Monday, January 31, 2011

Here's my new button. Grab it ya'll!

It needs some color, but I'm not sure what to do.  Any suggestions for jazzing this up a bit??


What? Playing outside?

Sam and Jane commissioned this chalk art by Mom today. It's so nice for them to run around a bit in the yard and ride bikes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black & White Conversion


So it's slight, but I used a "healing brush tool" to essentially airbrush the ketchup/chappedness off Jane's lower lip, cropped it so it was just her, then did a B&W conversion. I dialed up/down the different B&W effects because I wanted to created enough shadow to notice her 3 dimples and her big eyes.  Then I dialed down the opacity to allow a little color back into the photo, so you can see the pink/yellow/purple stripes of her jammies - barely.

Thanks for the nice comments I've been getting.  Be sure to "follow" me, k?  (Click on the Follow box next to the thumbnails of all my followers, I mean, friends.)

Tonight's Homework

I've been watching and RE-WATCHING the videos for my online PSE course.  I can't believe I don't have a headache - yet.  Well, my lovely husband DID just bring me another a glass of wine, so there's time.  Anyhoot, I did not take the above photo - it was provided by the instructor of my ecourse - but I did play around with different layering effects, filters, hue/saturation, applied a texture and a blending mode, dialed down the opacity, and "airbrushed" a few "unsightlies" (my term).  Again, I like how vintagey (can I make that a term too?) the after photo is.  I totally sound like I know what I'm doing, right? 

Man, I'm dangerous with a hobby.  I get that from my dad.  Love you, Dad!

Okay, must finish wine and turn in.  I forgot how draining homework can be. :)

After (the wine)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I've been up to...

So I'm taking a photography e-course on Photoshop Elements.  Brett gave me PSE9 for Christmas, and Rachel suggested I take this class to lean some basics.  PSE looks awesome, but SUPER overwhelming to a newbie like me.
The above picture was taken of us last summer by our wonderful photographer, Crystal, the mastermind behind Crystal Ball Photography.  It was taken in the Curran Apple Orchard Park right across the street from our house.  It's a special place to us, and we love all the pictures Crystal took of us here, especially by our adopted apple tree.  Anyhow...I was doing my "homework" on this photo tonight, playing with "blending modes", "textures" and "adjustment layers".  I have about "this" much knowledge of what I just typed, but it sounds good, right?  And I love the way our picture turned out kinda "retro/vintagey" looking.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Look out! I'm feeling crafty...

Robert Allen Cats Cradle

Premiere Prints Amsterdam-Birch

It must be contagious.  I just ordered a BUNCH of fabric from Fabric Guru.  I just found this site while surfing the world.wide.web and saw they have the CUTEST prints.  Check out the "Contemporarty/Retro" prints.  And one of the best things, beside the price I mean, is they have a flat $5 shipping rate for ALL THE FABRIC YOU WANT.  I got some cute stuff.  Wait until you see how crafty I'm going to be.  Now where on the web can I buy some free-time?

Premiere Prints LuLu

Premiere Prints Crowing

See?  Cute, huh?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

So apparently 35 is "the crafty" birthday

Have you met my friend SuLee?  Well it will be easy now...just click on her name to check out her new blog.  Yes, we've turned her to the dark side.  But to get me back, she taught me how to make the above flower pins  She paid me back for the time suck.  HA!  They're actually not too hard to make, you just have to practice a bit until you find your groove.  Anyhow, she made me these gorgeous ones for my birthday, and I've been wearing them - everywhere.  Plus when I see myself in the mirror, I get to think of my friend and how much she means to me. 
 Love you SuLee!

Janey turns 5!

Jane Elizabeth Kiehl
Born January 16th, 2006
This is "Baby Jane".  Jane, you're 5 years old today which means Mommy and Daddy can reminisce at the risk of totally embarrassing you - all. we. want.  We must have called you Baby Jane for at LEAST the first year of your life.  In the picture above, you're 3 days old.  You're in an outfit that your Godparents, Ian & Anna-sara, got you, and you're laying on a blanket from Auntie, Uncle Kirk and Luke (Maria Grace wasn't born yet, remember?).  You were a precious 9lb. 6oz. 21.5in. bundle of pure joy, and you continue to brighten EVERY day with your sweet disposition.  Janey - we never want you to change that.

