Thursday, May 24, 2012


Greetings fellow bloggers. It has been awhile since I have posted here. I have been extremely busy at work and not much time to spend on my photography....although I did manage to stop by an entire field of Queen Anne's lace recently and snap some images of these lovely flowers. Queen Anne's Lace is one of my favorite wildflowers; it has so many intriguing stages, from a delicate little pink flower, to a lacy white umbrella, to an intricately folded seed head. The following are some images I captured while basking in their presence...



Natural Lace


Turning to Seed

Amongst the Lace

Sharing this over at Beyond Layers, Flower Art Friday, and Photo Art Friday

I processed these images using a combination of Kim Klassen Textures, Flypaper Textures, French Kiss Brushes, as well as some techniques learned in my Beyond Layers Class.

I hope to have some time this weekend to visit your lovely blogs and see what I have been missing! :-)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Floral Whispers

These are Blue Muscari flowers, also known as Grape appropriate name. I am loving the soft spring pastels right now.

Grape Hyacinth
Processed using Florabella Champagne @ 77% Soft Light.

Muscari Whispers
Processed using Kim Klassen's "Happy Heart" Texture, converted to grey scale and inverted.

Dreamy Blossom
Processed using Florabella Allure @ 91% Soft Light.

I wanted to let you know that I finally finished my Adobe Lightroom Review. Click the "Photography Product Reviws" link at the top of the page to check it out. Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing some Lightroom tips and tricks over here so please come back. Well, that is all for now. Have a Happy Texture Tuesday!

Sharing this over at Texture Tuesday

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Study in White

The theme over at Texture Tuesday this week is "The White Edition". I have been working on several images with a white theme...more flowers...hope I don't bore you too much with all of the flower images, but I just love working on them. Here are a few of them; some with actions applied, and all with different textures applied.

Processed using a CoffeeShop action, then added Kim Klassen's kk_plastersquared texture @ 35% multiply.

White Aster Flowers
Processed using Kim Klassen's kkPortrait texture, which I converted to greyscale and added @ 100% soft light.

Processed using my Cocoa Linen Texture converted to greyscale and added @ 70% soft light.

Processed using a CoffeeShop action, then adding Florabella Champagne {warm} @ 26% multiply.

Processed using Florabella Patina {b&w} @ 22% soft light.

Sharing this over at Texture Tuesday and The Creative Exchange

I am still working on my Lightroom review. Sorry for the delay...been real busy lately. Well that is all for now. Have a great rest of the week! :-)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

White Muscari

Hi! I wanted to pop in to share a couple of pictures with you. I fully intended to create a post on Valentine's Day, but I have just been so busy. I found this lovely little flower pot bursting full of White Muscari bulbs at my local grocery store and well....I just couldn't resist. Finding these little gems is such a great inspiration to me during these grey, colorless days of winter. I have been finding much amusement in watching the way these flowers open up; starting first with pops of green at the top of the flowers...then as they expand out, the pops of green slowly turn to white.

I have been playing around in Adobe Lightroom, learning all of the panels. The power of this tool is truely amazing! In this first image I was going for a surreal look....I really wanted the pops of green at the tops of the flowers to stand out. The second two images were only tweaked in Lightroom a tad to adjust the white balance.

White Muscari
Processed using a French Kiss texture and also a couple of French Kiss brushes to add the scripting

A flower pot of White Muscari
Processed this one using a lovely French Kiss texture

Muscari Forest
Processed using Kim Klassen's Cherish Texture along with a gradient mask

Sharing this post over at This or That Thursday and Texture Thursday

Well that is all for now. I will soon be adding my review of Adobe Lightroom under my new Photography Product Reviews tab so please check back soon! :-)

Keep warm out there :-)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

I love to bake, and I most definitely have a sweet tooth. One of my favorite things to bake is muffins....chocolate chip muffins, blueberry muffins, and these apple cinnamon muffins are my favorites. As I have been working on my still life photography lately, I thought I would snap a few shots as I made this last batch and share them here on my blog. Scroll down for the recipe :-)


Cinnamon Apple Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon all-spice
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Granny Smith Apples, cored, peeled, and coarsely chopped
Approximately 14 standard paper baking cups
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line muffin pan with paper or foil baking cups.

To make muffins, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and all-spice in a medium bowl until blended. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir just until evenly moistened. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Fold the apples into the batter and mix just until evenly distributed. Do over-do-it with the stirring.

To make topping, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons four and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. If desired, stir in the pecans or walnuts.

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it level with the rim. Sprinkle topping over the muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.




Sharing this post over at The Creative Exchange, Favourite Photo Monday and Show off your Shot

Enjoy!! Have a great start of the week!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


One of the things I've been wanting to do is improve my still life captures. I think I've already learned some valuable tips in the Beyond Layers class. I am practicing some of these new concepts in these images....keeping it simple!

Poppies of Tomorrow
Processed using 1 layer of Kim's "Simplify" texture in Soft Blend Mode

Another thing I've been having fun with is experimenting with various fonts and adding some scripts to my images. In both of these images I am using a font called Scriptorama. Great Fun!

Processed using 1 layer of Kim's "Organic" texture in Soft Blend Mode.
I blurred the newspaper edges a little to soften the effect

Sharing this over at: Texture Tuesday and The Creative Exchange

Have a great rest of the week!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spending My Days Dreaming About Photography

I think that about sums up my life these days. Taking pictures, dreaming of lenses and cameras, textures, and photo editing tools. Creating a 6-word memoir was our challenge for Day 3 in Beyond Layers. The 6-word Memoir movement was started over at SMITH Magazine and got some press in the latest O Magazine. Check it out...there are some clever memoirs over there.

Processed using Kim Klassen's kk_plastersquared Texture

Also processed using plastersquared Texture and Florabella Memory

These are some of my latest images featuring my potted crocus plant. Other concepts we've been discussing in Beyond Layers is "Less is More" and Blur. I love the soft, dreaminess of images with a shallow Depth of Field. I captured some of these images using a Lensbaby Composer Pro with macro tubes for some interesting effects, and the rest using my Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens, which produces beautiful bokeh. This image was processed using French Kiss Stone Blush Texture and French Kiss Script Brushes.

This image was processed using my own "How Do I Love Thee" Texture. Check out my "Texture Freebie" page for info on some of my current freebies.

This image was processed using Topaz filters. This is a nifty little plug-in that will run within Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Paintshop Pro (I am sure other photo edit programs as well). I downloaded a 30-day trial to give it a test run.

Sharing this over at: The Creative Exchange, Beyond Layers, This or That Thursday, and Photo Art Friday

Have a great rest of the week!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valentine Textures and Brushes

Greetings! I thought I would share a couple of new textures and brushes I have been working on. Click Here to download some heart brushes. These might be fun to use in your Valentine Art Works and images. Or, click on the pictures below to go to my Zenfolio site where you can download the high resolution textures for free using the password "SiennaFreebie".

The first Texture I call "How Do I Love Thee?"
How Do I Love Thee

and the second I call "Heart Frame". Use it in a screen blend mode to create a frame effect.

Have Fun! :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Creative Journey

A few months ago I stumbled upon the “Kim Klassen CafĂ©”; originally lured by her fabulous textures, but soon drawn in by her heartfelt posts and her generous nature. I watched several tutorials she posted on her site and loved her gentle, effective teaching style. When she announced her “Beyond Layers” class, I knew I just had to participate. And so I signed up for this journey…52 weeks of “encouragement, motivation, and inspiration”. Our first assignment is to document our creative story…and here is mine:

Who am I? I am the product of my mother, an artistic being and my father, a very logical, technical being. I have always been a bit of a nerd growing up, which brought me to my degree in computer science and career as a software engineer. I enjoy the challenge my job brings. Developing software and troubleshooting problems involves a great deal of creativity, not unlike that needed by my inner artist. I’ve allowed my inner artist to explore different art forms throughout my life. I’ve dabbled in dance, piano, ceramics, oil painting, knitting, and many other artistic adventures. As much as I enjoyed learning and practicing them, they just didn’t completely fulfill some inner need …something I just couldn’t put my finger on.

A few years ago, my father-in-law showed me some pictures he took with his Fuji Finepix camera….they were amazing! Some of his pictures were selected for the Bank of Madison annual calendar that year. I was so impressed with the beauty of these images, that I added a Fuji Finepix camera to my wish list. On my following birthday, my husband got me that camera. I knew from the first flower macro I snapped and downloaded to my computer, I was hooked. I was so excited to discover all the fine little details at the center of a flower, the way the butterfly proboscis curls up when it finishes sipping nectar, the way the bumblebees get covered in pollen as they feed from the flowers. I love being outdoors amongst nature and being able to capture a moment in time…the brilliance of a leaf in autumn, the expression on the squirrel’s face when it discovers that I filled up the bird feeders. One day I went out sailing with my husband and I brought my camera with me. My husband is an amazing sailor and we had never tipped our little sailboat over before so I thought my camera would be safe (guess where this is going). The wind picked up and caught us off guard. The boat started to go over. My husband tried to release the sail but couldn’t get it out of the cleat….and yes, the boat went over....completely upside down. That was the end of my beloved Fuji Finepix. It was a sad event, but in a way, it was the start of a new adventure with my Nikon D60. That event happened 3 years ago, and I still shoot with my Nikon D60 to this day. I started sharing my pictures on Flicker and enjoying the amazing works of other photographers. I studied what it was about the images that really caught my eye and I tried to emulate the style and composition of those images. Through this exploration, I discovered textures, Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom, my new obsessions. This is where I am at today; still loving the adventure, the possibilities, the artistry of photography and photo editing. I am excited about all there is still to be learned. I look forward to participating in this class and meeting all of my fellow classmates.

Thank you for reading!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Tulip Opening

I found this lovely bouquet of tulips in my grocery store and couldn't resist...a delightful preview of the flowers I hope to see in my garden this spring. The tulips were mere buds when I first brought them home, but after only a few hours, they opened to their full, elegant splendor.

Processed using Kim Klassen's LightPaper3 Texture

Processed using Florabella champagne Texture


Processed using Florabella White Linen Overlay (left) and Champagne Texture (right)

Also processed using Kim Klassen's LightPaper3 Texture

Sharing this over at: The Creative Exchange, Show off Your Shot, Texture Tuesday, and Favourite Photo Monday

If you've visited me here before, you may have noticed that I have been re-designing my blog. I think I am close to getting it the way I want it. It has been a lot of fun playing around with different colors, background textures, and graphics for the blog header. I hope you like it :-)

Have a great start of the week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Smyrna Beach in December

Over the Christmas holiday, we visited family in Florida, and what kind of Florida vacation would it be without a trip to the beach? New Smyrna Beach was the beach of choice during this trip. It was a cloudy day, and not very warm, but the sun did manage to make an appearance a couple of times. I had great fun watching all of the beach birds scurrying across the beach, swooping by, or just standing there surveilling the scene. Here are some images of my bird friends.

Processed using Kim Klassen's Embrace and Confidence Textures

Ankle-high in SandAnother view of my Seagull Friends

Ruddy Turnstones and Laughing Gulls

Scurrying Sandpipers

"We better keep an eye on those guys!"

What a delightful day it was! Nothing like the sea breezes and sound of the ocean to melt away the lingering stress from the holiday hustle and bustle.

Shared over at The Kim Klassen Cafe, The Creative Exchange, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays