30 September 2011

Have a little fun with your photos

I took some darling (if I do say so myself) pictures of my nephew a while back while he was staying with us for the weekend.  He is at that perfectly delicious chubby age where all you want to do is keep them naked and kiss all their soft rolls!  I knew I wanted to capture the details - his cute, chubby little hands, his beautiful long eyelashes, his roly poly legs... and I knew that I wanted to compile them in a fun and uniquely personal way for mom.

When my kids were little their aunt took some snapshots of them and set them to the words of favorite children's books.  I always loved the idea.  And since I am a photographer I set out to find the perfect words to go with all of Callister's cute new pictures.  I settled on Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz.  Of course, it shall now be named "Counting Kisses With Callister". :)

All I did for these pictures was add a solid colored block to the right side of each image, using photoshop.  You can select a portion of the picture to be covered up and then filled in, or add a block using an enlarged template, depending on the composition of your image.  It's really simple, especially if you already know the basics of photoshop.

These can be printed out and put in a photo album, or made into a book through Shutterfly.  What a fun memento of baby's most darling stage!  

Other books that would work great for this project:

I Love You Through and Through - Bernadette Rosetti Shustak (another good baby one - this is the one my sis-in-law used)
Here Are My Hands - Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault (great for a preschooler)
Blue Hat Green Hat - Sandra Boynton (think how much fun a toddler would have with this)

Linking up with Tatertots and Jello!!!

27 September 2011

Christmas Dove Ornament Tutorial

Ahem.  Hello. :)  Yes, I know this must look a little crazy.  I fall off the face of the planet for a couple months and then come back in September with a Christmas ornament tutorial.  Lol.  Actually, the tutorial is old.  I am bumping it up for Parenting Magazine, who wants to use my dove template in an upcoming article.  Maybe though, this is just the kick in the pants I need to get back on top of this blog.  I do miss it.  For what it's worth - in short - life is good.  Just busy, busy with my photography business and my 4 children.  It's hard to do it all... my favorite quote as of late: "You can do anything, but you can't do everything."  Wise words.

Anyway, on with the tutorial!

I came up with this idea after eyeing some fun ornaments in the Ballard Designs catalog a couple years ago, so I created a knock-off.

Here's theirs:


And here's mine:

I added a few simple clear ball ornaments that I simply painted peace signs onto using glitter glue (you know, the cheap stuff your kids like to play with?).

For the dove ornaments -

Materials used:
dove template (see below)
scrapbook paper
silver sharpie
mod podge
triple thick
brush for application

First, trace your template onto cardboard or other stiff backing.

Cut out and repeat with your scrapbook paper.

Before cutting out the template drawn on your scrapbook paper, find yourself a cup that is about the right sized circle for your distressed peace symbol. Find a corner to trace the rim of the cup on - you want just a hint of it to show. *Lightly* trace your circle and fill in the remainder of the peace sign. Get your silver sharpie out. If you look at mine closely I just barely shaded in my peace sign, I used quick, short, straight brush strokes on either side of the single line I'd drawn with my pencil, keeping the thickness even all the way around. I realize not everyone can freehand this kind of thing, but it really just takes a little bit of practice. You might want to play around with a scrap piece of paper first. :)

Now you are ready to cut out your scrapbook dove and mod podge it onto your cardboard backing. Now, I call these ornaments but mine do not actually hang on my tree. I opted to stick them in with evergreen boughs in various places around my house - in a bowl as a centerpiece, and on my mantle. If you want it to serve as an actual ornament, you will obviously need to punch a hole before you apply the mod podge.

Let the mod podge dry about 15 minutes and apply your triple thick as a top coat. let the triple thick dry for at least 20 minutes. The triple thick is shiny, so it makes the ornament look classy, not like you just slapped some paper on an old piece of cardboard! Love that.

Here are some additional pictures!

In a bowl on the center of my craft room table :

A spin off - just brown craft paper with silver polka dots:

And since I was really feeling the natural color scheme Ballard had going on that year, I made a paper chain to "match":

Lastly, here is a full shot of my mantle, with little silver birdies tucked in there, a crystal bead wreath, some ornaments up inside my sconces, and who knows what else to come... I'll continue to add to it, probably: