Saturday, December 4, 2010

Night Moves

In my desperate attempt to get things ready for Christmas here at Procrastinatoe Gardens, I have been trying to get our Annual Family Photograph ready for mailing along with the Christmas cards.  All of the other blogs I have been visiting are in full swing, the trees (yes, many of you have multiple Christmas trees!!) are up and decorated fantastically along with the rest of your homes and gardens.  (I am feeling inadequate here and time is running out....but I do have an excuse-- I AM sleep deprived, ha!)

Some of you may remember my post about the actual photo session (In Our Natural Habitat) and how we just couldn't get our act together.  Out of a mere few hundred pictures (gotta love digital cameras) I think we had four that were slight possibilities.

The reason I am on this silly quest for the Perfect Family Photo is all the fault of a magazine article and the Win A Tractor!  Show Us Your Backyard Makeover Contest.   (More about that in the aforementioned post if you're interested.)  We were cutting it close to the deadline for mailing our entry, I know what else is new? and using a tiny digital camera on a tripod and the automatic timer along with Joel's fantastic sprinting ability, we managed to get a nice photo.  Not a tractor-winning photo (or even an honorable mention) but a nice photo nonetheless.  (By the way, when the magazine announced the contest's winner a few months later and interviewed the lady, she said she was going to sell the tractor because she had no room to even turn around in her very small yard with it.)  I used the picture we took for the contest in my Christmas card back in 2006 and many people said they liked it and the rest is history....we keep taking a family photo every year with mixed results.

Anyway, last night I went to work on trying to get a picture ready.  Some of the commenters on the photo shoot post thought we had some possibilities in October and one of them, I think it was Junebug, said we should make a mosaic of the pictures.  So, I've been trying out my vast, ok, teeny talents at putting photos together.

This was my first attempt...until Joel reminded me I have to stick to a size I can stuff in an envelope and keep the budget under a dull roar and keep the family photo large enough so people don't need a magnifying glass to see us.
Ok, here's that size........hmmmmmmmm.  Next.

Eileen over at Gatsby's Gardens suggested we use just the shot of Carl and I in the dome. (I do like this one!)

Here we are, busy bees in the middle of the lily
The one above isn't too bad, but on second thought, this doesn't look very much like Christmas, does it?

Since I am trying to do a mosaic, I thought why not add a Christmas theme to the photo?  The one area I do have sort of kind of decorated is outside.  (Did I ever mention I don't really like to be in the house much?  Gads, I miss the garden.)  Joel was home from work last night and I asked him to take some photos of the Christmas lights in the yard for me while nagging Carl to help me get the lights fixed on several of my decorations.  Here is the end result of the nagging and the photo shoot:

Reindeer on the Pachyberm
Back to Mosaic Land:
This one is ok.

I think I may have found one we could use:
Should I add the Christmas border, or not?

 Decisions, decisions.

If I had more time, I'd work longer on the mosaic editing, but one thing is sure, time is running out!  I still have to take these images to a local big box store and see if I can figure out how to make their machine print them up, which should be good for another post, I can about imagine the fun I will have with the machine.  Maybe I'll print off a few different ones just to be goofy. 

Oh, I did get a phone call from the sleep doctor (somnalogist?) on Friday just before 5PM. I had given up hope on hearing from him before next week.  Turns out I do have moderate sleep apnea and my oxygen saturation is not all that great, so they want me to come in for another sleep test, this time with the CPAP machine on all night.  I hope I can get in before the first of the year, even if it means I won't have everything done for Christmas.  

Maybe if I qualify for a machine, I won't be tired all the time....there will be no more procrastination...I won't need to Create A Crisis to get things done, why, I might lose weight, I'll look younger, I'll..........ok, I'll quit dreaming out loud here;  this Miracle Machine had better come with a Magic Lantern and a Genie too, huh? 


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, I know you are going to say yikes after all you have done, but I really like that first one. It is all about what you and your family do and love. They are all wonderful photos and I really need to learn how to do a mosaic.


FlowerLady said...

Hi Karen ~ I like the first picture too, and the next to the last one, without the Christmas border. I really love that picture of you and Carl under the dome. :-)

I haven't even started decorating yet, maybe I'll do some this coming week.

Glad you only have mild sleep apnea.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Karen. You have some very lovely ones to choose from. I really like the first one of your family.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Alison said...

I have some Christmas shopping done, but have not even thought about decorating yet, so don't feel bad!

I like the first mosaic too, also the one with just you and Carl in the dome.

And that second to last one, without the Christmas border. I might like it better if you could do it with just a border around the whole thing, and not around every little picture. But no, the Christmasy pictures make it Christmasy enough.

