Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Studio Companions

For Mother's Day this year I was given a new laptop. I needed one, and for the most part I'm happy with my new little buddy. However, in their infinite wisdom Google has seen fit to discontinue supporting Picasa, the photo management system I've been using. Which means I now have to find, install, and learn a new program. {sigh} We've tried one already. No, two actually. Three if you count the one that came with the computer (useless, at least for my purposes). I may have to go back to using the more professional program my photographer husband uses. Anyone out there have any suggestions or recommendations?

I don't use a smart phone - or any phone - to take pictures. I use a small Canon digital camera. Aside from the rare family event most of the pictures I take are for this blog. This computer is loaded with Windows 10 (of course, since it's a pc). I want something simple and straightforward. Does that even exist in this world?

Now let's see if I can find any textile content I can share with you...

Lots of textiles waiting to be put to good use!

Hmm, not so much. I don't believe I have introduced you to my new studio bird though. When the lovely Mr. Bingley passed away I didn't let any grass grow under my feet in my search for a new singing companion. Unfortunately there were no yellow canaries to be had in my part of the country at the time.

Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of a nervous bird?!

But! There's a guy in our church who breeds red factor canaries. He had some lovely little guys available for me to choose from. It wasn't an easy decision, but I brought one home and eventually christened him Pippen. Here you can see his pretty red chest:

And here's his back.

I was told this color variant is called black opal because there's a black gene in the pool. Lon had one bird that was a very striking black with red patches. Most display shades of gray and white mixed in with red  and brown bits. Pippen is not as flashy as Mr. Bingley, and he sings a slightly different song, but I'm still delighted to have his presence in my studio.

If we can figure out a new photo program I will have an embroidery project to share with you for the next installment of the Stitch Along on 22 May. No, I didn't finish the needlepoint I've been working on (silly goose!). I started a new project this week. ;- )


  1. I use PicMonkey:
    They're an online resource, so you don't need to load anything. The basic editing suite is free, as is a collage-creating feature which I use occasionally. Using the free version, you can rotate, crop, adjust colour temperatuer and saturation, and various exposure issues: brightness, contrast, shadow and highlight. You can also add watermarks or captions, etc. It's useful, easy to use, and free. If you go to the link and click on Edit in the top bar, you'll get a sidebar with a list of editing options. The crossed corners icon is the main editing suite, Tt is for watermarks and captions. It's all I ever use, and I'm quite happy with how my photos come out. Might be worth a try....
    And Pippen is a colourful little cutie. It's good to have pleasant, tuneful company!

  2. Congratulations on getting a new laptop! Wonderful! And the loss of Picasa...what in the world are they thinking!!! Too hard for them to update etc.etc.etc. I've been using Windows Photos..sort of the default photo loader. Do NOT like it. But for now, it's what I have. Sigh.

  3. I didn't know canaries came in colors other than yellow! He's a lovely bird, and you've picked the perfect name for him.
    I was a Picasa user, too, and miss it very much. The Windows 10 photo software irritates the hell out of me, mostly because it refuses to do anything I want to do.
    A friend of mine recommended Pixlr which is an online photo editor that's a lot of fun. I may give up my struggles with W10 and go back to using it.
    So far Google has dropped the things that I used the most - Google Reader and Picasa. What's next - Blogger? *argh*

  4. I hate it when they take something away you have been used to using and then you have to waste time getting used to something else. Anyway, I use Gimp which does some very sophisticated things (most of which I've never got round to using) and also the simple things for editing photos. If I can't get a good photo first time for the products I sell online, I use Gimp to enhance the colour, crop the photo, add text or whatever. It's free.

  5. Have you tried photoplus? It's what I used when I had to use a windows base, and the free version worked just fine for me. I've heard a lot of people talk about GIMP, and it is cross-platform software, even usable in Linux. KVAD also comes highly recommended. And I think those all have free versions. Good luck with that and the bird cage.

  6. If Picasa is still available for download (maybe it's already been taken off the internet, but if not) you can still use it on your computer after you download it. They just won't update it and won't support photo storage online in Picasa.

    Another free photo-editing option is irfanview. I used it when I first had the need to edit photos (about 7 or 8 years ago) and then lost track of it, perhaps through computer changes. I think it was fairly easy to use.

    Hope you find some program you like (and that you'll let us know what it is!)

    Pippin is beautiful!

    --Nancy. (ndmessier @,


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