Winner Announcement

The Winners

1. Paula Clare 2. Graham 3. Joan 4. Bryan 5. Liss 6. Lydia

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate.
There were a total of 14 people who actually picked their favorites.
A total of 42 photos chosen.
Only 3 photos out of that 42 were chosen more than once!

Which one to chose?!
View a Close-Up
From top to bottom
Love Notes on pink
Dainty White on green
Sour Cherries on rust
Wonder Collides on brown
Press Your Luck on light green
Purple Posy on orange

Have any of you ever played a gift snatch at Christmas time before?
Well, that's how we are going to do this selection process for the giveaway!
I know, I'm such a pain, but it'll be fun - trust me.


1. The winners, in the order their name appears, will select one magnet (from the photo above) that they would like to have.
2. The next person in line who gets to chose can pick ANY magnet they wish, even if it was one previously chosen by another winner.
3. If your magnet gets taken by another winner, you will get to choose again; you may select a magnet that has already been chosen, although you may not pick the one that was just taken from you.
4. If a magnet gets taken 2x's it's FROZEN, and can not be picked again.
5. The process will continue until everyone has a magnet!

*Don't be afraid to take the one you want, it's all in good fun!!

It may be best to subscribe to the comment section for this post so that the winners who will be selecting their prizes can stay up to date with where they stand.

For anyone who didn't win, there is another part to this giveaway for different prizes that I will be announcing later this week. So, stay tuned!!

~Prelude to a Giveaway~

Untitled-1 copy
View Large On Black

So, what in the world do you have to do to get your hands on one of these awesome little 3" x 3" TtV print refrigerator magnets?
Well, this part of the giveaway is easy peasy.....

Let's just say, hypothetically speaking, if I were to open an online store, which photos would you like to see in said store?!

By looking through my blogs, and/or my flickr account, pick three photos that are your favorites.
Once you've picked your favorites, whether they are old or new, leave a comment on this blog post with the names of the three photos or the posts where you found them (in the event I didn't name them).

For anyone who participates in this portion of the giveaway, you will receive an extra entry for the BIG giveaway which will take place starting Tuesday!!

I can't wait to hear which photos stand out to you, if you are so inclined to tell me why, please feel free to do so......

*The mini-giveaway commences as of right now, and will go on until Sunday at midnight.

Happy Birthday WW!

View from Roan Mountain Gardens

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.
~Author Unknown~

Today marks one year that I have had my own little corner in the blog-universe.
I could very well start this off with the 'little did I know', but I won't.....I'll spare you.
But I will say that, so far this has been one extraordinary adventure.
Looking back, I can see the change, and I can hear the change.....
and the exact moments of my progression are carefully preserved to revisit any time I am feeling nostalgic.

As people and/or artists we are constantly evolving,
and it's so exciting to see how much our ideas and styles change with time and experience.
I have gained a much greater perspective and appreciation for who I am, what I am capable of, and what I have the potential to become as a person, and a creative individual.
Coming to terms with all of the changes and expectations aren't always easy, but are required.

Along the way I have come across many people who have inspired and encouraged me to do what I love, and if it weren't for them, I probably wouldn't be doing this now. But I am, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Create the Journey. Capture Adventure. Get Going!

*Orton Effect*

I remembered reading about a technique a few months ago that I was interested in trying out,
I added it to my bookmarks, which is sort of equivalent to the land of the lost.
I'm sure your bookmarks page is overflowing with miscellaneous sites or ideas found while surfing the world wide web.
Sometimes I get so deep into it that I can't even remember what got me started on a search in the first place!

Anyhow, since a lot of people have inquired about tutorials and techniques I have used (since I'm new to photoshop), I figured that I would beat you to the punch and share this effect.

*My favorite of the three*

The above shot was one I just tweaked using filters and your normal adjustments in photoshop.
I quite like the way it turned out.
The extra contrast gave it a dark purple color, which I think in turn added a little more depth to the flower.

The shot below is SOC, straight-out-of-the-camera.

