New Kitchen Inspiration

You know when you desperately need to buy a pair of shoes but can’t find anything you like?  The only style you can find in the stores are 70’s wedges, or 4 inch heels, or old lady shoes?  So you go without and keep polishing your old shoes because you just can’t go with what is popular?

That has been my design dilemma with our kitchen.  I don’t want a stark white kitchen.  I mean I LOVE white marble and dark wood floors.  But I don’t have dark wood floors.  We have saltillo tile, and I’m not ripping that out.  It’s hard to imagine that we’ve already spent thousands on the kitchen, but we have.   Just removing the drop ceiling (and the unknown electrical improvements) was a hefty price tag.   In the reno world everything costs “about $3,500”.   But I digress.  I couldn’t decide on a design for my kitchen so I didn’t do anything.  Until now.

Where did the sudden inspiration come from?  When we replaced appliances we didn’t replace the refrigerator.  It is ugly, but it is more than functional and has ice in the door.  I’m a simple girl.  With my deep freeze in the garage there was no need to replace our fridge.  My inspiration came from the need to cover up the ugly fridge.

Sadly right after I purchased this beautiful covering for the fridge, the fridge died. Good news is we now have a new state of the art stainless fridge. Bad news is my art installation is wasted since it was custom fitted to that fridge. Stay tuned.

Sparkle Closet – compliment to a Sparkle shoot

Planning makes for a better meeting, workshop or party!  It is also very important to plan before a Sparkle shoot.  Why?

The Sparkle shoot is your opportunity to shine.  Get your hair done. Your nails and toes done. Get a massage.  It’s your opportunity to get a beautiful portrait of yourself.  You with your daughter(s), your son(s), your Mom, or your best friend.

A Sparkle shoot leaves you with portraits.  It isn’t a snapshot.  Nor is it a “lifestyle” shoot, which is you and your family, a photographer, at a park.   And you receive a few images of ya’ll walking around.  Those shoots can be very well done.  They are usually for Christmas cards.  I’ve done that in the past.  Once.

It’s not that a portrait is more formal.  To me it’s more real.  It’s a connection that a snapshot just doesn’t have.  To illustrate look at the two photographs below.  Can you tell the difference between the two?

Snapshot vs Portrait

Snapshot vs Portrait

I took both of these.  The image on the left was a Valentine Limited Edition.  This is Avery, sweet girl and very photogenic.  The image on the right was a Sparkle shoot.  Makeup artist on set.  This is an image that in 50 years her children can point to and say “That is my MOM!”.   It is so real to me.

Here are some more examples:

glamour, Sparkle,

Savannah - Sparkle

Savannah – Sparkle

So the obvious question is “What am I going to wear?”

We can help you with that.   I have an ever expanding closet of clothes that are perfect for your session.  Take a look at the Sparkle Closet here:

(copy and paste the following)

Do you have any portraits of yourself?  Of your family?


Artwork – other than Portraits? gasp!

I am always interested in decorating my home.  Although for the past several months you wouldn’t think so due to the constant state of remodel.  (I could do a series of posts on that one but will leave it alone!)

Any who! I saw these prints in a Country magazine recently and absolutely LOVE this idea.  Black and white prints of US patents. It would be great in any room, any size, and is perfect for a masculine room.

Patent prints Country Living 4-13

Want to know the best part?  The artwork is FREE.  Yep, download from  Here is a closer view.

Up close patent print

I think these would make really cool Christmas gifts.   You can search for any invention.   I love the camera’s!

Have a SUPER Weekend!

Do you Pin? on Pinterest?

I love the idea of Pinterest.  I set-up my boards and try to remember to “pin” my favorites.   Only I usually rip out the magazine page and physically pin the idea to a physical board. (Yep I’m that girl).  But I am trying my best to embrace yet another social media.

As a Portrait photographer I’m constantly asked how to arrange images.  I’ve created a board just for that.  Here is one of my favorite idea finds:

framing ideas, glamour, portrait photographer

Keep The Picture collage arrangement ideas

For those of you who do enjoy Pinterest you can follow me at KeepThePicture.  Or click on the right hand side of the blog!

Glamour, sparkle, framing ideas, photo shoots

Sheila Hallmark Photographer

Have a SUPER week!

Bathroom Reno – Take like 5?

This bathroom is gonna be finished.   Someday.  Someday soon.  But we changed our minds on the flooring because hubby doesn’t like square tiles so no white carerra found something he we like better.  tee hee hee.  Really I do like it better.  It goes beautiful with the Restoration Hardware sink cabinet I picked out.

Restoration Hardware Double Vanity

Mark picked it up today.  Found it at the RH Outlet in San Marcos. SCORE!   Happy Mother’s Father’s Day!  French Empire Double Vanity Sink.

And here is the flooring he also picked up today.

Oceanside Plank

Lumber Liquidations

Oceanside Plank is the name of this weathered grey floor.  Do people give parties when they finish a reno?  Even if it’s just the Master Bath??   I think Champagne will be in order.


Where have I been?

The past few months have been a whirlwind.    Not only did I hit a creative block – we thought we were moving to Nashville – then a close family member got sick – then my little girl graduated 5th grade.

Ok, so graduated is a bit much but she is now out of elementary school.   I wish I could keep our kids younger longer.  Not just that I want them around longer, but I haven’t quite got this parenting thing down yet and really want a do over some days!

We are SO glad we’re not moving.  Nashville is beautiful, but there are so many things to love about Austin and this is our home now.  Oh and did I mention our home?  We have a two story and recently moved everything to the first floor so we could gut the top floor.  The formal living and dining room has bed, bed, and bed.  Yeah.  And so now you know where I’ve been…

But on a fun note I’m finally getting to pick out fixtures and such.  Look at the selection for our Master bath, it has been completely gutted.  Carrera marble for the floor, white subway tile for the shower (with metal accents), and a random glass tile with metal for the backsplash!

Bath surfaces

Here is a better shot of the backsplash:

Backsplash Master bath

I’m in LOVE.

The pendant lights came today!  I might actually get to use that new shower by the end of the month!  #party!

Lots of cool design/photo stuff to blog.  Will do that soon.   promise.

Happy Summer ya’ll!


Chicken Soup – I made it! I made it!

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know I suck struggle at cooking.  Like epic.

One of those afternoons when I was pondering “just what is for dinner?” I thought how good it would be to have a nice pot of homemade chicken noodle soup.  Never mind that I had NEVER made it before.   It was unusually cold in Austin, so I started searching online for a recipe.

I found one and started all the steps. I don’t remember why I had to go next door to the Almquists but when I came back Mark was “helping” me in the kitchen. (He of course can define just how epical bad I am in the kitchen). He started where I left off…or so I thought.

When I had closed the Ipad somehow I lost my spot.  So Mark was continuing a different recipe.  We didn’t realize anything was amiss until he said “I’ve never put a potato in a chicken noodle soup recipe before.  REALLY? A POTATO? That’s NOT my recipe!

Mark had searched and found a different recipe. It was the same as the one I had started until mid through. What a great accident. It was the best chicken noodle soup EVER. I do mean EVER!  I took some next door to Phil & Val. They said it was the best chicken noodle soup EVER.  Val gave the recipe to another sweet neighbor at the end of the street, Kay.  Kay has five kids (grown) and still cooks dinner every night.  From scratch people, and she said it was the best Chicken Noodle soup EVER.  And Kay is Italian.

So on a cold winter day make you some of this soup!  I know I didn’t make all of it, but I’m still taking credit.

chicken noodle soup

Seriously.  Do yourself and your family a favor and make this soup!  We are suppose to have another cold snap this weekend!


    • 2 teaspoons butter
    • 1 cup sliced celery
    • 1 cup chopped carrots
    • 1/2 cup chopped onions
    • 1 small potatoes, diced
    • 1 teaspoon thyme
    • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    • 4 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
    • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
    • 4 ounces egg noodles
    • 2 cups cooked chicken (I used pre-cooked)
    • parsley


  1. Melt butter in large pot.
  2. Sauté the celery, carrot and onion for 2 minutes.
  3. Add potato, thyme, poultry seasoning, chicken broth and bouilion.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add noodles and chicken and cook on low for 20 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with parsley. (I didn’t do this)


James Bond 007 – Wednesday March 6, 2013

YEAH!   I’ve finished planning the logistics of the next Limited Edition – “James Bond 007”.  Love James, and love these shoots!  We will have Tuxedo Jackets for the boys, and lots of dresses and sequin tops for the girls.   Boys just wear jeans and your favorite tennis shoes – or flip flops. This is Austin.  Girls can wear shorts, dress, or leggings and a matching tank top.  Try to wear all one color, then we can easily layer some sparkle!

James Bond 007 Flyer 3-6-13 web size

Grouping Frames

I’ve gotten quite addicted to Pinterest.  I love looking at anything design related.  One of my favorite boards is framing ideas.  But you know what?  All of the arrangements you can pin are great at getting ideas, but when it comes to actually putting it to use…not so much.

You might see an arrangement you like, but most of the time the dimensions of the frames aren’t provided.  Who has time to go to a frame shop and arrange frames…on the floor…to try and make them look like the arrangement you saw.

My favorite frame shop – Aaron Brothers is not only in the middle of their 1Cent sales, the Manager let me take pictures of my most popular frame sizes.   Then I arranged them on my computer.  And viola!  You can easily see what frame size goes where.  And after you pick out your frames, you can easily add the width of the frames+ the space in-between+ the image size.   For Example, let’s use three 8X10’s side by side in a row hung vertical.   If the width of the space in-between each frame was 1 inch (you add 2 inches because only two spaces are in-between three frames), and the frames were 1 inch wide, then you would add 6 inches (2 inches per frame times 3 frames).  So if the three frames were hung vertical, that would be 24 + 2 + 6 = 32 inches horizontal.  Vertical would be 10 (for the image size) + 2 inches for the frame, for 12 total.    So the wall space would need to be at least 12 inches  X 32 inches.

I’m putting together a Frame arrangement guide.  Here are a few I’ve done already.

Frame cluster - Keepthepicture

Hope you put some of your favorite images on your walls very soon!


New Year – Bring it!

I don’t spend alot of time thinking about the previous year.  Not sure why.  But other than thinking I want to do more of “x” and less of “y” I don’t don’t do alot of reflecting.

I do spend most of December dreaming.  Yep, that is my dreaming month.  How can I be a better wife?  How can I be a better Mom?

While TV doesn’t get much of my attention (except Duck Dynasty!), I am an avid blog reader.  Mostly interior design.  Deleted my political blog following, it’s all rubbish.  One of my favorite blogs included their kids when discussing goals for the next year.  Mark and I have always done that just as a couple, but now that the kids are 10 and 13 we included them this year.    While I won’t divulge all three of their resolutions I will give one each!

Adam:  spend money wisely.

Rachel: clean my room weekly.

Mark: increase charity.

Me: exercise.

We all were only allowed three.  Of course I still have my goal board in my office which includes: better wife, better mom, better employee, oh and rock my biz!

One of my facebook group members posed the question of what were you afraid of that would keep you from reaching your goals?

My answer:

Maybe I’m just on a New Year High – but NOTHING. “I’m not afraid of storms for I have learned how to sail my ship”…Louisa May Alcott.

Life is short, get busy.   What I don’t know I’ll learn.   What I mess up I’ll fix.   I plan on going to bed tired and wake up hungry.

Learned that one from my four legged kids… Hope your New Year ROCKS!!!

Moby 1-2-12