Category Archives: General

Once Upon A Time

heart shaped book

As many of you know that read my blog or Face book each week I have been working on a book. It doesn’t start with Once Upon a Time but it is a book that I hope will inspire others and has a little romance in there too. This process all began when my husband, Milo, joined a mentorship program so that he could focus on what he wanted to do and at the time he thought that was art. The only problem with his decision was he wasn’t thinking about his Multiple Sclerosis affecting him at random times throughout this year commitment.

As he was having difficulties with remembering to do the weekly assignments of watching videos, doing homework, listening to conference calls and watching interviews with others that were successful he asked for my assistance. I put on my weekly calendar when he needed to schedule to watch or listen to these wonderful, positive insights. I found myself looking over his shoulder if you will to listen in on this information.

This mentorship program was asking all the right questions, making you think about what it was you truly wanted to do with your life and what vehicle you wanted to do it through. It didn’t matter if you wanted to be a chef, musician, artist, writer; screenwriter, photographer, sculpture, wood worker or what have you. It was all to encourage those that were creative to stop talking about what they wanted and start doing what they wanted.

At first I focused upon my photography as I truly enjoyed taking pictures and trying to capture the beauty around me when I went anywhere. Then I went to a conference with these enthusiastic, positive, encouraging people and decided that photography though I love it, wasn’t the true place I wanted to throw my creativity at this moment. Then writing began to be my focus.

I had already started this web page and began showing off some of my photographs, writing my weekly blog posts and finding that what I was writing was more important to me than even my photographs. It allowed me to feel I could make a difference in others lives by sharing hope and giving a voice to what I had to say, giving my thoughts, encouragement and inspirations from living my life.

With that I started writing a book and I though at times this process has been one of fear, I have overcome those fears to continue on this process and not quit. The rough draft of my first book is done and now I’m in the editing phase. I can honestly say that through this process I have grown as a person, have gained confidence in my talents, and myself and though I have much to learn still, I look forward to the challenges ahead.

Soon I will be setting up my author web page and hope that you will choose to join me there as I move my blog to that website. I will continue to share my photographs as it’s still something I love to do and write my weekly blog as it gives me joy to write them, I will just be moving to my Lisa Ballan author website. I have already created a Lisa Ballan Author page on Face Book and you can always follow me on that too.

My point for this blog is to let you know of some changes ahead as I transition to my new focus but that I hope you will join me too. I also want to encourage you that no matter your dream there is always a way to begin by taking one small step and focusing on that small step each day or each week. Eventually you will get to your destination if you don’t give up. Hard work isn’t easy, but it is rewarding and being diligent with your schedule to push forward is always key to achieving any dream. You can do it too.

Leave a comment below if you have pushed for a dream or goal and succeeded. I’d love to hear what it is you are doing and how you did it. Share this with anyone you feel could benefit from this post. Have a blessed day!

Cherish Those You Love

Two hearts on the branch of a tree, retro look

Time passes quickly and is short so cherish those you love. Make memories with your friends and family. Don’t say one of these days I’ll visit or do – whatever that may be. Find a way now to spend some quality time just loving your family and friends.

Dealing with loss is an emotional struggle that does not go away but does improve over time. I lost my mother five years ago and though I know in my heart that she is no longer in constant pain or struggling with life’s challenges, health wise or financial, it is difficult some days to not miss her like crazy. Certain holidays can be rather difficult to get through without shedding a tear for her since I miss her so very much.

No matter how much you prepare you still aren’t ready when the time comes to lose someone that has been sick for a long time. Currently in my life there are several individuals that I love that are having some health issues. The age range is from young adult to a senior adult. I don’t wish to lose these people that I love but I can’t do anything about it either.

Make the most out of your time with your loved ones. Create memories that you can look back on and that give you a smile or a sense of true unconditional love. Drop the small stuff that is causing conflict. Even big stuff when put in the right context isn’t all that important over time. What is important is letting others in your life know that you love them, are proud of them and want all their dreams to come true.

Never go to bed angry with someone if you can prevent it. Everyone wants to be loved, missed and to be important to someone else. What can you do today to make someone in your life feel loved and important? Can you make a phone call? Can you send and email? Could you send a text? Mail a letter or greeting card? How about go for a visit? These things only take a moment in the grand scheme of life.

Be sure to tell those important to you how you feel, how much they mean to you and how blessed you are to have them in your life. Time is precious and every moment counts.

Make some memories to cherish and have a blessed week!

Share with someone else or comment below if you have a special memory of someone you love and cherish.

Birthdays and Time

My birthday Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory - Yum!

