Saturday, December 19, 2009

Found . . . Family Heirloom

It felt like Christmas came early this evening. As I unpacked boxes that have been packed since 2005 (we had planned to move 4 years ago) I found this family heirloom. This glass belonged to my maternal grandmother, who passed away a few years before I was even born. It was part of a set and my mom gave both my sister and I a glass as well as the one she kept for herself. As Christmas approached every year since I can remember my mom has made Jell-O Cookies and used this glass to imprint the starburst design on the cookie. I’m sure at some point I will pass this glass onto Ryleigh and this recipe. I thought I would share the recipe for one of our favorite cookies with everyone.

Pastel Jell-O Cookie

¾ C. soft butter
½ C. sugar
2 eggs
1 – 3 ounce package of Jell-O (we like to use Raspberry and Lime flavors)
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 ½ C. flour

Mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients. Roll into balls and flattened with a sugared (spray with PAM) glass. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Just what I needed on a Monday morning. Talking about doing something different and standing out this is it. This couple has awesome friends to go along with such a unique entrance. Like I recently told my daughter Ryleigh, sometimes you can't be afraid to be the rebel and standalone. Hope this brings a smile to your day too!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 05 - Project 03 {Texture & Frames}

Lovin' this! A little texture, soft light, frame and ta da I have photographic artwork. While in the garden at the Henry Ford Estate I couldn't resist shooting a photo of this pretty pink rose, just perfect. I added three layers of grungy texture, soft light on each layer and added this frame. The frame is actually flipped upside down, I thought it looked better. The possiblities are endless with what can be done to alter photos and make them art!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1st Family Portrait

Last evening was my 1st Family Portrait and I had a blast with the "First Family." Everyone looked great and was ready to play. Cynthia and Stephanie are planning a 60th birthday party for their Mom and as a surprise they got their families together for this photo shoot, lets hope little Bryce doesn't spill the beans. We met at the Henry Ford Estate which is just a beautiful setting. The gardens, river, meadows and home provided a fabulous backdrop for our shoot. Even though we had to fight off those pesty mosquitoes and dodge the goose poop we all had fun. What can you say, we tried everything to get little Bryce to give his mom Stephanie a kiss, bribes just didn't work and the same went for Aleea, she wasn't dishing out any lovin' to Cynthia either. Cynthia's son Kenneth was a trouper, playing with the kids, knoodling with mom and Aunt Stephanie. As we chatted last night, I mentioned to Cynthia that we have known each other 10 years; how time flies. Cynthia was my daughter's daycare teacher. Aleea, Cynthia's daughter also attended the same daycare and our girls became fast friends, this past year they were even soccer teammates. I was tickled to be able to spend the evening with them; here are some of my favorites and I hope Grandma is thrill with her "surprise." Shhhhh!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 05 - Textures

I am so excited, today was texture day. It is really amazing how adding texture to a photo can change the whole feel. In fact, photographing texture has become a recent obsession with me, even my 10 year old daughter points out textures and suggests that I take a photograph of it; you just never know when you will be able to use it. What I have done is added a folder to my ACDsee program and I have all my textures organized under that folder, so if I ever need texture I can easily find it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 04 - Clipping Masks

Wow, this is so easy! Actually, I think it would be alot of fun to make my own grungy clipping masks. With the clipping mask you open a new document, your photo and clipping mask. Then by sizing your photo to the desired size, overlay the clipping mask so that the edge of your photo is overlapping the mask. Your photo will now take on the shape of your mask when you hover between the two layers and merge them to become one. You can also move your photo layer around to achieve the effect/placement you want. Ta-da! Don't you love the grungy edges?

Day 03 - Colors and Tints

I just love what we learned on Day 03's lesson, colors and tints. Jessica showed us that by using the hue/saturation function that you can adjust the colors of your photo and add sepia tones to grunge it up a bit. As soon as I completed this lesson I sent this photo over to Costco for printing. In fact, I already have this photo framed and hanging on my living room wall. What do you think?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 02 - Brushes

Catching up, no way. For some reason I keep getting sidetracked. Here it is again, what should be Day 04, yet I'm on Day 02. I'm hoping to make a little headway tomorrow. The good thing is that Jessica Sprague's class is self-paced, that's right self-paced. At least I can work at my own pace without falling behind. All of the information will always be available, guaranteed how cool is that! Today's lesson was Brushes, I just love brushes. Brushes can be used in so many ways and hey why not start a collection of brushes, the choices are limitless. Brushes can be colored to match your project, resized, erased, rotated, if you can think of it you can do it with brushes. Here is my overdue homework for Day 02.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Win a new lens at MCP Actions!

