Saturday, December 19, 2009

The GrooveChick knits!

It's been a busy week, and I don't expect it to not get any less busy around here for awhile.

But I did do something...

I knitted!

Ok, so not a texture, tutorial, or even that new action I promised... (I swear I did make one, it just needs a little tlc before I post it here) but still cool nonetheless!

I bought a knifty knitter, and I'm having so much fun with it. It's keeping me sane as the kids peek at presents and watch movie after movie.

I made a baby hat (using the instructions that came with the loom) and then got to thinkin' and although that usually gets me into some trouble, this time disaster decided not to strike and I made this little stork pouch.

Isn't that the cutest?! Ah! I love it. I wanna put a baby in there so bad!

And the matching hat!

And no, the photos aren't the greatest but I used my new dun dun dun....

light set!!!


Yes, I was so excited yesterday when I got home from finishing my holiday shopping (or at least I thought I did) to find a big box waiting for me with my new lights in it.

I feel all professional now.

Sooo... I'm working on another Pouch, this one will be brown, and then I'm going to make a bowl/cocoom. I have to get ready for my friend Dawna's baby next month (though he thinks he needs to get here now) so I can drive everyone insane with incessant posting of his gorgeous photos!

I'm just wondering if anybody is interested in buying one? (I've had a few requests) And if so, just e-mail me @ groove.chick @ and we'll discuss it!

I hope everybody has a lovely weekend!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My First Action!

Oh Lordy, let me tell yah! I have learned a great deal and I have a whole new respect for people like Rita from CoffeeShop and the Pioneer Woman because it wasn't exactly easy. But I did it!!!

You can grab that stinker here.

This is relatively simple.

Duplicate bg overlay @ 45%
Gradient map pastel spectrum screen @ 25%

Color fill 7a4d8f screen @ 7%
Color fill e58dd8 screen @ 10%

Levels > adjust as needed

new layer named light texture
set swatches to 402a66 and black
render clouds
add noise 21.27%
set to screen 58%

reset swatches
create group
pull all into group

And if you're anything like me, you'll toggle it on and off repeatedly and hem and haw over whether you like it or not before adjusting things until you get it just right.

Here's a larger view of Miss Melanie and Miss Anna.

Which brings me to our lovely weekend at "Papa's" house. It was so much fun! Not only did we all have the opportunity to stuff ourselves till we could barely walk, we got to see one another, and I haven't seen some of my family in over a year!

My niece Melanie asked me to shoot a few photos of her since she didn't get any school pictures this year and I was more than happy to oblige. Here's some from our little mini session.

I still have a ton of photos to go over (most are snaps) so family I didn't forget about you, I'll probably be posting more later. Whew!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Texture & Template Freebie!

Not much to post today people, just a couple of freebies and this lovely photo of Miss Isabelle with her new haircut!

Doesn't she just look adorable? Ah! I love it.

I've also had way too much coffee today, so I can barely sit still to type this!

I used one of my lovely textures and some wonderful swirly brushes to create this holiday paper texture.

And I have this 4 pane template for you lovely blog viewers. It was actually a request but I thought there might be others out there who would enjoy it as well!

You can grab that sucker here!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

8 Free Textures!

I think you can tell what kind of mood I'm in when I create my textures based on the name. Apparently I was going through a fairy tale phase while making these. Sometimes the soft feeling is perfect for photos and other times I just need some grunge. I hope these are a nice mix between the two. I must apologize for not putting them all together in an easily downloadable pack, they'll only be offered through my flickr for now.

And in other news. Felix is 6 months old now!! We did a mini session last night and hung him up again.

He's getting so big that hanging him isn't easy anymore. He squirmed and kept hanging out of the scarf we were using.

It's so hard to believe it's been 6 months already. He's part of the reason I began doing photography again. Having older kiddos, I realized that the time really does fly by and there are so many moments I wish I had captured. So many things that my tired mind can't really remember. I decided before he was born that I wanted to do photos weekly. And not just any old photos, nice ones. I didn't realize the work I was making for myself but I also did something else, I gave myself a reason to learn more. I'm pretty proud of me! I'm not quite there yet, but it's coming and I can feel it. I can't wait to see where I'm at in another 6 months.

Aah... enough of this. It's time for a texture preview!

Here's where you can find those textures! I never require a linkback but I would love to see what people are doing with these! Enjoy~

edit: Apparently I can't count or align. I had posted 7 new free textures... there's actually 8. And I just noticed that my preview pic isn't exactly perfect. <-- proof that I need a nap!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lovin' these free storyboard templates!!

