Sunday, August 30, 2009

Altered Can

Forgive me for not remembering where I saw this idea (I believe it was on Em's blog a while back)...

You clean out a soup or veggie can and paint it. Rub sandpaper over it to rough it up a bit...
Then, using your handy-dandy crop-a-dile, punch two holes in the side. Cuts through the metal like butter...
I then added heavy gauge wire through the loops, and curled the metal (used a pencil and twisted the ends around it to curl)...
I added paper, some raffia and a "Thank You" tag from the September WIP kit...

Oh, and flowers. Of course, the flowers...(zinnias and marigolds!)

This is going to the awesome bus driver who got my son home in a horrible storm late on Friday. So thankful for them--as are all the other moms, I'm sure...
Check these beautiful repurposed tins for even more inspo...
Have a happy Monday, friends!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Art Journals

I really love art journals. I love to create them and I love to look at other peoples. I think it is the freedom that they bring. There is no wrong way to do them! You can draw, paint, put emphera on them, add photos, whatever you want. One person's art journals that I love and find very inspiring is Emily Falconbridge. This year she is doing a mini art journal with prompts every week. She is doing a tag journal, and I decided to do mine that way also. Here are my last two. I used a tag and a journal card from this months kit on last weeks! My journaling is on the back of the cards. You can create one by following the prompts HERE.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Photography Tips

By request (because I honestly have no idea why someone would ask me for info--I consider myself a student and not much of a teacher on this subject...)...

Here are a few of the things I do when I take pictures...
1. Use a good camera. I highly recommend using a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera. I've used one for about 5 years, and recently bought a new one. If you don't have one, save your pennies. You won't regret it--I promise you.
2. Invest in a few good lenses. I use my tried and true 50mm 1.4 lens for 90% of all my shots. I know it and I love it--and it suits my needs. I use a 55-250 when I photograph my kids playing sports or I take pictures of the kits. Once in a blue moon I use a macro lens for really tight close-ups. I pretty much stick with what I know and learn it before I move on to the next.
3. Set your environment up for success. (Can you tell I was a teacher for many years?) Think about shooting pictures before you leave the house and come prepared. Are you going to the beach or a park? Bring a colorful blanket. Is there a favorite object or item that needs to be included in the shot? Be sure it is packed. Are toddlers involved? Bring juice and treats. Set up your shot so a tree branch isn't sticking out of someone's head, or extras aren't in the background.
4. Become a student. Start by looking at photographs you love. What is it about them that captures your attention? Lighting? Composition? Play. Try to recreate it--remember what works and what doesn't. Take a class. I have taken 4 photography and 2 editing classes in the last 12 months, and can't wait for more! I highly recommend Karen Russell's, Katrina Kennedy's, and Candace Stringham's photography classes.
5. Read your manual. I know--everyone hates this one (including me.) But it is the truth. How are you ever going to learn if you don't refer to that little book?
6. If you own a DSLR, stop using your flash and take your camera off the "auto" setting. I prefer shooting in the Aperture Priority Mode (you knew it was coming--refer to your manual.)
7. White balance makes a huge difference. If you don't believe me, try shooting the exact same object using the different settings and look how it affects your picture.
8. Play with angles. Stand on a stool and look down at your subject. Get on your knees and photograph a child at their level. Tilt your camera to the side. Have fun with it!
9. Give yourself time to learn. It doesn't happen overnight, and sometimes you take a few steps backward before going forward. But when it comes down to it, the time invested in learning is worth it.
10. Find a friend that knows more than you and is willing to help. That is how I learned in the beginning...and how I continue to learn a lot, too!!

Feel free to post any questions here--I'll do my best to post answers!! Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ABC, 123

With all the back-to-school craziness, I figured it was time to share some of my favorite ABC's and 123' the form of some awesome artwork, of course. ;) It seems like alphabet and number prints are all the rage right now. You can find them just about anywhere, in any color, and in any style. I think I would decorate my whole house in alphabet and number prints if I could get away with it!! Here are some of my favorites. I hope they inspire you in one way or another!!

Modern Pop

Art and Philanthropy
These are also available in adorable little cards...

I really, really love these. They are a European company, but I did find the alphabet one available here.

Modern Pop

Art and Philanthropy

Land of Nod

Modern Pop

Land of Nod

Bold & Noble

Modern Pop
And the corresponding alphabet print...

Penny People
My daughter has this alphabet print, as well as the number print that goes along with it!

Land of Nod

Modern Pop
These are available in single letter prints as this:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are you a List Maker?

