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Archive for December, 2010

Hey everyone!  I hope you had a FANTASTIC holiday season!  Mine was FABULOUS!!! My hubby surprised me on Christmas morning with a plane ticket to go see my best friend who is pregnant with her 3rd little one.  I am DYING I am SO EXCITED!  I haven’t seen her in over a year and a half and I honestly don’t know how I’ve lived so long without her.  Everyone deserves a friend like the one I got and a husband who understands too! 🙂  Anyway, enough of that little love fest…

So its New Years 2011 this weekend!  Can you believe it!?  This year has been ridiculously speedy-quick it seems.  Although looking back on the 9 months I was pregnant last year, I probably have to take that back.  Anyway, I’m a list maker and I actually sort of look forward to making New Years Resolutions.  I do not however necessarily look forward to keeping them all the time!  But, I thought for this year I would display my resolutions in an attempt to remind me of them daily and keep me motivated.  I could just write my resolutions on a post-it and stick it to my mirror, or I thought I could make them pretty and fun by doing a little “letterpresswall art to hang up somewhere where it will grab my attention everyday.  So here it goes, another Picnik tutorial, quick and easy and FREE FREE FREE!  Enjoy!  P.S.  These are seriously my resolutions…no mocking please. 🙂

1.  The first thing to do is open Picnik and sign in.  Then you’re going to need a blank “photo” to use.  The easiest way to get this I’ve found is to (as un-fancy as it may be) go to google images and google “solid white”.  You will get a bunch of plain old white “photos” (jpeg images) to choose from.  Pick one, save it to your computer, and then upload it to Picnik.  I have a feeling we’ll be using this solid white image a lot so save it in an obvious place under an obvious name so that it is easy to find next time you need it.  Or, once you upload it, Picnik saves it for you under your HISTORY as well.   Once you upload it and it is open in your screen, if you’d like to resize it you can.  I am planning on just printing mine out on my home printer so I resized mine to 850×1100 (for it to fit nicely on an 8.5″x11″ piece of computer paper).

2.  Next go to the “CREATE” tab and click on “text”.  One of the MANY things I LOVE about Picnik is that they have a large variety of different font options that are hard to find with other programs.  Play with the font options until you find a font you like.  This is really where you can go crazy with your style and creativity to find just what kind of feel you’re looking for.  I actually made my SeeCateCreate logo and banner using Picnik and some of these techniques.  I am planning on doing a tutorial on how to do that kind of stuff soon.  Anyway, its probably a good thing to sit down and scribble out your resolutions before hand if you’d like so that putting it all together won’t be too overwhelming and time consuming for you.  Once you know what they are, type “twenty-eleven” in the text box and pick a font and color.  I am putting this in my black and white bedroom so I chose black for now.  I also rotated the text to run down the right side of my photo.   Heres what I mean:

3.  The letterpress you see around these days has a sort of simple modern feel to it so you want to keep that in mind while doing this project.  Or not, its up to you.  You can make this as filled, fun, and flirty feeling as you’d like.  I’m just showing you the techniques, run with them!  Step 3 is to start laying down your resolutions.  You can pick a new font, color, size, or just bold or italicize the font you have already chosen.

4.  You can see from above that I just kind of got the words on there.  Now I’m going to start really rearranging my resolutions and playing with the colors, fonts, text sizes and such until I get something that looks aesthetically pleasing as well as flows nicely when read.  As you can see I kept my phrases short and to the point.  I think it fits this kind of project if you are going for that more modern feel.

5.  Thats pretty much it!  Oh, just so you know, I added the heart in “love” using the “stickers” tab and the “hand-drawn hearts” (“hand-drawn hearts” is a premium feature but they have other stickers you can use for free if you don’t get the premium membership) button.  Now I’m just going to save and print my new Resolution Letterpress Wall ART!  Yay!

