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Friday, August 31, 2012

Mon Bouquet du Jour

One Bouquet for the City and one Bouquet for the Country.
Roses for the City.
Sans petals for the country.
 You may have both.
Have a wonderful weekend my dear
Blogging Friends

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's always the same

This time of Year.
(I'm actually glad, that means I'm still around).  
There is the Artist Studio Tour
A kitchen Mural painted in the Antique Style.

Visitors come from everywhere.
  I paint and paint to get ready for the Show. 
 My Interlaken grapes are ripe and cucumbers and berries have been canned.

My corner "Studio" is in the back of my kitchen and the kiln is working overtime in the basement.
Another Mural (detail), this one painted in the "new" style.

There is always enough to share with family and friends. 

Today is the last day I can paint.
Tomorrow, everything goes into the kiln to be ready bright and early Saturday morning.
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Collages, Mosaics and Overlays

Photo Editing Continued.
Collages, Mosaics and Overlay.

First things first,
Join PicMonkey
It's Free.


How to create a Collage

In PicMonkey click on collage.
Choose collage layout (2nd symbol)
Upload photos, select several to load at once.
Click on Auto Fill or arrange yourself.

Note:  whenever you get lost click on first symbol (Basic Edits).


How to create a Mosaic

click on Collages.
Choose Square Deal for Layout.
Upload your photos.
Arrange photos.
Get acquainted with symbols on left, such as transparencies, background color and photos.


How to make the round photograph I cannot divulge. That secret belongs to Rosemary of "Where Five Valleys Meet"

Overlays can be round, oval, square, etc.
It's the first photo you select that determines the shape.
How to make Overlays.
Go to Edit in Green photo box.
Upload your photo.
Click on third symbol from bottom in basic edits (heart, star and bubble).
Go to top and click on Your Own .
Select a photo from your files. Arrange size and place position of photo within first image.
Repeat as often as you like.
You can also edit your photos by using  "Erase" .
And if you have erased too much the "paintbrush" will correct your mistake.

The overlay feature can also be used for creating watermarks and Collages.
PicMonkey has wonderful tutorials which will walk you through all of their features.
 PicMonkey was designed by the same folks who created the original Picnik program.


 Happy creating my dear  
 Blogging Friends.


Monday, August 27, 2012

The importance of watermarking your photos

And why not, it's so easy.
There are many programs available for watermarking your photos.

I like PicMonkey.  It's free to all users.
But that is only one of the reasons I like it. 

I can place my watermark anywhere within the photo.
That is very important.  It acts as a deterrent to those who want to steal your material.

If you are a blogger, you must read this recent post by Susan of "Between Naps on the Porch". 
She warns us that the entire content of your blog can be stolen by "Scrapers", then used to make money for them.  Not you.
After you read her lengthy and very informative post you will definitely want to watermark all of your photos. 

Place the watermark in such a position so that your photo can not be cropped without losing its main image.

Here is how to watermark with PicMonkey.

1)  Upload one of your photos
2)  Click on P under Basic Edits
3)  At top, click on Add Text
4)  Text Box appears in middle of your photo 
5)  Click inside box and type text (your watermark)
6)  Now you can edit your text, font, italics, bold, color, fade, etc.
7)  Drag text box wherever it looks best.

There are many programs available which make watermarking your photos very easy.
The important thing to remember is that you actually do it.

Have a great week my dear
Blogging Friends

Thursday, August 23, 2012

When in Rome

One of the challenges, when traveling in Europe, is finding the perfect place the night before flying home. 

After many years we have found two such perfect places.

One outside of Rome and the other near Paris.

It must be close to the airport.

The surrounding area should be interesting, a place where you can go for a stroll to stretch your legs before the long flight home. 
Ostia Antica is such a place.

A nice Hotel where you can get a good nights rest.

The Rodrigo de Vivar Hotel is inside the Medieval Borgo by the old Castle of Giulio II della Rovere in the Center of Ostia Antica. 
The hotel is a 20 minutes drive from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino airport.  The center of Rome is an hour away.


The Hotel must be easy to find.

You will see the Castle Tower as you drive into town.
The hotel is inside the ancient stone arch. 

And right across the street from the hotel are the fantastic excavations of  Ostia Antica, the ancient harbor of Rome, now silted up.

You can walk along Ostia's mile-long paved streets. 

You can spend hours wandering through this very large excavation admiring ancient architecture and mosaics.

At its peak Ostia Antica covered 10,000 acres.  

adapted from ostiaanticahotels

Ostia Antica is serene and cool.
The perfect place to spend the day before flying home.

