Getting Framed Part II

Remember this post? Here's the big reveal! I know you were waiting.

Just as I had planned, we (and when I say "we", I really mean Brian...) hung the gallery frame collage over our white buffet table in our dining room. Laying out the photos in InDesign first really helped me decide which ones to order in B&W and at what size. We are both really happy with how it turned out.

Oh, and we are proud owners of a dining room table (partly pictured!). I think this means we are officially grown ups.



I created this postcard to mail out to friends and family informing them of our new address (sorry, address changed). I drew ol' Betsy in Illustrator and used a striped background I had already created a few weeks ago for holiday cards. The layout was done in InDesign. As for the color palette, I winged it. I had something entirely different in mind and as with all of my design projects, it evolved. Betsy wasn't always blue -- she was the traditional black and white cow originally (see previous post). I guess I was feeling a bit crazy.



Once upon a time, I could actually draw. It figures that I wouldn't realize it until years later.

I drew these gestures in my senior year in college -- figure drawing. I must have been pretty naive to think that I wouldn't be drawing nude figures. It had never really crossed my mind when I signed up. I was in for a shock at my first class. When I figured out what was about to happen -- I started sweating a bit. Then I got over it and drew.

I came across these as we were packing to move last night. Every few years, I go through my old art portfolio from college and reminisce over my old projects. During college, I had zero confidence in my fine art abilities. I was a graphic design major and the fine art classes were a requirement. The other students in my fine art classes were a million times more talented than I was. I felt like a fool most of the time.

As with most things in my life, I look back and realize that I actually wasn't all that bad. I didn't want to keep all of my artwork from college so I took photos of everything I really liked. I kept some and tossed others (which was a disaster -- I missed the dumpster and ended up chasing paper all over our parking lot last night!). My gesture drawings were some of favorite pieces and I think it's because I felt much more comfortable drawing so loosely. I saved a lot of these drawings and I think they will make a nice series of wall art in white matted frames.


Likin' my Nikon

Last month's Daphne photo count total was 151. Yesterday's photo count was 150. Yes, I might have an addiction.

As I've mentioned, I never claim to be a photographer -- maybe a photographer wannabe is more like it. I think I have a pretty good sense of how to compose a good photo -- I make sure there isn't visual noise behind my subject (aka clutter) and I'm usually taking the principles of both symmetrical and asymmetrical balance into consideration before I snap the picture.

But, I still have so, so, so much to learn about my new camera. I'd love to start using it on manual, but I really wouldn't know what the heck I'm doing. The 150 photos I took mostly came from using the continuous shooting mode. A lot of cameras have this option -- my Sony did. When you've selected this setting, holding down the shutter-release button will take a stream of photos while the button is pressed. The Nikon takes 3 frames per second. This feature is great for photographing babies. You'll be sure to get at least one good shot!

While I was photographing Daphne sitting in her crib she did something very unexpected -- she pulled herself up to standing! I actually have a few photos of her in the act thanks to the continuous shooting mode. Guess it's time to lower the crib...


Pinwheels Round Two

Remember when I suggested flattening your pinwheels in my last post? Here they are again -- flattened and attached to different color card stocks I had laying around. I had been getting pretty tired of the prints I designed that were formerly taking residence in these white frames. I definitely plan on doing a few more of these -- perhaps using white pinwheels on white card stock. Sometimes I think it's refreshing to frame something that isn't completely flat. The folds in the paper create dimension and I love how they turned out. The fact that they are super easy to make helps too :)

Also, big news here! If you've read my "About" section, you probably know that I've been using a Sony Cybershot to take all of my photos. I knew I'd be getting something nicer in the future but had no idea when. Enter early birthday present from Brian and both of our families -- a Nikon D3100! Today's photo is the last photo you'll see taken with my Cybershot. I'm excited...and a little intimidated. But mostly just excited!


Pinwheel Bouquet

Today I googled "how to make pinwheels". Daphne took a nap and then I got down to business. VIB (Very Important Business).

I used these instructions. I followed them loosely once I got the general idea. Because mine will be used for decoration only I hot glued the corners instead of using a pin. In the future, I'd like to use patterned card stock. These could be a great party favor or craft at parties. You could make miniature versions and adorn them on frames or vases --- or really anything.

I used off-white and yellow opalescent card stock. For the stems, I used wooden skewers. I recommend making pinwheels of different sizes for variety if you are making a bouquet.

Something else you could do with these guys? Skip attaching the stem and flatten them. Arrange them on white paper and frame it!


