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The Five Love Languages

Hi Folks:

At one of our hugging sessions last summer, one person who stopped to speak with us asked if we were familiar with the five love languages. We weren’t, but we were thinking French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish … However, that’s not to what he was referring. Instead, he was referencing the book written by Gary Chapman, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts“.

In essence the five love languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

Hugging ticks several of those boxes. 🙂 If you’re interested in learning more about what Gary has to offer, check out the link above!

Hugs,
M&M

Bogey and Pretty Eyes

It's Random Acts of Kindness Week!!

Hi Folks:

Yesterday marked the beginning of Random Acts of Kindness week, so of course we went out hugging!! The credit for the saying goes to Anne Herbert, who in 1985 suggested committing “random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” in her book, “Compassion 101.” Since then the idea has taken on a life of its own, but it needs all of us to keep it alive! It need not be difficult or complicated. Kindness is always a good idea! However, if you’re looking for some ideas, be sure to check out the Random Acts of Kindness.org site and their sister site, PassitOn.com. Great stories and resources, including kindness kits for teachers, can also be found at the Ripple Kindness Project site.

Take the opportunity to be kind today! And tomorrow. And… you might just find it growing on you. As for our continuing hugging adventures, so far this year we’ve shared hugs with Ambassadors from 12 countries (this is our 10th year; so far we’ve hugged people from at least 82 countries in total) and yesterday we shared our first hugs with visitors from Canada’s Nunavut territory! They didn’t seem to mind the absence of -50°C temperatures. 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Hugging 2019... Tempus Fugit!!

Hi Folks:

Hugging 2019

Believe it or not, we started this post over a month ago, and it’s already February 3rd. So much for our “Welcoming 2019” title! Ah well… Continue reading “Hugging 2019… Tempus Fugit!!

City of Angels

Hi Folks:

On most evenings, around sunset, you’ll see groups of people gathered along the Dallas Road walkway that runs along the south shore of Victoria. Every sunrise and every sunset is unique, but sometimes the Earth just outdoes herself. This was January 24, 2019, at Holland Point.

Marcia’s image first. This is a composite of 10 cell phone images, joined up with Autopano Pro and pushed around a bit in Lightroom.

City of Angels 1

Mike recently received a new Sony A7RIII camera and has been playing with it a bit. Three images here, at different focal lengths:

City of Angels 2

57mm

City of Angels 3

24mm

City of Angels 4

12mm

Obviously, the sky and the ocean deserve most of the credit here. Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!

Hugs,

M&M

2018: A Photography Retrospective

Hi Folks:

As we close out 2018, many photographers choose to offer their best 10 or 12 images of the year. We did something similar with our 2019 Photo Calendars post, but we wanted to offer our favourite images from the year as well. Perhaps not coincidentally, they were both featured in our upcoming calendar.

Marcia’s first:
Dew DropsVictoria is known as the city of flowers, and Marcia loves to do flower macros. The timing on this one allowed her to capture some of the morning’s moisture as well, and if you look in the spheres you can see continuing reflections of the flowers!

And Mike’s:
Coquihalla RiverThis is a composite image of 30 images, made on the trail near the Othello Tunnels outside of Hope, BC. Fortunately it was a relatively windless day, so the images stacked together added to the sense of flow in the water without too much movement in the leaves on shore.

Creating a retrospective is a worthwhile exercise for every photographer. We went through over 12,000 images to choose the 12 for our calendar images! With digital it’s easy to shoot a thousand images a day, but how many of them are your best work?

Now go out and make some images!

Hugs,
M&M

Happy Holidays!!

Hi Folks:

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Festivus, Solstice or Saturnalia, the arrival of Sinterklaas or Grandfather Frost, Hanukkah, Mawlid Un Nabi, Kwanzaa or something entirely personal, we send you love. Create an amazing 2019!!


(Merry or Happy Christmas In Different Languages 🙂 )

2018 Christmas card

2019 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the ninth year now that we’ve made our MS Word photo calendar templates available, and as with the past several years, we’ve also created a series of templates and calendar images you can use with Lightroom or other graphics software. As we’ve done before we’ve also added a full-page calendar option, below. 

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the Lightroom stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2016 to make the template, but saved it as both a Word 2016 file and a Word 97-2003 compatible file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

Continue reading “2019 Photo Calendars

It's Our Birthday!!

Hi Folks:

M&M’s Musings is nine years old today!! It’s been quite a year for us – more stories, more photographs, more travels, more sharing of free hugs (82 countries and counting!) and much of that has been shared here with you, our readers. Our blog currently has 573 blog posts and 147 pages, including stories, colouring pages and more! In the past year we’ve made Marcia’s books available for sale through our website and in local stores, and we have (to the best of our knowledge) complied with the EU GDPR.

We have many more stories, photographs and free hugs to come in the next year, so thank you for continuing to be here with us! This site is our gift to you, after all.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. We didn’t actually buy our blog a birthday cake, but Marcia’s birthday is also soon, so maybe she’ll share some of hers… 🙂

Book Signing Magic!

Good afternoon!

Last Saturday the Rainbow Mouse family was at Coles, Tillicum Mall for a book signing event, and one of the first people to come to the table was a lovely woman who purchased a book and went to pay for it before having it autographed. When she returned, a young girl was standing at the table with her brother and her dad, who was about to buy the book for his daughter. The lady gifted the book to the girl, gave the receipt to the man and promptly walked away! Congratulations to Callysta for the magical arrival of her book, thanks to her dad for promising to pay it forward, and extra special thanks to the anonymous (and generous) donor! Whoever you are, dear woman … your act of kindness was truly precious!

Callysta and Marcia, Coles Tillicum, Nov 3, 2018

Callysta and Marcia, image © Coles, Tillicum Mall

The Rainbow Mouse family will be at Coles, Westshore Town Centre this Saturday (November 10) for another signing; come by to buy a book (which I’ll happily autograph), free stickers, free colouring pages, and free hugs! Who knows what magic we can conjure up together!

In Light and Laughter,
Marcia.

Creative Photography Work

Hi Folks:

Originally wrote this as an e-mail to a friend but thought we should post this as well. Our friend has mentioned that she has been in a bit of a creative slump with her photography recently, so when I came across this article, I thought of her: Explore Photoshop Mix and Fix with Visual Artist Amr Elshamy.

I do pretty much all of my cell phone processing using Snapseed, but I also have Photoshop Express, Ps Fix, Ps Mix, Prisma and some other apps installed. They’re all free. Prisma does offer an annual subscription plan but if you’re not interested you can ignore that. Prisma is pretty much a one-trick pony, but the one thing you can do is to swipe left/right to vary the amount of effect from the filter you’ve chosen. For any given image most of the filters will look terrible, but there are usually one or two that look good.

Continue reading “Creative Photography Work