Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beyond Layers Day 27 : Making Time for Me


On our recent Trip-of-a-Lifetime to Alaska, I captured this image of Columbine growing next to a house in Haines.  (Nice little town.  If you go, be sure to stop in at Sarah J's for lunch.  I had the BEST EVER Chipotle BLT on a Croissant.  She really has a knack for putting flavors together! Delicious!)

Since starting the Beyond Layers class, I am much more cognizant of leaving some open space in the composition so I can add text or some other message later in PSE.  I used to just crop things down to the featured subject.  End of story.  Now the possibilities are more wide open.

This week, Kim encouraged us to take some time for ourselves, and turn it into a visual record of the moment.    Sunday mornings, I have a few hours to myself where I can create, sew, make stuff, or do whatever I want.  No chores. No expectations.  No boys clamoring for my attention.  This was a tough lesson for me that I learned after I had my son. He was a demanding little critter--There were days my husband would leave some toast in the toaster for me, and I couldn't even get up to fetch it because the kid was always nursing or sleeping or otherwise needing my full attention.   He would cry if we put him down.  And he didn't nap by himself for more than 30 minutes at a time.  Ugh!  I was so busy taking care of this new baby that I couldn't take care of myself.   Those were tough days for me, and I couldn't wait to get back to work where I could actually be productive.   Nope--I'm not the nurturing one at our house ; My husband is.  I nearly had a nervous breakdown back then.  

Around that time, my sister asked me to make her wedding dress.   I had to hatch a plan to get that job done.  My time at work belonged to my employer; My time at home was all baby and husband.  Or sleeping.  My sweet husband helped me carve out some time where he took the kid and left me be.  In his words, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."   He could see that I needed some time for me, and he made it possible.  (Yes, I got a good one!)  For 10 years now, I have kept that sacred creative time on Sundays.  I usually don't leave the house on Sunday.  I do chores and errands on Saturday, or during the week.   I listen to a couple of radio shows (This American Life, and To the Best of Our Knowledge, Once Upon a Time podcasts) so that the intellectual side of my brain gets some stimulation while I'm working my hands and visual brain.   These days, those morning hours have stretched to cover most of the day on Sunday.   I am so blessed!

People wonder how I can be so productive with all the things I do and make.  This is my big secret : Take the time to do it.  Make that time sacred.  It is important to replenish the well of creativity, and for me that means making / taking the time to create.  Truthfully, my mental health was at stake when I started this ritual.  I'm grateful that I had the support and infrastructure to make it work.   Thank you, CL!

Here's the processing layer by layer on the top photo :
Layer 1 : Copy Background
Layer 2 : Hue Saturation Adjustment (yellows mostly)
Layer 3 : KK's Flourish Texture Overlay blending mode at 17% opacity
Layer 4 : KK's I Am Texture - Soft Light at 45% opacity
Layer 5 : KK's Sunkissed Texture - Soft Light at 56% opacity
Layer 6 : KK's Wonderful Magic Scripted - Soft Light at 62%
Layer 7 : KK's Perfect Wonderful Brush / stamp - Multiply 100%; text color picked from flowers.
Layer 8 : Color Fill Border at 80%

I kept adding layers and textures and playing with it.  I wasn't happy until I added Kim's sun-kissed texture.  Although I made some adjustments to the yellows in the flowers, I realized the background needed some warmth.  Sun-kissed did the trick!

Here's the original photo, straight out of my camera.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful--Yes we all need time for ourselves.
JoAnne D.

Beverly said...

Yes, you are blessed to have a loving husband to help you have time for you! Love this photo very much.