Friday, December 31, 2010

Photoshop Class Project #1 and Happy New Year

I used the info from my first 2 lessons in my Photoshop The Skinny online class to create some photo art with one of my own photos.

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Now I have a new addiction and there are already not enough hours in the day for all the things I love to do. 

I wanted to wish you all a safe and Happy New Year. 

Tracy

How to Make a Silhouette Photo and a Few Other Tricks

I took some photos for my friend and his wife yesterday.  She is due in February. I walked past the nursery window and had this great idea for a photo.  The sun was going down and it was bright in the window and I wondered if it would make a silhouette when I took a photo.

Yep it did.

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And I just love it. 

Here is another one I took that I really like.

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Same window with the blinds down but before the sun was setting as much.

I created the white edges using Picnik.

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I used the Create tab and the Matte choice in Effects.  It removed the green curtain and softened the photo and let her be the focus. 

I loved this own too.

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I wish I could remember what all I did to get this look because I like it.

I really like how happy they look in the next shot.  Aren’t they adorable?  You know they will have one cute baby.

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I am taking an online lesson right now for Photoshop Elements.  I just completed lesson one so I will be moving on from Picnik to Photoshop in the near future with any luck and determination. 

My friend Anita at Going a Little Costal told me about the class.  The class is taught by Kim at Kim Klassen CafΓ© and it is called Photoshop The Skinny.

Kim is Johnny on the spot with returning emails and so helpful.

Go here to check out her blog. 

Tracy

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Wreath–3 Looks

Do you ever look up and just decide to change something.  How does it just suddenly seem like a good idea? 

In my entertainment center I had a grapevine wreath with some greenery on it.  It was a bit hard to see because it blended with the entertainment center. 

I decided to wrap it with twine and I thought I would add the greenery back on it.

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Hmmm…not sure about this look. 

I thought of another idea using a drawer handle and a brad.

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I just pushed them into the wreath.

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I think I like it best with just the brads on it. 

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At least it shows up now in the entertainment center.  I have another idea for the handle.  Stay tuned.

Tracy

 

Linking to

Show and Tell @ My Romantic Home

Saturday Night Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Table Top and Wall Redo

For the last couple of days  I have been showing you a few things I am doing to change up a wall space in my family room.  It is a big wall and needed more than the table and mirror I always used. 

I loved my big bathroom sign that you can see here, so I wanted to make another one.  I spent weeks trying to come up with what I wanted it to say. 

I decided on “Homestead Est. 1996”.  By definition I really don’t own a homestead, but oh well, I like how it sounds.  My husband and I got married in 1996. 

This is how it turned out. 

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If it wouldn’t look so silly I think I would put big signs up all over my house.

I added a ladder to either side of the mirror.  I got the ladders from eBay.  They are cheap and light.  I mentioned in a previous post that one little nail easily holds them on the wall.

Topiaries placed in painted urns completed the look I was going for.  (See the before pic of the urns here.)

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I have always had a fondness for topiaries. 

The cute little lantern  seemed a perfect fit between the topiaries.  I really like the glow of the battery tea light that I painted.  (See that here.)

I am so ready to show this entire wall.

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I believe this change is a keeper.  I smile every time I walk past it.  I am really glad I painted the urns.  The previous puke green color didn’t highlight the topiaries well.  Rusty makes everything look good in my opinion. 

Here’s a few more shots.

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This is one of my favorite changes.  I kept thinking I should have saved it for 2011, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. 

 

Tracy

Linking to

Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts

Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple

Show and Tell @ My Romantic Home

Remodelaholic’s Anonymous @ Remodelaholic

Saturday Night Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Climbing The Walls

That is what I think about when I look at another addition to my wall area I am redoing.  The wall was big and blank.  I usually only showed a cropped photo of it because the area needed more.  Even my husband who never notices things mentioned it.  I really like the expensive Ballard long mirrors I saw in the catalogs.

Bella Mirror

$249.00 - $369.00

I needed 2 so I just couldn’t’ see spending that kind of money and I already have 2 mirrors in the room.  I think 4 is a bit much perhaps. 

So I bought a pair of cheap primitive lightweight ladders.  One little nail easily holds these in place. 

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Definitely not as elegant as the mirrors but at $15 a piece they are much more affordable and when I tire of them I won’t feel guilty. 

With only one nail I hope no one decides to try and climb up the wall. 

Tracy

 

Painted Battery Operated Tea Lights

Harsh contrasts bother sometimes.  That is why I wasn’t liking this white tea light in a bronze lantern.

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So I got out some acrylic paint and slapped a coat on a plastic battery operated tea light in less than a minute.  I needed to test the paint anyway because I plan on painting a frame with it this week. 

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Now that’s better.

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Here’s a peak at what I am doing with my newly painted urns. 

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PS  I tried some photo tips I read in Censational Girl’s post today and they worked. Go here to check it out.  You have to tweak the settings according to your lighting situation, but it gives you a place to start.  I couldn’t figure out how not to blow out the color on the white candle.  I tried to focus on just that one, but the camera kept reading the color of the darker candle.  At least I think that is what happened. 

Tracy

 

Better Blogger in 2011

My improvement plans are simple.

1.  I need to be a better blogger by being a better commenter.  I forgot where I read how to comment recently, but I tend to do what they said was a no no.  I think of all the things I really like about a post, but I just type a generic “great job” comment more often than not.  No more of that!  I will be Mrs. Meaningful or at least try really hard to be more like Hallmark and send the very best.

2. I will not freak if I haven’t completed something and posted about it.  I will post when I post and that is all I can do as a working mother and wife.  I ran out of Christmas ideas fast this year.  I think I was worn out from Halloween and Fall since I did more than I usually do for those holidays.  It felt pretty good to recognize I had nothing to show off and be ok with it. 

This WILL NOT  be my motto.

3. I will be taking awesome photos by 2012.  I am giving myself a year to learn.  I think I am gonna need it.  I saw the most amazing pieces of photo artwork done by a senior in high school at my doctor appointment yesterday.  She really inspired me.

Here is a sample of her work.

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Photo by McKay Moran

I will also learn about Photo Shop Elements even if it kills me which I think it might.

4. I will not lose any emails or comments my readers send to me.  I did a lot of that last year.  I will learn to be more organized with my messages.  I don’t always respond back unless someone asks a question.  I tried responding to every comment in the beginning and I would stay up late at night to get it done.  It caused me to be exhausted for work the next morning.  No one wants or needs an exhausted dental hygienist with sharp instruments in their mouth.  However, if I am asked a question I do give an answer.

5. I will try to do more linky parties as soon as I wrap my head around a good way to do them. 

6.  When I link to a party I will do a better job of commenting on other links. It is impossible to comment on them all, but I need to try to visit several that catch my eye.  I hit and miss with this.  That darn thing called a job usually gets in my way.  My friend Anita @ Going A Little Coastal is an awesome linky party commenter. 

I am sure there are a ton of other things I should and will improve, but this is all my one cup of coffee brain came up with this morning. 

I have the week off and it is so great!  I really needed a break.

Tracy

Monday, December 27, 2010

Painted Urns

My last project I posted about was December 12th.  I have been working on a wall and table top redo, but I didn’t want to post about it smack in the middle of Christmas decoration posts. 

I am ready to share part of my redo.  I went to one of my favorite stores and found some urns for a pretty good price.  Just about everything in this store screams my name, however, the prices usually scream bankruptcy. 

The store has home dΓ©cor, lawn and garden supplies, outdoor furniture/dΓ©cor as well as plants and flowers.  It is a greenhouse and then some.

Pete's Greenhouse

I have to go back to get something tomorrow.  I might take a camera and ask if I can take photos. 

So I am browsing around.  I went there to look at pots, but ended up browsing the whole store in. Christmas dΓ©cor was 1/2 off and I was tempted, but I just don’t’ want to put away any more Christmas stuff so I passed.  As my want meter is about to explode I found these 2 urns and think they are pretty affordable so I grab them.  As I continue to browse in another area, I find the same urn container for more than twice the price.  That sealed the deal and I bought them. 

They were green.  Anyone who has been reading my blog knows my love for greens.  Not this green.  It was a weird green that didn’t go with anything.  So my other love is rust. 

I painted them n a nice rust Autumn Brown color and let them dry.

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It is hard to tell how funky the green is in the pic.  The Autumn Brown paint is still drying in the photo.

After the paint dried, I used a scraggly paint brush and some black paint to dry brush the urn and take away the starkness of the solid paint and give the urn some depth. 

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Dry brushing is my all time favorite way to paint.  It is aimless like me and  it the paint is instantly dry. 

Soon you will see what I will be doing with my urns. 

What are you doing this week?  Resting, organizing, or changing things up?

Tracy

 

Power of Paint Party

2010 Favorite Changes

This was my first year to blog and it got me changing up stuff more than I usually do.  Some of my favorite changes were.

My breakfast area went from

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to this.

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My husband built a bench for me

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and I painted it.

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And learned the art of freezer paper and made some pillows for it.

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I decorated my mantel for Fall for the first time.

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I changed an ugly magazine holder into something I really like.

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I redid my guest bedroom.

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I made my first big wooden sign.  I have since made a 2nd one that I haven’t posted about yet.

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I conquered my first chair reupholster project and maybe my last.

Ugly chair.

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Getting uglier.

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Finally better.

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I have learned some things about photography.

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And I have made some great blogging friends. 

I am looking forward to 2011.

Tracy

 

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