Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Once Upon A Time :: FREE Vintage Actions


So, I know, I need to get a little more organized with my blog, and I am doing a horrible job... But I was hoping that if i put these actions up for download you could all let me know what you think...


Whisper

This action started as a black and white action, my hazy black and white... but the action, when you turn the gradient map off has such lovely tones. I really like it, and use it a lot! :)


Download Whisper Here  -- again, the action runs black and white, turn off the gradient map to give you the color.


1970's Summer

I don't know that ya'all will use this very often, but it's  kind of fun action, for certain photos, giving them that blown out and red toned look of photos from the 1970s :)


Download 1970's Summer Action Here

Faded Morning

This is a pretty hazy, light, blue toned action ... It can easily be toned down.



Download the Faded Morning Action Here

Lost

This is one of the darker actions. I prefer a hazier, lighter look usually, but I love this for photos with green in them!

 


Sinking Sun

This has warm tones... but it's still pretty light.


Download Sinking Sun Action Here

StoryBook Vintage

Another Darker Action, but with rich, aged tones. Another I love for grassy shots ;)




Download StoryBook Vintage Action Here


I would love some honest feedback on these, and they should work in any version of PS :) I tried them in elements, and they worked, but I am totally new to this, so I look for there to be some issues. Let me know if the links work too... 


And I hope you can enjoy them :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

You Tube




I went ahead and made a you tube channel to share slide shows... it's nothing fancy, mostly for family :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Through the Viewfinder Texture Set


Through the Viewfinder Texture Set

Encouraged by Sid Black to create some TTV textures after posting some actual ttv shots, I decided I would give it a whirl... first, it was more difficult than I thought ... but...

I am so glad I did.

It was a lot of fun!!

Here are 4 textures for you to use as you like...


All I ask is that you not try to sell them, as your own ... but feel free to use them in any of your work! No link back necessary!

Just click on them for the full size, right click and save ...

Have a SUPER Weekend!

Modern Mothering : Part Three : The Breastfeeding Stigma




Part Three : The Breastfeeding Stigma

At the beginning of each part in this series you will see this little note. I want to remind you that I am not trying to come from a negative space, or a judgmental - holier than thou - kind of place. I’m coming from the place of a mother who knows she has a lot to learn, that she knows she has a long way to go… and that she loves being a mother. I hope that you don’t take anything I say as anything more than my own experience and a heartfelt message. I pass no judgment, and appreciate all mothers and the styles they embrace. I hope to learn something on this journey and hear your stories as well.


The most important thing I can say to start this post is that I have no opinion on which is best, bottle or breast… that what matters is that you are feeding your child, that you are loving your child and making the right decisions for your own family and circumstances.

From the first time I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. So natural, beautiful, perfect, I thought. The way God intended it and it could save us money, foster a bond between myself and my child. It could be an beautiful experience.

I went to the classes that the hospital offered, I read the books. I talked to my Mom and felt really good about the whole thing.

Lydia was born. I tried… and it hurt. That’s normal I thought. I told the nurse and the lactation consultant. They showed me the right way to do it, helped me. And reinforced that I needed to do it, that it was the best decision. I kept trying, it kept hurting.

By the time we left the hospital I was nothing if not discouraged. I had spent my time trying and not succeeding at breastfeeding. Lydia cried so much and I was covered in these horrible blisters. I felt like I was letting Lydia down, that something was wrong with me… All the while the nurses saying “She’s doing it right, just get through it, this is what is best”. I remember crying, thinking I was a terrible mother.

I struggled. The first couple days I dreaded nursing time. I would use damp clothes and creams to ease the pain, but I was swollen and passing blood and clots every time Lydia tried to nurse. We would both cry… and I would beg God to help me. I was so ashamed. I told the nurses at the hospital the trouble I was having, that I couldn’t get Lydia full and that I kept bleeding and bleeding. They told me again, “Stick with it, this is what is best”.

After a week with no sleep, literally, and non stop crying from Lydia … I sat there, in the bedroom trying, to no avail to nurse her. Singing to her, breathing through the pain and watching her refuse to latch on. There was blood on me, blood in her mouth… I couldn’t do it.

Shaking, I pulled some formula from the cabinet, mixed it as shown… said a prayer and gave it to her. Her feet went straight out… her eyes popped open and I watched her eat like there was no tomorrow. I cried. And for the first time , she didn’t cry, as she ate. I held her close to me and thanked God for the moment. But I was still ashamed.

It took me years to get over the shame. I felt like I had done wrong by her. That I had missed out on the beautiful experience. Then I realized, that I had made the best choice I could. That any decision I made was based on love and effort, that I may not have made the decision that other mothers had, but that Lydia and I were, in fact, very close. That we had bonded and that she was healthy. I didn’t need to be ashamed. We are all different… and what mattered was that I loved her.

I tried with the other two, and had no luck, I even tried pumping. I made peace with it, and found myself a much happier mommy for it.

To this day, I would try again, I think it’s a beautiful gift, but I know that letting that define me, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, is wrong. That I should define myself by the efforts I made and the ability to embrace life as it comes. I should be defined by the love in my heart and more importantly the love that my children feel.

I know that I have been judged, for not breastfeeding. And maybe there is more I could have done… I won’t deny that there may have been things I just simply didn’t know that would have made it easier or more successful, but the point is, I understand both sides, and I hope that hearing my story, you will see this side of the debate… and that if you are a new mother and you feel these things, you will know you are not alone.


 
Check Back For “Stay at Home Moms”

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and hear your advice and insight… Us mothers need to come together and embrace our similarities and our differences so that we can be united and more supportive. I’ll encourage you to share here, in the comments or blog about it and share the link. Thanks for taking the time to read. It means so much

Friday, March 26, 2010

I hope you dance ...


Realities and Blessings : Week Two


Here I am with my second installment of  “Realities and Blessings”, the brain child of Maegen At “A Life Set to Words”… I think this is such a wonderful thing to do, a great way to reflect on your week and know that we have so much to be grateful for.

Realities and Blessings : Week Two


: Reality :

I woke up at 5 something to the bitter reality that it had snowed. That all my plans for a springy-time afternoon spent sidewalk chalking and picnics in the yard were dashed. Devastated.

: Blessing :

Snow days make me appreciate Spring all the more, it’s why I don’t take picnics and side walk chalk for granted. At least it was only a dusting of snow and by 2:30 most of it was melted. The kids made forts and our day spent in has been one full of laughter.


: Reality :

I don’t think there is one square inch of our living room walls that isn’t covered in some kind of mark… pencil, chalk, crayon, marker, pen… you name it. And I have no way of painting over it right now…

: Blessing :

My children are all getting much better with their art, I can make things out without it being explained, I can see there knowledge of people’s unique features and what colors they like most. I can see that they are creative souls that long to express themselves… I know that someday, my home will have perfectly painted walls and no scattered toys, and when that day comes I will mourn these days, so for now, I’ll just enjoy.

 

: Reality :

The reality is, it’s payday and almost all of our money is gone… it’s like that every payday. None of it spent on super fun stuff, but on bleach, a $4.00 mop and other have-to-haves… and bills.

: Blessing :

O the blessing that comes in knowing that you have enough to pay your bills, clean your home, feed your babies and know that the hubs can stop by speedway for a coffee and hotdog after work. There was a time when we didn’t have enough for our bills, for our gas or even to have water. God has blessed us abundantly.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Everyday Miracles


Those things we overlook...

Those things we take for granted...

Those things we already have...

Part Two : The Mothers of a New Mother



Part Two : The Mothers of a New Mother

At the beginning of each part in this series you will see this little note. I want to remind you that I am not trying to come from a negative space, or a judgmental - holier than thou - kind of place. I’m coming from the place of a mother who knows she has a lot to learn, that she knows she has a long way to go… and that she loves being a mother. I hope that you don’t take anything I say as anything more than my own experience and a heartfelt message. I pass no judgment, and appreciate all mothers and the styles they embrace. I hope to learn something on this journey and hear your stories as well.

They are two major influences on a girl when she becomes a mother. Her own Mother and her Husband’s Mother.

As a young mother I felt very much the push and pull of family visits and inclusion of my mom and mother in law in the new baby bliss. I am not and never have been one to want someone to come in and take over… and I wasn’t sure how to allow them both in, to find the balance. Neither of them tried to step on my toes, neither of them tried to correct me, but sometimes all it takes is having them watch you to make you insecure. I didn’t want to share Lydia with anyone … and it seemed like that was all I was doing.

I remember being angry at times, getting defensive of the things that were said. I know I got hurt easily and most of it was completely un merited. When I think back to that time I think of how hard it was for me to ask for help - or say NO for that matter. I let my insecurity rob me of some of the moments I could have had.

I wish I would have been more secure in the Mother I was becoming.

I know, it’s easy to get angry. I think about it now and realize that neither was ever trying to step in… they were both excited and wanted to cherish that fleeting time as well. Their opinions were advice, things that they had learned, things they wanted to spare me the time learning. They wanted to help, they wanted to share and bond. They wanted to express how much love and joy there was in them and they had as hard of a time sharing as I did. It’s so quick. Before you know it, the first year is gone. It’s important to get so much in.

It was easier with the other 2 babies. I had a better grasp of things. We all did.

I was able to take advice better. They were able to let me spread my wings more. And we flowed together better. I could take the time to step back and appreciate the differences in them. That they both had so much to offer me, and that I needed both their influence to live up to my own potential. These two women, these two MOTHERS would be my biggest advocates and biggest support if I just embraced them as they were. And loved them as much as I should.

It’s beautiful, getting to that point. And I am so glad that I have them both.



Check Back for “ The Breastfeeding Stigma”

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and hear your advice and insight… Us mothers need to come together and embrace our similarities and our differences so that we can be united and more supportive. I’ll encourage you to share here, in the comments or blog about it and share the link. Thanks for taking the time to read. It means so much

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hamilton Ohio Transforms...


Hamilton Ohio Transforms... into a beautiful place at night... a sea of light beneath the horizon line... beautiful architecture and the perfect spot to catch some bokeh... enjoy this photo post...

Part One : Before We Are Mothers




Modern Mothering : A Blog Series

Here’s the ground I’ll cover in this Seven-Part Series and I would love to hear back from you…

Part One : Before we Are Mothers
Part Two : The Mothers of a New Mother
Part Three : The Breastfeeding Stigma
Part Four : Stay At Home Moms
Part Five : Being a Biblical Wife and The Examples we set for our Children
Part Six : Making the Hard Decisions, Resting On Faith
Part Seven : Depression and Working Through It



Part One : Before We Are Mothers

At the beginning of each part in this series you will see this little note. I want to remind you that I am not trying to come from a negative space, or a judgmental - holier than thou - kind of place. I’m coming from the place of a mother who knows she has a lot to learn, that she knows she has a long way to go… and that she loves being a mother. I hope that you don’t take anything I say as anything more than my own experience and a heartfelt message. I pass no judgment, and appreciate all mothers and the styles they embrace. I hope to learn something on this journey and hear your stories as well.

Being a Mother starts long before we have children. I didn’t realize it at the time, but all my experiences would eventually be stories to share - or not share… it would be my advice, it would be my link to their adolescence.

All my decisions would shape the mother I would become and the way I relate to others.

When I met my husband, I didn’t expect that that not even 2 years later we would be married with our first child. I was 18 when we met, very insecure and had no intention of becoming a mother in that foreseeable future, although, I knew I wanted children.
I remember the day we took the test and it came up positive. I couldn’t breathe. A child… my child. And so began my tangible journey into motherhood.

I read so many books, trying to ready myself for the changes. Ready myself for what would inevitably be. I tried to document the sensations and emotions I felt.  Becoming a mother means realizing that the world is so much bigger than you. Realizing you are not the center of the universe.

I was sick for months, horrible morning sickness, back pain and swelling. I realize, after three babies, that it wasn’t so bad, it was normal… but the first time you are pregnant it’s overwhelming, or it was for me. I stayed away from all caffeine and fish, prided myself on my healthy lifestyle. I wanted to be the best mother ever.

In the last few months of my pregnancy, I was “offered” lots of advice. Some good, some bad, and some just ridiculous. It was a hard time in my life. Realizing that everyone had opinions and there was no way that I could please them all.  I was hearing things like :
Breastfeed … Don’t breastfeed … Co sleep … Don’t co sleep … Use a pacifier … Don’t use a pacifier … Boil everything … Don’t boil everything … Recalls … car seats … bumper pads … SIDs … animals

Some days it was more than I could bare.
I had all these expectations weighing on me… and all I wanted to do was hold my daughter. It seemed cruel.

I’ve noticed in the years since then, that it is cruel out there. Mothers are critical of each other and their choices. They point fingers and argue over who is the best. I have been scolded for choices I have made… and I have felt judgment. We all have. I think, what I would like to accomplish, is to become the type of mother that feels strong about her convictions, but that is understanding of each family’s choices. And that what matters is Love… not so much the details.




Check Back for “The Mothers of  a New Mother”

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and hear your advice and insight… Us mothers need to come together and embrace our similarities and our differences so that we can be united and more supportive. I’ll encourage you to share here, in the comments or blog about it and share the link. Thanks for taking the time to read. It means so much