Photo Editing: Before and After Shots

I love, love Photoshop!!! It is such an amazing program and I am always learning something new with it. I thought I should show some before and after photos so you get an idea of how much you can change a photograph. The options are really endless but here are a couple photographs showing some of my editing skills. Hope you enjoy...I loved doing it!
These photos are from the photography shoot I did for Chloe's baby announcements. Like I said, I am not a professional photographer...very obvious from the before photos. Kids don't stay still for long, and I liked Hailey's expression on the top/left one but Chloe's on the bottom/left so I combined them and changed the color to sepia with a touch of a lighting effect. Thought it turned out pretty cute of the new sisters!
Below is one of the photos I used for the baby announcement (shown in a previous post). As you can see, the background didn't matter since I completely deleted it to have a fun spring green color.
So if you ever want any of your photos to get a new fresh look, let me know. The only thing that I need to work from is a clear and a fairly large digital sized image.


"Flying Home" in Memory of Cole Ruotsala

This is a photo of the entire "Flying Home" acrylic painting that I previously posted about and only showed a small portion of. The story of three year old Cole is heart breaking but through it all you can see God working and reaching out to so many through this family. It is absolutely amazing! It all started the end of July 2008 when young Cole was complaining about stomach pains and when his family got it checked out it ended up being a horrible cancerous tumor. In only eight short weeks after the stomach pains, Cole went to be with the Lord! I can't imagine having your whole life turn up side down so quickly and to loose your child at such a young age! Cole's parents showed amazing faith through their devastating loss and kept writing journals on Caring Bridge website from the start of their son being in the hospital all the way to the present. They have started C.O.L.E.'s foundation (stands for Caring Openly, Loving Eternally) where people are able to join and offer prayers and support for other families and children going through struggling illnesses. It really means the world to these families to know that there are other people out there that show they care and try to help out in many different ways. The family is trying to get as many people aware of children's cancer to try and find a cure so other families don't have to go through the pain they are. Please visit http://www.colesfoundation.com/ for more information. Thank you Ruotsala family for sharing your story. You have helped make me a better person by strengthening my faith and opening my heart to offer other struggling families support and encouragement and I am not the only one. Cole's Caring Bridge site has had over a million hits! There word is spreading so I encourage you to read their story!!! Your able to read their entire journal so if you get some time do so!

Meaning behind "Flying Home": The lower right represents a storm which was the eight horrible weeks that Cole was sick, the tragedy, how real life is on Earth, that things aren't perfect. Then it goes to the angel wings. God took Cole home so their would be no more struggling and life would be perfect. Cole is finally free. He served God and his job on Earth was complete. The doves flying represent the faith and peace. Cole is happy and looking down to us from heaven. His spirit is with us forever and he knows he will get to be with his family again someday. Overall the painting is a great meaning of how we are simply visitors here on Earth and God can take us away at any time. Appreciate the small moments in life, we never know when its our last or our loved one's!


Spring Fling Festival

Saturday was a beautiul day to enjoy the outdoors! The Spring Fling Festival was an interesting event to be apart of. It was held in a quaint little town not far from where I live. There weren't many craft/art booths but it was sure a great place to socialize ecspecially for my elders who grew up around this area, and the food was really good!! It may not have been a big money making day, but you may have called it more of a swap. Instead of going for a profit I got this amazing rug for my daughter's room. She kissed it as soon as she saw it! She's only 13 months and wanted to buy something from every vendor...oh my! She was sure great entertainment! Here are a couple photos of her with the rug. I love the colors!!! So bright and cheerful!


Adorable Baby Girl Announcements!

Okay, really it was the model that made this announcement so cute! I couldn't wait to meet the newest addition to the Haines' family. Chloe is a sweet heart and her sister couldn't be more proud of her! I would never call myself a photographer and I will only take pictures for my closest friends and family. (If you want an affordable professional photographer I suggest getting ahold of my sister-in-law, Amy, from Designer Genes...her work is shown below in an older post.) I love the editing of the photos! My little one year old side kick cried the entire time I was photographing adorable little Chloe. Poor Cammy and Chris who had to listen to her!! Sorry guys, it was just a bad day in Kaelyn land! I was worried that a lot of them would turn out blurred since I was holding Kaelyn while snapping quite a few but they actually turned out pretty well. Of course since I'm not a professional there is quite a bit of editing to be done but hey thats the fun part for us designers!!! Seeing all the photos made me wish I had some like it of my own. They just grow up too fast and being so sick after bringing Kaelyn home from the hospital... pictures were the farthest thing from my mind. Maybe I'll get another chance if we are blessed with more kids someday! Anyways, moving on, if any of you have good quality photos you want fixed up, just let me know and I would love to help you out! So here's how the announcement turned out:

On to working on getting ready for a mini art/craft show on Saturday. Always something going on. Then hopefully I can get back to remodeling Kaelyn's room!!! Never enough time in a day!


