Surf’s Up Dude!

I am taking a little break from all the awesome holiday crafting to share with you a new Simon Hurley Release from Ranger. He came out with a fun beach theme with one stamp set and one background stamp. Check out the video I did and see why I am obsessed with them.

In the video I created several backgrounds for five more cards. Here are the complete cards!

Surf’s Up!

I created “Surf’s Up!” on the video. I used Glossy Accents to make the glasses shine.

Hang Loose!

For the “Hang Loose” card I wanted to create a background that matched his red hair, so I opted for a sunset. To create it I used Distress Ink and splattered a little water on it. My original thought was not to have the surf board stand. I wanted him riding it, but it didn’t all fit on the card front. Once I stood it up an tucked it in the opening I loved it and wanted to repeat it in other cards.

Waving Hello!

“Waving Hello” was suppose to be a red head, but I had created the last one with that so I wanted something different. This one is probably my favorite dude out of all of them. One of my favorite things to create is hair and I adore his! Once again, the card could not really fit him on the surf board, so I had him hold it.

You Got This!

“You Got This” is a celebration of keeping it simple. I really wanted to just make a background with the background stamp on the card front. I appreciate how the girl really stands out on this.

Ride The Wave!

“Ride The Wave” was partially created in the video. Once again I wanted the background to be a sunset.

Seas The Day!

“Seas The Day” is the last card I created. To make him a little crazy in the water, I offset him on his board and gave him sunglasses.

These cards were a ton of fun to create! I love how they turned out and can’t wait to mail them after the holidays. You can get these stamp sets at the Ranger site and get 20% off with the code SIMON20.

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

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Happy UnBirthday!

Actually it really is my daughter’s Birthday in these layouts, so “UnBirthday” is a lie. However, we did celebrate some of it not on her Birthday, so maybe it is correct.

For her 17th Birthday she wanted to spend it with her friends.

But, first she had to open her gifts! Don’t you just love our bird in the picture? She had to be part of the festivities too!

After we opened gifts, we headed out with her friends for a day of shopping. We started at the mall and ended at Kendra Scott. When I was 16 my Mom started a tradition in which I got my first diamond ring. It was small and you could barely make out the diamond, but every year we would trade it in for a larger one. Unknowingly, I started a similar tradition with my daughter. Kendra Scott offers a 50% discount off of one piece of jewelry on your birthday. She picked out earrings!

Do you have any traditions? Please share in the comments! I would love to know :-).

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

Home Spun Christmas Card

The sweet little icons on the Christmas stamp set from the CTMH bundle I have been working out of are so cute, but nothing to me is more iconic than Christmas trees.

How to Make It

Select two different shades of green and stamp the trees alternating between the two. Use kraft paper as your base to give it that home spun feel. Bazzil dot card stock is a wonderful card front that compliments the images. Use a circle that you die cut from the card front for the sentiment. Simply swipe your lighter ink over it and stamp it with the darker. To finish the card add a few Nuvo Drops.

To add a little more dimension use pop dots to adhere the card front to the base.

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

Black and Gold Cheer

The star icon from the CTMH bundle caught my eye. I knew I wanted to create an elegant gold card featuring it.

How It Came Together

This card is also extremely easy to create. Just swap a white card base out for a black one. Emboss gold stars and add a gem to the center of each. Use the same gold embossing powder for the sentiment on black paper and back it with a little pattern paper. The gold paper is from an 8.5 by 11 inch paper pack I found on sale.

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

How To Take Phenomenal Pictures For Social Media

This is a post I have wanted to do for a long time. It’s not exactly arts and crafts, but it is creative and will help anyone who wants to showcase their projects online in the most eye pleasing way. Please use the information I am about to share with you as you see fit and evolve it into what works for you. I am a bright colorful crafter and I like my photos to reflect that. If you prefer muted tones you may need to modify these suggestions with a clean and crisp approach.

Blog Hop

In conjunction with this post, I am participating in a collaboration between Plaid and Rita Barakat. Plaid is used in preparing my frames for my photos. Rita Barakat is used as the product feature in the examples.

Playing it Safe — A White Background

A white background is always the safest route to go and I rarely veer from it. It reflects light beautifully and makes your project pop. I use two pieces of white cardboard that I found at the dollar tree. This two dollar shadow box works better than the one I spent over $100 on years ago.

