Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

picnik halloween effects

i got an e-mail a while back about picnik's halloween effects they were promoting. if you've followed me for a while, you know i'm a fan of picnik--especially their collages, stickers and other cool photo editing effects. i had to test these out, so i found a decent headshot i took last spring to show off a new haircut (and it was a cute one, if i do say so myself...)

okay, so a lot of picnik's effects are cutesy. i was digging this mask, and added a few stickers around the edge to "halloween it up." you can change the size, position and color of any of their stickers--so easy!

next, i went with vampire. i have read (and loved) the whole twilight series, so this made me think of the books and movies. you can lighten the skin, change eye colors, and add some fangs! and this lightening is awesome :)

the last one is the ghoul features...scary stuff. i think my freckles made this more speckled, and i added some wounds, changed my eye color and added some ghosts and spider.

picnik continues to amaze me with their photo effects. if you're interested in fixing up some photos, it's worth checking out their touch-up kit that includes teeth-whitening, blemish fix, shine-be-gone, wrinkle remover, mascara and lip-color and my favorite--insta-thin.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

worship music wednesday

this has become one of my favorite new worship songs. all of the lyrics are taken straight from the book of revelation, and this performance in particular will just give you chills...

Monday, October 26, 2009

family fun

yesterday, justin and i traveled west to see my dad's side of the family for my cousin will's christening. it's hard to believe how quickly he has grown! and his big brother joseph is just a smaller version of my grandaddy joe.

we enjoyed a beautiful service and i snapped a quick picture during the big event.
then afterwards, we headed back to their house for lunch and to spend some time together. rachel was particularly smitten with will...
after a delicious lunch, numerous stories shared around the table, and looking at photos--we gathered together for a family picture out front (minus joseph--he wasn't feeling photogenic that day) and headed back home.
i came back just in time to meet up with brittany and brian for their engagement photos. we traveled out in the county to one of her friend's family farms, and i was loving the location!
again, just a quick sneak peek. i'm bogged down in editing right now and will be slowly tackling my mountain of photos...
but i will definitely have fun with them when it's their turn in a week or two!

i heart faces: halloween dress-up!

monkey see, monkey do...

rhys is at that perfect age where he wants to be just like his big brothers. and just like his big brother before him, he gets to make an appearance in the monkey costume this halloween. he was just adorable and gave me some big smiles! many thanks to rob and kim for letting me borrow him :)

and just for fun, i get to share my pumpkin puppy. pepper was just a few months old when i took this picture last year, and the halloween t-shirt was just the beginning of my love affair with dog clothes.

check out the other spooky, fun, halloween photos over at i heart faces!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

1,361 equals...

the number of photos i've taken in the last four days.

but the one that warms my heart?

this one--

major editing sessions coming up. and more about my sunday with family and a super cute couple tomorrow :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

marathon day of photos

i started out with a delicious cup of (decaf) pumpkin spice coffee and blueberry scone from fresh market.

then off to meet my wonderful friend lisa and her family for photos. i can't even begin to describe how many great photos we got. let's just say it's taking all of my willpower not to stay up and edit non-stop tonight!

then back into town to do some awesome urban photos with 2010 senior, keely.

(i told keely that i forgot how much fun and how easy it was with seniors. only one person. who wants to have their picture taken. kazillion times easier than most of my sessions.)

and then over to the greenway to work with kellar, suzanne and their family...

many people have asked why i'm scheduling like this--so many shoots on one day. well, it allows me the flexibility to keep other weekends completely open so we can travel, visit family and (for me) help out with youth events. my next saturday like this one is november 14th--and i do still have one opening for that day, but i think it will fill up once i talk to a few of my "maybe" customers out there. i'm trying to do a few sessions in the weekday evenings before daylight savings comes around, but i am looking forward to things slowing down come wintertime.

