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« Day 8 of the 12 days of Textures | Main | Day 6 of the 12 Days of Textures »

My Story - Part 2

and Day 7 of the 12 Days of Textures 

Plus a peek inside my white room.....

Click HERE to read part 1 of my story.

As I sit here....I am thinking where  do I begin... my part 2 .... ? 
the.... 'things do get better'.... part of my story.

The story bits are a little blurry.... But yet I can pick out the main events and know that one thing happened for the sake of the next....and so on.

(I have to tell you.... piecing this together has been kinda hard......I've been working away at it over several days.... I hope you can follow along.....)

That dreadful night...the night of the phone call...the night that our world came crashing down.... was an end.....and it was also a beginning. It alone is a story to be told.... an incredible series of God-Guided thing happening in order for the next......

It truly amazes me when I look back on it all. It would have taken only one move to change the entire course. But it was like we were characters in a screen play....staying on script....but when it was over.... 

I felt no awe.... I felt no gratitude..... I felt loss, sadness, disappointment.....and I felt many dreams dying! 

That night lead to deep sadness.... my heart ached for my son, for our family..... We had to face his mistake.....He had to live with it. But little by little we made it through.

I would love to say it was one big transforming moment for our boy. But it really wasn't like that. It was eventual....slow.... and for me it was frustrating....really really frustrating. I wanted it to be something like you see on television....where the character wakes up and goes forth to change his life..... 

Nope.... not like TV at all!!

As awful as that night had to happen. I know that now.... and I am thankful for it.

But, let's move forward..... from that night.... shall we?

thank you for the beautiful scarf, Meike...xo

My creativity started to flow........and flow and flow...... I suppose it had been locked up for so just needed to get loose....and free......Pour on out of me....  Perhaps I was releasing all that built up pain and sadness through my art. 

I started painting again....  and I felt a pull to try new things.... I could not seem to paint the way I used to.... No more signs and folk art..... I discovered the world of mixed media and tried my hand at it...loved it...... But my publisher was not feeling it at all. They wanted me to continue making the art I had been making....but I wanted to grow and evolve.

In fact I couldn't make my old just wouldn't come out.

Looking back....I know it was all  part of the greater plan. If they had embraced my 'new art'.... I would not have found my camera..... 

So thank you publisher.... thank you for saying no.....

Photography makes me feel complete. It feels right and real...and it feels like a part of me. I always loved to paint....but it never 'fit' like photography....

As they say....when one door closes...... 'sigh'
OH my... another door opens that is so much bigger and better and richer ......

My creativity was back.... our family was healing.... things were looking up! But, the past few years had taken their toll on us financially.... we were holding on tight.....

I needed to start rebuilding my business....or get a 'real job'(as some people like to say...)

I remember feeling very frustrated that I had to worry about money after all the turmoil we had already been through. It seemed so unfair! 

I couldn't imagine not making ART...... An artist must make ART....  

I had worked so damned hard to build a business... We had made it... I had paid my dues...(i thought)....But, the royalties were dwindling.... mix that with the economic decline...and it was bad!

I remember sitting here, in my studio....tears flowing..... and feeling terribly desperate...... I'm sure you know the feeling.... like, I can't do another day of this... I just can't! But I did.... we by day.... little miracles kept allowing us to hang on....


So day after day I made art.... I shared on my blog.... I researched... I tried new things....

One day it hit me..... 'Kim, you have to stop focusing on the lack.......and focus on your blessings...and abundance.....start giving...sharing.... like you have more than enough to go around.'

I believe that shift was a turning point for me. My heart found gratitude..... which healed the anger and resentment...and hurt.... and the more I gave...the more grateful I felt..... 

Somewhere amongst all the other stuff going on, sometime before that night......... I realized that if I wanted to keep making art, I needed to learn how to use photoshop. Many artists were going digital. But I just couldn't get into it.... Just opening the program overwhelmed me. I could not believe I had spent $600 on a program that was just sitting there.....what a waste..... 

The whole blogging thing, made me much more interested in photography though. It seemed the most fabulous blogs had the best pictures. Up until then I was using my camera on auto to snap photos for my publisher. Now I was taking photos to share on my site. I knew they needed help. But I wasn't sure where to begin.

One day, I took my camera to the trail... I came home, uploaded the photos....and then ventured into photoshop. I decided to add a texture to a simple tree image...... and fell in love. I fell in love with the photos.....and the process.... It was like making art...right there on my screen. My direction changed that day. I may not have known it at the time...but it changed. 

I started learning my camera....and I started to really use photoshop. (finally I was putting that scary and very expensive program to use).... 

I tried a texture, than another...and another..... I remember posting my photos on flickr and being so excited when I went back and found comments on my pictures....and oh my gosh... Shutter Sisters choose one of my photos as the daily click.... And that is were my Shutter Sister Love began.

So I started to make art, with my photography and began sharing that on my site.

Somewhere along the way, I discovered the crazy awesome world of online classes..... I discovered the Mondo Beyondo eCourse. But there was no way I could afford to sign up!!I wanted to bad...

Then one evening in December... I was just about to call it a night.... I jumped onto twitter.... someone had posted a link to a give away at Design Mom...for a spot in the Mondo Beyondo class!! I zipped over, entered a heart-felt comment.... and guess what.....I won... out of 500 plus people I won!! 

Another life changing event..... in the series of it all....

My plans were in motion.... I was going to do something with my photography. I just knew it! We just had to make it through. And somehow...we did. Little gifts kept allow us to hang in there. 

In 2010, I choose 'soar' as my one little word. And, soar I did. 

I started the Mondo Beyondo class in January..... It changed my life.
I made a Mondo Beyondo dream list.....and so many of those dreams have come true. I've since updated my Mondo Beyondo list with even bigger dreams.

I started teaching photoshop classes, and making and selling my textures. I just STARTED. I didn't have the luxury of waiting for the perfect time to begin, or waiting til I was ready. I had to START. Right there, where I was.

People began buying my textures, signing up for my classes and visiting my site. It was amazing.

There were many things on that first Mondo Beyondo list.... But I have to share one BIG one.... 

Remember I said I had fallen for Shutter Sisters....  I had also discovered Tracey Clark. I was in awe of her talent...and presence....her totally awesome everything. I had never spoken to her via comments, or postings...or email, but I loved her. I wrote on my mondo beyondo list:
Collaborate with Tracey Clark.....those were the exact words....

And one year later... as I sat here on a Saturday January 2011, my email beeped....I almost fell off my chair... the sender name was
Tracey Clark.....and thru a series of emails.... we agreed that I would be the newest Shutter Sister Contributor.

Seriously... I can't tell you how BIG that was! 

And it's because of that amazing Mondo Beyond dream, I traveled to California... I found the most incredible people who totally get me....I discovered dreams I didn't even know I had.... 'sigh'

My business blossomed. My beautiful readers not only helped me buy an iMac, they helped saved Ben's life. I mean can you imagine....??

There are so many things I could share....... but these are the 'main events'..... one thing leading to another and to another... 

I realize now... I was exactly where i was supposed to be at each moment..... and each moment lead me to this moment....
you know?

I now, make an awesome living teaching my classes and selling my textures. I get to make art, share art.... and connect with all of you....It really is a dream

The future has a whole series of bigger things ahead... pinch me things.... seriously, for real? things.... Umm, yes please!! I will totally do that! and that...and that... and Thank you God... I am truly blessed. 

What I know for sure...... I am exactly where I am supposed to be......right here...right now.... it's all a part of my journey..... and for that I am most thankful!

a Set of 3 Magic Textures to Try

Remember....the trick with the magic textures.... Screen Blend mode... :)

Click HERE to download today's set.


Reader Comments (86)

Kim, I'm so touched by your continuing story and the obstacles you and your family have overcome. I feel the same way about photography, and even though I'm just learning, I feel as if I'm headed in a new, exciting direction where the possibilities are endless. At 50 years young and, as an empty nester, I can't tell you how much my spirit needed a new passion. These new textures are beautiful...thank you! Thank you also for inspiring me with your creativity and generous spirit.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSherri B.
Really very moving story Kim, one that, I'm sure, will make you stronger.
Glad you found the love of photography and of art.
I love your textures and your work !!!! thanks for them !!

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteraenee/Lily
Dear Kim ~ I've loved reading your story.
You are courageous & brave, and soo soo giving.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBella
Kim, I took your class in January and have never stopped ranting and raving about you. I think you have awesome teaching skills, amazing talent and you are there for people when they need help. I think you give as much as you get and that is one of the reasons you are successful. Thanks for sticking with this new are of yours so that we can all benefit from it. I appreciate you.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
What a hoot you are Kim! A white studio, a white bedroom...I thought, how does she keep everything white, especially with a big dog like Ben. Oh...of course she has a white dog too!!! Thanks a ton for sharing your heart and soul online with us. Thank you for not quitting, for jumping in and learning Photoshop and photography. Thank you for inspiring me. Your inspiration is starting to wear off on me. I have a dream to create a worship movie with my photos and I am seeing a whole bunch of barriers right now. I have software to learn, copywrite issues to figure out, just the right music to find, photos to take, etc. I will try not to quit, too. I'm feeling like you did as Photoshop loomed before you. Thank you for all your hard work and generosity. Many blessings for the New Year!
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Legg Photo
Thank you, Kim, for sharing your story. You are so gifted and sweet. I jumped on board following you some time before Ben got hurt. You have totally inspired me.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Kim, this is so wonderful to listen to, to read and feel. Through the dark is always the Light and I'm so happy you have found your light. Thank you for sharing that glow with the rest of us.
joyful days to you and yours,
peace n abundance,
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheyAnne
Thank you for sharing your story, your loves and mostly yourself. Listening to your voice on your videos is so soothing, and you have a propensity for teaching with clarity and understanding. Your twelve days of Christmas has been a true gift. Merry Christmas and may all hearts be warm and with you at this time of year.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjanel
This is a wonderful post Kim. Testament to pursuing your dreams. It inspires all of us to keep pursuing. I think it is awesome that you are sharing your story. Thanks so much.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica
Kim, thank you for your story. You are truly inspiring.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia
A wonderful story, so inspiring, I'm so glad our paths have crossed...some things ARE meant to be xxxxx
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterXanthe
Kim, Your story touched me so much!! I have taken several of your online classes and my life has changed because of it! Thank you so much for your kind and generous nature. I have become a photographer, in part due to your teachings.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindy M
Kim, seriously, thank you for sharing. Everything. Inspiring... and very touching.
I agree with what you said about "being exactly where you need to be right now" - it's a sort of lightbulb thing, isn't it? =)
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRosie
you are truly an inspiration Kim. 2012 is MY year and when I surround myself with people like yourself...i can't lose..
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the magic textures. thank you for your generous spirit.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Thank you for being brave and so courageous in telling your story. You've shared real things, life things. It is stunning. I am moved. Completely.

I am inspired, also.

And grateful for having had the privilege to read your words. Your thoughts. Your story.

You know, just one day I found you... Surfing the net, looking for help for my Photoshop insecurities. <sheepish grin> And there you were. I thought to myself, "Hey... she looks like she knows a thing or two about Photoshop. I could use her help! But what I didn't know then was, she knew a thing or two more... <warm smile>

So yes, I believe too that we are always where we should be as the Universe aligns things up just perfectly for us. And sometimes the rain must take its rightful place in all of it, for which we often find we do not care for so much, but I believe it is the most important part of the set-up. We need the rain. We do. The rain is good. It never fails to bring us back to the sun again. :)

Many thanks and warm wishes to you and yours,


December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngie
you know when you read something, and you get that feeling that the person who is writing, is writing from YOUR heart, or that they are speaking to where you are... that you have that sense of one-ness with the writer to understand completely the block and release described in their story.

