Monthly Archives: June 2013

Fun with Stock Images | Tea Dragon

Tea Dragon

A few weeks ago, I made a post that mentioned stock image sites. I’ve been asked how to make stock images into blog-worthy artwork. Well, that’s a Photoshop or Painter class, but I have some suggestions, so here goes:

The first thing you can do is crop an image. Even better, rotate the image and then crop it. Right there, you have a different angle. Next thing: color. Change the colors. Make a copy of the image layer and play with the opacity and blending.

It doesn’t always matter if you know what you’re doing—experiment! Honestly, experimenting with graphics software is a fantastic way to learn to use it.

Speaking of experimenting: this is your brain on art.

As for serious learning… if you have some funds, I heartily recommend Safari Books Online and

Most stock images can be altered once you purchase them. Read the license agreements. At the head of this blog post is an image I created last night as a bit of art therapy. I used this stock illustration and this stock photo. Main changes were angle, color and texture (okay, lots of layers of that).

Sure, it could use some shading and more editing, but I only gave myself an hour and it’s still pretty cute. Had a lot of fun playing with the colors. It’s like my coloring book days, only with digital crayons. Periwinkle, yo.


Filed under Animals, Art, Blogging, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Graphic Design, Imagination, Photography

More Power!

Overkill, David Gadient

Picture taken by David while he was working on a project in the house. Because you never know where you’ll need to drag that lamp for more light. Right?


Filed under Arizona, Life, Photography

Multigenerational Household

Family of Flowers

I’ve been slow to update here lately, so I wanted tell you why: my mother has moved in. Without going into the details, I’ll just say this is likely the last place she’ll be living. But she’ll be with us, her family. And I believe the experience will be good for us all, for good days and bad.

So. There you go. Now to try and put a more cheerful spin on on the topic. And there is one, house-wise. If you have aging parents or are getting older or have kids who have left college but the real world hasn’t been all that kind…

Turns out homebuilders are aware of the challenges faced by multigenerational households. David and I recently toured a new neighborhood near where we live, and we got to explore our first multigenerational home design.

We were seriously impressed.

Mini-home within a home. Pretty cool.

If my mother could still take of herself, she’d love to have a separate kitchen and laundry. I could see adult kids moving back home eager to ‘rent’ out such a space too—because it’s certainly an improvement over living in the attic or basement. Some of these designs were sweet. It might not be where we’re at right now, but it’s a brilliant idea and we loved it.

So, any of you have your parents or adult kids living with you? Or are you living with them? It’s not so bad, actually. It’s definitely not lonely and that’s a win.


Filed under Caregiving, Family, Journal, Life

The Desert in Bloom

Desert Bloom by David Gadient, 2013

Another fantastic photograph taken by my husband David Gadient. One of the lovely blooms at Desert Botanical Garden here in Phoenix, Arizona. We’re members and proud to support. Whether you’re local or visiting, the Garden is a wonderful place to explore the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.


Filed under Arizona, Nature, Phoenix, Photography