Monday, April 27, 2015

Imp turns 8. How can that be?


We have had a fun and busy week because my baby boy just turned eight.  Or as Duke says, he is now "infinity" set on its side.

I made this chocolate cheesecake without the crust and we named it "Death by Chocolate".  We don't eat many sweets, but this cake was completely worth the sugar crash.  I had to take a nap post-cake.

We had a small family party because I am not the "hostess with the mostess" if a party involves lots of hyper kids running around.  Imp was fine with that because Dad made homemade pizza, I made cake, and there were presents involved.  

We had a few family members at the house to help celebrate (including my 92-year-old grandmother), but my mom and sister Heather couldn't come because they are in Dallas playing with Heather's new little baby boy.  Yes, we had two birthdays this week.

Life is good.

I don't want you to think I am a heartless person who doesn't "socialize" my boys.  ;-)  As part of Imp's birthday week we spent a day at the beach (followed with mini golf) with one of their best friends.


The water was cold so I wasn't sure they would go swimming.  They started out digging in the sand.


That didn't last long.  We always bring a trunkful of beach toys and they usually go unused.


They ran around like puppies.


And had a blast.


And then they got brave (or stupid!) and decided to go swimming.

We sat on the beach and watched them.  I love the ocean but I love it from afar when the water is cold.


But they didn't care.


And they swam, dived, jumped waves, and floated for over an hour.


When they finally came out they were little ice cubes.

Wow, my little boy looks so big in this picture.  Did I mention he just turned eight?


It seemed like just yesterday when I had a toddler running on the beach.

Life flies by so fast when you are having fun. Take the time to enjoy it!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Sunday, April 26, 2015

CoffeeShop "Magic Light Overlay Creator" Photoshop/PSE Action!


I love adding light to images post-camera and today I wanted share a nifty little action called "Magic Light Overlay Creator"that automatically creates three light overlays that you can use on any of your own images.

This week I will post the three light overlays for download if you would rather not use an action to create them and a step-by-step tutorial on how to create your own.  I will also have a companion action coming out this week that allows you to use these overlays and adds a beautiful warm light and boost of contrast.  It is called "Blissful Light" and I think you will love it!



This is the beautiful "before" image I found here. I ran one of my favorite B&W actions (Gossamer Wings) on it and then decided to add some light coming from the top right of the image.


I ran the "Magic Light Overlay Creator" and grabbed the Top Right Light overlay created by the action and placed it on top of the image and free transformed (Ctrl-T) it to fit.  Then I put it in screen blending mode at 81% opacity.  I love this soft hazy version.

Download the  CoffeeShop "Magic Light Overlay Creator" Photoshop/PSE action. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

CoffeeShop Photographer Storyboard 20!



It has been a crazy week.  My husband's assistant has not been able to come in to work as she has a sick baby at home.  So I have been filling in for her the last few days.  I love to work in his clinic, but my sister just had her baby (yay!) and my mom (my just-in-case babysitter) is up in Dallas helping her out so I have no one to take the boys during the day. So they are having to go to work with me and do their school, read, and watch Netflix.  I am exhausted but they are in heaven since they don't usually watch much TV.

So this week I behind in my real job (this blog), but hopefully I will be back to work by Sunday.  I will have lots of new goodies coming out next week!

I do have this 12x12 photographer storyboard for you today.  It has clipping masks and for a tutorial/free action on using these types of storyboards please visit this post.

Have a great Friday!!!

Download the free CoffeeShop Storyboard 20. You can also download it here.


Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


More from Rita:
Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Don't Lose the Freckles!" Photoshop/PSE Retouching Action!



I have a new retouching action to share with you today.  I love freckles, but unfortunately most skin smoothing actions will completely blur them away.  So I decided to write a retouching action that smooths mature skin while leaving most of the freckles intact.  

This action also has a eye/hair brighten layer, a whiten teeth layer, and a foundation layer and can be used on any portrait for retouching, no freckles necessary!  Check out all of my other retouching actions on this page.

