Monday, January 31, 2011

Grown-up Inspired Outfit -- Girls Dress and Shrug

I'm a little too late for last week's theme at Project Run and Play, but I thought I would post it anyway.  The theme was grown-up inspired clothes.  I found a dress at Anthropologie I thought would translate well to children's clothing and wanted to pair it with a ruffled shrug, so I found one to mimic at Macy's.

Anthropologie Dress
Macy's Shrug
I started out with some fabric, lace, a shirt (which I was planning on refashioning for myself, but decided against it), and an embroidered piece from a pair of Daisy's pants that were worn out. 


It took a day and a half of neglected housework, but I'm really happy with the result. Plus Daisy loves her new dress and "weter" (sweater).











*Stay tuned* -- I'll be posting tutorials for the shrug and tips on making your own pattern for the dress.

I'm linking this project up to the all the wonderful parties listed on my blog link parties page,
as well as the 733 "Knock it Off" contest.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fix it Friday #84 - I {Heart} Faces - Highlights Fixed! - Photo Edits

It's another "Fix it Friday" over at I Heart Faces!

This time it was a real challenge with bright highlights and some focus issues to try to correct.

Here is the original by Keli Hoskins.

FIF 84 orig

I tried to keep detailed notes about all the steps that I took in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3.  Although when I was trying to get the exposure on the face right I did a bit of that without writing down exactly... so it's a little bit approximate when it comes to that area of the photo.

The photo started off in Lightroom. 

My first edit:

Fix-It Friday #84 copy2

I cropped a bit to remove the walkway lamp, upped the temperature to 5333 and changed the tint to 14.
I pushed the recovery slider to 100, and brought the brightness down to 46.
I upped the saturation to 19,  luminance to 26 and blacks to 10.

Here's where I started fussing with the adjustment brush on "exposure".  On the bright edge of the face, the hat and the foot I did a layer set at -.25.  On the brightest edge of the chair I did a layer set at -1.  Then I brightened the entire face with a layer at +.2.  It didn't seem to be enough so I did another layer on all of the face except the brightest edge at +.4.

At this point I duplicated the photo so I could do another edit, then opened this edit in Photoshop.  I duplicated the layer I ran a "high pass" filter on the top layer, set it's mode as "overlay", then erased everything except the face and the center of the hat (the outer edges of the hat I erased to give it a more gradual sharpening effect.  That way the face is sharpened, but not the rest of the photo.

Then I added a subtle vignette (I will do a tutorial post on that soon), and a little blur tool on the cheeks to soften them. 

My second edit:

Fix-It Friday #84-2 copy2

This was a duplicate of my first edit after I fixed the highlight problem in the face.
I cropped closer to focus on the face and hands.  (Do you see those adorable drool bubbles?)
I played a little bit with the levels of the colors under the "grayscale" menu in Lightroom.
I also upped the contrast to 30. 
Then I brought the photo into Photoshop, did the same sharpening, blurring and vignette.

That was fun!  And I think I was actually pretty successful with evening out the highlights on the face!


Now for an update -- I've been making slow but steady progress on the most beautiful chair.  But now I have to wait for some supplies to come in the mail.  Darn, I hate waiting!  But I'm so excited to finally finish it (and post the step by step)!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I {Heart} Faces -- Weekly Photo Challenge -- Innocent Wonder

This week's photo challenge theme over at I Heart Faces is "innocent wonder".

I chose this photo of my daughter because I love the expression on her face.  When she's watching someone or something she leans forward, tilts her head and looks to the side with her big eyes.  It makes me smile every time she does it.

_MG_3317 copy 2

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teeny Tiny Snowflake Garland

When browsing around on some blogs I ran across an idea for tissue paper cherry blossoms glued to sticks and placed in a vase.  It was beautiful and I still plan on making it, but I thought it was a bit too early in winter for blossoms.  I put together the vase with the sticks I plan on using for the cherry blossoms, but decided to put a little something more wintry in there in the meantime. 

I used a little 1/2" snowflake paper punch I have and made lots of little snowflakes.


I laid them out in a straight-ish line (not worrying about perfect spacing)...


placed a string (which was really just a thick sewing thread) over the top...


and put a tiny drop of glue over the top of the string (making sure it got on the paper as well). 


I let it dry about an hour or two then hung it up on the sticks. 




