Archive | June, 2012

Why I love the interwebs, part one

27 Jun

I have been a Picmonkey user for a few months now. It seemed to be the way to go after Google gave the ax to Picnik. If you aren’t familiar with Picmonkey, it’s a FREE photo editing program available to you online. You don’t need to register or anything in order to use it.

Now. Those of you who know me, know that I’m not huge on photo editing. I could go on and on about my (limited and long ago) days in the dark room, about the framing of a shot, about the importance of polaroids at professional shoots (sad that very few people can even understand that reference today), about the natural composition of a photo, OR about my 180-turn into not giving two shakes about taking “real” photos. But that’s not what this is about.

Picmonkey, for me, is simply a tool for cool. Case in point:

Image

I put this little card together in about a split second. First I uploaded into Picmonkey an image I found of the back of a postcard. (I’m involved in a postcard art swap this summer, so I have LOTS of postcard examples. The one I grabbed happened to be from an Africa swap and makes no sense with the image!) Then, I used the layering tools available through Picmonkey to layer on the image of the bareback rider. As you can see, it looks like it is behind the postcard image, thanks to the magic of the layering tools on Picmonkey. Finally, I added the text. I merged all my layers, saved it to my hard drive and now that little sign sits with (you guessed it) my vintage ink stamps at the shop! So easy and so cute. Imagine how cute it would’ve been if I’d taken more than a split second!!

But that’s not all! The best part happened when I shared this image and information on my Checkered Past Facebook business pageOne of my followers saw it, used it, blogged it, expressed her happiness to me about it and lived happily ever after! 

And that, my friends, is why I love the interwebs, part one. And you can too!

Portrait of a (very specific) graduate.

6 Jun
image

How strange that there was a boxcar with a version of his name on it. He didn’t do it. I swear.

image

AWARDS! A shrine to all his hard work.

image

Clown…his very first friend.

image

His 1966 Gibson LG

image

This room doubles as a guest room. Just kidding.

image

Let’s just say that lockers were the best idea ever invented for the bedroom of a boy.

image

Art is important.

image

The HUGE spray-painted piece was commissioned just for him.

image

A dream catcher…

image

Proof: Right there are two pair of scissors…on his desk.

image

I will miss this loudness when he leaves for college.

image

Everyone needs a can of veggies under the bed. Zombie Apocalypse, and all.

image

Old school recording fun

image

He uses his pencils ’til the bitter end…

image

Zune user

image

How he treats the furniture…

image

Self-taught piano picker

image

In the middle of his bedroom floor lies a sad sock with an ink spot.

image

Clean clothes stuffed in a drawer that can’t close…

image

I’m betting these are headed to half price books…

image

The shrine he created on his bedroom door

image

Shrine, part two

image

His band, The Solar Compromise on one of their gig posters

image

His 2012 class at White Sands, NM, a couple of years ago

My elder boy graduates tomorrow. Eighteen years led to this very moment. He says, “It’s no big deal. It’s just high school.” But it is a big deal. It’s here that everything changes.

I’ve been working on a shrine, at least that’s what I’ve called it, in his honor (second photo). Basically this means I’ve moved all the awards he earned this year from our dining room table to the credenza beside our dining room table. I know. Hard work. But every time I add something to this collection of Things That Represent Him, something feels a little off. So finally yesterday I had an epiphany: Those awards? They only tell a fraction of the story. He is so much more. Hence, the rest of the photos.

He’s my scissors stealer, for one. There’s nothing quite like needing to cut apart a piece of paper, probably a permission slip for one of his field trips, and not being able to find a pair of scissors.

His walls are a crazy representation of his love for movies and music. And even though the posters aren’t necessarily from movies he loved (he works at a theatre), he chose to afix them to his walls with PACKING TAPE, leaving a permanent mark on his room.

His shoes are completely worn out. In fact, they’re now more like flip flops than tennis shoes. And he won’t stop wearing them.

He is, as they say, a hot mess.

I know, I know…I’m going to miss him when he leaves for college in the fall. I really do know this. He’s the closest manifestation of me outside of myself, of course, anywhere on this planet. So I get him. (My closet door closely resembled the back of his door when I was his age. Only I used stickers! I am STILL unable to put things, like scissors, back where they belong. And shoes? I wore a pair of ballet flats until the leather was full of holes when I was a teenager. And I’m working on some holes in my Mary Janes as we speak. And I’m 45.)

I’m SO  not ready for him to leave. I’m not finished with him yet. I haven’t taught him how to sort laundry or how to cook. I haven’t modeled keeping a clean house. I haven’t explained finances or STDs well enough.

What’s going to happen when he’s far away from home and he gets sick for the first time? Who will be there for him when someone breaks his heart? Who will wake him up when he fails to hear his alarm? Who will hold his hand when he crosses the street? Okay. I’ll admit it has been a few years since I’ve done that, but I’m sure there’s someone in his future who will bring hand-holding full circle.

I know, deep down, he’ll be fine. Because despite my parental shortcomings, I have taught him one very important thing: how to think for himself.

We may not have always modeled good behavior. I cuss too much. My husband and I  have argued in front of him. He’s eaten sweet cereal and pop tarts for breakfast almost every day of his life, except for the early nutrigrain bars and banana years.

Still he’s survived. Thrived even.

He’s so innocent, idealistic and naive. And I love those qualities in him. It stings a bit to know he’s on the cusp of becoming jaded. But maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll be the exception.

All I want for him is happiness. And everything else good in the world.

He’s an amazing human being. So go ahead…expect great things from him. I can assure you he is going to rock this world.