Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Foto Frenzy ... summer photo share

This was our first full week of summer vacation and we have been busy ... yet at a much more relaxed pace than that of the school year. The boy has been going to camp all week, so the girl and I are spending a ton of quality time together. Here's just a small peek into our Summer: Week 1.

 Shopping and stopping at B&N Starbucks Cafe for a frap. (Not a proud parenting moment. I don't ever let her drink coffee drinks. Just this one time. It was a Mommy - Daughter moment. :) She seriously thinks she's the Queen of Everything at this moment!)
 Shopping for crafty goodies at Hobby Lobby. Who can resist these cute little hedgehogs?
 Working on an embroidery sampler together. Amy Power's Happy Go Lucky Stitch a Long class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It was on sale for $10, how can you go wrong? (Seriously cute project! We are doing it together.)
  The girl is always saving bugs. All beetles, bees and bugs in the pool are rescued. And if she is home, I give her the option to come save the bug invader before it gets squashed. Here is one of her rescues.

We are enjoying late night swims on the hot summer nights. 
 And taking care of the pets is part of every morning's routine. So nice to have more time for this, and not feel so rushed.
This is the lovely bearded dragon cage. The boy is not so crazy about the cleaning the cage part.

More time for soccer practice in the evenings (after real soccer practice. :)

Feeling inspired by her new travel team to get out and work those foot skills!

Still at it. 

Loving time for dining al fresco.

An afternoon spent at the lake with friends.

The moon ... random, I know. 

The new pup sure is settling in nicely, don't ya think?

Nights spent reading after busy days =

2 really tired kids. 

And a sleepy pup too.

Today we get to go in and see what the boy has been doing in Tech Camp all week. I'm sure I'll have some photos to add in from that event. 


I LOVE summer. 

-xoxo jenn

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Technique Thursday ...using overlays to achieve a sunny, golden hue for your photos!

Here's a recent LO I did with all Nancie Rowe Janitz products from You can find Nancie's shop here. Nancie's designs are so inspiring and artistic. Her products lend themselves beautifully to the art journal style of memory keeping.

Dream Girl

I love the photo, of my daughter, that I used on this layout. It has beautiful backlighting, but the photo itself wasn't as golden as I would have liked. A quick, easy way to achieve this is to use a photo overlay. Nancie has a whole line of photo overlays called Dreamy Photos. For this layout, I used Dreamy Photo v. 3.

I used the pink/green overlay in the middle of Nancie's preview. I liked the soft golden colors. The pinks and greens matched the layout color scheme nicely. 

Here's my photo before applying the Dreamy Photos overlay. See what I mean? Not as golden and sunny-warm as I would have liked.

In Photoshop, I resized the overlay to be slightly more square, so it would fit my vertical photo better. I wanted a touch of the light, back lite scenery to be visible in the crop ... but I also wanted to make sure I had her face all in there.

At this point the photo is simply masked to the shape of the overlay. None of the overlay colors are being applied to the photo, as it is below the photo layer. I just wanted the photo to have the grungy edges and the shape. I duplicated the overlay and pulled one of overlay copies above the photo, leaving one below as the clipping mask. This top layer also gets clipped in to the mask, but it sits above the photo. See my layers pallet.

And here is the result of adding the overlay to the photo ... a lovely dreamy, golden hue, to match that dreamy look in her eyes, compliment the sunny back lighting, and blend seamlessly with the layout color scheme!

If you are not familiar with using clipping masks with layers in PS or PSE, the image below shows where to place your cursor. You hover the cursor on the line between the 2 layers and ALT/click for MAC and CTRL/click for a PC. You will see the cursor change to a tiny arrow with a black filled in circle on top of a dotted half circle. (or something like that. that's the best I can describe it!) You will need to clip the photo to the bottom overlay layer. Then clip the overlay on top to the photo layer. Google working with clipping masks in PhotoShop or Photoshop Elements to become more familiar with this process.

And here is the finished image with a frame from the Retro Spring Collection. All products are 40% off this week!

Have fun clipping overlays to pretty up your images!  - xoxo jenn

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Workshop Wednesday

Last week was the last week of school and it was a whirl wind of a week ... with a moving up ceremony, 2 trips to Waterparks and 2 pool parties... just to name a few of the things that were on our agenda. I'm not sure how I managed to get a few wholesale orders completed, but I did! Here's my studio share of some of the felt flowers that went out last week to retailers.

A collection of hair clips and pins in bright, happy summer colors!
And lots of felted wool flowers made with scraps of found wools upcycled from sweaters and such. Love making new things out of old forgotten items!

-xoxo jenn

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pretty in Posie on Etsy - School's Out Summer Sale

School's Out. Well almost. We're down to the last week. So to celebrate I'm having a sale. 25% off your entire order. Just use coupon code NoSchool during your Etsy checkout. Sale is valid for one week. See details below!

