Friday, September 30, 2011

Photo Editing - The Golden Effect

I found a blog while I was looking around on Pinterst the other day (want to know more about Pinterest check out my post) and I found this fantastic blog that showed a Golden Effect on her photo using Photoshop.  However - my current editing software is Paint Shop Pro but I decided to see if I could make it work anyways.  I was really pleased with my results. 

If you have Photoshop check out the The Daybook Blog she they give step by step directions on how to acheive the Golden Effect.  If you are using Paint Shop Pro I found that I just made a New Raster Layer where her directions called for a New Fill Layer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

52 Weeks of Anna

Most current page I have scrapped.
Some of you might be wondering - what is 52 Weeks of Anna?  Well I decided before Anna was born that I wanted to document Anna's first year by taking a picture of her every Sunday, the day she was born, for one year.  It has been a fun way to document how she has grown from week to week and so forth.  I have managed to get a picture every Sunday but I do not have every picture scrapbooked yet.  So little time so many fun things to do.  Anyways, I would encourage anyone that is going to have a little one to consider doing a "52 Weeks Project". 

If you are going to do a 52 Weeks Project, here are just a couple of suggestions that I have:
- Take the time to jot down a couple of notes of what happened that day, that way when you get around to journaling that week you can remember what happened
- Try to caputure what she did that day or what new skill they have developed the last week or even what size of diapers and clothes they are wearing if it is a day where nothing else is standing out to journal about
- Make the 52 Week Project into a scarpbook - either a digital scrapbook or a tradititonal scrapbook.  If you are going to do a digital scrapbook, I would suggest checking out this site:  If you choose to do more of a traditional scrapbook I would suggest looking online for different layout designs.  I often take inspiration from layout that I have found online which are nicely organized on my Pinterest (What's Pinterest? check out my post about it.) which makes MOST of my pages fairly quick to scrap.

On a side note: I hate to admit it but this page, week 30, I spent multiple hours - and yes I mean hours to design.  For anyone who scrapbooks - this was my page where things just didn't fall into place so I struggled with the design for a long time. I rearranged probably 12 times before I was happy with it. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Photo Editing - Combining Pictures

I decided that this week I wanted to learn how to combine multiple pictures into one.  After doing a little bit of searching I found this You Tube video which featured exactly what I was looking for. 

Here is the result of combining four pictures into one:
So I know it isn’t creative nor a cute collage of our pictures but it helped me put together some nice examples regarding white balance settings on my camera.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So Big!

On Sunday, while I was feeding Anna she decided to show me how big she was - not just once either - but over and over again.  I think she really like my reaction when she did it so she just kept on throwing her arms up in the air while making her excited sound.  She even showed off her new found skill the next day at daycare for Christi.

I am excited for this afternoon - she has her 9 month doctor appointment.  I have always looked forward to her doctor appointments to find out her new height and weight AND this time we don't even need any shots - yahoo!!

It ceases to amaze me how quickly Anna is learning at this age.  It is fun to reflect on how much she has changed over the last nine months and how much more she will learn even in just the coming month. 

One last picture - Anna was a big girl on Sunday because she also got to swing when we went out for our walk.  It was such a nice but rather windy day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Anna's Closet - Tote Labels

One of the last finishing touches I did before considering Anna's closet complete was to label my totes.  I
can't tell you how many times I have to keep opening them up to see where I am storing what size clothing. 

There are so many different ways to label totes but I decided to use my Cricut and cut vinyl letters.  Once I am done using the totes for her clothes I can easily remove the vinyl and use it for something else.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Photo Editing - Feathered Frame

This week I wanted to learn how to add a frame to my pictures.  Here is a tutorial that I found on Corel's website:

Adding a feathered framed is actually very simple and fast to do.  I like how you can adjust the amount of feathering to give the frame a nice blended look.  Here are just a couple of my photos that I have added frames to.

Here I added a square white feathered frame:
Here I tried a square black feathered frame with rounded corners:

Anna getting pushed by her cousins.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Anna's Closet - Now Completed

The center shelving unit of my closet plan was by far the most time consuming part for Eric to build.  When I designed the shelves I made sure to cut the depth of the shelves back to 12 inches once I reached the height of about 75 inches.  In doing this I would have enough space between the top of the closet opening and shelf to be able to place stuff on the upper shelves.  You can't see very top shelf in this picture but there is another picture above the shelf with the box a pampers on it.

