Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy, Happy, Happy!

Yep, that's me! Mom at the computer again! Photo taken courtesy of my daughter -- a budding photographer!
Happy Holidays!  I hope everyone is having a truly wonderful holiday season... Most of all, I hope that you are taking the time during this crazy hustle and bustle time of year to really connect with those around you --- especially your loved ones! For me, I am so excited to be spending time with my kids.  I have endured a lot of change this year.  I think this was a year of stripping off the old and creating a whole new world.  That being said, I am incredibly excited about moving into a new apartment next week -- a place to call home and beginning a new job the first week in January -- in the book industry. No worries, I will still be doing my artsy stuff too! This year has been probably the most challenging year of my life and you know what, the very best part is that I survived.  I am taking each day as it comes.  I am picking myself up and dusting myself off, taking the lessons learned and applying them to my future and announcing to the universe that this is the year to SOAR! Did you notice the new background on my blog with the little birds?  That is my daily reminder of my mantra -- "to FLY, to SOAR, to let your HEART SING!"  I've got some ideas that I'm turning into goals and I am making 2011 MY YEAR! So farewell 2010! Wishing everyone a warm holiday season and the very best wishes in the new year!

Love and blessings!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Photo Editing Fun | Fix It Friday #81

Another Fix-it Friday!  Such a truly beautiful romantic photo contributed by Michelle Johnson.  Michelle's talent is beyond words.  The SOOC was so perfect that it didn't need much of an edit.  So, the artist in me decided to enhance the romantic mood of the photo.

My edit

Here is the SOOC (see what I mean about Michelle's perfection?! :))

Take a look at all the great edits at

Also, I don't think I really explain well what it is I do and what my passion is...  Take a peek at this article out on Design Aglow.  It really makes a statement of how you can take special photos and really make them a part of you and your home.  This is what I want to help my clients do! Enjoy your weekend!  Back in Florida this week and survived 21 inches of snow and below zero temperatures in Minnesota last week!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Photo Editing Fun | Fix It Friday #80

Happy Friday!  It's another fun morning at!  This week's photo challenge is a beautiful photo taken byJessica Paige from One Willow Boutique.  Love this shot!

My Edit

Jessica Paige's SOOC
Go take a look at all the amazing edits by the iheartfaces community!  Wishing everyone a warm and wonderful weekend! A forecast of snow and below zero temperatures for this weekend in Minnesota!

Love and blessings!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Self Portrait

The photo challenge this week at iheartfaces is self portrait.  Here is a photo of me and my dog Wookie!  This was a challenging photo sesssion.  I picked this photo because Wookie looks so wonderful in all her glory.  She's a dog with an attitude and knows she's beautiful!  Love the way she striked a pose!

Check out all the other great self portraits!

Love and blessings!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Photo Editing Fun | Fix It Friday #79

This week's photo is a beautiful picture of her daughter taken by Dana Suggs.  Isn't she beautiful!


Visiting my sister in Minnesota from Florida!  It's 16 degrees with snow today! BRrrr!!!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SewTamz Designs - Twice as Nice Giveaway at Iheartfaces!

I've blogged about my sister's fabulous camera straps and camera strap covers in the past.  Wonderful designer fabrics, luxurious plush minky and super padded and durable for that heavy DSLR that you love like your first born child!  Today she launched a giveaway over at my most favorite photo blog of all -- iheartfaces!  You don't get just one but TWO camera strap cover sets (which includes her original and unique dual lens cap sleeve)! Isn't she twice as nice!!! Anyway, don't miss your chance to win...head on over to iheartfaces for all the details!

Good luck and best wishes!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Photo Editing Fun | Fix It Friday #78

Yay! It's Friday and another opportunity to edit a photo!  I really do love Fix-It Friday challenges!  This week's photo has been contributed by Susan Keller -- a wonderful picture of her boy with bokeh and all!  Thank you Susan!
Recipe using CS3:
  1. Brought photo in using camera raw.  Adjusted Balance White using the soft white patch in his shirt.
  2. Used Render filter -> Lighting Effects -> Omni lighting type (negative 35 and ambiance 8) to create radiant light on his face.  Then masked out some of the darkness the omni light created in the background to soften the dramatic contrast because I wanted a softer vintage look.
  3. Used Florabella Hieress from the Luxe collection at 68% (turned off "dull pop" and "gradient vignette" layers) and used Florabella's center fill light action at 40%.
  4. Next, I added this beautiful texture available for free at Sarah Gardner Photography! then masked out his skin.
  5. Added a meaningful quote using Adler font from
  6. Placed the photo in this vintage-like frame (downloaded long ago at  Resized for the web at 700 pixels and used the unsharp mask.

