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It’s Hard To Pick Apples In An Enchanted Orchard

September 29, 2014

Fall in New England– the most glorious time of year. Here in southern New Hampshire, we’re enjoying warm days, cool nights, and starting to see some color in the trees.

One of my favorite fall activities is picking apples. Another is eating apple crisp and apple pie.

We have a lot orchards in this part of state. You can buy apples ready-picked, or grab a bag and pick your own.

It’s time to bring back Busker, everyone’s favorite street musician. Today he gives his saxophone a rest, and goes in search of apples. Naturally, there are complications…

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Apple walking along, learning magic tricks by reading book called The Art Of Illusion

 

Busker saxophone playing street musician walking along carrying empty sack passing sign that says Pick Your Own Apples

 

Busker the street musician with sack looking up at apple tree which has no apples looks like it's been picked clean

 

Busker street musician walking away looking disgusted, apple peeks out at him from behind apple tree

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apple snaps his fingers and dozens of apples appear on tree, magic spell had made them invisible

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Most area orchards have a shop where you can buy refreshments and local crafts. Some have play areas and farm animals for kids. And some are “event centers,” with outdoor wedding sites and reception halls.

My favorite orchard? Norway Hill in nearby Hancock, NH. They have fresh air, a great view, and a little farm stand where you can buy… apples.

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Norway Hill Orchard in Hancock, New Hampshire where you can buy ready picked apples or go out and pick your own apples

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Have you ever gone apple picking? Ever fallen out of a tree while you were at it??

Do you think apples taste better if you have to work for them?

Do you have any fall rituals you’d care to share? Besides eating candy corn, I mean.

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

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Do What Gets Talked About, Talk About What Gets Done

September 17, 2014

Anybody else on LinkedIn? That’s the social media site for business, as opposed to the fun and games of, say, Facebook, or a purely personal blog.

I have a LinkedIn profile because I’m a commercial freelance illustrator who wants to attract clients.

LinkedIn members can publish posts on the LinkedIn platform at no charge. It’s a new feature, just introduced this year. It’s a way to demonstrate your expertise on a subject.

So far, I’ve published three posts on LinkedIn. The latest was titled The 2 Things You Have To Do To Attract Clients. I created this graphic for it:

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Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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Basically, it’s all about attracting the right kind of attention. I think an artist does that
by creating work so good (or beautiful or funny), it has to be shared. It’s work that Gets Talked About.

But it can’t be shared unless it’s seen. Which means the artist has to Talk About What Gets Done in his studio. One way to do that is to post work on his blog, and on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

I needed some social media icon buttons to represent what the two people are talking about. I did a Google search for same, and found a beautiful set by Martin, a digital
artist in the Czech Republic. Here’s a close-up:

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detail image of Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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A few remarks on the background for any Photoshop users out there:

I have some vintage “sunburst” patterns, and I thought one of these would provide some energy in a fun way. Here’s what it looked like when I first pasted it in on a separate layer:

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sunburst background for Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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Obviously, it overpowered all the main elements in the drawing, and had to be muted. I added a layer mask, but that left everything looking thoroughly washed out.

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sunburst background with layer mask for Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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I don’t have any magic solutions when things like this happen. I just start experimenting.

I wound up adding a layer of flat yellow color, then overlaying it with a retro dot pattern, which created this effect.

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retro pattern overlay on Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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I liked it a lot, but it needed a color boost. A good way to achieve this in Photoshop is to group the layers together, then duplicate the entire group and experiment with layer blending modes.

Here’s the Layers window for the final result. I’ve indicated the blending mode for each layer in dark blue type.

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Photoshop Layers window showing background build sequence for Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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Here’s the final again, all by itself:

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Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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One final note: You might be asking yourself: Why bother to write separate posts for LinkedIn? Why not just use the WordPress Publicize feature so all your WP blog posts are automatically posted to LinkedIn?

Three reasons:

1) Publishing directly on the LinkedIn platform looks more “professional” simply because LinkedIn is a business network.

2) An original post always scores points because it is original. Someone made a special effort. That carries more “weight” than a previously published post, no matter how good the latter may be.

3) According to this recent post on Social Media Blunders by my go-to blogging expert, Time Thief, autoposts can be perceived as low-value, or, even worse, spam. And as Ben Huberman writes in this Daily Post entry, not every WP blog post is a good match for LinkedIn, especially if you write on non-business topics.

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Do you have a strategy for attracting clients? Would you care to share it?

Are you a member of LinkedIn? If so, have you found it useful in attracting clients?

Would conversations be more enjoyable if when people talked, little icons came out of their mouths??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

If you’d like to share this post with others, please click Tweet or Facebook or StumbleUpon or one of the other Share buttons.

I also invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.

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footer for all future blog posts showing picture of blog author Mark Armstrong, along with short bio and contact information

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