Here is a picture of the completed closet:
I am super happy with how it turned out. It doesn't look as fancy as some of the closets I see online but it is a functional closet now.
 Just to recap, this is what Anna's closet looked like before:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anna's Closet - Tote Shelves

The rest of our materials arrived so Eric went to work on completing my master plan.  I am thrilled with how my side tote shelves turned out.  I no longer have to stack and unstack my tower of totes to get to what I want - THANKS ERIC!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Project List

So I often have lots of ideas of things I want to do and not enough time.  Recently when I do seem to have a little time I feel like I am not sure what I should work on so I decided to start a list.  As I work on each project I will make posts with updates of the progress.

Katie's Project List (or maybe I should call this Katie's Project Wish List)

1. Organize Tuttle's Closet (I already got a start on this one but it is still a work in progress)
2. Scrap 52 Weeks of Anna
3. Work on my Mixbook
4. Make a "pretties" holder for Nugget
5. Applique on Oneies
6. Make a little man tie
7. Make bookmarks with bows
8. Make a wearth using old books
9. Make fabric flowers for headbands

Another Favorite Website -

I recently have fallen in love with another website - Pinterest.  I had several people tell me about this website but didn't realize how wonderful it was until I started using it.  According to the website "Pinterest is a virtual pinboard to organize and share things that you love". 

How it works it that when you are on the internet and you see a picture of something you like you "PinIt" to boards that you set up.  You can set up as many boards as you would like.  Here are just a couple of the boards that I have: Anna's Room, Scrapbooking Layouts, For Home, Photography, Sewing Ideas, etc. 

Here is a snapshot of my pinterest site:

You can these click into a specific board to see everything that you have pinned.  For example, here is my sewing board:

I love searching the pinterst site itself to see what everyone else has been pinning.  There are soo many great ideas out there and I love being able to visually them them all at once now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Photo Editing - Covering Up the Unwanted

Here is a picture that I took of Anna with a chair that I scored at a rummage sale for $1.00.  Since Anna still has the occasional fall, I decided it was best to take a picture with the chair downstairs on carpeted flooring.  Unfortunately, Eric had everything set up for his football draft so I only had one spot I could put her.  As you can see there is a lovely outlet smack dab in the center of my picture.  (You may also notice that I chopped off her toes, too bad I can’t fix that too!)


Edited to remove outlet cover:

I can still see that I tried to remove the outlet - I did this editing without a tutorial by using the clone brush.  I will post another picture when I get some time to research how to do it correctly.  In the meantime however, this is a pretty quick fix.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Anna's Closet - Clothing Size Organizers

While waiting for the rest of the lumber to arrive for Anna's closet I decided to try an idea that I saw on pinterest.  One person showed how they made hanging circle dividers for different sized clothing.  I loved this idea because I keep on forgetting where I hang what sizes. 

After viewing my inspiration piece on pinterest I got to work.  I found some cute coordinating scrap paper and some thin chipboard I had laying around too.  I designed my circle with a cut out in the center on my SCAL software and then cut everything using my Cricut.  I then covered my chipboard pieces with my paper and added vinyl size numbers using white vinyl that I also cut with my Circut.  Here is what my final project looked like:
I impatiently waited for Anna to get done with her nap until I could put them to use in her closet:
I think these would make a wonderful gift for expecting mothers.  I wish I would have seen this idea while I was getting the nursery ready.  I know they would have gotten a lot of use in the last nine months.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anna's Closet Project - Double Hanging Bars

Although the lumber yard didn't have all of the materials that I needed on hand, we were still able to get started with my project.  I did a little research and this is what I found out.  Double hanging bars are usually hung at 36 inches and 75 inches with the bar hung 12 inches from the back of the wall.  With this tidbet of information I quickly design this part of the closet. 
It didn't take long for Eric to screw the four shelf brackets with a rod holder into the wall and attached the shelf.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Anna's Closet Project - The Idea

So I have decided that I am ready to attack Anna's closet and get it set up to function better.  Here is a snap shot of what I have been working with.
Believe it or not I do have it organized but it still just looks like a huge mess.  Part of what I don't like about the closet is that Anna is out growing her clothes at such a fast rate that this age, I feel like I am constantly shuffling and seeing where I have what sizes.  My current system is that I have the next size of clothes that she will be wearing hanging.  I have all the clothes that we received as presents hanging also.  I love to buy clothes at garage sales and such so I have totes of them.  I have totes for the clothes that she is out growing and totes of clothes that she will be growing into.  I use my old diaper boxes labeled with sizes to store the clothes she has out grown to store the clothes until I have enough to fill up a tote.  I always make sure to put my totes with the largest size on the bottom and the smallest on the top so if we do have another girl down the road I won't have to go through and sort everything. 

Here is what I would like to change about Anna's closet:
1.  Have double hanging bars so I will have more space to hang clothes.
2.  Get rid of the pink and purple organizers that hang from the rod and replace them with a storage shelving that will reach to the ceiling.
3.  Put shelving where I currently have my totes stashed so I don't have to unstack them every time I need to find something.  (Note the totes on the floor and stacked in the corner.)  This storage I also want to go all the way to the ceiling.

While coming up with what I wanted I checked out a couple of different websites where they ship you a custom closet - after seeing it could easy cost $700 to $1,000 I decided I would come up with my own plan. I was excited because I finally figured exactly what I wanted to do with Anna's closet so I told my husband about my master plan.   Eric is a great sport but still wasn't overly excited with me finding ways to spend his time on Labor Day Weekend, I don't blame him for that.  :)  Did I mention he was a really good sport about the whole project?? 

I drew up my design and figured out what and how much we needed for materials.  Eric went to buy the supplies at a local lumber yard when I found out that they were all out of the shelving material that I wanted - it should be coming sometime within the next week.  I will post the progress once we receive all of the building materials. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Soda Cracker Bars

So get your walking shoes on!  This recipe is incredibly delicious and fast but insanely horrible for a person.  Not to mention I could probably polish off a whole pan by myself.  I decided to make these bars because of my recent defeat.  We were having friends over one night and I decided to make them for dessert.  I think this is the first time that the recipe didn't work out for me; actually it was a COMPLETE DISASTER!  I ended up burning the caramel part of the bars while they were in the oven.  To top it off, I decided that I may not notice the burnt taste if I would just put more chocolate on top.  I ended up being even more mad with myself because I wasted chocolate because there is no covering up burnt and I should have known better.  My brother once showed me this website - something about EPIC FAIL - well that is what happened that day. 

This recipe is one that my mom made while growing up.  She really liked them because it took only four ingredients that we normally had on hand.

Soda Cracker Bars
Line jellyroll pan with foil and then cover it with soda crackers, salted side down.
Boil together for 3 minutes:
      1 c. brown sugar
      1 c. butter

Pour over crackers and bake 5-8 minutes at 400.

Place 6 oz chocolate chips on top.  (Eric didn't think I had enough on there so he added a couple more while he impatiently waited for the bars to get done.

Spread when melted.  Add nuts if desired and cut while warm.

Here are a couple of secrets to making these bars turn out just right. 
#1 - when bringing your butter and sugar to a boil - make sure that you use a medium heat - don't use a high heat - you risk burning the sugar and it is likely that if you don't burn the sugar that the caramel part of your bars will be crystalized.
#2 - when selecting a jelly roll pan use one that isn't dark colored - this is what caused my epic fail last time OR if you only have darker colored jelly roll pan, make sure you reduce your heat by 25 degrees
#3 - like the recipe says cut while warm - this will make it so much easier - if you get distracted and wait after they are cooled you can still cut them but it will be a lot more work

Well if you are ever in need of a quick dessert that takes four common grocery items I would suggest giving these a try. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Photo Editing - Watermark

I don't know when I would actually want a watermark on one of my photos but I wanted to learn how to do one.  I decided to take the same picture that I added a vintage effect and add a watermark. 

After after some searching I found a great website that showed me how to do this.  Here is a link to the site: .  I decided to add a waterwark that said Katie's Creations.