Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"App" Happy...


What's app-ening friends? 
Ohhhh...c'mon, you know I couldn't be the only one thinking that!

I'm playing over at Barb's today and have a unique app to share with you. I'm not even sure what made me want it, but I paid the $2.99 and I am really having a lot of fun with it.  
It's called PERCOLATOR and you can read about it HERE.

photo taken with Hipstamatic camera with Jane lens attached & Ina's 82 film.

It works on algorithms...
I can pretend I know how that works on your photos, but who am I kidding!?

One cool fact about this app is that all the tuning details speak my language...COFFEE!
You have control over the "grind" Big & coarse to extra fine and tiny circles. You can choose the "brew" to include rings, overprint, treble, & stars just to name a few. You can then "serve" it up black, light and sweet or with soy. Tones and textures include Cross-Perc, Saccharin, Aspartame & Steepia-to name a few. 
Then you can choose a texture like a paper cup, napkin, or coffee filter or any one of the 8 textures I didn't mention. 

 The applications don't work for every photo. I've been spending a lot of time working the different filters w/different photos. There is a bit of a learning curve (or maybe it's just me) at what enhances the photo so it's not a forced look. That's because you don't have control where the circles "percolate"and
I'm pretty sure that's where the algorithms come in!

Bright colors & the right amount of negative space work best. Although, 
I'm playing with black & white photos with interesting results.

You can google IMAGES for the Percolator app & it can help you decide if you need one more editing app in your arsenal! 
Why not follow me over to Keeping with the Times to see what's "brewing" over there!
ok...that was bad!

Happy (app) snapping!

Keeping With The Times

Monday, May 19, 2014

Life as a Motherless...


Mother's Day has come and gone.
 It was the one day I'd been dreading since my Mother's passing-Oct. 29, 2013. First, the commercials started-torture to listen to. The ads for gifts and flowers weren't any better. The week prior, I was a mess. I really just wanted to quietly slip into bed & sleep the day away. Frankie had a much better idea. He hosted a family BBQ complete with Mimosa's & plenty of chocolate to eat. He worked so hard that  I begged him to let me help clean up because I was starting to feel guilty...just like a mom huh? 
I survived my 1st "Motherless Day". 
I know personally since losing my mom, I have a sense of wanting to isolate myself more. I also have a sharp awareness of my own mortality. I'm sure this is all very normal & I fight back those feelings by living in the present as I learn to live comfortably without my mom. 

A week later, the lanterns that adorned the ceiling are still up...
They make me happy.

 He doesn't always show it, but Austin knows the affinity I have for butterflies and was so excited about the gift he found for me.
Chinese proverb on the cup reads: "Ethereal butterflies thrive in a world that flourishes".

He also picked out a delicious Acai blueberry white tea that's delicious iced.

Today seems only perfect that Stasha over at The Good Life 

10 Things You Want To Say To Your Mom:

1. I'm sorry your last year of life was hell.
2. I'm sorry you felt you had to go through it all alone.
3. We are our mother's daughter, but sometimes that's not good enough & things should be done differently. 
4. I know you loved us-
5. I'm slowly accepting the mom you were and not the mom I wished you were.
6. I miss our book club. I cherish the books we read together.
7. I found out how strong I am being in the presence of your death.
8. I was glad I was holding your hand.
9. I don't regret hearing your last breath.
10. I love and miss you every day.

Today my very talented friends,
Roban over at Moments in Time
are continuing with the virtual blog tour. Please stop by and visit a new blog today!

You can read about me HERE

Happy (blog hopping) snapping

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"App" happy...


I'm late for the party but I'm here! 
 Barb over at Keeping With the Times is hosting a play date if you care to join in on the fun. Show a photo or two...(or more) using your favorite app- maybe do a mini tutorial-& share it with others by linking up & see what other phone photographers are up to.

I'm short on time this week so I kept it simple today by using the Hipstamatic camera app. 
The great thing about this real time camera is all the lenses and film can be interchangeable to achieve your desired effect. 

I happen to be crazy about overblown, noisy and light leak-y photos.

I used Hipstamatic with Ina's 1935 film and the Bettie XL lens. With this film/lens set up you can take multiple shots of the same set up and you'll get different blown out sections, light leaks, and noise levels  in each shot. If you don't have Hipstamatic, and have been thinking about purchasing it, please let me know in the comment section and next week I'll post shots taken with different film and lens options to help you decide if this app is right for you and something you're interested in purchasing.
I do not get paid in way, shape or form from Hipstamatic! I just happen to think they put out a pretty fun product.
Ina's 1935 film/Bettie XL lens
Light conditions make a difference too.  The daisy is the only shot taken out side and there is a very noticeable difference in the level of light leaks and even the tones. 

Ok, I'm gonna swing by Barb's now and see what "app"ining over there!
hee hee

Happy (app) snapping!

