Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Texture Tuesday - Deer

I was doing a photo session with a good friend's children and these deer were out in the far field. Her mom says there are two babies and the mama but I was only able to spot one baby.  Do you see how it's little spotted side blends right in with the daisies?
I edited this one in Lightroom to even out the tone and increase the contrast (needed to be able to see the baby). I then brought it into Photoshop where I inverted kk_anna and applied it using Lighten. I lowered the opacity a bit and brushed out the deer so they would show clearly.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Getting Back in the Groove

The past few weeks I have been in a creative slump. I am someone who always had a project in mind, something that needs to be painted, or a photo technique I want to try. 

But the past couple of weeks...nada. Yes, I have projects to do but I was locked in indecision. I have a notebook where I jot down ideas. I added nothing to it. I have blog posts that are half written but I just couldn't summon the enthusiasm to finish them out. 

Why? I have no idea. But this Sunday Ken gave me a few uninterrupted hours with an empty house for "creative time."  

Okay, yes I took a 30 minute nap first. Then I decided I should do something mostly because it was expected. I reviewed a few photos and decided that was just killing time. 

So I broke out my paints and took down the little 6 inch canvases in the downstairs bath that were in need of a makeover. 

Once, I started painting I couldn't stop until I finished them. It was fun! I felt energized. Am I completely out of my slump? I'm not sure but I'm definitely working my way out. I have a few more canvases that I want to work on. Fingers crossed I have my groove back and will keep growing. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thoughts on Being in my 30's

My 20's

My 30's

So, as another birthday approaches I've been reflecting on my 30's (which are creeping closer to the end). Reflecting on how they differ from my 20's, what I've learned/realized and how I feel about this decade.

Here's a few things I've come up with:

  • Mini skirts are out (per What Not to Wear,  35 is the high limit)
  • Clothing found in the Juniors section is not flattering to my new body shape
  • The days of eating whatever I want and not gaining an ounce are over. Looking longingly at food causes weight gain.
  • Muscles don't bounce back, they just tear.
  • Good foundation wear is a must. Gravity sucks.
  • Lotion is another must if you don't want your hands to look 50.
  • SUV's are the new mini-van (despite a friend explaining they don't count because there is no sliding door)
  • I'm officially a soccer mom, spending half my freetime cheering on the sidelines.
  • I'm not nearly as concerned about how others think about me. I'm good with just being the best me.
  • I really thought I would have accomplished more in my career at this point.
  • I feel like I'm too old to dye my hair the really pretty, non natural colors (the whole pastel color trend is not for me)
  • I can no longer get through the day with only 4 hours of sleep.
I'm sure there's more but that's what I have so far.

I reached out to a few friends and asked for their feedback as well and here's what they added:

I defied the odds--I worked for three different banks that are no longer in existence...Had two more beautiful little girls...remarried to a great man!...Drive a jeep (one of my childhood goals in life). And doubled the size of my house AND my payment!

more confident to just be me. I no longer try to live up to others standards or lifestyles. Comfortable and happy in my chaotic life. Family life/Mom mode kicks in and takes over almost all aspects of life, little free time for self or my friends. Realizing that Forever 21 is a store only for 21 year olds and I should not have pants with words on my ass. Oh and over 35 requires stretching before any activity.

What do you think? Are there any thoughts you have about your thirties? What did you learn? What do you expect from your forties?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Totally Rad Sale

Hey, it's that time again. One of the rare Totally Rad sales. I personally LOVE their RadLab. You can try it out for free but don't wait so long you miss out on the sale. 

You can check out all the awesome examples here. There are some majorly talented photographers and skilled Photoshop users out there. 

Here's a quick peek at a photo I used my RadLab filters on. I love that they are all adjustable and you can layer as many as you want. I went extreme so you can see how much they can do but most often I use them to just add light or contrast.And sometimes the cool color effects. 



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Paintings in Process


Last year I took an online painting class and created several backgrounds for paintings. It was an amazing chance to try out new techniques and products. I ended up with a stack of canvases just waiting to be completed.
When I changed studio spaces I hung them up on the wall. Every so often, I'll take one down and finish it.
Here are a couple of my most recent and the corner where they are hanging. As you can see, there are still some unfinished canvases ready for inspiration.
Was in a particularly dark mood this date.
And a sneak peek at a letter in the works.

Guilty Pleasure - Fever Series

The past couple of weeks I've been re-reading a series of books that despite having read several times, hook my attention everytime. I came across them when Darkfever was the featured free book of the week. I couldn't stop reading and read all six books in a matter of days. Book 7 wasn't yet available but I pre-ordered it and it was worth the wait.

They are a guilty pleasure. Pure fiction, fantasy, an adventure, romance (yes, there is some sex). The characters are well-rounded and the story complex enough to draw you through the whole series. 

The series takes place in Ireland. It is about the world changing. You will learn about the difference between the bad Faery and the good Faery (who aren't really good, just less bad). Yes, it's another pre- and post-apocalyptic series. It can be a bit dark but is balanced with humorous interactions between the characters. 

The main character is a young southern raised college student who goes to Ireland to get answers about the recent murder of her sister. What she learns is unexpected and she struggles to find her place. The overall lesson: nothing is black and white, good or bad, and maybe, just maybe, Faeries do exist. 

If you haven't read the Fever series by Karen Moning, I would recommend you pick up the first book and see what you think.

If you have, please share what you thought of the series below. Did you love it or hate it? 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bright Eyes and a Big Smile

It was a beautiful sunny weekend and I had a need to get in some photos but Bailey was somewhere with a friend and Anique was out with her grandparents. Ken is not a willing photo subject so not to be deterred, I sent out a text to the neighbor (mom of Anique's best friend) and borrowed a kid.
Anique and M are inseparable. They have been fortunate to be in the same class the past two years and are in constant communication. It has been fun watching these two girls grow up together. Girls are most definitely different than little boys (I know. duh!)
M is almost always happy. She has an infectious laugh and is super high energy. You always know what's on her mind. I love that she is never afraid to ask questions.
Listening to the two of them together dreaming and planning always brightens my day. These two are going to conquer the world.
If you follow me on Facebook you saw a sneak peak of these last week. Here's the complete mini-session from our photos session in the yard.