Sunday, March 30, 2008

Photoshop Express

I'm playing with the new Photoshop Express today. So far, it seems rougly equivalent to the other programs with downloadable software like Shutterfly and Google's Picasa, with a few added adjustment options. But, I can't imagine using Photoshop Express instead of the full Photoshop program.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

DIY Wall Art

On our way back from nyc last weekend, we stopped in at Ikea. I picked up a cheap roll of paper, that can be used as a disposable table cloth. Instead I turned some of into wall art. Projects like this can be so fun.
Step One: Buy interestingly patterned paper.
Step Two: Build a frame. Buy I picked up 4 1x1 posts at Lowe's, but used some lighter scraps from Jason (landlord)'s woodpile. The frame is about 55"x30". Jason cut the ends at a cross-angle for me as well, which helped significantly with assembly. One 1" screw at a diagonal through each corner, and I was ready to go. (Dad, thanks again for my power drill. Its one of the best gifts ever!)
Step Three: Attach paper to Frame. Cut the paper roughly the size of the frame, leaving at least 3" to fold over the edges of the frame. Staple the paper to the back of the frame, while stretching the paper taught across the front of the frame.
Final Step: Hang with a few tiny nails. C'est fini.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Leroy Lift

The latest of my 'family photo project' is my grandfather, Leroy, demonstrating his strength with what I've dubbed, "the Leroy lift." He's holding a friend up in the air with his arm n the first photo, and on his shoulder in the last. These old snapshots are so playful. None of them are dated and I don't know the identity of the guy being lifted.
The first photograph (above) is in pretty bad shape--cracked, torn, & brittle from getting wet. I did what I could to clear up the image (below). Something--"Del"??-- is written on the back of this photo (below), along with my grandfather's initials & last name. The last photo is the second "Leroy lift" to the shoulder (below).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter in NYC

A few shots of our niece Leyla...I'm not so sure about the vingetting, but so far, these are the best shots from the weekend. I've uploaded the full Easter set (Flickr) and if you'd like copies, they can be ordered from the Flickr set, or from Shutterfly.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Last Night in the ER

Last night I spent a few hours in the ER for a crazy-ass allergic reaction. I washed something into my tear duct (who knows what), which set off an allergic reaction, causing my eye to swell and part of my face to swell and go tingly. And when I felt it spreading through my sinuses & down my face (all within a couple of minutes), I requested a ride to the ER (thank you Jason!). Chris ordered a cab & met me there. I had the pleasure of having my first i.v. and they knocked me out with prednizone & benadryl. I had a great idea to take home some of the tubes (left behind after they detach the solutions) for a craft project or something. Maybe for irrigation for the house plants? Chris said the hospital probably don't allow you to take home medical waste. Swelling reduced, I slept for an hour or so, and 3 1/2 - 4 hours later we landed back at home. We never figured out what caused the reaction and today I felt fine -- well enough to teach. Thus ends the latest installment in "Amy's ridiculous adventures with her absurdly sensitive body."
(pic: from my crappy cell phone).

TtViewfinder Armory, 2nd Try

The afternoon light on the Amory was really nice today, so I tried the 'through the viewfinder' process again. This one turned out a little better...

Elephant Garlic. I'm not Impressed.

Over the summer, during one of my Food Network binges, I was introduced to "elephant garlic." The head itself is a little larger than a typical head of garlic, but instead of containing 8-10 cloves, elephant garlic only has a few....and they're huge. I love roasted garlic. We roast a head of garlic every other week or so and it goes great on crackers or bread, or, as is my preference, by itself, eaten with a fork.

The verdict on elephant garlic: I'm not impressed. Good roasted garlic has the same mellow smokey cream-ish taste that's in a feta/avocado/walnut/spinach salad (very scientific, I know). But the elephant garlic has a distinctly sharp or bitter aftertaste. I wouldn't buy it again.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Through the Viewfinder

I stumbled on to the Through the Viewfinder Flickr group a while back and have since been mesmirized by these these images...Today I tried the process myself (my photo is at the bottom). First two are not my photos, but I thought I'd share some of my favorites from the Flickr group:Whisper, by Sugar-snaps.The mustard pic was taken by littlehonda. Another favorite: here.
Here's my first attempt at the whole TtV process (Hasselblad on bottom, Canon to take the photo). Love it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Elvera (assorted photos)

Elvera (no date) - 006
Elvera (no date) - 008
Elvera (no date) - 009 Elvera (April 1958, 51 years old) - 010

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Elvera (no date) - Repair

Elvera (unmarked photo).
This photo has no date, though I can estimate that it is from the mid-to late-1920s (from comparisons to other, dated photos). Below, I've included a before & after -- trying to repair the photo (from a tear & water spots).
Before (above) and after (below).