Would love your feedback and comments!
I am always looking to improve!

Go check out all the other photo edits!
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Love and blessings!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

iheartfaces Weekly Challenge - Silhouette

This week's photo challenge theme at iheartfaces is silhouette.  I took some snapshots at sunset while at Sanibel Island this summer.  Everyone was captivated by the sunset and the beautiful colors of the sky.

Take a peek at all the other great photos at iheartfaces!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Love and blessings!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Celebrate Your Journey

I am honored to participate in celebrating the one year anniversary of Dawn Espelage's journal writing workbook, "Life Lines: Celebrate Your Journey."  I met Dawn through the blogging community and expressed an interest in journaling.  She sent me her workbook that has helped me to be more disciplined in making time for myself to journal and reflect and to really self-explore.  I strongly believe that journaling is a conscious way of creating the life you want.  I found Dawn's personal story heart touching and I honor her courage to share such intimate details of her life.  Her kindred spirit about life encourages others to live authentically.  Dawn was kind enough to allow me to interview her about her book "Life Lines" and journaling.

How did you come up with the idea of writing your book "Life Lines" 

The exercises themselves are based off a workshop that I teach called “Celebrate Your Journey” and I had many workshop participants asking for a workbook to go along with the class.  When I started writing, the preface just flowed in providing the rationalization for the book and ended up a “mini-memoir” if you will with some of my personal writing as examples although that wasn’t my original intention.

How is it that you began journaling? 
One of those frozen moments, remembering one of my favorite Christmas gifts, from when I was 12.  I received a diary and it was the most beautiful, magical gift - full of inviting, blank, lined pink pages with a champagne cover, embossed raised letters and a lock and key.  I’ve been journaling ever since.  
What tips do you have for those who want to begin journaling? 

Throw rules out the window, forget perfection, grammar and spelling and just pour your thoughts onto the page.  Ensure your privacy so that you are confident that you are writing for yourself and get to your truth quicker.  Move beyond the daily recap ~ write about emotions, values and good times as well.  Play in your journal ~ write silly poems (I once wrote an ode to the butterscotch milkshake), collage, doodle or sketch, string words together and see where they lead.
How has journaling impacted your life? 
Journaling has been my lifeline ~ it’s a comfortable friend, a place to explore, heal, a journey of self-discovery, part of my spiritual and creative path.
What benefits does journaling provide?
All of the above.  Journal writing can increase self-awareness, self-esteem and tap into creativity.  Research has also shown health benefits ~ it strengthens the immune system, decreases stress and it’s physical side effects and has been shown to decrease symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

A FREE GIVEAWAY! You have six chances to win something GREAT! 

As part of this celebration, Dawn is giving away a treasure chest of goodies! Enter for a chance to win her journal writing workbooks, Life Lines: Celebrate Your Journey and Celebrate Your Journey ~ A Monthly Planner and Journal Companion, a journal,  a notebook and pen, paper scraps and stickers for art journaling, a lavender sachet, bath salts, body lotion & hand gel.  She is also giving away FIVE copies of her workbook: Celebrate Your Journey ~ A Monthly Planner and Journal Companion!

How do you enter? Head on over to 
Dawn's Blog for the details!

Dawn Espelage has been a social worker for 13 years.  In addition to facilitating groups for journaling, stress management, anger management and coping skills, Dawn has taught parenting classes and LifeBook classes.  Dawn has completed a two year management development program through Radford University, received a LEAD certificate from UVA, has an Associate's in Mental Health, a Bachelor's in Social Work and is working on her graduate degree.  Dawn is also a certified instructor through The Center for Journal Therapy. 

Dawn has presented at the Healing through Creativity Festival in October 2009 and at Story Circle Network's National Conference in February 2010.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Photo Editing Fun | Fix It Friday #77

Another Fix-it Friday! Today's photo is a wonderful photo taken by Michelle Johnson of her beautiful daughter during a quiet moment.  Thank you Michelle for contributing this photo.  Your daughter is adorable!

Edit #1

Edit #2

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!  Go to check out all the other great edits at!
Love and blessings!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Story | Fall

I've lived in South Florida for 21 years. I always feel blessed to live in South Florida during the winter -- it really is the most beautiful time of year in Florida. However, the "not-so-fun" part of living in Florida is missing all the beautiful changes of the seasons. This year, I was blessed to spend a few weeks in Minnesota with my sister during October. I'd forgotten just how beautiful fall is.  It took this snapshot of willows at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. What a wonderful place to really enjoy nature!  Check out all the other beautiful photos at iheartfaces.

