Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Miss Abigail Amy...


Long time - no blog! It has been BIZZY around here! Mom (MamaFab) was down for a nice long weekend, so I took some time to just relax and enjoy her visit. This week, it is BACK TO THE RAT RACE! Except it will be a short week for me, I have Friday off. Does a 4-day work week count as a "rat race"??? Hmmm...

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to "practice" my photography skills (do I even qualify as having skills yet???) on my friend Sara (HI SARA!) and her darling new baby girl, Miss Abigail Amy. HOW CONVENIENTLY FABULOUS to have this sweet baby girl to practice photography on! Sara is FAB to help me out by having a new baby, lol. Methinks this won't be the last you will see of this little darlin'!

Here are a few of my favorites...Isn't she sweet? ENJOY!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Puttin' it to the test...

Lunch blogging today! It's my BIRTHDAY today - whooHOO! It's possible that I have been goofing off a *little*... heh heh...

Did you visit the Pioneer Woman's Blog this past weekend? Are you still over there, reading about Ree, her four "punks", and life on the ranch? Did you try the Marlboro Man Sandwich???

I had a busy weekend - we had Mad's swim party Saturday night, so there was LOTS of GIGGLY GIRLS at the pool! I didn't want to bring my big "fancy" camera, so I made do with my Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 point and shoot. It gets the job done, baby! And I love the 12x zoom! Off topic a bit, but since I bought my Canon 30D, I have really come to appreciate all the "bells and whistles" that are on this Sony point and shoot. I wasn't really using this little camera up to it's full potential! Now that I know a little bit about photography (lots to learn still, lol) I am glad that my P&S camera has some creative modes and settings to work with...

ANYHOW... I wanted to mess around with the Pioneer Woman Action Set, so here are some more "real life" examples of how these can help you out in photoshop.

Here is my SOOC shot of the girls at the pool - yeppers, that is the unflattering, dull indoor swimming pool lighting. Nice, huh? Notsomuch. It probably wouldn't have been so bad, but it was a cloudy and gloomy and snowy stretch of weather we have been in.

Here is my edited version, cropped just a smidge, and applied the Pioneer Woman Fresh and Colorful action. Very subtle, but very nice color improvement. Not too much...JUST RIGHT.

And for another play - here is the same photo, with the same Fresh and Colorful action, PLUS the Pioneer Woman Boost action applied over top of that, and then finally the Quick Edge Burn action. See how the Boost action gives it even more vivid color saturation? I like it. A LOT! And the Quick Edge Burn makes the "busy" background seem to disappear, and the focus is on the subjects.

What do you think? I think I will have a *LOT* of fun playing with these actions, in lots of different combinations! Thanks Pioneer Woman, for this great set!

Hope you all are having a FABULOUS DAY!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Are you lookin' for some ACTION?

ROFL. How's that for a title to GRAB YA' and REEL YA' IN? Heh heh heh...I'm talkin' about PHOTOSHOP ACTIONS here people! Git yer minds outta the gutter!

Have you been reading The Pioneer Woman's blog? If you are new to The Pioneer Woman, grab your cuppa (joe, or whatever your sipper of choice is) and settle in for some FUN READING and then allow time for daydreaming about life on a ranch with cute cowboys and FABULOUS eats!

I've been a fan for awhile now, and she has just reworked her website, and it's now really super duper easy to surf the various sections. I love her recipes (even though I don't cook, lol) and am DYING to try that Marlboro Man Sandwich! Does that not look OVER THE TOP YUMMAY??? I think I could rope a steer if I had a few bites of this sandwich. (Okay - maybe not, lol).

ANYWAYS...I have been spending some time in her photography section, she has a LOT of great photoshop tips if you are a newbie. I have learned a lot of little tricks for improving my photos just from reading her blog. And yesterday she introduced her Photoshop Action Set (and I love that it's called "Set 1", which *totally* implies that there will be more! YIPPEE!) Sorry though, the actions are not available for use in Photoshop Elements, but stay tuned, because she is working on an action set that *will* work in Elements. The best part? YEPPERS. This action set is FREE. Is that not FABULOUS??? Be sure to leave her some love if you download the actions! (And no - I'm not affiliated with her, just a fan of her blog...)

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Now, I've been using various photoshop actions for awhile now, and I am BY NO MEANS an expert, but please be aware that you will achieve varying results depending on what your original sooc (straight out of camera) photo looks like in terms of exposure and etc. Actions will not "fix" every problem. They should enhance your original, which hopefully already has a lot going for it! Have fun playing around with them, and then make use of the "Start All Over" action that she has included in the set, which will take your photo back to it's original state, if you need to. LOVE THAT ONE! Thank you. This concludes the public service announcement portion of the program. Ü


P.S. Here is my example, using the Soft and Faded action included in the set on one of the photos from yesterday...what do you think?

