Friday, 13 December 2013

A Way of Escape

I have been her.  You know the one.  
The woman struggling to disentangle herself from the crushing, repetitive patterns that keep her stuck in relationships that suck the life out of you, drain the colours from your surroundings and stifle hope and creativity. Labeled with words that define you, confine you to another's perceptions of who you are, how you should think . . . feel . . . behave. Longing for release but clinging to the distortions that enable and prolong your captivity. Looking for a way of escape but fearful things will only get worse.

Dismantling the distorted belief systems can be excruciatingly painful but oh, so worth the cost. To be your true self, think your own thoughts, feel your authentic emotions and make choices that are right for you are such precious gifts.  How grateful I am to have come home to myself. Watching and praying as dear ones struggle to find their wings.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Open to Possibilities

Well, after a whole month of being "OPEN" to inspiration for the current prompt, it appears my muse has headed for warmer climates.  I really enjoy preparing a post that not only serves to showcase my photos but also brings a corresponding message of some sort.
Such is life  . . . sometimes it is difficult to match things up in a way that makes sense.
And in fact, there are a number of things going on right now that are quite baffling to me, how to process them is proving to be quite a puzzle.

It has however not prevented me from creating a number of pieces that I am happy to share with you all.

"Burning Bush"
Original photo taken early November before all the autumn colours fell away.

 "Coastlands of the Sea"
Cropped from a photo of my painted pumpkin, this piece was created the day of the horrific typhoon in the Phillipines.  Those suffering through the aftermath were much on my heart and prayers were offered up for safety and rescue of survivors.  May they continue to heal as they rebuild their lives, their homes, their nation.

This final image was inspired by this story posted at A Holy Experience
 just 2 days ago.  (And it fits the prompt, too ☺)

 At the end of the post is this Dickinson quote:

"Hope is the thing with wings,
 that lands at the end of you
and shows you how to open to possibilities, 
so that you never close again."

(original version of the butterfly piece)

Pixel Dust Photo Art

Friday, 1 November 2013

Photo Art Friday - "Embrace"

Time for another Photo Art Friday.  This month's theme is "Embrace". 
But first, a little vocabulary lesson.

/im'breis, em/
       1. hold (someone) closely in one's arms, especially as a sign of affection
           synonyms: hug, hold, cuddle, squeeze, clasp

       2. accept (a belief, theory or change) willingly and enthusiastically
           synonyms: welcome, accept, take to one's heart

My mother embracing my first born son and her new role as grandmother.
Oh how she delighted in her grandchildren.

Cuddling with her 4 year old granddaughter just 2 months before she passed away.

I am so thankful that I have photos that capture the love and affection she had for her grandchildren. This month marked 29 years without her dear presence and influence in our lives and family get-togethers.
(Some things are more difficult to embrace than others.)
Miss you, Mama. 
 See you later.

Pixel Dust Photo Art

Friday, 4 October 2013

Photo Art Friday - 4 October 2013

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This time around I am not going to detail my steps in producing these pieces . . . 
just post and pepper with some appropriate quotes.  I had great fun and learned a few new techniques.  
Hope you all enjoy these "Sky" themed images that I will be hanging in Bonnie's gallery for 

Reflection on the Fraser River

Sunset Sky

Clouds come floating into my life, 
no longer to carry rain or usher storm, 
but to add colour to my sunset sky.
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Sunset Clouds
 The next three shots have a few things in common.  They were all taken on my way home from work last winter.  Lots of stop and go traffic so, no I was not driving distracted.  They also all feature power lines which are not always desirable in a photo but I think these are the exception.

Electric Raindrops

Peek-a-boo Moon

A snow day, literally and figuratively,
 falls from the sky, unbidden, 
and seems like a thing of wonder.
~Susan Orlean

Snow Flurries

 These last two are using a tiling filter I discovered in my software.  
More accurately, I discovered how to use because previously I just didn't get it.  
Pays to investigate those little drop-down boxes and play with all the options.

Foggy Tree Line

In nature, everything has a job. 
The job of the fog is to beautify further the existing beauties.
~Mehmet Murat Ildan

Misty Morning Golf Course

Pixel Dust Photo Art

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Happy Stan

Just sharing a few simple thoughts on happiness today . . .

