December 2012 Selfies and a Look Back at 2012

I'm late posting my December selfies, and I only took three of them this month, but looking back over the year, it has been a tremendous project for me.

Like many mom-photographers, I find myself on the outside - the person behind the camera, never in front of it. As a result of this project, I have almost 80 photos with me in them. That's probably more than the past 5 years combined. I've definitely had fun and plan to continue in the coming year.

Here are December's selfies:

Relaxing with a glass of red wine:
Relaxing after a long day. #readyforchristmas #selfie #wine

Doing something I do almost every day - blow drying my hair! (I really wanted to capture the "everyday")
Daily

Finally, after 10 years of living in Illini country, I have a decent shirt to wear to sporting events. Even if it is orange (which is a terrible color on Asians, but at least now, I'll blend in with the crowd).
After 10 Years, I Finally Have Something Appropriate To Wear to Those Illini Games

Here is a sampling of my 2012 selfies on flickr. Thanks to Christy, aka Urban Muser, for leading up the challenge. I'm looking forward to more in 2013.

Which Camera To Use This Year?Two Cameras, Too Little TimeWhich Camera is Taking What?Double ExposureLimber7/365+1 Stretching After this Morning's Run #selfie
Stretching17/365+1 Trying To Stay Warm #selfieFour Fabulous DealsCatching My Reflection23/365+1 He Was Asleep All Morning Long And Now Wants Attention #cat #siamese #home30/365+1 Downloading #selfie
40/365+1 I Got A Haircut Yesterday #selfie #blackandwhite49/365+1 Leg Lifts52/365+1 Milestone - DrivingSoak up the Sun #selfieWorship65/365+1 Afternoon Fading Sun #profile #selfie #silhouette #flare
HandsWaiting for The ShotOn LocationA Little Attitude This AfternoonReflected #selfie #reflectionDressed Up

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It's Blurb Book For 2012

Sorry I've been MIA all week long from the blog - I took the week between Christmas and New Year's off from work - something I've never done - and that's what happened - a total ignoring of the blog.

But I've been busy..... I decided to get my 2012 photos (at least 1200 of them) into a Blurb Book. I couldn't fit the entire year into a 240 page book (the limit for their premium papers), so I split things into two books. Book One ended up being 150 pages, and Book Two, 138 pages.

I've created Blurb books before - for special travel events (my Italy book can be accessed via the badge on the sidebar) and they have always taken "forever" for me to create. This time, I got myself into a month by month "groove" and just worked at it until it was done. I also didn't spend much time on the photo descriptions, as that can take a long time. It was important for me to get the photos printed into a physical book.

Here is the preview to Book 1:

My resolution for 2013 - work on the 2013 edition month by month. Now that I have a "system", it should be easier, right? If you have ever considered creating a photo book, I always recommend Blurb - their quality is top notch, the books are gorgeous and their prices are very competitive. As always, I'll share photos of the physical books when they arrive in mid January.

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Merry Christmas

Just a few glimpses into our Christmas this year.

The kid-decorated gingerbread house. Each kid gets half the house to decorate. There was a mis-understanding this year - each kid thought I was making them their own house! Next year, I'm just going to purchase two kits - it will be much easier for me...

The front:
Decorated by

The "party backyard", complete with pond for the penguin and campfire for the gingerbread men.
Decorated by

We bought gifts for the cats and I could not resist this plaid outfit, even if it was designed for a dog. Louie endured 15 minutes of humiliation while we cooed and declared how cute he looked in it.
How Much Longer Must I Wear This?

See, it even comes with a hood...
What Did I Do to Warrant Such Humiliation? #siamese

The kids stayed up late, trying to guess what was in each package. There were a lot of guesses for "shoes". That's because we used old shoe boxes to house the gifts!
The Kids Are Wound Up, Trying to Guess What's in Each Package #wishtheywouldgotosleep #merrychristmas #tree

Needless to say, we had a great Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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Those Darn Cats

I know you are inundated by cat photos on Instagram, YouTube and other social media sites. But who can't resist these fuzzy guys? They look so cute and innocent....

At Their Best

1. At Attention, 2. On Her Ear, 3. Catitude, 4. I'm in the Spot Now

Doing what they do best - napping, hanging out and showing that "catitude".

Linked to Mosaic Monday. Hope you have a great day.

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4x6 Photo Calendar Gifts - Adding the Calendar using Photoshop Elements

It's really easy to create a 4x6 monthly calendar out of photos you have taken. In yesterday's post, I selected the photos to use for the calendar. Today, I'll add the calendar element using Photoshop Elements.

I get my calendar elements from Photoshop Elements Techniques - they create several versions each year, along with instructions on how to insert the element into your photo.

Once the elements are downloaded (they are in .pdf format), I open up my photo in Photoshop Elements. Note that I'm working with a super old version of PSE (v6.0), and these calendar elements still work.

With the photo open, I select File -> Place:


Open up the desired .pdf file and select the page to insert.


This adds a new layer to the file (highlighted in the lower right layer bin)


This layer can be resized and moved to the desired spot on the photo.
I've moved the calendar grid to the right of my tree, but the black font is not visible.


To change the font to another color, select the calendar element using the Marquee tool. The selection will be outlined by the dashed lines. Right click and select Fill Selection:


The Fill Selection Dialog box pops up. Click on Color to select a new color for the font. I make sure the Blending mode is set to Normal and the Preserve transparency box is checked.


Click OK on the color and then OK on the Fill selection - the calendar element is now white instead of black.


Flatten the layers together, save as a .jpg file and the month October is finished. I repeat for each month and upload the finished photos to my normal photo printer (I use MPIX.com).

Here's a sneak peak at this year's collection. Again, they make great gifts and the digital file can be used on your computer's desktop.
Calendar Assortment

Of course, I will post each month's digital file here to download for free. Happy creating!





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4x6 Photo Calendar Gifts - Photo Selection Process Using LightRoom Quick Collections

Each month this year, I have featured a free Desktop Calendar download - like December's:

I started making these calendars four years ago to give away as small gifts to my kids' teachers and my friends - they are printed as normal 4x6 prints so they are super easy to create and reproduce.

I am going through the process of creating 2013's monthly calendars. The photo selection starts by perusing each month's photos. I keep my photos organized in Lightroom and they are organized by month, so it is easy to quickly view and select the photos I think would be nice to use.
I select the photos by clicking on the Add to Quick Collection Circle, highlighted in the screen shot below


I don't keep count of what I select and it's usually more than the 12 needed for calendar! I can then view all the photos I've initially selected by going to the Quick Collection:

All the photos selected will be displayed in the grid. If I decide I don't want one of the photos in that collection, I deselect the Quick Collection circle and it will be removed from that Quick Collection View. Note that the original image file remains in its original folder - I've only removed it from this View.

This is a simple way to view groups of photos without copying or moving the actual image files into a new folder (like I've done in the past).

Once the photos have been chosen I export them to Photo Shop Elements and add in calendar elements - those details in tomorrow's post (I promise!).

Until then, I'm sharing some photos that didn't make the cut for 2013's Monthly Photo Calendar:

Fall Blossoms

Moving On

White on Green

Sunset Pink

* NOTE: I won't post the photos I used for 2013's Calendar, as some of my friends want to be surprised each month *



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Peace

No words, just prayers for Peace.

Peace

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All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of Shirley LeMay Photography and Shirley Behind the Lens (© 2005-2014). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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