Keeping With The Times

Monday, May 12, 2014

A virtual... tour

Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings. 
C.D. Jackson

When my friend Kim over at PickingPoppies invited me to participate in a virtual blog tour, I jumped at the chance-always looking for a fun way to share ideas in this very creative and inspirational blogging community. Kim is very thought provoking and a wonderful photographer to boot & I invite you to visit her little corner of the blogging world.
The same four questions are asked from participants:

What am I working on?

Immediately, I'm focusing on getting through the last 18 days of school. As I was thinking about how I was going to answer these questions, I realized  that everyday, 100+ people get the very best of my creative mojo leaving me with little to spare for myself when I get home from work. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I do as an instructional aide to 1st & 3rd graders. BUT, I am a TOTAL morning person and that's when I want to play! With summer coming, & my mornings to myself, I will turn my attention to my
which I finally took the time open back in Feb. but not taking the time to run it properly. I've been saving all the emails that ETSY SUCCESS sends me so that I can get a grasp on running a successful business. With that said, I'll be removing and adding new items before summer is over. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is a tough question as I've only ever thought about established and famous artists that either they themselves or society have categorized them into a particular genre.
I would say I'm in the "authentic and true to self" genre.
(I'm making this an official genre so please feel free to insert yourself here!)
I only know how to be one person and that's me...being the best I can be everyday. Now that's not to say that I've arrived  at this moment by taking bits and pieces of what I think is the very best from others! But what you see in the here and now is as real as real gets!

Why do I write/create what I do?

I write and create because I have a lot to say & want to share it and hopefully along the way, 
people will identify and maybe even like what I have to say. It's always been a personal goal of mine to put something out there that can stand on its own merit.
 It's as simple as that. 


How does your writing/creative process work?

A little back ground first before I answer this.

My family moved around every 2 1/2 - 3 years with the Navy and while that was great, looking back, I did not have the best school experience. I actually hated school. As an adult I have taken full responsibility for my learning or lack of. It has taken me becoming a mother & an educator working with children that I have found a deep love of learning...Still and always. Believe it or not, listening & modeling after the teachers I work with has given back what I've lost as a child in constant transition. Silly as it sounds, I am developing my skills here, in full view of anyone who happens to stumble into my little corner of the

When it comes to writing or taking photos, it always starts with an idea-sometimes it pans out, other times not so much! I've learned since I've started my creative process is
 "be flexible." 
I can't stress that enough! I am a self proclaimed queen of happy accidents and thankfully I've loosened  the reins of trying to be perfect & can recognize that sometimes something else is better and it's ok. I tell "my kids" all the time, "there are no mistakes in art" so make it work. I figured it was time to start taking my own advice. 

Trust the process

There you have it my friends! Me & my thoughts!
 Next week I give you 2 wonderful blogger/friends that you'll no doubt want to visit again and again.

You can visit Kathy here:

 Moi?  Photog, wife, mom, daughter, friend, chauffeur, dork, reality show junkie, shoe maven, frequent flier mile collector, deprived (and at times depraved) traveller, baseball fanatic, Philly gal, always finding a new black hole of obsession to jump into, hates change, embraces change...surprisingly confusing to the Better-Half.  Would love for you to tag along for photos and ramblings of a Philly gal.  Take the photos seriously, the meanderings...not so much.

You can visit Roban here:

Roban Johnson is a mixed-media artist and photographer who enjoys capturing 
moments in time that remind her of the joy and beauty in the world around her. 
Her mixed-media girls originate from her own feelings and often share a thought 
of inspiration or an emotion that she hopes is captured in the painting. Her 
photographs are snapshots of time that not only chronicle life but also the 
little things that make life beautiful. 

Happy snapping!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday finds...

...with Kim Klassen

I am so excited to share my find with you this week~not just because it's right up my alley AND it was on sale but now there's a story behind it. 
Those are the best finds-the ones that have a personal story attached.
...hold on to your hat for this one...

I was shopping at Pier 1 yesterday looking for unique decorations for a Mother's Day BBQ we're throwing Sunday. I found this beautiful butterfly wind chime.

I'm a sucker for metals and blown glass. The cashiers were saying how they love butterflies...and...well? I'm thinkin' this was my invitation to tell them my connection to the Monarchs & raising them. Like a proud mama, I pulled out my phone, showed them my pictures as I was answering their questions. There was a sweet elderly woman that heard our conversation & asked if she might look at the photos too. Proudly, I showed her the difference between the male & female and as the cashier was wrapping my wind chime the sweet woman said she'd like to share a story with me If I'd care to listen.

"Of course" I said. The story goes like this:
This woman's father collected butterflies that she didn't know about. After he passed, the siblings were cleaning out his house and found his collection. But by then, most of his prized butterflies had pretty much disintegrated. His wishes for his ashes to be thrown out at sea for some reason could not be honored so this woman took a ferry out to Catalina Island and placed her father's urn up on a hill facing the ocean & the casino.
Upon one of her visits, she placed a painting she'd done of a monarch beside the urn.

