Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pattern Play

In Day 25 of Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class, Kim encouraged us to play with patterns.  A pattern is an image that's repeated or tiled when you use it to fill a layer or a selection.  You install patterns in Photoshop in a similar method to loading brushes or actions.  You can find lots of free Photoshop patterns on line at

Here's my enhanced Photoshop image -  using a pattern, textures and various adjustment layers.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Bakelite mah jongg tile focal

I had so much fun with my practice mah jongg tile necklaces that I ordered some cool, vintage Bakelite tiles from a gal named Bethany from Frankenbeads whom I found on Etsy. We really bonded given that we are both Beth's and both from Cleveland, Ohio.  She didn't know that much about the game of mah jongg so I helped her with the descriptions and to properly name the three suits - Bams, Cracks and Dots.  She in turn did me right on the sale of the tiles.  The tile in the picture below is a Flower and although it has the #1 on it, it is still just a plain old flower with the number being insignificant.

This is a necklace I made with the Bakelite mah jongg tile as one of the focal beads.  I also used a circular semiprecious green jade bead, a green Buddha, and a variegated glass bead as focals.  Hanging from the maj tile are three pieces of sterling chain.  Coral branches hang from the chain as well as a vintage green glass bead.  The necklace closes on the side with a handmade sterling wrapped hook which loops through an old Asian coin.  Semiprecious and some glass beads are all wire wrapped on sterling. 

If you are interested in purchasing this necklace or a similar one, please click HERE to contact me.  Thanks for taking a look and thanks for your support and comments which are so much appreciated.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Flowers in a Jar

This is the image SOOC.  I took this shot of a pretty jar of flowers that was on the counter at Buttonwood Farms Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley where we went wine tasting this past weekend.  

This is my Photoshop processed image of the jar of flowers.  I used several filters, adjustment layers, masks and four layers of two different textures, including one with the word GRATITUDE that I got free from Pixel Dust Photo Art.

Weekend Wine Tasting

We planned a weekend getaway to the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country which is nestled in the heart of Santa Barbara County's legendary vineyards.  Only a 45 minute flight from Long Beach to the quiet Santa Ynez airport in Joe's trusty Bonanza.  We visited several wineries in the area including Roblar, Buttonwood, Blackjack, Gainy and Qupe.  We explored the charming town of Los Olivos and the quaint Danish Village of Solvang where we had an outstanding dinner at Root 246 and stayed the night at the Hadsten House.  

It's breathtaking places like this that remind me of why I live in California despite the high taxes, smog and congestion.  Can't wait to go back again.

Joe enjoying one of the MANY tastings

Me doing the same as Joe

We were surrounded by gorgeous vineyards

Enjoyed the outdoor setting at Buttonwood and want to come back this summer for homemade peach pie and peach ice cream.

The ever popular Blackjack Winery put itself on the map after Sideways was filmed there.  We bought a case of a delicious 2006 Syrah called Double Down.

Wine, wine, wine and more wine.

Lunch at the Los Olivos Cafe of a delicious thin crust pizza and caesar salad and of course more wine.

Small to talking to this guy (Mark Huggs and son Finn)  next to me and found out that he lives in Santa Barbara but is the owner of 24th St. Cafe in Bakersfield which Joe frequents.  No wonder they thought each other looked familiar. 

Mother's Day at Roblar Winery.  Not crowded yet since it just opened.

Back in Long Beach and unloading the wine.

Wine to car and then home.  What's better than a weekend of wine tasting!!?

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