Friday, February 26, 2010

Leaving Part of a Black and White Image in Color (Digi Tutorial)

I've had several girls ask me about editing a photo to leave a portion of it in color, so I decided to write a tutorial about it. I use Photoshop Elements 6.0, and you'll be seeing screen shots from that specific program, but you may be able to adapt some of the steps if you're using a different program.

Open your photo in Photoshop Elements. Go to your layers palette and right click on your photo. A menu will come up, choose Duplicate Layer from the drop down menu.

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You will then see two identical copies of your photo in the layers palette. Click on the top photo to make it the active layer.

Click on Enhance, and then click on Convert to Black and White. A new window that looks like this will pop up.

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In the bottom left hand corner you will see a menu that says Select a Style. This gives your black and white conversion several different looks. As you click on them the Preview image on the right hand side will change. You can also adjust the Red, Blue, Green, and Contrast of the photo using the manual sliders. When you are happy with your changes you can click Ok to commit changes. You can see my before and after images in the preview above. (Of a different photo, I edited before.)

Next, Select your Eraser tool from your Tools menu, and make sure the black and white copy is selected in your layers palette. Carefully click on the photo on the portion that you want to remain in color, to erase the black and white copy and allow the color copy to show through.

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Once you erase all of the portions of the black and white photo that you want deleted, go to Layers in the top menu bar, then click on Flatten Image. Then you can save your completed edit under a new file name so you do not overwrite the original. Here is my finished copy.

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There are several different ways to achieve this look, but I find this one to be the simplest to explain. Here is a (paper) layout with that I completed with a photo that I edited to leave a portion in color.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Punk Princess Digital Freebie

I know it’s been a while since I shared a digital freebie, so I decided to dig one up for everyone. I made this a while back when I couldn’t find scrappy supplies that fit my daughter’s spunky personality. She’s so not girlie, so this works so much better for her. Here is your preview…

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And here is your download link! I hope you like it.

http://www.4shared.com/file/51994534/309b767a/MMD-PunkPrincess.html

Love is Free

It’s been another busy week here. I still miss doing my Project 365 posts on my blog very much. Keeping to the same format with posts where I talk a little bit about what happened each day this week is helping my withdrawal a bit. I’ve been entertaining starting another Project 365, but I promised myself I would sit this year out. Instead, I’m concentrating on getting the photos from last year’s Project 365 into an album and on doing the journaling for them. I bought the Project Life kit from Becky Higgins, and that has helped a lot. I have all of my photos in the page protectors now, and all I have to do is add the journaling that I saved as blog posts from last year. I’m actually not looking forward to that part. I hate my handwriting. I’d rather type any day.

This past Saturday the kids and I baked a King Cake from scratch to celebrate Mardi Gras. We started with flour and yeast, and made an absolute mess. Here’s Brandon kneading the dough.

DSC00714 Alexis and Jordan helped add the sugar and glaze to the top, and here is our final product!

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I think they liked eating it more than they liked baking it though. What do you think?

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Valentine’s Day was Sunday, and I got a griddle to make pancakes on. I’ve been wanting one forever because cooking pancakes one at a time in a frying pan takes entirely too long. I’m starting to feel like a short order cook over here though because my children are now demanding different flavor pancakes as well as different shapes. Stinkers! The kids each got a small heart filled with chocolates, and I bought Ronnie Valentine’s M&M’s and made him a card. Ronnie’s sister also sent the kids Valentine’s cards. Here is Lexie opening hers…

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Monday started the kids Mardi Gras vacation. I do not know why the school board here thought it would be a good idea to give the kids an entire week off of school, but they did. I seriously doubted I would make it all week without going insane. All three of the kids have been fighting so much lately. I keep having to referee like it’s a football game. TIME OUT! Sigh.

Ronnie had to work Monday, but he stopped at Sam’s on the way home to get a few things that we needed. We were in the kitchen putting things away when he dropped a bottle of hot sauce on the floor. He and I ended up being okay, but Alexis was in the kitchen too. A piece of glass flew and cut her foot badly. She was bleeding everywhere! I am so not good with blood, but I manned up (as Ronnie would say) and cleaned and bandaged it. I had to hold pressure for a while to get it to stop bleeding, but thankfully it didn’t end up needing stitches. She was so good about it all. She didn’t even cry. I think she handled it better than I did.

Tuesday was Mardi Gras of course! Ronnie had the day off of work, but he took the rest of the week off for vacation so he could spend time at home with us. I think he was trying to keep me from going insane. He knows how wild vacations are around here with these heathens. We didn’t go to any parades this year. Jordan has so many sensory issues, and she can’t take the loud music. She gets overwhelmed and cries. Instead of partying, we scrapbooked! Well, the girls and I did. Ronnie and Brandon did “suitable boy things”. Here are a few of the pages I made this week…

My 27th birthday photos…

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A layout of Brandon and his Paw Paw…

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Last but not least, one of Ronnie and I in honor of Valentine’s Day!

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The first two layouts were paper scrapbook pages, but the last one is digital. I used an adorable love themed kit from Sue Cummings and Ashalee Wall called Artistic Heart.

We didn’t do anything much on Wednesday. This whole week has been very relaxing. (In spite of all of the fighting!) Ronnie has been helping me around the house. We’ve done some cleaning, and a few projects. Mostly we’ve just enjoyed our down time. Ronnie did go outside and wash all of the cars. I think he was starting to get bored with all of his napping. I caught this photo of Brandon and Jordan petting Lady in the morning. Just hanging out in our pajamas. Fun stuff!

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Jordan had her usual therapy appointments on Thursday. Ronnie watched Brandon so I got to go back with Jordan and watch her do her physical therapy. She works so hard, and I’m so proud of her! She rode her horse in the evening, and the whole family went with her to watch. I wasn’t sure how it would go because Jordan got really mad that they switched her horse. She started out riding Kit Kat at 2 years old. Jordan is almost 6 now, so 4 years of riding the same horse! She called Kit Kat “her horse”. Now they need Kit Kat for an older child to ride, and Jordan rides a smaller horse because she’s weighs less. Her new horse’s name is Sunflower. During this last session, Jordan was a little more agreeable to riding Sunflower thank goodness!

Today I had to bring Lady in to the vet for her yearly shots, and examination. She was NOT happy. At first she sat on the passenger seat of the van like a good girl. Then she realized where we were going and started trying to get down. She did pretty well at the vet. She didn’t try to bite anyone this time! They took blood, cut her nails, and all of that fun stuff. She was shedding so badly though. I had Dr. Greg listen to her lungs because she has been coughing a lot lately and sounding wheezy. He said she has an upper respiratory infection and she needed antibiotics. $200 dollars later… we were done.

She is still mad at me. I am the evil person who brought her to the vet. As far as her cancer goes, it doesn’t seem to be spreading quickly so far. My concern about her coughing so much and sounding congested is that the cancer may have moved to her lungs. Dr. Greg says we’ll see if the antibiotics clear her up. If they don’t, we’ll have chest x-rays done to see.

I’m so thankful that we got our tax return in so we could afford to pay her vet bill outright. We also were able to pay off three other bills! I know, it’s weird that I’m excited about paying off bills, but I totally am. Ronnie and I decided about two years ago to try to live as debt free as we possibly could. We are slowly paying off everything we owe, and we are not putting anything on credit anymore at all. If we don’t have the cash to buy it, we don’t. We’ve been spending more time as a family doing things that cost little to no money. Like playing board games and going to local parks. It’s been hard at times, but I think it’ll be worth it in the end!

This Weeks Journaling Question:

What is your biggest vice?

My addiction to coffee is probably my biggest vice. I used to smoke, but I gave that up over six years ago. I haven’t had a drink since 2009. I don’t have many vices at all anymore, but I get very cranky if I don’t have my coffee, so I’d say that’s the biggest one. My friend Michelle would say my biggest vice is enabling other people into buying scrapbook supplies. LOL I can’t get in trouble all on my own. I have to take other people down with me!

Until next time…

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Profound Sadness

This past week has been full of ups and downs. I’m just going to start with Sunday, and make my way through the week.

Of course, on Sunday the Saints won the Superbowl! I’m not usually that into football. I only watch Saints games and none of the other games. I’ve been a Saints fan for a looooong time. I’m so glad they got to the Superbowl, and won it! Those boys sure worked hard, and I know the entire state is just so proud of them. My personal favorite part of the game wasn’t an actual play. It was when Drew Brees was holding his son after the game and tearing up. That was just so sweet! Everyone in our neighborhood went insane. They set of fireworks and played music whenever the Saints scored. When they won, everyone ran outside screaming. My kids slept through all of it. Thank goodness!

