About Laura

I am a college student and grandmother of six. My interests range from playing piano to stargazing with a myriad in-between, around and through.


Cranes - Longevity
Repetition, rhythm, emphasis, and texture. I started out with repetition and the other three elements fell into place. There are literally 1,000 origami cranes making up the background because I was reminded recently of a story.
According to Japanese tradition, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty (Asian Symbolism and the Crane). The story goes that Sadako Sasaki upon developing leukemia, began folding paper cranes in her hospital bed, praying for world peace. Sasaski died at 12 years old and her friends picked up the task of folding the cranes. She was buried with the full 1,000 as a tribute to her inspirational life.
Japanese people today still fold 1,000 cranes as a symbol of health, happiness, and peace. This makes me wonder about the things we can do with our time to bring inspiration to others. There’s another story about a woman who grew pansies and took them to shut-ins. She grew so many that pansy became part of her nickname. Maybe I’ll do pansies next.
Resource: http://asianlifestyledesign.com/2012/05/asian-symbolism-crane/


November 2017 Full Moon

Beaver Moon 112017
I enjoy building designs using layers with different opacities and color enhancements to create shading and highlights. The little beaver on the mountainside is simply in honor of the traditional name for the November full moon.
Algonquin tribes called it the Beaver Moon because this was the time to set the traps before the freeze, so they would have furs to make clothes for the cold winter. The November full Moon was also called the Full Frost Moon by other Native American tribes.” – Farmer’s Almanac
My view of the full moon was partially obscured by clouds tonight. It was lovely all the same. A full moon is one of my favorite things to see.


Ravens over MSJ
I was recently struck by the fact that the “greenery” on the mountaintop looks golden in the photos the webcam captures at 7 a.m. I decided to revel in that a little bit, working with one of the photos in Photoshop to enhance the color. The result is from three layers, the original, one with a dry brush filter, and one to emphasize the gold, and varied levels of opacity to achieve the blend.
I also enjoyed watching a large black bird performing aerobatics over a field. It would rapidly flap its wings, hovering in one place, and then suddenly dive-bomb to the ground. It may have hunting. It was fun to watch. And so I added a pair of frolicking ravens to my design, with a snippet from Skybird from Neil Diamond’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull soundtrack.
I thought about a couple of things while putting this together. For one thing, you don’t have to climb the mountain to find gold. But isn’t the view lovely from the top? And secondly, what joy there is in just being yourself.

Mount San Jacinto in the morning

This is only a design in the sense that I put two photos together in Photoshop. The image on the left is stamped 7 a.m. on October 15, 2016. I remember this was the first time I noticed the plant growth on the top of the mountain. Before that, it seemed all the images were barren. I thought maybe it was because the sunlight was hitting the plants just right at that time of the morning. So this morning, I found the USFS webcam image from the same time on the same date (image on the right). I am happy to see the plant life has endured through the hard hot summer, and is just as bright is this morning’s sunlight as it was a year ago.
Perhaps a message of hope as well as endurance. If these plants can survive the rigors of the seasons, we can make it through our challenges, too.
In any case, I love the view from the mountaintop.

Full Moon October 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the moon rise over Mount San Jacinto this week. It was our Harvest Moon this year, due to the October full moon being closer to fall equinox than the September full moon. First I saw the sky over the mountain become slighter lighter. That’s where I focused my attention. Presently came the first bright bead of light from the edge of the moon. Then it rose to display its glorious beauty over the dark mountaintop. How I love the view from my front porch.
When I was done presenting the moonrise, I imagined my blue angel face on the bright moon. And so here she is, bringing us moonlight.