this is what i am experiencing.
this very moment.
as if the walls around my little life are not solid, but elastic.
and i have only to push on them and they can be changed, stretched.
and you are the voice to the insecurity, the fear.
Thanks be to God for his many blessings to you and your family.... and to all those who are inspired and lifted up by that grace.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMacrina
I always try and scroll right down to the empty box - my fear is that, if I read all of the comments before mine, it would somehow reshape what I wanted to say, or worse, make me simply leave a Thank you and move on. Kim, you are marvelous. Even in the telling of your story there is art - and oh how envious I am. But it's a good thing. If each one of us aspired to one good thing - not even a GREAT thing, but a good thing - and in so doing we inspired another - holy cow what a world change we would have. Your generosity, your gentle voice on the tuts, your freedom to laugh and give has been what makes me (us?) keep coming back. Because in what we see here; experience here, there is inspiration. And motivation. Thank you, lady! Hugs. Merry Christmas. I pray that true Joy will be yours this holy season!
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
I can't find the words to tell you just how much I admire you, you are so giving and talented. All I can say is thank you so much for sharing. x
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrevellion
What an amazing and inspirational story...from start to finish. Opening your heart to new possibilities; to the wonder in the everyday, brings wonderful opportunities. I'm so glad you were able to find your path. You are helping so many of us find our own.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertracynicholrose
It is SO inspirational to read your story, I am TRULY grateful that you are so open and wanted to share your story with all of us. You know - for me the name "Kim Klassen" has the same awe that Tracey Clark had for you. Your website full of beautiful textures and photoshop-wisdom has been an eye-opening experience for me. I feel the same way about photography as you do, and I believe I might have some talent in me - maybe one day I might do something else for a living than the current 9-5 day job... who knows?
Thank you for all the beautiful 12 days of textures, and have a good & happy Christmas!
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie
Your story is truly inspiring to those of us going through our own hard times. Thank you for sharing your heart.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPam
what a great journey! God never lets us down!
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJullia
Thank you for your story and this 12 Days of texture and for you nice textures.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnki-itte
thanks so much for sharing 'your story'. it is truly inspirational! part one sent chillls up my spine-i could actually fear your sorrow and fear. part two is so uplifting and such a happy ending that it provoked a few tears! What a journey your life has been thus far. you path has had twists & turns but seems to be flowing along just as it's supposed to! You're a very generous person and if it weren't for you I would not have fallen in love with my camera and never found out the joys of photoshop.
Thank YOU!!!
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Mendola
oops! meant FEEL your sorrow & fear!
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Mendola
So, so happy for your successes! Thank you for all you do for us here on your website, and for all the amazing textures!! I love them and use them on my photos all the time!
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Thank you for such inspiring words, words of encouragement and strength that speak with love and endurance to reach for and live lifes dreams. x
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteryvette
I'm amazed at the stories I read from such inspirational women. To say, "thank you", for your words, for feeling safe enough to share your life seems like a small thing to say...but I'll do it anyways. Your artistic talent is amplified by your generous spirit and I feel privileged to see the real you. Thank you for your words and for the art you so wonderfully share with me.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercarmen
Your story not only touches my heart, it is such an inspiration. You are an inspiration, since I found you I have truly stretched myself to learn more and look forward to each post from you. Thank you Kim for being such a giving person. You are right when you say, if you give of yourself you get so much more in return. Love to you and your family Kim you are a blessing to all of us and a reminder to do what is in our hearts. Some of us, me included, are still on that journey but I feel that the new yr. will bring the JOY I am searching for.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat Mark

I'm new to your blog... I found you in my quest to tap into my Art, holistically, for the first time leaving Corporate America. You have Inspired me so. Thank you. I am at the very beginning of my Journey. I only pray that my journey will be as inspiring to others.

Thank you for sharing. Thank you for committing to yourself, your family, your art. It is simply refreshing.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatanah
Thank you so much Kim for sharing your story. I quickly scrolled through the other comments before I wrote mine, and many of them already said things I would like to say!! You are an amazing artist, storyteller, and person, and I am in awe of you.

It is such a great feeling to realize that all the things we go through in life make us who we are so we should try to never regret any of it. It all happened for a reason...

Much love to you and yours this Holiday Season,
Michelle xoxo
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Hansen
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kim for sharing more of your story. I'm so inspired. So goose-bumped. So in awe. You make me have faith that my dreams could come true, too. xoxo
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan @ Life Refocused
Wow Kim, you really went through it didn't you. So glad you came out the other side strong. Goodness knows these life challenges of ours sure do knock the wind out of our sails. I hope your son is growing, healing, and maturing. With my own daughter it's baby steps forward. Just so long as we're not going backwards!

Thank goodness that editor said NO! Sometimes I feel like we're hanging on by little miracles also : /
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
KIm, I appreciate your openness to share your story. Your dreams are a reality because, as the song states, "Bloom where you are planted." Amazing...our stories are so very similar, yet different....could that have caused the goose bumps ;) wink, wink
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Imfeld
I'm having a great time with the 12 Days of Textures! All your textures are fantastic, Kim. Thank you so so much!
Now I just need more time to play and read the second part of your story! Alas it's ZzzzZzzz time for me now.
*hugs* and thanks again!
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKia
Kim, your story is so touching and heartfelt. It is truly a beautiful example of how God works in ways we do not understand at the time. He sees the big picture and we only see what is happening at that very minute. I have been going through a difficult time for the past year and a half as well. Like you, I feel like the situation has sucked all the creativity out of my body and I haven't been motivated to work on my art at all. I hope someday to be able to write My Story like you have. Thank you for sharing your inspirational story.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne
I love your story, Kim. I'm in my late-late 60's, so I'm not doing a lot of dreaming (other than dreaming of moving somewhere that's warm year-round) fact, I don't think I was ever a dreamer! However, I admire those who do, and I admire how you worked out your now-wonderful creative life. Because of your FREE mini-course, I can now do what I consider to be wonderful things with textures and Elements. I'm thankful for you.
December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvelyn in Oregon
Thanks so much for sharing your touching and inspiring story, Kim. Read every word. It gives me hope. Being laid off is never fun even if you were ready for a change. It's a challenging time, but working with your textures and reading your lightness and cheer brings pleasure to my days as we approach Christmas. Your story reminds me of what a friend of mine always says, "follow the bread crumbs," and recently rephrased, "follow the giggle."