My birthday Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory – Yum!

I recently had my Birthday and spent it with my family where we had an amazing time together. I was blessed that my family went to the movies with me, we ate at an awesome restaurant that had some fabulous desserts and I received wonderful gifts and cards that expressed their love for me. It was a great day and even though I’m getting older I realized that the age doesn’t matter, it was being able to spend that day with people that love me and I love just creating some memories from our time.

When we are young we not only tell everyone our age but we even do it with ‘and a half’ added because we can’t wait to get to the next age. As we get a bit older it’s those milestone birthdays that we look forward to like 16, 18 and even 21. These are all great dates that we will remember the rest of our lives.

Then we hit the age of 30 and we say, whoa, wait a minute here, where did all these years go. I can’t possibly be 30 already. Before you know it you are saying that again at 40, perhaps even 50 and 60. I don’t know about you but even though I’m in my late 40’s now, I still feel like I’m in my 20’s. Life hasn’t gone by as fast as the numbers are telling me because I don’t feel that age yet.

It’s taken time to learn things and truly become ‘mature’ or ‘responsible’ other than the basics. We start families and add people to our lives that mean a great deal to us, yet it just all goes by so quickly. Before you know it your first-born child is 25 and facing all these things too. This cycle of life is amazing in how it works, but it also shows us that time is the same for us all and we need to make memories, work for our true dreams and passions and live life to the fullest each day.

My birthday made me realize how blessed I am, that I have a daughter that is an adult now, that I’ve been married to a wonderful man for over 30 years and that I have some amazing friends. Learn to live your life where you take advantage of every special moment. That first step or word, day of school, kiss, award, dance, birthdays, anniversaries, picnics, vacations, holidays, graduations, success, failure, weight loss, dream come true and more.

These moments are your life memories that bring you joy, comfort and love. Learn now that those breaths of time are what make you who you are and what give your life true meaning.

Leave a comment on how you are learning to capture these breaths of time and keep them close to your heart and share this so that others will do the same. Have a blessed week!

Spooky Light and Routines

Spooky Desk Lamp and Evernote App for Smart Phones

Spooky Desk Lamp and Evernote App for Smart Phones

When you move into a new place there are sometimes things that happen you can’t control, such as a spooky light that we turn off and it would come back on even as we were sitting there watching it. Then of course there has to be a practical reason for such an event and so the search begins.

Like most things in life there can be practical reasons for things happening, but sometimes things happen with no explanation at all. In the case of my desk lamp it was from a wireless Internet plug that had been put into the wall at one end of my office and it caused my lamp to go on at the other end. Whew, no ghosts in the new place to contend with at this point.

Now that we are in the new place we can get back into a regular routine. I noticed over the course of this move that having no routine, a list of things you regularly do that don’t fit in to this chaotic time can be stressful. Thoughts like did I pay this or that bill, did I bill my client, should I toss this or keep it, man my poor car needs a bath so bad, did I lock the door to the old place? All of these things creep into your thoughts when you can’t even find a pen to write something down.

I find I do better with a schedule or routine in my daily life. I know that I need to sit and write for 4 hours on Mondays. I know that I need to go over my finances every Thursday. I know I go buy my groceries every Sunday. I know I do laundry every Wednesday. These types of routines make life flow smoothly but when you are in the midst of change and moving those routines get ignored for the short time and you feel off and stressed because you know you should be doing something else instead.

My suggestion is to hang in there, put as much of the things you remember or have thoughts about in your Evernote App on your smart phone and check it regularly so you don’t think you are dropping the ball when you are making changes in your life. It will help you not be as stressed about your day-to-day items while dealing with the major change in your life that can be trying in and of itself.

Stress is not good for one’s health or life in general. You don’t wish to take it out on your family either while going through it. Manage it as best you can by using tools like Evernote or things to do list you can check daily, add to and take off as you get things done. I know it has helped me in these recent weeks of moving and my stress levels were low because of it.

Please leave a comment on how you handle stress during a chaotic time in life and share this with someone else if you think it could help them. Have a blessed day!

Healing with Patience & Learning

Newport Pier

Newport Pier

I started out my year being sick. Not exactly what I had on my schedule for 2015 but I believe I was being told to slow down a moment and let your body heal, get the rest you need, and let’s learn a few things while you are having to wait for this healing process to take place.

No one wants to be sick or to work while sick if they can get away with it. Sometimes you aren’t given a choice in the matter either and you have to rest. So the first few days I got a lot of rest but strangely enough it didn’t seem like enough to really push me to be well. Patience comes into play because you want to do so many other things, you need to do so many other things, but yet your body is saying ‘I don’t think so right now’ and you have to listen.

