From my other window: Spring sunrise

NOTE: No Photoshop (TM) here…these are all straight from the camera!

7:02 AM (CDT), through the plastic and the moisture

7:02 AM (CDT), through the plastic and the moisture

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&:03 AM (CDT), still through the plastic, but a very pretty day ahead, or so I thought!

7:03 AM (CDT), still through the plastic, but a very pretty day ahead, or so I thought!

Then, I checked the weather, and it’s only 15 degrees F.–that’s 17 degrees BELOW freezing, with a heavy west wind gusting to 23mph!

Not exactly my idea of Spring!

But…less than an hour later, my hardwood floors looked like this–gleaming–after being treated with an Orange-glo product!

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Spring cleaning is almost finished!

Just the oven, the refrigerator, and 3 windows (inside and out), plus two sets of window blinds (yes, I also wash those, by soaking them in hot, soapy water in the tub, then letting them dry before re-hanging)!

Oh…and then I can tear the kitchen apart…I’m planning on washing the walls, then repainting!

A lot of work, you say?

Sure…but who doesn’t like living in a well-cleaned home?!?

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My wonderful world of glass

When Spring cleaning, I also tear into my glass gemstones, rocks and shells, giving everything a complete wash.

Here are some macro images, after I dried everything and rearranged it all in crystal vases.

NOTE: it was a dull-gray day when I photographed these…if we ever get a bright, sunny day, I’ll re-do them!

This one-of-a-kind was gifted to me some years back; I've placed it on elongated bean-shaped clear glass gemstones.

This one-of-a-kind was gifted to me some years back; I’ve placed it on elongated bean-shaped clear glass gemstones.

Here's the same glass ball, a bit more close up and in a different position.

Here’s the same glass ball, a bit more close up and in a different position.

These are glass rocks I purchased at Smith and Hawken garden shop about eight years ago.  I applied variegated gold leaf sparingly and painted the bottoms with several coats of Modern Masters metallic acrylics.  Each rock has its own little 'universe'; they are mixed with opalescent, clear glass gemstones.

These are glass rocks I purchased at Smith and Hawken garden shop about eight years ago. I applied variegated gold leaf sparingly and painted the bottoms with several coats of Modern Masters metallic acrylics. Each rock has its own little ‘universe’; they are mixed with opalescent, clear glass gemstones.

More of the same as above; the mystical green contrasted well with the gold/copper/ gree variegated leaf...I thought!

More of the same as above; the mystical metallic green contrasted well with the gold/copper/ gree variegated leaf…I thought!

Every once in awhile, I get the urge to create something a bit different…there are a number of others painted with a cranberry metallic…I’ll photo those when some ‘full’ sunlight finally comes to Chicago!

Spring cleaning: UPDATE

I’m still at it, though the past few days have been spent revamping my entire studio, with new shelving and an awful lot of sorting!

I have been way too tired to get through my e-mail and your comments…it’s almost 8:30 CST and I’m about to head to bed!

Answers will come tomorrow…while I’m waiting for the oven cleaner to do its ‘magic’!

Please accept my apologies, but as with us all, there are only twenty-four hours in the day, and I have been either cleaning or out of the apartment, doing eighteen hour days, so I feel a bit like this window:

Smashed and shattered!

Smashed and shattered!

 

Back tomorrow, and thanks so for your patience!

‘Playing’ with pears!

My Mother, and probably yours too, used to warn us all the time–“Don’t play with your food!”, but I decided to do it anyway!

Here are the originals of three tabletop set-ups in natural lighting I did last week:

Pears-Bartlett and Seckel

Pears-Bartlett and Seckel

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Pears-Bosc

Pears-Bosc

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Pears-Nine

Pears-Nine

They’re OK, but I wanted to see what more I could do to enhance their wonderful forms.

The ‘playing’ began with cropping and adjusting Pears-Bartlett and Seckel:

Pears-Bartlett and Seckel

Lots of burning and dodging, along with subduing the color, but I felt it needed something more!

‘Something’ being ‘watercolor’ (after going through all the filters available!).

I enjoy what happened with the light, shadows and colors here...

I enjoy what happened with the light, shadows and colors here…

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…so I did the same with Pears-Bosc!

Nice, but not nearly as nice as...

Nice, but not nearly as nice as…

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...what happened when I applied the watercolor Artistic Filter.  Ooh, mysterious Boscs!

…what happened when I applied the watercolor Artistic Filter. Ooh, mysterious Boscs!

I did something different with Pears-Nine besides shooting at an alternative angle.

A lot of dodging and burning to bring out the light and colors worked fine, but I felt it still was lacking.  After reducing the saturation somewhat, I took it through all the filters...

A lot of dodging and burning to bring out the light and colors worked fine, but I felt it still was lacking. After reducing the saturation somewhat, I took it through all the filters…

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...and used the Texturizer in Canvas mode to give it the appearance of a very realistic painting!

…and used the Texturizer in Canvas mode to give it the appearance of a very realistic painting!

I really can paint like this, but it does take an awful lot of time…and technically analyzing and processing an image allows me to be as creative as possible, because I tend to ‘push’ the software to places it really does not want to go…but then I have to settle for something like this, with a very ‘mechanical’ canvas-look which I hate!

Perhaps when I’ve finished the on-going Spring cleaning, I’ll rework this particular image…because the more I look at it, the more it screams, “HELP!”

In the meantime, our promised “6 to 10 inches” snowstorm has begun with a few flurries…and it’s time for me to slather my hands with lotion and wash down some more woodwork!

Have a great day!

It begins!

Spring cleaning, that is…and I take it very seriously!

Today, fifteen paintings received a Murphy's Oil Soap washdown...as it's important to keep painted surfaces clean, and the Murphy's does not harm the acrylics and oils at all!

Today, fifteen paintings received a Murphy’s Oil Soap washdown…as it’s important to keep painted surfaces clean, and the Murphy’s does not harm the acrylics and oils at all!

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Yesterday, I used the Murphy’s to wash the outside of my kitchen cabinets.  Though I dust and wipe them down regularly, whatever ingredient is in the natural gas for cooking leaves a yellowy-tan film on everything!  See how they gleam?

The upper cabinets

The upper cabinets

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The lower cabinets

The lower cabinets

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I also have forty-four photographs hanging, all of which need to be taken apart (to also clean the underside of the glass--I do that only in Spring) and the frames are washed with the Murphy's.

I also have forty-four framed photographs hanging, all of which need to be taken apart (to also clean the underside of the glass–I do that only in Spring) and the frames are washed with the Murphy’s.  Uh-oh, guess I’ll need to buy more Windex!!!

You can go ahead and say, “She’s a real clean freak!”, but I guarantee all this work pays off.  I remove everything from closets and cabinets, washing down the interiors with the Murphy’s, which I also use to wash all the woodwork, furniture, computer equipment and hardwood floors; I even wipe down the outsides of all my books, CDs and DVDs!

It’s a job, a really long and difficult  job, especially if you’re an ‘old gal’ like me!

So, if I haven’t posted for a day here and there over the next few weeks, you’ll know I’m pretty tired and have no energy left to click out the post.

But…to my way of thinking, a ‘clean home’ is a ‘happy home’,

which also makes for a ‘healthy home’!

I WAS out and about today…

…shooting along the lake.

But, as this is when I begin my semi-annual cleaning (tearing EVERYTHING apart, washing paintings, woodwork, closets, floors, windows, blinds,cupboards…and taking every photo out of its frame and washing the glass on both sides), I will post sporadically, as I find it possible.

My favorite for the paintings, cupboards, woodwork and floors?  Murphy’s Oils Soap.

Lots of Windex for the glass.

True, a lot of work for this particular ‘growing-older’ disabled lady, BUT…it is a good habit, and one I’ve kept for most of my almost-66 years. (P.S.:  Thank you, Mother, for showing me how to clean properly!).

I’ll be here when I can, and thank you, all my followers and readers and ‘likers’…I appreciate you so very much…and love YOUR spaces, too!