Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Pentax Q

All I want for Christmas is a Pentax Q...a Pentax Q...oh, a Pentax Q.  Gee, if I could only have a Pentax Q, then I could take some merry pictures.

Hee, hee.

Well, I got what I wanted for Christmas!

Let me introduce you to the smallest interchangeable lens camera on the market (well, it was when I last checked...but no telling with technology these days).

The Pentax Q is tiny, light weight and loads of fun! I was concerned that the small sensor size would take lousy pictures. But you can judge for yourself...

Right out of the box, set on Auto...

Beautiful, bold colors
 So far, my favorite setting: BC (blur control)
BC puts blur around the edges.  I had not read the manual yet,
so I did not know there were three levels of blur.  I love
the look of shallow depth of focus; even if it was a bit
"manipulated" here. 
Reggie is not the best subject to use with the BC mode.  Her
forehead is way to blurry...even though her eyes are in nice
focus.  And look at her fur, nice blend of detail and blur. Except
for the forehead blur, I like the photo.  I like the colors.  This
looks much like what my eyes were seeing.
Any problems with this picture is not due to the camera, but to the  Again, I love the shallow depth of focus.  I
love the ability of the camera to focus on what I intend for it
to focus on.
Also in the BC mode...I am impressed with the ability of this
camera to process color.  Oh, no flash used here and the light
was low and from the back.
With the nifty flash... 
Shot in camera raw.  Yes, the Pentax Q can shoot in raw!  I did NO
processing to the picture.  This is the pure raw, unmanipulated photo.
And, one more to share this evening:
Not the best picture.  Looks grainy.  But wanted to share this mode:
HDR.  I need more practice with this mode, but I already
know its going be a blast to play with.

So, my overall impression...2 thumbs up!  Pentax has created an uber fun, super small, interchangeable lens camera with loads of nifty filters.  In the manual mode I can change ISO, aperture and speed.  And like many large DSLRs there is an aperture priority mode and speed priority mode.  Like many point and shoot cameras, there are various filters/modes that can be applied from macro to portrait to toy camera and HDR.

Drawbacks...I have to use my thumb nail to manipulate the small buttons on the cameras interface.  Large fingered people will have lots of difficulty with the buttons.  There is no viewfinder.  And of course, with the small sensor, increased ISO = increased noise.  But, as you can gather from the photos above, the Pentax Q is able to take awesome pictures in lowish light.  I did take some self portraits with low light...was way to much noise.  But then again, any camera would have had difficult with that much lack of light.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I have no shame...

in admitting I am addicted.  Addicted to the Hipstamatic iPhone app.  It is so much fun using the app...and waiting in pleasant anticipation to see the final results.  I am learning what makes for good composition with the is different than what I am accustomed to...what I typically go for.  I find that a singular, up close focal point does not work well with the app. most of the time.  Instead, a broader view with lots of light does work well.  Lots of light and contrast makes for interesting "things" with the Hipsta filters.  And so do sun flares.

Today, I feel like I captured magic.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oh-my, I am in love...

I saw an add in the paper today. 97 cent iPhones (with 2 year plan of course) at Walmart.  Oh, and I should mention, its the older model...the 3G.  Ah, 3G--4G, would I be able to tell the difference? I care about the differerenes?  We're talking a 97c iPhone here!  Oh, and reading an in-depth article about the Hipstamatic app had nothing to do with me wanting an iPhone all of a sudden.  Mmm, nope, nothing at all.

Lets just say Randy made fun of me 'cause when we got home, he saw the add open to the 97c iPhone.  And he asked me, "did you even make it past this page."  Uhh, nope.

We'd been eyeing smart phones.  Waiting for a deal; waiting for data plans to go down.  etc. etc.  Our dumb phones were very old (still are).  Buttons starting to NOT work.  Nothing important...just the on/off switch, volume control...yes, it was past time for an upgrade.

Walmart did not have the phones.  No Walmart in my vicinity had the phones. What???  How are you going to have an add for 97c iPhones, but not have any 97C iPhones in stock?


Off to the AT&T store...checked them before I left anyways.  3G iPhones 99c.  I can live with that!

First app downloaded on new iPhone.  Hipstamatic.

And here are some shots from down-town S.A.  Randy took me to The Nutcracker at the Lila Cockrell theater.  I enjoyed the show. Randy enjoyed his nap.  The walk to the theater was BEAUTIFUL.

And after the ballet, we had dinner.

And then I kept playing with my new toy...

Pucka says its time for bed.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


The moment I saw the digital kit by Eena's Creations, Fantasy of an Artist, the page below came to mind.

I knew I wanted me in that little paper hat boat reaching out, or reaching into the water.  Victor captured the shot of me (for both of these LOs).

I've been making my digi-art journal in two page format.  Here is my second  page.

I don't always know what I am going to create.  I had the idea for the left side (very top page) already in mind; but I did not know how the second page was going to form.  I am pleased with the results, the symbolism that took shape...

The left side is the true me.  She is more left-brained, so it is fitting she is on the left side of the two sided LO.  Floating along the river of life, she reaches out for her goals and dreams.  Although art is her hobby, she dreams of becoming an artist.  Digi is her primary format, but she is working on the physical too...she is making contact with the paint brush.  Her dreams are not always clear, not always tangible, so it is fitting "dream" is obscured by the spider web.

The right side represents my inner muse.  The muse is very aware of her dreams (dream is not obscured by the web).  The muse is a bit elusive though, so she remains partially hidden behind the log.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving Week...

