Just Life

focus friday. learning.

…learning new things has always excited me. back in january, 2007 (wow, pre-blog!), I made a list of 10 things I want to do each day, and #2 (just after #1 to tell marc, sara and katie I love you!) was “learn something new”. and from my journal on january 17 of that year, a lesson from sara on “synthetic division: dividing polynomials – something mom learned new today”. (whoa, and for the record, no, I don’t still remember how to do that!)

and sometimes I go through periods where it doesn’t seem like I’m learning much, and then I get to time like now, where the curve seems pretty steep. getting my macbook, knitting failures (which always mean a lesson learned), c.s. lewis, and – this week – photoshop! following up on may’s to-do list, I’ve been working through kim klassen’s photoshop essentials course.

as of this morning, I’ve completed five and a half of the six days of material. which is roughly 40 videos. on topics ranging from how to organize the photoshop workspace, to really fun stuff like layer masks and curve adjustments and textures and blending modes. I’m sure sara is tired of hearing me say “oh wow” while she’s eating breakfast and I’m watching the videos, toggling back and forth with real images I’m editing in elements and seeing how I can actually do what kim does. yes, wow.

I had grand plans of posting before and after images today to share a little of the wow, and holly went to the groomer’s yesterday and that seemed ideal because one of the lessons was specifically about getting highlights and contrast in animals (and I’ve always had problems getting photos to show how cute holly’s face is). so of course it’s rainy today (no, I’m not complaining!) and I had to take my photo in the kitchen with only overhead lights (darn that sun!)

and 30 minutes later, I edited this….

to this

if you’ve seen holly in person, I think the after is a pretty good representation of her coloring – and her dog bed 🙂 and thanks to kim for the portrait texture and of course all the lessons. I think I used about 50% of them here. levels, saturation and brightness adjustments, filters, layer masks, selections, blending modes, textures. my final file had about 12 layers. I applied some of her lessons directly and played around with others to find something that worked.

if you want to learn photoshop, I cannot recommend her class highly enough!

next up, I’m going to learn needlepoint. the ladies at the shop are beyond excited to convert another knitter to a stitcher!

yep, needlepoint! the canvas is poppies…and it’s an insert into for a fabulous project bag (BAG55BL, seen here, mine’s black!)

what’s next on your learning curve?

5 Comments

  • Patty

    WOW! I signed up for the class and didn't do it. Man, you've given me a big, big push. Nice job Mary! I"ll wait a couple of years on the needlepoint! (But I would like to make a couple of those friendship bracelets!) TGIF!

  • Sara

    that's a good photo of holly, but she looks none too pleased to have you all up in her space like that 🙂

    and i don't even remember how to do synthetic division, so don't feel too bad about that. i'll always remember the first time you taught me what an integral "meant" – we really are a family of nerds!

  • Marilyn

    I just love your attitude. After dinner, our family sometimes shares one new thing they learned that day. Don't you just feel that there is so much to do…so much to read…so much to knit…so much to learn…so little time?

  • Anonymous

    very impressive! (but i'm not surprised. that's one of the things i love about you- your love of learining!) i am currently trying to learn to play the guitar, and it is a slow process! 🙂