Christmas in New York~

Hello to my fellow bloggers!  I’m sorry for my long absence.  I’ve missed all of you and missed reading your blogs too.

I was unfortunate enough to get the flu twice.  But then I was really fortunate to fly to NYC with some girlfriends last week!

I’m sharing some of the New York City holiday spirit with you today.  And I’m wishing all of you a very, very wonderful holiday with those you love.  Enjoy!
** click to enlarge**

Approaching Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry.

Approaching Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry.

The Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree.

Looking down a row of angels toward the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree.

Huge red ornaments sit on a fountain in front of a business in New York.

Huge red ornaments piled on a fountain in front of a business in New York.

"Believe" sparkles on the side of Macy's Department Store.

“Believe” sparkles on the side of Macy’s Department Store.

Sending love and Blessings to you and yours this holiday season….
Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

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Gelato, Autostrada, Pasta, Michelangelo, Wine, Bruschetta. Where was I?

If you guessed Italy, you’re right!   We traveled there for two weeks and had a fabulous time.  We had beautiful weather in the 70s-80s F.  The only time it rained was on travel days!

“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness!  There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.”
~Fanny Burney

Our first stop was Florence, with a great hotel on the Arno River.  I spent a lot of time taking photos from the room’s window!  After four days in Florence our plan was to travel through Tuscany and finish in Rome.  Our stops included:  San Gimignano, Siena, Assisi and Rome.  San Gimignano was just a half-day trip on the way to Siena.  My husband offered to drive through Tuscany and drop the car at the Rome airport.   Our plan was to avoid driving in any major cities!  Barring a few wrong turns, we succeeded!

Since we got home very late Monday night…I’m just now starting to edit photos.
I’ll post as soon as I can, beginning with Florence!  Here’s one to start~

The photo was taken in front of our hotel, looking west down the Arno River.  You’ll see the Ponte Alle Grazie bridge.  This was the second bridge built over the Arno, the first being the famous Ponte Vecchio.  Ponte Alle Grazie bridge was first built in 1237 and over the years had a home for nuns; then shops and homes, as the Ponte Vecchio does now.  A fierce flood destroyed the bridge and it was rebuilt.  During WWll it was destroyed by bombs.  It was rebuilt in 1957 and remains unchanged.

Looking west along the Arno River. The Ponte Alle Grazie bridge can be seen in the photo.

 

Don’t change this channel!  Stay tuned for more updates from Italy!
Thanks for hanging in there while I was away….I appreciate my blogger friends!

Judy

 

My First Attempt with Textures!

I’ve been interested in trying textures with a few photos for some time now.  I’ve been inspired by my blogger friend, Jocelyne.  She creates lovely textured photographs, vignette’s, and still life images.  She also takes the most beautiful photos of flowers and gardens. Check out Jocelyne’s blog here.

I finally did a free texture tutorial with Kim Klassen online.  Then I tried her lesson in Photoshop Elements 9.

It didn’t work for me at first.  I don’t think I was importing the texture “image” correctly.  So I tried three more times.  And the last time it worked!  So tonight I’m sharing my very first attempt at adding a texture to my original photo with all of you!

I love vintage things….and vintage photos are at the top of my list.

If you are interested in learning about adding and blending textures with your photos,  click here for Kim Klassen’s free “Textures in Ten” Tutorial (ten minutes).   Kim is an upbeat person who does a great job explaining each step in two short videos.  She also includes two textures to download and try.

The original photo:

***

The photo with texture added:

Thanks for visiting!

Judy

Weekly Image of Life: Adventure

“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Life’s adventures are what keeps our heart pumping with excitement.  Adventure encourages our zest for new sights, and keeps our quest to seek the unknown sharp in our minds.

On an adventure:  Hiking the trail past beautiful St. Mary’s Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.

Some of the mountains surrounding St. Mary’s Lake are: Reynolds Mountain, Mt. Jackson, Gunsight Mountain and Mt. Logan.

Saint Mary Lake, Glacier N.P.

Adventures don’t have to take you far from home.  They should expand and enlighten your mind and give you an experience you’ll remember.  You can find adventures in your own town!  Go have an adventure!   (grocery shopping doesn’t count!)

If you would like to do the Weekly Image of Life, go to Island Traveler’s blog and join up! click here!

 Thanks for joining me today!

Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine.
– Thomas Jefferson 

School friends together “Up North” in MIchigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Thanks to all the friends who’ve made my life full of Sunshine!  I love you!

Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Tag! I’m it! And you can be tagged too!

TAG!  I’M IT!  AND YOU CAN BE TAGGED TOO!  This is a DIY TAG GAME!   I changed up the rules because I just gave out a lot of Awards, and I really don’t want to name people for Tag.

So here’s how it works: If you want to play:
1. answer my questions at the end of this post
2. post them on your blog
3. link your blog in my comments if you want

I was recently tagged by two people.  Andy1076 and Amira, thank you both!

Andy1076 Questions for me:  and my answers

1) What’s the one thing you have yet to tell your readers?   We had a Miniature Schnauzer for a pet.

2) If there was anywhere outside of your country you could be, where would it be?  France

3) Who do you wish you could meet in person out of all the blogs that you follow?  I honestly would be happy to meet any of them.

4) What would be your ideal kind of partner?  Kind, sense of humor, romantic, adventurous, best friend, does chores 😉

5) If you had to do one thing in your life you never imagined you would, what would it be? ride the Iron Dragon @ Cedar Pointe. eek!

6) Why did you name your blog the name you named? (Borrowing this from Cafe)  my initials are J.J., thus my nickname “jay jay”; the blog is about my favorite things.

7) Describe yourself in three words (Borrowing this from Aurora)  creative, helpful, friendly

8) What is the one thing you would never sacrifice no matter what you would get in return?  my family

9) If there was one movie to describe your life’s hope, what would it be?  This movie epitomizes Hope. I loved it.> “Red Tails”, the Tuskegee Airmen.

10) What is your strongest trait?  Dedication

11) If you could only choose one fruit or one vegetable on a deserted island, what would it be?  Clementines!  Oh my darlin’ Clementine…. 😉

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Amira’s Questions...  and my answers.
  1. Jam or marmalade? What do you pick?  Jam.
  2. Where is your home?  Lower Michigan
  3. What does blogging mean to you?  Blogging gives me a chance to try new things and meet new people.
  4. What words would your tombstone carry about you?  “Sadly, She Died By Not Forwarding That Text Message to Ten People”
  5. What’s your favorite gift?  Anything that doesn’t need an outlet. 😉
  6. What’s your favorite non-english word? “oui” French for yes. Pronounced “wee”/also: I “speak” sign language: I sign “I love you” to my children and husband when they leave. (thumb, index finger and pinky pointed up).
  7. What’s the one word or phrase that you use most often?   Cool!
  8. What’s the wildest thing that you have ever done?   white water rafting on the Snake River, WY.
  9. What’s your best accomplishment/moment of triumph?  Raising two wonderful children. (along with my husband!)
  10. What is the one regret that u have?  Missed an opportunity to go to Europe many years before I actually did go.
  11. Something that scares you?  Snakes.
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My Questions to YOU….if you want to play:       DIY TAGGING!!

1.  What is your favorite color?
2.  Do you prefer a pool or open water?
3,  What is your favorite song?
4.  Where do you feel most at peace?
5.  If you could take only one item to an island, what would it be?
6.  What scares you?
7.   Do you prefer the mountains or the beach?
8.  What is your favorite pizza topping?
9.  Name a place you’d like to visit~
10.  Name an Actor or Actress to play your life in a movie.

11.  What was the last book you read/or are reading?

Happy Blogging!
Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.