number thirty-four

One of the items on my thirty-six things to do before thirty-six was print and frame a photo. Done. pugwash2 DSC_0680

I chose my Pugwash photograph because it is my happy place and I think the print is a nice addition to the gallery wall. There are many places you can get photos printed and enlarged – like Costco and online services – however, I went with a local store to avoid shipping costs. Atlantic Photo Supply on Dresden Row in Halifax offers an easy online ordering system and gives the option to pick up (for free) or ship. They also have tons of size options and different finishes like metallic, canvas, high gloss and matte. I ordered an 11×17 print and it was $13.99.


I was lucky to score a bunch of Ikea Ribba picture frames at half price (thank you Jessica) and have been slowly filling them. You can say I have a bit of a white-wall-white-frame-oholic problem. DSC_0681 DSC_0685

Sorry for the glare, perhaps I should put take a photography class on my to-do list for thirty-seven.

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old photos

Have you heard about Grandpa’s Photos? A family found a collection of old photographs taken by their Grandfather. Unfortunately Grandpa can not remember where the photos were taken, or the stories behind them and so this site has been created to help the family identify the locations. If you recognize a place, let them know. Or, better yet, take a picture in the same place and send it to them.

Great idea. great photos.

It got me thinking about old family photos of favourite memories and places. A few years ago, my cousin scanned boxes of slides and negatives her parents took. They’re of pre-kid adventures, babies, holidays, growing kids and the beach! After discovering Grandpa’s Photos, I got caught in an hour of going through the pictures Kathleen scanned and I especially enjoyed the ones at the beach.

Hands down, the Gulf Shore in Pugwash Nova Scotia is a favourite place. When we were kids, my cousins rented a cottage every summer and there were many days spent on the beach. Our other cousins lived close by which made it extra special. A few weeks ago, we were back at the beach with David and Henry making new memories… it is still special.

So, there is no need to identify the location in the photos below, and although I am not sure who some of the kids are I can say, most of these cute kids are family.My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

Enjoy the beach this summer.

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old dog = new tricks

Skill-Share David

Sometimes it’s good to go back to school… or at least take a few hours to polish up some skills.

Today I enrolled in a Skillshare class.

“Skillshare is an online learning community to master real-world skills through project-based classes. Their mission is simple: provide universal access to high-quality learning.”

Sounds fun right? And a whole lot cheaper than going back to real school. So, I found this one: Photoshop Yourself: Learn How to Transform a Portrait (by Designer & Illustrator) and thought i’d be a good fit for me. Here’s the thing… I get by using Photoshop but I was self-taught and never took the time to learn all of its tricks (especially image retouching). When I worked in a “real” office, I’d often be found rubbernecking at the other designer’s computers learning new tricks and techniques but, now that I work from home, it is much harder to do. Youtube works for emergency retouch crisis but I prefer Skillshare because it break projects up into chapters and works at a decent pace.

Here’s the low down on my class. There were eight chapters:

  1. Getting comfortable with Photoshop
    • Introduction
    • Getting Started
  2. Adjust lighting
  3. Fixing teeth
    • White teeth
    • Chipped teeth
    • Removing lipstick
  4. Clarifying Skin
    • Removing blemished (Part 1 &  2)
    • Masking
    • Mouth
    • Skin tone
  5. Clarifying eyes
    • Dark circles
    • Iris colour
  6. Adjusting hair
    • Adjust hair
    • Remove hair
  7. Changing clothes
    • Changing shirt shape
  8. Making aesthetic decisions

Overall, I thought the class was good, and I did learn a few things but, the thing about Photoshop is everyone has their own tricks of how to do things and you just have to take what you’ve been given and go from there. Plus, as the teacher worked on his project, my images were different so not all of his steps could be applied to mine. My mistake was taking a beginner class – clearly I underestimated my BFA… and found parts to be boring. Things I still wanted to do with my images that were not discussed in class were:

  1. Replace eyes with eyes from another take of the same image (example, David’s eyes on the top are too sleepy
  2. Change the background (they worked with a white background so I didn’t bother playing with the grass
  3. Change colours – like his t-shirt from blue to green

So, with this in mind … I geeked up my image and continued the class sans teacher. Here are my finals. Does this mean bonus points?

David5-original Zoom in to see all of the food on his face = no bonus points for parenting.

David5-SSDavid-5-Alive-V2 look at my boy’s eyes!

Davidbrussels-original Food on the face again! Seriously, buy the kid a facecloth.

