Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia) are a grape vine species native to the present-day southeastern United States that has been extensively cultivated since the 16th Century. We have vines of muscadines and scuppernongs growing at the family lake house.  They are so big and delicious!  I always look forward to eating my fill when they come ripe in late August to early September.  So YUMMY!!!!!  This is the original image I took of a bowl full of muscadines sitting on a dresser with a white wall as background.  This is SOOC, handheld, and natural light.

This is my edited version of the original shot with Isabelle Lafrance's Soulful Textures and Action applied to the photo.

I used.....

Soothing texture - Multiply 100%
Retro texture - Overlay 100%  and.....
Soulful soothe action

I think the use of textures gives this shot a real vintage and old-timey feel.

On a personal note......this last long Labor Day weekend was very relaxing.  We sat around and did a whole lot of nothing. Saturday I stayed at the lake house with Camryn, who is having a difficult time with her asthma right now, while most everyone else went to the Clemson v. Middle Tennessee State game.  Our Tigers won!!!!  YAY!  Camryn and I watched Journey to the Center of the Earth.  I love Brenden Frasier!!!!!!!!!

Sunday we spent most of the day preparing for my in-laws 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration.  They had about 40 of their family and closes friends there to celebrate with them.   I think they had a wonderful time.  Here they are cutting their anniversary cake.....

This is my niece, Elyse, wearing my mother-in-laws wedding dress.  This was a surprise for everyone and it made us all quite emotional.  I was taking photos and crying like a baby.  She looked beautiful!!!

Here are Nana and Papa with all their grandchildren......

From left to right is Riley Stansell, 7, M.J. Stansell, Abbey LeRoy 11, Connor Stansell 4, Philip LeRoy 15, Martha Stansell, Elyse LeRoy 18, Emily Stansell 8, and Camryn Stansell 10.

Most of Monday was spent out on the boat watching everyone tube and swim.  We also ate lunch at the Tiki Hut at the Keowee marina.  This was the final HOORAH of the summer........or what I always feel is the very FINAL day of summer.  It passed so quickly!!!!  BOO HOO!!!!  I look forward to autumn, though.  My favorite season of the year!

If you made it through to the bottom......please leave a comment so I know you've been here.  :0)

Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Child Photography

Child Photography is something that I would love to do more of.  You can be so creative with children ....... especially newborns.  This is something that I hope I will be able to do more of in the future.  For now I just like to practice on my own little models.  Here are a few of my favorite shots of them........





MY SWEET GIRLS (do they love each other.....can't you tell?  LOL!)

 Camryn's friend, Tyler...

I just love each and every one of these photos!

Today, I have both daughters home sick from school.  They both have an appointment to see the doctor later in the day.  Camryn looks and sounds terrible.  I worry about her because she, (and Emily, as well), has asthma and she has gotten pneumonia the last two September's.  Hopefully, we can catch it early this time if it isn't already too late.  She sure does sound junky when I listened to her lungs earlier.  I have a feeling antibiotics and a nebulizer are in her very near future.  Emily is having breathing issues.......typical wheezing associated with asthma.  She just needs her asthma meds refilled and to be put on some kind of preventative.  As a know I like to try and diagnose BEFORE we go to the doctor.  LOL!  Keep them in your prayers!

This weekend we are throwing a 50th wedding anniversary party for my in-laws.  Lots of family and friends will be there.  This is also the weekend of Clemson's first home game.  We will be going and cheering on our Tigers!!!  WOO HOO!!!!  I believe it is going to be a GREAT and fun-filled weekend.  I probably won't get a chance to blog this weekend but will catch up on Monday.  I have some pregnancy photos I'm hoping to get processed and posted that I took of a really sweet girl a few weeks ago.  I'm also hoping to give some tutorials on actions/presets and how to download them and use them.  I'm also hoping to talk more about textures and how to erase textures from certain areas of your stay tuned.

NOTE:  I just got a call from my father-in-law, M.J.  He said the doctor called him to let him know that his blood work was normal but that his chest x-ray showed abnormalities.  They are going to schedule him for an MRI so they can take a closer look.  He still goes back on the 10th to find out his surgery and treatment options.  So we have some good news and some possibly not so good news.........PLEASE continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  Thank you so much to all of you that have prayed for him so far.  :0)

If you've made it this far......please leave me a comment and let me know that you stopped by and to encourage me to keep going with this.  Thanks and have a blessed and beautiful weekend!!!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  Have fun but stay safe!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More of my textured/actions/processed images just sitting on my desktop

Daisy macro processed in Picnik (cross processed and also used the Orton effect)

Processed in Picnik

LUNCH!!!!!!!!!! (processed in Picnik)