SOC Columbine Bud
*The SOC shot*

The SOC shot is not entirely dull,
but I felt like it was lacking something to give it a little more pizazz.
(yeah, I used the word pizazz!)

*With the Orton Effect*

The photo above is a result of the "Orton Effect", which is easy enough for anyone to do.
My monitor here at work is not portraying the photo as it did on my laptop,
the colors seem a bit off, and a little too bright (this monitor may need some calibrating).
But I liked the effect last night....

This sort of effect won't look good with all shots, but if you would like to give it a try
here is the link to the place where I found a quick photo tutorial.

Let me know what you think, if you use the effect and post a photo, I would love to see :o)


Well, I'm glad that I was able to turn some attention toward the current happenings,
thanks for humoring me!
What I have planned to offer in the way of prizes hasn't come together exactly
the way I initially planned out in my mind, but it will.
Last night, I finally finished a batch of these (see below) to present to those who are going to participate.
So, what is that?!, you say......well, it's a cute little refrigerator magnet!

P1260463 copy
*Sparkles not included!

The TtV magnet print measures about 3" x 3". However, these are just the conciliation prizes.
I have more surprises in order and hopefully will have the giveaway in place to do this Friday!
Stay tuned.....

Sweet Treats

Sour Cherries

I bought cherries a week or so ago for the sole purpose of photographing them.
I have what you would call a 'thing' for cherries, particularly cherry related kitchen items.
For some time, I have said to myself that I needed to take some photos of the fruit to hang in my kitchen.
I finally did, and this one, in its TtV fashion happened to be my favorite.
Of course I put my newfound photoshop spin on it.

The name "Sour Cherries" comes from a song by one of my most favorite bands, The Kills.
How about I dedicate this photo to my most favorite girl, B. I can't wait for October!

Here is a very different cherry shot I posted over at the {366} blog.

Now, about the upcoming festivities......
I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get more of a fuss when mentioning a GIVE-A-WAY!
I mean, show a little excitement people?!?! haha
I suppose that I'm a little more excitable since I know what's in store.
I am feeling pretty darn generous too - just so you know!
Let's create some pandemonium here,
especially since the word FREEBIE is involved.
That is, unless you're not at all interested?!
And if that's the case......
that just means there is more for everyone else!!!
(insert evil laugh from The Count here)

Splendor of the Sun

View Large On White

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.
~Irish Blessing~

Today, I took it easy....under doctor's orders,
well, the people who administer my Acupuncture treatments.
I have gotten into a very bad habit where I stay up to late, so I've been exhausted lately.
Although I made up for that by sleeping in until 11!
Initially, I felt like we wasted half the day, but since we just sat
around anyways, it didn't so much matter.
Tomorrow I think we'll go on a good long hike,
and I'll take some, or a lot of photos.

This is going to be a BIG week....
It is is nearing my blog anniversary,
and I am also getting ready to take a new step.
During this transition I plan to do some giveaways,
please stay tuned during the week to see what's in store!

Hope you're all having a great weekend so far.

~ E N I G M A ~


The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
~Henry Miller~

Ever since my new photoshop layer obsession began a few short weeks ago,
I have gained a keener eye.
I have been on an endless hunt for textures, and have been pleasantly surprised with what I have found.

After Cody and I left the ASU library yesterday, to get some photoshop books (I know, it's bad),
I found myself looking at the seemingly unsightly concrete walls for the uneven crackles and colored splotches peppered throughout.
Heck, I was even taking photos of the rust, and drippy juice lines on the dumpster near by. Ewe, gross.....haha

On a regular basis I stop and take the time to see that which would normally go unnoticed.
But my newfangled fascination has me delving that much deeper.
I really needed this boost in creativity.
I hate to say it but I was beginning to get a little bored with what I was producing,
which might explain why my posts were getting a little sparse?!
I'm glad that I am more excited to share what I've been doing with my free time :o)

Greeting from Boracay!