Davidbrussels-SSDavid-Brussels-v2 Green is his favourite colour. The blurred background makes him pop.

*   *   *

How about you? Have you tried an online class? I think I am going to do this more often now that I am in the groove. Next up, Algebra.

psst. Left-handed people have it hard – I use the mouse with my right hand, which makes detailed photoshopping more difficult. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. 

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save the date!

When I was in the thick of wedding planning … 8 years ago … Save the Dates were not very popular. But this was well before scrapbooking, scrapbooking stores and Pinterest. If you were getting married you’d send an invite. Done. Now with Facebook and its likes, everyone and their grandmother knows you are getting married as soon as you’re engaged. This is by no means a bad thing but it questions whether a Save the Date is a necessary expense in the already expensive big day.

I’m a print girl and a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to weddings. I strongly believe in mail-back RSVPs and fully support Canada Post when it comes to inviting people to such an important event, however with this being said, these days I’ve been suggesting an email Save the Date for the following reasons.

  1. Time. Once your Save the Date is designed and your contact list is ready you can send them all out in one click.
  2. Expense. You can have the same look but save on stamps, envelopes and printing.
  3. Formality. If you are going to skimp on something, I’d suggest the Save the Date as it are not required and it really doesn’t say much more than the obvious ‘Save the Date’. With the overload of banners, photo booth props, signs, table numbers, the program, an information card, the invite, a rsvp card, a guest book, favours and flags, you will have plenty of opportunities to present your theme.

But… do you really need one (print or email)? That is totally up to you. I’d say a definite YES if you are having a destination wedding or inviting a lot of out of town guests. It gives people plenty of time to book hotels and make travel arrangements. Although a Save the Date can be a great way to introduce your theme, it does not have to match your invite set. A Save the Date is a perfect opportunity to have fun and be casual. Here are some things to consider before you make your final YAY/NAY decision.

  1. Timing. Are you ready? It is six months before your wedding. At this point you should have your venue booked so it is safe to say you can send out a Save the Date but if there is only four months until your wedding, you should probably hold off and allow your invite to be responsible for getting your guests to the event.
  2. Expense. Regardless of the format (print or email), you still have to get it designed. Depending on your arrangement, it is an added cost.
  3. And in the end, if you are a NAY on a print or email Save the Date, please be a NAY on a Facebook Wedding Group Event!

I did make a Save the Date (magnet) and it was mailed out but as I said at the beginning, I am a print girl. I cut costs in other areas and had the resources to do the design and printing myself. I think every bride needs to take the time to decide what they want, and not what everyone else is doing online. Budgeting is crucial when planning and can easily be overlooked so before any decisions are made, write a list all all the items you need / want / would like / don’t really need and start from there.

Enough chitchat already… lets see some Save the Date ideas!

  • You hired a photographer and the package includes engagement shots, why not use one for your Save the Date? I recently made this Save the Date for a couple who already had lovely photographs to work from:

Save The Date_1


  • Think out of the box … or better yet, make a box. Catherine, designer extraordinaire, made this for our friends Jessica and Matt (and it still sits on my shelf … hence its condition).

photo 2

And here are some fun ideas found online:

It's a date

A. Tie it / B. Consider Yourself Booked bookmark / C. Hang tag with heart thumbprints / D. Sticker / E. DIY Matchbox / F. TYPE / G. WOAH / H. Photo booth Magnet / I. They Met Card / J. Bad Dancing Guaranteed

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And to my already subscribing readers, sorry about the glitch the other day – I was adding a Bloglovin’ Follow Me button and things got complicated. My bad.

two things i am not

I am always the first to say that I am not a photographer nor a photoshop guru. I am however, lucky to know a hand full of people who are amazing at these skills and have called on them in the past… but not this time!

Last spring we took a family vacation to Florida and I kept my camera close by hoping to catch some good beach shots. We spent a day in Miami Beach and found the water – David was so happy to run around and I snapped away.

I decided it was time to get some stuff on the walls in the kitchen and found this one.

David-Miami Beach2

before and after 5 minutes of photoshop

The photo didn’t need much work because the ocean is actually this blue in Miami but I photoshopped out a few distractions and ordered an 8×10.

I hung it on the wall in the kitchen and patted myself on the back for getting one more thing done this week. xomeg

David-Miami Beach

Psst – The print was $4.00 and the frame is from Ikea. Thanks Jess for picking up the frames at half-price! I still owe you.