Lines – Mountains and Freeways – Photo Challenge – Graphic Designs

This week’s photo challenge for The Daily Post is a fun one: Lines.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, photo challenge

I snapped this photo a couple weeks ago to capture the silhouettes of the mountain ridges set against the sky. Some of the ridges are barely visible, but if you look closely, you can see them. Layers and layers of hills and mountains. Hovering above them are layers of clouds.

In contrast, layers of lines go every which way on the freeway, some curving and others straight: yellow and white lines, broken lines delineating lanes, cement dividers separating northbound from southbound traffic, the freeway overpass and pillars supporting it, cars, signs, and just off center in the photo, a tall light post.

There are so many lines in this photo, I thought it would be fun to play around with it in PicMonkey, a graphic design program.

Here’s the same photo with the HDR effect:

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, photo challenge - HDR effect

I applied the HDR effect and then wanted to see how it would look if I added the Edge Sketch effect. I didn’t apply it, but instead took a screen shot:

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, photo challenge - Edge Sketch effect

Next, I applied the Posterize effect, which looks very similar to the HDR effect. We’re able to adjust the colors and details:

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, Posterize and HDR effect

After applying the Posterize effect, I went back into the Edge Sketch and was able to get more definite lines:

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, Posterize and Edge Sketch effects

Which version do you like, if any?

I could spend hours playing around with photos in PicMonkey. I haven’t taken any of the PicMonkey tutorials yet. Maybe I should take the time to do that. One of these days! As of now, I’m still a novice. That’s okay with me, as long as I’m having fun with it.

To see other photo challenge entries, go here.

What are your thoughts? Do you take a lot of photos or videos? Do you like to play around with graphic arts? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Creativity, Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Taste of Poverty – A Poem

April is National Poetry Month, and I can’t believe how fast this month is going by. Today’s post is about hunger and poverty. I hope it speaks to you.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, The Taste of Poverty - a poem

The Taste of Poverty

Have you heard
the peaceful sound
of boiling cabbage?
she asks.

In the silence of the night,
its gurgling rhythm,
hissing and steaming,
resonates with echoes
from the past.

Its incense rises from
deep within her soul.
Gentle spirit recalls
heartache deep-rooted
in the poverty of her youth.
Tears reveal her pain.

Ah, the wonderful smell
of boiling cabbage.
She smiles.

Memories simmer within:
A thin child with dark curls
rises from her bed
to sit by the stove,
lulled by the music
of the rolling boil
and its pungent aroma.

Longings, longings, longings
of a hungry child
never full.
She sighs.

Mama cooked cabbage
for Papa’s lunch,
barely enough for him
Not even a taste
for the silent child.
Quiet souls
do not complain.

Now, she may
taste the cabbage
anytime she wants
as the past surfaces
to stir her heart’s desires.

Reflections
of boiling cabbage
permeate her being,
its pulsing tempo, soothing
like Mama’s lullaby.

Feast, oh daughter.
Fill the hungers
of your heart.

~Lynn Kelley

Here are a couple other poems from recent blog posts:

Spool

Ragged Old Slippers

What are your thoughts? Have you ever smelled boiling cabbage? Have you ever suffered from hunger? I’d love to hear from you!

Image: Hansbenn – Pixabay

 

 

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Book Call – Essay Written By a High School Student in the 1940s

Lynn Kelley, Book Call by Gordon Powell

This is a piece written by my father when he was in high school:

Book Call

by Gordon Powell

Frequently my father asks me to take him to various parts of the city. He owns a small book store in East Liberty, and he buys much of his stock from private homes. There is a wide variety in the types of homes we enter. The worst I have ever seen was on the North Side. The house was one in a row of five. The steps were sagging, as was the porch, and everything needed paint. 

The front door was open so we walked in. Evidently the house was sub-divided into apartments, because in the hallway a door on the left bore the name Jones scribbled on a little card tacked to it. I glanced around the hallway while my father knocked on the door. The hall was quite long and high but very narrow. On the right wall hung several old tintype pictures, while on the left wall, in loose folds, hung the wallpaper. The one thing the walls, ceiling and floor had in common was a covering of dirt. 

At that moment the door was opened, and the woman we came to see peered out. My father introduced us. The woman was in her late fifties, gray-haired and enormously fat. Her cheeks were pouchy, and saliva trickled from the side of her mouth even when it was closed. She wore ancient high-topped shoes, split at the sides, and a filthy, baggy print dress that was partially covered by a filthier apron. 

Her front room was filled to capacity with junk. While my father was sorting out books, I looked around. The walls were covered with religious pictures, and there were wooden statues of Indians all around the room. 

My father finished the books and asked the woman if she had any jewelry for sale. She told him she had some stickpins in the kitchen. We started to walk through her bedroom when my father noticed another bookcase. While he was looking through this, I surveyed the bedroom. Empty, the room would have been large. But there were trunks, mattresses, tables, old clothes, and litter everywhere. 

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It

Clotheslines were strung across the room, and hanging from them were old girdles, brassieres, stained sheets, and frazzled throw-rugs. I turned around and found myself looking at a giant cockroach, which was perched on an old trunk and whose feelers were waving furiously, as if daring me to come closer. I didn’t take up his dare. 

When my father had gone through the bookcase, we went to the kitchen. As soon as we crossed through the door, a sickening stench met us. I backed up and remained in the doorway. From my vantage point I could look into the kitchen and then, like a swimmer, turn my head and gulp fresh air from the hallway. Like the other rooms, the kitchen was filled with junk. There were four ranges–only one connected–which were piled high with old newspapers and glass jars. The wallpaper was peeling from the walls in great strips. 

Finally, my father finished his business and told me to get a box for the books. I saw several boxes in the hallway. I picked one up, shook out two roaches, and piled the books into it. My father paid the woman and we left the house.

When we got to the car, I asked him how he could stand such places. With the typical antiquarian bookman’s attitude, he replied, “I’m looking for books, Gordon, not bugs.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to be out of that woman’s home and back here with you guys. I guess hoarders have been around a long time, but reality shows made us more aware of this problem.

What are your thoughts? Would you dig through a place like that looking for treasured books and other items? How would you react to seeing someone living in those conditions? I’d love to hear from you!

Photo credit: Gellinger, Jarmoluk – Pixabay

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Practicing for Poetry Reading – Joker Daughter in Background

Do you have a joker in your family?

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

My family is full of jokers. Below is a home video from 1999 when I was practicing for a poetry reading. Like many people, I have a fear of public speaking, so I needed to practice in order to stay calm and not fret to the point my nerves unraveled.

My oldest daughter goofed around in the background. It took me a while to catch on. She was about 18 at the time. I had a laughing attack watching this a few months ago. I’d forgotten how funny April was with her shenanigans.

I’m only sharing excerpts rather than the whole poem because I may publish it as a picture book.

At one point, our cat PeeWee jumped up onto the chair and startled April. Haha!

Lynn Kelley

Ollie ollie oxen
free free free!

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Winner wins
losers weep

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Tic tac toe
Tag! You’re it!

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

With heavy hearts
we stand and gawk

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Granddad hollers over the rail
Stop all that noise,
his face so pale

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Better leave our gramps alone

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Long faces

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Breathe in the magic
hold your breath

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

I love her expressions.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Greeted by the morning yawn

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

New sidewalk chalk lights up our eyes!

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Joker, joker, joker!

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

Small footprints lead down the path . . .

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

. . . to endless whims, dreams, and sighs
far beyond where magic lies

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, joker in background

If you watch the video, you can hear me hooting, cackling, and snorting as I was re-recording this home video to share on YouTube. Ah, the memories of raising kids. Parents never know what to expect, especially with a house full of little jokers.

Humor helps keep my fretting in check. Fret is The Daily Post one-word prompt for today. 

It’s National Poetry Month. If you’d like to read more of my poems, check these out:

Spool

Ragged Old Slippers

Defeat and Hope

What are your thoughts? Do you take a lot of home videos or photos? Do you enjoy reminiscing years later when you look back at them? Do you tend to fret? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Posted in Funny, Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Parenting Plights and Delights, Poetry, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Smile Train – A Worthy Cause – My Niece and Nephew Help Bring More Awareness

My nephew and niece, Brent and Brooke, were born with cleft palates. Now all grown up, they are raising money to go with the Smile Train organization to Peru in June.

Lynn Kelley, Smile Train

Brooke and Brent when they were children and now all grown up.

They’re working to bring more awareness to the issue of children born with cleft lips or paletes and the organization that does reconstructive surgery: Smile Train.

A Global Problem

“Globally, 1 in every 700 children is born with a cleft. While surgery can take as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250, it is out of reach for many in the developing world. Smile Train is an organization that provides these children with the surgeries they need!

Lynn Kelley, Smile Train

“Brent and Brooke Hanke are two siblings who were born with cleft paletes, but were fortunate enough to have them fixed as young children. Now almost 20 years later Brooke has just finished her Bachelors at Cal State Fullerton in Communication Disorders and is about to start her Masters at Cal State San Marcos, specializing in cleft and craniofacial abnormalities. As a family we have been donating to this organization for years.

“Now the time has come where Brent and Brooke want to take the next step towards awareness and understanding of the behind-the-scene journey that takes place to supply these deserving children of cleft reconstructive surgeries.

