Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Memories & Pure Picturesque - Free Printable Calendar {February 2014}

Wow - Time really flies. Busy and exciting month is coming to an end. Grateful! 

And here is your free printable calendar template for February.
Download here & feel free to pin or share :)

Sharing with: Mosaic Monday

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday & Tulips

In the beginning of this year, I posted my 14 for 2014. One of those 14 was to dare to post poor-quality pictures if they were important for me... This is one of those... I don't like blurriness of this image and I would like to see the little details better... But I really do like the feeling in this. The tiny hint of spring... the light and airiness. Their feet and even the clumsy shadows on the wall... 

Happy Tuesday...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday on skates

Oh  it's been such a beautiful day! Gentle weather, ice skating, hot cocoa and so much fun...

Carefully :)

With a little help of the big sister...

A little break!

Finally exhausted...

...yet happy!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Beating the cold...

It's so cold... and the temperatures are yet dripping. It's even affecting our everyday life... children haven't been out for a week, public transport tackles, house is chilly and the blankets - big, warm and many blankets - are definitely a necessity. This is no winter wonderland. We have snow but the snow won't stick to the trees and the cold wind blows as it feels some much colder than it actually is.

My Friday finds... I'll try to find the good. The positive. The enjoyable.

We find the felts and huddle close. We burn candles and enjoy not just the light but also the warmth they give. We sleep enough and well under our warm duvets. We make marshmallows by the fire and eat little treats in the evenings. 

The days are slowly getting longer but the darkness still surrounds us heavily both in the evenings as well as in the morning. I'm used to it. I enjoy seeing the sun - that has really happened a couple of times - but I've also learned to beat the darkness. There is no way I'd give up on my Christmas lights ;) And nothing pampers me better than a glass of red wine by the fire...

Happy Friday! Find the good. The positive. The enjoyable.

Sharing with: Friday Finds, Sunday Snapshot, Mosaic Monday

And while you are here, you might as well check out my new tutorial - How to edit & texture a snapshot!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Before and After - how to edit & texture a snapshot {Tutorial}

Never overlook a random snapshot! That is what most of my images are to begin with.

This one was snapped in our bedroom in front of a closet in quite a poor light. There is a huge difference between the before and after - especially in the mood in the image. 

There are all kinds of things you can do but I find texturing one of  the easiest and by far the most effective way to turn an image into a nice piece of  portraiture art.

Here is my editing step by step in Photoshop Elements. Keep in mind that textures are easy to work with in any editing program that allows you to use layers. I used a free editing program 'Gimp' for long before started to learn Photoshop. If there is enough interest, I might provide a texture tutorial for Gimp as well...

But let's take a look at the before and after images...



The first step is to remove the closet outlines by using the Clone Stamp Tool that allows you to copy one area of an image and copy it onto another area. First select the area you want to copy from and click Alt-click (for Windows). Then move your cursor to the are you want to replace and simply click.
This a very useful tool but it might require some practicing before you get the idea completely. 

Once I'm done with the background I move on and I try out some Photoshop Actions. I use actions a lot! I wish I could edit like I didn't need them but I can't. Actions are great to improve ones photography and save editing time. If you are looking for good actions but don't know where to start looking I advice you to visit Florabella Collection and Paint the MoonThose are the ones I use and I couldn't love those actions more.

In the picture below I have run two actions from Florabella Colorplay action set.
Brownish & 1975. They make a huge difference in the picture - nice soft, dreamy and shabby look.

Then it's time to texture! I've chosen Kim Klassen 'Marabella' -texture slightly desaturated. 
If you need help desaturating / removing colors from the texture, I have a tutorial for that - just click here!  Place the texture above the image, resize to fit and choose your blending mode and opacity. Here the texture is applied with Multiply blending mode 52% opacity. 

I wanted to remove the texture from my girl, so I added a layer mask. 

I used rather large black soft brush at 61% opacity to mask of the texture in desired areas.

In the very end I added some light to the center of the image and some vignettes. 
For both I have actions from Florabella Collection.

And here is the final image.

And another two outtakes from the same session.

Thanks for reading! Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me :)

Sharing with: Favorite Photo Friday, Weekly Top Shot,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter Wonders

The cold finds the skin but doesn't find the heart. What I didn’t know then was that the cold constricts the blood vessels, which is important when one needs to staunch a hemorrhage, when one needs to stop the blood from flowing. So I’ll take my frosty windows and white world just as long as it pulls, pushes so the heart finds warmth and beats stronger, a fire, a flame, a Caribbean sea, a cup of coffee, you and you and you and me.’ – Melody Heide

From my afternoon walk.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Finally. A real winter with snow and cold. Sharing some random winter pics here 

Monday, January 13, 2014


Hi y'all! Those of you who follow me in Facebook already know that we finally got snow, frost and cold... But I've been busy working and haven't had time to capture those nice snowy landscapes. 
Meanwhile... let's take a look at these lovely flowers 

Textured with Kim Klassen '1811' (Multiply 63%) & Mona's Picturesque 'Etoile' (Soft Light 100%) - both desaturated.

Textured with Mona's Picturesque 'Melodie' (Multiply 75%)

Textured with Mona's Picturesque 'Andante' desaturated (Multiply 78%)

Textured with Mona's Picturesque 'Piruette' desaturated (Multiply 72%)
Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How to apply textures without colors {Tutorial}

I've just released Ballerina Stories Texture Collection. A lovely little collection of seven textures - mainly in pastel colors. Not a fan of pastels? Or perhaps you just don't take the kind of pictures the pastels would fit in with? Don't worry! Have you ever thought of using textures without colors? Very easy... so many possibilities.

Here is a picture I've applied Piruette from Ballerina Stories Texture Collection - without colors!

This is the original image.
It's a pretty picture... just lacking the texture touch. A texture in pastel color would not be right choice with orange color...

The original Piruette Texture

There are many ways to remove colors from the texture and below is one of the easiest. All you need to do is to adjust hue/saturation as follows.

There! And then I applied the texture with multiply 72%. No masking - no other tweaks...
We are finished.

Happy Texturing!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ballerina Stories Texture Collection - New & Available

Ballerina Stories is a playful little Texture Collection of seven lovely textures. These textures are designed especially to enhance the impressiveness of your still life or portrait photography.