Crystal Writes A Blog

A place to read what Crystal writes

Simple Day, Simple Play


Kentucky Butterfly in a Picture in Picture Bubble

A visit with a friend, a quick tour of her back porch, and summertime; these are just some of the ingredients that were used in the making of this photo. What else was there, you ask?

Well, there was the butterfly of course. There were the purple flowers that attracted butterflies. Oh, and then having my cell phone at the right time.

I took plenty of pictures but, for now, this one seemed best to share. I loaded it into a couple of editing programs to get the colors brighter, the lens flare, and the nice glass frame, and then I cut the size to fit the posts. 

I’m amazed that these miniature computers we call “smartphones” can do so much. It wasn’t that long ago when a cellular phone was a huge clunky thing with a foot-long antenna. And for all its girth, all you could do with it was make a few phone calls. Now, I can take a photo, edit a photo, add creative designs to a photo, and even make a kaleidoscope out of a photo and then surround it with a fancy frame. Amazing huh?

Butterfly and Flower Kaleidoscope in a KVAD Summer Frame

I wonder what I’ll create for the next Fun and Flourishing Friday post.

 

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August 12, 2016 Posted by | Fun & Flourishing Friday, Nonfiction, Photography | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Colors, Your Colors


Cool PicsArt Edits on Colorfy Flower--Framed

Sometimes, I think my mind has an invisible “Energizer Bunny” running overtime with thoughts and ideas. And yet, for this Musably Monday post, I’m struggling to bring just one idea to the page. It’s like trying to decide which digital crayon to use for the Colorfy app pictures.

Of course, for the picture above, I did pick some colors to play with, and I had fun creating patterns. It’s colorful enough for me to be satisfied, but then I found the PicsArt app on my phone and had to further personalize the picture with some creative effects. And then I added one last frame with PhotoStudio. It’s a good thing all these apps are free because otherwise, it could cost a pretty penny just to make something fit my eclectic tastes.

Having our own thoughts and ideas about a subject is what makes each of us individual. As long as our individual ideas do not disrespect Our Creator, or bring harm to others, they should be fine to entertain. If you want to make orange leaves with purple outlines, there’s no harm in that. This was my first digital coloring image, so maybe that’s why I felt the need to stay with traditional colors on the leaves, but I did enjoy throwing extra creativity into the flowers.

Speaking of individuality, yesterday hubby and I decided to rewatch Babe on Netflix. (Yes, the movie about the cute little pig.) We hadn’t seen it in over 10 years, and I had forgotten how much I really liked it. The idea that a pig could suddenly become valuable as a “sheep-pig” is way off the beaten path. But, not only does the pig do a fine job at leading the sheep, he also protects them and becomes their friend. If you haven’t seen it in awhile, I recommend pulling out your copy and popping it into the DVD player. If you don’t have a copy, it’s available for rent or purchase on Amazon Video.

As I watched the movie, one of the hardest parts for me was when the frenzied crowd ranted against the farmer and his pig. They had no idea what that little pig could do, and they raged against the idea of anything different than the normal sheepdogs they were used to. But Farmer Hoggett stood his ground, seemingly undaunted by the criticisms of all those around him, because he was confident in what his pig could do. And once the truth was known, even the crowd came around to another way of thinking.

This is a lesson for me. I have always been the odd duck with different thoughts and ideas than most everyone else. But I have also felt driven to fit in. I have bent to please people on many occasions, and it has not turned out so well. I need to remember both the farmer and his pig, and I need to stand in confidence that my ideas and colors are okay even if they don’t match your ideas and colors. As a matter of fact, if you have created any of these digital coloring pages with an app and uploaded it, please include a link in the comments and let me know where I can see your colors.

 

August 8, 2016 Posted by | Creativity, Musably Monday, Nonfiction | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now For A Word from my Sponsor


My Sponsor is the One who gave me breath for life, so taking time out to seek His presence and thank Him for all the moments and minutes He gives me is only natural. I cherish all His creations and the joy I find in them. His word on the first Sabbath in Genesis 2:2-3 is…

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

For a Sabbath day’s rest, my first Sabbatically Saturday post will simply be the pictures I took yesterday along with some creative editing. Relax and enjoy God’s gifts of nature and creativity, and share with me if you do some creative work of your own.

