Unpopular Opinions #1

I can’t sleep, so…here are some trees. #ilovetrees

Also, two things are heavy on my mind tonight, both I feel like sharing because two other friends have shared these same thoughts in the past day:

  1. The “I never let my pain/disability/illness stop me” narrative is ableist and harmful. Sometimes, even with illnesses that aren’t considered chronic but pop up just long enough to make you have to see a doctor/go to the ER and piss you off, you ARE held back/unable to do all the things. And guess what? That’s ok. You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about it just because someone else doesn’t understand (or simply refuses to entertain the idea that you shouldn’t have to suffer just for the sake of “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps” – people like that have health issues way earlier than they’d prefer, and if they don’t want to acknowledge it that’s their cross to bear).
  2. Stop the testing. Bring back the joy. When you sit in front of a kid with a stopwatch to time them on ANYTHING, whether it’s speed reciting multiplication tables or the alphabet or the periodic table, and they aren’t fast enough to beat the clock, they feel embarrassed, like they’ve failed or let down someone they are supposed to impress, or worse – they just feel plain stupid. Guess what? They’re not. Kids learn at different paces and have interests and greater abilities in different areas – JUST LIKE ADULTS DO. Some are good at labor. Some are good at creative endeavors. Some are good at organizing. Some are good at service. EVERYONE is needed. If you’re putting a bunch of rules (besides actual grammar rules) on reading and writing, and putting a bunch of pressure on a kid to meet some ridiculous and possibility unattainable standard (for them), you’re not teaching them to read or write well – nay nay, my friend. If that’s how you’re teaching? You’re teaching them to HATE reading and writing – even about the things they love.

Anyway, just some “unpopular opinions” that I have been arguing with myself about for a little while now.

Do good. Be kind. Be compassionate. And remember, all of those things are verbs, not just words. You’re not perfect either, so give others a break – especially when they’re already down. Try offering a hand to lift them up instead of a foot to the side while they’re down that makes them not WANT to get up. People need help, not hate. One day, you’ll need help, too. Love y’all. 🙏

Looking Forward (Or Deja Vu?)

You never know where the road is going to take you. Be careful with yourself. Don’t abuse yourself or others, or take your body (or life) for granted.

One day you may be in a situation where you don’t know what’s next for it – and whether you believe me or not, or like it or not, or think it’s a dramatic statement or not, I don’t care – it’s a terrifying and uncomfortable place to be, especially when you have small children.

It’s funny how you can be considering the future, looking forward and not behind, but feel as though you are watching your past happen all over again – and you never expected it and thought you’d done everything to prevent it from ever being this way again. Well. When it comes to the body, and to life, really, sometimes things just happen.

Sometimes things happen and they’re scary and they’re hard and you can’t talk about it because…well, no one will understand and you don’t want anyone to act a certain way, or maybe you just don’t want to be vulnerable because you’re already possibly more vulnerable than many people assume.

You don’t mean to be vague but you are just doing the best you can to process your own existence – and you have no clue. None. Not even a tiny one. You’re just waiting. You’re waiting because it’s deja vu and you know what happened then; but, it’s also a different experience and you know it’s “now,” not “then,” but you’re gun-shy from the last experience…so time is the only source of answers, if time or answers even exist.

Life is like driving a car. You can drive all you want, but you never really have power or control over anything. Forces far greater than you do – and sometimes they’re not kind. And, if you think you do have everything under control? It’s an illusion.

Don’t delude yourself. You’re going to be in a world of hurt at some point, if you do. Don’t forget that when you dance, eventually you have to pay the band.

Don’t assume you know people. Don’t assume you know what’s going on in their life. Don’t judge based on what you THINK you know, because in reality? You don’t know squat except about yourself. Focus on that, unless you do know facts and you can be of some emotional or physical help in someone’s life.

That’s what the last few years have taught me, in being treated like crap, and allowing myself to be used by people and abused by the medical system. Did it make me stronger? Wiser? Yes. Did it hurt? Badly? Also, absolutely yes.

