September Sunsets in California

Late September, around the time I went to Sugar Pine Reservoir to take a bunch of photos (part 1 and part 2 if you missed it), I spent a few evenings taking my camera and tripod out to capture some sunset photos.

Taking a photo with my phone of my camera taking a photo of the sunset. It’s a little weird.

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September Adventures: Sugar Pine Reservoir Part 2

Last week I shared Part 1 of my adventures in Sugar Pine Reservoir, where I visited the area in late September with my husband and mother-in-law. It’s a gorgeous area to spend the day wandering around and soaking in the beauty of nature.

I had heard stories from my husband and his family about how beautiful and peaceful the area was, but had yet the chance in any of my travels to visit the space.

This all changed last month. And I think it’s safe to say it’s now one of my favourite places in California. I want to back!

Let’s get to the photographs, shall we?

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September Adventures: Sugar Pine Reservoir Part 1

In late September, my husband, mother-in-law and I traveled to Sugar Pine Reservoir, located in Northern California, to spend the day wandering around. I had heard stories from my husband and his family about how beautiful and peaceful the area was, but had not yet had the chance to visit.

This was all about to change.

In preparation, I purchased a new SD Card for my camera, a nearly-ten-year-old Canon EOS REBEL T3. In previous years, I have shied away from shooting photographs in RAW. My excuse was that SD Cards were expensive and I would rather take more photos and experiment, rather than have to stop early and miss something because I didn’t have card space.

These days, SD Cards don’t really cost all that much and I have no excuse not to ensure I have ample room for the photos I need to take. I never had any excuse, to be honest.

And after editing RAW photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic recently, I don’t think I will ever go back to using only Adobe Photoshop. For photo editing, if I don’t need to edit people out of them or work on a design, I can see myself using Lightroom for most retouching instead. It’s amazing for organization and batch editing. I love it!

Let’s get to the photographs, shall we?

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Editing Landscape Photography

This post is based on a similar post I created for Tali Gibson Designs LLC‘s company Portfolio. It was a post that turned out far more detailed than originally intended, and I can see it being relevant here as well. It gives a fair amount of insight into how I photograph and edit photos, as well as what programs I use to do my work.


There are different ways to edit a photo based on how the photo was taken and the intention behind the editing. In the case of landscape photography, there is more leeway in how far to push an image, compared to the subtlety required for portrait retouching.

Photograph taken in September 2019 at Sugar Pine Reservoir in California.

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Learning and Designing and Editing And…

The last two months have been busy for me, so there has not been much in the way of content going up here. It’s the kind of busy-ness that’s productive, but doesn’t offer much to show for it in the short-term.

For those who keep up with my devientART Gallery, you will have seen a few designs popping up in the last month or so. That’s a small portion of what has been going on around here. I have much to show you!

Website: Tali Gibson Designs LLC

In July, my husband started up a business, Tali Gibson Designs LLC. Since then, we have been working on creating content for the website to showcase examples of the services we offer through the company. Being a new and small company, I’m both Graphic Designer, Website Administrator, Social Network Admin, and Whatever-Else-We-Happen-To-Need.

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Review; Crescent Calling

Crescent Calling (The Crescent Witch Chronicles #1)
by Nicole R. Taylor

My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Skye Williams is an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life.

Or so she thought.

When she receives news of her estranged mother’s death, she must go to Ireland to claim her inheritance, but when she arrives in the tiny village of Derrydun, she isn’t prepared for what she finds nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Emerald Isle. 

Lumped with a funeral, her mother’s crystal shop, a moody goth girl for an employee, and a crumbling cottage with horrible floral curtains, selling up and getting out sounds like a great plan, but everything and everyone seems determined to keep her from going home.

Skye doesn’t want any part of her mother’s life or the people of Derrydun until she sees the hot Irishman she’s been crushing on turn into a fox.

More absurdly, he tells her her dead mother was a witch who battled evil fairies, there’s magical trees growing in the centre of the village, there’s a parallel universe where the fair folk live, and she’s meant to be the last defense of the magical peoples of Ireland.

Turns out Skye Williams was never an ordinary woman. Not by a long shot.
She’s the last Crescent Witch and has a destiny to fulfil.

Whether she likes it or not.


Witches in Ireland?

I picked up this book as the premise looked interesting, and a story taking place in Ireland would take a change from the usual urban fantasies I read.

Not reading any of the author’s work prior to this, I didn’t have any expectations going in. It was a quick and easy read, but felt underwhelming and I wanted more.

Impressions

The two characters, Skye and Boone, had a few small conflicts but it didn’t feel to hold much weight. Skye came across younger than her age, acting more like an immature teenager rather than the adult she was supposed to be. (Running away from Boone to not let him explain something, cutting people off and refusing to hear a perfectly reasonable explanation that would release tension, etc.) I wish the tension around the conflicts was written in a different way, too, rather than to simply draw it out with delays. In doing this, Skye’s immaturity was emphasized and it was difficult to relate to her because of it.

Be aware of Spoilers below.

The main conflict arcs were… unearned. It felt too easy. An enemy is alerted to Skye’s presence because she was negligent, she figures out she needs a weapon, she uses her new powers (that she doesn’t know how to use and has had no training to use) to find just the weapon she needs, and somehow knows where to go to imbue that weapon. And then defeats the enemy with said weapon. Easy. Fast.

