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Entries in new discovery (22)


Little Bikes

This morning I was busy running a bunch of errands for upcoming projects.  Of course that involved a trip to Joann's (seriously, I could live there) but another fun stop was at a local scrapbooking and paper goods store called Collective Journey.  This store has been a favorite of mine for years (it used to be called Cracker Jack's).  In middle school and high school I was into scrapbooking and would buy all kinds of fancy papers at this store.  I've veered away from scrapbooking but still do a lot of projects involving paper goods so I stop in occasionally.  I was excited to find all kinds of lovely things!  They had an amazing ribbon and twine collection, including multiple kinds of bakers twine, velvet ribbon, and gold glitter ribbon which was to-die-for fabulous!  I definitely checked out their cardstock, manila tags, and paper embellishments but my eye was particularly drawn to these cuties:

I rarely justify buying stamps.  They are kind of expensive and usually I figure I can print out an image on paper instead of stamping it.  Also, usually I only want to use them for a one-time thing and then you've just bought this $10 item that you'll never use again.  But these I just couldn't resist.  The bikes are too adorable!  I have no idea what I'm going to do with them but no matter what it is, I think it will be cute (and worth the purchase).  Along with the bikes, there were some stamps of vintage typewriters and phones but sadly I had to walk away from those (for now!).  Sometimes items really just call to you in the store and you cannot walk away from them.  I try not to let too many things do this to me (I have some control) but every once in awhile, you're hooked.  These bikes had me at hello!

The stamps are made by a company called Hero Arts.  I was checking out their website today and they have a wide collection of stamps with all types of themes.  They have some vintage-esque stamps that have great project potential.  Take a look at their catalog which not only shows you their products, but also gives you examples of how to use the stamps.   

What items have spoken to you lately?  Have you fought the urge to buy or caved? 

Happy weekend friends!


Checking in to The Bride Suite

Before the holiday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending my first ever wedding industry party!  Yes, let me repeat that...my FIRST wedding industry party!  I was crazy excited and just so honored that the wonderful ladies from The Bride Suite (Laurie, Jen, & Brittany) invited me to be a part of their fun event.  The Bride Suite is the new blog from Exquisite Weddings magazine and the Suite (and sweet!) gals were hosting this event to celebrate the blog's launch.  I originally learned about The Bride Suite through Aleah and Nick of Valley & Co who I have collaborated with on a few DIY projects and who are contributors to the new blog.  Definitely one of the best parts of the night was getting to then meet Aleah and Nick who I have chatted with through Twitter and emails numerous times.  They were just as lovely in person as they are online, just so welcoming and friendly.  But lucky me, I got to meet and chat with a bunch of other talented people so I was constantly in good company, in a beautiful setting (The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla), and with yummy food (although I didn't get to eat much because I was talking the entire time)!  

I got to meet the talented graphic designer Lauren from Lauren M Design who was responsible for the invitations that night.  She did a fabulous job with them!  The party had a travel theme and the invitations tied in perfectly.  I loved the play on words "Check into The Bride Suite," like checking into a hotel and checking out the blog.  I chatted with Lauren and Erika (the super talented designer behind Delphine Press) for awhile and I enjoyed it so much.  Both ladies have been in the industry for a few years and I really appreciated hearing their opinions and sharing ideas.  I look up to people like them, ladies who have started their own creative businesses and it was a great opportunity for me to meet them.  

To go with the travel theme, there were suitcase favors that each guest was able to take home.  I was so surprised when I opened it up the next day to discover all the little fun goodies.  

Aren't the suitcases cute?  They would work perfectly for a travel theme wedding as guest favors or bridesmaid/groomsmen favors.  All of the stickers were a nice touch too...cute detail!

One of the goodies was a pretty piece of stationary from Noon, a jewelry and paper goods boutique in the San Diego area.  I like the design of the flower and the colors.  I may add it to my art collection and hang it on my wall in a collage.  

Couture Events gave us "Keep Calm and Carry On" tote bags that are so, so awesome!  I will display mine prominently considering it is adorable and my studio is in need of some cute organization.  I got to meet Krystel, the owner of Couture Events, and she was so fun and a pleasure to meet.  The work on her website is beautiful so clearly she is one talented lady.

I cannot thank Laurie, Jen, and Brittany enough for inviting me to their event.  I had so much fun and particularly loved getting to know them.  Definitely check out their blog The Bride Suite as it is filled with beautiful photographs, inspiration, and advice.  See photos from the fun photobooth at the event here.  Sadly, I ran out of time to do the photobooth because I was busy talking to everyone so my smiling face is not there but clearly, everyone else had a blast.  

Happy Tuesday everyone!       


Fun Finds

I just wanted to put up a quick little post before I head off to work today.  I found some fun things around the internet this weekend and I wanted to share a few of them with you.  I hope you enjoy perusing them as much as I did!

First check out the 1010 Project.  I really love photo projects/compilations like this.  On 10/10/10, 10 photographers took 10 photos each to represent their day.  It is fascinating to see what everyone came up with.  There are photographers from around the world, including a personal favorite of mine Pia Jane Bijkerk.  

101 Woonideeën is a Dutch design/DIY/craft/interiors magazine and I kind of fell in love with it this weekend.  Yes, the site is in Dutch and even though I turned on Google Translate, I still didn't always understand what was being said but that didn't stop me from enjoying the beautiful pictures, like this one above.  I am such a fan of Dutch design (remember, I want to move to Amsterdam!) and this magazine captures the type of design that I really like.  I also love the DIY and handmade attitude that the magazine conveys.  Check it out, the pictures are definitely worth it.  If only I could buy the magazine here in the US...or I had a Dutch friend who would send it to me!