When Rita from Coffeeshop posted these templates I finally knew what I'd do with these holiday studio shots that I didn't use for our card. They're so cute! I had to do something with them. Whaddya think?

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Texture Freebie!

I haven't gotten much done lately as far as photoshop goes. It's been pretty busy around the house, but today is nice and quiet so who knows what will happen?

We had a wonderful session last week with Mom & Pops as well as one with all the kiddos. It was so warm and nice that day so everything was near perfect for shooting. I got a few that I'm pretty proud of. I still have a whole bunch to edit. But with the kiddos gone for the weekend I'm counting on finishing up this set. Then it's back to more textures, a couple tutorials coming soon as well as me discovering how to make my own actions. I'm a bit worried about that one. But I'm gonna tackle it!

I used this new texture on that last one. Aren't the purple tones just gorgeous?
Here's the brand spankin' new texture as promised!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Card Template - Freebie!!!

It's been a busy week around the house with all the kiddos home from school for Thanksgiving vacation. But we've had some time to get a nice shoot done with all of them as well as their Nana and Pops. I managed to find time to create a holiday card template that's sized for a 5x5 tri-fold for WHCC. Hopefully I'll have a couple more coming up this week. I wonder if there are any particular sizes that anybody would like... If so, don't hesitate to let me know so I can design some in the sizes you use. I need some ideas!!! What kind of colors, themes, etc. do you like to see on holiday cards?

I'm getting a bit bored of my same o' textures too, so I think I'll have to put my creativity cap on and make some more.

Here's a preview of the first (of many I hope) template!

I should probably mention that the fonts will only work if you already happen to have them installed on your computer. If you don't have them you can get them at You can download the psd files here.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Pies!!! My Lovely Pies!!!

I had some help tonight in the kitchen making fresh-from-scratch-homemade-apple-pies for our family's annual Thanksgiving Day Potluck... perhaps a bit too much help.

Gabriel was so helpful peeling, coring and chunking apples for me and everything was going so smoothly and quickly with his elbow grease. Of course when it came to making the crusts I eventually had to shoo him out of the kitchen so I had some elbow room. Blast our tiny kitchen!

The pies (eventually) were baked, finished and cooling on the top of the stove when I happened to walk in there and see this:

OMG someone has picked some of the crusts at the edges of my pies!!!

I'm so angry I could pull my hair out. My gorgeous beautiful pies that I worked so hard to make pretty for tomorrow. Wonderful, yummy beautiful ruined pies!!!

Well I guess that serves them right... being so yummy. Irresistible even. They were just too tempting for Miss Isabelle. She couldn't keep her hands off of them. So when you see these pies tomorrow, family, don't laugh. Wait till you taste them... you'll be hooked too!

Anyway... They are lovely and they do taste so much better than store-bought pies. They're surprisingly easy to bake too! I've always been intimidated by baking homemade pies and mostly because the crust just seemed so difficult.

So I challenge you to bake my pies!!! Here's the recipe!

For the crust you'll need:

2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
6 tablespoons of butter (that's BUTTER not margarine)
6 tablespoons of shortening
and about 5-8 tablespoons of ice water

Basically, I just mix all the dry ingredients and then I cut the butter in with a pastry blender (you gotta get one if you don't have one... they're awesome!) and add the shortening. Lastly, I add the ice water. After you've mixed your dough, put it bowl and all in the fridge.

Now it's time to start peeling apples. To save time after peeling I use an apple corer. Then I chop the apples (otherwise I end up with a lumpy pie) and soak them in water with a splash of lemon juice to keep them from getting discolored.

For the filling you'll need:

Approximately 5 Apples
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (my secret ingredient!)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Once you have all that wonderful smelling stuff mixed, just set it aside. The next part doesn't take long.

Now it's time to roll out some dough!!! I always keep flour handy for this part because occasionally I have dough that turns out stickier than usual. So go ahead and sprinkle some flour onto your working area. I add a little extra to the middle because that's where mine always sticks the worst.

Get your dough out of the fridge and divide it into 2 lumps. Use one lump at a time and roll those babies out. It takes a little bit to get it just right sometimes, but it's easier than it looks. Just roll it until it's about the same size as your pan with just a little extra room for the edges. To get your crust in your pan, starting from one edge, roll the crust up onto your rolling pin. If your crust starts to stick to your surface (as mine usually does) just use one of your handy utensils to gently slide up under the crust as you begin to lift and roll it.

The first crust you roll out will go on the bottom of the pie. I fold the edges that hang off back onto the pie once I've got it positioned in there right. Then I poke some holes in the bottom of the crust with my trusty fork. Mom says this helps keep air bubbles from forming under the bottom of the crust and ruining your pie.

Now you can pour your filling mixture into your crust. I spread it around so it's nice and even.

It's time to roll out the top crust! Same as before, but if you want you can add some pretty decoration. I use cookie cutters to cut out a pretty vent and usually just draw some lines around it with a knife. Roll it onto your rolling pin like the first crust and try (haha) to get the vent hole centered on top.

Now gently pinch the edges all the way around (not too hard) and then use a wooden spoon to make ruffled edges. This also helps seal the pie around the edges. Finally wrap some strips of aluminum foil around the edges of your pie to keep the edges from browning too much. This helps your pie to be more evenly colored.

Bake the beauty at 400 degrees for about an hour. I usually pull my pies out after an hour, remove the aluminum foil and brush some egg white on the top then stick them in for another 10 minutes. Viola! Homemade baked apple pie!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blah blah Tuesday + more free textures!!

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday. It's dismal and dreary out tonight so everything is kinda blah around our house. It's a great night for cuddling up with a cup of steaming hot cocoa in front of a good movie! It's also not a bad night for posting some new free textures. I've been in a creative mood today so these cheered me up. These and seeing my Dad even though it was only for a little while and most of the time he was here he spent working on my car! I'll get to the point.

I used the textures on these kinda out there (for me at least) photos that I took last week of two of my kiddos. Isabelle's looking like a zombie (that's bubble gum not a melted face) and Courtney is following me. Here's the textures.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where does the time go? Free textures!!

It's been busy around here lately. I haven't even found time to make a post!

I was so excited yesterday to discover Felix's new tooth. He's been chewing on everything for months now so I didn't think it was coming anytime soon but he started chewing on my little finger and I felt something hard. Yay! Maybe now he won't be so fussy.

I had a texture pack I was working on called "Fairy Tale" but it's saved on the other computer which I can't use because the battery is dead and the ac adapter died! I'm just full of excuses, ain't I?

But I have created two other new textures in the little free time I have had lately. I used them for Felix's pictures last week.

Of course I had to do a storyboard with the free action I got from Rita at Coffeeshop. Wouldn't you like one of these?

Isn't he gorgeous? I've been wanting to do some shots of him with his favorite toy. He loves his Haba Kringelring. I love that it's not plastic.

I also found a tie that I thought would make a really cute prop. And it did... until he tore it apart.

I just love his expressions lately.

Alright, alright, I'll stop showing off my son and get to the point.

Here are the textures! Click on them to download.

I'm off to work on our Holiday Card! Have a great weekend everybody!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Some Grunge Textures

It's been over a week since I posted because things have been kind of hectic around here lately. I've been having problems with Photoshop giving me error messages and unexpectedly crashing on me. I may be doing an uninstall reinstall. Or maybe I've just got too many actions/patterns/brushes etc. Either way, it's given me a difficult time when I really have some fun stuff planned to do!

With parent teacher conferences and lots of running the kiddos have kept me pretty exhausted as well. Felix is feeling better but now we all have sinus infections. If it isn't one thing it's another.

So this week I decided blow the dust off my tablet that's been sitting there for about a year and go ahead and install it on this old computer. When I did it wouldn't work. After inspecting it, I discovered that our bunny Sundae had chewed the cord right by the usb plug. Before I started crying I remembered my Dad teaching me how to splice wires together. So to the dismay of some friends that were hanging out at my house that day I grabbed my old ipod cord (I killed my ipod a couple weeks ago) cut the plug off of it and spliced it to my tablet. It works! It doesn't look pretty, but the upside is the cord is actually longer.

And now I've got textures for you. It's so much easier to create them with my tablet and more fun too! I've been having a blast playing around with these and I'm pretty happy with the results. I've used two of them on this photo of Isabelle we shot at the park a couple weeks ago while the trees still had leaves on them.

There are six textures in this pack. To make things more simple for use the top two have twins (one cool toned and one warmer toned version). Here's a preview.

You can download them here or here.

And in other news, I ordered my Canon XS Digital SLR this Wednesday. I'm so excited and I must point out that B & H Photo is awesome because the price went up while I was gathering the funds to buy it but after notifying them of it (and sending them my sob story) they lowered the price once again. I've heard good things about them and it turns out they were right. So I should have my starter camera this Monday. Of course, I'm so excited I can hardly sit down. I must have checked the tracking number at least a dozen times since I ordered it. I'll be busy learning it and I'll start booking photo sessions as soon as it arrives.

Also, I'm planning on working on some holiday card templates and hopefully within the next few weeks I should have at least a couple up to share.