Thursday, April 30, 2009

fun with photoshop

You might remember this photo of Owen from last year--eating his first ice cream. I am trying to take better photos which is really hard with the crappy point and shoot I have. In an effort to help make some of the pictures I have already taken look better, I've been playing around with Photoshop. Although I have been a graphic designer for what feels like centuries now, I have never been very good at Photoshop (although I did teach a beginning class in it...shhh...don't tell everyone I am a fraud).

Click on the image to enlarge.
Anyway, with a little experience and some awesome help from others on the internet (like this lovely lady) I've been experimenting. I went a little overboard with this before and after, but I am pretty proud of it. What do you think?

What I did in a nutsell:
1. Warmed the overall colors with a warming filter
2. Intensified his eyes by using the dodge tool to bring out more of the color and the brush tool by painting in a little more white in the whites of his eyes.
3. I selected only the boy and the ice cream cup and blurred the background so those two images "popped" out a bit.

Pretty as a picture and suitable for framing...with the exception of the messy face...

Monday, April 27, 2009

more white kitchens

I know. I am obsessed. And the thing I find so interesting about this obsession is that, in general, I love color. But I just can't fathom a kitchen (at least one that will exist in the home I live in) in anything else but white: white painted cabinets, white carrera marble, white tile...These kitchens play with some subtle color and interesting accents to help break up the white--truly inspired. All from here.

For me, a kitchen is all about light. Natural light. I have to have a window over the sink. I can't stand doing dishes with nothing but a wall to look at. I do a good chunk of my inner exploration and daydreaming while doing dishes and I need something pretty to look at. Love the shelf. But really love the yellow chair!

How fun is that green. I can't stand it. And I love that it is inside the cupboard. A happy little treat when emptying the dishwasher (a dreaded chore...ick).

Unexpected details abound. The spare use of upper cabinets combined with the mirror, so elegant but still inviting. I love using items from around the house that aren't supposed to go in the kitchen, like mirrors and lamps. So fun.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

checking in

It's been a little over a month since I debuted my plan to simpliy my life and I am about 22 days into my 90-day time frame. So what's been going on? Well, not much. Which I think is good. Actually, my attention to developing the plan more thoroughly was temporarily derailed by a family emergency which took most of my time and energy for the better part of two weeks. It was trying, but I learned a lot about myself during that period and not having any 'unnecessaries' to deal with was a God-send. See another reason not do that stuff--you never know when an emergency will arise.

In one of my last posts, I talked about how I need to get my stuff in order so that I can get back some more time in my life. I've done quite a bit to whittle down the extra crap that's been lying around. Matt and I ripped apart the garage and got rid of a ton of stuff. Most of it was stuff that we've moved around for the last twenty years. During most of that time these 'treasured items' were stuffed into boxes in the garage. These were the things I thought of as 'keepsakes.' But as we were going through everything I realized the only time I ever thought about or dealt with any of those things was when we were doing our annual garage cleaning. And how sentimental was I about them if they were stuffed into boxes in the dusty, dog-haired laden garage? I decided to cut the cord. Very cathartic. I highly recommend it. Someday that garage is only going to have some tools and a car in it.

As for the inside of the house, there are still some areas that could use some purging. I am going to make myself a 6 week schedule and try to knock off a room a week.

In the meantime, I have decided that I really need to focus on myself. Getting myself healthy. I feel like crap still and I can't give any of these other things my full, focused attention if I don't feel 100%.

I have to start eating better and committing to exercise. But how? Any suggestions?

Friday, April 10, 2009

happy easter

I didn't want to do baskets this year because I didn't want to end up with two baskets that I don't need. Sure I could save them for next year, but then I would have to store them somewhere and, oh yeah, remember where I stored them when I need them again this time next year. Right. Plus, all of the baskets I saw were hunormous and I didn't want to have to buy a bunch of crap and candy to fill them up. But, I did want to do something to recognize Easter for the boys.

I bought two small craft bags and made these little moustached bunnies for the fronts. I am going to fill them with a cookie and little candy and a matching moustache (go here for tutorial).

You are welcome to use these for your little bunnies. Leave a comment with your email and I'll send you a PDF with two equal sized bunnies and blank name tags.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

french connection

French women just get it. I went to college with a beautiful woman from Peru who had this kind of style--so effortless, so elegant, so unexpected. She could wear a scarf like no one else. Her scarves were extensions of her body. Sublime.

This yellow coat takes my breath away.

Images from here via here.

stuff i love | makool loves you

L O V E this blouse.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

front porch makeover | more doors

A little Photoshop magic allowed me to try out the house in charcoal gray (not planning on painting any time soon, but a girl can dream) and a few different door colors. So fun. Here is the 'Pasadena' from Crestview Doors in bright yellow and turquoise.

The thing is I've always wanted a dutch door. Maybe not super practical for valley weather, but they are so sweet. I'm trying to bring some more modern design touches to the house, but these designs feel slightly forced to me. I hate to admit it, but I think this style looks better with the house.

I think if i got frosted or reeded glass I could solve the privacy problem. I could also hang a shade on the inside which I would be willing to do for the right door (I guess what I am saying is that the current door hasn't felt worth it...also, I am lazy).

Jackson's pick is the dutch door in blue. He hated the more modern selections. I trust him. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

porch makeover | step one

Matt has done such an amazing job on the landscaping in the front yard that I am feeling the porch really needs a makeover. I've been dying for a new front door since we moved in. The one we have now is the boring builder grade kind from the dreaded big box store. It has zero personality and that white molding crap around the windows drives me bonkers. I do really like the light that the windows provide the entry and dining areas, but the lack of privacy is a drag. I am thinking that the replacement needs to have the windows but that they should be obscured.

I am in love with the amazing products from Crestview Doors of Austin, Texas. I don't live in a cool mid-century modern 'dwelling,' but the house is a true ranch. Crestview has an amazing program on their site that allows you to 'try on' their doors. These three are the ones I like the best, with the 'Pasadena' being the front runner. Ignore the black. I picked that because the other colors were distracting too much from the design and looked phony.

What do you think?

click image to enlarge

Monday, April 6, 2009

fun with boys

I just bought this kookie 1960s book on eBay. I love the idea of 'fun and crafts for boys.' Can't wait to see what it is all about.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

favorite blogs | design mom

On of my favorite bloggers, Gabrielle Blair (aka Design Mom) is hosting "Ask Design Mom Week"--it is a must check out. To do so, click here.