Always bring your own sunshine.
~ Unknown

Some people pursue happiness, others create it. 
~ Unknown 

I can see in my mind's eye, "Happy Stan" with a twinkle in his eye and big smile on his face as he picks up peoples cast-offs for the purpose of recycling them. Recycling makes me happy as I hate to waste anything.

 But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a person and the life they lead.
~ Albert Camus

Wishing you all sunshine and happiness today . . .

"The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you 
And give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Sun clipart image courtesy of

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Photo Art Friday, 6 Sept 2013

I had a great time working with my chosen photos this last week and love the theme of water.  I tried out quite a few filters and techniques that I don't normally use and I always find that very inspiring.  

This first piece was originally a very linear photo of a water vessel docking platform that I find very peaceful and calming (see below).  I love how the pinching and twirling effect I used creates a wave of water in the centre.  That and the more intense colours adds a sense of adventure, even danger perhaps . . . totally changing the emotional aspect for me.

"Wavy Wharf"

The next two pieces both feature rain and that was quite the common theme around here these last few days.  After a summer that broke decades long records for length of time between rainfalls, we have had more days with rain than without this past week and I am lovin' it. My dear sister posted a photo on Facebook just yesterday that had the definition of those who love the rain . . .

Pluviophile: (n) a lover of rain, someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

This poppy piece was achieved by doing some initial edits with the standard tools that came with my Windows 7 photo gallery.  I then brought it into my Serif PhotoPlus X4 program and used an offset filter that cuts the piece in quarters and shifts them around so that what was in the centre is now in the corners.  Next I applied Bonnie's pdpa Light Canvas texture. I then brought a second copy of the poppy into the program and ran it through the cut-out studio and then layered the full cutout poppy onto the offset image. I am really pleased with the way this turned out.

"Poppy Talk"
This really goes to show how a ho-hum image can be transformed into something quite beautiful.
I am not so quick anymore to delete something that I am not initially smitten with.

Okay, this is definitely my favourite of this rain series.
A 'through a rainy windshield shot' that I saw potential in.  Starting again with basic edits (contrast, brightness, saturation) then into PhotoPlusX4 for a fine art watercolour filter.

"Rain Tree"

This final piece has nothing to do with the theme of water but is another example of why I am not deleting so quickly.  I loved the emotion of this shot of my nephew and his baby girl, but the quality of the shot was not great  . . . a little blurry, not the best composition, etc. I tried a lot of my usual tricks to improve the image and make it a keeper but nothing was making me smile.  Then the idea of a texture came and I just randomly picked this one from my file of Bonnie's generous freebies, "pdpa Artist". 
And then the magic happened . . .

I know this is long but I have been posting so seldom lately that I wanted to make worth your while to visit.
I am linking up with Bonnie and an amazing group of digital artists at . . .
Pixel Dust Photo Art

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Rhythmic Grace

I slip into my bed at the end of the day,
I yawn and I sigh, I read and I pray.
The things on my heart I place into His hands,
He knows all that has happened and He understands.

All the words that were said and the things left undone
Leave me ever so grateful that He is the One . . .
Who promised new mercies at dawning of day,
His goodness and mercy companion my way.

The burdens are lifted, no need for alarm,
My Shepherd has found me, I rest in His arms.

And while I sleep . . .

He gives His beloved rest.
He renews my strength.
He restores my soul.

He breathes on broken dreams 
and hope springs to life once more.
He sings over me, dances round about me.
Whispers mysteries in my ear.

As the darkness gives way to morning's first light,
I stretch and I yawn and smile with delight.
My spirit is singing the song that I heard
From the lips of my Shepherd, how precious those words.

I step into the day full of promise and hope
With Him at my side I'm convinced I can cope
With whatever should happen, be it happy or sad
If I get frustrated, excited or mad.

And at the end of the day, I'll slip into my bed . . .

©Andrea D. Olsen, 13 August 2013

Friday, 2 August 2013

Photo Art Friday, 2 August 2013

Photo Art Friday is back . . . how I have missed you.
I love how this link-up challenges me and gets my creativity flowing.
The optional theme this time was flowers with one of our host Bonnie's textures applied as an added element of the piece.  