I am! Although I hate to admit that I lose them when I need them most - LOL! I am all about finding freebies and I happen to stumble upon these -- they are so up my alley --- cute and sophisticated - and I haven't lost one yet(LOL)

Aren't these cute? My favorite is the blog topic one - sometimes I am out and Alyson does something funny or I see something and I want to write about it but forget - but not anymore - now I have been documenting the ideas -- now I just have to blog them - LOL! Click here to download.

And this one is totally adorable -- I don't know about you but I dislike going to the grocery store -- so this list is right up my alley!  Download here!

and we don't want to leave out the love one in your life --- this one is for him! LOL!  Download here!

I hope you like these! If you search around that site you will find some more awesome print outs that are free! Awesome right?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do you Picnik?

I know a lot of you Flickr, but have you ever edited your photos in Flickr's sister site called Picnik? It has some really neat editing effects that you can do with your photos. AND IT'S FREE!

There are some premium features that require an upgrade, and I have no idea how much that is. I haven't upgraded. But, I do picnik and I love it.

Take a look at this:
365: 25 July
Here is your average ordinary photo (isn't he cute? I found him outside the grocery store one day) but look at what you can do with it once you upload it to Picnik:

There's a focal black and white option (same as photoshop)
365: 25 July (focal BW)

You can do an HDR effect (this one is my fave)
365: 25 July (HDRish)

Really nice washes. This one is CinemaScope
365: 25 July (CinemaScope)

and some fun effects like Sketch
365: 25 July (pencil sketch)

and neon
365: 25 July (neon)

or you can combine effects. This is a holga effect combined with the vignette option:
365: 25 July (holga vignette)

The opportunities are endless (and free! did I mention free?)

Happy editing!

Monday, August 24, 2009

This past week...

I took over 2000 photos. Highly unusual, but so fun. Getting used to a new camera and camera strap. Playing and learning and getting frustrated. Three scheduled photo shoots and one amazing bridal shower...
And you know what? I never grow tired of it. Because once in a while, I take a shot for someone else or of my own children, and my heart skips a beat because I captured the essence of that person for just a moment. This photo of my boys taken this week at the park is my new favorite.
I really love this hobby. Now I can't wait to scrap...

Speaking of...I wanted to let you know that I will be holding TWO fall crops this season--

Saturday, September 19, 2009 from noon-midnight and Saturday, October 10, 2009 from noon- midnight. Both crops will be held at the Highland Park Community Center in Avon, Ohio (Please note the change in venue).

The November crop will be at the Bertram Inn. I will resume crops at the Waterbury Community Center in N. Ridgeville in January, 2010 and have booked monthly crops through May, 2010 at that facility. Cost for all crops is $25, and includes 2 meals, snacks and beverages for the day. Please RSVP to Trish at to reserve your spot. Seating is on a first-come basis, and I look forward to seeing you there!!

Have a wonderful Monday, all...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sharing a few more layouts...

I did this one as an assignment for Shur-Tech (the Duck people) using colored masking tape. I gotta say...I love this stuff. Hopefully we'll be seeing more of this stuff soon (in a variety of widths, too!)...
These 3 are the layouts I wasn't able to photograph and add to the newsletter for August because the camera died. So if you're counting...that makes 20 layouts I completed with the August WIP kits. You can see the rest of them here. Pretty darned proud of myself for doing that many in one month--not the usual for me...
(and you'll notice more of the masking tape here...)
(and even more here...)

Gearing up for all the layouts with the September kits too...can't wait to share!!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Friday, August 21, 2009


i am totally obsessed with these thing, in all colors, shapes and sizes.
i must confess that jenni bowlin jotters/labels/tags are my all time favorite.
i LOVE that alot of companies are now making them. i cant see to get enough of them.

jenni bowlin

creative chaos esty shop

jillibean soup

martha stewart

to name a few.....and here is what ive done with some of my jotters:

what are soem of YOUR favorite jotters?
do share, enable us! ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

getting organized

Back to school is such a bittersweet time for me.
While I like the part of getting back on a schedule, I hate the part of Chelsea being away from home again. I like the fall temperatures that come with this time of the year, I hate that it means winter is just around the corner. But one thing fall does bring for me, it gets me into an organizing mode!

Hi everyone, Tina here and I thought I'd share some of my favorite ways of organizing in my scraproom.

This mini 3 tiered basket is perfect for mini books
and more punches!

Stamps (for me I have to see them or I forget I have them)
Clear stamp storage
Record of all clear stamps
die cutting area
And my favorite place for organizing is my wall storage unit!

Check out these sites for organizing: