Monday, November 26, 2018

A Sticky Note, a Road Trip, and Determination

Good Morning on this Cyber Monday! Did you survive Thanksgiving and Black Friday and all the college football rivalries?

Today, my photo and pattern stories are rather random but fun.

The first isn't yet a pattern, although eventually, one of the throw-away photos from this same photo shoot might just become one.

We have a Japanese maple tree in our front yard. I love that tree. Every year, I watch it as the seasons change, noting the different colors of its leaves and how it changes so gracefully, yet - just like life - sometimes at lightning speed.

A couple of years ago, I took a photo that I eventually turned into a paint-like print.

That year, the leaves were large.

Available on 
(also available as a jigsaw puzzle)

This year, however, the leaves were tiny. I wanted a different kind of image, but never could get a good one. The wind took away leaves one by one, until there were only a few left. Most of those were already shriveling up, but I looked at every angle of the tree, every leaf, determined to capture at least one photograph.

Then I found a single perfect leaf.

But it was in such a position on the tree that I could not get a good shot. Desperate, and knowing that leaf would likely blow away within the next 24 hours, I plucked it.

I placed it on a wooden rail and liked the image, but it wasn't as dramatic as I felt the leaf deserved. So I tried placing the leaf on other surfaces: a wooden step, the ground - with and without other leaves around it. As I played with all these different settings, the sunlight changed.

Our house is surrounded by trees, and our front door gets directly sunlight only for a brief time each day. Almost ready to give up on the leaf, I made my way to the front door. I decided to place the leaf on the marble step to see if I could get a decent shot.

I don't believe in magic, but I do believe in God's timing. And God's timing - as always, with everything, was just with this image. This is the original, untouched, unedited, uncropped photo.

The light cast just the right shadow to make the leaf appear to be floating above the step, but in reality, the leaf propped on its stem on its own.

I digitally enhanced the image just a bit for merchandise:

Canvas prints on 

(Why both locations? What's the difference? Price and procedure are the two main differences. With Zazzle, I submit my designs and images, and Zazzle takes care of everything else - orders, production, shipping, customer service.)

And these beautiful

As determined as I was with that photo, I must admit that sometimes, I have accidents. One accident resulted in a beautiful pattern that I'm now selling on a pillow and a reversible duvet cover:

I love this pattern and even more so since it was an "accident."

One day - most likely before coffee - I was playing with my camera phone while I was sitting at my desk. I accidentally snapped a photo of a sticky note that was stuck to the corner of my laptop. Later that evening, I was toying with the pattern program, and accidentally clicked on that sticky note photo. I liked the colors, so I began playing with the patterns. Because I had written only on one corner of the sticky note, I had a big chunk of blue to play with in the pattern, and ended up with two that you see above.

Road trips always produce some fun photos.

A few years ago, we drove into the mountains during the fall. We stumbled upon a roadside market loaded with a late harvest. On one side of the property, we found this old fire truck. I digitally enhanced it with some artistic effects to get this:

This image is now my bestselling and most viewed product - 


Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Cyber Week sales continue through tonight, with savings as much as 75% on some products!

As a small business owner and artist, please know how much we all appreciate your business. And we appreciate word of mouth advertising for our businesses and art, too, so be sure to tell your family and friends where they can get some great deals on unique gifts.

I was given two special codes for FREE shipping on Zazzle that can be used up to three times each. Try either of these codes to see if they are still available. There have been purchases made, so I'm not sure how many times they've been used, but try:



Thank you for supporting authors, small businesses, and artists during the busy holiday season! We are grateful for your business!

Hooray for Holidays Series by Peggy Cunningham

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