Lynn Kelley, Smile Train

“We are raising money to go with the Smile Train organization to Peru in June. On this journey we will be meeting with the children who we will be sponsoring to get their cleft lips or paletes reconstructed! We will be along for the whole ride. We will have the opportunity to learn about their history, scrub in on a surgery, and be with them post-operation!

“We will also be fortunate enough to meet with previous patients at their homes, who have recieved surgeries, and hear about their journey! We will meet with staff and surgeons from Smile Train to hear about their future plans of expansion.

“Thank you for reading about our story. If you are not in the place to donate, prayers are greatly appreciated as we embark on this journey!”

My Uncle Lee was born with a cleft lip. As a child, he was often teased. As an adult, he always wore a mustache. Reconstructive surgery has come a long way. I’m amazed at what these surgeons are doing.

I’ve got to give a huge shout out to Brent and Brooke for speaking out about a condition they were born with and now going forth to spread good news and make more people aware of this worthy cause.

To donate, go here.

What are your thoughts? Do you know anyone who was born with a cleft lip or palate? Do you think it’s amazing how Smile Train can correct some of these clefts for as little as $250 for reconstructive surgery? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Images courtesy of GDJ, Prawny – Pixabay

 

 

 

Posted in family, Grammy Gets It, Health and Wellness, Lynn Kelley, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Spool – Short Poem and 1999 Retro Video Practicing for Poetry Reading

 

Lynn Kelley, Author, Grammy Gets It, Spool

Once upon a time I attended a poetry group at the Frugal Frigate children’s bookstore in Redlands, California. At one point, we were invited to participate in a poetry reading.

Like most people, I had a fear of public speaking, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and join in since it would be a small crowd.

First, I practiced reading my chosen poems so I’d feel comfortable reading them in public. Recording ourselves is always helpful to see how we will appear to others.

In this retro video, I’m practicing two poems. The first one, Spool, is below. I’ll share the second one, Disposal Edge, in another blog post.

If you watch the video, please pay no mind to my 18-year-old daughter April joking around at the beginning of the video. Haha! My kids always kept me laughing. (And yelling and crying.)

Lynn Kelley, Author, Grammy Gets It, Spool

Spool

A spool of dark green thread
Green, I say
yet lacking life, lacking breath
The thread winds its way
around and around endlessly
not searching
layer upon layer
choking with tension
focusing on only the prick of the needle
rather than the mending and patching
it can accomplishment
with the needle’s guidance

The edges of the spool are rough
with teeth that grind and gnash
over unfairness,
unlike the flowers beside it,
alive, delicate, beautiful, relaxed
as they breathe and live and grow

~Lynn Kelley

Other blog posts with poems:

Ragged Old Slippers

Defeat and Hope

What are your thoughts? Do you like poetry? Short or long? Rhyming or philosophical? Or, would you rather read comic books or the newspaper? We all have different preferences and that’s what makes the world so interesting. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Poetry, YouTube Video | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

When Your Shoe Breaks in Public or You Tear a Hole in Your Fishnets

Have you ever been out in public and your shoe broke?

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, When Your Shoe Breaks in Public

A couple of days ago, I had just entered Macy’s to look for high heels to go with a new dress. Right there in the shoe department, the platform sole of my shoe came loose. I took another step and it completely fell off!

I limped through the store until I found a bench to sit on. Then I pulled off the sole of the other shoe (see short video below).

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, When Your Shoe Breaks In Public

Goodbye broken soles!

My youngest sister gave me these platform sandals a couple of years ago, and this was the first time I’d wore them.

Once the platform soles were gone, the shoes were way more comfortable as flats, but they were barely holding together. I was able to wear them home before more parts fell off.

As soon as I got home, it was time to pitch what remained of those platform sandals. They did not deserve a poem (not a nice poem, at least) like my trusty old slippers, which had served me well for many years.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, When Your Shoe Breaks in Public

My daughter Amy helped me look for heels at Macy’s to go with my $18 navy and white dress from Ross.

These comfortable Alfani shoes will work well for the dance moves (just a couple) for my upcoming speech competition. Wish me luck!

Good thing I wasn’t planning on wearing my black fishnet stockings for the contest because I accidentally put a hole in them just before leaving for my Toastmasters meeting the other night.

I came up with a bright idea to camouflage the hole. A dab of black permanent marker and no one would be the wiser. The run was barely noticeable, so I wasn’t worried about it.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, When Your Shoe Breaks in Public

Then I moved and so did the hole. Drat! Oh well, fashion faux pas. Tsk! Tsk! I wore them to the meeting anyway, where I got to practice my speech. Again.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, When Your Shoe Breaks Out in Public

No one seemed to notice the black marker spot on my leg, the hole in my tights or the runner. It’s a shame I’ll have to toss those fishnets. They held up way better than regular pantyhose.

