Thursday, March 23, 2006

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #10

1. To everyone who listened to my incessant nagging about entering Blogging 4 Books this month, thank you! There were 40-ish entries, which is amazing. After spending you-won't-believe-how-many hours reading and re-reading and re-re-re-re-re-re-reading entries on Tuesday I have chosen and turned in the list of this month's finalists. Joshilyn said she would post them on her blog today and pass them on to final judge Sarah Smiley to choose the winners. When I checked just a minute ago, they hadn't been posted yet, but if you want to see which entries made the Finalists List, check Joss's blog later today. 2. Yesterday Andrea at Hula Seventy posted an entry on her blog about dreams and I found it fascinating! She asked some questions of her readers and I started to answer in comments, but found my answer becoming so long that it was turning into a post of its own, so I'm going to answer here instead. It'll be tomorrow though. I was going to do it today, but have too many other things I want to tell you, so Friday will be DreamTalkDay on RSR. 3. Thank you for the comments about my "A is for..." post from yesterday! I'm becoming a bit obsessed with this idea and have been scribbling notes to myself frantically every time I think of a "good word" for a certain letter or a cool image to add to a collage. If you want to check back to see more of the list, my plan at this point is to post one letter per week, but I don't have specific day in mind. Maybe I'll stick with Wednesdays....maybe not! We shall see! 4. About my 11:11 self-portrait series from Tuesday, Liz asked how I did the photo arrangement this time. I thought I'd answer here in case anyone else wanted to know. I used Photoshop Elements 3.0. I opened a new document/image and made it larger than I thought I'd need (because you can always crop it later, but making it bigger messes with image quality). I filled it with my background color (black) and I selected the "grid" option from tools so that it would look a bit like a piece of graph paper. That helps with placement and then you simply get rid of the grid before you save the final image. Then I started opening each individual image for each day, one at a time. I cropped, resized, color-corrected, etc. Then I added photo-corners (a filter you can use in PE3) and flattened the layers. Then I selected the finished image and copied it to the blank one, where it became Layer 1. I then used an option called "free rotate layer" to slant it. That option allows you to "grab" a corner of the image with your mouse and twist it around on the background. Lather, rinse, repeat until all the images are where I want them. Then I used my favorite font (Comic Sans Serif) to write "March" and "11:11" and the same rotate tool to slant them. Then I used the pencil tool to scribble the dates and times in my very own atrocious handwriting. Then unselect the grid, flatten the image (IOW, merge all the layers into one), save it and upload it. TaaDaaa! Not hard at all. 5. Speaking of Liz, today is Poetry Thursday. If you want to read some wonderful poems, follow the link to her blog and she has links to many more. It made me think about how I've always admired poets but, unfortunately, have never felt like I was very good at writing poetry myself. At most I will occasionally try my hand at haiku: Words rush from my mind pushing, crowding, piling up. I trip. Ouch! Bad words. ...or a limerick: A poet I know I am not. 'tis a talent that cannot be bought. If I try to write rhyme that will last for all time it's more apt to be used to wipe snot. I'd say I won't quit my day job except that I don't exactly have a day job. Heh. 6. Earlier this week we had what I hope to be winter's last little temper tantrum as we had a small, not-too-terrible ice storm. I just hope the purple martin advance scouts weren't too put off by what they saw when they checked out our yard this week: "A Cold Welcome" The ice is all melted now though, and the sun is trying to shine. I'm content. 7. Added: Blogger's word verification thingy seems to be acting up on my blog and on several others, so I turned it off for now and turned on comment moderation instead. It's very annoying that spammers make either one necessary, but such is human nature. Sorry for any inconvenience that either word verification or comment moderation causes RSR readers! 8. Ok, the word verification thingy seems to be working again, so I've switched that on and moderation back off. They're both a pain and I wish I could do without them, but I rejected several automated spammer comments today, so I'm sticking with the annoying word verification. Sigh.

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