On a separate visit, her son and daughter-in-law went to visit this man's resting place and had snapped photos of a butterfly that was flitting about and landing on the urn. When the woman's son had told her about the butterfly she had asked what kind it was.

It was a Monarch.
Mysteriously, the Monarch never appeared in any of the photos the son had taken.

I choked back tears and got the chills. 
She had told this beautiful story to a complete stranger who took the time to listen. It almost seemed cathartic for her to share it. We exchanged pleasantries and I thanked her, finished my transaction and left the store with this feeling I can't even put into words.

Never underestimate the power of a butterfly...
...or strangers.

Happy (find your bliss) snapping!

Kim Klassen dot ComHi

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

App happy...


So happy you popped in on this fun new meme that Barb over at keepingwiththetimes hosts.

It's funny, I started with one idea and it kept evolving to something so 180 of what I was going to do-but having an open mind to explore new possibilities is like opening an unexpected present.

For today-

I ran this photo through VSCOcam's LEGACY filter to give it a sort of flat vintage-y feel. VSCO is tricky to me-not every photo can just willy-nilly be used with it. The app adds a very distinct feel to your photos. If you follow them on IG-you'll know what I'm talking about. People are posting some really amazing photos using VASCOcam & I'd love play with it more.

Next, I added one of my favorite quotes using PHONTO. I love this text app. You can cut and paste words from another site, in your choice of...well...I was going to count the fonts...well it got late-but trust me...there is a plethora of fonts from A-Z sure to please you. A recent upgrade added filters to play around with. You can manage the size, the tilt, and the colors of the font-both the background and the actual font with sliders. It's user friendly too.

The last app I used was CLEAR WATERMARK
I was really good at marking my photos then I got busy, lazy and stopped and I really should protect my work. The app takes some getting use to but once mastered-it's really quick & easy & worth looking into. 

On a side note-I always use my i-phone's home camera and not the app's camera when shooting
 unless it's another type of camera app.

I also had to run this photo through Florabella's Honey Haze (which is NOT an app. but should be!) to tone down some of the pink after uploading & viewing the photo. 

Hope this helps and introduces you to something you haven't heard of or have heard of and not quite sure about. 
Not sure if you want to play yet? Just pop over to Barb's with me and check out what other peeps are using.
Happy (app) snapping!

Keeping With The Times

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Morning has...

Cat Stevens Song-ography e-dition

Please join me over at Kathy's  to see other fun interpretations of this classic song.

"Mine is the sunlight...

...mine is the morning
born of the one light Eden saw play.
Praise with elation, praise ev'ry morning,
G-d's recreation of the new day.

These were taken on a sunrise balloon on our recent trip to Sedona.

Dear Kathy,
Thank you for hosting this fun meme. I know I don't play every week but always love to contribute when I can. It's also fun to read the lyrics of a song choice and realize just how bad I've botched the words all these years thinking I "knew" what I was singing...I use singing loosly-(snort).
Happy (Song-ography) snapping

Thursday, May 1, 2014



I'm linking up with Kat today over at Kat Eye Studio for an exercise I haven't done in quite some time. 
I vacillated back and forth 1/2 the day wondering if I should even share-
I guess you know how the story turns out!

April was a very good month-Frankie & I have been together 25 years and fly to where ever we go. But over spring break, we took our first ever road trip. The plan was to drive to the Grand Canyon and then over to Sedona for a sunrise balloon ride. We were having so much fun, we decided to make unplanned stops as well, really letting the journey guide us. We stopped and toured an old ghost town along the way and we drove on Rt.66 for part of the trip just to say we did.

Frankie knows and understands my need to stop and photograph anything and everything along the way! 
This shot epitomizes the fun we shared.

It's been 6 months since my mom passed away. I was expressing to my aunt, Micki, how I felt an almost desperate need to feel my mom's spirit. Her last days on earth were not pleasant. I'm guessing it's the last little vacation my mom took that she felt happy and was most likely already sick but neither she and certainly none of us knew.Well the stars and planets must have all been aligned because my aunt bestowed the most beautiful gift to me and told me of a place she took my mom the last time she had come visit her. Best of all, it was on our to Sedona.
The place was Josephine's, in Flagstaff, AZ.

 Tired & hungry from the day at the Canyon, I was with my mom in spirit-it was just what I needed.

 I was doing an April, 30 day photo challange on IG with the "Waterlogue" app and decided my entry for the day would be this unassuming Craftsman Bungalow built in 1911 from native volcanic rock.

Did it make me miss my mom any less? No, not at all, but from the moment I walked in to Josephine's, ate their amazing food, drank delicious wine, I was able to remember my mom in a happier time and place, with her sister, whom she adored.

Happy (heart connection) snapping!

P.S. If you go to Josephine's site, the chef posts recipes...just sayin!