Pic 1, Naked Ladies (Belladonna Lillies) from my front yard. These soft pink beauties are all over the neighborhood right now too.Naked Lady Flower with Macro Attachment--Sm 4 WP

Pic 2, I wanted to catch the flowers while they still had some water from the earlier rain, and I got some, but then I cheated and decided to use the KVADPhoto+ raindrop filter to add a little more to it. While I was at it, I thought a nice bamboo frame and a bit more saturation went nicely with the raindrops.Naked Lady Flower with KVAD Edits and & Bamboo Frame--Sm 4 WP

Pic 3, When I have a nice contrast in an image, I really have fun getting out the Fractalius plugin and seeing what all images it will create for me. It takes my love of fractal and colorful design and adds it to real world images. What more could I ask for?

Naked Lady Flower with Macro Attachment--Fractalius Edit and Frame--4 WP2

Naked Lady (Belladonna Lily) with Fractalius Edits & Framing

Pic 4, Another Fractalius image with a bit more color and a nice vignette and frame from Irfanview. Fractalius Naked Lady--Sm 4 WP

Pic 5, And we’ll end this with a kaleidoscope made from one of the fractalized flowers because, after all, it is #KaleidoSaturday on Twitter.Fractalius Bright Naked Lady into Kaleidoscope--Sm 4 WP

August 6, 2016 Posted by | Creativity, Nonfiction, Photography, Sabbatically Saturday | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Fun–A Gift for My Sister


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Welcome to my Friday blog post where, sticking with my pattern of daily alliteration in my titles, it is time for Fun and Flourishing Friday. Since I’m planning on Fridays being posts of fun, photography, family, etc., this one lines up perfectly with edits done to a picture of my sister and her husband. Plus, the fancy frame even allows for the definition of flourish.

I had a great day where I got a bit more exercise and activity according to my Samsung SHealth app. As part of that activity, I took a bunch of pictures in my front yard, and while I was working on some creative edits, I changed my mind midstream. I’m kinda known for doing things like that. It’s a woman thing and an Adult ADD thing, so…oh, look, another idea popping in.  🙂 Not really, but really. My mind is always racing with new ideas and running down a variety of rabbit trails.

Anyway, I remembered I had a picture from my little sister’s recent vow renewal ceremony out in Arizona. She and her husband celebrated their 33rd year of marriage, and since I couldn’t be there for the event, I asked for a lot of pictures.

Well, Candie is normally the photographer for her church, but as the subject of the photos, she couldn’t be the one to take them. I don’t know how many people she passed the camera to, but she ended her day with a variety of nice pictures. Unfortunately, only a few were of just her and her hubby Steve together. The best one also had half a word and some wall decor behind them. That’s the first image in the slideshow above.

I cut the image to a size that would print for an 8 x 10 landscape, but I had not yet been successful in removing the letters and design. I’m not practiced in using the cutting tools to cut and paste an image yet, but the new Photoshop Elements 14 has a “refine selection” tool that makes a big difference, so I hope to use that method in the future. For this one, I simply copied and pasted plain wall portions over the decorated wall. I use the free software from Irfanview for simple editing, so shadowing and colors aren’t perfectly even, but a little work with the cloning tool took the square lines out. From there, I opened the image up in my KVADPhoto+ Pro desktop app from the Microsoft Store. (Note: links are for ease of reference only unless they link to Amazon where they include my affiliate info.)

Image two in the slideshow reveals the heart bokeh I placed over the walls to soften the background and add some color. That took two different effect filters, and half the fun is seeing what an image looks like with the different filters until I find one or two that seem perfect. For this, white hearts and then colored hearts worked well together. In addition to that, I added a simple frame to make the picture printable as an 8 x 10 for my family that doesn’t use the Internet. The frame is perfect because it includes some dainty lace, and my little sister loves all things lacey and Victorian.

The last image was the simplest, though I went through a variety of frames to get to it. For that one, I surrounded the previously edited and framed image in another Photo+ frame that I thought would look good for when my sister wants to share her pic online. We’ll see which one she likes best, and feel free to comment on the one you like best too.

Shabbat Shalom to all my readers, and may this fun and flourishing Friday finish your week in peace and joy.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Creativity, Fun & Flourishing Friday, Nonfiction, Photography | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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