Saturday, June 18, 2011

The freedom of CAS

Now that it's summer, I allow myself to catch up on my craft blogs.  They allow me to find in fact OTHER blogs to add to my Google Reader.  A few of the crafters I follow participate in the CAS-usal Fridays weekly challenge.  I decided to participate this week, as color blocks is the general category.
 I first laid eyes on the gorgeous card on this blog post from Laurie at Soapbox Creations.  Oh for cute, eh?

It led me to the CAS-ual Fridays site.  This is what happens to me.  I get stuck in this crazy link fest from one site to the next.  It's all in good fun, though!

CAS is an acronym for Clean And Simple.  It's the kind of card that doesn't need its own box for you to mail.  There are very few layers to it, and even less in the area of embellishments like ribbons and such.  Yes, it speaks to me.

As you may know (or as you are about to realize soon enough), tomorrow is Father's Day.  The card I completed for my hubby was one inspired by the CAS-ual Fridays challenge this week.

Serious sticker love going on here, that's for sure.  The blocked stickers are from Stampin' Up!  The word stickers are from K & Company.  I mounted them on kraft cardstock and added my own little handwriting flair on the inside.  I used my handy pen and ruler to make the word "Dad" stand out from the rest.  In about 10 minutes, this card was done.  That was the best part.

I also handed a blank card to my older son.  He usually makes his dad a freehand card.  Drawing is his thing, and Scott loves his creations. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Little Miss Thang

A few friends, and friends of friends, have gotten together to form a group on Facebook that I have entitled "Accountability."  It started with a challenge that I posted as an event during Lent.  I just needed support in my exercise and weight loss endeavors, and thought that others might enjoy a challenge.  When Lent ended, I felt that I still needed that place to go to vent, rejoice, ponder, etc.  Being a group-junkie, I began "Accountability."

We have done a lot of discussing of how we view ourselves on this group, as well as a Facebook Zumba group that I started and rely upon.  The other day, we were talking about body image, and how our brains play tricks on us when we look in a mirror, especially when we have been heavier (for some time) and then we lose weight.  I must say, thank God for my husband.  He points out when he sees physical changes (for the better) in me when I am oblivious to them.

So, I decided someone I know needed that same encouragement.  So, I made her this card:

Isn't she adorable?  I have most definitely underutilized this Bella.  She was happy to see some ink.  I am also starting to enjoy the vertical fold (I guess that's what I will call it) of cards, as opposed to the book fold.  Just something different. 

Size: 4 1/4 x 4 7/8"
Stamps: Tennibella and Little Miss Thang from Stampingbella; Stampin' Up! Just So Sayings
Ink: Adirondack Earthtone Pitch Black; Copics 
Embossing: Sizzix Texturz Friend Plate
Embellishments: Stampin' Up! Felt Flowers and brad

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ah June

The first few weeks of June are super stuffed with birthdays and anniversaries in my family. Sometimes I am good about cards, other times not so much. Today is Scott's birthday, and whipping him up a card is something I truly enjoy. Alas, in the photo, you cannot tell that I colored in the 4 and the 6.  Here goes:

Size: 4.25 x 5.5"
Stamps: Stampin' Up! Bring on the Cake and Whimsical Words
Cardstock: Stampin' Up: Crmb Cake, Papertrey Ink Plum Pudding, Stampin' Up! So Saffron (or its equivalent); Papertrey Ink White
Ink: Adirondack Earthtone Pitch Black, Stampin' Up! Crushed Curry marker
Embossing: Sizzix Texturz Plate - Weave

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And another....

Just today, Becky Higgins posted yet another lovely iPhone camera app: Camera+.  First of all, the app takes a pretty sweet photo...better than just taking it with the iPhone camera app.  It gives you a 9 x 9 grid in your field of vision, which helps greatly when establishing your focal point (rule of thirds, baby!).  I used what is called FX Effects --> Magic Hour for the photo of Max below to even out the contrast.  This effect had a slider that I could use to determine the degree of the effect.
The best part: for a limited time, the app is 99 cents!  Woot!  Now my Nikon is completely nervous.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Falling in Love with Easy

So, let's discuss how long it would have taken me to find the right Photoshop actions to alter this photo.  How many steps did it really take me?  1.  Uno.  Un.  O-N-E.

Hello, Instagram app for my iPhone. 
Instagram comes with a variety of actions that can make your pictures unique.  This one is called Nashville, and I like it for two reasons.  I love the frame that makes it look like a slide.  I also love that it changes the contrast so that the photo looks older.  Sometimes, vibrant colors are overrated.  What I want this photo to do is capture a memory that is fleeting.  I would not use this action for everything, but for this picture, I think it's perfect.

Another app I love is one I used with this photo.  

It's called PS Express, a mini Photoshop.  I actually purchased the full-blown app rather than just use the free one, so you know this is serious business.  Here's what I love: I can take a cruddy picture on my iPhone: poor light, hand shaking, too much movement, whatevs.  I can crop it, straighten it, rotate it, flip it, alter exposure/saturation/tint/contrast, make it black and white, use actions for sketch, soft focus, sharpening, and reducing noise, and choose effects (more actions) and borders.  All from this "app that could."  Then, when I am done, I can save it to my phone or upload to Facebook/Twitter if I desire.

I used soft focus on this pic of my guys at the park.

My poor Nikon D60 is getting a little jealous.  Every now and then, I pull it out.  But, for the everyday when I cannot lug that sucker around, I love my iPhone and these apps.