After a week of not getting any better I finally went to the doctor, something I normally do earlier when it’s my family that’s sick so things don’t linger longer than they have to and so I don’t end up catching it. This time I was being stubborn, another lesson I had to learn, so I broke down and said we are all going to the doctor today. My family of course looked at me like I had lost my mind because I don’t voluntarily say that to often.

Patience takes over again as you wait to see the doctor and you never get in when you think you will. With all the sick people in our area also in the doctor’s office I knew this could take time. I went over the list of things in my head that I needed to accomplish and found I couldn’t do any of them just sitting in this office. I so wanted to work on images to go up on my site, or to sit down with a book idea and flesh out some characters, anything but sit there with other sick people.

After finally getting some medication, finding out I would need more days of rest to get well and being the worse member of my family that was ill, I decided to surrender and let my body get what it needed. Funny, once I did that I seemed to get well much more quickly than before. I’m sure the meds helped too. I found I was able to read some books I needed to while resting and that allowed me to learn a few things that will help with my images and my book ideas.

Sometimes you have to remember that you are going at such a pace when you have this huge list of things you wish to accomplish that we are often hit with resistance. This time it was for the sake of my health that I was hit and rest was needed in order to learn I needed to stop being stubborn, remember patience is the name of the game when it comes to healing and take a minute to learn something while doing this will be useful later.

My suggestion to you is to remember to take time for yourself. Get the rest you need each night, take care of your body so you are as healthy as possible to avoid such things as bronchitis, sinusitis or a bad cold. Remembering to take moments for yourself, not only for your soul, for building inspiration and to keep you healthy is vital when it comes to doing your craft, living your life and keeping your family healthy because they need you and you need it too. I was forced to take time to heal for ten days. I suggest to give yourself one day a week to get an hour of inspiration or taking a drive to a favorite location to think, having a candlelit soak in a bubble bath or even having a hot cup of tea while reading a book all do wonders for your health.

Stay healthy! God Bless everyone!

A Journey of a Creative

Various products I have worked on in the last 28 years through my career as a graphic designer.

Various products I have worked on in the last 28 years through my career as a graphic designer.

Good day everyone. I thought I would talk about how I got started at being a creative. When I was young I always loved music, art, dance along with many other things that were creative but I didn’t get into being a graphic designer until I got married and was looking for a job. I started off at a newspaper that did things the old fashioned way with paste up boards and cut out letters, borders and other graphics. That was a fun job because the newspaper had to do with horses and I love horses.

From there I moved to designing kits for a housing development. I did the layout for the housing specs to purchase a home, the layout of the home and any and all materials that people needed to decide if they wish to buy the home from this developer. This too was a pretty cool job because I got to see the houses they built at the time which were for retirees.

I took a break from this type of work to have a baby girl that is now 24 years old. Once she was two years old I got a job at a game company, Westwood Studios (which was bought by Virgin Games and eventually Electronic Arts), and that was a pretty awesome job. I worked with the producers of the games to create marketing materials to promote the game along with game boxes, manuals and anything else they wanted to include for gamers. I did a newsletter for the company that we sent out to those that signed up from the games purchased.

I moved on to a printing company that did several of there own tourist magazines for the Las Vegas area as well as took on other magazines to be printed. I handled preflight of those magazines to check them for problems before we created the films for the printer. Eventually the company designed a magazine from scratch for Nevada Woman and I got to be part of that team. It was high pressure with deadlines but also a lot of fun.

In 1995 I decided I could do this type of work on my own and created my design company. I took on various small jobs for a while so that I could spend more time at home with my daughter until she went to school. We then moved to Pahrump, NV and I did the stay at home wife, mother role until 2000.

I had the opportunity to be a part of creating a magazine for tourist in Las Vegas called Vegas Visitor. That magazine was produced weekly and I was able to work that around being a wife and mother. In 2001 the same publisher decided to take over a magazine called Trip Sheet Magazine, which is a transportation publication for those that drive taxi’s, limos and shuttle buses in Las Vegas. This publication was a monthly one and so I was doing five magazines a month all from my home. We utilized email, phone calls and regular mail to get things back and forth. It was a busy time but it was also a fun time. I felt energized by producing so many publications each month. Eventually, the Vegas Visitor publication was dropped because it wasn’t producing enough revenue, which left me with the one publication that I still work on monthly even today.

While working as a graphic designer I also began taking photographs more as a hobby and to experiment with my camera when advertisers needed something for an ad. I got the opportunity to video half a dozen weddings and take the photographs for two of them. I enjoyed that because I was creating memories for others on that special day. Video editing turned out to be a lot of fun and something that wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I now dabble with that from time to time but no longer do wedding videos. I decided photography was more my thing and now focus on the things I love, which are my daughter, pets, wild life, flowers and landscapes.

My husband and mother-in-law are both artists and due to that I opened a gallery in 2006 in Pahrump. We had 800 sq ft of space but I managed to construct walls and an arrangement that allowed us to have over 200 pieces of artwork from local artists as well as my husband and mother-in-law in the gallery. Due to unforeseen circumstances with the building we had to close just a year later. Then the economy took a hit and it was not something the town could support so I did not reopen it elsewhere.

Another great opportunity presented itself when I was asked to write a column in the magazine I was working on. That turned into two columns each month and I have been writing in the publication for a couple years now. Guess I can say I’m published. Writing for the magazine made me realize I enjoyed writing along with my photography. I’m now working on a couple books around my other obligations.

These are just the highlights to my life. All of these baby steps have guided me to where I am today. Now I have my own photography site and images to share with others that I hope will inspire and bless each person. 2015 promises to be a more productive year with new photographs available to be purchased and the books I am writing completed and published.

I could say I was lucky to fall into such great jobs to develop my creative side, but I like to think God had a hand in conducting my life to where it needed to be. Thank you for reading! Have a Blessed Day!

Adventure to Crystal

Crystal, NV - Love Ranch image with 69 Exit Road Sign

Crystal, NV – Love Ranch image with 69 Exit Road Sign

Recently, I took one of my little excursions out to explore to see what is around the area I live and came across Crystal, NV. This little town has two brothels and a brothel museum. I saw a saloon and several homes in this little town. Most people have to drive the 45 minutes to the nearest town called Pahrump to do any real shopping for food, toiletries or home repair items needed.

There were some amazing views from this little town as it was raining in the distance due to our monsoon season in the area accompanied by some lightning to join the show. The clouds always make the sky more interesting and add a bit of drama when the suns rays shine through them at the same time it’s raining. It’s an amazing site when you take the time to look.

While we were driving around we found the road that lead to one of the brothels had signage that made my husband and I laugh so I had to take a picture and share it with all of you. As you can see above the Exit number and then the brothel sign behind it was worth a good laugh.

I hope you find time to explore the areas close to your home and those hidden treasures to enjoy and photograph. Have a Blessed Day!

A Pleasant Surprise

Amargosa Opera House, Amargosa, CA

       Amargosa Opera House, Amargosa, CA

Peter Lik Gallery Amargosa, CA

Peter Lik Gallery Amargosa, CA

While out taking a drive looking for things to photograph I found myself in the tiny town of Amargosa, CA. We passed the Longstreet Casino then traveled on down to the Amargosa Opera House, which is a very old building. (See photo above.) Across the street from the Opera House was a tiny building that had large windows on three sides and on top I noticed a sign that said ‘LIK’. (See photo above.)

Now I don’t know how many of you know the extremely talented photographer Peter Lik, but he has a gallery in Las Vegas at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Hotel. I have visited that gallery a few times just to enjoy the fabulous photographs that he has taken. If you have heard of him then you know he likes to take tall or wide shots of the locations in nature or items like buildings or planes that he photographs. He also has a show on the weather channel showing him going to various places to take his photographs. To me he is an inspiration.

Back to my adventure we drive across the street and go up to the Lik Gallery and it had 4 images hanging in front of each window and nothing else in the gallery. I was totally amazed by this find. I know that many tourist buses going to Death Valley have stops they make at certain locations during the week and that area happens to be one of them. So here was a tiny gallery of an amazing photographer for those many tourist to see while venturing to Death Valley, CA.

That made my adventure all the more pleasant. No matter where your paths take you keep your eyes open for those interesting nuggets that can inspire you out of no where.

Welcome to Purrfect Images

Welcome to my site Purrfect Images. As you can see I’m still fixing the place up and getting my images loaded so they can be seen.

I hope with my images that you will feel inspired, at peace, joy and happiness, and overall just calm and relaxed when looking at them. I enjoy taking pictures of things that make me smile or give me a sense of calm and relaxation. There is far to much stress in our lives and I like to look at things that seem to take that stress away as much as possible.

My family and friends think my images are pretty good and that I should share them with others. With there support and belief I’m doing just that. I hope you will join my family and share in my images as well in the future.

God Bless and Enjoy!