Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PicMonkey is Passin' Out Awesome Juice - For Your Photos

A few months back I blogged about my favorite online photo editing site, Picnik,  packin' up and moving into Google+. I  was quite sad to see that it was leaving but happy that Google+ was getting a little of the wonderment that was Picnik for me. I did wonder what was going to happen to the huge following of users that not only had purchased their premium content but also the ones who did not have a Google+ account. Also, it seemed that the G+ version was very... very watered down. It was a sad story indeed.

The tides started to turn for me when I suddenly received a comment on that blog about an up and coming site from a few former-picnikers as she called it, and asked me to check it out and sign up for when they go live. I was stoked! Not only did I get a comment on my actual blog (which doesn't happen a lot because mostly people comment through my facebook posts) but I was being contacted by the group themselves. She sounded very excited and I was too. I immediately told my fiance about it since I had just recently purchased the premium account for her and she was deep into loving her Picnik and had no use for a Google+ account. We were both anxious but had practically forgotten about it until today.

WooHoo! Jenn commented on my blog again to tell me that was up and running and to go check it out. So, I did. Now, I know that Picnik had been around for a few years and had a few more bells and whistles in its day, however, PicMonkey is my new online BFF! Yes, I actually said BFF - well typed it anyway.

Here are a few before and afters for you to see how well this puppy - I mean Monkey - works!

Loch Earn Before
This photo was taken at Loch Earn in Scotland. It is a pretty view but the photo really did not do the landscape justice that day. The photo below, is the edited version from PicMonkey. I didn't keep track of all of the different effects that I used. I was just so excited to get in and go that I  just ran with it.

Loch Earn After PicMonkey

This photo shows the after effects from dousing that photo with a shit-ton of awesomeness that is PicMonkey! Like I said, I don't really remember everything that I used but I do know that I used one of my all time favorites - Orton. I also framed it and added the copyright symbol along with my name in the edges of the Museum Mat frame. There is a bit of exposure enhancement done at the end to heighten the contrast and make the colors a bit deeper.

Falls of Dochart Before

Another photo here is a pic of the Falls of Dochart in Scotland. I took a bit more time on this photo but as you can see it is kind of nice without editing it. However...

Falls of Dochart After PicMonkey

PicMonkey helps me make the photo POP and give more dynamics to an already dynamic image. Here I wrote down my process:

  • Focal Soften
  • Burst (Signed up for the Royale treatment which is free for the next few months.)
  • Darken Edges
    • Wanted to give it an Orton feel but Orton darkened it too much
    • I love Orton but sometimes I wish I had just the Bloom feature.

If you liked the functionality of Picnik and are missing it, I suggest you hop - or swing - on over to PicMonkey and see what you get. For obvious reasons, it isn't as full featured as Picnik was as it is missing some frames and different fonts but really, I really don't remember using much more than what I have done right here in these photos.

As far as premium content, PicMonkey is calling it the Royale Treatment. Right now it is free if you put in your email address. It doesn't state how long this feature will be free but sign up NOW and they will send you a coupon for a discounted subscription when the trial is over.

Any thoughts, feelings, desires, features you would like to see there? Hit me up in my comment sections and let me know what's up. Or you can go straight to the Monkey's tree and email them directly at:

So far I see the potential, but only when I find myself heading back and forth between my photoshop and PicMonkey will I know that they have a winner.

Friday, March 02, 2012

You Touch My Vagina, I'll Hurt Your Penis!

Sound like a harsh statement? It is in some respects, but in today’s political atmosphere, it is something that needs to be said. Not only is the male dominated GOP trying to take away a woman’s right to free access to birth control, in Wisconsin they have sneakily passed legislature to rescind a law that made it easier for women to file a lawsuit when being paid unfairly. The GOP and other people like to use fear mongering tactics and ignorance to tell us that the Democrats are waging Class Warfare, but it seems that these people are stirring up something even more ancient - the suppression of women.

I was reading the Huffington Post in my bed the other morning as I woke up as I do every morning instead of a morning paper, and came across the article “Equal Pay Enforcement Act On Verge of Being Repealed by Wisconsin Republicans”. What the Wisconsin Republican Party is doing is rescinding a law that "made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court.”
This story has been pushed under the table a bit by recent activity by a loudmouthed, mysoginistic, biggotted, addict who somehow equated a woman’s use of contraception to being a prostitute and a slut. Not only that, he wants to see the product of his tax money, meaning - Rush Limbaugh wants Sandra Fluke to make porn for him.

"So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal, ... If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
Rush Limbaugh is now facing a backlash with two of his advertisers jumping ship because of his ignorant and horrifying statements on this issue. And there have been many.
March is Woman's History Month. It is supposed to remind us of all the struggles that women have experienced in our fight to get out from under the thumb of men. Isn't it odd that all of these months that are in honor of some form of historical win are all because of the struggle that a certain part of society has had with one specific group of people - the White Man. I hate to put it all in one group because there are plenty of white men who fight against these injustices, but their fight is still against their own group. And that isn't to say that women or other minorities haven't hurt their own causes, but these are outside of the median in the constant of things.
The contraception debate is personal for me as a woman. And NO, Rush Limbaugh, it isn't because I just want to have more sex. I am part of a large group of women who HAVE to take birth control whether we like it or not. In NO WAY am I at risk for getting pregnant. I am a lesbian. I certainly don't WANT to have to take a pill every day. However, because I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my hormones need to be regulated. This is done by taking birth control. 
WARNING - Graphic Mental Images - Read at your own risk.
Believe me, I certainly hate taking a pill every day, and just by doing so puts me at risk of the many side effects that the pill can cause. However, I would rather deal with that than bleeding for almost two months straight and so much that I would have to go to the bathroom at LEAST every HOUR. That's not to mention the horrible pain from my uterus cramping to push out all of the blood clots as I sit on the toilet to let them ooze out of me.
Can you imagine? Guys? Imagine having to shove something up one of your holes once an hour. Not only that, but the removal of that clotted and bloody object as well, every day, every hour, all night long, for almost two months. Does that compare in any way to what you have to go through if you just can't "get it up?" Your Viagra and Cialis aren't facing scrutiny and they only help a physical fact of life for most of you - getting older and how that hurts you emotionally and mentally. My vagina is bleeding all over the place and you just want to be able to get an erection. Really? You are the sluts in that case. How the HELL can I be even thought of in that way when all I want to do is to not be in pain and not become anemic from bleeding so much.
I apologize to those of you who are reading this for the graphic nature of what I just described. I sincerely hope that no one has to ever endure what I went through. I can only imagine the women out there, here in the US, that do not have the money to pay for the contraception that helped me get back onto a normal cycle and stop my profusely horrifying, bloody nightmare.
When men get together to try and decide what is best for women, they have no clue. Until you can say that you have been through anything remotely similar to what I have, you have no jurisdiction over my health. If you want to take away our coverage for things like birth control, then you do not deserve your Viagra. Looking back at the title of this post, I would have liked to say something else as I was so angry reading these recent articles. I digressed for the sake of professionalism. However, let me be clear about what I really wanted to say for the second part of the title - Lorena Bobbit had the right idea: you touch my vagina - I'll cut your d*** off!

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