5th place!

i have a full schedule today of photography, and i'm praying that the weather cooperates and that everything works out with all of my families...

but it's nice to start that busy day off with a 5th place award from this week's i heart faces!

click on over and check out the other winners :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

some of what i've been working on...

and i figured out how to make big pictures from flickr.


i need a jillian

since our recent move from the old office location (and my consistent lack of attendance) my gym membership has lapsed.

the 30 day shred did not last 30 days. i made it maybe...3?

and it is now my favorite time of year for exercise. i'm a "hot-natured" person. 85 degrees with humidity? no. i'll go for walks at 9:30 at night just to avoid the heat. 45 degrees with a brisk chill? oh yes. thrown in a nice mix of fast-tempo songs and you might even get a jog out of me.

i NEED to take better care of myself. and i have the flexibility to fit in exercise, but no motivation or interest.

so i've decided i need a jillian (of "biggest loser" and "30 day shred" fame.) someone to kick me into high gear, hold me accountable and give me enough guilt that i work harder the next time. i am a first-born, type A people-pleaser. guilt is my greatest motivator.

anyone want to be an exercise accountability partner? i don't even need someone to do it with me. i just need someone to ask me, "did you do your 30 minutes today?" and help me stick to my schedule that i make up.

by the way, ripped abs and toned biceps are totally not a requirement :) in fact, that side of jillian kinda scares me...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

cutesy idea

on my walk yesterday, i finally remembered to take a picture of this great idea from one of our neighbor's front stoops.

how cute is this? and pretty easy to do. i bet you could print out one huge letter of choice in a word processing program and trace it on the pumpkin. then paint in (or even color in with sharpie) and voila! cute front door decoration that could easily last through november.

we've been totally slack about our fall decorations. and my fall leaves and halloween flags have stayed in storage while the recently purchased steelers flag has taken over the flag post. i did pull down the light-up pumpkin from the attic that will go out this week...

how do you like to decorate for fall? i have such an easier time with the Christmas holiday decorations, but i do love seeing how others celebrate fall and halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

worship music wednesday

this is a song that we introduced to our youth program's worship set at the beginning of the school year. i love the musical aspects of it--the rhythm, the awesome lyric syncopation during the chorus, etc... but the words are so encouraging for this generation. just imagine our middle schoolers jumping up and down to this, rocking out about the revolution of Christ.

any other suggestions for worship songs to be featured here?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

i'd like to thank the academy...

okay, so i've been a bad "blog award acceptor." honestly, i like the idea of blog award but kinda feel like they're those meme things on facebook where you get tagged by someone and then don't know who else to tag. hence, the conundrum i'm in. but i would love to thank the two lovely ladies that nominated me..

rebecca at feel my love recognized me as a loyal blog reader--i do enjoy checking in to see how things are going up in west virginia and i really love her "can of worm" posts where she takes on some great political/cultural issues.

and courtney at one fine wire nominated me for a kreativ blogger award. courtney is a dear friend from ecu marching pirates and has done a great job of starting her own blog design business.

so thank you, ladies, for these awards. and rather than specifying people to receive the award, i'll just link to some of my favorite blogs, both friends IRL and not :)

my real-life friends--i'm quite blessed to have a nice blogging community of people that i know! several "regularly posting" bloggers that i always enjoy reading are:
amanda, patrice and the two lindsey's--both jones and woolard.
(doesn't mean that i don't enjoy reading other people when they post--these are just my "few times a week" bloggers that i keep up with.)

and then a few of my blogs that i enjoy reading just for fun:
kelly's korner, steece's pieces (great mom of quads), lots of scotts (mom of triplets), ministry so fabulous, the mamas boo and big, and mcmommy chronicles.

and i could go on and on about photo blogs--that's where i get a lot of ideas. so here are my favorites...
jessica kettle photography
simplicity photography
millie holloman (out of wilmington--love them!)
peekaboo photos
blue lily--gorgeous stuff!
rebekah westover--her bridals are amazing
savor photography, by american mum--she also has done some great tutorials.

*post-edit: forgot about lauren clark--she's amazing, too! if i was a full-time photog, i would totally go to her "for the love" conference that includes presentations and sponsorships from a couple of my backyard neighbors, julie mixon and ginny corbett*

so that's my half-hearted attempt at sending you off into the blogosphere to check out some other really cool blogs. which is, of course, the ultimate goal of giving out bloggy awards.

is that the orchestra playing already? man, always cutting the acceptance speech off...

