Tag Archives | photography

What I Learned This Weekend

Smiles are contagious. Bickering and grouchiness are too. The girls’ arguing was  a never-ending stream of “she called me stupid!” and “shut up!”, only to be interrupted with crying and pouting.

The constant snapping and shouting trickled down- or up, I should say- through the family. Conner yelled. Kevin snapped. I wanted a glass of wine.

I told the girls to get in the car. They had no idea where we were going, not that they noticed as they continued the circle of insults and hurt feelings.

I had no doubts that a plethora of parenting books, blogs and experts held the key to how I should have handled the situation. However, sometimes people can get caught in a temporary- and sometimes not so temporary- gray fog that even Dr. Phil couldn’t shine a beacon light on to guide them out.

As we left our gated community, I still didn’t know where we were going. I only knew that I needed to give Conner and Dad some peace and quiet. Five minutes later found me at Freddy’s Burgers drive-thru ordering ice cream sundaes. The girls looked confused.

Another five minutes found us in a nearby tranquil park eating ice cream, rolling down hills and playing.

Before anyone sends out any “bad mom” comments about my “negative reinforcement”, know this- it worked. Some might say I was rewarding bad behavior.

I might say that sometimes we just need a break.

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“Rainy Day”

The recent rains in Las Vegas make me reminisce about past summer rainy days.

Living in the desert I appreciate rainy days more than others.  Raindrops pour down a new perspective on the city.  Nighttime clouds reflect Las Vegas and you can trace the city from the green illumination on clouds over MGM Grande over to the bright light shining from the Luxor looking as though heaven were shining the light down rather than the reverse.  From the Spilsbury home, just miles from the Strip, the transformation engulfs us in a peaceful warmth indoors.  Outside the kids explore the grounds and experience a new aspect to their backyard oasis.  We know this feeling will only last a day before the bright Nevada sun brings back the dry Sierra warmth.


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Rainy Day Rainy Day1

Rainy Day

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Epiphanie Camera Bag Giveaway

Have An Epiphanie

Remember when all camera bags were black and basic?  It takes a truly talented and clever person to realize that we lady photographers may enjoy a more stylish mode of photography equipment transport.

Not only are Epiphanie Camera Bags fashionably aesthetic, their functionality fits the lifestyle of someone like me who writes, networks, photographs and needs to apply lip gloss.  This is what it means to have an epiphany, and I’m sure that’s exactly what happened when designer Maile Wilson, professional photographer for fifteen years, decided to create these amazing and appropriately named bags.

Epiphanie Bag in Clover

the “Clover” Epiphanie Bag in Fuchsia


My Epiphanie

My Epiphanie bag has traveled with me on media tour, and recently to BlogHer Food in Seattle, Washington.  My bag does hold quite a bit, but I’m always more amazed at how well it holds my stuff, in addition to how much…. it always fits my purpose just perfectly.

Epiphanie Bag at BlogHer Food

Having an Epiphanie at BlogHer Food in Seattle Washington


And now, I’m the proud owner of the “Lyric” Epiphanie Bag in Mustard, and am packing it up for BlogHer’12 in New York City.  With my Canon T2i, macro and zoom lenses, pocket wallet, business cards, iPad, lens wipes and- of course- lip gloss, this bag holds everything in it’s perfect place and (most importantly) will make me the most stylish blogger at this powerhouse conference.  If you’re on Twitter and Instagram, be sure to follow me for live photos throughout the event!

“Lola” Epiphanie Bag in Mustard


The Giveaway

This is probably our most exciting giveaway yet.  To kick off my trip to BlogHer in New York City, we’re hosting a giveaway of an Epiphanie Bag of the winner’s choice.  Click on over to EpiphanieBags.com to check out their shop then enter our giveaway below. We know this is going to be very popular so we gave you lot’s of ways to gain extra entries that you can do each day!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4th of July Fun in Picasa 1960’s

An intimate day with just my husband and kids to celebrate Fourth of July brings great family photo opportunities.  Just because there are no guests doesn’t mean our holiday should be any less celebratory- with karaoke (thank you Katy Perry for “Firework” and Miley Cyrus for “Party In the USA”), sparklers and roasted marshmallows, we’ll never forget this peaceful, festive day.

Picasa 3 1960’s Color Enhancing

I’m still learning the many different tools out there for photo editing and organizing, and today I came across this fun auto color filter in Picasa 3.

Picasa is a free download from Google at: picasa.google.com and I’m finding it to be a great tool to edit and organize my photos.  I’m able to export photos and do mass editing like scaling and watermark stamping for the entire album rather than individually formatting each photo, like in Gimp.

The only complaint I have is that I’m not able to format my watermark to use my logo image, and end up with the generic watermark (lower right-hand corner).  If there is a way to use my logo signature as my watermark in Picasa, I haven’t figured it out and that’s not due to lack of trying.


Another one of my favorite Picasa features is the collage tool.  Once you’ve chosen your photos from your download file, formatted and transferred them to your titled folder, it takes about 15 seconds to create a collage.

picasa photo tutorial

Picasa How To 1960's


How to format photos using Picasa 1960’s color enhancing:

  1. If you haven’t already downloaded Picasa, visit picasa.google.com and follow instructions for a free download.
  2. Picasa will automatically load and organize all of your existing photo files, along with any future photo uploads.
  3. Locate the photo or photos from your folders that you want to enhance and select image by double-clicking.
  4. In the left-hand tool bar for color photo enhancing, select the green paintbrush that says, “more fun and useful image processing”
  5. Select “1960’s”

Picasa Tutorial

Here is the before and after:

Picasa Color Enhance

Before and After Picasa 1960’s Color Enhancement


Take THAT Voldimort!


Smores- NOW it’s a party!

I’m sure I need more knowledge on how to shoot fireworks- very tricky.


Instagram for Mobile

Of course I still love my Instagram for mobile photo color enhancing:


Taken on iPhone and edited via mobile in Instagram

For more Fourth of July fun and Picasa photo collaging, check out:

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