Next week I will tell you about my favorite hotel near the Paris Airport.

Have a great remainder of the week, my dear
Blogging Friends.


Monday, August 20, 2012

When Petals fall

Gather them.

And make an old fashioned Moist Potpourri.

Loved by Gertrude Jekyll: "The dry is much the easier and quicker to make, but is neither so sweet nor so enduring".

So, don't waste those lovely petals.  Making moist Potpourri is very easy, it is the oldest way of making Potpourri. 

You will need partially dried rose petals and coarse, non-iodized salt.

Layer rose petals and salt in a non-porous container.
Ratio of 3 to1, petals to salt.

Keep adding rose petals as they are available. 
Keep in dark splace, tightly closed.  As you add more petals and salt over time, stir with a wooden spoon. 

 This is my moist potpourri, more than 20 years old.
Still has the most divine and mysterious perfume. 
I know, it's not very pretty.
It is meant to be hidden in a beautiful and perforated container. 

You may want to add the following: Lavender Flowers, Rose Geranium Leaves, Essential Oils, Lemon Peel, Orange Peel, powdered orris root.

Your moist potpourri is ready to use in about 6 months.

Have a lovely week my dear
Blogging Friends.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chickens need to eat too

So we head to the Country Store

A place where fancy clothes are "out of style".

Where everything is packed up into large sacks.

Where you will find something for everyone. 

No doorman here.

Nothing fancy here either, just the good ole stuff that grows well in our San Pete soil.

And if they don't have it, you don't need it. 

Have a great week my dear
Blogging Friends.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Have you made a Tussie-Mussie lately?

A Tussie-Mussie is a little nosegay of flowers and herbs.
 Traditional Tussie-Mussies always have a rose in the center.

Fresh herbs surround the perfect rose.

Sage leaves, Oregano blossoms, Dill and Fennel blossoms, and Ammi Majus complete the arrangement.

Gather a few herbs and a perfect rose. Build the nosegay in your hand, beginning with the rose in the center.  Place herbs all around.

 Add a lace doily and a pretty ribbon.

I purchased quite a few lace flower holders while in Italy. 
They are made especially for Tussie-Mussies. 
Mine have a plastic coating so that they can stand up to a little extra moisture. 

You can make your own Tussie-Mussie holders.
Here is how: stack 2 round paper doilies together (2 for extra strength) and fold in half.  Repeat folding in half until you have a fan shape.  Cut a small hole into bottom of fan.  Unfold, place on top of vase and start filling with flowers and herbs. 

Give to a friend as a token of affection.

Have a lovely week my dear
Blogging Friends.

And don't forget to solve the flower puzzle of my previous post.
It pays off handsomely if you get it right.  


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mon Bouquet du Jour

Mein Sonntag Strauss am Sonnabend.
And a gift to the first three lucky visitors who can identify the very last flower.

My Sweet Peas and the last of my Icelandic Poppies.

So many lovely flowers blooming in my garden right now.

Is it because they are such a challenge that they are my favorites?
The Salpiglossis.

Can you identify this flower growing in my garden. 
Please leave your answer by going to my Etsy shop. 
(All you have to do is click on Maiolica, at top of my blog in the Etsy box)

The first three visitors who leave the correct answer will receive one of my
famous hand painted "Fancy Feet"

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead my dear
Blogging Friends.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Paint or no Paint

To paint or not to paint.

Life sized figures, one painted one not.
I painted one to see if it would give it more "Life".
What do you think?

I painted the life-sized statue on the right. 
Because they are placed on either side of my fountain, they should be the same color, don't you think? They are made of a strange material, some kind of plastic and very lightweight.  The wind could blow them over if they were not in a protected alcove.

All of these urns were cast from the same design.  One is fairly new, one much older and given patina by weather. I painted two urns with acrylic paints.

Pineapple, the symbol of hospitality, on the left not painted and on the right, the same cement Pineapple design,  painted and left out for years in all kinds of weather.  Both paint and weather have done their job.

Cement and acrylic paints are made for each other.  Painted my hall fireplace almost 20 years ago.  No sign of peeling or damage from intensive heat.

Acrylic paints and gold leaf  were directly applied to raw cement on my upstairs fireplace. Both treatments have lasted many, many years with no sign of wear. 

You might want to give it a try.  It's one of the easiest paint treatments around.

So here is the question:  Do you think that paint improves cement pieces?

Wishing you a great weekend ahead my dear
Blogging Friends.