Sunday, June 29, 2008

Photoshop Elements & Photocourse

I've finally invested in Photoshop Elements 6 and I'm a happy bunny! Not only did I invest I also did a photocourse on friday with Peter at Living Images. I totally recommend doing something similar if you want to move your photography skills on.

The following 3 photos are an example what can be done. The first image is under exposed especially considering it was taken on over cast day.

I'm bumped up the brightness to produce this high-key image and used dodge and burn for the eyes. Ialso used a clone stamp and healing stamp to remove the cold sore.

If you look at the black & white image close enough her eyes have a hint of blue.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

OMG, 2 in one week!

I'm on a roll! Wonder how long this will last? :) Anyways below are a few photos from my trip to Brussels last week for work. Training and team building we were told.......Hmmmm! The first photo is all my marketing peers, one from each country, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy etc etc. We had just arrived to Ardennes after a meeting in Brussells. Here we are chatting, catching up since our last get together. The sun was shinning, we were a little tired from our trips but once we were served our glasses of champagne we started to relax (this is work by the way).

Then came the news that we would be cooking our own food.....a 3 course meal... trout, lamb, veg, dessert... We were given an apron and hat, for health and safety reasons of course, not to make us look silly. I wore mine a la Beret, here I am with Ana (Spain) & Paula (Portugal). We were also supplied with a glass of wine just so we wouldn't feel so silly.

The the French speaking chef gave us directions (translated by Anne) on how to do julianne of vegetables (properly). We celebrated by drinking a glass of wine. Then we learned how to skin and debone a fish. Then another glass of wine. We were showed a few more really great cooking tips but I can't remember them.... Then we were told to start preparing the food...... 3 hours later (maybe it was only an hour or so) we sat down to eat. We were so hungry and tired (and some of us had alot of wine in us) that we didn't care what the food was like, considering the nearest take-away was over 200km away. The food was delicious!!!

The next day we had our training session (real work). Then at about 2pm we headed off for our team building exercises.....Hmmmmmm! Wild Trails it was called. We were split into 2 groups and off we went into the forest. our first task was to build a bridge over a stream with 4 long logs, 4 short logs and 8 ropes. When the bridge was finished we had to go to the other side pushing a jeep... Yes a JEEP! And all this had to be done in 45 minutes. And what a team we were, just under 42 minutes!!!!

Next we were blind folded and ahd to find and make a perfect square with a rope, while holding it :) And loads of other tasks like rock climbing, abseiling, yadda, yadda. After all ourt hard work we were treated to a Bar-b-que and wine. We chilled for a few hours and then it was off into the forest using a torch (flame kind) to light our way. We were led to a teepee made of logs where a woman surrounded by Jamba drums taught us how to play... this i loved and now I want a Jamba drum :) At 1am we headed back to our abode for the best nights sleep.

The scenery surrounding where we were staying was amazing. I got out with Micela (Italy) for about 30 mins walk and a few photos (nothing decent as I had my small digital with me).

Our last day was more meetings and then off to the airport to wait 6 hours for my flight. I got into Bewley's Airport hotel in Dublin at 12 midnight and completly shattered.
Before I could get home to my sweetie babes I had one more engagement... The Mid Summer Mega Crop. And boy was this Mega!!! Donna and her family are so sweet and she is one talented girl! She entertained us with really witty stories and her teaching was so professional. I loved her class (pictures to follow when its done). Lance from Rusty Pickle gave an intense 3.5 hours of paper engineering. A great Kit with brilliant techniques. Thanks to Annamarie and Lainey for getting these two talented people over from the States :)
My creative juices are flowing again.... Yipee! I had this photo of Shona that I wanted to scrap for so long and I got it done tonight!!! I used the Colour-Me range from Luxe to co-ordinate with her top and the rest just came together.

Right, off to the labba. I need my beauty sleep for my one to one photo course tomorrow. Sleep well x

Where does the time go?

