Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pinterest Challenge #2 - Photoshop Actions

Time to report on my next Pinterest project completed!  (This really does feel good)!  Just to give you a little background...

 I have been using Photoshop for awhile now to design all of my stationery.  I have never taken a graphic design class in my life and taught myself everything i know through many painstaking hours of trial and error and online tutorials.  Editing photos, however, is not something I have really dabbled in... like at all.  I have always just relied on my camera and iPhoto for everything (plus a wish and a prayer).  Sometimes that has worked out for me, and well, sometimes it hasn't.  Photoshop is like a treasure box.  It has so many hidden gems, but I know I haven't even begun to scrape the surface to really see what it can do.

This brings me to today's challenge.  Last fall I pinned some free Photoshop Actions that Jenn from Dear Lillie blogged about.  Her post featured an absolutely GORGEOUS picture of her daughter and it was then that I vowed to learn how to do that myself...someday.  Well, that someday is now! 

This is the original photo I took of my little peanut, Morgan - with no editing at all:

The original Photoshop Action downloads that Jenn spoke about and used in her editing, came from another blog,  The Pioneer Woman (who you may know from The Food Network)!  Within the last month or so, I hopped on over there and downloaded them, but had still yet to try it.  In the image below, I ran the "Bring on the Eyes" action, and followed all of the tips and tutorials that Jenn gave to use it.  I also brightened up the image a bit and ran the "Lovely and Ethereal" action, but felt like Morgan ended up resembling a character from Twilight.  Those eyes are just too much, and his skin seemed to have that vampire glow.  I since went back and re-read Jenn's post and realized that I needed to reduce the opacity of the action in order to make his eyes look not so fake.  Come to think of it, I probably could have done that with the other one as well.  Hindsight, right?

Then, last week, I did a search on Pinterest looking for some more Photoshop goodies.  It was then that I found these Free Photoshop Actions via Jenn B.  The downloads are available at MCP Actions.
I downloaded each and every single one of what was free and got to work.  I decided to remove the previous "Lovely and Ethereal"  action and reduce the opacity on the "Bring on the Eyes".  Then I ran a new one from MCP Actions, "Pop and Sharpen".  This gave me just the pop that the photo needed, and I was able to slightly sharpen around his eyes and features.  It also offers a layer that really evens out the skin tone - which my little Edward, I mean Morgan, really needed.  In the end, I was really happy with the way this photo came out.  He still looks like my little man - just as cute as in person, and much better than the original photo suggested.

So there you have it.  Me just tipping the Photoshop iceberg.  I still have a ton to learn, but at least now I know how to use a little more than I did a week ago.  Let me know if you have any tips or suggestions, we can learn together!!


Linking Up To:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pinterest Challenge #1

Last week, Kate from Censational Girl posted about an upcoming Linky Party (which starts tomorrow) that she and a few other bloggers are hosting called The Pinterest Challenge - Summer Edition.  I was immediately inspired to get off my lazy butt and start tackling some projects from my Pinterest To-Do List.  I love this challenge because it applies to anything you may have pinned, from recipes you would like to try, to cleaning tips, crafts, home projects - you name it.  Even though the party is only going on this week, I think I may just have to continue the challenge on my own.  I got a head start this weekend and already knocked 4 things off my ever growing list!

The first project I tackled was one that I had been planning to do anyway.  At the beginning of the summer I went to a Tupperware Party (yes, they still sell the stuff)!  I purchased some of those popcicle holders - you know, the same ones they had when we were kids.  Since then, Addie and I have had some fun finding and trying a plethora of recipes.  Awhile back I pinned a recipe for Watermelon Yogurt Popcicles via Jamielyn {iheartnaptime.net}

The original recipe can be found at Family Fresh Cooking

Image via Family Fresh Cooking

I followed the directions, and they came out pretty good.  They are super refreshing.  I used honey as my sweetener though, and I probably either should have used splenda or added extra sweetener to the recipe.  They needed just a bit more and I wasn't sure how much honey I should use.  The mixture tasted good, but once I froze them the water of the popcicle kind of diluted it a bit I think.

In any case - I let Addie try them out the morning after we made them.  Yes, she is in her PJs in these pictures, LOL.  She couldn't wait to try them, although I made her eat breakfast first.  Even though I guess watermelon and yogurt wouldn't have been a bad breakfast at all!

It feels so good to be getting some of this stuff done.  Can't wait to share the rest of my projects with you!


Linking Up To: 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday I'm In Love - Party Edition

Friday I'm In Love is back this week with some pretty amazing party themes and ideas.  I have had parties on the brain lately between the Lego party, some invitations I have been working on, and some new party printable designs for my shop.  I saw these gorgeous ideas and knew I had to do something festive this week. Here goes - let's get this party started!!

The first is a beautiful Summer Backyard Birthday Party by Ashley at Domestic Fashionista.  It's the perfect combination of simple and sweet down to every last detail.  I loved her tablescape and especially the strung lights.  Head over there to see it all!

What a unique take on a baby shower theme!  I ADORE this "Little Bug" Shower (that's VW, not creepy crawler) by Heather at Whipperberry.  From the color scheme, to the invites to the decor - every last drop of this party is so stinkin' cute.  Such a refreshing, new idea!

This Ice Cream Party that Jodi threw for her daughter looks like so much fun!  The colorful backdrop to the ice cream table, combined with the bunting and streamers were the perfect touch.  Head over to Meaningful Mama to check out all of the yummy treats she put together!

Maury (or Mars for short) from the blog Life on Mars posted a gorgeous bridal shower luncheon that her mom threw.  This is one shower I wish I could have atended - the food looked amazing and was literally making my stomach growl as I looked at the photos.  Not to mention the beautiful table settings and favors - I loved this!!

And finally - this Pink Lemonade Party from Ashley at Cherished Bliss is so adorable.  I may or may not be a little partial since my daughter is also named Addison (great minds think alike)!  No but seriously - she thought of everything.  How cute is that bunting?  You also have to check out the crown she made for Addison to wear - so pretty!!

So have I gotten you in the party mood yet?  I sure am!!

If you were featured, feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.  Have a great weekend everyone!!