Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Favorite Photo Apps

I switched to an iPhone a couple of months ago. I have to admit it was not love at first sight. I had been very comfortable with my Windows phone but when we changed carriers they didn't have the phone I wanted. I would have had to go without a phone for a week (horror!) and so I made the switch.

I've gotten much more comfortable with it and have to admit there are some really great photo apps available for the iPhone.

Two of my favorites for editing are PicTapGo and Over.

PicTapGo was made by the creators of Totally Rad. Totally Rad is an awesome assortment of customizable filters. PicTapGo works in a similar manner. You can choose the filters you desire and then use the sliders to adjust the strength. Super easy to use and there are tons of options for color, sharpness, contrast, b&w, etc. In my opinion it's a must have. It also lets you take your edited picture and open in another app (such as Over...see below)

BEFORE:

AFTER:

The other app I find myself using frequently is Over. I typically use Over to add additional elements to my photos. You can choose to add text or artwork to your images. There are several fonts available in the default as well as additional font packs that can be purchased. I was fortunate enough to catch my update notice an download several more add-ons for free on a weekend special.  There are also several artwork options with fun words, arrows, squiggles, etc that can be placed.

BEFORE:
AFTER:
(she says this all the time!)

For posting, I am beginning to use Instagram (yes, I'm late to the party) as well as the actual Blogger app for creating posts on the go. I will often start a draft while I'm away from home and finish it up later on the computer. This is handy while waiting at appointments or other activities where you can't usually get anything constructive done. It's definitely helped me to be more regular with my posting.

These are the two I use almost always. I have a few others that I play with but just for fun and for tormenting my children when they are driving me crazy. Like when you capture that perfect teenager look (you know the one) and turn it into a comic book page that says, "I love my mommy".

What are your favorite apps? Are there any other must have apps I'm missing out on for the iPhone or iPad? Please share!





Monday, July 29, 2013

Give me a V...

 
 
 
This past weekend was Aquafest. The downtown area shuts down mainstreet, the rides go up, artists and vendors display their wares and fun is had by all. You know, the usual, community festival.

We have been blessed with beautiful weather this summer and yesterday was no exception. Anique was participating in the parade this year as a cheerleader.

She was so nervous before the parade but seemed to have a blast once things got going. Of course, afterwards, she had to tell us how the parade is hard work because there is a lot of walking. She cracks me up sometimes.
 
The car show was on Sunday and we walked through that as well. The strange car below was Anique's favorite and she filled out a ballot to vote for it. Not sure exactly what it is/was, but it was in the Special Interest category.
 
 
 And, she took over the camera for a little bit and managed to get a photo of Ken smiling. Mostly because it was a sneak attack and he didn't expect her to have a camera ready. I may have to use this trick again in the future.

Also, here's my latest self photo. Ken willingly let me take his picture too. Yippee! You can see this and some others over on Instagram at #whimsyandlife. 



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Self Portrait Challenge - Day 4


Here's my Day 4 photo for the A Beautiful Life 30 Days of Self Portraits challenge. 

End of the night settled in for bed and, of course, some Pinterest browsing. 

I'm new to Instagram but am trying to post these there as well. You can find me under #whimsyandlife. 

What do you share on Instagram? Do you have any tips for a newbie like me? 

Pallet Project 1 & Self Portrait #3

 

A couple of weeks ago I picked up some pallets from a local farmer who had listed them on Craigslist. Yes, I paid a couple of dollars each for them because it was worth it to not drive to South Seattle where they were free. Ken questioned why I wanted them, but he's a good husband and accompanied me there and helped get them loaded in my car regardless.

I headed home with grand visions of art and furniture. I was so excited to see it all come together. 

It turns out the coming apart is harder than the going together. 

I pulled out a hammer but couldn't get the wood off. Switched to a pry bar but nope it was attached securely. I conceded the battle, batted my eyelashes at Ken. He said he would do it over the weekend. 

So, on Tuesday (Monday being a cleaning day) I decided to take on the pallets again. This time I used a bigger hammer (I was feeling aggressive) and a large rubber mallet and added some music because a soundtrack makes it all work. I banged and pried in the hot sun. Anique lowered me a cold Coke down from the top deck on her bucket on a string. 

I banged and pried some more, smooshed a few fingers. Finally, I had 9 pieces of wood off. This was about 2 pallets. I found the wood was very dry and prone to splitting. Nothing like having an entire board break in half after trying to work it loose for 10 minutes. 

I decided mix the pallet wood with some new wood to give the table strength.  Okay, really I didn't want to take apart another pallet. 
 
