Sunday, October 30, 2011

I've switched my blog to wordpress! If your reader or email subscription didn't update, please resubscribe! My blog address is the same as before, See you there! Erin

Saturday, October 22, 2011

September Photos

I've had the opportunity to do quite a few photo shoots lately, so it's taken a while to get everything edited. I just finished editing these pictures of a lovely family from our church!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Andrea + Kyle

I had the pleasure of photographing this engaged couple recently on a farm near Andrea's home.  I really enjoyed taking their pictures - they are both so photogenic!  Just look at those eyes!

May God bless your wedding and marriage!!  I wish you both the best :-)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Mail Solution

No, not a "male" solution.  Although that would be nice, too... ;-)

Our mail has always been an issue - we never have a proper place for it, and important mail always seems to get misplaced or forgotten.  My husband saw this idea in a magazine, and shortly after, I saw the idea on Pinterest.

We just happened to have some old "saloon doors" from our kitchen that were disregarded pretty much as soon as we bought the house.  I touched these up with some new white paint, and distressed them with sandpaper and glaze.  I sprayed them with some clear polycrylic and voila!  A mail system that seems to be working quite well.

Our entry area isn't quite done, but I'm happy with it for the moment :-)

Thanks to the Pinterest Challenge for spurring me on!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Following Through on Pinterest

As part of a Pinterest Challenge put on by Young House Love, Bower Power, Emily Henderson, and Lana, I followed through on a Pinterest pin from a while back.  I was inspired by these book pages with graphic silhouette type images on them:

They are also sold in a shop on Etsy, and this image was found here.

I decided to give this a try - but with a couple changes.  Instead of using real book pages, I scanned some old book pages to the computer, then put the images on top in Photoshop and printed them.  That way I didn't have to ruin any of my old books!

I used a couple digital collage sheets found at PaperStreet, manipulating them in Photoshop using the "stamp" filter.  I also found a great letter "N" to use for free through another pin, actually!  I also made the pages look old by applying a texture to the paper in Photoshop.

Then all I needed to do was print the images - I chose to use gray cardstock, again, to make them look like they had a bit of age to them.  I cut them to about a 4x6 size, then mounted them on plain white paper.  I was taught in an art class to always mount your artwork a little bit above center, so that's what I did!  Then I stuck them in some black frames I had already, and after much debate, I hung them above our mantel.

I'm quite pleased with the result, and I'm super happy I chose to hang them above the fireplace!  In order to get the placement just right, and to make sure I even wanted them there, I did hang up some paper templates first.  It was very helpful in getting the height correct.

You'll also notice a few other updates to the fireplace; the fireplace screen has been removed and an old bucket with a plant tucked inside has been put in its place.  A few things have been removed from the mantel, and the glass jars have been filled!  I love that the pictures add a bit of quirk :-)

Since I know most people don't have access to Photoshop, I decided to give you the images I printed (minus the one with the "N" since most of you probably could care less about that one...).  You could print them on any color paper you want, but like I said, I chose to use gray.  To save the pictures, just click on them, then right click on the image and choose "Save As."

I hope you enjoy these as much as I am!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

A 67% Kitchen Reveal

I can't really call this a final kitchen reveal, because well... there's still a lot to do.  Even for "Phase 1".

What Phase 1 includes:
  •  Getting new appliances (done)
  • Tearing up the old linoleum floor (done)
  • Painting and stenciling the subfloor (50% done)
  • Painting the cabinets (DONE!)
  • Painting the walls
  • Switching outlets to white three-prong (50% done)
  • Changing the light switches from off-white to white
  • Replace cabinet hardware (50% done)
So for Phase 1 ... I'd say we're about 67% done :-)

Phase 2 will be much later - really one of the last things on our list for this house.  Phase 2 is gutting, possibly expanding, and getting a new kitchen!
But back to the big accomplishment of the week.  This was one of those projects that was on our list to do, but suddenly we found ourselves doing it much sooner than expected.  Maybe it was the salmon pink brick that finally got to us.  Or perhaps it was the doorless cabinets (totally my fault - I took the doors off hoping to start painting them before we even moved in).  Maybe it was just the disguistingness of the whole thing.  But whatever the case... we started, and we didn't stop.  
We started painting the brick on Saturday night, as in, 5 days ago.  And of course who wants to stop with the brick?  I figured it was a good time to go for the cabinets, too.  So we went.  One coat of primer and two coats of extra white semi-gloss paint later, the cabinets and brick were white!  
And of course... we couldn't stop there.  The microwave which had been living on the floor needed to be dealt with, too.  Which meant building a shelf to support the top of the microwave.  Which we started around 6:30 last night :-)

So we'll get to painting the walls and the final details when the mood strikes, but for now, I'm basking in the happiness of clean white cabinets.  With oil-rubbed bronze (ORB for short) drawer pulls.  Picture me jumping up and down in happiness.  For real.

So without further ado, what you've all been waiting for... the before and "67% done" pictures!

Gotta love those projects that you do on a whim, and that make such a huge difference in your home :-)  I'd love to hear any stories you have from similar projects!!!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Short Sneak Peak

 Here's a look at what's been going on around our house lately...

Extremely exciting progress is being made!!!  But it's not quite finished... of course there will be pictures to come when it is :-)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Architectural Photography

I've always admired those who could take great architectural photos.  I've never been great at it, but I always give it a shot if I'm near some great old buildings with their wonderful charm.  This past Friday, my parents, my husband and I were driving through the some small towns on our way to a safari (yes... a safari... in the middle of Ohio!!!).  On our way, we passed a little brick church with a perfectly quaint yard surrounded by trees.  The front door was painted red ... but obviously quite a while ago.  It made a great architectural shot - maybe one that I even pulled off!  What do you think?


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Editing Pictures with MCP Actions

One of the ways in which I've been able to improve in my photography over the past year is by investing in good software.  Although I love the idea of being able to take perfect pictures without needing to edit them, it's really not realistic for me right now.  Maybe someday - when I have the perfect camera, perfect studio setup, etc., but at this stage in the game, it's just not going to happen!  As long as the image is exposed correctly, and in focus where I want it to be, then I'm good to go - post processing can certainly handle many other things.

Case in point - this photo from a recent session is just sorta blah.  It had just started to rain, so I was taking the picture very quickly without checking my settings.  The image is flat, dark, and just not that pleasing to look at.  The positive, though, is that it's relatively sharp - meaning it has good focus on her eyes.  It's not perfect, if you look too closely you'll see a bit of grain, but it's good enough considering the conditions!

So here's the original picture - I take all my pictures in RAW, so this does have some slight editing using the photoshop RAW editor, but nothing major.

Once I opened this photo up in Photoshop, I was able to edit it using the MCP Actions Fusion set.  I am completely smitten with this action set.  At first I was worried about spending money on actions, wondering if I should just learn how to do this kind of thing on my own, but after purchasing, I was absolutely convinced.  It would take me ages to learn how to do the things the actions do, and I'm sure I wouldn't do it nearly as well.  Here's the final product:

And for easy comparison:

I love how easy this was to complete - it certainly took some playing around with the actions, but it really makes the image pop.  If you have any hesitation about purchasing MCP Actions, I will say that I have not regretted it for a second.  It was one of the best things I could have done for my photography at this stage.

(As a side note, I do not have any affiliations with MCP Actions, I simply love her products that much!)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Senior Photos on the Farm

I had the opportunity to take these senior pictures on the client's grandmother's 150+ acre farm - it was an absolutely gorgeous setting!  I'm now convinced that I need to find a farm a little closer to home to use in the future :)


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Presentable Bedroom

Yet another clean room - still without much in the way of decorations, but at least it's clean and free of boxes!

And below is a sweet little nightstand a friend gave to us after rescuing it from the trash (thank you!).   It's in need a makeover (I'm thinking paint...), but it's working great for now.

And just for fun, the before & after:

It probably doesn't look much different than the last picture I took of this room, but trust me - it's much cleaner and less cluttered!


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Now That's Some Progress

Finally - "current" pictures that actually looks presentable!

And the other side...

It's amazing the motivation that having company over brings!  :-)

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