Friday, November 16, 2012

Widgets, Gadgets, and Buttons, Oh My!

I have spent the last day and a half trying to figure out and add buttons and gadgets! I am still trying. Thanks to Teresa who came up for a day long visit to show me some how to's and new tricks. Our visit went so fast but was so much fun. Two of the new buttons I did manage to add are her blog sites. Try them and let me know if they worked for you and learn more about her! I am still trying to add a button for my blog for you to grab. I haven't exactly figured it out but am determined to keep trying. This stuff takes hours. I think I managed to add a favicon but it's pretty small so I may change it. I have a 225 page PDF from the Flying Lessons e-course with Kelly Rae Roberts that has many tips, I just need to spend the time learning it. If I realize the baby steps I've taken a long the way and would have more confidence in my learning, I think I am doing okay, I just want to know more now. Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.
Debbie :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Artist Date

In addition to the Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons e-course, I am reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Both of these great resources were recommended to me by my friend Teresa. I am grateful to her for these suggestions! In The Artists Way, Julia suggests writing 3 pages every day to get cluttered stuff out of your head to make room for creativity, and going on weekly artist dates to soak up that creativity that's all around. The writing is going okay but I haven't managed to do it everyday. The artist date though, I think I could manage weekly!  After work last night I went to JoAnn and just walked the aisles. I looked at papers, embellishments, stickers, idea books, stamps, just about everything. I love being able to go in there when I don't have to rush or I don't have a specific list or agenda.  With all the new blogs I've visited it's fun to see all the beautiful things people make. Then going up and down all those aisles, it makes me want to take time to create. I had fun and managed to spend some fun money. I think I'd like to commit to this weekly artist date thing! I am continually amazed at the talent of so many "Flyers". The energy, tips, and resources shared by all is a great way to learn and share and grow (or should I say soar)! Off to learn how to add "grab a button".  Watch as I progress and "show and tell" what I am learning. Enjoying the flight so far-

Sunday, September 30, 2012

El Rey and the Night Beats

Last night I attended the 55th anniversary reunion concert of El Rey and the Night Beats.  El Rey and the Night Beats is a very well known original Waukesha (Wisconsin) Band.  I proudly tell people that my dad was the original lead singer! From about 1957-1960 my dad sang and played his Gretch guitar. The ladies loved him. He was like Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley all in one.  I had the privilege of hearing my dad sing at a few reunions the band had. My dad would record and take photos of the many reunions and send copies to all the band members. These are great memories for me. I attended their 50th reunion in 2007, about a year after my dad died.  They had a tribute to my dad and other original members played. I took many photos and was moved to tears.  This past July and August I attended another events they played for and took more photos. Knowing I was going to the 55th reunion last night I printed some pictures and burned over 100 of the photos I had taken on to CD's for the band. As I gave the photographs and CD's to the band, I said, "my dad passed the job of taking pictures on to me". I truly believe that too.

This photo is one of the original photos of the band. My dad is the one standing in front of the microphone. I can still hear him singing "It's only make believe" by Conway Twitty and "One night with you" by Elvis- songs he'd sing to my mom.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New facebook page!

I just created a new facebook page for photographsmemoriesandmore! I am on week 2 of Kelly Rae's Flying lessons and am very overwhelmed! One suggestion she had was to have a separate facebook page for my business. I am still so new at all this but I started it and can beautify it as I learn more. I also need to learn more about my blog and enhancing it, adding buttons and widgets???? All so confusing but I will look back on this someday and think-it's all so easy. Maybe! You can find me on facebook at   Stop by for a visit and "like me" Thanks!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Flying Lessons with Kelly Rae Roberts

Tomorrow I begin a 6 week e course with Kelly Rae Roberts.  I am looking forward to learning creative ways to help me in growing my creative business and being inspired by her. My friend Teresa took this course last year and loved it! She let me know right away when it was offered this year and told me not to miss it. Stay tuned as I share my experiences and thoughts during this course.  Kelly Rae's blog is:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

always on my mind

It's funny how I can't seem to get my mind off of my dad and his camera store. I think about it all the time. Then the other day I came across some old photos and found this one taken around 1980. I believe it was taken by my dad, or maybe my brother, trying a new filter system and double exposing this image. When you work at a camera store you are often the subject of "test" shots. I looked at this photo and remembering it thought, "how ironic it is 30 some years later and I love that it represents how I feel today".  That Colony Camera Shop is always on my mind!  This month was the month of annual family reunions and one of them was my dad's side. His remaining 6 siblings and their families were all there. I always have a great time catching up with family and listening to old stories. I have become the family photographer and historian of old photos. One of my aunts has done the genealogy work and I am working with her to put something together with the old photos. It makes my heart sing knowing I am doing something my dad would have loved and the family truly appreciates it.  I am not sure I am any closer to accomplishing my ultimate dream but I know I am enjoying the day to day journey of what is, and am truly okay with whatever the outcome as long as I can hope, dream and smile along the way.  Dad, you are always on my mind-