Here is what I came up with . . .

 This first piece is actually the last one I did.  Geraniums from my daughter's garden with an oil painting filter and Bonnie's "Bamboo Dreams" texture.  I finished up with a frame from picMonkey.

 Here I have a classic rose bush against a cedar fence with a Giger Fine Art filter and Bonnie's "Mother Love" texture.  I finished this one off with a "Dusk" effect in picMonkey.

"The first shall be last" as the saying goes.  Here is my first creation for this month's theme.
A rudbekia in my container garden  with a Fine Art watercolour filter and Bonnie's "Lost and Found" texture.

I see a correlation in my progression of pieces with some circumstances currently in my life where I begin with quite a blurry picture of what is before me and how I feel and what needs to be done.  As I think and pray and process my feelings things begin to come more focused.  Ultimately, things become quite clear and sharp and I see the steps I need to take to bring about the changes I desire.

"I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; 
what I can say is they must change if they are to get better"
~Georg C. Lichtenberg

Pixel Dust Photo Art

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


 "Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness."
~Meister Eckhart

"Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
~ Psalm 46:10

I spent some time early this morning at one of my favourite spots, Surrey Lake Park.  What a treasure to have such a gem so close by where I can go and enter into stillness and just enjoy being alive and well.

The centre photo is from this morning, the other two from other visits, other seasons.  
Do you have a favourite place to slip away to?

Sunday, 23 June 2013

SHS 23 June 2013

"A weed is no more than a flower in disguise,
which is seen through at once
if love gives a man eyes.
~James Russell Lowell

Today's scavenger hunt post follows the theme of weeds and grasses that are generally despised and plucked by their roots when discovered in that prized vegetable garden or springing from the cracks in the walkway.  
I am not willing to let them share my limited space in my container garden but I really do see the beauty in their intricate design and peculiar features.

1.  Fun
 I have so much fun playing with colours, hues, and saturations.  

2.  Arts & Crafts
 While this is not very crafty it is quite artsy . . . I think it would make a lovely print.

3.  Messy
 Messy, beautiful clusters of various weeds and grasses are quite prolific down the lane where I walk.

4. Blessing
 For someone who enjoys digital art play as much as I do, photo editing programs are an enormous blessing.  

5.  Effort
Morning Glory vines grow at such an amazing rate that it requires a lot of effort to stay on top of them. 

Joining Ashley and the gang @ 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

SHS 16 June 2013

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
~Theodore Roosevelt

I chose this quote because I did not plan very well for the hunt this week and time just got away on me.  I had taken lots of pictures but not specifically to match any of the prompts.  So I did things kind of backwards and wandered through my photos looking for shots that would match the clues  . . . which is sort of like a scavenger hunt, isn't it?

Some of them are a bit of a stretch but such as they are, here's what I got.

1. Summer
 In this last week before the official start of summer I have seen many glorious specimens of beautiful dogwood trees in full bloom.

2. Dance
 Doin' the happy dance  . . . the peonies have burst through their tight bud coverings and have perfumed the air with their signature fragrance.

3.  Laughter
 My girl Gracie brings so much joy and laughter to the household.  The other day my daughter poked her head into my suite saying "Mom, come quick and bring your camera."  My daughter had finished her laundry and two baskets were stacked on top of each other.  The top one was on quite a deep slant and when Gracie jumped in (as cats will do) she went for a little slide.  She thought it was great fun and rolled and flipped around in the basket for quite a while.

4.  Helper
 I was kind of stumped with this one for quite a while and then I realized that I was my sister's helper yesterday when we went furniture shopping.  Her and her hubby have just moved back to BC from Montreal and need to trade in their larger furniture pieces for some condo-sized items.  I pointed out pieces that might work in her space and took photos of them so her husband could have a look, too.

5. Water
This year I departed somewhat from my same old, same old choice of plants.  I put together a couple of succulent planters that I have really been enjoying.  It's just a little different making sure that I don't water them too often.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there . . .
hope you have had a wonder-filled day.