Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where would you like to travel today?

I've been very busy working on canvases lately!  But I needed a little change today to rejuvenate some creativity within myself.  A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to spend some time traveling parts of Europe and, quite frankly, I have the travel bug again.  So I thought, I'll spend some time in Italy this morning!  Then I pulled out some old pictures from the trip that seems oh so long ago -- too long!  Then I did a little magic to make the picture have a little old world feel to it!  I like how it turned out...the best part is that I still remember this glorious gondola ride through Venice on an incredibly beautiful spring day!  Where would you like to travel to today?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Favorite Fridays - Topic: Summer Moment

Favorite Fridays

My favorite moments from this summer...

As many of you know, I just recently began my Artsy Canvas Girl venture.  It's official.  I have found a true passion!  I love creating masterpieces from the special moments in peoples lives. I know for me, I'm not a bad photographer, but when I am with friends and family, I am not always prepared to take pictures simply because I get caught up in the moment of being with them.  Often times I feel rushed and the picture doesn't turn out as well as I hoped (We are usually our own worse critic).  Usually, it's not until later that we realize the value of that moment. Losing my sister to cancer (she was only 43 when she passed) really made me aware of the importance of our time with one another.  That's why I like creating these special canvases.  

One of my favorite projects this summer was creating a canvas for a client whose grandfather passed away.  She wanted to have a portrait of her grandfather with her daughter.  I worked on a couple of photos.  Here is my favorite one...
Original Photo
Click on the image twice...and see her blue eyes!!!  
Loved the final results!
I loved spending time with my kids...

Rob and Aly

My daughter is growing up so fast!
The picture of her with her brother 

was taken at the beginning of summer.
Can you believe the transformation?
Last, but not the least, I have made some great times making new friends this summer in the blogging community!  

I am participating in some blog hopping today...Here is the link to those blog hops!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!!!

Love and blessings!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fun, Fun, Fun...

Sorry for not blogging lately... I've been very busy playing oops! I mean working on canvases and having so much fun.  Just a couple of my recent works...

"Chugga chugga choo choo! " is all I could think of while I was working on this one.  What a gorgeous photo -- another beautiful photo by my very talented colleague Vikki Dinh!
Photo courtesy of Vikki Dinh Photography
Then, I got busy working on the cutest little girl...Here is the original photo.
Photo courtesy of Vikki Dinh Photography
Then I added some magical photo editing and embellishments of meaningful words...

Did you know you can click on any of my images and they will enlarge? Click to enlarge!
Then I thought, let's play a little more.  So I cropped a panoramic view for fun.  I think panoramic canvases create a kind of modern or current feel to your photo.
Click to enlarge!
Finally, because she just has one of those absolutely gorgeous fresh looks, I tightened in a portrait crop.  I love this one the best!

Beautiful Kayla!
What do you think?  Have a wonderful fun, fun, fun day!

Love and blessings!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bloggy Award -- Feeling the Love

My First Blog Award

I received an award for blogging!  Wow!  I am so honored! Thank you, Dawn (at Life Lines Journaling)! Her blog is so inspiring.  She focuses on the importance of journaling your life.  I think it's the best way to really discover yourself and it has very therapeutic benefits as well.  My heart sang when she noted my blog as "living her authentic self." What a great affirmation! So, here are the rules for receiving this award.

1) Thank the person who gave you the award
2) Share 7 things about yourself
3) Pass the award along to at least 10 blogger's you think are fantastic
4) Contact the blogger's you picked and let them know about the award

Seven things about me:
1. My favorite drink is a chai latte.  I have one every morning and sometimes at bedtime...and then I may do an iced chai in the afternoon.  I like to try different chai teas and compare.  I'm kind of weird and serious about my chai. he he he
2. I graduated number one in my class in college -- in Computer Science of all things!  I don't know what I was thinking.  Me a geeky tech...guess I was still discovering myself.  Just goes to show you can do anything you put your mind to.
3. I absolutely love and adore my children.  They are definitely my biggest blessing from God! Huge!
4. My most favorite thing to do (for my 'me' time) is to take real up close pictures of flowers using my telephoto lens (Would love to get one of those fancy macro lenses).  I can spend hours doing it and it doesn't even matter if I show them to anyone.  There's some sort of peace and calmness -- it's like a connection with the divine when I am in that state of being.  I really feel a deep sense of joy -- a oneness with nature.
5. I am half japanese and half german-american.  My mother is a Nagasaki-bomb survivor.  In high school  I always felt awkward during discussions about WWII in history class.
6. My very favorite fragrance is called Pink Sugar.  It smells like cotton candy and makes me feel sweet.  I carry it with me in my handbag and sometimes I'll dab some on just to lift my spirits.  Love, love, love this fragrance.
7. My favorite movie is Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere -- the ultimate modern day Cinderella story.  I am a hopeless romantic and love romantic comedies.
Like the spectrum of a rainbow, there are so many wonderful blogs!  Here is list of blogs that inspire me everyday (in alphabetical order):
Envy My Cooking
Emily A Clark
Family and Life in Las Vegas
i heart faces
One Fine Wire
SewTamz Designs
The Girl Creative
The Lettered Cottage
The Paper Mama