Processed in PSE 7.0 using Florabella textures

Processed in PSE 7.0 using Florabella Textures

Processed with Picnik Premium

Both processed with Picnik Premium

Processed in PSE 7.0 using Isabelle Lafrance's Soulful Soothe action

Processed in PSE using Isabelle's Soulful actions

Processed in Picnik Premium

Texturing/layering/actions in Photoshop Elements 7.0

I use Adobe Photoshop Elements to layer/texture all of my photos.  It is very user friendly and affordable.  It only costs about $69 (USD) at local stores.  I also use Picnik Premium for my basic processing (  and you can also do some limited texturing with Premium.  Picnik costs $24.99 a year to use and is well worth the price.  Here is a very short and useful tutorial on how to layer in Picknik......... .

To begin manipulating photos in Photoshop Elements (PSE) first pick a photo that you want to try different things out on.  I store my photos in Picasa and export them to my desktop so that it is easy to find them once I need them.  Once you have found the photo you want to PSE and click EDIT and then choose Full.  Once your workspace has opened click on file and open and choose the photo and textures that you will be working with.  If you have textures that you want to use then you also need to load them into your workbin on PSE as well.  There are many free textures at  Just enter free textures into the search box and tons of free textures will pop up.  Textures that I most often use are Isabelle Lafrance's Soulful Textures and Actions .  I also use Florabella textures by Shana Rae .  Another great collection (that I have not tried) is Glorious Nature by Sue Gary  Once you have your textures picked out make sure you click on the photo that you are going to be using and make sure that it shows up in the large black work box.  Click the move tool icon on the top left of the box and then drag the texture that you want to use from the work bin located under your photo and move it over to the center of the photo.  I used a photo of pretty yellow flowers that I took while on a day trip to Brevard, NC, and I then chose Isabelle's Basic Paper texture.  I dragged it to the center of my photo.....

 I then stretch the texture over the image and click the green check in the bottom right hand corner.

Click under layers and where it says normal.  This will open the drop down box and you can play around and choose different options and see what works best for your photo.  I most often use hard light, soft light, overlay, multiply and darken.  For this photo I chose overlay and left it at 100% opacity.  You can tone down the strength of the texture by clicking on the opacity button (just to the right of the normal button), and taking it to different percentages.  The basic paper texture at 100% opacity gave the image the look that I liked best.

To try and soften the image I then decided to try one of Isabelle's Soulful Actions  (I will give a tutorial on downloading actions into your computer at a later date).  Some actions can be found in PSE if you go to Guided and then click Automated Actions and then Action Player.  Experiment with what you have.

*Isabelle has many free action as does Tracey..... .

I used Isabelle's Soulful Soothe action on this particular photo.

After choosing the action I then decided to try and give the photo a little bit of a softer glow.  I returned to Full edit and chose Isabelle's Sepia Haze texture.  I dragged it over the top of the image and stretched it to fit, and again, hit the green check mark in the bottom right corner of the page.

I then chose Overlay and reduced the opacity to 50% to achieve the look that I was going for.  Once you have your photo the way you want it click the layer button at the top of the screen in the PSE toolbar and click on flatten image.

Once you have flattened your image, you are then ready to save your image to desktop.  Click file, save, name your photo and then when the little grey box pops up, click O.K.

Your image is now complete and ready for framing!  :0)  This is my finished product........

This may seem like a long drawn out process but it really is quite easy once you get the hang of it and only takes a few minutes to complete if you know the look you are going for ahead of time.  Layering/texturing is quite addictive and tons of fun!!!!!

On a personal note, I'm getting things cleaned and organized around the house, caught up on all my laundry, went to the grocery store and have a full fridge/freezer and pantry.  Life is good!  LOL!

My girls are liking school and like their teachers, which is extremely important!

We will find out, on Sept. 10th, the results of my father-in-laws tests and x-rays.  It will be at this appointment that he will find out about treatment options and surgery.  Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  This weekend we will be giving my in-laws a 50th anniversary party and will also be celebrating my mother-in-laws 70th birthday.  All the family will be at the lake house for the long Labor Day weekend and we are all looking forward to spending time together.

I hope you all enjoy my blog!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Burnt OUT

Burnt OUT, originally uploaded by astanse♥(Angela).
It is time for me to take a little break from Flickr. I am just sooooooo burnt out..........I need to spend time with my family...(my father-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV invasive melanoma), my house is a wreck, and I am a wreck. I need to get my life organized but I WILL be back...... WHEN I feel like I can breath. If you believe in the power of prayer, like I do, then I ask that you say a prayer for my father-in-law. I will miss you all! Big hugs, blessings, and smooches to you all.