Who wouldn’t want to win a new Tamron 18-270mm or 28-300mm camera lens? I do, so lets help each other for a chance to win just head over to and go to the MCP blog. All you have to do is follow the directions for a chance at this giveaway, good luck! Be sure and check out all the other goodies on MCP’s site!

Back to School - Day 1

Ok, I'm just a little tardy. Too much on my plate but I found some time this afternoon to listen and complete Lesson One of Photo Editing: Good to Great, from Jessica Sprague. Lesson 1 encompassed Exposure, Brightness and Contrast. Now, I have played around with these settings but I now understand what they can do. Here are a couple of photos that needed adjustments, otherwise they were pretty much "trash." What do you think? Thanks Jessica for saving my photos.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Photo Editing "Free" Class

How cool is Jessica Sprague? Jessica is so awesome, in order to celebrate her website's 2nd birthday she is offering a free class. Just hop on over to her site and click on the Got a Gift Code, yep it is as simple as that. Counting the days to July 6th, thanks, Jessica!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Moo Minicard - Fergie

Isn't this cute? This evening I was just surfin' and stumbled across this template from dawnmphotography. I couldn't resist playing around with it. Since my sister's birthday is on Tuesday I thought I could make her something special. I had taken a few photos of her four-legged furry daughter, Fergie and thought this photo would be adorable. Be sure and check out this link on dawnm's site.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Digital Endeavors

Neglect, yes that is all I can say for myself. These last few weeks have just been jam packed with activities, it just seems like it is never ending! Ryleigh's soccer practice two evenings a week and a game on Saturday. Throw in a few end of school year activities and a few other commitments and basically that leaves little to no time for bloggin'.

Finally, last evening I was able to attend Digital Photo Academy by Panasonic at The Park Shelton in Detroit with Stephen McGee. I had two workshops scheduled and we were able to combine them into one evening, Composition and Intermediate Photography. Over load! The cool thing is that I had brought my external drive with some of the photos and Photoshop work that I have done and Stephen critiqued them, gave me advice and saw in some of my photos something that I couldn't see, a good photo. I have to say that I was ready and receptive for the constructive guidance Stephen offered, I think I can let myself be more relaxed, confident and creative.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stormy Day

Busy, yesssss! It seems like every year when we approach the end of the school year our schedule is filled to the brim. With school events, soccer, work and family commitments I have to wonder how can I do anything else. Not only was it Saturday but the majority of the day happened to be warm and sunny, just a beautiful day. Early this evening thunderstorms were approaching our area. The sky was beginning to get dark blue and looked ominous, of course wouldn't photography be on everyones mind? It was mine and my sister happened to be visiting and also thought it would be a great idea to go out and shoot a couple of quick photos. I am very fortunate that my daughter Ryleigh is usually game to help mom out by modeling for me. We jumped in the car and headed over the a nearby cemetery, we were lucky that there were many old and beautiful headstones full of character. I pointed out a couple of headstones, made a few suggestions on poses and Ryleigh decided on her look. I think she did a fabulous job and I just love the results, of course I have to thank Mother Nature for lending us her stormy sky.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Did my homework!

As soon as I came home I went to work on my homework. I have to say that at least I have fun doing my homework and yet I still seem to learn things. This evening I did my Kimi Boo Homework #54 - 3D Effect. What this lesson does is take a flat image and give it a 3D effect. You can find this lesson on Photoshop Creative Elements

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday . . . Fergie Jane

Happy Birthday Fergie!
Just a year ago my sister lost her Labrador, Maggie Lauder after 13 sweet years. Maggie will always be in our hearts. Yes, I do miss the goose sounds Maggie use to make. Last May my sister decided that she wanted another Labrador, along came Fergie Jane. Yesterday was Fergie's 1st birthday and she came over to celebrate her puppy cake with us. My sister mentioned that she would like to have a photo of Fergie like a Andy Warhol. No problem! I just whipped up her request, I had an action from called graffi warhol. I think it came out pretty neat, now to figure out how to get some color to it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Think Small . . .

