Sunday, December 11, 2011

before and after

Many of my vintage teammies have sung the praises of for many months.  I reluctantly checked out the site a couple of days ago.  I always figured my rather obsolete iPhoto program was sufficient for the exposure and cropping that I needed, though I was frustrated by the minimal retouching capabilities.  And I have resisted learning PhotoShop.

I'm a convert!  Super user friendly program!
For free, I experimented with some controlled focus and airbrushing tools.  The site displays the premium tools to entice and for about 19 dollars I upgraded to a six month membership to be able to use them and the storage capabilities.  Here are a few before and afters.

This vintage Orrefors crystal in now in the shop.  The image has been recropped, brightened.  I used the soft focus tool to bring the center of the shot more into focus.  The blemish remover kissed those two little pinholes in the wall good-bye.  The folds in the napkin were softened with the airbrush tool.

 I loved how this wonderful cedar wood tree sculpture was mimicked by the glass containers behind it.  But the hard, west light was playing peek-a-boo through the pattern in the window shades in the upper left corner.  I experimented with the clone tool to minimize it.
I brightened the shot overall.

Lots of fun here.  I shot these sweet little onyx animal carvings as a group on my surface.
 Often a reference is needed for size so I also shot them in my hand.  

I used the soft focus again and a few wrinkle reducers.  The bad stuff in the lower corners were cloned out (still workin' this one)  
Then I tried the 1960's color filter for a warmer look and a subtle zoom effect.  Lastly I used the holga border effect and saved it in picnik's before and after.  

I took a break from the computer, took a nice walk.  Richard came in from working outside, placed his hat and tools on the counter.  The little donkey went flying, its two feet severed when it hit the ceramic tile.  I was tempted to throw the shrimp pasta after it.  I may try to repair him, but the exercise in retouching has been of more value than the object.  
The Orrefors is safely put away.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bug rocks the field

Chris Monter photo credit

My niece Maria aka Bug, three time girl's cross country champion, continues to make strides toward her goals.  She qualifies for the footlocker invitational early December.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

defreaking Arthur

 Houston, we have lift off!

This year's everlasting October has morphed into November.  Our newest addition, a peaches and cream rescue named Arthur has been lounging in the autumn sun, pleased with his new digs.  He came with my daughter from a townhouse experience and before that, heaven knows.
He is not perfect.  A frozen ear tip makes him slightly off-balanced looking.  He has a heart murmur.  But he has azurene blue eyes and he is a cuddler.
Living by his wits, he assumed a crazed behavior which manifests as a feeding frenzy.  The quarter cup of dry food he was allowed twice a day never satisfied him.  He would have no qualms about pushing Moto out of his dish, and was not shy about getting into human food if it presented itself.  Nothing could be left on the counter.  Our sleep was interrupted nightly.  At 3 am.  Not good.

Richard suggested a perpetual feeding dish.  Caroline and Tony agreed.
The dish was filled with over 2 cups of dry food.  Arthur leaped on it.
He ate and he ate and he ate.
He kept eating even as his face was turning green.

He finally slowed, looked to see that there was till more available food and slunk under the table.  We were waiting for the barf.  He did not barf but he did not move much in the next four hours.  He actually was able to watch his friend and food rival Moto approach his own dish to eat... and... breakthrough!  He sat and watched!  Houston, we have lift off!

Over the next few days he has not mewed, begged or scavenged.  We have slept through the night.  Our psychology, of course, is that the state of perpetual food will calm his behavior and with his innate animal instinct he will self regulate his intake.

He and Moto have ceased hunting and wrestling and both of their bellies are arching south.  They take turns lounging in the pet bed and lazily eyeing the ottoman.  Because of Arthur's heart condition and the general bad idea of growing fat cats, we will start to taper off the availability of the food.  Hopefully, his freaky behavior will stay modified.

Anyone with a similar experience?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

new stuff in store

If you are entertaining in a big way for the holidays, you may enjoy a peek at some "new"
vintage just listed in the shop.  The clam shelled double chafing dish is pretty spectacular.
It pairs perfectly with the single, square warmer.  Both have a hollywood regency vibe with lots of white and brass accents and those turned legs.  I've kept them under wraps until now.

Nothing beats good old pyrex for oven to table, and this one has a German made, accordion trivet to boot.  I still have several pieces of the federal glass atomic star series, here.

Another classic is this matte black and gold barware which I have in abundance!  They are available in sets of four, 10 ounce or 12 ounce size.  Looks like it could be a black and white Christmas.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Team Meet Up in North Carolina

If two members constitutes a team, there was a team meet up this past Friday of the Vintage Etsy Street Team. 
Wendy of hilltopcottage on etsy and I met for lunch at Pierro's in the historic Hay Street district of Fayetteville, NC.  A sweet little chalk cat that I had purchased, via Wendy's daughter's shop, was our mascot at the table.   
Can't wait to bring the little guy home to join my collection.

 Pierro's yummy signature salad with broiled shrimp

Downtown Fayetteville, despite rumor and has some wonderful shops for vintage hunters!  I love the art deco letter forms on this storefront.

 Wendy took me to two of her faves, the Cotton Exchange and the Livery, where she used to rent a physical space.  I was tempted by the full Shriner's costume, but settled on those fab safety glasses in their original packaging and some other small, packable goodies.
I was grateful to meet another involved "vesties" team-mate.  This marks my third official regional meet up since Los Angeles this summer and the Junk Bonanza last month.  Personal connection really helps to build foundation to the virtual team experience.  Thanks Wendy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hen of the Woods Part 2

Last fall, around the same time I found this near the base of my grandfather bur oak.

Last week, Richard had me follow him down the road on bikes and pointed out another.  The mushroom was situated in a low area between the public road and another oak tree on private property.  I didn't skip a beat, hopped off the bike and plucked it from the ground and put it in the bike basket.  Thief's remorse kicked in about one minute later, so I went to this new neighbor's door.  A sweet, golden retriever answered the door but no human.  I took the prize home.
the get-away-vehicle, Richard's 1952 Schwinn cruiser 

I invited Ione to help "process the beast."  We spent nearly two hours picking through the giant mushroom, removing critters, brushing debris, and cutting it into bite-sized pieces.

This hen was a little more mature than last year's by only a day or two.  But I found that the flavor was milder and needed less saute time.  There was enough to make omelets, a large pot of "chicken" vegetable soup and plenty to freeze in small bags for this winter's risotto...bjaaakk!  I wonder if my neighbor would accept a home baked mushroom bread pudding as restitution?