I made a Thanksgiving tree.  On it were five things (each) Randy and I are Thankful for.  We are both thankful for the puckas and each other.  We are also thankful for:

Art & Beauty

It rained.  Glorious rain.  And Randy and I decorated for the Holidays.

Its cold across America.  But in San Antonio, the weather
is mild. My "biscuit" plants are still growing strong.
Randy is the chef in the family.  Over the weekend, he decided to try something a little different with the potatoes.  He used the pineapple corer to remove the center of the potatoes.  Then he stuffed the potatoes with celery, a slice of bacon, onions and some butter.  They turned out delightful!

I love the Holiday season!  I love that it kicks off with Thanksgiving, a time to reflect upon what we cherish most.  It sets the right mood, the right tone for coming days.  I don't do Black Friday.  And I absolutely will not go shopping on Thanksgiving day.  The Holidays are not about shopping.  Finding the right gift for my loved ones is important to me...when you get that right "thing" it spreads happiness, joy and delight. But its not the gift per se that matters most...its the joy and love thats spread and shared.  Its letting those you love know that you care and that they are in your heart and thoughts.

I hope as the Holidays progress, the Spirit and Joy of the Season reaches your heart.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Project: Life...

Week of November 13th.

Randy can be so sweet at times.  His body clock is much different
than my own; so dinner for him is often very, very late at night.
Sometimes he goes to What-A-Burger...and when he does, he
gets me breakfast.  The 5:32 is in the a.m.  Some mornings
 are very, very early.
I used Leora Sanford's Bittersweet to make these pages.
The fonts are Sketch Block and Shadows into Light.
Its taken me weeks; but I've finished my AJ page.  I've very
pleased with the results.  And apparently, I'm stuck on the
word "very" today.  Lol.

Friday, November 11, 2011

More Project: Life

Created with Altered Emporium's Messy Frames and Falderals.
Font is 1942 Report.

Created with Altered Emporium's Messy Frames and Fripperies.
Also used 1942 Report font.
And, a creation just for the fun of it.

Created with Altered Emporium's Messy Frames and Trashed
Overlays; and Cryztal Rain's City Scapez.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I've been Art Journaling...

for over a year and a half now.  Last year I joined Tangie Baxter's Art Journal Caravan.  The Caravan "gave" me permission to grow, explore and create whatever my heart desired.  Last year I found the journal prompts to be encouraging and challenging in a positive way.  This year, however, I've felt following prompts to be stifling...and have not participated much in the Caravan. Its not that the prompts are bad, quite the opposite.  Its just that that format is not working for me this year.

I still want to Art Journal, digi-style.  And the creations below are just that.  Art Journaling gives me room to play, room to explore my inner thoughts and being.  Art Journaling allows me to have fun.  And that is why I enjoy doing it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Some more of my 52 weeks 4x6 creations...

I'll start with pics from 2 weeks ago.


Randy came up with idea!

October would not be complete w/out some pumpkins!

And, some creations from this week:
Created with Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Poppy
Also with ArtPlay Poppy

I've created one more 4x6 this can see it here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

With the recent...

death of my father in law, I've acquired some heritage photos of Randy and his family.  I am very happy to scrap these precious treasures.

This is Sue Ann, Randy's Mom.  I've never met her...she died young at the age of 47.  Randy speaks well of her, the love is apparent.  She was a nurse, a reader, and unfortunately for her health, a partier too.  She was a very lovely woman.

Created with Baroque by Priss Designs.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I love Stampington mags...

...from their Somerset Art Journal line to Memories to Studio and Sew. I love 'em all! I should get a multi subscription pack, but I fear as soon as I do I will come down on orders and have to change my mailing address (which does not seem like a big deal except every time I've moved 'cause of the military there is usually a transient address for two through four months before finally getting a new "home" and I'd sure hate for 'em to get lost in the mail).

In Somerset Memories Autumn 2011 edition, I was greatly inspired by an article titled Project Life featuring Ali Edwards. Ms. Edwards shared her thoughts, ideas and some pages from her focus 52, or 52 week inspiration project. I loved her emphasis on the every day, photography and journaling. Ms. Edwards used a Becky Higgins Project Life collection in addition to some custom made page protectors to make weekly 2-page spreads. The project reminded me of some mini pages I made well before I became an avid 8x8" or 8.5x11" page maker (I like these two sizes 'cause I can print my LOs at home on glossy brochure paper).

Ms. Edwards feature article has inspired me to go the mini route again...but this time focusing on weekly events. This project is perfect for me as I already participate in a F52 photography project, a 52 Inspirations project and I'm an avid digi-scrapper/artists. Now, I can combine these three into one home. Plus, I've started make hybrid and hand made art journal pages. This is such a great way to do hybrid and use some of my art journal fodder (like the Lost and Found below)! I'm excited! Can you tell?

Picture of Randy on his B-day; and the cupcake I ate!
Randy loves chess, I don't.  But got some good pics
of the glass chess board.  I made the
Washi tape.
Focus on journaling, about my two weeks in October. I made
the Lost & Found bit.
Focus on journaling, this time about Randy's week.  I asked
him to write down 10 words that described how he felt about
the  prior two weeks (he lost is father October 3rd).
I wanted to emphasize both the photo and the fact that Randy
made this for me!
I'll be making six mini-pages per week as I already have two photo albums that house 4x6 photos, three on a page (I don't want to have to buy new products...just use what I already have).  The five mini-pages above are from my first week highlighting the beginning of October.  I will do these weekly if time and events permit (I know some weeks are so darn boring...I won't have much to journal about or photograph...if that happens I'll combine a week or two).  In the pages above I've used digital elements from Cinzia Loosemore (Everday Life 2) and Biograffiti (Little Details).
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