I think this will look fantastic in a black frame on my bedroom wall.  My bedroom is black, white, and celadon green.  I’ll post pics when its up!  If you need more inspiration for this kind of wall art visit Etsy and type “letterpress” in the search.  There are tons of fun things artists are doing out there with letterpress.   If you like my tutorials, please subscribe to my blog and tell your friends and family!  Also, I’d LOVE to see your projects so email me your finished craft photo pics and I’ll post them on my blog! You can email me at seecatecreate@hotmail.com.  Happy New Year!

Heres another letterpress type piece I did using the same techniques on Picnik:

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I have been getting a lot of questions about my pin up photos so I thought I’d do a few tutorials on those that I hope will answer some questions and get you feeling confident to go do your own.  For this tutorial I am going to walk you through how to take an unedited pin up photo and turn it into a vintage style pin up poster using a photo editing site called Picnik.  If you’d like more tutorials on how to take and edit pin up photos, check out my past posts under “photography and editing“.  My most recent pin up photos in my “More Pin Up Inspiration” post were actually edited with my new PS Elements 8 software (thanks Courtney and Jared!), but I will show you how to edit to pretty close the same quality without buying photoshop or other editing software.  How great is that!  If  you like editing photos and creating awesome effects on your images I suggest you upgrade your Picnik account to “premium” and tons of fabulous extra features will be opened up for you.  It is a good deal for all that it has to offer.  I especially love the simplicity of Picnik.  Even though I have photoshop now, I still use Picnik a lot because it is quick and easy.  To do this tutorial you will need to upgrade to a premium Picnik account to have access to the “layering” feature.

Here we go.

1.  Assuming you’ve already read my past pin up posts and taken some fabulous shots for yourself, open your saved photo in Picnik.  Mine looks like this:

2.  In your first screen (should be under the “Edit” tab) play with the “colors” button if you need to.  I shot this under a kitchen light that made it a little warm so I am going to play with the saturation and temperature to try to get it a little cooler.  Also, play with the “exposure” to blow out the white background a bit without loosing the detail in the subject.  The “advanced” tab in “exposure” is great for fine tuning a bit.

3.  There.  Thats a bit better.  Next go to the “Create” tab (you can first go to the “Touch Ups” tab if you want to whiten teeth and remove blemishes), and click on “Effects” to pull up the effects toolbar.  Then you can play around a bit in there but I’m just going to go down to one of my favorites, “Ortonish” and open that up.

4.  “Ortonish” adds sort of a dreamy/brightening effect.  I don’t want it looking dreamy necessarily though so I’m going to play with this and slide the bloom down to 0% and the brightness to about 30%.  Find what works for your photo.

5.  Now its time to add your poster layer to the photo.  First, you’ll need to find an old crumply paper texture to apply to your photo from either the web (there are tons of free ones out there, just google it), or you could just crumpled up and distress a piece of paper yourself and take a clear picture of it.  If you upgrade to the “premium” setting on Picnik they also have textures on the toolbar you can apply.  So run along now and find a texture layer you’d like to use…

6.  Got it?  Okay then, save it to your computer and then go to the little green tab at the bottom left hand side of your Picnik screen called “Photo Basket”.  Click on it and then click on “Upload Photos” and upload your new texture photo.  It will then appear in your little archives band at the bottom of the screen.

7.  Click on your new texture photo and drag it on top of your photo.  Resize it to cover the entire photo.

8.  Then, using the “photo properties” box that should be popped up under “advanced blend modes” find “multiply”.

9.  If you’d like you can find “Film Grain” on the effects toolbar and add some grain to vintage-i-fy your poster even more.  I added light filmgrain at 40%.  You can also find “Vignette” on the effects toolbar and add that if you’d like.  I set the vignette size to 29 and the strength to 0%.

10.  If you’d like to give it a “color washed” look you can find “Tint” on the effects toolbar and play with that a bit.  I used a pink tint color set to “screen” under advanced modes and then faded it to 60%.

11. Then you can even wash it out further by going back to the top to the “Edit” tab and playing again with the exposure and contrast.  I increased the exposure to 4 and decreased the contrast to -8.