Boracay Postcard

My Dad left for the Philippines a couple weeks ago.
Spending time with his Mom, as well as, brothers & sisters.
My Dad has about 7 brothers and sisters!
All of which I have never met before, my grandmother included.

My middle name was chosen with my grandmother in mind, Elena.
Sometimes, I wish that were my first's such a pretty name.
I sincerely hope that one day in the very near future I will be able to venture to the Philippines to meet my extended family.
My Dad is staying for a little over a month, I'm jealous.
Isn't that place beautiful!!

Pilipinas Stamps

He says that one day he plans to retire there.....when that day comes, maybe I'll go live with him for a while and discover my roots?!
I'm not really a lay-out-at-the-beach kind of girl, but there is a lot more to the beautiful islands than the sandy beaches.

This postcard makes my heart ache, and ignites a wildly untamed wanderlust that won't be satisfied any time soon.

Me Too!

Me too, Dad.......Mahal kita

Think less....

Think less....

Our time consumes like smoke, and posts away;
Nor can we treasure up a month or day:
The sand within the transitory glass
Doth haste, and so our silent minutes pass.
~Rowland Watkyns~

*I'm still practicing with photoshop a little.
Worrying too much.
Working on the next big thing?!
Looking forward to.
Getting further behind on, but
taking steps.....

~Love Notes~

Here is the first photo I told you about in the last post, which talked about me experimenting with photoshop.
The idea spawned from the background I used for the ArtCard shown below in this post.
The paper reads Je t'aime, which as some of you may know, means "I Love You" in French.

I knew I wanted those words merged with a photo.
Although I didn't know which photo they would work with, but after a little searching, I found one.
By itself, the photo was uninteresting.
After the additions, or let me rephrase that in photoshop talk, the layers really added a lot of interest to the TtV photo - in my opinion.
I really am in love with this photo now........hence the title "Love Notes".....

Love Notes

Update: This week has been somewhat of a blur........
I'll go ahead and confess now, instead of waiting until the end of the month......not just one, but two days this week went by without me taking a photo.
My first excuse being, I reminded myself before I started getting ready for bed, but somewhere during the brush my teeth, hair, yada yada drill......I forgot :(

The second excuse........yesterday was very rough and stressful for me......I'll spare you the details, but when I got home, I had a headache and was just exhausted! I passed out on the couch as I was resting my eyes around 6:30........I woke up somewhere around 7:30 and moved to the bed.......Cody woke me up at 9:45 to eat dinner......I stayed up till 11, then went back to bed.........Strangely enough......I woke up tired!?!?! I very rarely come home and go to sleep, my problem is usually going to bed too late. Last night was probably my body's way of saying, "Slow down, take it easy!".......

I'm so happy that tomorrow is Friday!! And am looking forward to some quality R & R this weekend. Sleeping out in the woods would be ideal.......we've been thinking about going camping. Who knows, we'll see, maybe the forecast will cooperate?


There is a pretty clear theme running through this post.
I'll let you decide what it may mean to you.
But I'll tell you how it started for me........
Do you remember me telling you about my new prompt for making ArtCards?
The Fortune Cookie Affirmation?
Well, on top of amassing the cookie fortunes, I started saving the tabs from my yogi tea bags to put in the pot as well.
So that's why the piece of paper on the back of the card, is not rectangular like a fortune cookie fortune - in case you were wondering.
So this was my interpretation of the affirmation I pulled.
I know it's very Valentine's Day-ish, but that's just how it all came together in the end.

Romance Back

Shall we compare our hearts to a garden -
with beautiful blooms, straggling weeds,
swooping birds and sunshine, rain -
and most importantly, seeds.

~Grey Livingston~


It all started when I had an idea?!
I'll let you in on a little secret, I really suck at properly utilizing Photoshop.
That is until I get it in my head that I need to learn how to do ______.

Sweet Lullaby
View Large On White
*I thought I had this done so that the white border wouldn't show, I'll fix that as soon as I figure out how!!!