Back in September I did a LO about Shona's first day in 3rd class and now i'm preparing for her last day in 3rd class, namely preparing the teacher's gift, every crafters dream (pmsl). I've double checked my spellings but I'm sure there must be one wrong (LOL!). Anyways.... I've made a set of cards for various occasions, in a number of colours:

And also a mini book documenting each month of her school year, including her first day, christmas play and school tour. The kit is from Rusty Pickle's Lucky kit which I bought last weekend at the Mid Summer Mega Scrap. The papers are very Orish and I normally don't scrap in Green, so this was a challenge! I kept it simple with all the images the same size and used 1 paper on each page. I finished it off with the Bind It All (love this):

So glad I got this done, considering I was away all last week in Belgium with work.... Photos to follow soon... involves logs, ropes and a jeep :) Ciao!

Friday, June 13, 2008


...Its been less than a month since my last confession, ahem i mean post. So whats been happening?

June Bank Holiday weekend: Shona, 2 of her friends and I headed to the Burren Birds of Prey in the Ailwee Caves centre, it was fantastic! The girls and i loved the display, I highly recommend it. The birds are in fantastic enclousures, plenty of room and so clean! Afterwards we went to the farmhouse to buy some yummy cheese. Then we got on the road again and headed to Lahinch for tea and a dip (toes) in the water. Then it was off to Quinn to say hello to my sister, then back home for bed (10.30), phew! We kept going all day and had such fun!

The Sunday of the bank holiday it was off to Tralee with my cousin for our Aunts 60th birthday. Shona asked to come when she heard it was a party, i jokingly said I'd be the youngest one there.... how right I was. By 11am the party was finished so us two young (ish), free (ish) and single gals headed out on the town. The Brogue Inn was brilliant, great late bar with brilliant music. I even met Maura there (* waves at Maura*). B ack in the lobby of the hotel we met a gang of other residents, we kept inviting anyone coming in the door to join us. The drink and sandwiches kept on coming. At 5.30 i headed to my labba. Early the next day (no hang over without the ciggies) we went to Blennerville, all of 2km from the hotel and I got this gorgeous image of the windmill... Look at that stunning sky, and those fluffy clouds!

The camera club has finished up for the summer but a few of us have decided to meet up over the next 2 months every other wednesday. We have a time table of places and things we would like to photgraph, our first evening was Macro in the peoples park.... but the flowers weren't in bloom :~ so when we eventually got out of the park (we were locked in for awhile) we headed down to the river and stayed there all evening and into the night. Below is my fav, as the sun was setting over my left shoulder the glass of this building acted as a reflector, cool!

Our garden is becoming a little piece of heaven. Both Shona and I have been working on it to tidy it up and bring the plants on, the wether was so bad last year that they really didn't get a chance. Last weekend we bought one ofn those swing benches with the canopy and I have to say both Shona and I love to sit, swing and talk all evening on it. Its been the best investment (paid for by being off the smokes 4 months - in 7 days it will be 5 months). Our strawberrys have blossmed with the sun and rain. I picked a crop during the week and there is loads more to be picked, not bad for a city gal :)

Scrapping at last! Can you believe it... i think Crafteire in Feb was the last time I scrapped. While taking apart the box the swing bench came in i noticed the card board and deciede not to re-cycle it all. I've kept enough to make two books. The photos are of Shona and her friends on our Clare day out. I really enjoyed tearing and painting. I aslo used the bind-it-all. This format was inspired from a mini book I saw somewhere (can't remember...)

Finally, last tuesday while driving to Galway i rang Patricia, my best friend from the age of 4. When we moved we lost contact but did meet a few years ago briefly in a shop. Anyways, Patricia and her hubby were in Kilorglin recently and she found the cottage (we would have gone down nearly ever weekend as kids). She met my dad who knew her straight away even though its been 25 years.... gosh i feel old. So she gave them her mobile and I rang her last tuesday, we talked from Bunratty to Kilcolgan (thats about an hour). We're going to meet up as soon as possible. I can't wait. I told her all about scrapping and I think she'd love it. Anyways Patricia, here is the photo I was telling you about:

So, as you can see its been a very quiet few weeks. I'm ready to chill for the weekend, if you're looking for me I'll be in my garden on the swing bench drinking cider out a champagne glass :)