And thats it!  Pretty cool huh!  You will become addicted to this kind of editing and soon you’ll find yourself hunting for textures everywhere!  Hope it was helpful!  Now go have some fun!

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Here are a few more pin up style pics I took of some friends while I was visiting Idaho in September.  To see a tutorial on how to take your own pin up pics go here.   To see more of my photography (pin up and other) go here.

Pin Up Picture

Vintage Pin Up Photo

Vintage umbrella pin up photo

Vintage Umbrella Pin Up Photo

Vintage Style pin up photo

Vintage Style Pin Up Photo

Umbrella pin up style photo

Pin Up Style Photo

Vintage Style Pin Up

Vintage Style Pin UP

Vintage Poster Style Pin Up

We Can Do It Pin Up Vintage Poster

I am planning on doing a tutorial on using layers to get this kind of vintage poster look in Picnik.

Vintage Pin Up Signed

Vintage Style Signed Pin Up

This is actually my GORGEOUS big sister.  We did a whole book for her hubby’s Christmas present.

The ones below are actually of me when I was preggers with Sawyer.  I wanted some maternity photos this time around since last time I had the baby before I got big enough to take any.  My hubby took them with my direction.  He did a pretty good job too!

Maternity Vintage Pin Up Style Photo

Maternity Vintage Pin Up Photo

Maternity vintage pin up style photo

Maternity Vintage Pin Up Photo

Maternity Vintage Pin Up Style

Maternity Vintage Pin Up Style Photo

Now go read some of my pin up tutorials and do your own! 🙂

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shadow puppets
monsters vs aliens shadow puppets

I’m a sucker for stuff like this.  I love puppets and dress-up and playing pretend.  I think I make stuff like this in order to live vicariously through my kids. 🙂  This is a super cheap and easy project that the kids (and you if you’re like me) will LOVE and play with over and over again.

Heres the breakdown:

Cost: $4 or less for all 6 puppets

Supplies:

  • Foamies large foam sheet (the thick sheet) in black.  You can get this at the craft store.
  • Small wooden dowels.  These are sometimes at the Dollar Store or you can find them at the craft store.
  • Sharp scizzors.
  • A pencil.
  • My monster and aliens templates.
  • A couple of hole punches in different sizes.  I used a regular single hole punch and an eyelet hole punch.
  • Hot glue gun and glue.
  • Black felt if you’d like.

1.  Draw up and cut out your own monster and alien templates, or use mine (because my mama taught me that sharing makes friends).

Monster and Alien Puppet Template 1

Monster and Alien Puppet Template 1

Monster and Alien Template 2

Monster and Alien Template 2

2.  Trace the monster and alien templates onto you foamies sheet with a pencil.

3. Cut out your monster/alien.  Add details (multiple eyes, tentacle suckers, lights, etc.) with your hole punch(es).  Get creative and have fun!  You can’t mess it up!

4.  Glue the dowel to the back of the shadow puppet with hot glue.  To give the puppet some added stability I recommend gluing the dowel about half way up the puppet (if it doesn’t interfere with some eye balls or details).  You can also glue a small piece of black felt to cover the dowel and reinforce that the dowel is securely attached to the puppet.

All done!  Now set up a white sheet and a flashlight and put on a show! 🙂

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rolled fabric flower ring
Rolled Fabric Flower Ring

These are super easy and quick to make and look so cute and dainty on your finger!  We made some at my holiday craft party and so I thought I’d share the tutorial.

Heres the breakdown:

Cost: $2

Supplies:

  • Scrap fabric cut into strips.
  • Jewelry wire.
  • Wire cutters.
  • Glue gun and glue.
  • Felt.
  • Embellishments like beads, buttons, etc.

1. Since I already showed you how to make a rolled fabric flower I won’t go into that but you can see that tutorial here.  We’ll just skip to the part where you make it into a ring for your pretty little finger.

2.  Wrap the jewelry wire around your chosen finger 3 to 5 times somewhat loosely (you need to get it off).  Wrap the ends around the wire ring to secure it.