Merry Christmas to you, Kim.
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLissa
Thank you for sharing part 2! I am so glad you have a 'happy ending' in progress! :) And thank you for the beautiful textures!
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaryann
Kim you are an inspiration love to you and yours this Christmas
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterViv Halliwell
I have been through major life changes the past year (divorce after 28 years of marriage) and despite all the problems and the walls I bumped into, I can also see that one thing leads to another. And if you want it and set your own nose in the right direction with the honest and sincere intentions, goo dthings can come from that. You will have to learn life in a new way, it does not happen overnight, and not everything turns out right. But a sincere heart can achieve so much happiness...
Thank you for sharing your story.
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline
Kim, Thank you for sharing your story. You as you know are an inspiration to many. You a strong woman.
Thank you for doing the 12 days of textures. I look forward to checking out your site multiple times a day :).
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheather
Kim, My very dearest and best friend has been going through a struggle similar to yours for the last 3 years. I have walked along by her side every step of the way . . . and her son is now on a wonderful path. One of the hardest parts for her has been the sense of isolation - feeling that she was so very alone. Many of her friends disappeared - we both understand this is because no one wants to admit that it could be OUR child or OUR family that might face a similar situation. Friends turned their back on her and in some ways blamed her for her son's failings. She is a devoted mother and even when we shower our children with love and do the best we can, their journey is still ultimately their own. I have shared your story with my friend, and she was so encouraged by your honest sharing of your feelings. Thank you so much for the knowledge and talent you share through this blog . I must tell you this is about much more than photoshop and pictures . . . Love and prayers your way!
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Hopkins
I love your story, love that I followed along as that last year unfolded, love the way you teach, your generosity, your sweet outlook on life. love you. there, i said it :)

and thank you so much for these fabulous textures!!!
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkelly
thank you so much for sharing ~ you inspire me and your courage gives me courage! so much love to you sweet one!
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstefanie renee
Kim--love you and your story. I'm so happy for you and your amazing journey. I can't wait to take your class and to continue traveling the twists and turns of my own photographic journey......not sure where it will lead but excited to put one foot in front of the other....xoxo
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristina
You are truly an inspiration for so many who know they have something within theirselves but don't know where to begin to find have opened up so many doors to me, I never knew anything or even heard of textures until I came across your site one day searching to do something differently in my photography. I have already grown so much in just the 10 months since I found you!! Even though you may not realize have influenced so many people (many women I imagine especially!!) with your love of your art, the simplcity of presenting it, and your enthusiasm in making one feel that yes!!! they are capable of going further and growing even more!!! Patience and Perserverance!!! Thank you for sharing your art, and your life moments with us, you really truly are an inspiration to all!!
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbra Obertanec
Thanks for sharing your incredible life story and giving us all hope. I amso thankful that I found you and your photography art. I have bcome a better photographer with your help. THanks!

Wishing you a happy holiday.
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSheila R
I have goosebumps! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.
December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Dear Kim
SInce a year i have been looking at your website and very enthusiastic about alll your textures and your way of using them. When I discover it it was like a dream because it was exactly what I was looking for on the web! I downloaded many of your textures. I didn't use them but they inspire me for taking pictures, doing textures by myself and using them in Photoshop.
You helped me in founding my way as others web contributors! Your followers are very imaginative and I like to look at your Tuesday Challenge.
I never posted because as a French person I don't feel free in English as much as I would! Your last post and the fact that it's time to share our best wishes for the coming new year decided for me!
Many thanks for your sharings!
Happy new year for you and all your followers who helped me so much this year!

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichèle

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