Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wedding Cake and Other Goodies

The reason for the trip to see Texter and Gibbs was to deliver a small wedding cake.  They got married on the 2nd of February in the magistrates office.  Nothing fancy.  Just a couple of friends.

P2260020  Nex (the dog) doesn’t look thrilled at being held at the beach rather than being down to investigate, does he.

Anyway, to make a short story long, I recently discovered one of the guys I work with does these fantastic cakes and candies.  So I had him create a small ‘wedding’ cake, but also ordered a couple of belated-Valentine’s Day gifts for a couple of people.

I have to apologize up front for the picture of the cake.  In all the coming and going, I didn’t set up a really good picture.

wedding cake in box  This is the cake sitting in it’s box in the backseat of the car.  The cake itself was a two-layer cake so they could save the top layer.  Then each layer itself was two layers.  Yellow/chocolate marbled cake with wonderful icing.  The flowers were silk so she could save them.  It was simple and elegant and beautiful.  And most important—TASTY!

Then, the real reason I initially went to Mark was to have him make something for me as a belated Valentine’s Day gift for Savvy and Sharon (oh…and myself).

P2240006  A HUGE tea cup filled with chex mix drizzled in white chocolate.  Dipped pretzels.  All on a white chocolate base.  The entire thing is edible!

P2240002  This is something you really don’t want to eat because it is so pretty, but like the cake, too delicious not to.  The dogs are going to be walked a lot more over the next few weeks!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Modern Witch Book 1

First, I have to say DONT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVE THINGS THAT REALLY NEED TO BE DONE!  Picking up this book is a guarantee you will stop doing all that needs to be done in order to finish this book. 

modern witch 1  This book was recommended to be by an unlikely source for this type of book.  My friend, Carol, is normally into more weightier tomes.  I am into lighter fare.  I am not an “Oprah’s Pick” reader. If I want to cry and be depressed, I’ll go look at my bank statement.   In fact, books have the same criteria that I apply to movies….entertain me!  I don’t want to have to think about what I’m reading.  I want to sit down, forget the rest of the world for a period of time and come away wanting more.  And boy, does this book do that.  (Warning - Spoilers follow).

Lauren is a Chicago real estate broker who is good at what she does.  So when her busy life leads her to an online shopping site, she is surprised to find herself in a witch’s chat room.  And to be told she is a witch.  What follows is Lauren’s entry into the witching world around her.  What I really like is how Debora Geary handles what could have been a stereotypical situation.  The handsome young male witch who comes to Lauren aid to help her adjust to her situation, does not fall in love with her.  The BFF/sidekick, Nat, is not perky, or a dizzy blonde, or the bumbling fool Lauren shepherds through life.  This makes for a really believable trio of characters.  Another plus in the plot is the use of ‘geekiness’.    For those of us which love our computers, video games and chat rooms, these things are skillfully woven into the story along with Lauren’s struggles with her new knowledge.  Warning though, if you are in any way into ice cream and chocolate, don’t read without at least 1 pint of Ben and Jerry’s in your freezer.  Otherwise, the cravings will get to you.

I downloaded this book on my friend’s recommendation with a bit of a dubious mindset.  I’m the one who reads this type of book, not her, so what does she know.  She knows a good book when she reads it.  And if a person who doesn’t normally read this sort of novel enjoyed it enough to send an email to recommend it, then you know this have to be a REALLY GREAT read for those of us who learn toward this genre.  However, I do have to say I have one big disappointment with the story.   It is not totally without flaws.  Enchanted Realms, the video game mentioned in the book, DOES NOT EXIST!  Darn it, I want to play the game.  Mainly to see if I exhibit ‘witch’ talents and can unlock secret levels.

So now I have to budget  for the next two books in this trilogy.  And the three books, featuring the main characters, in a second trilogy.  And figure out how I can drop work, homework, and housework for another intensive, can’t-put-this-book-down reading session. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nippy Day at the Beach

This is a picture I took under the pier at Surf City, North Carolina.  Then I played with it in Photoshop while eating my dinner and before running my bath.  I am ssssooooo tired after a few hours of walking the beach.  But I want to print this out onto canvas.  I am proud of it.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Amani as a Subject

I recently found out about a new filter gallery for Photoshop.  And have downloading (which Adobe doesn’t make easy), I experimented with the same picture on the different effects.  So here is Amani, sitting very nicely for me while I take pictures of the sunrise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  She looks so smart there.  And she is such a destructo if left unkenneled for even a moment.   So I took her to the dam and let her run around while I took pictures.  Luckily, she comes back nicely and stays close.

Anyway, here are some different views of Amani.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  This is the fisheye effect.  You can zoom in on certain areas and vary the radius of the fish eye.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Here is Amani as a kaleidoscope.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I pixelated her.  And then I rippled her.


These are “blocks” of ripples and you can vary the size of the ripples.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here she is ‘sphered’.  One of my favorite filters.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The following three filters I ‘spun’ her……

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA ‘tube viewed’ her….. (another favorite)

and ‘twirled’ her…..


And the effect I was originally going to this set of filters for….watercolor….



So this is how I spent my morning.  Did homework get done?  Sewing?  Housework?  Nooooooooo…..but I did learn something!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And Still More Homework….

Those slave drivers!  They make me work in Photoshop with pictures and have fun with my classes.  Darn them!  (And that is why I find myself getting behind.)

But we worked with filters in one of my classes this past week and here are the results of a couple of my alterations.


Christmas Day Sunrise  and after….

Christmas Day Sunrise  I don’t know, but for some reason I really like the effects on this one.

Then, number 2, before….

boat in snow  and after…. 

hudgins_snow boat

I am happy with the way both of these turned out.  In fact, I would like to get them printed out and framed on my wall.  I think I am going to figure out some way to make a ‘gallery’ wall in my house.  Exchange pictures around as I do them.  Now onto my superhero!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a la Arcimboldo

I am a fan of Arcimboldo.   He was a painter in the 1500’s, but if you look at his paintings first, you would never guess it. 

arcimboldo  A composite of fruits and vegetables turned into a person…..not what I think of when I think of 1500’s paintings.

So, when we got an assignment in class to do a layered composition and we had to use specific pictures she provided, I turned to my inspiration and created this.

hudgins_composition  Ok, so I’m not Arcimboldo by any means, but the idea was there.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Texter Gets Married

Yep, my baby is a Marine now – as of February 2.  Or at least married to one, which I understand is practically the same thing.  So I have lost a tax deduction and gained a son-in-law.

wedding Terrible picture, but they got married with just a couple of friends in the magistrate’s office.  So will have a little cake for them in a couple of weeks.  Now she gets all the enjoyment of changing all the forms of ID she has to her married name!

Homework and a Little Sewing

Still homeworking away.  Couple of projects due in the next week, so pretty busy doing some artwork.  One of my homework exercises was rotating letters.

hudgins_pattern  It’s hard to tell that is the letter S

And then did some experimenting with Photoshop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Playing with hue and saturation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And then turning a picture into a drawing.  We are working on cartoons in one class, so this looks a little more ‘comic book’.

caitlan's head  Just busy, busy, busy.

And doing some sewing.  But that will have to wait.