Screen shot of practicing my speech.
You can’t even tell the tights were damaged.

Here’s a short clip showing how easily the other shoe was to break apart:

Related post:

When Your Pants Don’t Fit Right- Fashion Faux Pas

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had your shoe break out in public? What did you do? Any other outfit malfunctions? I’d love to hear from you.

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A Place to Dream – Awakening Photo Challenge

A Place to Dream is my entry for this week’s Daily Post “Awakening” photo challenge.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, A Place to Dream

Isn’t this charming? It’s at the Cambria Pines Lodge in Cambria, California. I love the textured pebble stone pathway, the furniture art used for a backyard setting, and the overall feel. Peaceful, tranquil, sweet.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, A Place to Dream

A real magical place! Imagine that!

Here’s a three-minute video in case you’d like to see more of this lovely garden:

Go here to see more “Awakening” photo challenge posts.

Other photo challenge posts:

Child Skipping to the Music at the Park – Smile Photo Challenge

Yosemite Valley – My Favorite Place Photo Challenge

What are your thoughts? Do you have a special place you like to dream? Do you like furniture art for the outdoors? I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Altered Art Scrapbook For a Little Girl

Altered art scrapbook for a little girl. Mixed media.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Front cover.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Scrapbooking paper, sticker embellishments, text printed on parchment paper with torn edges, scraps from magazines, doll shirt from dollar store. A triangle-shaped pocket in the corner holds special photos.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Remove the photos to see the entire page.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

A quote on white parchment paper and a note for the little girl to add a photo of her choosing in the small pocket at the bottom of the page.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

This spread focuses on her mom, an important person in a little girl’s life. Buttons are inexpensive, easy, and make cute embellishments for a scrapbook.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

A bookmark and a photo of her mom holding little brother were tucked in the corner pocket.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Ribbon is another inexpensive embellishment that can be tied into bows, braided to use for borders or ties to hold the book together.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

The theme for this spread is Valentine’s Day.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Get It, altered art book for a little girl

Photo of her mom and dad’s wedding and an envelope to stash secrets in, which fits in the pockets.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Holidays make fun themes for various spreads. In these pages, Easter and spring are featured.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

I didn’t have a lot of embellishments for the 4th of July spread, but I found some cool pictures in a magazine and used glitter glue applied with a toothpick to give a fireworks effect.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Summer is a great theme and offers all kinds of fun ideas to add to the pages. For the border, dots of acrylic paint are applied by dipping the the non-brush tip of a small paintbrush into the paint and dotting along the edge of the pages.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Dotted paint borders are an inexpensive way to add a colorful touch to any altered art project.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

What else is important to a little girl? School days, of course!

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Another fun holiday theme is Halloween. I had a blast designing this spread.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Autumn and Thanksgiving made a nice theme for these pages.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, Altered Art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Christmas is always bright and cheerful. I enjoyed working on this spread.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

What else is important in a child’s life? You guessed it, their birthday!

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Friends, especially best friends, are important in a little girl’s life.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

More fun stuff for these next pages. Cute scrapbook quotes are great to use for embellishments.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

An adorable photo from when she was a toddler was the perfect focal point for these pages.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

More quotes and a pocket cut from an old pair of blue jeans made a cute spread. The border is made out of braided ribbon yarn.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

The back cover is embellished with macramae. It fits with the Hawaiian theme.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, altered art book for a little girl

To view other altered art projects, so here:

Altered Art Book Wedding Gift 2017

Altered Art Book Wedding Gift 2012

More Altered Art Photo Boxes

What are your thoughts? If you were going to make an altered art book, what them would you choose? What kind of arts or crafts do you enjoy doing, if any? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Posted in altered art, Arts and Crafts, Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Photo Essay | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Ragged Old Slippers – A Poem

At first glance, my old slippers don’t look too shabby.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, Ragged Old Slippers

Turn them over. Whoa! If they could talk, imagine the stories they could tell. They were good to me for years, so they deserved a poem at the very least.

Lynn Kelley, Grammy Gets It, Ragged Old Slippers

Ragged Old Slippers

Once soft and perky
Fuzzy warm pups
Cushioned my toes
Padded each step
Snug and comfy

Pattering through time
Like whispering dreams
Measured miles
Take a toll

Tired and scruffy
Loyal old dogs
Worn, grimy soles
Cracked and gritty
Tattered edges
Insides spilling out

Sleep well, faithful friends

More poems:

Lightning Bug Poem

Time Tested Beauty – a Poem

The Dance

What are your thoughts? Do you find it hard to say goodbye to favorite slippers, shoes, or clothes? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

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Posted in Grammy Gets It, Lynn Kelley, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments