Feliz Navidad! Amber back for the last time today, can you believe it’s already
Day 11 of our 12 Days of Christmas and Holiday Cheer? Only one more day to go.
Join me today as we travel to Mexico to learn about Las Posadas and
then stick around for an awesome tutorial by Anna Aspnes!
First though, Sue has a wonderful offer for you:
I’m taking you to Mexico today, where on December 16th,
they’ll be celebrating Las Posadas for nine days! Unofficially, the holidays in Mexico begin with the saint’s day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on 9. December, but decorations can appear any time after the Day of the Dead on 2. November.
Starting on 16 December, the posadas start. Every evening until the 24th, Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem is reenacted. These are a novenario, or nine days of religious observance and are based on the nine months that Mary carried Jesus. The word posada means ‘lodging’ in Spanish:
“Traditionally, a party is held each night in a neighborhood home. At dusk, guests gather outside the house with children dressed as shepherds, angels and sometimes, Mary and
Joseph. An angel leads the procession, followed by Mary and Joseph or by guests
carrying their images. The adults follow, carrying lighted candles. The
“pilgrims” sing a song asking for shelter, and the hosts sing a reply, finally
opening the doors to the guests and offering hot ponche, fried rosette cookies
known as buñuelos, steaming hot tamales and other festive foods.” –source mexconnect
In the U.S., the Posada is usually celebrated on one night only, but as in Mexico, ends with a piñata in the shape of the Christmas star!
In both counties, the procession marches to the different houses in the neighborhood and is turned down at each one until they reach the site of the night’s party where they are finally welcomed inside, and the party can start!
In Mexico, the last posada, on 24 December, is followed by a midnight mass.
Photo of the Day
The Photo of the Day today is Advent Wreaths, in honor of Las Posadas and waiting for Christmas, or holiday foilage. As always, be creative! The photo challenge is open to interpretation, so go out and have fun with it! I have a few examples for you to help get you started: How about a poinsettia tree, the candles on an advent wreath, gerbera daisies in holiday colors, or even a tree made from sparkly tinsel? Heck, a witch-hazel tree even caught my eye at the nursery one year when we were shopping for our Christmas Tree!
I am excited to share an awesome tutorial with you today. Anna Aspnes kindly agreed to let me share her Magical and Dreamy FotoEffect tutorial with you on the blog. It is so easy to follow her instructions and you won’t believe the amazing effects you get on grainy or blurred pictures when you are done, trust me, I’ve already given it a go!
Tutorial – Magical and Dreamy FotoEffect by Anna Aspnes
Originally seen in AnnaNews | November 19th
‘Tis the season for magic!
I always find myself using more Magic Sparkles at this time of year and my layouts tend
to adopt a dreamier look and feel. In this latest layout I applied a photo-editing technique which I haven’t used in a REALLY long time. This procedure adds light to any photo and results in a soft and subtle appearance. It works well on grainy captures or slightly blurry photos. Here’s how:
1. Open the photo of your choice and position on your layout.
2. Duplicate the photo layer by dragging it to the New Layer icon in the Layers
palette. You can also go to Layer> Duplicate Layer.
3. Apply a screen blending mode to the duplicate photo layer.
4. Repeat step 2 by duplicating the photo layer again.
5. Apply a Soft Light blending mode. In the Layers palette you should have 3 photo layers with 3 different blend modes: Normal, Screen and Soft Light (from bottom to top in the Layers palette).
6. Select the photo layer with the Screen blend mode applied (middle layer in the Layers
palette) and apply a Gaussian Blur. Go to Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur. Move the Radius slider from right to left to increase the blur.
7. Adjust the opacity of the photo layers with the Screen and Soft Light blending modes applied.
Experiment with different opacity levels and values for the Gaussian
Blur filter to achieve multiple magical and dreamy results. An oldie but a goodie!
A big Thank-You to Anna for sharing that with us! As for you readers, go out and give it a try, then come back tomorrow for our last day of Holiday Cheer!