The Hour of Silence

‘Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.’

 Leonora Carrington, 1917-2011 
British artist, surrealist painter and novelist. carrington

Tip: Before I introduce a new piece today I want to say a word to photographers who are interested in taking their work into the realm of the photo artist; a place of creativity, individuality, and sometimes if we’re lucky, a little magic.

The very first order of business is to become a collector- of papers, textures, elements;  anything that might bring life to your piece.  I literally have hundreds of papers, textures and things as well as my photos.  Many textures & backgrounds can be gotten free by googling ‘free photo backgrounds.’  Free images can be found at   When I’m looking for something new I purchase papers & kits, and one of my favorite places is  You’ll find many sales and occasional free items, and this is a great site for scrapbookers.  

Once you’ve collected images and elements the next order of business is to organize them into folders.  I have folders for Papers & Textures, which I have sub-divided into categories of Colors, Edges-Frames-Overlays, Splotches, Scribbles, Scratched Surfaces, Brushes & Text, Clouds-Moon-Stars just to name a few as well as folders called Critters, Botanicals, Patterns-Graphics-Icons, and Victorian-Steampunk. 

‘The Sound of Silence’ is the title of the piece I’ll be working with today, and we’ll start with the finished image and work backward.



The image begins with a gray speckled paper, which I duplicated twice putting an impressionist painting filter on one layer and an ink-watercolor filter on the other.  Blend modes and opacities are shown on each.




Once the base layer is in place I add a very nice grungy gray/blue background and a sunspot.



A photo I  took on the Okefenokee swamp is cropped, reversed horizontally, duplicated, and blended in luminosity mode at a 50% opacity.  The duplicate is given a sketchy watercolor filter, blended in soft light mode with a 75% opacity.



Next come the flying geese and the text.


The text was blended in hard light mode at 40% opacity.


The final touches include the addition of a gorgeous blue/brown background and a starry background.


Finally the panel layer from Photoshop.  The layers were not originally placed as they are here, but this is the final stacking before the image is flattened.


Have a happy week. 

It’s all Greek to Me Part 2

Been working most of the day to catch this piece up from where we left it in the previous post, and below are the animals I foretold would be trotting into this scene (along with a birdcage for the two little ones).


 All of these are .png files (already extracted/isolated).


Now we have this:


Finally we’ll create some drama with the following overlays ordered and with opacities as shown below.


Here are the layer panels and all that we finally have in this royal house.

Beginning here

Beginning here

Ending here

Ending here

Now called Une Maison Royale.


Till next time!


It’s all Greek to me

The following piece is a work in progress that I’ve been developing for several days now;  thinking, decision-making, and imagination accounting for a large part of that time (as is always the case).

The current working title for this exaggerated view of ancient Greek life, culture, and beauty is ‘The Royal Household.’  I wanted to work with a classical woman (Greek or Roman), and I had in mind to place her in another background from my abandoned places collection.  

I looked for a free image of this mythical beauty, found the one below, and knew immediately that I had something great to work with.  It also became apparent that she wouldn’t work in one of those abandoned buildings. 


In my collection of backgrounds I found the image below, which was perfect in two ways, its classical theme and the window area between the columns.  And what’s so exciting about the window you might ask?  Well you can place a photo or another background layer behind it, and it will show through the window as if looking out from the portico.  Love it!

Here are the columns into which everything will fit.  They are not well-defined when enlarged, so I duplicated the layer and put an ink outline filter on it, reducing the opacity to 20%, and keeping the blend mode at normal.  I then made a group of these two layers, so they could be worked on as one entity.  




Cloud layers, a photo glow image for sun light, and one of my photos from the countryside around Stonehenge were placed behind the columns filling the window area; normal blend mode with opacities shown below.



Next came the masked version of m’ lady, and now I think I see some wild animals coming into this picture.  A pretty image but nothing out of the ordinary.  I’ll be working to change that though!



That’s it so far.  Back to the drawing board!



After a very long hiatus we are back with a new name, a new look, and new directions.  We hope this will be an exciting place for photographers, photo artists, and art lovers alike as we share our images and art pieces with tips, how-to’s, and works in progress.  We’ll also be happy to answer questions.

Starting off then with a new piece called ‘Scarecrow’ posted yesterday in our Etsy Shop and just in time for that most fun and spooky of occasions.


Work begins in Photoshop CC and assumes the readers basic working knowledge of the program.  Scarecrow itself began with the main background layer and some elements that I purchased as a kit.


Two more backgrounds and a cloud photo were added  for texture and color, blended in soft light for the first two and overlay for the clouds.   Opacities  were adjusted and portions of each layer masked out. untitled-1Next came the addition of various elements, first the train, the tree behind the train, the skeleton beside the train, the sign,  chair,  chest, candle, and all of the various darker crows.  Some leaves were scattered under the chest.



Finally we have the piéce de résistance, the king of the crows; the steam punk crow.  He is the product of playing around with several images to fit them into the look I was after.  I selected these layers and made a group, which allowed me to move them around as a unit once they were placed in the image.  Here’s what I used and how it turned out.


Here is the working panel from Photoshop:


Fun, right?

Tip:  When photographing jewelry for your shop or site keep the background as uncluttered as possible.  Don’t photograph jewelry on wood, rocks or shells as these backgrounds tend to obscure the piece.  Use neutral colors for the background, focus on the piece and get as sharp an image as possible.

Thanks for popping in!







We so appreciate our friends and followers here at Granny’s Little Apples, and to show our gratitude we are happy to offer a BOGO sale exclusively for you on our holiday cards and matching envelopes.  Link to our holiday cards where shipping is always free.

Please note your image preferences in Notification to Seller and use Coupon Code: wpfun at checkout.  Feel free to choose from our winter images or from any image in our shop.

We wish you a bountiful Thanksgiving filled with the love of family & friends and the merriest of winter holidays!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨♥)
(¸.•´ (¸.•` Warmest wishes from Joni, Debbie, and Craig

Box of 15 cards w/ matching envelopes – $45.00
Individual card w/ matching envelope – $6.50

Motley sings a song, and it’s not his ABCs!

Our little rocker

Motley sings Last Resort by Papa Roach


[Cut] my life into pieces
this is my last resort,
suffocation, no breathing,
don’t really care if you cut my arms to bleeding…

(Oh my gosh!  At least he cut out the bad word(s).

StudioFest or bust!

Re-posted from TPI

This entire ‘pay for a booth and be in an art festival’ experience was breaking new ground for us, and with only ten days to prepare it felt pretty intimidating as well.  What and where was the Old fourth Ward?  What and where was the Studioplex complex that was host to StudioFest?  And what was StudioFest itself all about?  What would the booths look like?  How many photos should we bring and how would they be displayed?  Well it was an experience of ‘learn by doing’ all the way, and here are some of the things we learned.

So what exactly is The Old Fourth Ward, and where in the world is it?
Commonly referred to as O4W, the Old Fourth Ward is best known as the location of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.  The building that now houses Studioplex Lofts, a complex of residential lofts and retail shops & galleries within O4W, is part of the gentrification effort in this community.  It’s a picturesque collage of historic structures…original brick, fire doors, and exposed overhead beams with peeling paint curls like the bark of a birch tree…meeting contemporary needs.  Something of a vintage grunge feel to it. Built in 1906 the building was originally part of the South East Atlantic Cotton Compress Warehouses.  A water tower across the street, which is part of the complex, served as the water source for these warehouses.

And what the heck is StudioFest, and how did it fit in?
We were contacted through our Etsy shop by Geoff & Christina Lee, owners of the gallery Modern Now, to participate in an art festival called StudioFest, this first of which is to become a biannual event.  We would have a 6 foot table and two 4 x 8 peg boards as display space…no chairs, and no hooks for the boards.  How could one hang mounted photos from s-hooks on peg board, we wondered, when Craig had an ‘aha’ moment and saw that we needed squared hooks on which the photos would sit at just the right slant.  He found and bought those, and they were perfect, but we certainly weren’t going to stand all day in 100 degree temperatures, so we made a quick trip to Walmart to buy two folding chairs…possibly the best decision of the day.

We set up our booth with photos, business cards, and an email sign-up book laid out on the table with more photos displayed on the peg boards behind.  We unfolded our brand new red chairs, stocked them with water and wet cloths, and dug in for business.

Alas, we never did make any sales that day, but that isn’t to say we didn’t do any business.  Although the lack of sales was disappointing (the expense, all the prep, all the hours sitting in the heat, not to mention the fact that we quite love our work), we found ourselves in excellent company.  All the booths were eye-catching, and many of the items for sale were stunning, but from what we gleaned walking around and talking to other artists and crafts(wo)men, no one fared much better than we did.  Especially hard hit were we print artists…the painters & photographers.

No one of us could find just one convincing explanation for this global lack of sales.  Speculations ran from the oppressive heat to wondering if the turnout was fewer than expected.  Maybe people didn’t have money to spend and were instead looking for a unique setting to pass a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.  Or possibly those who did turn out were were looking for something trendier.   We considered the fact that the beer table was placed at the entrance, enticing people to hang out there socializing and listening to the music, only to stroll around the venue as a second thought.  Maybe it was the table of Serpas Restaurant where people were more than willing to pay for a taste of Louisiana & the American Southwest.  We simply don’t know and never will…the difficulty being that we can’t know if we could have done something different.

Here’s a gander at the venue:

We most definitely did ‘do business,’ though, as I said.  We experienced our first art fest as a part of the artist community, and we met many fine artists, crafters, and jewelry-makers.  We made a lot of contacts, including a couple of galleries that may be willing to host our photos, and we were delighted at the opportunity to hear the many accolades spoken by those who stopped at our table to admire (if not purchase) our work.  And, finally, we were invited back in September.

Many thanks to Geoffrey & Christina of Modern Now, Walt Woodall of Metro Gallery and Framing, and to all the volunteers for StudioFest.  I never saw people work any harder than these folks…under pressure, with little sleep, and in sweltering temperatures.  Awesome job, guys!  We had a lot of fun.