Thursday, August 26, 2010

Garden Harvest

So I have very few illusions left about having a home garden...and I am definitely not going to be opening a veggie stand on the corner anytime soon...

But I did have my first significant harvest on Tuesday...

And I must say it made for the tastiest salad I have ever had! watermelon is growing and I am hoping the few really hot days we have had here this week will help her along even more!

Ain't she sweet!

Happy gardening!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A fun Mini...I think it is lost in the mail...

Last month a friend made me the cutest little mini purse...and I love it! It is purple and green and tiny...and just adorable!

So I wanted to send her a fun mini-album in the mail as a thank you...I mean, who doesn't love to get surprise packages in the mail!

So I used my favorite go-to mini album 'recipe'...from Tracy's Treasures...and included a bunch of fun paper scraps and die-cuts...

I mailed it out at the beginning of August...just mailing it across town...but it never arrived at my friend house, and I am sad...

So...for my friend, I'm sorry...but here are the pictures of the mini I made you...

...I know it isn't the same, but next time I will hand deliver it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Frugal Friday: Photo Editing without the Software - Part 5

I have always wanted to try tinting my own black and white photos. I have seen it done, and even have the supplies to do it myself…but have never tried. That is, until now.

I don’t know what was stopping me…photo tinting is super easy and a lot of fun!

In photo editing software, tinting a black and white photo is pretty simple, but none-the-less it involves several steps, the use of layers, masks etc…not to mention, the software.

So here are a few easy to apply steps using supplies you have on hand to achieve a similar effect.

Gather up a few black and whites photos, some Distress Inks by Ranger and a handful of cotton swabs. I also had on hand (who knows why) a few Fantastix by Tsukineko…which after playing with them I will say I prefer them to the cotton swabs; their tips stay nice and firm and allow for a lot of control when applying the ink. They are a lot costlier than cotton swabs though, running about $0.75 to $1.00 a piece…so that is something to consider.

Distress Inks are perfect for this process, and will work on most types of photos – home printed or lab printed. For my experiment I am using photos printed at Costco on gloss paper. The Distress Inks are fade resistant water-based dye inks that will remain wet on your photos to allow for blending of colors.

Simply blot a cotton swab onto the felt ink pad.

Apply the color to the photograph. I used a combination of circular motion and dabbing motion.

When blending two colors together, I suggest starting with the lighter color and working towards the darker color.

In this photo I just wanted to add color to Clyde’s eyes, I used Tumbled Glass on the outer edges and then added Broken China to the inner eye.


In this photo I highlighted the straw and Starbucks logo with Peeled Paint...

and then went a little crazy adding a summer blended background in Fired Brick, Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade and Wild Honey, and inked the edges with Vintage Photo.

I have been having a very hectic week, what with work and a studio full of foster kitties, I didn’t actually get to scrap my crazy summer drink photo…I have so many fun and funky ideas going through my head I think I will need to make some me time this weekend to get something put together!

So was the experiment worth it? Here is the tally:

Cost: $0 (again, I had everything on hand…but Distress Ink pads run about $5 a piece)
Fun Factor: Oh my stars…I want to keep playing with this!
Time: Varied, but not too long.
Skill Level: Intermediate (just let go of you inhibitions and get to it!)

So there it is, Fun Photo Tinting! Easy Peasy…and Cheap! Cheap!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Foster Kitties...

Our house became a foster home this weekend to five baby kitties! Four of the kitties are brothers and sister...and then there is an adding little girl kitty we call Bobby, since she looks a bit like a miniature bobcat!

This is Bobby...

I met a member of the Solano Feral Cat Group this past weekend...where else, but at a scrapbooking party!...and she told me the group is always in need of foster homes...

Without all...I said sign me up!

So the following morning I met her at her house and picked up five adorable bundles of purring fun!

How can anyone resist this adorable face?!?!?!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Frugal Friday: Photo Editing without the Software - Part 4

Almost every pre-teen girl can remember sitting in Junior High classes, daydreaming and doodling on your paper…circles, stars, cross-hatching and hearts…little dots and dashes and just random strokes…

Let’s get back to this and add it to our scrapbooking repertoire…

We will call this adding texture to your photographs…

Gather up some nice pens, in varying widths, if you have them. I use Pigma Micron pens from Sakura in widths from 005 to 08. I also gathered a few other pens to try…a fine point Sharpie, a white Uni-Ball Signo pen, and a set of colored Zig Writers.

Again, we are going to work on photographs that are less-than-perfect.

Let’s start, on a piece of scratch paper, getting the hang of some basics…we will look at three elements, shape, fill and density.

Shape: This can be anything from circles to stars to the outline of a letter…

Fill: This is where the fun begins; fill in your shape to give it some weight using dots, smaller shapes, lines or random squiggles…

Density: Depending on the overall ‘texture’ you want to achieve, your doodles can be closely spaced and very dense or sporadic and light…

Below is a sample photo where you can see how different pens show up on the picture. I was less than happy with the Sharpie results, Sharpies tend to go grey when used on a slick surface…so don’t use one if you want a nice intense black doodle. In general, rollerball and ball point pens do not really work well on the photos, again because of the slick surface.

Now let’s apply our doodling knowledge to our less-than-perfect photos. In this photo, there is an unwanted dog snout…cute dog, but not what I had in mind for the picture….

I simply used a very dense doodle, using a combination of thick pen width (a black Zig Marker) and a finer detail width ( a black Micron 03). Using a combination of cross-hatching, random circles and asterisks, I effectively blocked out the unwanted snout and added a lot of whimsy to the picture.

I repeated these textures, less densely, on two companion pictures.

Doodling on pictures is also a good way of filling unwanted empty space. In this photo, the focus of the picture are the two sets of feet, but there is too much concrete in the background to make the picture pop…so I added some random circles to fill in the empty space.

Continuing on, I had the doodles travel off of the photo and onto the layout background for cohesion.

And finally, here is a quick layout using my sample tulip photos…

Check out this blog post for instructions on making the faux spray paint background...

So was the experiment worth it? Here is the tally:
Cost: $0
Fun Factor: Extremely fun…and a bit relaxing!
Time: All depends on you and what kind of doodling you want
Skill Level: Basic

So there it is, Fun Photo Textures! Easy Peasy…and Cheap! Cheap!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Frugal Friday: Photo Editing without the Software - Part 3

This week I have a few ideas about making embellishments out of those less than perfect or extra photos that are lying around. Not exactly photo editing, but a lot of photo fun…

So grab a few extra photos and try these ideas out…

In this day and age of scrapbooking most of us have some sort of die cutting machine…whether a manual machine like the Cuttlebug or Big Shots or an electronic cutter like the Cricut or the Silhouette. For this project I am using my Cuttlebug ($80) and my Silhouette ($300) a Tim Holtz Alterations Die ($20), a few punches ($10 -$20) and more of those extra pictures I found when cleaning out my scrap room…

First I gathered some old flower pictures (you can probably tell by now…I have a compulsion when it comes to taking pictures of the flowers in my yard…) and used my Silhouette to cut a title for a layout. Because of the properties of photographs and not wanting to damage the printed image, I placed the photos face down on the cutting mat and made sure the letters to be cut were reversed (backwards) in my machine's software.



I cut each letter out individually…

And adhered them to a 'shadow' of the letter cut from brown cardstock...

Next, I moved onto the Cuttlebug, choosing a flower die from Tim Holtz. For this manual die-cutting machine, since the shape is cut by direct downward pressure and not by a sliding blade, I did not need to turn the photos over.

I used several photos to cut the shapes and assembled them into layered flowers, bending each petal for added dimension and using a brad to hold the flowers together.

Finally, I used a circle hand-punch to make some lollipop flowers with button centers. For these flowers, I inked around the edges.

Here is a quick card I made with the lollipop photo flowers and some photo letters…

So was the experiment worth it? Here is the tally:

Cost: $0.
Fun Factor: Extremely fun
Time: 5-10 minutes for each embellishment
Skill Level: Basic (just remember to turn your photos over and reverse your image with the electronic cutters)

So there it is, Fun Photo Shapes! Easy Peasy…and Cheap! Cheap!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quick Update...

I feel like I haven't posted anything new in a while...except fort he Frugal Fridays...which are fun, but I want to share more...

So here is a quick update...

Camp Scrap is over, and I'm missing it. For the final week...well, life got in the way and very few assignments were finished...but, here is what I did do...

I tried out a cool technique I saw over at Studio Calico...a sort of white wash with paints...I like it! But I think I need to practice a bit more to perfect it...

This was for Friday's sketch assignment...simple layout, but I like the way it turned out...

And this one was for the Thursday Designer idea...I love this one (tooting my own horn here) and am finding that I really like the doodle-look!

I went on vacation to Tahoe...but I didn't take very many pictures...what!?!?! I guess I was having too much fun riding my bike to stop for photo ops! The weather was wonderful, and the bike trails amazing! I did take some pictures of wild flowers and am toying with a mini album idea for those...I have been really into making minis this year!

The garden is coming along swimmingly (not really...but its not dead...) I have a few watermelons that have set...

Ain't she cute!

I have been getting great big pumpkin flowers...

But none have set yet...

And the Lemon Cucumber (yummy) has taken off and set a ton of baby cucs!

I still have to finish installing the drip system...boy is that a whole lot harder than I thought it would be! Maybe I can finish this weekend!

I have been doing a whole lot of crafting over the last couple of weeks...I think I have been in the studio almost every night after work. I have been working on quite a few mini albums...I will post some pictures on Saturday. And I am debating on putting together a little tutorial for one of is a mini album for school pictures...but I am so bad at remembering to take pictures of each step...

Anyway, happy crafting!