Monday, November 03, 2008

Fall is finally here!

In addition to the new blog look... I've also got some fall color pics to show off. There's nothing here compared to other parts of the country, but there are some hidden gems here and there.

This is from Vasona Lake County Park which is one of the most popular spots around. We live a little over a mile from it and the walk around the lake is at least 1 mile from the dam to about 90% around it where the path stops. Where the path stops is a neat little area I only discovered last March. There I had seen Black-crowned Night Herons before knowing what they were. I liked their little "pony-tail", lol! They were flying from that area to the "island" which doesn't hold much more than a couple of trees and miscellaneous bushes.

While at church yesterday, a member who is a jogger/birder mentioned to my mom that there was a mute swan hanging about. We didn't see it. But we saw some great fall colors from that side of the lake and on the way a couple of surprise birds which I'll post very soon. I think one of them will be my entry for Bird Photography Weekly #10.

So anyway, about this design...

I had some difficulty getting started on this one. I hadn't seen any backgrounds or other images that just screamed "THAT'S IT!" So I fooled around a bit on Paint Shop Pro with the tubs and such, but didn't quite have any ideas so I deleted what I was messing around with. Then I googled "fall colors paint shop pro" and clicked on images. In the images I saw something intriguing and it turned out it was a scrapbook place. I know others have picked out a design based on scrapbooking ideas, so I browsed around there a bit. They (don't remember who now) had a collage of their various fall line papers and it looked to me kinda like a patchwork quilt. That sparked an idea. So I went back into Paint Shop Pro and started on the background.

I picked a nice muted deep red as the original background and then applied a grid over it. Then in each grid I started "stamping" the various fall "tubes" I had. There was a sunflower that looked awesome and I then picked the rest of the colors out of that plus a contrasting muted green and made a 4x4 grid of fall colors. I had my background, and four panels covered, so then I kept playing around until I found 3 other designs going with the other three background colors. Then messed around a bit until it looked quilt-ish.

Then I worked on the basic colors of the blog and tried the dashed border and thought, yeah, that's perfect to give the idea of stitching. Then I tried a similar idea on the border. The green on the bottom was kind of a happy accident since I was just trying to get the text to align with the curve it left. Then somehow I thought that it would be cool to keep that in and dress it up as if it was planned. I gave the three different colors different cloth-like textures and had the lettering, the shape and the border all outlined in the dashes using vector shapes and the lettering tools. It doesn't seem to really be visible, but I also added texture to the dashes so it would look like 3D thread. Eh... the overall design gives the idea I'm pretty sure. If not... c'est la vie.

Then the rest of it, the siggy, the nuts-line and the leaf-line were all just gravy.

In addition... I discovered a new blogger feature. You can embed a comment box now so if you click on an individual post, you won't have to open up either a pop-up or a new page to make a comment. And I'm crossing my fingers once again that the backlinks will work. I do not know why they don't here and it's driving me insane. Blogger says that issues is fixed... well, Blogger, it's not! It doesn't even work for me if I have a plain pre-fab layout and background. My theory is that I'm stuck on beta blogger and can't get onto the regular blogger, but I can't find a solution for that either. I don't really feel like deleting this blog and starting anew either. So I just live with that.

ARGH... turns out another blogger "beta" issue. THe embed comments did not work on my blog... it did on my testing blog, but not here. Blech!

Anyway, hope you all enjoy!


Mary C said...

Very nice, Red. I also like the additions of Cash and Tango on your sidebar.

Red said...

LOL, me too :) I had neglected to do that for too long.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Oh, I have to update my blog!!! Yours looks fantastic, this is very nice!!

Carletta said...

I lot of hard work and it looks very nice! I commend you. I assume you'll be changing with the seasons. I guess I'm just too lazy to redo. :)
Your photo has a very peaceful feeling to it - lovely!

Red said...

Thanks LuLu and Carletta!

I don't always change with the seasons, but that's usually when I get the urge to play with the blog colors. The photo is of a pretty peaceful place, despite it being a very popular spot!


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