Everything happened in a flurry and there was no real “work” done by the main character. She just… figured it out because she’s a “badass witch” and she could?

The worldbuilding did not pull me in, either. Aside from a few things like names, sayings, and possibly lore, this story could really have taken place anywhere.

And unfortunately, I didn’t care about Skye. Or Boone. If there was a reason to, I missed it completely. Their romance felt forced and I wasn’t at all interested in reading about them being together. But I think that’s related to the issue of my not being able to really care about the two of them.

Overall

This story is likely directed toward much younger readers. They may be able to relate to the characters better. For me, Skye just made too many bad and immature decisions unlike someone her age. (If I recall correctly, mid twenties?)

This is one of the times I wish there was more of a distinction between the types of Young Adult novels out there. It’s a difference in audience, and this book is just intended for a younger one.

I will not be picking up the in the series.

Promotion: Living Room Decor Sale!

It’s getting to be the time when students are heading back to school, and that means it’s time to consider refreshing the living space. Whether that room is a bedroom, office space, or shared space in a dorm, it matters not. It’s the season for change.

I think we’re all tired of all of this oppressive heat (unless it’s winter where you are, of course) and are thinking that it’s about time for something… cool. 😎

The Living Room Decor Sale is today only in my Society6 Shop! Please take a look at the details below and please let me know if you have any questions. 😀


Up to 30% Off Living Room Decor

Start: Wednesday, 7/31/19 at 12:00AM PT
End: Wednesday, 7/31/19 at 11:59PM PT

Details:
➡ 30% off tapestries, throw pillows, rectangular pillows, floor pillows, throw blankets, blackout curtains, sheer curtains, wall clocks, wallpaper, wall murals and rugs;
➡ 25% off art prints, framed prints, wall hangings, posters, canvas prints, mini framed prints, mini art prints, metal prints and wood wall art, and…
➡ 20% off credenzas, benches, bar stools, counter stools, side tables and coffee tables.

Featured Products

“Marker Scratch” Wall Clock

From the product page:
Good times! Rethink the traditional timepiece as functional wall decor. You’ll love how our Artists are converting some of their coolest designs specifically into Wall Clocks. Constructed with premium, shatter-resistant materials, with three frame color options.

“Birds and Stars” Rectangular Pillow

From the product page:
Rectangular Pillows are basically oversized Throw Pillows that provide a different look – suitable for the bed or couch. They’re comfy enough to sleep on, and a great canvas for art.

“Painted Sunset” Rug

From the product page:
Allowing you to express your style all over your home with a feature-worthy rug. They’re made from a woven, polyester chenille for a soft and textured look. Plus, choosing from our wide array of designs, you’re sure to find just the rug to match your decor.

Other Products


If there are any photographs or designs of mine you would like to see that are not in the shop, or are not on the items you’re looking for, let me know and I’ll do my best to make those available to you as soon as possible.

Thanks! ❤

Review; They Called us Enemy

They Called Us Enemy
by George Takei (co-writer),
Justin Eisinger (co-writer),
Steven Scott (co-writer),
Harmony Becker (Artist)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten “relocation centers,” hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.

They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

What is American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.

Goodreads.com

George Takei’s The Called Us Enemy is a captivating work of art. The story he has to tell is a horrible one, and one of great injustice to a portion of America’s citizens. And it’s one story that is, unfortunately, still relevant today. There are terrible acts going on in America today, right now, and while this is a tale of the country’s history it’s also relevant to the present day.

The art of this book is also spot-on, and Harmony Becker’s attention to detail is admirable. The artistic style works in unison with the story, hitting the high and low points with precision.

I picked it up today, intending to sit down and read a few pages, and finished the book without moving from my spot. This is a book I would recommend to everyone. There are great lessons to learn here, and should be considered required reading.

Promotion: Summer Sale Today and Tomorrow!

Starting today through tomorrow, there is a sale going on in my Society6 Shop! Please take a look at the details below and ask me if you have any questions. 😀


Summer Sale: Up to 40% Off Everything!

Start: Sunday, 7/28/19 at 12:00AM PT
End: Monday, 7/29/19 at 11:59PM PT

Details:
➡ 40% off tapestries, phone cases + posters,
➡ 30% off comforters, art prints + throw pillows,
➡ 20% off everything else*

*(Offer excludes furniture, yoga mats, growth charts, welcome mats, sun shades, sling chairs, folding stools, picnic blankets and outdoor floor cushions).


Featured Items

“I Spy” iPhone Case

From the product page:
Society6 iPhone Slim Case combine premium protection with brilliant design. The slim profile keeps your tech looking sleek, while guarding against scuffs and scratches. Just snap it onto the case and you’re good to go.

“Splattered Rose” Throw Pillow

From the product page:
Throw Pillows upgrade your home decor with trending patterns, color pops and one-of-a-kind designs. And these pillows aren’t just decorative: we made sure they’re fluffy enough for naps too.

“Painted Sunset” Wall Tapestry

From the product page:
Wall Tapestries feature vivid colors and crisp lines, giving you an awesome centerpiece for any space. Our tapestries aren’t just wall hangings either – they’re durable enough to use as tablecloths or picnic blankets.


Lastly, if there are any photographs or designs of mine you would like to see that are not in the shop, or are not on the items you’re looking for, let me know and I’ll do my best to make those available to you as soon as possible.

Thanks! ❤