Janey at 1 year old.  Yeah...she OOOOZED personality even back then!
Seriously.  What was in those cheeks?!  So if you know Jane, you know she is the most expressive child ever created.  I mean, God didn't give her 3 (yes seriously, THREE) dimples for nothing.  Since she was 6 months old, she's been making friends of all ages.  Five minutes after meeting you, you'll be BFFs.  She has a wonderful way of making you feel like you're the most important person in the world.  This is a gift we know she'll use for life.

Jane @ 2 years, 3 months
"Wait.  What was that you said about personality?"
You didn't believe me?  I bet you do now.  She did that goofy pose all. on. her. own.  I thought Crystal, our amazing photographer, was going to pee her pants.  (Me too, but I was also 6 months pregnant with Sam.)  Well, we've had a lot of those moments with Jane.  She has the BEST sense of humor. 

Jane 3 years old

Jane on her 3rd birthday at Red Robin.

So 3 was the year of growing hair.  Thank the Lord.  Being a child of a Hughes/Kiehl means you're a cupie doll the first 2.5 years of your life.  But how cute were those curls?  And where did they go?  They just up and disappeared one day.  Thankfully the dimple trifecta remains.

The bob

Janey, you're still just as sweet and loving as the day you were born.  No.  More!  You're our cuddler, lover, kisser and hugger.  You never miss an opportunity to help your brother or sister when the need arises and you make friends wherever we go.  You make your mom and dad so proud of you.  We love you and wish you the happiest 5th birthday.  Ever.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mom's Birthday

My dear friend, who will remain nameless at this time, (so I don't blow a future surprise for anyone else) made me this darling apron for my birthday.  It's actually reversible!  It's totally incredible and I can't believe she did this for me.  Thank you friend.  I love it.

Another one of my dear friends, actually, one of my "besties" as she would say, made me this AWESOME camera strap cover.  My pictures don't do it ANY justice.  It's totally beautiful and SOOO comfortable.  Thanks Rachel!!! 

I received this beautiful piece of Polish pottery from my mom and dad this year.  My mom has sort of been collecting pieces, and she was sweet enough to pick one up for me!!  Since my dishes are white with two blue stripes around the outside (Dansk Concerto), this bowl matches perfectly.  Thank you!

Charlotte took this picture of Brett & I on my birthday.  I love it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Skinny-mini Photoshop Class

Kim Klassen Cafe

My Santa brought me Photoshop Elements 9 (PSE9) for Christmas.  I don't know HOW he knew I wanted it! (I only mentioned it a gagillion times.)  Anyhow, one of my besties, Rachel, took an online course on Photoshop and really liked it, so she passed it on to her PSE novice/virgin friend.  This Photoshop Class is a 10 day course.  One night I look over video instruction, then the next night I do the "homework".  I can post it for the class to see, but I don't.  I'm just doing this to learn how to use the program because it's pretty OVERWHELMING.  So if you too, are a newbie to PSE, check it out!  
 Oh yeah, it's FREE. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Is she not beautiful?

You'll probably recognize this as one of the Willow Tree angels. I just love them. Friends of mine gave me the family of three when I was pregnant with Charlotte, and it is still displayed in our family room. This is the Thank You Angel given to me by my dear friend and co-worker Jo. She is an amazing woman who is fiercely loyal and loving, and I am all the better nurse and person having crossed paths with her.

Thank YOU Jo for your impact in my life. You make me laugh, cry, cry-while-laughing, and I cherish you. xoxo, Annie
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy birthday!

Here's one of my favorite people!

So my cell phone took a weird photo, but you can feel the love, can't you?

Darrell & Eric

Happy birthday Eric (on the right) and Cynthia and Annie. Brix is a great way to celebrate 29. Love you all, but miss the Stewarts! Thanks for helping me celebrate my birthday!