3. Cut a small piece of felt (by the way, for this ring I used felt, not foamies, as the flower base) about the length of the flower and glue it to the inside of the wire ring with hot glue. *TIP* Glue it where you wrapped the end of the wire on the ring to cover that area and make the ring comfortable to wear.

4.  Hot glue the flower to the ring.

5. Add an embellishment to the center of the flower with hot glue if you’d like.

Yay! Now go show it off!

(This is another one I made in red).  🙂

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Mustache Mug
Mustache Mugs

Alright, my husband thinks I’m a huge nerd because I’ve become obsessed with making these mustache mugs, or as i like to call them, mug-staches.  He just doesn’t get it.  But I know you do, right?  I’m a frequent Etsy visitor (and occasional seller) and lately I’ve been seeing tons of mustache merchandise and I LOVE it.  So kitsch, so fun, so whimsical.  At my little handmade holiday party last weekend, I thought we could try our hand at making some of these to give away as Christmas gifts. I made like 8.  And I want to keep them all.  Yes, I love them that much.  And yes, I am a nerd.  Anyway, heres the breakdown.

Cost: About $3 per mug.

Supplies:

  • An oven-safe  mug.  I bought a bunch at the Dollar Store. *TIP* The unpolished rough porcelain mugs will hold up longer without the paint chipping over time.
  • A sharpie marker.
  • Black glass paint.  Or another fun color of your choice…hmmm…I’m going to try that.
  • An oven.
  • Something warm and yummy to drink when you’re done.

Lets do this!

1.  Wash your mug throughly so that the paint will adhere well.

2.  Because I’m nice and I just couldn’t help myself, I drew up a bunch of different mustache designs you can use as templates for your mugs.  Just print them off and cut them out and them trace them on to the top of your mug with your sharpie.

Mug-Stache Templates
Mug-Stache Templates

3. Next, with a small paintbrush and your glass paint (I used Folk Art Enamels) fill in the mustache and outline.  This might take a couple of coats to make it completely opaque.

4.  Bake it in the oven according to the glass paint instructions.

Yay!!! All done!  I think I’ll fill these with gourmet hot-chocolate and hand them out to my friends at our Christmas party tomorrow!  Enjoy your new Mug-Stache!

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Funny Face Plate

My little boy Peyton is a ridiculously picky eater.  I don’t know if it is a result of his prematurity or his strong-will.  Either way, I’m desperately trying ways to get him to eat new foods.  Presently his diet consists of yogurt, cereal, and crackers and he refuses to eat anything green…except for avocados (which I think is weird).  Anyway, I saw these plates online when I was researching picky-eater tips and I loved the idea:

But of course thought I could customize it and make my own.  This is probably the easiest yet most beneficial project I’ve done so far!  Peyton LOVES his plate and is a lot more willing to try green been hair or an apple slice bow-tie.

Heres the breakdown:

Cost: About $4.  I got the paint at the craft store and the plate at the Dollar Store.

Supplies:

  • An oven-safe plate.
  • Black glass paint or paint pen.  I wish my craft store had a glass paint pen as it would’ve been easier but I ended up using a small paint brush and Folk Art Enamels paint instead and it worked fine.
  • A sharpie marker.
  • A face template if you’re not confident in your own artistic abilities.  You will need some tracing paper or tissue paper to trace the template onto the plate.
  • An oven.

OK then, lets do this!

1. Clean your plate so that the paint can adhere to the clean surface. *TIP* An unpolished rougher style plate works best with this kind of paint.  Especially after multiple uses and washings.

2. Draw your face onto your plate with a sharpie marker.  I just winged it but I drew up a non-gender specific face template for you if you’d like to use it.  Just add eyebrows for a boy or lashes/lips for a girl.

face plate template

3.  Use a glass paint pen or a thin paintbrush and black glass paint and trace over your sharpie lines.

4.  Bake your plate according to glass paint instructions.

Thats it!  Easy as pie…or spaghetti…or fruit salad…I’m a dork.

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