Business Cards Arrived!

Since I had to have more prints of my artwork professionally printed I thought I should design some new business cards to help promote my new etsy shop and get them printed at the same time. I used my painting, "Autumn Breeze" for the front. I was so excited to get them today and they printed out so well! Such a beautiful day today. Kaelyn and I are headed to the post office...we finally get to walk there! Yippee!


Bitter Sweet Painting

Here is just a small part of my newest acrylic painting. It probably has the most meaning of any of my artwork. The family who it was done for has not seen it yet so until then this is all I will share. When I am able to post the entire painting I will also share a bit of the story of how much they have impacted my life in so many aspects. I will never be able to thank them enough for sharing their stories and changing so many lives!


Artist's Inspiration

Out of the many talented artists on the internet, here are a a couple of my recent purchases that have really inspired me. Cori Dantini's print "the grand reach" was purchased from Etsy. I loved it from the moment I saw it. It also correlates so closely to my life. Growing up on a farm in South Dakota and where I'm at today...taking a reach into the creative world, where your mind never stops running. Its also the feeling of freedom to follow your dreams even though you don't know the outcome. I can totally relate to a lot of what is in Kelly Rae's Taking Flight book. It gives great support and ideas along anyone's creative path. A print was included with the purchase of the book which was so much fun!! My husband actually bought it for me for a birthday present...I probably gave not such a subtle hint that I really wanted it. I love both of their work.

Limited edition print "the grand reach" by Cori Dantini

"Taking Flight" to give your creative spirit wings by Kelly Rae


Tuesday's Snow Storm

Here are a few shots looking out of our house on Tuesday. I really hate to be cold and would really like to live by the beach but there is such a simple beauty in the snow if you take the time to look. I absolutely love looking at individual snowflakes. They are like bits of magic...each one is unique. I didn't get to capture any of that this snow storm...and I kind of hope I won't until next winter. Today is much sunnier and warmer, ready for spring and to play outside.

frost on the window


Some Favorite Music

I'm busy finishing up another painting. I won't be able to share it with you for awhile but I'll share what I'm listening to while I'm painting it. Here are two of my favorite singers at this moment in time. Priscilla Ahn and Amy Seeley. Both are so easy to listen to and little Kaelyn loves to dance when she hears them! So cute! Check them out if your interested.

Priscilla Ahn, I'm loving her song Dream
Amy Seeley... just listen and enjoy :)


"Weathering the Storm" Acrylic Painting

Here is my newest painting. This is my personal favorite. It was fun and everything just flowed from start to finish...which doesn't usually happen. I usually have everything a little to planned out, but this time was different. I slapped paint on a 11.5" x 16" board with a palette knife and went from there. When I got this idea in my head I had the hardest time sleeping, I just needed to get it started. So here is my meaning behind "Weathering the Storm": Whether it is ourself, a family member or a friend, we all know someone who is going through a storm in their life. Everyone’s struggle is different just as every storm isn’t quite the same. To me it is comforting to know that God is always by our side through the good and the bad. Every situation is a blessing, it may just take a little searching to find the positives, but they are there. Changes will always be made through the storms, but allow it to be a strengthening experience. Have faith and allow God to bring you through the storms of life.
The painting really makes me think of my aunt who lost her battle to cancer. She was an amazing person who taught me so much. I miss her alot but I know she's in a much better place now. Her "storm" lasted for days (months)...which through all the pain she was really able to strengthen her faith. She never complained about the horrible things she was going through and that is why I painted the text I did on the painting: limbs breaking, soul searching, roots strengthening. Our outside can become weak at any time, but its our inside...our soul that needs to remain strong. Our faith is what will endure forever.