That’s right, think small. What? Haven’t we always been told to think BIG and reach for the stars? I was reading Lee Cockerell’s blog the other day and was inspired by a statement that he made. “If we all would think small, then we would worry about one transaction at a time to make it special for our customers.” Boy is he right. I think we often get so busy trying to fit everything into each day that we don’t take the time to make someone feel special. When it comes to setting goals, think BIG, like Lee mentioned when you are performing your role, think small.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It’s Your Lucky Day

I dug down in my Pot o’ Gold and designed a freebie to share with all you leprechauns. If you want your digital designs to be wearing of the green then scurry on over and click on this link Lucky be sure and kiss the blarney stone and leave me some love!

May the leprechauns be near you
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels
Smile upon you St. Patrick's Day.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grunging It Up

I have been working on this photo since January, well not really. Actually, I started this project when Kimi of posted her challenge on Photoshop Creative Elements forum, Homework #44 back in January. I jumped right in at knew the photo I wanted to use. It was a photo that I had taken this fall of my sister's Yellow Labrador puppy Ferguson Jane at 7 months old. Kimi provided us with a free grungy overlay and the directions, it was a personal choice on what I was going to erase and anything I might add to this project. When I started this project in January I went thru the motions and I was never really satisfied with the results, so I set it aside and today it hit me. Get back to work on this photo. I am all about accomplishments and what can I get off my plate, but I have to be totally happy with the end results or I just keep at it until I get there. Whew, I got there today! In the original photo there where a few distractions in the background, but by adding the texture and changing the opacity I basically made everything but Fergie disappear, I love it. Just for that extra touch I added some brushwork and Fergie's name and date. After I printed this photo I framed it and gave it to my sister; she was thrill and I am sure she will be gazing at it on her desk.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gettin' Some Action

Yes, I have been gettin' some action, I really mean some Actions. There is just so much to learn in Photoshop and I guess I just never really devoted much to playing around with the Action function until the other day, now I'm hooked!

My niece Nicole , sent me a link for her favorite Action website, check it out alot of cool actions and information. You can bet that I bookmarked this one and I will be following MCP Actions Blog from now on. I, of course had my own favorite Freebie Action website Rita the owner of Coffeteaphotography creates all of the Actions and shares them with everyone for Free, of course donations are always welcome. I think Rita does a great job with her actions and the information on her site, be sure download some of her freebies.

This is one of Rita's actions, the Perfect Portrait. I think the name says it all. This photo is now brighter and Ryleigh is glowing. You know I'll be using this action again.

Here is another one of Rita's actions. I think is kind of gave this photo an Orton effect, by softening the photo. At the end of the action there were a few different glazes to choose from, I chose the Strawberry Glaze, doesn't it sound yummy!

Thanks Niki for getting me some Action, I'm hooked. Let me know what you think of these photos that I played around with.

Friday, February 6, 2009

52 Photo Heart Mask

I hope that you will have fun with my 52 photo heart mask. After going thru all of my photos for this past year I wasn't able to come up with 52 photos to fill this mask. I know that is hard to believe, but I was being kind of picky on what photos I picked. Then I thought why not fill the empty spaces with some papers. Once I completed filling in the mask I went ahead and made my own background paper to coordinate (not included), I hope that you have fun playing with this and find many other uses for it. I look forward to see what you can do with this mask!

iTTY 52

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I saw the Doctor

Many thanks to the generous help of the BlogDoctor I was finally able to add a slideshow to my blog. It seems so easy to add a gadget, but there certainly are a few tricks to it. It took me four days to finally make it happen. Hope you enjoy some of my photography.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Catching up on Homework

I have to admit that I haven't been keeping up with my homework from Kimi Boo over at Photoshop Creative Elements, hopefully Kimi doesn't see that I have been playing Webkinz with my daughter on and off for the last few weeks. Yes, I do have my own Webkinz account, but I just love buying gifts for Ryleigh's Webkinz and sending them to her, goofy I know but she seems to love it. Anyway, back to catching up on my homework I found this lesson to alter a photo using a filter and a blend mode. Here is mine, I used Bas Relief and then Luminosity. I love how edgy my thistle flower looks, I could frame this one.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Designer . . . Valentine Day Cards

Ryleigh and I are heading to Walt Disney World for mid-winter break and will be gone for Valentine’s Day. Since Ryleigh will be missing her class Valentine party her teacher said she could bring her cards a few days before we leave. After searching the local store for just the right cards to give out Ryleigh was disappointed at what she was finding, nothing was striking her fancy or mine.

