August 18, 2013

st. mary's glacier

O Lord, how manifold are thy works!

In wisdom has thou made them all:

the earth is full of thy riches...

I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live:

I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

PSALM 104:24, 33

St. Mary's Glacier is less than an hour away from town. Last Sunday morning I went with my hike buddy Chris...and our new iPhones. We got there early enough, before the crowds. There were a few hardy souls camped there from the night before (at 10,000 ft it can get mighty chilly at night!).

We also encountered some adventurous souls with their snowboards and skis, ready to conquer the mighty glacier...

I believe we witnessed an unfortunate accident, though. The snowboarder (lower left) appeared to be in trouble at the end of his run...a little while later, as we were driving back down Fall River Road to Interstate 70, we encountered a Mountain Rescue truck and ambulance hurrying toward the glacier. I hope he wasn't too badly injured.


I did all my photo editing on my iPad Mini, learning to use the Snapseed app. Just a few simple adjustments were necessary - crop, brightness, contrast, saturation. I even did some selective adjustments with a target tool to lighten some areas here and there. This is a very user-friendly app...and it's free!

No textures this time...I didn't want to diminish the sparklingly clear views here!

Linking up with Friday Finds and Weekend Walk.



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

siamese love

Just had to share with you a couple recent Finds (I know...it's supposed to be Friday Finds, but by the time I pull it all together, it's days later.)

Not quite sure the cyber path I took to actually get here, but the other night I discovered Paper - a new app for my iPad mini (which I bought so that I could more easily edit my iPhone photos). The initial download is free, but for less than $10.00 I quickly upgraded to the full version. This is my first effort, a quick sketch of Lillian, lying next to me on the floor. Just done with my finger on my iPad! How cool is that?! I'm thinking about getting this stylus to improve my drawing experience.

And speaking of Lillian...she's been living with us for over a month now, but it wasn't until Erin and Haakon were gone this week - housesitting for my brother (make that keeping their dog Bixby company) - that we learned about the nocturnal behavior of cats. Since we've never had a cat of our own, this was something new. Well, there were a few sleep-deprived nights, spent navigating our turf and attempting to establish boundaries.

Lillian won.

She managed to keep me awake for a few hours each night, simply wanting attention. I never once considered banishing her to her lonely room, and since Bob is still sleeping downstairs on the recliner sofa (two weeks after shoulder surgery)... I was her plaything: trounced on, laid upon, licked, nudged, pawed and meowed at. She did on occasion pay Bob a brief visit, gently climbing onto his lap - mercifully without disturbing his sling.

Lillian is delightful company...the cat Erin always wanted but couldn't have because Bob is allergic to furry critters, especially rabbits and cats. So is Haakon. Apparently not all breeds though.

It is debatable just who is the luckier one in this equation: Lillian or Erin and Haakon. They got her last summer on Craig's List, from a family that just didn't really want her anymore.

Lillian is doted on, pampered, indulged, photographed and cared for lovingly by Erin and Haakon...and now us too.

Lucky cat. Lucky us.
Lately I've been focusing on layouts - both in Lightroom and in Photoshop - studying Kim's many tutorials. And just playing around, which is the best way to learn. I wanted to unify these disparate photos, so I followed Kim's Matte Finish tutorial for LR, where I also made the layout; in Photoshop I added the text (font: MTF Skinny Jeans) and Kim's 'zen thing' texture (Multiply blend mode 59%), which I masked off of the photos a bit.

Linking up with Friday FindsTexture Tuesday, and Tuesday Muse.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

my garden

Early Saturday morning - just after sunrise. Just me and my camera. And a few songbirds. It's vacation time of year...'stay-cation' for us though. So I just had to get out and remind myself: it's all good. This is the summer I have started to call it 'gardening' instead of yard work, thanks to my blogging friends - who have inspired me with their photography and their gardens.

I love this place, with its aspen trees and xeriscaped loveliness. Over the years I have chosen perennials with the label 'drought-hardy' or 'thrives on neglect.' I'm just being realistic. Looks like our drought might be over though: there have been at least two or three monsoons recent weeks. Praise the Lord!

Sadly, in two years Denver Water will be digging up our front yard, where there is an easement, as part of a major conduit replacement project. So I will focus on our back yard gardens next year...

The little statue of St. Francis was my husband's idea last year...to watch over the hamster 'memorial garden' just outside our front door. Sweet, sentimental guy!


I used one of Kim's LR presets - LetThereBeLight - and adjusted some of the colors there to bring back a bit of vibrance. Then into Photoshop, with one of her storyboard templates and three textures: CloudyDay, Gracie and Anne.

How fair is the garden
amid the trials
and passions
of existence.
Benjamin Disraeli