Monday, October 19, 2009

i heart faces: pink week

it's pink week over at i heart faces, and i scoured my photo library to find a good selection. i don't have any pictures from breast cancer events specifically, but i love attending our local relay for life event every year. and as i was going through my photos from the past couple of years of relay for life, this one jumped out at me...

i don't like cancer either. i've seen it take the lives of family members and friends. i've watched others fight it, win the battle and go on living their lives as survivors. and with breast cancer in particular, i've supported my aunt and other relatives in their diagnosis and treatment. it is often treatable and the most important tool in fighting it is early detection.

please do regular monthly exams and your annual physical with your doctor. support cancer research through programs like relay for life with the american cancer society or breast cancer research with the susan g. komen foundation. click daily on the breast cancer site to help fund mammograms (or purchase things through their store--i bought several of my christmas presents through their website last year and saved rainforest land, but it can go towards the breast cancer fund as well if you go through their particular store.)

and finally, check out the other "pink week" entries at i heart faces this week!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

weekend wrap-up

i'm interrupting my current "veg out" sunday evening to make a post. you'll understand why i've declared it "veg out" sunday once you get all the way through my past 48 hours...but i have enjoyed a quiet evening at home. i had already scheduled not to be at choir and my other church commitments because of a photo shoot... then the photo shoot rescheduled due to weather and i really needed to relax and take it easy. so apologies to all that may have been looking for me and justin tonight, but we needed a night to ourselves.

so friday evening, we had our kick-off sleepover for the girls' ministry at church...
we began the night with some "recycled" halloween costume contests, where the girls created a costume out of junk materials they were provided. we had a bride...
and a car!
then it was time for some pumpkin painting...
and a couple of hours talking and answering questions from my "ungame" cards. as a therapist, i have lots of great talking tools, including great conversation starters. we used my ungame cards earlier in the year for our retreat, and they were a hit! i also included my "would you rather?" cards this time that are a great icebreaker for groups. we ended the evening by getting comfy and watching a movie.
love these girls :)

the next morning, my engagement session came to me! joe is an intern that has been working with our youth ministry this school year, and kristi is his lovely fiancee that we get to see on the weekends helping out. i'm photographing their wedding next july, and since the house where we were staying is in a fabulous neighborhood that i've used for photo shoots before, i just had them meet me there. this is only a small tease, but i had to include a few of them :)

i've told joe numerous times that i think he has an early john mayer look. he doesn't listen to john mayer nor does he know what he looks like, but i'm standing by it.
their idea--so cute!
then it was back across town to meet my mom and grandma, have lunch and head over to the rose band competition. my brother's band was coming in town to compete, and we were over to the school early to see the first performances.

(my brother the band director. and his buddy keith, also helping out with other bands.)

my brother's band taking the field... they're small, but alan's hoping to grow the program over the next couple of years!
we stayed through the entire competition, which ended up being from 3ish until almost 10 pm. i'm definitely out of practice for my band competition preparation. for example, i didn't bring hand warmers and definitely didn't layer well. it was very chilly for this early in october and we were frozen by the end of the night. but we did get to see some great bands!

east carteret, where my brother has helped out for the past few years...
this was white oak out of jacksonville--one of the largest bands there, complete with sails and a ship on the field that moved around during the show...
and the big finale--west carteret, with their two story pit cart that was towed out on the field. they did the music of journey...
and had their colorguard in zebra stripes and lime green belts and headbands, using guitars as props!
i was surprised by how many bands use amplification now. it was just starting to become an option for bands when i graduated, but now everyone has a keyboard, guitar or microphone hooked up for the performances. the journey show had several electric guitar solos, and many bands fill in their sounds with keyboards and other synthesized sounds.

alan's band ended up getting 3 1st place trophies, a couple of 2nd places and 2nd place overall in their class. we won't be able to make it to any other competitions this year, but we were glad to be able to see this one. and it was a great introduction for justin to band competitions in general. quite a learning curve for him :)

we had a praise band rehearsal scheduled for 7:30 this morning, so i was planning to get home and pretty much go straight to bed. well, then we got a call from alan that he hadn't left town yet because one of his students had to go to the hospital. he might need a ride to his school because the bus had already left, and he was in the ER with the student. so then we were figuring out if someone would drive him the 30-45 minutes to his school and then drive back, or if he would spend the night at our house. i went to bed but had a tough time falling asleep with all of the visitors and not knowing what was going on. so i think i finally fell asleep close to 1 am, and then was up way early for the rehearsal. alan was on the couch and his wife came to pick him up and eat breakfast with everyone while i was at first service. then justin, mom and grandma came to the 2nd service and we all went out for lunch afterwards. needless to say, it made for a long morning and i was glad to have this afternoon's photo session rescheduled and a wide-open evening become available :)

off to enjoy the rest of it. hope everyone else had a great weekend!