Texas Springtime

Final-Redbud-TreeEastern Redbud Tree

The days have been speeding by, and suddenly spring is upon us.  The best sign of this is the bluebonnets that have begun to bloom with abandon.  In just a couple of weeks the hillsides here will be literally carpeted in the most lovely shade of blue.  It really is a stunning site to see, and something that we wait for yearly in central Texas!

In my own yard my 20 year old eastern redbud tree is in all it’s glory with profuse tiny fuschia pink blooms.  The fog several days ago really brought out it’s glory, only exaggerating the pink blooms against the misty sky.  What a wonderful sight!

Final-Coral-VineCoral Vine

Other plants already in bloom in my yard include my coral vine (trained as shrubs), my succulents. the pretty delicate blooms of oxalis, and the clusters of blooms on my native blackhaw viburnum.  The lambs ear plants are not blooming yet, but they are beautiful year round here, and in another couple of weeks my iris will be alive with deep purple blooms.  Those are my very favorites.  I hope you are enjoying Spring wherever you are.  What are your favorite springtime plants?

Final-SuccelentSucculents

Final-OxalisOxalis

Final-ViburnumViburnum

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Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge-Week 8-Mirroring

snappyhappy-galactic

Welcome to Week 8 of the Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge.  Working on filling up my grid with host We Live in a Flat (and co-host FireBonnet).  Host We Live in a Flat states:

“Mirrored photos can be gimmicky. But that is not to say there is no place for them in mobile phoneography. The mirror, after all, is a well-used metaphor in so many occasions and samples of literature.”

This is not something I have ever tried with my mobile photography – or for that matter tried at all, although I have seen some wonderful examples used at We Live in a Flat on a regular basis.  Be sure to check them out!

Leonardo App

I decided to try using the app Leonardo  for this effect.  It was mentioned on Instagram, and I did more research than usual on this app, as the purchase price was $4.99, higher than most iPhone/iPad apps.  Research and reviews gave me a “thumbs up” decision to purchase, and I am so happy I did.  This is a fantastic app, much like a mobile version of Photoshop.  You can create layers and mask effectively.  This is a total editing app!  One thing I really like, and had not been able to find thus far, is the ability to adjust perspective.  This is especially useful with architecture.  The app also has many filters and effects, including the mirror effect of this photo challenge. I chose a recently taken architectural photo that I thought would lend itself well to this effect.

Original-Mirror-1

My Original Photo
Washington County Courthouse, Texas

And the completed mirror effect, with all edits done directly in the Leonardo app.  Edits included basic editing (lighting, contrast, cropping, sharpness, etc.), and additional edits of mirror effect, light leaks, and poster filter.  Hope you enjoy the final results!

Final-Mirror-1

App Challenge Image
Guardian Lions

Mobile Device: iPhone 4s
App Used:  Leonardo

On the Road to Houston

 

Final-Brown-Convention-Ctr

I found myself on a familiar road this weekend, traveling to Houston.  I have lived in both Austin and Houston for many years of my life.  This weekend, however, found me specifically going to Houston to attend the International Quilt Festival at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

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Traffic was heavy in Houston even around the noon hour on Friday when I arrived.  I enjoyed traveling through most of downtown driving behind a 1960’s 220S Mercedes-Benz, although I felt sorry for the guy driving because it was a stick shift, with almost solid stop and go traffic!  It did, however, let me pretend to maybe be traveling in Europe rather than in Houston.

The hotel I stayed in, the Westin Houston Downtown, was exceptionally nice!  Clearly I am not accustomed to such luxury, because I got pretty excited over the amenities, including a bathrobe, lighted makeup mirror, waterfall shower, and a REALLY nicely detailed room.  Sumptuous!!  I can definitely recommend this place if you are ever in the downtown Houston area.  It is conveniently located near both the convention center and Minute Maid ballpark, and other downtown attractions.

The George Brown Convention Center is simply HUGE.  A friend at work told me that her daughter was there once for a volleyball tournament, and that this building holds 100 volleyball courts.  After seeing the inside, I can believe it.  One end held the food court, then about a million retail booths (mostly related to quilting of course), and then there was the quilt show at the other far end of the building.  Thankfully many, many chairs were located along the lengths of the walls for a place to rest weary feet.

Enjoy the photos.  I will be posting more of the beautiful quilts during the week.  Just too many for one post!