Always my little Miss Hallmark, Ryleigh asked me this evening if we could make her Valentine’s Day cards. Of course I jumped on this task immediately. I started with a 5 x 3 layer and I let Ryleigh guide me the rest of the way. Ryleigh chose red and pink as her paper colors. I showed Ryleigh how to use the color picker and we made a layer of each. Ryleigh knew exactly what she wanted; she asked me to grunge the layers so the red just peaked thru. I picked a brush, enlarged it and hit the layer twice, we immediately liked the results, but I wanted to tame it down so I decided to stroke the red layer with white and you can see the results, it was just what Ryleigh wanted. Then I suggested the Valentine Brush which I picked a lighter pink color to stamp with. Then we searched thru my fonts and Ryleigh chose the akaFrivolity, Miss Hallmark decided on white. Then at my suggestion I had Ryleigh write her message to her friends, so I took a photo and then extracted it from the photo and also turned her signature to white, matching the Happy Valentine’s Day.
I’m just put it together, but Ryleigh designed her Valentine card. I think she did a great job! When we were finally happy with our finished product, I showed Ryleigh how to use my photo printer and she printed out the 28 copies that she needed. Tomorrow we plan to run up to Target and pick up a package or two of cellophane candy bags. We will slide a picture and the candy that we purchased in the bag so that she can distribute her treats to her classmates. I think I better watch out, I might have to start sharing my digital stuff with my almost 10 year old daughter!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yes We Can

Yes we can . . . it’s time for a change. Since the inauguration you can feel the energy, the people of the United States are ready to embrace change. It was amazing to see everyone come together and be so moved by the events of the day and the hope that President Obama has given our country. We need to support his plan for change and trust that he guides us in the right direction.

On inauguration day I had my husband pick our daughter, Ryleigh who is 9 years old up from school so that she could come home for lunch and watch the inauguration. In the last few weeks Ryleigh had asked many questions about the inauguration, what better way to answer her questions than to let her see the events and importance of the day to our country. We spent most of the evening watching the highlights from the day and anxiously awaiting the appearance of the Obama’s at the first ball. Today was such a special day not only for our country but because I was able to share this with my daughter and give her hope that our new president will work towards making our country and world a better place for all of humanity.
I put this collage together as a way to remember what the inauguration means to me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I made it on DigiFree!

After freezing in sub zero temperatures these last few days, I have to say . . . I'm pumped up and ready to scrap. I just received notification that I was featured on DigiFree yesterday. DigiFree is a great place to find freebies. Check it out, thanks Digi Free!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year, New Header!

What do you think? I finally took the time today to redesign my blogger header and I couldn't be more pleased with the way it turned out. I wanted something a little funky, colorful and fun. I think I got it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Seek Love

I couldn't resist digi scrapping this photo of Ryleigh and Jack on Christmas morning. I was on and saw that Katie Pertiet was hosting a Journaling Challenge and had a freebie (Seek Love) to inspire everyone. When I returned to work on Monday I was showing a friend some photos from Christmas and she commented on how she really liked this photo. By the end of the day I knew what I had to do, I had the right Word Art and photo. I also had just downloaded another freebie kit from Nicole Young (After Midnight) found at Digital Scrapbooking Place. I think this was the quickest layout I ever did, I completed it within an hour . . . record time. I just love the results and Ryleigh is thrilled with it also, she wants a copy for herself, the highest compliment I could ask for, my 9 year olds approval!

Friday, January 2, 2009

My 1st Freebie . . . Wretched Sparkles

I did it!

Here it is my first kit, the long awaited Wretched Sparkles I'm really excited to share this with everyone and hope that you can find many uses for it. I sure would love to see what you do with it.

I worked on pulling this together and making sure everything was working properly, what encourage me to get this out was when I used the black sparkle paper behind my "Scary Santa" photo that I put on Jessica Sprague's December photo-a-day challenge. I had a few Spraguemates give me some positive feedback on my photo and the paper so here it is!

Here is Scary Santa.