Tag Archives: gemma may

GemGem is 7!

Oh, my Gemma-Loo, how I love you!

gemma bday

Her mommy is a fantastic photographer and I fall in love with the photos she gets of my grandbebes (her children and nieces and nephews)  :)

Our lively, darling grandbebe #4, Gemma May just turned 7 a few days back. She is silly and giggly and has this amazing cascade of red hair that just knocks you out. She dances, she acts, she smiles with her eyes, and she wears glasses now.

I can wrap my arms around her two or three times, wisp of a thing she is. But what I love most is the delightful, insightful, thoughtful conversation. The dancing light behind her eyes when we talk, behind those super-cool specs, sets a soft breeze in motion. Gemma May is more sugar than spice, she is sweetness and demure. She’s the girl next door and a little exotic, too.

I love this little girl like there is no tomorrow!

gemma and her cake

This is the cake I did for Gemma. A ballerina. In Gemma’s very proportions, give or take a centimeter!  :)

So, Gemma-Roo/Gemma-Loo, let me just tell YOU:

I bless the day you were born, the beautiful-beautiful May day you came along with that perfect round, soft-as-silk head and the sweetness of that button nose and those little pink lips from which so many laughs have escaped since. I bless the days of your life, all of them, as you grew and downy-soft red hair started curling every which direction and you could barely talk, but you could sing songs from Annie and do the dances with gusto!

I bless the days of pre-school and coloring and cheering every time you did something wonderful, which was every 8.4 seconds and pattering around in your galoshes with an umbrella in the rain and singing, oh-so-much singing.

I bless your life and I bless your heart and I bless your dreams and your wishes and your gifts and talents and I bless your place in this world. You know why? Because I love you and I can. I am your Nonna and I get to speak a blessing over you that they actually hear in the halls of heaven!

So I am agreeing with God’s plan for you, with His total delight in your life – and all the things He planned for you when He created you for us. Everything God wants for you and all the things Jesus is saying about you when He intercedes for you, I am shaking my head YES-yes-yes! And may the angels attend to you, and keep you safe!

And Gemma? Even though I never-ever-ever want your heart to be broken in any way for any reason, I do pray your heart will always be flesh and blood and that you will feel the intensity of living with all the sensitivity you now possess and that in spite of anything life throws at you, you’ll keep feeling and risking love and refuse to have a heart of stone.

For you are beautiful and your thoughts and feelings are precious beyond words. And oh, my sweet, your Nonna loves you. You are, as your name indicates, a jewel, a rare treasure.

And now, here is a promise for you, from the God of good promises:

“On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people,
just as a shepherd rescues his sheep.
They will sparkle in his land
like jewels in a crown.”  Zechariah 9.16 NLT

Of course, the grand-girls are always actually interpreting songs from Frozen these days, but I didn’t leave that music in because YouTube would poo-poo it. Imagine the Frozen soundtrack, though.

I love celebrating you and your birth~day, week, month. Happiness and love, darling Gemma!

Let’s go on a picnik!

www.picnik.com FREE version…a {sort-of TUTORIAL} picnik-in-pictures.

My camera is a little $69.99 Kodak EasyShare C183.  Shocking, I know.  I was actually surprised it even had an official “name.”  And this from  a girl whose mama was a professional horse photographer.  Tsk.

I mean, I am a Nonna!  I NEED to get a great camera.  It is a 14 megapixel and if you use it in bright, filtered light, it is pretty darn ok.  Like this quick shot a couple of days ago {completely untouched}:

But then sometimes I snap one and it is just {blah} or doesn’t actually capture the true feel, what I am really seeing.  The flash either goes off and I didn’t want it to or doesn’t go off and I did.  Or the lighting behind might be too bright to support the actual subject or whatever.  For whatever reason, I decide to have a little artistic fun.  So just because, here are some things I might do using Picnik.com on this digital photograph.

Original shot on Wednesday:

You can see the slight sign, under Gemma’s left eye, of her recent Big Wheel “accident.”  A little collision with a truck bumper.  Speed has its pitfalls.  In this shot, one of 5 or 6 I took in quick succession, the flash did not go off due to the very bright sunlight streaming in and filling the space to her left side and behind her.  It kinda washed out the color.   Fairly blah, which is NOT representative of what I was seeing with my little cutie-patootie!  It is ok, totally fine and pretty in its’ own way.  But Gemma is color!  What did I really see?


Just for fun…

Increased exposure to 20, then increased contrast to 20, too on the edit setting

Doodle feature on the create tab – you can make squiggles and arrows and write words, and the “goofy” feature and the posterize feature in the second image.  I used the goofy tool to make her have those oversized 1960s art eyes.

Left is Holga-ish on the default settings, on the right is Holga-ish left on default for the blur and the grain, but then I faded it 75%

Boost is big.  Boost is fun for a color-junkie like myself.  If a little color is good, a lot is better, right?  Well, no, not always.  Here is a look at Boost.  Left to right ::  Boost at 50%; Boost at 20%; and Boost at 15% + Lomoish faded to 80.

Black and white, just the default.  You can increase or decrease the contrast to make it “more” black and white if you want.  Then I just did the black and white default, but faded it to 50%, which starts adding a little of the color back in.

Remember the olden days when we all bought those Olin Mills packages and thought we were getting super high quality photographs because of those amazing faded borders or the black smokey looking trim around the photo?  Well, you can do it yourself.  Be careful.  It can by utterly hokey.  Use sparingly.  And if I actually am using it, I reduce the “size” of it and fade it out.  These are just so you can see what you can do with “matte” (size 50, strength 10)  and “vignette” (default shown here).

The Cross Process is pretty fun and just goes with autumn, I think, because the yellow light looks like the long, golden light of fall.  I show the default setting for the Cross Process on the left and at a 50% fade on the right.

How about a traditional sepia tone?  You can actually adjust the color tone of sepia you want and like the black and white feature, you may fade it and it begins adding in back color, which is pretty and dreamy and gives everything a vintage, romantic look.  This is the sepia faded to 50%.  On the right?  A good, old-fashioned, rounded-corner 1960s treatment.

Here is a treatment called Orton-ish, faded to 50.  It sort of softens and intensifies your subject.  And then Cinemascope (except that I removed the letterbox feature).  I like the graininess of of it.

HDR-ish is fun and though this is just the deafult, you can increase it until it almost just looks like a drawing.  On the right is Lomo-ish faded to 50.  It softens and brightens.

So, my first shot was, sorta blah.  Not properly lit, cheap camera.  But what I was really seeing in my mind’s eye??  THIS ::

Yes.  Bright, lovely.  Words and happy stickers!

And on that note ::

There are so many fun things you can do.  Someday, when I actually have time, I will pay for the version where you can add a hundred photos at once.  With the free, you can only upload 5 at a time and only use certain features, but that is all I have time for right now, anyway.  Try it!  It is fast and easy!  SUPER fun!!

I call it photoshop for dummies because even I can use it.

Daddy, What If…sniff sniff

I LOVED this song when I was about 14.  I bought the 45.  The other day I taught it to GemGem.  Only she had to sing “Nonna, What if…”  It was hilarious.  Everytime we got to the end and I’d ask, “Do you love me, Gemma?”  She would smile, declare a very decided yes and grab me and hug me, as if she were really concerned I might not know,  and then she would always be late coming in on singing the final refrain, “You better start loving me again, again…you better start loving me again!”  It was so sweet!