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Totally like the first one!!! If you have to make it smaller, maybe you could just take off the bottom row of pics. (the pic of y'all in the grasses is kind of small to see details of faces anyway).
Or I do like the 2nd-to-the-last one, as well. But I think I would make the pic of y'all in the dome bigger (and delete the gazebo), and I would make the pic of the lighted deer bigger (and delete the pic of y'all seated in a row). Make sense?
Definitely no on the Christmas border. Detracts from the pics too much.
Can you tell me how you are making these mosaics?? (don't laugh! -- I'm a dinosaur on some computer stuff).
I feel your pain on the procrastinating!!

Sall's Country Life said...

When that Genie shows up, you can send him to my house. I'm glad you are getting some results from your sleep test and hope you can get one of those machines so you and Carl can get some well needed sleep. As for the Christmas photo, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it!!If it were me, I'd use the pretty picture you're using for your header. I don't send out pictures of us, if my friends and family want to know what we look like, they should come visit us. Just another opinion!

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Karen, I am so impressed with your mosaics. I was not going to send cards this year, but you make me reconsider. Believe me, I am way behind you with my Christmas tasks! My sympathies on the sleep apnea, as my husband has it. Be aware that there are other ways of dealing with it than the CPAP machine. He has severe sleep apnea and uses a mouthpiece to keep his throat open. Much less invasive, and no noise. Best wishes. Pamela x

xoxoxo said...

Love the deers on the pacyberm! You could pair that with the family shot and throw a border around the whole thing?
I was so excited last year I bought cards that we could insert our own photo in for this year. $3 what a deal.... and now they are packed somewhere... maybe 2011? So much for planning huh?

Beth said...

Karen, I like your decorating outside! Love your sense of humor in your blog. Hope you get things regulated so you can sleep better and feel rested. I do like your mosaics.

Karen said...

Eileen, I can only imagine what beautiful mosaics you will produce in the future.

FlowerLady, thank you for helping me make up my mind on the Christmas photo, I am not using the border!

Lona, The first one is Carl's favorite too. I have done some additional mosaics since these, can't seem to stop.

Alison, you are right, the individual borders are way too much. Thank you for helping me make the choice.

Toni, thank you for your input on the picture, I took your advice and made an entirely different one now. I was using a free program downloaded off of the internet called Photoscape to make the ones pictured on this last post. Then my son tried using Picasa (another free program from the web) and I think the end result (at least for paper prints) will be much better. These programs are really a lot of fun to play around with, though they are time-consuming too. I have SO much to learn about making mosaics yet, but it is fun.

Sall's Country Life, good idea--I don't know why I feel the need to send out a family photo, either. I guess it's just a habit I got into back in '06 and I haven't shaken it yet, ha. But you have a good point, if the relatives and friends don't know what we look like, they should pay us a visit, lol.

Hi Pamela, thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the mosaics. It is kind of fun to send a picture of the garden and flowers in the midst of winter. Some people say they enjoyed it in past years. After reading your comment about the alternatives to CPAP, I did some reading and am definitely going to mention this to my doctor. Thank you for the information!

xoxoxo, I started laughing when I read you had purchased cards with a place to put the picture in and then packed them away----I was digging through all my Christmas stuff looking for the same cards you have....and I DO have them here somewhere...but I have no good excuse like moving or remodeling to put the blame on, just my disorganization. Maybe after I get a good night's sleep I'll find things. (I hope)

Hi Beth, thank you, glad you enjoy my attempts at humor. :') I'm hoping this sleep problem is the root of the problem, too. Wouldn't it be great if it was that easy? Thank you!

Junebug said...

Love, love the moasic! All of them, wow hard choice! I cast my vote for the Christmas one without the border. I like seeing your smiling faces and not the border. We may have a debate here as to who is Qween of procrastinating! I think I would win so see now don't you feel better. Thanks for a fun post even though it has taken me a while to get back to reading blog after my insane weekend. Again what a great family!

lifeshighway said...

First, completely off topic... OMG where did you get the Christmas light horses....want want want.

My choice of all the beautiful mosaics, the second to the last. The Christmas trim cluttered up the photos.

I don't have my tree up either but I managed to get up my Christmas village.

Karen said...

June, thank you and if you could see my house, you'd know who won the Procrastination Crown...ME!

lifeshighway---are you sure my light horses wouldn't go well on your blog...they are a little, ah, different! I bought the horses from our local Fleet Farm over ten years ago...hey, I live in Wisconsin, our snow gets too deep, so Santa needs some horsepower.

Darla said...

Dang you have put a lot of time into these mosaics, they are all great. The one thing about Christmasy Christmas photos in Christmas cards, I find that people only display them at Christmas, that's if they remember where they stored redneck two cents worth.

Darla said...

Oh, if you find that magic lantern and or a Genie, send them this way!

Karen said...

Hi Darla, I know most people will probably toss the picture anyway, but for some reason this is just the most important thing to me right now. (I still insist it's the sleep deprivation making me loopy!) I'll make sure to send the Magical Lantern/Genie combo to you as soon as possible, too!

Anonymous said...

You have so many images to pick from, all really nice.I love your light display, especially the horses. So cool.