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!