This is a package that is long overdue for some mention.
I received it in April before we left to go on vacation.
Johanna sent some of the most wonderful bits for collage and other 'mixed media fun'.

Last week, I pulled out a piece of paper to make a new Artcard (I'll post it this week).
Although I couldn't bare to cut away at the original piece of paper, so I scanned it in & printed a copy of it. As I made the card, the words on the page cried out to become more.

I Love Gifts in the Mail: Johanna

I thought, wouldn't it be great if I could incorporate these words into a photo?
And I know that layers exist, and I know that there are a lot of talented people who know how to use them. But I simply wasn't one of them.
I guess I just never really had the desire to learn - until now.
It was positively maddening for me to figure out how to do what I envisioned.
I googled, and googled......and after a few hours finally found a tutorial that I could wrap my head around.

I rushed over to photoshop, and proceeded to try out what I learned.
In the end I was satisfied with the finished project. Now, this is not the first picture from that night of discovery. I plan to post that one with the Artcard. However, this is my second experiment with layers, which included another photoshop trick I painstakingly had to figure out. I googled, and googled........but failed to find anything! I was very frustrated.....

Blackberry Blossom
(Original Shot)

I finally figured it out for myself.
But that was only after I had a headache and a huge knot in my right shoulder.
Otherwise, I was still beaming at what I accomplished.
What really surprises me is, that I stuck through long enough to learn what I needed.

It also reminds me: I have a lot to learn!

Glen Burney Trail

Glen Burney Falls

What we did last Sunday was far different from this Sunday. I sought out a hike from the NC Wildflower Hike book. This happened to be a trail that I had never heard about before. The sad part is, that's it's less than a 10 minute drive from our home, in Blowing Rock, NC. It is also very close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but not directly off the drive like most hikes we've been to frequently.

It was approximately 1.5 miles in and out, at the end, you just turn around and go back out the way you came. It's quite rare to go on a waterfall hike that has 3 different falls, which made this one a real gem. The elevation loss was about 520 feet so it was mild going in, although coming out was another story! It wasn't horrible, but I was on the edge most of the time, ready to pass out, but not quite there yet. Definitely well worth the extra work though.

Glen Marie Falls

The Glen Marie Falls was the biggest, even though it doesn't look so in the above photo. I could only get a good shot of the bottom half since the sun was so bright closer to the top. I would like to go back on a foggy day so that I can get the whole thing.

The bottom photo, is of the first fall we passed, and the most unimpressive. Maybe it's nicer after a good rain? The view of this waterfall was somewhat obstructed from trail because of the trees. From up there, a photo wasn't really possible, so we climbed down to th stream below. I took photos while Cody rock hounded.

The Cascades

Before we went on the hike, I was placing my purse in the trunk when I absentmindedly tucked my keys in the purse. It was immediately after I did this that I realized what I had done, I tried to stop Cody from closing the trunk, by yelping "NO!", but it was too late. The doors were also locked, DANG!? What are we going to do? Sitting at the trail head geared up to go on a hike, this mishap could have really put a damper on the days activities. But Cody, being Mr. Cool as a Cucumber, talked me into letting it go, and worrying about it once we were done with the hike. At which time we would call AAA to come jimmy the car. They really are lifesavers! We only had to wait about 30 minutes for them to get there, and about 30 seconds to break into the car.....everything turned out fine :)

*Update: This weekend we spent time on the house. Saturday morning we put a second coat of paint on the walls in the dinning room. Thank goodness it is done now. It looks 100x's better, I'm so happy with the way it turned out. We also mowed the lawn which took a couple hours. I was on the riding lawn mower, and Cody manned the weed eater. It's crazy, but my back is sore from steering, and the bouncing from our bumpy yard. Although it looks so nice when it's all mowed. We are getting ready to be bombarded with copious amount of blackberries soon, the vines are in full bloom right now, I can't wait. We also got the kitchen back in order, cleaned out the fridge, and went grocery shopping. I was craving a steak so we grilled out, and ate dinner in our new and improved dining room. It was great!