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Comfort zones, FaceBook and Encouragement

This week has been an amazing week. Thanks to Teresa for adding me to her "Latebloomer" flower pot. I am so touched by her kindness. I went out of my comfort zone and posted not only her blog on my facebook wall, but mine! I have been blogging since late November and only a few people even knew I was or knew how to find it to read it. Now it's out there!  I am also overwhelmed with all the encouraging comments and positive responses. There's no turning back now. My next goal for myself will be to figure out an Etsy store, which again scares me. But I know I can do it! Thank you all for your support and encouragement!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


 Here are just a few samples of the over 500 cards I have made so far. There is a good variety and I am putting together packs of 6 (blank inside) photo notecards with envelopes for $15.00. One learning curve for me is technology. It is my hope that I soon have an Etsy shop with pay pal, I just need to learn how :).
I would appreciate any comments you may have so I have an idea of just how soon I need to learn it! If there is any interest so far, I will stop creating cards (temporarily) and start learning how to really sell them via the internet.  Thanks for visiting my blog! You can also share with me your blog and your passion,  I would love to learn about you!

I am a creative late bloomer

I am A Creative Late Bloomer!                                                 By: Debbie Kusch        June 11, 2012

Pictures, pictures, pictures.  So many pictures so little time! I have always taken more pictures than the average person.  My father owned and operated a camera store for 43 years.  I have been scrapbooking and making my own Christmas cards for more years than I can remember.  My poor children, year after year I would pose them for multiple family photos for my annual handcrafted photo Christmas card.  I used or should I say reused beautiful cardstock covers from old worship booklets from my church. My father processed and developed my pictures (if I hadn’t gotten his discount I probably would have been one of his best customers).
My children weren’t the only subject of my photos. My husband and I enjoy traveling and visiting different locations each year. I have many pictures from those vacations. I have always been complimented on the pictures I take. The composition, the quality, and the clarity of the photos have often been feedback that was heard, valued and imbedded in my heart as I went about my daily life, raising my family and working. I feel I have been given the gift, passion and love of photography. Maybe handed down from my dad and instilled as more than a hobby. 
My dad passed away about 6 years ago. I lost not only my friend and mentor but my means of having all those photos developed. Not only was the quality of his work superb, my discount helped and I realized that when I went somewhere else recently after he was gone. The cost and inconsistent quality, in my opinion, led me to digital photography and printing my own pictures from home. After many years of taking and printing my own pictures as a hobby, I had begun to feel I was missing the boat on life. I loved spending time at my computer, editing and printing and feeling the energy and love of my dad along the way. When I went to work, I’d think about my dad and his business. It was truly his love and he did what he loved until he no longer could. I continue to be inspired by his example and long for his legacy to live through me. I often think about opening my own business in his camera store.
I have worked at our church for 13 years in the religious education department. I have enjoyed what I do and I am grateful for what being part of a faith community has done for my family. I am especially grateful for the love and support from that community when I underwent treatment for breast cancer when I was 40.  In the past few years, maybe because of my dad’s death, I have thought about and wondered how I can do both, work at church and continue his legacy. Many hours are spent at work on program planning and implementing; day hours for planning and night and weekend hours for implementing. I spent a lot of time craving photography and feeling a loss. I didn’t necessarily want to quit my job, nor could I afford to, yet I continued to say “I really want to do what I REALLY WANT to do”.
Then came the Sedona vacation! About eight months ago my husband and I traveled to the beautiful red rock of Sedona, Arizona. I was so taken aback by all the beauty. I took so many pictures and each new light and each new angle was that much more beautiful.  But the best part was meeting Teresa because I am now doing something with all those photos. Teresa and her husband, and me and my husband happened to be in the same building and would often end up in the hot tub with our beverages after the long days. We’d compare our adventures for the day and got to know each other. Teresa and I started talking about our hobbies, passions and dreams. We both had so much to say and had more in common than one would ever realize in the amount of time you spend on vacation chatting with strangers. We were kindred spirits! I felt like I met my soul sister. Well, at 51, I can tell you that I am a creative late bloomer because of the steadfast support and cheerleading from Teresa. She had an awesome blog which gave me the courage to blog myself. Her art and inspiration truly fed my “I can do this” thinking and feeling.

