I did it on purpose by accident

I have a “love/hate” relationship with Photoshop.

Actually, it’s more of a “I love you / you are a filthy piece of fecal matter, I hope you burn at Satan’s smelly feet in the gallows of hell / I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, please please please don’t be mad at me / forget what I just said, you are a scum sucker / oh my God, I could kiss you right now, you magnificent beast / WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING /  please do that again, whatever it was / I loathe you” relationship.

For every good thing that I’ve managed to create in Photoshop, there are 19 very bad things I’ve conjured up. These aberrations of nature I quickly stuff into the dark recesses of my hall closet, to keep company with all the other abominations that have peppered my life, things like the perm I got six years ago, my entire wardrobe from the eighties, a gym membership and let’s not forget Chris Zapolous, the walking advertisement for GHONORREA ISN’T THE ONLY HIDEOUS THING THAT COMES FROM UNSAFE SEX whom I dated back when I was stupid.

My hall closet is home to many a good intention gone bad. If I don’t stop it with my good intentions, I’m going to have to build a huge addition onto the closet. Good gracious, it’s lucky I don’t date anymore because I don’t think they make building permits for entire galaxies, do they?

So anyway, sometimes Photoshop does what I want it to do. And sometimes it doesn’t.

And sometimes, I feel compelled to go a little whackadoodle and start randomly clicking everywhere in Photoshop with no rhyme or reason or inclination to stop anytime soon and Photoshop gets all flustered and discombobulated and scared and runs around in circles and hyperventilates until it finally shrieks STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT and spits out something that I clearly had no intention of creating but will take all the credit for anyway because, had I been in my right frame of mind and not stoned out of my mind on Double Stuf Oreos, I would have totally created it on my own to begin with.

I swear!

No shit.

See? I swear!

helena before

A lifetime ago, I opened this photo in Photoshop. That’s my youngest on her first day of kindergarten, four years ago. Doesn’t she look sweet and totally huggable and deserving of all those mommy kisses I plastered all over her face two seconds before the bus came to whisk her away to the Land of Little Desks?

Get those kisses in now, mommies. Because it’s only a matter of time before they stop rubbing them in and practically scrape their skin right off their faces trying to rub them off. And by the time they’re in high school, the only kisses they’re interested in come at the end of a tongue jammed down their throat with a person designated as SMOKIN’ HOT attached to the other end of it.

I know. It’s awful, isn’t it? Here, take a swig of some brain bleach. It won’t get out the entire image seared into your memory, but it will help. And if you’re lucky, the fumes will simply make you pass out and maybe you’ll hit the corner of your kitchen table, split your head open, sustain massive blood loss and suffer from amnesia for the rest of your life.

One can only hope, right?

helena before

So anyway, this photo. I know it’s hard because they might as well be mooning you with their hairy bottoms but try to ignore my horrendous photo skills. I am a photography idiot. I think this photo is overexposed. Underexposed? Let’s just call it a little bit of both since I have no idea what I’m talking about anyway.

All I was trying to do was fix the shadows on her face and then create a simple digital layout with it. That’s all. I clicked on a bunch of tools in Photoshop and dragged stuff here and there and everywhere. I pulled sliders up and down and sideways and diagonally. I changed something one way, switched it back and then went in a totally different direction. I got all emotional with every failure and donned on my drama queen tiara. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I do the simplest thing? I used to be smart. When did I become dumb? Was it when I got the perm? Why did life hate me so? And Photoshop simply and calmly allowed me to have an emotional breakdown. It let me wear myself out, knowing I would inevitably get so mad that I’d probably cry and stamp my foot and howl at the moon and ultimately put on my angry face and go sulk in the corner.

Photoshop knows me so well. I swear, if it were taller and snored like a diesel engine, I’d be hard pressed not to call it Nate while yelling something along the lines of WHY THE HELL DO WE HAVE TWO THOUSAND LIGHT SWITCHES IN THIS HOUSE AND WHICH ONE IS FOR THE KITCHEN?

But then, as I sometimes do when I’m slowly spiraling into psychosis by spending too much time messing around in Photoshop and forgetting to feed my family or tinkle, I have a happy accident.

I hope

I love happy accidents. They don’t involve urine and they’re so unexpected and bring with them so much joy. Like chocolate hazelnut truffles that magically fall out of the sky. Or a chubby little baby that magically falls out of your uterus, proving beyond all measure of a doubt that it was not indigestion and that paint swatches weren’t the only samples your husband forgot to drop off nine months ago.