I used 2x2 remnants I had left to create a 3 sided frame. Next I nailed two of the wider boards across the frame to create a top. 

I used done remnant 1x4 to make another 3 sided frame. Then I cut some rougher 1x4 to size and screwed that together to create a shelf.
 
 
Next I adhered three of the narrower pallet pieces to each side create legs. I finished it off with facing board made from a wide pallet board.

I wanted it to look kind of weathered and faded so I sprayed it with a light coat of white spray paint. 

I was reminded that while my 4 years of drafting assist me in creating plans, they do not replace or make up for the absolute lack of hands-on mechanical skill. 

I had to adjust on of the legs today because it was longer and causing the whole thing to wobble. What do you think? Much better than the triangle table had was using. 

 
And here is my third self-photo from yesterday.  I'm on a roll now!
 
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Business Cards and Photo Challenge-Day 2


My new business cards arrived. I'm so excited. They turned out so pretty! It's always a challenge when ordering stuff online because sometimes you don't get what you expected but this time I was very pleased.

I used Minted to order my cards. I had read about them on Paige Knudsen's blog (love to read her blog) and thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did. And I got $25 off my order since it was the first time I had ordered. Yay! I love a bargain.

I ordered two sets and feel so official now. I'm thinking I may try some Thank You cards next.

 
This is a day late, but here is my photo from yesterday for the self-portrait challenge. It's still not a stunning photo but this was late morning while I was mid-project. Like I said, this is me in real life. Real life, backyard version, not the I'm going out in public version.

Bailey left this morning to head to L.A. with his girlfriend's family. It will be odd not having him home, not having soccer practice and tournaments and his general presence.

Anique started cheer leading last week and is loving it. Although yesterday was warm and she was getting a little grumpy. They are preparing for the local parade and she wanted to do the stunting as well. That's an extra hour of practice every day. Right now, she's practicing 3 days a week for 3 hours each time. It's a lot for my little 9 year old. I have some major respect for the parents who volunteer their time to coach the teams. It's a big commitment for them.

I'll try to get some pictures soon to share and I'll have my pallet project to share later this week. Just some final touches needed.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Self Photo Challenge

A Beautiful Mess started a 30 days of self portraits challenge on their blog. I thought it sounded cool and decided to join in. That was last week.

After several days of...I'll take it after I do my hair, ooh I better put on some make up, and every other delay I could think of I decided to post today. 

This is Heather in real life. This is what you would find if you knocked on my door in the morning while I'm still in cleaning mode. 

Yes, I clean up nicely, but this isn't one of those photos. 

This is real life. Real life isn't always pretty. Consider your self warned. Day 1 down... Maybe tomorrow I'll do my hair. 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spectacular Stripes


I have had some big projects on my to do list. One of the biggest has been tackling our bedroom. For some reason, this has been the slowest room to come together. I reupholstered the seat,  Ken and I built the bed last year, added a floating bedside shelf a few months ago, and then I made a jewelry holder but it still looked unfinished.

Ken pulled the old carpet up awhile ago. It was old and in desperate need of replacing but carpet isn't in the budget at this point. I decided to take a stab at painting the sub-flooring. I'm very pleased with how it came out. Nope, it's not perfect but it's so much nicer than what was there before. 

I am so fortunate to have a husband who didn't grumble (much) about being displaced while the room was in progress. We spent a week and a half in our living room "bedroom". 

Here's how I did it and the materials I used--

BEFORE

Needed:

Patience-lots of drying time involved
Vacuum/broom
Floor filler
Spatula tool for spreading filler
Pliers or screw driver to remove staples
Sander
Primer
Paint and associated supplies
Painters tape
Polyurethane 

Steps:

  • Remove carpet (I recommend using a mask as there is usually lots of old dust and ickiness involved)



 
  • Use pliers or a screwdriver to remove and staples. 
  • Use pry bar or screwdriver to pop up and remove carpet tack boards around the edge of room
  • Vacuum or sweep up any dust or debris. 
  • Use spatula with filler to fill any cracks or screw holes. 


  • Once filler is dry, put your mask back on and sand floor so surfaces are level and smooth. I used a belt sander and leveled out the filler but didn't do the best job making the floor completely smooth. 
  • Vacuum up all the dust again, it will be EVERYWHERE! Use damp cloth or tack cloth to wipe down floor gently. 
  • Apply primer to entire floor. I used latex because that's what I had on hand. 

  • After primer is dried, apply you paint. I painted the entire floor white (Linen) first. 