Don’t be a selfish jerk. Do good. Be gentle. Be compassionate. Be kind. Do all those things for yourself and for others. Make it a great day. I love you all. ❤️

~C.

VSCO Spring-y Preset

I’ve become obsessed with succulents as of late, as well as pastel-ish, faded VSCO looks, so here’s this succulent photo I played with in VSCO and decided to save earlier in the week:


And, here are the rest of the Unsplash samples edited using this preset:






If you like/use VSCO I hope you’ll enjoy this preset. Have a beautiful weekend, friends.

VSCO Preset: Mountain Blues

This edit is inspired by Jesse Martineau’s love of mountains. I love mountains, too… Mountains again, Gandalf! It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen snow covered mountains so I’ve taken a cue from one of my favorite editing artists @boco_blondie and chosen this fabulous image from the Unsplash free-use gallery. At the time of this posting, the Unsplash gallery search was unavailable. I will update this post with the OP info as soon as possible.

The only edits I did with this image were in VSCO, and it is a very simple preset. I just loved the result so I thought I’d share. Lately I am really into faded images and images with a sort of rustic feel to them. I hope you enjoy this one. Due to how dark this image was to begin with, this preset will likely be a lot lighter of an effect on a lighter image, so you may need to fade more, skip bumping shadows or decrease them to get a darker fade on a lighter image. And, of course, there plenty of other tools in VSCO to help you achieve a darker look with a lighter image – my suggestions are just where I would begin.

All the love,

C.

First VSCO Preset: Winter

Two things. Firstly, this post is a long time coming. Secondly, winter is almost over. Better late than never? Long time followers know that I hardly believe that, but have gotten very good at it. Life. What can I say? Hashtag no excuses.

SO! Hi. How ya doin’? Very good, I hope. It’s been a super long time since I’ve posted anything art or app related but I’m excited to say that I have a new Mextures formula post coming this week, and I’m also very excited to have finally jumped on board the VSCO train. Hence, this post in particular.

VSCO is one of the original filter apps (at least for iPhone, I know nothing about Android devices and can not lie). It’s been around a while – almost as long as Instagram, I believe. It’s also been insanely popular for a while. I’ve had the app since it was released but at the time I had an infant and I had ZERO time. To be honest, I never really utilized the app when I DID have time. I only started halfway using it when the Journal feature became available and even that was so clumsy to use at the time that it was originally added in that I tired of it quickly. Now, here it is a few years later, and here I finally am, actually using the app to a more full extent.

In the spirit of my “honeymoon stage” with this app I’ve decided to share some of the filters I’ve created and saved for myself with it, because FILTERS. Admittedly, even with Mextures I don’t “over edit” my images. I tend to have a light hand, if you will, when it comes to that stuff. I generally get mildly uncomfortable, especially with the grungy effects, when editing my photos. It’s not that I pride myself on my images too much – I think the majority of them could be far better than they are based on what my mind wanted them to look like compared to what they actually look like. Nonetheless I am extremely fond of a nice fade and/or a muted or even darkened tone to my images, and that’s why I’ve come to enjoy VSCO as of late. Mextures will likely always be my preferred and go to editing app – my favorite. But VSCO has a lot to offer, too, including a fresh new perspective for me of images old and new. And, it works nicely in conjunction with Mextures I think.

So, here is my first preset share from VSCO, with a sample of images that have been edited with the preset. I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I hope you’re having a lovely winter.

Love to all,

C.


Mextures Formulas #9

Welcome to Mextures formulas from my personal collection, blogisode #9!

As always, I hope you enjoy these formulas. Please remember that blend modes of layers (and the layers themselves) may require tweaking depending on the light/style/tone of your image and they will not necessarily look exactly the same on your images as they do in the provided versions.

If you have any questions about Mextures or using formulas, feel free to ask them in comments or via e-mail or social media/messaging. Enjoy!!

 

(Fall Meets Winter, Original)
Formula Code:  PDZGDZK

(Fall Meets Winter, Fade)
Formula Code:  ZACLNFL

Formula Code:  MXSGBKA

Formula Code:  BLZPPVM

Formula Code:  LQINNPS

Formula Code:  QVPCERD