I couldn’t replicate this layout if you paid me a million dollars. And if you know me, you know I’m not exaggerating because embellishing the truth causes my skin to turn blue and then green and finally bright red before it molts in ginormous bloody clumps.

But let’s be absolutely positive about this, shall we? Because do we really need any more uncertainty in these uncertain times? I didn’t think so. Let’s do our part for the good of humanity, OK? Send me one million smackaroonies and I’ll try my hardest to duplicate this layout. I’ll even give you monthly updates! Weekly, if you find it necessary to be anal about it.

Doesn’t that sound like loads of fun?


photo tile

This wasn’t a happy accident. A couple of years ago, I knowingly and, with malice aforethought except totally without the malice part because that just sounds mean, did willingly commit Helena’s image to tile.

And then yesterday, I purposely posed the tile on my coffee table and voluntarily took a photo of it for purposes of this blog post.

And then of my own free will and volition, I uploaded it to my blog and published it.

It was exhausting.

I don’t think I’ll do anything on purpose anymore. Happy accidents are much more fun, if you can get past the potential breaks with reality.

When was your last happy accident?



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22 thoughts on “I did it on purpose by accident”

  1. Avatar

    If your looking for a simple photo editor for under/over exposure go to google and type in Picasa
    Its simple for the technologically impaired (like myself) and awesome!
    another good site is (it has cool overlays for pictures)
    But I love that tile!! It is beautiful! What an awesome happy accident.
    My last happy accident was when I tore my favorite skirt then made the tear into a slit! its sassy now!

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    Holy Wow. That is amazing. I wish my accidents turned out like that.
    Well, okay, one accident is pretty fabulous but we don’t tell her she was an accident….can’t afford the therapy bills.

  3. Avatar

    Wow–that first paragraph is hilarious! I, too have love/hate relationship with PS. Mainly with the lasso tool. lol.

    I love the end result– just beautiful. =)

    Stopping by from SITS!

  4. Avatar

    omg and omg!!! what perfection you created w/that picture. hmmm….i have the same love/hate relationship. thanks for giving me the guts to randomly click. i too used to have a brain and could figure things out. i must’ve enhanced my blondeness way too many times.

  5. Avatar

    ahhhh..You know how much I LOVE that!! You also know that everything I’ve EVER done decent in PS is due to a accident 😀 It gets down right embarrassing! Every time someone wants to know how I made something I honestly can’t tell them!

  6. Avatar

    First of all, “Here, take a swig of some brain bleach” is so f*cking hysterical that I seriously peed myself- lucky for me that I obsessively wear pantyliners every day. The phrase has officially become a part of my verbal repertoire and I am putting you on warning: if you haven’t already patended it, I may just steal it as the name for an anthology I might one day write. (Then again most of my writing projects are followed by phrases like, “I might one day write” so I’m not sure exactly how hard you have to worry about that.

    Then, since there are few things I love more than the goosebumps of a well-timed emotional roller coaster, just as I was recovering from laughing, you threw down that amazing artwork you created by accident, and well…bravo, my friend, on all of it! Great post!

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    OMG that is the MOST stunning accident I have EVER seen. I would LOVE to create an acccident like that! Beautiful!!
    Oh, and I’ve missed you friend. So glad to be back to blogging and blog reading again!!

  8. Avatar

    I love serendipity too.

    In case you want to do that again (or anyone else), simply sepia tone, increase the contrast and lighten your image (in any order). That will create the overexposed result you achieved!

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    Oh you are such a tease…

    You knew all along exactly what you were doing and needed some damn good blog fodder to fill out the post. You justneeded to work poo, food and sex into a post.

    I’m on to you…

    (good job from a photoshop geek – and no, no idea how you did it either)

    Stan at Scrappers Workshop

  10. Avatar

    Wow, Andrea, that’s awesome! I still can’t figure out how Digital Image works to get it to do anything I want… Keep thinking of switching to Photoshop but then remind myself I still won’t know what the hell I am doing, so why spend the money…

  11. Avatar

    How come my accidents never turn out that beautiful??? I’ve stopped trying to be creative with my pics a long time ago. I can go as far as getting rid of the red eye but that’s pretty much where I leave it!!

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