  • Once dry, I taped off the stripes and filled them in with colors to coordinate with the walls and ceiling. I discovered the hard way that it's best to use super low tack tape, the stuff for newly painted surfaces or it will pull up the base coat.


  • Again wait for paint to dry and then apply polyurethane finish following the directions on the can. Home Depot only carried oil-based type so that's what I used but I stopped by Lowe's this weekend and they have an odorless water based version. I would try this if you can find it because our house smelled like varnish for a week. 

I updated our bedding with plain solid bedding and hung up some simple white curtains to offset the busy pattern on the floor. I have a couple more things to finish up for the room but feel like it finally has a cohesive feel. Okay, yes I should have ironed the bedding and curtains but I only use the iron if I'm desperate.
 

I'm aiming for a beachy getaway feel? What do you think? 


New Beginning


I have an announcement.

A really big announcement.

I have started a new business just for my photography.

Yep, I am officially on my own. This is an opportunity to be creative and also a lot of responsibility. I'm ready for the challenge and can't wait to begin though. 

You can follow and support me on Facebook, Twitter or check out my site here.

If you're in the Seattle or North area, I am offering an Introductory Special of 15% off all sessions booked and kept through through August 31st. 

Okay, deep breath, here goes! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Whipping Up Dessert

 
As with all holidays, this one called for family gatherings. I was asked to bring something for dessert for both of the celebrations we attended.
 
No, I can't claim to have come up with this idea. Pinterest, blogs, there are tons of variations. And the pusher, was this blog post. Yes, as Anique pointed out, "wouldn't have been cool if you had thought of it?" Yup, that would have been cool.
 
I picked up a case of jars at the grocery store when I went to pick up supplies because I only had a couple and they are cuter this way. For the Fourth of July, Anique and I layered strawberries, whip cream (no, I didn't whip my own either) and blueberries. Two layers of each. I topped it with a couple extra strawberries and a few blueberries together.
 
For the barbeque we attended on Sunday, I decided to try something different. Not in the mood to make a cheesecake, so I bought a pound cake instead. However, I did cook up some strawberry glaze to drizzle. Layer as before and drizzle a little strawberry glaze over each layer of the cake.
 
Yummy! Now I better go and get some running in to counteract all those BBQ calories.
 



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Texture Tuesday, Kelly Moore Bag & a Giveaway

 
 
Sharing with Texture Tuesday( used A Touch of Texture 1)
 
I've been thinking a lot about dreams and what makes me happy. What do I enjoy doing and what do I want to do more of. After 10 years doing a job that was never meant to be a career, I want to make sure I'm on the right path this time around.
 
I've made some decisions and am going to take some risks but I'm excited. I need to stay focused, go all in, and dream big. I'll share more about what I've decided later this week.
 
 
 
I've signed up as an affiliate for and you may have noticed I've added a badge for Kelly Moore Bags over there on the right side. I shared about my bag here.  
 
I've had my Libby Bag for a little over a year and I still LOVE it. It's gone to work with my numerous times (great for holding my laptop), on vacation to sun and snow and attended numerous functions. It's a busy bag!
 
Right now, I'm torn between the Songbird and the Hobo. I would like something a bit smaller when I don't need to take all my lenses with me. I do have a birthday coming up...I wonder if I can convince Ken...
 
You've managed to read through all this? Okay, well that deserves a giveaway for sure.
 
I'm making room and organizing for a new endeavor in my office. I'm going to be giving away my Cricut Jukebox (gently used in box). It allows you to attach up to 6 cartridges to your Cricut at once and switch between them with the press of a button. I haven't been doing many paper crafts lately and decided it may receive more love elsewhere.
 
To enter the giveaway, simply visit Kelly Moore Bags and let me know which bag is your favorite. I'll do a random drawing and announce the winner next week.
 
If you're reading from the US...I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day!
 

 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Slammers Tournament -- Hot, Hot, Hot

 
Yes, it's that time of the year again. The new soccer season has kicked (get it?) off. This weekend the boys played in their first tournament of the season. They advanced to the finals and lost by one PK in overtime. It was such good effort by all of them. Especially since it was HOT!

Okay anyone living down south or in the Midwest may have considered it a moderate heat. Here is the Northwest, 90 degrees is rare.

Bailey is the #21 on the left of the above picture with white shoes. There was a mix up on numbers last year. It's hard to tell him and Anthony apart sometimes. If all else fails I look at the shoes. See what I mean?


Anique came with us on Friday evening. She gets bored about halfway through the games and add the hour plus drive and heat and it can get ugly sometimes. She powered through this time though (She may have been bribed with shaved ice at half-time. Maybe. I can neither confirm nor deny).