The vamps ate my Picnik but it was saved by a monkey

When my online photo editor died, I thought the Picnik was over for ever. Google ate Picnik and spit out a pitiful replacement the Creative Kit in Google+. For the life of me I could not understand why Google would buy a perfectly good company and take only half of the fabulous photo editing apps and chuck the rest. But who can understand the beast of big corporation? It is a vampire, and not the glow in the sunshine, gorgeous, loving fabulously wealthy kind.  It is a nasty wrinkly ole hag with an insatiable hunger for beautiful young things. It sucks them dry and leaves only a wounded shell unable to survive. Having so much wealth perhaps the fangs at Google realized a photo editor would be a nice little addition to their Google+ package. Tearing it apart to bare basics had all the Picnik fans and paying members clenching on their teeth and sleeping with garlic under their pillows.

Imagine my surprise when tonight I found a replacement for Picnik. My photo editing picnic was saved by a monkey, and let me tell you a very capable little monkey it is.  So if you are hopeless at Gimp or can’t afford Coral or Photoshop head over to PicMonkey and rescue  your photos or raise them up to the level of art.

All the features are still free but I am sure it will become a membership site sooner or later, with some free and some paid for apps. I would be happy to pay for their services. I only hope that they have a bunch of werewolves behind the scenes who hate vampires and will never sell out!

Run 2

Our photo shoot last Saturday

Our photos from New Age photos last Saturday came back. My idea of perfect does not exactly match their idea of perfect but PicMonkey helped me make it so. Btw, R chose my outfit and went with safe, slimming black, it was just too stressful for me to make a choice, also we were not allowed shoes during the shoot – it was supposed to be fun!

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Paper Butterfly Art by Rebecca J. Coles via Trendland: Fashion Blog & Trend Magazine

Quirky when bored

Mommmy, something terrible happenend!

this isnt happiness™ Up, Peteski.

On Sunday afternoon I was tired and in a lot of pain, Saturday was busy. I was working in bed, Juan was playing his Leapster Explorer™ and R was watching the men’s final at Roland Garros. After speaking to my parents R gave me the phone and I talked to my dad. While talking to him Juan came up and calmly told me that something terrible happend and I had to come see, I asked him what it was but he insisted I see for myself. I was still on the phone with dad when I sauntered down the steps expecting some disaster in one of his games. What I saw was a meter high flame! A pillow had fallen of the couch during Juan’s play and landed in front of the gas heater. It had caught fire. I screamed: “Fire, Fire!!”,  and dropped the phone. Running like a lunatic around the house calling for R and Juan now in deep panic calling out for him too. I could not figure out where he was and why he had left Juan alone. Finally I realized this crisis was on me, I ran for the fire extinguisher only to realize I did not know how to use it. Frantically read the instructions, while shooing Juan and the dogs outside, the smoke was toxic. Finally I managed to extinguish the fire blasting the whole lounge with white dust. While all this was happening I also phoned R who had just gone to get hot dog rolls but did not tell me. After administering Rescue to both Juan and I who were both in tears by now. He started trying to clean up while I opened all the windows. The smoke filled the whole house and was awful. It was cold outside but the smoke had to be let out.

1) Juan never realized the danger of what was happening until I panicked

2) Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in the house and make sure  you know how to use it.

3) Keep Rescue in the house

4) Never leave a child unattended near any fire even for a few minutes.

5) If you are leaving the house even if it is for just a few minutes tell another adult where you are going.

What to wear to an informal family photo shoot

One hour photo shoot, Casual (as in informal) Saturday 9 June 2012, 13:30
2 Adults, 1 Kid, 2 Dogs, Tiggy is not going he is too old (but we may change our mind)
No white clothing
One change of clothing allowed (they said nothing about shoes)
Problem: HRH The Mustard Seed Princess does not do casual in public, ever….
Casual is PJ’s, Casual is sitting in bed working, sitting in the lounge working, painting in the studio

I am not prepared for this, my lashes are beautiful, my faint moestas removed, my eyebrows even, my hair is manageable but what will I wear???    Denim you say? I have considered it but it makes my throat feel lumpy…  Oh the stress of perfection!! I need my beauty sleep, but will I get any…sleep that is?

What to wear to an informal family photo shoot

United Bamboo tie blouse
$307 – lagarconne.com

Vila Clothes red top
$19 – coggles.com

Paul Joe Sister paisley skirt
$216 – coggles.com

Oasis sailor jeans
$95 – oasis-stores.com

Giuseppe Zanotti wedge shoes
$488 – giuseppezanottidesign.com

Atalanta Weller leather sandals
$263 – coggles.com

Marc by Marc Jacobs gold boots
$461 – my-wardrobe.com

Jennifer meyer jewelry
$675 – barneys.com

Blue Nile 18k earrings
$380 – bluenile.com

Isharya blue jewelry
$270 – charmandchain.com

Michael Kors chronograph watch
$250 – net-a-porter.com

Sekonda water resistant watch
$102 – swarovski-elements.com

Navy hat
$295 – cultstatus.com.au

Flower hair accessory
£25 – houseoffraser.co.uk
to be continued…

Cold and wet

Eye Candy – Part 3

No posts this week,  it was a tough one emotionally and physically. Here is some eye candy to celebrate feeling a bit better :-)

The Landscape of Memory: Photos by Annette Fournet

Memory 3 by Annette Elizabeth Fournet

Wooden Sculptures that will take your breath away by Emily Wilson

Birdsong Trail by Emily Wilson

Maggie Taylor’s surreal world

Maggie Taylor Cloud Makers

Danielle Rante

Capture – Danielle Rante

Sherron Dalziel

Upon Reflection – Sherron Dalziel

Book Fashion

I love books. Loving them is one of my first memories. My garage is filled with books none less than 20 years old and some more than 400 years old. My house is filled with books. My son is 5 and has his own library and loves books as much as I do. This is the one area of my life where I am not picky. I will read anything. When I see someone reading in a coffee shop. on a bus, in a waiting room I have to know what they are reading. I collect art and craft books. Oh hell I am such a liar I collect all kinds of books.

My mother is an avid reader, she used to read while cooking, occasionally getting so lost in a book she would take a pot from the stove and place it in the fridge. I have the same ability. When I am reading, I am in the book. I am living the book. Non-readers have no idea the drug they are missing out on. I believe that good readers breed good readers. If you do not read you cannot appreciate the languages you love, for literature and poetry is the highest expression of linguistic passion.

In 1990 I became really ill. I was hospitalized for more than a month. During that time I started going blind in one eye. The loss of my vision was gradual but four years ago I lost all vision in my left eye. My eyes are also genetically different. They are completely different in color. It is not visible to the naked eye but I have seen photos and they are like sisters, similar but very different. At my last eye exam a week ago I was told that my blind eye now has a cataract on it but that I should not worry about it. Unfortunately, and I am sorry if this is bad news that you did not know about, but when you hit 40 your vision starts deteriorating. Very few people escape Presbyopia, it is just part of getting older. If you have two eyes it can be corrected by wearing lenses, one to see far and one to see near. That is not an option for me. I spend a lot of time on the computer so my eye gets very tired, so tired that I could no longer read. I discovered Audiobooks and my life was changed. I still say I read but really I am read to. It makes no difference to me. I buy fewer novels but my love for visual media and old books will never end.

I read everything. It has to be really rotten for me to not give it a bash, so I read Harry Potter, Dan Brown, every murder mystery I can lay my hands on, lots of philosophy and popular science when I get time. Obviously some books are written by writers that really have a gift for writing. Then there are authors who have a real knack for telling a story. I don’t criticize, I do however rave endlessly about my favorites, here are just a few:

The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

Four Letters of Love – Niall Williams

The Tale of Murasaki: A Novel – Liza Crihfield Dalby

Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

The Reader – Bernard. Schlink

I am stopping at five, I loved the Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy Bundle: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Complete Vampire Chronicles (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the body Thief) and many, many more.

Recently I have notices a little buzz about a Trilogy called Fifty Shades of Grey. You will notice it is not linked. I started reading it last night. Now The Twilight Saga Complete Collection was not exactly a contender for the Booker Prize neither was any of Dan Brown’s books but Twilight was a good story. Dan Brown is not a bad writer and his stories are interesting enough. I love a good story but really the language has to be tolerable.

Fifty shades of Grey is awful, honestly I have read bodice rippers which were written with at least a sense of story and conversation. I would like to quote from a Amazon customer review By DS from LA:

Thanks to the many other perturbed readers who have shared their own choices of the most annoyingly overused phrases in this masterpiece. Following up on their suggestions with my ever-useful Kindle search function, I have discovered that Ana says “Jeez” 81 times and “oh my” 72 times. She “blushes” or “flushes” 125 times, including 13 that are “scarlet,” 6 that are “crimson,” and one that is “stars and stripes red.” (I can’t even imagine.) Ana “peeks up” at Christian 13 times, and there are 9 references to Christian’s “hooded eyes,” 7 to his “long index finger,” and 25 to how “hot” he is (including four recurrences of the epic declarative sentence “He’s so freaking hot”). Christian’s “mouth presses into a hard line” 10 times. Characters “murmur” 199 times and “whisper” 195 times (doesn’t anyone just talk?), “clamber” on/in/out of things 21 times, and “smirk” 34 times. Christian and Ana also “gasp” 46 times and experience 18 “breath hitches,” suggesting a need for prompt intervention by paramedics. Finally, in a remarkable bit of symmetry, our hero and heroine exchange 124 “grins” and 124 “frowns”… which, by the way, seems an awful lot of frowning for a woman who experiences “intense,” “body-shattering,” “delicious,” “violent,” “all-consuming,” “turbulent,” “agonizing” and “exhausting” orgasms on just about every page.

I would love to know how many times Anastasia used the word “Holy …”  I’m sure more than a bishops conference in Las Vegas but not one of the Holy’s where Holy.

I used to have a 50 page rule, if after 50 pages you are not knee deep into a book put it down and stop reading. Life is too short to read books that do not appeal to you. With Audio it is a bit more complicated. I am one “holy crap” away from saying enough.

There is no accounting for popular culture, I do however think that it reflects the lowest common denominator of taste and discernment. It is effortless, if you find the magic ingredient you will have your dreaded 15 minutes and you might make a fortune. When we look back on it, it is almost always sentimentally. Like Fashion what seems reasonable and gorgeous today may be seen as ridiculous and pasé 20 years from now. However, a dress, or coat, that is well designed will be  as beautiful as Beethoven Sonata or a book by Virginia Woolf 100 years or longer from now.

Eye Candy – Part 2 of Art inspiration

If your mind is in a funk or you can’t sleep even though you feel tired as six week old junk . I hope these images inspire something in you, even if it is just a smile:-) Visit the artist pages and see all their beautiful work don’t just take my word for it. Illustrations by Pamela Wehrhahne

Boy and Whale by Pamela Wehrhahne

Surrealistic Photos by Irene Z

old_games_by_miraccoon

Digital Paintings by Tom Bagshaw

The Long Walk by Tom Bradshaw

Paintings by Sage Vaughn

Overpass-swarm by Sage Vaughn

Paintings by Kate Eric

Frenzy by Kate Eric

Lovely kisses Willow

Because I feel like it