Covet Garden is a new interiors online magazine.  I am loving the online mag trend and this one is a great addition to my repertoire.  What I like most is their philosophy about the interiors that they highlight.  From their own site they say, "Covet Garden is for folks who are curious about real spaces. We take a peek into the homes and lives of some of the city’s most interesting people—spaces that have not been styled by interior decorators."  Love this philosophy...showing spaces that are real.  Don't let that fool you though...the spaces are still out-of-this-world amazing!

And finally, I have to give a BIG shout-out to my friend Alison over at The Knotty Bride!  Her redesigned {and oh-so-fabulous!} blog had its debut this morning and it couldn't be anymore spectacular.  She did such a great job.  I am so happy for her!  She is one of the nicest people I've encountered in the wedding blogging community and she totally deserves all of this great success!  So head on over and check it out and leave Alison some love.  Also, if you check the banner ads on the right side, you will see my little part of the new TKB!!  Ya, my first banner ad!

Have a great Monday! 


Awesome Photoshop Actions

I am a big fan of Photoshop!  I use the program almost everyday for photo editing and manipulation as well as some graphic design work (I rely on Illustrator for most of my graphic design).  Yes the program is pricey but if you're in the design world, it's a must and definitely a worthwhile investment (my opinion of course). 

Although I consider myself adequately skilled in the program and able to do photo adjustments on my own, it is always great to find pre-set Photoshop actions that will do the work for you.  For those that don't know about actions (prepare yourself because they are amazing!), they are basically a recipe for a picture.  A specific action may increase the contrast by a certain amount while also doing color correction or making the image brighter.  The actions are set so you can make all of your images have the same look and feel to them.  For photographers, actions are great because they can make processing a lot quicker.  And they are also fun because they can give your otherwise bland pictures, some fun color effects.  

I have seen actions for sale around the web before but because I am not a professional photographer, I cannot justify the price tag.  The other day I came across some free actions and I am over-the-moon excited about them.  And the expression over-the-moon is appropriate because the blog where I found the actions is called Paint the Moon, a blog by photographer Annie Manning.  Here you can not only see Annie's gorgeous photographs but also buy all kinds of great action sets (for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements!!).  Paint the Moon also offers some free actions and I think this is a great way to test them out before buying.  I am definitely considering a few other action sets myself because so many of these are spectacular but I'm glad that I have the free ones for now.  It is so much fun to mix and match them and see what you can come up with.  

I downloaded two different sets from Paint the Moon, one called The Bee's Knees and the other called Sweet Treats.  So you can see these sets in action (see the actions in action!), I've used them to process two of my own images.  First I'll show you the SOOC images (for non-camera geeks, SOOC stands for Straight-Out-Of-Camera, meaning I haven't processed it in anyway yet) and then I'll show you the different action effects.  Both pictures were taken during my time in Paris a few years ago.  Oh, Paris, how I love you!

So this is the SOOC image.  I haven't done anything to it yet.  Aren't those flowers beautiful?  Yikes, this post is going to make me crave Paris more than I already do. 

Now here is the image with the actions (the name of the specific action will appear below the photograph):

Vanilla Pop, Sunny Days, and Sea Delight are all part of The Bee's Knees action set.  Sunny Days is really simple, it just makes your image brighter and the colors more vibrant.  Both Vanilla Pop and Sea Delight dull the colors a bit and give the image an almost misty feel.  Sea Delight also gives it a bluish tint.  I have definitely used Vanilla Pop a lot.  

Misty Sunset, Sugar Cookies, Strawberries & Cream, and Lemon & Honey are all a part of the Sweet Treats action set.  I don't really like Lemon & Honey that much because it is too much contrast for my taste.  Misty Sunset and Sugar Cookies give this vintage vibe to the pictures which I'm really loving.  Strawberries & Cream is pretty subtle but with a pinkish tint which I like.  You can also mix and match these action sets (as well as increase/decrease their opacities) so the possibilities are endless.

Here is another picture I used the actions on.  This picture was taken along the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris.

Do you prefer one action to another?  Or are you lovin' them all like me?


La PhotoCabine

I am a big fan of photobooths, something I have expressed clearly on this blog before (here).  Because really people, who doesn't want to hop into a photobooth and make silly faces?  Who?  They are fun for all, I'm convinced.  But alas, for most of us, we do not get the pleasure of using them often.  Maybe at a wedding, maybe at a party but photobooths are not everyday occurrences (which makes them all the more special right?).

Well, this is where La PhotoCabine comes in.  This awesome site lets you take photobooth-esque pictures from your webcam and then save them in a variety of formats!  How awesome is that?  Of course it does not replace the real thing but it is close enough and still very fun.  I love their interactive website and the music and the Frenchness.  It allows you to create your own little photobooth experience from the comfort of your own home.  I first heard about La PhotoCabine from Oh, Hello Friend and was, of course, intrigued enough to have to try it for myself.  

I tried to take some pictures with my dog Scout today.  She is so difficult to photograph, she always turns her head at the last minute.  Argh, so frustrating!  Even with the ease of PhotoCabine she proved less than agreeable to the camera (notice the blurred dog face below and me trying to hold her in place).

Like I said above, there are a few different formats for your pictures.  You can do the narrow strip of four pictures, typical of most old-time photobooths.  You can also do black and white or color photos.  Here is the difference between the two:

Photos complete with more moving dog.  In her defense, she was wanting to go back to sleep on her pillow.

So fun right?  Go try it out!  It's totally awesome!