Friday, July 29, 2011

For the Love of Photoshop!

Hey everybody!

Today I was editing some photos to put on my blog and I was getting very sad because I couldn't get them to look the way I want.  You may notice in my posts that some of my photos look TERRIBLE.  Well, for one thing I don't have some fancy craft room, like this one that was posted on Craftaholics Anonymous.  No, mine is a desk, a sewing machine on the floor, a large tote bag full of yarn, a recycled comforter bag full of fabric, and other random boxes of things around my room.

It did look like this...

Yes, that's my bed to the right.  The above equals stress!

Anyway, it has slightly improved since I bought a new computer and I real desk.  However, like I said the sewing machine is now on the floor.

To make a long story short, I take photos of my crafts in my room, where I have terrible lighting.  Well, today I had enough and decided to do some research on how I can fix my photos.  I went to Amanda from Kevin & Amanda.  She does awesome photos and she gives tutorials on how to take photos and edit them for a blog.  In reading how to edit my photos I learned a lot.  She also has a link for the Pioneer Woman's actions for Photoshop.  So, I went to the Pioneer Woman and downloaded the actions.  Now, I had the first set of actions and I love them, but I learned something from Amanda- changing the opacity of the action.

An example:
This is the original- a photo I took last weekend on Mount Lemmon.

And the improved version!

You're probably asking: how did she do that?

Step 1: "Slight Lighten" action from Pioneer Woman at 50% opacity
Step 2: "Fresh & Colorful" action from Pioneer Woman at 70% opacity
Step 3: "Warmer" action from Pioneer Woman at 100% opacity

And that's it!

Pretty cool!

Give it a try for your photos for your blog or whatever.  And check out Amanda's various tutorials for photography.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fabric-Covered Message Board {Tutorial}

I just recently bought a new desk for my computer and crafts.  The desk is an antique writing desk and has a large piece that goes on top that has two shelves, however my monitor is quite large and so my mom and I took one of the shelves off.  Except now I have this large open space and it's kind of irritating me.  And the wall that the desk is against had a large corkboard on it.  So, lost that because I don't have any other wall to put it on.

I started to think about making a message board and this sort of thing came to mind...

Well something like the above seemed like a lot of work, so I had these two cake rounds from a DIY cupcake stand.  And of course I have a ton of fabric and ribbon. 

Pretty sweet!

Fabric-Covered Message Board
What you'll need:
Fabric (at least a 17"x18" piece)
Cake rounds (I used 2 and 14" size you can use what you want, but be sure to change to size of the piece of fabric)
Fabric button cover kit
Spray glue
Scissors (obviously)

Since I used two cake rounds I sprayed one and placed the other on top of it.

Lay your fabric on top to make sure you glue it on straight.

Start at one side and spray the cake round (make sure you go a little at a time, if you do it all at once you're more likely to have a lot of wrinkles or it may be crooked)

Smooth the fabric down as you go.

Turn the fabric-covered board over and trim the edges.

Then make a cut every 1-2 inches all around the circle.

Spray the back with glue (do just a little at a time) and press the strips of fabric onto the board.

Your hands will be sticky and this will happen :)

The cake round I used was 14".  I decided to cut my ribbon 2" longer than the cake round is wide.

Lay the ribbon out to make sure you are good with the placement.

Spray the back of the board just where the ribbon needs to be glued down.  (The back is going to be sticky- you can let it dry overnight before you go on if need be.)

Follow the instructions on the fabric button cover kit and make yourself a few buttons.

It may seem kind of odd but I decided to sew my buttons on.  So, grab some thread and a thick needle to sew the button unto cardboard.

Now, for hanging the board I love these new Command picture hangers.  I just used two sets since the board is so light.

One set on top and one set on bottom.


No more bare "wall" at the back of my desk!

Make your own and let me know how it goes!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

A dress on the flesh...

Yes, my title is weird, but hey it's what it is.

I made this dress a while ago.  And I sent it off to the friend who I made it for and she told me she'd send a picture whenever she had her daughter wear it.  So, finally I get on Facebook today and there's a PICTURE!!!  I was so excited.

Oh my goodness I was so excited!  I've never seen anything I've made actually on someone.  I think it turned out so cute.

Now, I can't wait to make more and spread my sewing love :)
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Chai Cupcakes

A friend gave me a bunch of boxes of cake mix when she moved and I thought maybe I should do something different with them.  Somehow, chai popped into my mind.  But the frosting part was where I was lost.  So, I just decided to forego the frosting and I put cinnamon sugar on top.


First start the water to boil for the tea.

I used 6 tea bags.

Once the water boils, turn off the burner, place the pot to the side, and tie the tea bags together and hang them from a wooden spoon.  Set a timer for 5 minutes.

Measure out 1/3 cup of oil.

Mix the oil with the cake mix.

According to the box, you need 1 1/4 cup of water.

I measured out the brewed Chai tea to the 1 1/4 cup to replace the water then add the Chai tea to the batter.

Fill the cupcake papers 2/3 full.

So, I was baking these at my grandma's house and I couldn't find cinnamon ANYWHERE.  Then I found this  grinder and smelled it (haha) and it was CINNAMON.  It's a cool contraption.  So, anyway, I mixed the cinnamon with sugar to top the cupcakes.

My grandma has my great-grandma's china.  It's beautiful!  (This cupcake got cinnamon/sugar after the fact because I didn't know what I was going to put on it, yet)

Chai Cupcakes

6 bags Tazo Chai Tea (doesn't have to be Tazo but that's what I used)
2 cups of water (boil 2 cups, that way in case some evaporates you'll have enough for the batter)
1/3 cup oil
3 egg whites
1 box White Cake Mix
White Sugar

Make cake according to the directions on the box for the cake.  The only difference is use brewed Chai tea instead of water.

Mix cinnamon and sugar (just eyeball the measurements) and sprinkle on top of batter before baking.

Serve with some Chai tea and enjoy!

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