Dining Room Table - $0.00 (Handcrafted by Cody)
Chairs - $3.00 each + $5.00 for fabric to reupholster chairs
Paint - $0.00 (A full can that was going to be discarded!)
Total = Swequity (Sweat + Equity)

I hope everyone had a great weekend :o)

Jade Cove

California : Big Sur : Jade Cove

Sparkle and Shine
View Large On White

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.
~Mary Dunbar~

Oceanic Observation

Upon sorting through, what seems like a never ending supply of California photos, I came upon my Jade Cove folder, and decided that this would be the next CA vacation post that I would do. The number one reason why I chose them was because of the overwhelming wave of emotion that hit my like a ton of bricks as I scrolled through each one. The ones above in particular nearly brought tears to my eyes as I gazed upon the warm sunlight illuminating the photos.

Instantly, I was transported back in time to the day that we visited the cove. I could hear the waves, and smell the air........

Jade Cove Path

As I sat perched upon a rock here, and a rock there taking in the beautiful view, Cody was rock hounding. I tried it, but I got bored, and didn't really know what it was I was looking for, so I did what I know best. After close inspection, Cody is pretty sure that we did find a couple pieces of jade. Although we have yet to get a professional opinion. Rock hounding was something that Cody could have done! I basically had to tear him away after a couple hours at the cove. It was pretty entertaining to watch him in action, moving these huge boulders to get to the stuff hiding underneath. It takes a mighty patient person to do such a thing, and as I've said before, patience really wasn't a virtue that I was blessed with - but I'm getting better.


It looks like I had a really close call in the shot above, doesn't it? haha But my camera made it out dry, thankfully. It was only later in the trip that I nearly dropped it on a rock, where it would have then plopped into a small pool of ocean water! Now that was a close call.....I can't save my camera from all incidents, but maybe that's because I haven't spent enough money on one yet! haha My motto is that it's meant to be used, not babied! We'll see if that changes once I actually upgrade though!?!?!


More splashing!

Jade Cove at Sunset

If you check out the other photo of the same scene, you'll notice the trail winding down the side of the cliff on the bottom right hand corner of the photo. It looks somewhat treacherous, but it wasn't too bad, it was a very short trail.

After we climbed back out, we had the most beautiful sunset parading before our eyes. So many views that I will never forget made their way back with me from California. And being able to look back, and have a visual along with the memory that I carry, is truly priceless.

Jade Cove Aerial View

I can't wait until I get everything sorted so that I can finally get started on a book of vacation photos. It's taking a lot longer to do than I thought it would. A number of different things are going on right now, and staying on top of everything is just not possible - unless I want to pop my top! The house is a wreck because of the improvements we are in the process of wrapping up, like painting the kitchen trim, and the dining room ceiling/walls. Cody has done most of the work since he's been home during the day, and for that, thank you! I'll be glad when we can get things back in order and reorganize. Heck I'll even settle for some walking room at this point!! haha I'm so happy that tomorrow is's been a loooooong week!

Sedentary Silhouette

I know I got off subject, but Jade Cove was incredible.......I hope everyone has a terrific weekend!!

Five Down........

It took me some time to get back into the groove of taking photos of my 'normal' everyday life. Maybe I was still stuck in Big Sur, or maybe it was because I was still trying to get over that wicked crud I picked up before or while we were on vacation. But thankfully, that lack of stimulation I felt didn't continue to influence the entire month.

After what I went through to get home from California, believe me, I was happy to be back in familiar surroundings. One thing we noticed upon our homecoming was the metamorphosis that took place in our yard while we were away for 9 days. The waist-high grass aside, so many beautiful trees, bushes, and flowers were in bloom. A dogwood tree, a blazing neon pink azalea bush, iris', phlox, & name it! Once the yard was mowed (with the help of an awesome neighbor!) it was so exciting to walk around and discover the new life springing up everywhere.

