wordless wednesday

flower in black and white

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taking stock #14

black and white beach and surfer photograph

so, life got away from me….

Taking stock is a month late. In between appointments with the Boy and getting the Girl moved into her new place, the truth is that I simply forgot all about it (even though I have a blog post calendar and ‘taking stock’ was clearly marked for last month!).

When I realized, I pushed it back on the calendar, because I really do enjoy these posts.  They’re a chance for me to look forward and back at what has been happening.  A chance to catch my breath, remember to eat the elephant one bite at a time and know that regardless of how much life gets away, I’ve still got a damn good one, and for that I am thankful.

So, a month late.  Here it is – taking stock #14.

Making: raspberry jelly.  Jelly has been my evening sweet treat lately – and yes, it’s the Aeroplane variety
Cooking: cooking….. arrrrgghhhhhh.  I. Am. So. Over. Having. To. Decide. What. Is. For. Dinner!
Drinking: water, water, and more water
Reading: Smith Journal.  I’ve started picking it up for my Boy because he enjoys the articles, and anything that can get a boy reading is worth buying
Wanting: another weekend on the coast with my Girl
Looking: for….
Playing: the iPod in the dock – music ranging from jazz and the 70’s through to gangster rap and electronic dance
Deciding: that enough is enough
Wishing: I lived closer to my nephews…. seeing video of their hijinks is great, but I’d love to be there in person
Enjoying: the quiet
Waiting: for our next appointment with our new functional medicine GP.  It’s so exciting to have found a medical professional who wants to help and heal you, rather than push pills or tell you it’s all in your head
Liking: that we still are having cooler nights
Wondering: if the weather will ever warm up though!
Loving: that my Girl has settled into her new life in her new town
Pondering: what next year will bring
Considering: the options
WatchingThe Vampire Dairies with my Boy.  Just about finished Season 1.  It’s fun sharing these shows with my kids now that they are old enough
Hoping: for a treatment plan that will halt the progress of my Boy’s disease
Marveling: at how the mind of our new GP works – you could see the cogs turning as she talked to us
Needing: a decent night sleep
Smelling: the raspberry jelly I just made!
Wearing: socks over feet rubbed with Happy Feet cream (it’s a mixture I make myself, and it makes my feet happy)
Following: the news
Noticing: how if I plan my top 3 priority tasks for the day, I seem to get a lot more done
Knowing: that there is always tomorrow to do more
Thinking: about how I haven’t dusted for a few weeks now.  Or ironed.  And how it’s bothering me but it’s not
Feeling: tired a lot
Admiring: the strength of women… mums in particular
Sorting: through stuff in cupboards…. still….
Buying: or bought. A new bed for the ‘spare’ room (feels so weird saying that!)
Getting: ready for after school pickup
Bookmarking: Dear Mama.  A photographic appreciation of motherhood.  Well worth a look for all mums.
Disliking: how this time of year gets so busy
Opening: a can of worms
Giggling: I told you last time… I don’t giggle
Snacking: on crystallized ginger
Coveting: the definition of covet is ‘yearn to possess’ and I really don’t covet anything… I have all I really want or need
Wishing: that it was next weekend already… my Girl is home for a few days
Hearing: the wind in the trees through the open back door

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you ever get sick and tired of cooking!?

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leaving home: part 2

It seems like only yesterday that we were farewelling the Beautiful Girl on her first big adventure.

Since then she’s governessed, traipsed through Europe, lain on beaches in Fiji and slung beer and coffees to earn a living.

We all knew that it was really only a matter of time before she spread her wings and set out on her next adventure, but it hasn’t made it any easier.  There’s has been plenty of texts and phone calls each night.  We’re both adjusting to the new reality, and I find comfort in the fact that she’s only a three-and-a-half-hour drive away.  In a town with cafes and beaches, the perfect excuse to spend weekends with her, and make the most of when she comes home.

and so, the next big adventure begins…

the last night at home before leaving on her next adventure

a final sing along as the washing up gets done

moving boxes when leaving home

her whole life packed into boxes

loading the removal truck

loading up the truck

standing in an empty bedroom

one last look – with her friend Totoro in her arms – as she prepares to leave home for her next adventure

and yes, I have had to stop myself from getting in the car and driving to be with her….

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you remember when you left home for the first time, properly?

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useful online editing tools – canva photo editor

I’ve been using Canva since it’s invitation-only beta launch in 2013, and love the simplicity of its ready-to-use templates, which makes for drag-and-drop design software that is easy to use (and free!).  What I didn’t know though was that Canva also has a photo editor as part of its suite…

canva - simple and easy to use for the non-designer designer

Way back in 2011, I was just starting to tinker with my photos.  I didn’t have dedicated photo editing software and was using whatever was easy and free online.  Since then I’ve progressed from Photoshop Elements to Lightroom, and don’t have the need to use online photo editing apps any longer, but am always mindful that there are others out there, who like 2011 me, are just starting out with their photography journey.

Then one of the folks from Canva reached out and asked me to do a review of Canva’s Photo Editor, which brouth their photo editor, colour palette generator and font combinations tools to my attention as well.

So, I had a play around with Photo Editor and here’s what I thought:

There’s an array of filters to suit any style.  My personal favourites are Street (because I love dark and moody black and white images) and Cali for its matte effect.  I like too that you get a thumbnail preview of each filter so you get a bit of an idea as to what your photo will look like before you click.

where can i find the filters in canva photo editor

The next tab along allows you to adjust your brightness, contrast, and saturation.  There’s plenty of scope to play here and tweak the image.  As I’m now used to Lightroom, the sliders aren’t fine-tuned enough for my liking, but if you are just starting out with photography it’s a great way to learn about what brightness, contrast, and saturation can do to your photo.

where do i find the adjustment sliders in canva photo editor

Then comes the crop tab.  You have the option to set a custom size for your image, using the width (W) and height (H) boxes, which is handy if you know you want to resize an image to a specific size and purpose, e.g. a blog header.  The 1:1 ratio is your square option and just right for resizing for Instagram.  From there though, the aspect ratios (the relationship between the width and the height of an image) aren’t sizes that are commonly used in photography.  It doesn’t hurt to play with them though!  And they have the ever handy rule-of-thirds overlay on the photo, so you can crop to divide your frame into thirds with the main focus of your image on one of the horizontal or vertical lines or at one of the points where they intersect.

where do i find the cropping tool on canva photo editorThe resize tab is next.  If you leave the ‘lock aspect ration’ toggle box ticked, when you drag the little white circles in the corner of your image, it will keep your aspect ratio and not distort the image.  It’s when you untick it that things can get a little funky.  It’s actually one of my pet peeves… photos that have had their aspect ratios messed with… they just don’t look right!

how do i resize image in canva photo editor

The rotate function is pretty simple – clockwise or counter-clockwise.  Not something I have a use for every day, but handy to have just in case…

how do i rotate images in canva photo editor

And then finally is this flip tab.  Believe it or not, sometimes an image looks 100% better if you flip it!

how do i flip an image in canva photo editor

And there you have it – Canva Photo Editor.

It’s a simple site and while it may not be of use to the more advanced photographer (unless you’re on the road and your editing software is really playing up!), it is perfect for the photographer who is starting out and learning about post-processing.  It’s easy to use and best of all is free.

So, would I recommend Canva Photo Editor?

Yes, I certainly would.

This is not a paid promotion of Canva Photo Editor.  The team reached out and asked me to review it.  I agreed because I’m all for sharing useful tools with fellow photographers.

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