Elvera (1926)

Elvera (1926)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Elvera (in High School)

Elvera, High School Portrait.
The original of this print (below) used to sit on grandpa's desk. The signature reads "Sincerely Elvera J" (they were high school sweethearts) and includes a small drawing of the profile of a woman's face (in the lower right hand corner). Below the first signature is written "now Johson ****** 1925."

Willow's Anger Management Issues

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Relay for Life (fundraiser)

Once again, this year in April I plan to walk in the Relay for Life event (organized by the American Cancer Society). Last year I walked at Fordham University and my Global Outreach team raised quite a bit of money. Every year college students, especially those who have lost family members to cancer, work hard to organize this event. This year one of my students has invited me to join her team & raise funds for the American Cancer Society. If you're interested in making a donation, you can check out my page.

Every little bit counts. All donations go directly to the American Cancer Society and anonymous donations are welcome.

Monday, March 10, 2008

String of Flounder

The photo I scanned in this evening is of my grandfather. In this picture, he reminds me so much of my father, whose smile takes over his whole face in the same way. There's no date on this shot, and I'm not sure where the photo was taken, but I'm guessing the sound in NY or Maine where they went fishing and lobstering in the summers. Is lobstering a word?
**Addendum: The photo was taken on Dwyer's Island (which is attached to Vinal Haven), Maine, where the family regularly vacationed. The house in the background belonged to the Swears.' And the fish are flounder. Estimated date: Early 1950s (1950-1956).
1. Original Scan:
2. *Scanned in with Color Restoration:
3. Scanned in with Color Restoration & converted to black & white in PhotoShop:

*I'm partial to the second version, because it preserves some of the 'old photo' look.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Family Photos

Leroy and Elvera
Photo taken by Everett Studies Inc., White Plains, NY.
Leroy's Retirement Party, 1971.
As a kid growing up in Missouri, we were able to visit my father's side of the family (in New York) maybe once a year. Its tough to drive a station wagon from St. Louis to Rye, NY. And flights were expensive when I was young. While I didn't know this side of my family very well, I have great memories from those visits with my grandpa, my aunt Sandy, and my cousins Jody & Roy. My grandma passed away when I was very young, and grandpa died while I was in high school, but the memory I have of grandpa squeezing me & spinning me around the living room of their home in Rye is crystal clear. More recently, I've been able to do some catching up (and visiting) with this side of my family. My dad's sister, Sandy, moved to Rhode Island from New York, just after Chris & I moved, and she has been so kind and generous to both of us. Its great to have family in such close proximity.

All of this is to explain the new side-project that I'm about to start. Sandy has a huge bin of family photos that she's beginning to sort through. As she sorts through them, she's lending the photos to me, so that I can convert each into a digital file that will keep these photos preserved beyond their physical life. This also means the photos can be more easily shared and copied. I am very excited to start this project over the next few weeks. I'm going to try to limit myself to only working on one or two photos a day (so that I get my work done!). Once I get them all scanned & touched up in PhotoShop, I'll put them into album-form so that anyone in the family can order prints or a copy of the album (maybe through KodakGallery, but I'm partial to using Blurb). (low-res, full photo scan below)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Park View

View of the Park from our front steps.
Taken with the Hasselblad. Winter, 12/08.

Lovely: Milk Bottles

Design*Sponge posted these the other day -- gorgeous milk bottles etched and hand-inked, by Julia Rothman (the student of the month, at the Reform School).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grading Essay Exams

Exams...can be so painful to grade. This lovely stamp was a Christmas gift from Jason & Theresa. Who knew it would come in handy so soon?