Love and blessings!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Photo Editing Fun | Fix It Friday #76

It's Friday again!  Admittedly, my favorite day of the week!  It's that day of the week that kind of sort of  says, "Yes!  It's okay to wind down and prepare for a glorious weekend!" Plus, I look forward every week to Fix It Friday at iheartfaces!  Thank you Susan Keller of Susan Keller Photography for contributing this gorgeous photo of your littlest dude!  What a cutie! ...and thank you so much for all the tutorials and tips you provide.  You are such a wealth of knowledge and inspiration!

Edit #1 - Adjusted the color balance to reduce the orange cast.

Edit #2 - Used Florabella Ambrosia action (85% opacity) from the Luxe collection. Added a texture (using overlay) and masked texture from the face.

Edit #3 - For fun used the same texture using color burn (55% opacity) for drama - left the texture in full with no masking of the face - I liked the artistic quality the texture gave to the overall picture.


Have an incredibly special weekend!

Love and blessings!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Wouldn't it be a wonderful day to get lost in nature with camera in hand with the primary purpose of capturing the essence of God's creation?  Everyday, I see beauty everywhere.  On Saturday, I woke up to a foggy morning and took some snapshots.   Then I tried my hand at editing one of my favorite shots. Let me know which one you like best!


Love and blessings!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fix-It Friday #75 | Photo Editing Fun!

Another Fix-it Friday at iheartfaces...celebrating the wonderful colors of fall!  Here is my edit for this week! I used the 'London' Florabella action from the Luxe collection to pull out the beautiful colors!

Take a peak at all of the other wonderful edits at iheartfaces!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!!!

Love and blessings! Kathy oxoxo

Friday, October 8, 2010

It’s Constructive Feedback Friday! -- at Iheartfaces!

My edit
In lieu of their typical Fix-it Friday, Iheartfaces is hosting a Constructive Feedback Friday where photographers in the Iheartfaces community can give their feedback and tips on how to fix or edit your photo.  I edited this photo of my daughter, Alexandria.  As I explained in my last post, this session was taken just before dusk and we felt rush.  Nevertheless, the whole session came out slightly blurry... :P  I was soooo bummed.  I want to try to salvage at least one of the photos from the session.  Unfortunately, I don't have a flicker account.  (Well I kind of do...but I'm embarrassed because I don't know how to use it!) here is the SOOC.

I would love, love, love your feedback and edits!

Have a joyous day!  Love and blessings!  Kathy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Love Your Shot! | Link-Up!

Found another fun website for photographers called 'love that shot'... (they've got the cutest blog button!) They are hosting a photo challenge called "Your favorite faces" and the winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from Florabella Actions and Textures which I love, love, love!!!  So... I thought I'd give it a shot! (no pun intended...hee hee!)  I recently did a little photo session with my daughter for fun.  We had a little Mother-Daughter outing to CityPlace here in West Palm Beach, FL (great shops, restaurants and a little bit of culture -- for Florida).  It was near dusk and the lighting was low and my daughter was a little embarrassed to be posing in front of people so I rushed and... the whole session was a little fuzzy and I was totally bummed.  But I still loved the photos because the essence of her spirit is captured in them. Instead of scrapping the whole session of photos, I decided to have fun and play with a couple of the photos.  They may not be 'technically' wonderful, but I can make them artistically beautiful...something special and creative of one of my most favorite faces of daughter, Alexandria.

So I took this photo that was a little fuzzy and sharpened it a little more to increase the quality of the photo.  Cropped out the statue to the right and then applied a freebie action that I fell in love with called Creamy Butter (created by Gina Miller that I found at The Lilypad).  It really does add a little creaminess to the skin! I almost stopped there...she's just so darn adorable...but the out-of-focus face made me crazy so...I decided to make the photo look painterly...

Beautiful creamy skin!
I added a soft green mineral texture set to overlay, masked out her face and then, with a paintbrush texture tool, added some sweeping texture strokes to create sweeping movement around the face.  The final results!

Beautiful Alexandria!

Close up shot of the texture
Posting photos on the web makes me crazy because a lot of times you lose the details of the photo (and I am such a details kind of girl! LOL).  So here is a closeup of the texture of the face. was fun to play and since Photoshop allows you to do everything in layers, whatever you don't like you just simply remove that layer and your right back to the beginning with the ability to start a new creation.  Gotta love it!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day.  Make time to play today!