A touch of winter (which I must admit is NOT my favorite season... at least where we're living right now.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fix it Friday - I {Heart} Faces

I'm participating again in the I Heart Faces Fix it Friday (their #82, my second).  It's fun to have someone else's photo to edit for a change, although their photos never seem to need much changing! :)

Here is the original (by Rachel Durik):

FIF 82

Both of my edits I did in Adobe Lightroom 2.

FIF 82-2

I felt it was a little too heavy on the negative space on the right. If there was a little bit on the left I think it would have felt more balanced. So, I cropped out a lot of it. Then I warmed it a bit, upped the exposure, upped the saturation just a touch, and sharpened the eyes. (Ok, so the eyes were already sharp, I just wanted to try out the adjustment brush in Lightroom!)

FIF 82-3

For the second edit I cropped close in on the girls face (love those freckles!). Then I ran a preset called "Matt's Vintage Style" (he also has one that adds grain to the image). I thought it was a bit too green for this photo so I moved the tint more to the magenta side. I upped the exposure, sharpened the eyes and added just a hint of an edge burn.

So much fun!

Ooo, by the way, I'm going to have a couple projects featured tomorrow (Saturday) morning at the DIY Showoff!  Yay!

Plus, when I get to 100 followers I'm going to do a giveaway and start my own linky party (with a catch).  Woohoo!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sweater to Dress - Project Run and Play

Have you heard of the blog called "Project Run and Play"?  It's a fun little spin off of Project Runway, except it's in blog land, for kids clothing.  I'm not a contestant or anything (you should really check out the designers -- they are awesome!), but they said people could play along with the themes and link up their projects to share.  Fun!  I don't know if I will participate every week, but I wanted to at least once.

The theme this week is "Winter Wonderland".  Although I can't find any kind of rules or guidelines, so I just did something I had been wanting to do for a while -- a sweater dress for my daughter.

It started out as this cashmere sweater I found at a thrift store.


I was going to refashion it for myself, but I have far too many of those projects laying around, so I decided to use it for my daughter instead. 

Here's the refashion I came up with...




This is my favorite part of the dress :)

Is anyone else participating?  I would love to see your projects as well!

 Linking to

Monday, January 10, 2011

I {Heart} Faces - Weekly Photo Challenge - Smiles

I'm participating in the I Heart Faces weekly photo challenge.  This week's theme is smiles.

I chose this picture of my son, spraying himself in the face with water then laughing and laughing.  It was fun to watch him do it over and over again!

Fun with Water

Go here to check out more of the participants.  There are so many amazing photographs!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Country Style Kids Play Kitchen -- It's Christmas! ... oh wait ...

This morning I finally completed my kid's Christmas present!  Okay, it's two weeks late, but still...  it's done, the kids and I are all happy!

Remember the vintage children's hutch I found on my local online classifieds for $5?

541938 541944


 With lots of time and effort (and frustrations!) I was able to turn it into this...


Dollar store cooling racks cut down to size, duct taped and hot glued in place. Center cut out of one door with plexiglass glued in it.


Paper lined drawers
Home improvement store spigot for faucet (spray painted) and vinyl tile backsplash.
Tea stained paper lined shelves.  Tip - use glue intended for paper, I didn't and got wrinkles.
I had the kids wait in Seymour's room and gather the pots and pans that their aunt had given them for Christmas (since I told her I was going to give them the kitchen).  Seymour waited very patiently while I brought it in and took a few quick pictures.  Daisy waited a little while then came out and started playing with it.

It wasn't a total surprise for them, but what can you do when you're with them all the time and they're not in school yet?  Oh well.  At least Seymour hadn't seen it since it was primed.  But they both love it and the aprons I made for them to go with it.  I think the only thing I'm going to add are a couple small hooks on the side for the aprons.


Wooden knobs and 4" wooden disks for burners.  Those Ikea dishes are the perfect size!

Doesn't Daisy look like a little grandma with her hands like that?

Here's the cost breakdown: 

hutch - $5
primer, glue, wood filler, small nails, caulk, hot glue, duct tape - had on hand
scrap wood - $.50
mistint paint - $2.50
hinges and handles - $2 (from local Habitat for Humanity ReStore)
spigot - $4
wooden knobs - $3.90
wooden disks - $1.80
plexiglass - $2
2 - 12x12" vinyl tiles - $1.40
cooling racks - $1
cake pan - $1
5 sheets 12x12" scrapbooking paper -$2.50

Grand Total -- $27.60

Not too bad in my opinion, especially for a completely custom, unique play kitchen!

Man, I'm so glad that's over with... :)
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