I've got some new hair pretties in the shop. Most of these are one of a kind or are available in very small quantities.

These lovelies are made with 100% wool. The large flower is herringbone wool & they are detailed with some hand embroidery. Please inquire if you would like one made in a different color:

 These sweet slip covered snap clips are also new to the shop. Made with cheerful, summery fabrics and little felt posies as an accent. The perfect little touch to brighten her hair this summer.

These wool slip covered snap clips are made with a Chevron Herringbone Wool. Buttery soft, delicate and unique little wool lovelies for any age!

Note: Cute little tape bits on the collages are from liv.e designs' Maskerade Kit found at

If you're in the Western Hemisphere, Happy Summer! -xoxo jenn

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jessica Sprague 5th Birthday Bash starts Monday!


I've talked about this for a few days now, but seriously, did you register for the free Photoshop class yet? If yes, then how excited are you?! If no, then what are you waiting for? Even if you don't have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements you can download a free 30 day trial at Adobe's website.

Here's the schedule for the week's birthday celebration:

Can't wait until Monday! (It's not often that I find myself saying that outloud!)

-xoxo jenn

Friday, June 15, 2012

One more week of School ... What are your Kids doing this Summer Vacation?

Here in NY we still have another week of school. I know, it's crazy how late our kids get out! We have lots of camps planned for the month of July. The boy is doing a Gaming Tech Camp, 2 weeks of web design camp, and a week of Scouts overnight camp. (He's never done a week of away camp ... little nervous about that one, but I know he will LOVE it!) So excited for him. The girl is doing Art Camp, Soccer Camp and a Basketball camp. So lots of fun times are already planned.
But I know I will still hear the famous "Mom, I'm bored" in the evenings, on the weekends ... or in the afternoon on those days when camp is only half day.

SO... I have this little gem up my sleeve for the month of July.

Click Image to go to and see details for the class or to register.

Both of my kids are registered. It's just an additional $10 to add a sibling. Sweet! And the gist of the class is to teach kids to think more creatively when taking photos. Each day they will get a little picture taking assignment and a basic camera technique. Basic point and shoot, iphone cameras, etc recommended. The kids can post their images in a special gallery just for the class. So fun! 

And then maybe in August ... we'll create a smash book to keep all those fun images from their summer. 

And here are my latest digital layouts from this month: 

Zoo Days
KI Memories: Wild LIfe Paper Pack
Jessica Sprague: Template 2.04

Rainbow Skies
Dani Mogstad - Chasing Rainbows Full Kit - coming soon!

liv.e designs

Maskerade {Photo Masks}

Let Freedom RIng
Coming soon! Patriotic Picnic Elements and Paper Pack!

Liv.E Designs
Paint Swashes Vol.2
Paint Swashes Vol.3
Maskerade(for the tape strips) {Photo Masks}
Storyteller Frames - Bundle

Pink Paislee
Kraft Capers Paper Pack

Oh, and look for a BIG SUMMER SALE coming soon in my ETSY shop! -xoxo jenn

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beach in a Can ... DIY Teacher's GIft

Beach in a Paint Can that is. This year, my daughter has a wonderful "Mr." for a teacher. And sometimes it can be hard to know what to get for a guy teacher. A few years ago, we did a gift can for one her "Mrs." teachers and it was a hit. You can see that post here. My daughter wanted to do this idea again. She said her teacher talked about blue, ocean-scented candles as a favorite way to relax after a long, hard day of teaching children. So we went that idea and expanded it to a Relaxing, Ocean Summer Vacation Theme. We bought a white tin paint can at Hobby Lobby. And from various stores in the area, came up with lots of fun little Ocean and Summery things to fill the can with, as you can see in the collage below.

1. We found some ocean-scented candles at Michael's, some citronella tea lights, and a fish tea light holder decorated with tiny shells at The Christmas Tree Shop.
2. Michael's had a lovely collection of starfish and seashells to use as filler for the can and to decorate the lid. (I'll show you that in a bit.) We also picked up some white shredded crinkle paper. And I had twine and shipping tags laying around the house.
3. K & Company had beautiful 3 dimensional ocean themed stickers. My daughter picked these out. I think they look great! We found some striped paper that seemed to matched well and some ocean/waves paper to decorate the outside and lid with.
4. The Grocery store had these Crystal Light canisters with individual ice tea and lemonade packets.
5. We found a see through reusable cold drink cup with straw that we thought we would fill with pens and pencils. Only the pencils were too tall, so we just used pens. You can see the 2 candles and the white paint can in this photo too.