One day shortly after viewing and printing my Sedona pictures I had a vision of creating “Photo Note Cards” They could look like my Christmas cards except that instead of a family photo it would have a beautiful image of my many vacation shots.  I had been collecting the cardstock covers from old worship booklets from my church for several years and had a pretty good supply. I created a few cards and fell in love with the cards and the idea. It was like a door opened and I couldn’t be stopped. I made over 300 cards, I came up with a logo, “Prayerfully Recycled”, had it professionally designed and added a short description of the paper being repurposed from worship covers. I created packing for packs of six blank photo note cards.  I took some cards to work, received great feedback and sold some just “showing” them.  I sent samples to Sedona businesses with a letter about my story and kept making cards, printing my own pictures, cutting each piece of paper and adhering them all together to create each photo note card while dreaming and thinking “maybe I could do this and work at church while I build my creative dream to bring beauty to others while recycling paper that was prayed with and build my “flower pot”, one blossom at a time, and dream of someday being in my dad’s camera store, selling cards, offering scrapbooking classes and printing photos.
I have since created over 500 photo note cards, cards from past vacations, retreats, flowers, sunsets and more. Each is as beautiful as the next. I have sold many and receive affirmations of the thought and quality in each card. I am inspired to keep dreaming and keep my options open. I am very grateful to Teresa for her encouragement and support. She has been a true inspiration to many and should really be the first creative late bloomer in her flower pot!

Visit Teresa's site here  http://www.imalatebloomer

Happy Father's Day

This photo was taken on Father's Day. It's my dad's headstone. This Saturday will be 6 years since he's passed. I wanted to share this because I truly feel his love of photography is engrained in every part of my being. Notice the art work on the headstone. We carefully crafted a design that would be symbolic of our family and especially my dad. He is standing behind his camera, which is on a tripod taking a picture of my family (my mom, my 2 brothers, and me). We couldn't forget the family dog, Tammy, a German Shepard who lived to be 14!  Every time I visit his grave this image reminds me of his unending love of photography and it makes me smile. I feel blessed to know he truly lives on in me, and my siblings and my children.  I love you dad!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

coaching, classes, growth

I feel like I'm on fire! In just 1 week I have signed up for a 4 hour workshop on starting a business at our local community college, Kelly Rae Roberts September e-course, Amy Ahlers, Wake up Call Coaching "Big Fat Lies Summit" and Brene' Brown's "I thought it was just me" e-course on shame resilience.  I have already listened to some of the Big Fat Lies Summit and Brene' Brown- wow these women are amazing and I think just what I need for encouragement and growth. I am so grateful for all the women who can embrace and share their wisdom and enthusiasm for those of us who need it. I will try to add their links to this blog, but I am still to new at this blog stuff. Until next time!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day!

I just returned from a weekend retreat with a theme "Healing the World from the Inside Out". One of the most touching points was how we brought the intention of holding the earth, and all, in love.  It not only was a grace filled weekend with co workers and friends, it was a real reminder that taking care of the earth is crucial for the future of human kind! I went home thinking I really want to start a garden again. My grandma was a gardener and I so admired her steadfast care for her flowers, fruit trees and vegetables.

One affirming thought I had was on how I share in the awesome responsibility of taking part in taking care of the earth in that I reuse the card stock covers of the church worship booklets for all my cards. It feels good to know what I love to create is from something that has worn out it's significant purpose for another significant purpose.

I took 284 pictures this weekend. Flowers, Lake Michigan, rocks, and the things I love about the Siena Retreat Center in Racine.  I even took some "photo notecards" I had made from pictures I had taken on past retreats to see if they might sell them in their bookstore. At this time they said no, they have lots of cards and don't have a lot of room. I took that as another "no thank you" and still hold hope that something, someday will take off  for me. I really trust this and will continue to create as it re-energizes me in my day to day routines.

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Encouraging words!

I have really only sold my photo notecards through co-workers so far. I have sold a few outside of work, but for the most part it has been through just showing co-workers what I have "done" so far.  One co-worker, Barb, has purchased a few of my "sets of 6 cards" and sent them as gifts.  She received an email from one of her recipients, Becky from New Hampshire, thanking her for the "gift" and how much she loved the cards. My co-worker sent the email to me to share Becky's excitement of her gift.  I was so touched by Becky's energy and love of the cards, it truly put a smile on my face and warmed my heart. Thank you Becky for the kind words! Thank you Barb for your continued support and purchases!  I just finished about 75 cards from my St. Augustine trip and love each one. Now I just have to figure out how to get the word out and sell them to more than co-workers. With permission, the following is an excerpt from Becky's email.

Sent: Sat, Apr 14, 2012 9:07 am
Subject: WOW

The photo cards, printed on (previous) covers of prayer books are AMAZING!  I can feel their spiritual energy, just holding them in my hands.  I LOVE them because you thought of me when seeing them, packaging them for mailing, and writing the note to me. And I LOVE them because of all they represent... all-good (make that great!) juju that went into them by Debbie.