Snow Day

Well, it snowed here last night. Usually, I'd be one to hate all over the snow because I went to college in Erie, PA where the snow seemed endless. Perma-salt rings around the edges of your jeans. For me, perma-cold hands. I'm just not a fan of the white stuff.

This winter is different though. I'm home with my baby and I don't usually have to go anywhere if I don't want to. I can look at the pretty white snow and enjoy it. Turns out it makes for great lighting in photos.

There really was not too much wrong with the original photo here. It needed to be brightened up a bit. I wanted to artsy it up though. All in Photoshop -- I lightened it first and then de-saturated the color. I left the original photo layer in the file and created a mask so that only the saturated colors in Daphne's hat, cheeks, and mouth showed through. For the record, I always save the original file because sometimes it's nice to have something a little more real and a little less artsy. I'll probably frame the artsy version but keep the original in iPhoto for the days when I look at her old photos and almost cry over how big she's already gotten!


Not Just For Reading

I took a little trip to our local thrift store this afternoon with Daphne -- and I was on a mission to find books.  I didn't plan to read any of these books. It was all about the color and sizes because I plan on placing them on the built-in shelves in our new home to add a pop of color. My inspiration? Etsy. Look up "vintage book sets". There are some brilliant people out there who have been shopping their local thrift stores also and putting together vintage books in coordinating colors. Some of the sets are going for as high as $70. I'll admit, I was willing to spend $30 on a set and then I realized that I could make my own. My total bill? $6.50. Fist pump!


Ribbon Rosettes

Here's a project that actually does require some sewing. If I can handle it -- you can too. This headband is made with black elastic, two buttons, thread, and ribbon. I plan on posting a tutorial on how to make the rosettes at some point in the near future. It requires a lot of twisting, a lot of sewing, and zero amounts of cats in the room -- because again, mine also like thread and ribbon. I think that is pretty standard cat behavior though.



Here's our holiday card that went out this year. It's a 5x7 double sided card. I drew the owls in Illustrator and laid it out InDesign. Daphne's dress was black and magenta polka dots and I changed the magenta to red in Photoshop. I even changed the color of my shirt slightly as it was a deep purply wine color. Owls are pretty hot right now (didn't you know?!?) and I feel very trendy for using them -- but they are adorable. I didn't realize while I was making it, but it works out nicely that there are 3 owls on the front -- a daddy owl, a mommy owl, and a baby owl! Duh. I wish I could say that was intentional.


Tutu for You

This is what 30 ft of tulle, an elastic band, and a cute baby will get you.

A good friend of mine sent me this link to DIY tutus. She must have been reading my mind because I was already craving this very important skill. Yes, I will be that mother who photographs her baby in obnoxious colored tulle. The only reason I purchased these colors ($2.50 a roll at JoAnne's) was because the only other choices were neon yellow and brown. No thanks.

You can visit the link to see how I made it. This project is 99% sewing-free. And it's 100% annoying to make if you have cats around. Apparently cats love tulle. Or maybe it's just mine...


Getting Framed

For our new home, we ordered this hall gallery frame from RedEnvelope. To help me decide which of our photos I should convert to B&W and at what size to order them, I created a mock-up of the frames in InDesign and imported the photos I thought I'd like to fill them with. The gallery frame is an assortment of 4x6's and 5x7's. I plan to hang this above our white buffet table (actually a TV stand from Ikea!) in our dining room. Pictures to come later of the actual set-up!


Well, hello there.

I am not a photographer, nor do I claim to be one. I am a graphic designer who studied many art disciplines while attaining my BA in Graphic Design. Photography was one of my classes -- but at the time, I was loaded down with way too many studio art classes and barely had the time and effort to put all of my focus into one or the other.

In studying and learning the basics of design, I find myself analyzing EVERYTHING from a design standpoint. Sometimes, it's a curse as it's nearly impossible to make everything in life look as perfect as I'd like it to. This blog will show all of my projects -- photography, graphic design, interior design, and just about anything that I make and care to show off. I hope you'll enjoy what I share.

Lately, I've become pretty crazy about taking photos of my daughter, Daphne. Right now, I have a point and shoot Sony Cybershot. One day, I'll get something fancier -- but I'm doing pretty good with what I have. I've relearned that lighting is uber-important and without it, Photoshop work can only go so far. I'm no pro -- and I will never claim to be -- I just have fun doing what I'm doing and it makes me happy.