I used a beautiful image from Bobby from SnapHappy Photography for this tutorial.



This is the before image.  I love the mother's freckles, but I wanted to smooth and brighten her skin and eyes just a bit.


This is my after.  I overdid the edit so you could see a difference on your monitor.  Retouching should always be used in moderation.  :-)

1.  I painted on the layer mask of the skin smooth layer (tutorial) to smooth everyone's skin.  I used a higher opacity brush for the mother's skin and a lower one for the children and adjusted the layer's opacity to taste.  I made sure to avoid hair, eyes, tips of noses, and lips/teeth.

2. I then adjusted the opacities of the "Freckles" and "Skin Smooth" layers until the mother's skin was smooth but still had beautiful freckles.

3.  I painted over everyone's iris and hair with a soft white brush on the "Eye Bright" layer and adjusted the layer's opacity to taste.

4. I used a soft white brush on the "Whiten Teeth" layer on the children's teeth.

5.  Finally, I used the eyedropper (I) to grab clean skin color and used a soft brush with low opacity to "paint" out under-eye circles, soften wrinkles, and brighten shaded skin areas.

I would love to see your before and afters over on my Facebook page!

Download the CoffeeShop "Don't Lose the Freckles" Retouching Action.  You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pretty Preset's New Luminous Collection "Chance to Win!" and Luxe Photoshop/PSE Action Montana Sky Overlay Specials and Free Editing Classes!!!

I have a new action coming out tomorrow!!! It should have come out today, but it has been a gorgeous day today so instead of working on the computer (yes, I feel guilty) I was out with the kids collecting blackberries and mulberries and then a nice lunch out with my Mom. My "baby" Imp has his eighth birthday this weekend so we are celebrating the week in style.

We have had a blast and now the kids are relaxing with their Minecraft Legos and I can get on my computer and finally finish up my action. :-)

Today I wanted to post about the newest Pretty Preset collection called "Luminous".  It is coming out very soon and right now you can register to win a free set before it is released by clicking on the image below or here and then like, share, or comment on the Facebook post to enter to win. The only presets I use beside my own are Pretty Presets and I can't wait to try this newest set out myself.  Pretty Presets ROCK!!!

Want to learn how to to use sunflares, bokeh, and flare in Lightroom and what updates are in the new Lightroom 6?  There is a free class for that at Pretty Presets.  Register today!!!!

I also wanted to mention that Luxe Photoshop Actions has a free class on learning how to use layers (great for Photoshop and PSE users) and also all of their Montana Sky Overlay Sets are on sale.



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Sunday, April 19, 2015

CoffeeShop "Vintage Rose" Digital Paper Pack


Happy Sunday!  This morning it is really beautiful and I am going to hang around with my family and get some sun.  We might even try to get out to the beach for a few hours.  I am also working on finishing my newest retouching action that I will post in the next day or two, but I wanted to share a freebie with you this morning.

I love vintage design elements and I had so much fun creating this pretty new paper pack using the rose I found here and the Topaz Impression plug-in.  I am always looking for a reason to play with Impression, those artistic filters are so addictive.  Designing digital paper is so relaxing.

I am always looking for inspiration, so if there is a specific type of paper you want me to design to post on my site please leave a comment below!!!  This is a great opportunity to get custom paper made for free.  :-)

I am also taking new website design orders right now if you want a beautiful new affordable blog or professional website.

Download the free CoffeeShop "Vintage Rose" Digital Paper Pack. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

CoffeeShop 11x14 Photographer Storyboard #19!



I have another free photographer storyboard for you today!  Storyboard 19 (don't you love my original names?) is an 11x14 storyboard with clipping masks for print or web.  You can change the background color and use the optional circle for text.  The circle's color and border color can also be changed.

If you are new to using storyboards and also want to use an action to quickly load your own images, please visit this post for a tutorial and action download.



Download the CoffeeShop Storyboard 19. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.