It will feel like a serious sacrifice to actually write on them and mail them to someone.  I will be sure that each and every card is handled with care and love and sent to people who can and will appreciate their meaning.  I guess I'm over-reacting here, but really, Barb...I am blown away by their beauty and the loving thought put into the effort. And that they came from YOUR church?!  I am truly blessed by them..each and every one of them.

I might frame one to keep. BUT which one?!  Feels kind of selfish, but I might!!

Many thanks, good friend, and I send blessings right back to you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Beautiful Pictures!

During our recent trip to St. Augustine, Florida, I took over 1400 photos! The old town was breathtaking! I can't wait to turn these photos into note cards. It was amazing because with each photo I took I could picture the card and could picture them being sold anywhere. Where the beautiful Sedona ones are pretty specific to certain people, the St. Augustine photos will be appealing to a larger audience.  Now all I need is a little extra time to create!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slow, but moving forward...

Wow, it's really been a while since I have written.  As I fit my hobby, dream, new found passion of a card making business into my "life", I am making progress.  I have been working on creating an efficient work space, organizing my "work room". ( Hence the photo).  I finalized my logo for my cards, tweaked my solicitation letters and created the packaging for the sets of cards.  I have sent about 5 sets of samples cards with the letters to some Sedona businesses.  So far I have had one "no thank you" response.  I am considering it a "no thank you" as opposed to a rejection, because not only is that a more positive way of approaching it, I am really guessing at some of the businesses and the cards might not be something they would "normally" carry. So I will keep trying, since there are so many businesses in Sedona.  I will also try businesses other than Sedona and keep my options open.  I plan to start creating more photo note cards that are, in general, for all audiences and locations.  I am still enjoying the process and wish I could do more than I am able to at this time, but for now I will just keep doing what I can.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Prayerfully recycled logo

One of the unique aspects of my photo notes cards is that I use (or should I say reuse) card stock that was originally a cover of a worship booklet from my parish. I have made my Christmas cards with this card stock for years and have always been touched that the cards I made were prayed with by so many people. Even though it is really that I am "re-purposing" the paper, I thought calling it "Prayerfully Recycled" would be a catchy and unique name. This is my new logo for the note cards! I would like to thank Jon Baran, Amy Kusch, and my supportive husband, Mark Kusch for helping me with the design. I would especially like to thank Terri Field for her expertise in designing the logo. I am excited to share this and believe that each new step forward is a step toward reaching my goal. I will continue to reach!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Continually Inspired!

After putting together photo note cards, ideas for packaging them, info to the buyer about my cards and paper; "prayerfully recycled" and letters to potential business prospects, I headed to Naperville to share my vision with my newest cheerleader, Teresa. Not only did I have a great time reconnecting with her, she gave me such encouraging feedback and great suggestions.  I am really energized to keep going with confidence that the work I have done so far is really good. Thanks Teresa! Your very being inspires me. I truly do think I have met my soul sister.  The artwork you have created is energizing and beautiful and I know you will be a successful late bloomer!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cards, cards and more cards

In my free time I have been busy making lots of new photo note cards.  Some from Sedona, San Diego, some flowers and some from retreats I have taken.   I have made close to 300 cards.   I have developed a logo and am tweaking it so I can copyright or trademark it.  I have put together a short blurb to add to the cards about the "prayerfully recycled" paper and a letter to potential vendors.  I am most confused about a quality "packaging" look.  I continue to take on the challenge of trying again and again because I not only love the cards but I think a lot of people will love them too.   I may also try to see if I can sell any.   I continue to get feedback and support from others and appreciate that so much.   It's fun to really look at things I take pictures of and think of this angle and that angle and the lighting and subject, etc. etc.   I am still working on learning to watermark my photos before I put them on line.   Below is a blurb I created:

Each note card is handcrafted by me; everything from taking the photo, printing the photo, cutting the paper to size, and carefully adhering all layers individually to each other with a high quality adhesive. In addition, not only do I prayerfully think about the recipient while creating each card, the paper, a high quality cardstock, was previously used as a cover of an Order of Worship Mass Booklet in my parish and was prayed with by many before it became your note card, thus the name “prayerfully recycled”.  It is my hope and prayer that you, the purchaser, get as much joy from looking at and purchasing them as I did creating them and that the receiver of these cards enjoys and feels the love, beauty and prayer each card was intended for. 
Thanks for your purchase!
Love and Prayers,

To order additional cards please contact me via email at
Visit my blog at
Photographs, Memories and

c 2011 Photographs, Memories and More
Prayerfully Recycled Paper