Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pic a Theme: YELLOW

I like to go on Photo-taking field trips. At first this consited of the usual going to parks, local attractions, etc. The results were lots of pictures of flowers and zoo animals. Then a friend clued me in to the idea of picking a color, or some other theme. One day I had a vacation day, and I planned to use it going to parks and woods and such and taking pretty pictures. But that day it was rainy. Bummer dude.

I didn't give up on my need for collecting images, though, no sirree. I thought of some indoor places I could wander around at, and picked a color. I picked bright, cheery yellow. If Mother Nature wouldn't give me sunshine that day, I'd make my own. I used both my regular camera, and my handy dandy iPhone camera. I went to the art museum, some thrift stores and to an antique mall. Here are some of my favorites from "Yellow Day."

A couch at the art museum, taken with my iPhone, then doctored a bit with one of my favorite apps, best camera. Or did I use Camera Bag? I don't remember. I love them both.

Another from the museum... detail of some painting. Fudged with using the Photoshop app (it's free!!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Orton Effect... Daydreamify your photos.

One of my favorite little photoshop techniques is a simple little process called the "Orton Effect." It's named after photographer Micheal Orton who figured out a way to use multiple slides to develop this hazy-watercolory look. It's best on nature photos, the brighter colored, the better. However, on certain photos of people or buildings, it can also be neat. I use this tutorial to do this in Photoshop. If you don't have photoshop, GIMP is a free program you can download that I find to be a very good alternative to photoshop... Here is an Orton Effect tutorial for GIMP.

Here are some of my photos that I have used the Orton Effect on (Originals below each):

On Some of these, the last one, for instance, I really upped the saturation of the photos' colors, as well as the contrast. Play with making the photo brighter, more saturated, etc. before you apply the Orton effect. It makes the effect even more versatile! For more examples of Orton effect photos, check out this Flickr group.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

beaded lariat necklaces

I have a bead fetish. I could spend hours shopping for beads. When I go to antique malls and thrift stores I always scope out old jewelry that can be taken apart for the beads. At craft stores I head straight for the clearance bead section, and make my way to the rainbow of all the other beads. I have lots. Too many. I'm a hoarder. Thankfully, one of my favorite projects uses lots of these beads up. Lariat necklaces.

They are easy to make, and look great without using any kind of logic or pattern. My favorite parts of jewelry making, you see, are picking out and pairing colors, and figuring out how to use my favorite beads as focal pieces. I am NOT a fan of math, and prefer projects that require minimal measuring, planning, patterns, etc. There are plenty of tutorials out there for lariat necklaces. This one and This one are basically how I make mine.

Flipping through Etsy is a great source of inspiration for me. Searching for lariat necklaces has made me want to make them out of chain, out of leather, out of fabric. So many Pretty possibilities. Here are some that caught my eye:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yes, another one.

Yes, I already have some blogs. Irons Stef. Skank Ham. And very soon the Food Blog Mafia. So why another? Because, I want to document all the other Pretty that I surround myself with everyday. Crafts, photography, graphic design, and such. And of course, I needed yet another place to show off my kitten, the love of my life, Noodles Meriwether (pictured above in his new favorite napping spot.) So yeah. The Pretty. Noodles thinks I'm crazy. "Another Blog, Mommy? SRSLY?" yup, Noodster. SRSLY.