Because inspiration was located right outside my back door - although unintentional - the theme for the month became FLOWERS. Which over the next few months may just be reoccurring since I love them so much. And because I have a splendid new NC Wildflower Hike Book that points us to the good stuff!! Either way, I am thrilled that I am back to my old ways where taking photos seems like less of a chore, and more of a necessity.

May Mosaic
1. Ocean Wave Cave, 2. View from my Window, 3. What My Morning View Looks Like, 4. Pinkest, 5. Eat Pray Love, 6. I Voted, 7. Sepia Blooms, 8. Sickly, 9. Cody Bo-Bodie, 10. A piece of Cali, 11. Pattern, 12. Moses Poses, 13. Dogwood Blooms, 14. Wild Iris, 15. Keepsake, 16. Phlox, 17. Follow That Sign......., 18. Side-by-Side, 19. Buttercup's, 20. New Couch = Big Hit, 21. Here Comes the Choo-Choo, 22. Backyard Textures, 23. Pending Re Upholstery, 24. Grandfather Mountain behind Price Lake, 25. Jack-in-the-Pulpit, 26. Post Re Upholstery, 27. Wildflower Contrast, 28. Purple Striped Iris, 29. Din-Din, 30. Flame Azalea, 31. I Love Gifts in the Mail: Sian
*Clicking on the above links will take you to larger photo in Flickr*

~My Favorites from MAY~

123. View form my Window
View from my Window

128. Sepia Blooms
Sepia Blooms

133. Moses Poses
Moses Poses

142. Here Comes the Choo-Choo
Here Comes the Choo-Choo

146. Jack-in-the-Pulpit

149. Purple Striped Iris
Purple Striped Iris

From the beginning:
{366} Photographic Journal

I Love Gifts in the Mail: Sian

Ooooh, what do we have here?!?!

I've got Mail!

It's my beautifully wrapped and thoughtfully handmade goodie package, courtesy of Sian from Spin a Song of Sixpence.

Sian's Handmade Tag

For no particular reason, Sian decided to do a giveaway on her blog, and lucky me, I was the WINNER!!

Wonder what's inside?!

Wonder what's Inside!?!

From the paper in which it was wrapped to the handmade tag, everything was presented perfectly.

You couldn't tell how eager I was to open the packages because of the fact that I took way to many photos, that is, before the suspense actually got the best of me. But I wanted to pay as much attention to opening it, as Sian did to wrap it up.


Uh-Oh.......what's in there?


The culprit! It was melted.....but quick thinking prompted me to put it in the fridge to solidify again. Later that evening, I shared the bar with Cody. I don't know why I bothered to put it in the fridge, because it just melted in our mouths anyways! It was sooooo yummy!

I Love Gifts in the Mail: Sian

Although the above photo is of everything she sent in the packages, I received one with nothing but handmade goods, while the other donned items picked up locally - I presume. Upon first sight of the packages, I would not have guessed that they were packing so many goodies. I know they weren't, but I felt like every item was hand-picked especially for me! I loved each and every one of them.


Even if I didn't quite know what they were........although, I suspect that the 'whirligig' (I named it that) is to clasp the electric blue wolly/scarf - handmade by Sian - together. Am I right?

But my favorite was.......

Love Spoon

Love Spoon......
The custom of giving a love spoon is unique to Wales and originated in th 17th Century, when lovers would offer intricately carved spoons, bearing symbols of their feelings and hopes, to their partners.

Love Spoons.....
Today are given as gestures of friendship, engagement, wedding, and anniversary gift, and also make excellent reminders of a visit to Wales.

I can't begin to tell you how delighted I was to find this goodie package in my box after a long day at work on Friday. Sian, thank you so very much for taking the time, and making the effort to brighten my day. It was a wonderful package with some truly unique items that I will cherish. THANK YOU!

Recently, Sian started her very own Etsy store, an extension of her obsession, oops, I mean passion of all things having to do with yarn & spinning. Please have a looksy to see if she may have anything of interest to you.

Previous Gifts in the Mail:
{366} Photographic Journal