 1. We put the citronella tea lights into a clear bag, tied with twine & added a shipping tag. We found those cute little drink umbrellas at The Christmas Tree Shop too, so one of those will go into the can.
2. We just started filling the can with big items and then added some of the shells and stuff from the Seashells we found at M's.
3. Here is the reusable cold drink cup filled with red & blue pens.
4. The finished, stuffed can.
5. Close-up of the bottom of can with the crinkled white paper shreds.

1. After the fun part of stuffing the can with the summery, ocean goodies is complete; comes the not-so-fun tedious part of decorating the can with the patterned paper. Here we found a bowl that was just slightly smaller than the lid. My daughter traced it and then cut it out. The old trick of holding the scissors steady in the hand, while rotating the paper works wonders to get a clean looking circle even when cut by hand. By all means if you have some fancy contraption to cut a perfect circle large enough ... go to it!
2. We used double-sided line tape along the top and bottom of the can (see bottom of can with tape in photo 4). We measured the can and cut the paper about 6 inches in width to fit nicely around the can. We left the length at 12". You will need two 12 x 12 sheets of paper to go around the can. I used a circle punch to cut out a half tab to go around the handle on the side. I really just guessed and made sure it was bigger than the handle, that way if i was off a bit (which i was!) it didn't matter to much. *fine print: i find math calculations and exact measurements to give me a headache, so i often "wing" it.
3. (Read 4 first!) I carefully attached the paper. Once it sticks, it is stuck with this double-sided tape! Watch out. Here is the other side of the handle. I waited to do the circle punch on this side to see if I needed to trim my length a bit. I ended up just trimming a tiny bit and then punched the half circle. Then attach your 2nd sheet of paper, overlapping each handle cut-out a bit. Again, I just "winged" it.
4. The red needs to come off the double-sided tape lines before you can adhere the paper to it. You can use any glue you have on hand that will stick to metal. Perhaps try a glue gun or glue dots.
5. I used glue dots to attach the hand cut circle of paper to the lid.

1. I hot-glued the starfish and seashells. Added some of the K & Co. ocean themed stickers. Then we tied a shipping tag onto the handle with a note signed by my daughter.
2. The straw for reusable plastic cold cup didn't fit inside the can, so we attached it, with twine, to the outside. Here you can see the finished can with all the embellishments.
3. Here is an example of just how sticky that double-sided tape is, and just how easy it is to mess up. But I wasn't worried about it. I just covered it up with a big old palm tree sticker. See photo 4.
4. Big Old Palm Tree sticker .... and birds, to cover up my boo-boo.
5. Close -up of the top of the can.

Note: Cute little tape bits on the collages are from liv.e designs' Maskerade Kit found at

Another class mom was in charge of the gift card for the teacher this year. So this gift is just from my daughter. He'll get the gift card separately from the class as a whole. Otherwise I would have tucked that inside the can, just like I did for the Summer Themed Can a few years ago.

That's it. Easy peasy & fun to do. My daughter & I made a day of shopping around for all the little goodies to go inside the can, as well as all the fun stuff to decorate it. It's a little bitter sweet though. She's off to middle school next year, so this is really the last teacher gift we'll get to do. My middle school-er informs me they don't "Do" teacher gifts in his school.

Thanks for checking in. -xoxo jenn

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Free Photoshop Class and Birthday Celebration

Did you sign up yet? What are you waiting for? Jessica's Free Photoshop Class starts next week, Monday the 18th of June to be exact! All week we will be celebrating the site's 5th birthday over at Join the fun for speed scraps, giveaways and tutorials. See you there!

And last week I finished up the 3rd week of Candice Stringham's Portraiture class at

I made a Soccer Photo Storyboard for my daughter's room:

 And got this shot of my daughter. 


This week we are learning about Group Photos. Oh boy! Wish me luck! ;)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Portraiture Photography with Candice Stringham

Hello. I'm back in class with Candice Stringham again. This time it's her Portraiture Class at If you are interested in taking this class, follow the link and click the Notify Me button, to be updated as to when she offers it again.

The end of May was a crazy, busy and stressful time for me ... so I ended up being 2 weeks behind in class. But this past weekend I was able to catch up pretty easily. Here are some of the photos I took of my kids, after I bribed them with the promise of going out for Ice Cream!

Excited to continue shooting this week. Wonder what my next bribe will be. Any ideas out there?

And as always, here are the latest Digital Layouts:

Sweet Treats
Echo Park Designs - Sweet Day Full Kit - coming soon!

Dani Mogstad - Hello Sunshine Full Kit - coming soon!

Hello Gorgeous Complete Kit

Splendid Fiins

@ the office supplies 1

-I loved the Hexagon paper in this kit, but I just needed to soften it a little for this layout, so I created a digital vellum overlay and offset it slightly.

Playing in the Rain


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