Thursday, July 31, 2014

Checking In ...

Hi my lovelies!

Could not let the month of July slide by without connecting with you!  Hope each and every one of you is well and enjoying your summer (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, that is).

I continue to be consumed by painting (and taking tutorials on various styles of painting and specific techniques), with occasional forays into the garden to 'dead-head' and weed.  My husband just happens to be an excellent 'weeder' so he does most of the grunt work for me (thank you!).

Here are a few photographs of flowers on the gallery, deck and various flower beds:

Every year I have several pots full of various herbs and nasturtiums and one with an assortment of greens for salads.  It's such a treat to open the door and pick whatever I need.

Gorgeous hydrangea bushes dot our woodland garden.  They seem to be able to tolerate the shade.

These hydrangea bushes produce glorious apple green blossoms that turn to white as the summer progresses.

After I complete several paintings, I take photographs of them (visible on the left) and then have to perform a few edits (straightening, cropping, adding light, etc.).  This allows me to create a professional portfolio of paintings and to post decent images of them on Saatchi and Etsy where I sell some of them.

As you see, I have two computer screens which makes the work very easy.  I organize a lot of my photographs in Picasa (left) and then drag them over into Photoshop for editing. When set up properly, you can drag any images or documents from one screen to the other.  I love it!

This book is grabbing my attention right now.  If you are dealing with any chronic health challenges I would really recommend it.  Very interesting research is highlighted and it contains many practical suggestions about consciously incorporating the placebo effect into a get-well regimen. 

Update:  Speaking of health issues, after having walking pneumonia and bronchitis in the Spring I had coughing spasms that dragged on into May and June.  After visiting two different ENT specialists (ear, nose, throat) the second one said the coughing had nothing to do with the previous bronchitis, but was probably caused by "hidden acid reflux".  Huh?  I had experienced no heartburn .... but it turns out my cough was being caused by my stomach!  A prescription for acid reflux medication has ended the coughing spasms.  Go figure!  So glad to have finally solved that aggravating and tiring mystery. Once I finish the above book, I intend to try out the suggestions to stop the production of acid in my system and to eliminate the pain in my back.  Fingers crossed!  :)

 Cleome overtake one of our large flower beds every year.  But we don't mind they are such show-stoppers!

 One lone echinacea perennial trying to make a statement among the cleome.

 I leave you with this beauty.  Forget it's name at the moment.  Can anyone help me?

I'll be back soon with some photos of my latest paintings and with some new texture sets.  See you then!