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Catch and Release"...

Just a quickie post today - I have a *GIANT* to do list today (what's up with THAT?), but I wanted to share these pics my brother emailed me this week! Now I can't take credit for the photography, I live too far away for that, but I couldn't resist playing with the images in photoshop. (Still working on my PP skills, you know!)

This first one - OMGAWD! Would you not *die* to have to reel this in??? Since the season isn't open yet, these fish had to be released (after the photo op of course!) but he figures this sturgeon was in the neighborhood of 60 inches long, and weighed between 50-60 pounds. Ummm...thatsalottafish! After fighting it for 30 minutes, he said he could barely lift it for the picture, lol. For my edit, I cropped and straightened the original image, (the shorline was crooked, I'm sure due to the boat motion) and then ran an action on it to improve the color. It was a bright sunny day, so there wasn't a lot I could do for the hat shadow across the face, but I think it works in this photo, and moves the focus to the fish! What do you think?

For this one, I just had to crop out the nearby boats, and then I ran the same photoshop action (it's called "Whitney's Wonder" and is a fave of mine) to improve the color. I think I will have to have these printed out...

That's it! I hope you catch some keepers today!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Springtime in MN...

Good Golly Miss Molly! So I've been a bad blogger this week - aaack! Nothing major going on in my life, just the usual chaos combined with the tax deadline (I work in the accounting field) makes for not a lot of spare time! Sorry for the lack of blog posts this week!

Let's talk about Springtime in MN. Ummm...what is spring you ask? We are all asking the SAME THING! Clearly, spring means that you bundle up in your winter coat and plan for winter storms! We are under *YET ANOTHER* winter storm warning. Pretty much the entire state will be getting some snow. GRUMBLE GRUMBLE. Mother Nature is packin' a punch this spring! So that got me thinking about MN weather. YUP - we are proud of our "hardiness" here, our ability to withstand 60 degree temperature swings gives us all something to brag about for sure. Where else can you wear a winter parka over your shorts? LOL. I seriously saw that last week - high schoolers you know - they aren't out of bed early enough for the weather report, I remember those days too well...

Please see THIS POST for a funny snowman picture. If we get the FOOT OF SNOW I just heard on the radio, I just might make this snowman sculpture on my patio...roflol. And on that note, I just can't complain about it anymore! Even I am sick of listening to myself, haha! Spring will get here, it comes every year, so I'm pretty sure it will show up eventually! Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying the weather - no matter what your weather is!

Page Credits: Quick Fill #31 by Heather Ann Designs, Papers and stitches from Autumn Boy kit by Shabby Miss Jenn, Old Typewriter font.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Is it just me, or has it been a LONG WEEK? Well long or short, I'm always glad to see Friday! The weather has *finally* warmed up in MN, and I think Spring might be here to stay? (I'm ignoring the snowflake I saw on the forecast for Saturday

Just a quick post today - I wanted to share Maddie's birthday party invitations. I wanted to do something different than the usual store bought invites, so I turned to my digi scrappin supplies. Here is what I came up with (I've changed the specifics for posting, but you get the idea). I printed these out (they are 6x6 size) on photo paper and put them in vellum envelopes for Mad to pass out to her friends. Let me know what you think!

Everyone have a FAB FRIDAY!

Page Credits: Birthday Palooza kit from Melissa Bennett of Scrapbook-Bytes, Notebook Paper from Funky Chic kit by Shabby Miss Jenn, Shapes 4 Template set from Jen Caputo of Scrapbook Graphics, Old Typewriter font.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Here he little "game boy". Is it just me, or are all boys born with this natural ability to play video games? LOL! I was practicing with my camera, and there was fabulous light shining thru my bank of windows in the family room, and this is what I captured. Mr. Serious was *trying* not to laugh, but I was running around, acting nuts with my camera, so a few smiles bubbled up to the surface, haha!

This week has flown by! Not much of Monday's snowfall is left, and the weather is warming up. I *hope* that spring is here to stay now! I know I've complained endlessly, but SERIOUSLY - I am so over winter! It dragged on and on, and now it's time for SPRING!

Today I have some client work to do, and then some errands to run - I'm hoping to have a lunch date with a friend too, we'll see if she can sneak away! Hope you have a FABULOUS DAY!

Page Credits: Grab Bag for Boys from Studio Flergs at Scrapbook Graphics, Old Typewriter and Pulse Sans fonts.