Three Rules to Photo By

  1. Always take your photo in natural light. I use a window with the curtain drawn on the back of my house out of direct sunlight. Artificial light and/or direct sunlight can wash your project out.
  2. Use a white background facing your light source to bounce the light off of and land on your staged photo set. Whatever your light is bouncing off of is the tint your picture is going to have. This is why I set up a poster board not only under my project, but behind it too. What your light is bouncing off of, is more important that what is under your project and seen in your picture. If you want to use a different substrate other than white go for it — just make sure your light is bouncing on something white in the back drop.
  3. Turn your flash off. If you take the picture and it comes out a little dark, it is better to add a back light in your camera app than putting the flash on.

Take It To The Next Level -Frame It!

Now it is time to add more visual appeal to your project photos by utilizing frames. There is no need to drop a lot of money on this. You can find frames perfect for this at the goodwill. Use them as is, or sand them down and paint them. The frame should reflect your style. Not only do frames add interest to your project they also draw the eye to the focal point — your project.

I decided to use the following as frames for my photos and customize them with paint.

I like these pieces because I can showcase both my project and the products I use in one picture. I also painted them according to my style. I use a lot of blue in my art. Yellow is my favorite color. Gold is great for the holidays and Fall and Winter. Black is a great way to ground a picture. I chose to paint the four nesting squares those colors. The shutter is also a wonderful back drop in a picture that can frame a project. I went with a shabby chic vibe on it and will share more on that later.

How To Use Frames

Now is the fun part — using the frames in your photos. Here are a few examples of how I used the nesting square set to showcase Rita Barakat dies.

In the above examples I am focusing on just the die cuts. I start off with one frame and get more creative as each picture progressed. Do you see how the focus always stayed on the die cuts?

The black solid backdrop is a wonderful element to make the die cut stand out.

To feature both project and products used to create the piece (these are the colors and brush colors I used on my frames) is easy to achieve in one photo when using frames.

You can showcase several pieces of art and the products in one picture by using different sized frames.

Don’t be afraid to stack the frames for visual interest. Have fun with it and let your creativity soar!

Using A Shutter As A Frame

Basically all a frame is for is to draw the eye to the focal point of the picture. You can create frames without using them. I love this shutter I found through Plaid. I wanted it shabby chic in a beautiful sea foam color. To create this style first paint the shutter white. Let it dry and paint it seafoam. Sand the edges to distress it and the white pop through.

You can place your project on top of the shutters for a flat lay photo.

However, I much prefer taking the picture at an angle.

This is a great example of how to take a picture on something other than a white background. The reason this works is because I have a white poster board propped up behind it reflecting the light from my not so direct sunlight window.

There are three examples on how to stage a photo with the same materials.

How To Edit a Photo

This is tricky because it really all depends on what you like and your style. I usually amp up the backlight, add a touch of saturation and a tad of sharpness. Though recently I have discovered “presets” that you can purchase for a few dollars from professional photographers on Etsy. Basically you need to down load the Adobe Light Room App on your phone for free and add the purchased preset. Each purchase I have made came with clear instructions that were easy to follow. I suggest searching “presets” on Etsy and buy one that catches your eye.

Watermarks

Always always ALWAYS watermark your photos! The bottom right corner is where I like to put mine because they are usually square. I do it in a way that if someone actually has the audacity to steal my photo and chop it off it looks different, thus making it easy to legally prove it is mine.

Also, a lot of people will browse your posts and only pay attention to the picture. It is nice to let them know your name. They can enter your name into a search engine to find more by you and possibly follow you on your creative journey. Companies also like to re share photos and if your watermark is not on the picture when it gets to their platforms no one is going to know who created it. You worked hard on your project, you should get the credit for it — especially if the company is not paying you.

In addition, never give a company a photo without a watermark — even if they ask for it. You will be asked! A lot of times in the past I have happily sent it to them. Now I am seeing my art work pop up on company sites, helping them sell product and I have nothing in return for it. Now, if they want to buy a picture from you, you should consider that for the right price. Think about how long it took you to take the picture (your time). How much did you have to spend to stage it? Did you hire anyone to help? Add that all up and double it. That is a good starting point.

Lastly, I never sell a photo if I can’t use it with my Watermark on my sites. It really does them no good to limit this because by me sharing it is free advertising for them.

In Conclusion

Take everything I just stated and morph it into your style. Use this as food for thought. We all are different and have different view points. What makes art so incredible is that nothing is wrong. You just want to make sure you are showcasing it in a way that does your piece justice and stays true to you!

I certainly hope you found this post useful. I must confess that I worked super hard on it for several months and had a blast. Will you consider subscribing to my blog and sharing this with anyone you think would find it helpful? Thank you so much for doing so!

Now on to the next person in the hop!

Rita Barakat

Betz Golden

Yolie

Martha Lucia

Hannah

Michelle Wells

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!