Friday, March 18, 2011

Spicing up the ol' playlist

This week, my spring break, has been my little staycation. I've done lots of sleeping, cleaning, writing, reading, designing... it's been awesome. I've also discovered that despite the fact that I don't run nearly enough to be tired of my playlist, it's gotten pretty stale. If you're needing a little cardio pick-me-up, feel free to swipe any of these tunes to your iPod:
1. Imma Be (The Black Eyed Peas)
2. Dog Days Are Over (Florence + The Machine)
3. Forget You (I went with the G-rated Glee version since the original is a bit more colorful.
Instead of "forget," the original lyrics use the word -- actually... I'm sure you can figure it out.)
4. Power (Kanye)
5. Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z)
6. Paper Planes (M.I.A.)
7. That's Not My Name (The Ting Tings)
8. Run This Town (Jay-Z)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

*Tiptoeing* into the Crafting World

I love crafting. Or at least I love the idea of crafting. Usually I find some way to procrastinate instead of completing actual projects, so I have to really focus when I decide to take on something new. When I first mentioned I wanted to create more crafts for the house, my husband thought I was going to make a quilt, a birdhouse, or a giant tree painting showcasing my family's genealogy. And while his ideas would make excellent ones for nursing home occupational therapy, I'm not sure I'm mature enough for them yet.

Here's my latest project: the very regal family portrait series with our matriarch Izzy the Sheltie as the centered canvas:

It was a fun process that only cost about $30 for paints, canvases, and ribbon (to cover the stapled edges of the canvases). Here's what I did:

1. Took profile pics of Jacob and Izzy (and had Jacob take one of me; Izzy was being bratty and refused to hold the camera) against a blank wall for easier Photoshopping.

2. Used the magnetic lasso in PS to trace our profiles. Then, I clicked "Select" --> "Inverse" and deleted the background.

3. Used curves to turn the profiles black. At this point, I could have just printed out the profiles and framed them, but nooo... I like to make things complicated.

4. Printed out the profile pics at 5X7 and cut them out. Then, I traced around them in pencil on my round 8X10 canvases.

5. Painted the inside of the pencil tracing.

6. Some bleeding occurred with the paint, causing the edges of the cameos to look a little fuzzy, so I traced around the cameos with a black Sharpie marker.

7. Used fabric glue and black satin ribbon to cover the stapled edges of the canvases.

8. Nailed three nails in the divider between our kitchen and hallway and hung our oh-so-elegant family cameos.

I'm not going to lie -- there were some minor snafus that I encountered and it's obviously tougher to paint the canvases than to just print out a cameo created in Photoshop.

I'm thinking of trying a few more versions of the cameos with different media, so stay tuned...