Honorable mentions (because they have achieved classic status):

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Give a little kindness

A few years ago, I came across a website called the Daily Motivator.  I remember this moment because I was sitting in my closet (that was my pet name for my office at work).  I had reached a fairly high position in the corporate world with responsibilities of millions of dollars, yet I woke up each day to sit in an enclosed office with no window to the world.  I truly was NOT inspired and life seemed dull and unhappy.  I definitely was in survival mode.  It was crazy because I had, according to our society's expectations, everything you should want in life.  Anyway, I came across the The Daily Motivator website and what I read was amazing.  The wisdom and inspiration Ralph Marston shares in a very easy way was so uplifting, it inspired my spiritual search.  I remember feeling guilty to be on the web reading something that was not job-related and was spooked when my boss walked into my office.  Of course, I quickly exited the webpage and then got caught back up into my role and responsibilities and forgot all about that website.  I am an avid follower of the Lettered Cottage, and today Layla facebooked a link to today's post of the Daily Motivator.  It was crazy because it stirred in me a flashback and an amazing realization that my life has changed so dramatically.  Although by today's societal expectations, I may not be exactly successful...but to me, I've never been more happy and fulfilled and so 'me'.  Living authentically feels great!  So I took a little stroll around the Daily Motivator website today and what really caught my attention was this little video about kindness.  I know this message is true because I have actually experienced it!  Take a peek by clicking here.

In the spirit of Eat, Pray, Love -- one of my absolutely favorite reads of all time (probably because I was going through some very similar trials and tribulations as Elizabeth Gilbert when I came upon her wonderful book), I found this very interesting link offering to win a free mission trip to Africa.  I really believe life is suppose to be an amazing experience, so I have begun creating a list of things I want to experience in my lifetime.  When I saw this offer, I thought "wouldn't that be a great moment to experience!" I want to share this opportunity with you too!  Click on this link to enter! http://freeafricatrip.com/?fbid=mEE4umHTp9n By the way, spending a few months in an ashram in India would be really cool too!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tutus and Trunks

Tutus and trunks... The words whisper to me, "Remember the magical world of dress up."  Weren't those days wonderful -- days of imagination, dressing up, playing tea time, baking cakes (really mudpies on the front porch on a hot summer day).  When I received this beautiful portrait from Vikki Dinh (of Vikki Dinh Photography) it sparked those memories in my mind to life again... I fell in love with the beautiful child and could smell the salty ocean breeze and the touch of the wind blowing through my hair.  So I went to work with the hopes of adding my own magical touch to this beautiful portrait.  Hope you are having a magical day!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Canvas People Deal at Songberries Blog

Found this great deal from Canvas People out on the Songberries blog... http://songberries.blogspot.com/2010/08/canvas-people.html For those of you who may not be photo/techie savvy and would like to embellish your photo with meaningful phrases or color enhancements, I can do that for you!  I will create a digital file that you can send off to Canvas People to be printed with this offer.  Anyone interested...Let me know!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Florida Sunset...on Captiva Island

Remembering to Dream

My dream home - a beachfront home on an exotic island!  I like to dream big!

I am inspired today by Lindsay Shugerman who wrote about the importance of our dreams. She posted on Facebook a picture of a $2M home in Boulder, CO, even though it is a huge stretch for her at this time.  She believes in dreaming big and so do I.  I believe anyone who has made it big in their lives must have, at some point in their lives, mustered up the courage to dream big and believe in the impossible.  Lindsay says that it is easy to forget about our dreams.  I agree.  It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day activities.  She goes on to say that many days, weeks, months or even years may pass us by without giving any thought of our dreams.  For myself, I know that I didn't have the courage or the wisdom to follow my dreams in my youth...and only now have I began to have the courage to fulfill them. I encourage you today to  post your dream on your blog, Facebook, Twitter or anywhere that you will be inspired. It would be great to see and share those images together.  Take Lindsay's challenge with me today.  I believe we can create an energy of miraculous dream making together... Read more about this challenge by clicking on this link... http://radioactivecats.blogspot.com/2010/08/dream-house-why-not.html 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Love, Love, Love...

Here's my latest project... My client is giving this to her sister-in-law as a bridal gift.  What a wonderfully, meaningful gift!  I immediately fell in love with the quote she wanted to have inscribed on the canvas -- So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me.  Beautiful words that express true unconditional love.  Aaah, so romantic!  And isn't that what we all want deep down inside, someone who truly loves you to the depth that they actually feel like a part of us!  This was quite a fun project because my client wanted to color enhance the original photo.  Here are some color samples I provided early in the design process along with the original photo (You may click on each sample to see the image in a larger format).  You can see that there are some many options in creating a beautiful canvas of your life!

Original photo

Soft light

Dramatic B&W
Did you know that a traditional photo tends to lose its color within 10 to 20 years?  With the right combination of ink and canvas during the printing process, a canvas will hold its color for at least a hundred years.  It is a great way to preserve a beloved picture and, at the same time, the photo can be enjoyed in your home every day.
Love and blessings!
The Artsy Canvas Girl