I tried to send Jordan to school to work on Monday based on the doctor’s suggestion. She said that since she didn’t have fever anymore, she wasn’t contagious and she should be in school. So I sent her, and I brought Alexis to her dental checkup. Alexis’ teeth were fine. The dentist wants to put sealant on her molars to prevent cavities. I’m all for no cavities, so we are going back next month to get that done. When I brought Alexis to school I asked them to call  back and make sure Jordan was doing well. I just had one of those Mom feelings. She was still feeling bad. I had to bring her home. The antibiotics were kicking in, but they were sure taking their sweet time doing it!

I kept her home from school on Tuesday as well. It was a pretty uneventful day except that I got an email with this photo from my grandmother.IMG_2446

One of her goats had TWO babies. And they are Black and Gold! Saints themed goats? It seemed meant to be. So Jordan had to name them with Saints related names. The gold one is named “Brees”, and the black one is named “Who dat!” My grandma now has seven goats. Jordan asked me yesterday if Maw Maw owns a zoo. Almost.

Jordan was well enough to go back to school on Wednesday. She had been out of school for a week and a half. Thankfully we were able to get her work sent home so she wasn’t too far behind on anything. My mother in law came up to watch Brandon because the first day back was a field trip for Jordan. She went to the Young Chef’s Academy. She had a really great time! Ignore the goofy grin on my face please. We made pizza and king cake. The king cake was made out of cinnamon rolls which was a bit weird, but the kids thought it was really cool. I guess that’s all that matters right?

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Later on that night, I sat at the table and helped the girls write out their Valentines. I loved how carefully Alexis chose which Valentine to give to her classmates.

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Jordan got about halfway through her Valentines. Then she got tired of it. I insisted she at least sign her name to each Valentine. While we were sitting there, she looked up at me and said, “Mom, You know what?” “If you go to sleep at Walmart the baskets will run over you and you'll die.” “That's why we sleep at home.” I am still trying to figure out where she came up with that! Silly girl.

The rest of our week has been full of sadness. I found out on Thursday that my Uncle David passed away from a heart attack. He was relatively young, and so it was a shock to our family. He was SUCH a vibrant personality. The kind of man who would do anything to help, even if it meant giving the shirt off of his own back. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and he always made me laugh even when he was picking on me. He left behind three teenaged children, and an extended family that will deeply mourn and miss him. I am so very glad that we got to see him this past Thanksgiving. I will forever treasure the photos I took of him then. Rest in peace Uncle David. We’ll meet again. I love you.

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Today, the kids were off of school due to inclement weather. They have managed to keep me busy. The weathermen have been predicting snow for two days now. Finally, to the kids great delight, it snowed. I snapped a few photos of them playing. This is the second time this Winter that it’s snowed in Louisiana. Global warming my behind!

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I’m not going to post the journaling questions this week, because I’m not really feeling up to it. Instead I’ll assign you a task. Please hug your babies, and call someone in your family. Let them know how much they mean to you today in case tomorrow never comes.

Thanks for stopping by…

Friday, February 5, 2010

Everyday is a Winding Road

This past week has been nothing short of insane. Jordan has pneumonia again, and it’s up in the air whether or not she will end up in the hospital again because of it. She’s on some really strong oral antibiotics, but if they don’t kick in soon she’ll need to go inpatient to get IV antibiotics. She’s been out of school since Monday. She started getting sick on Saturday, and it’s only been downhill.

On the bright side, she’s been in really good spirits, and has been playing and loving spending time with me at home. A few days ago she was scrapbooking with me, and I asked her to help me pick up when we were done. Then I looked over at her and she was making an awful face. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "This is my invisible face." "It's the face I make when I'm trying to be invisible." She had decided that she wasn’t cleaning up, so she wanted to be invisible so I couldn’t see her to make her help. Too bad that doesn’t work honey. I could so see trying to make the invisible face when it’s time to do the dinner dishes.

What else? Oh. So Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Sigh. That means more weeks of Winter. Crud. For you Northern people, that means more snow to play in. For us, it means piles and piles of rain, and a backyard that looks like a swamp. No, I’m not kidding. This is the corner of our backyard. 8 inches deep in water. The kids can’t go out and walk around the yard because they sink into mud. So boo to Winter! Go away!

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Other than that not much has been going on except for scrapbooking. Here are a few pages I’ve done lately. Jordan has been helping me use up a bunch of older scraps of paper.

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Poor Baby Brandon. How dare we give him a bath? I swear that child was a cat in another life because he hated bath time, and he still doesn’t like having his hair washed.

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I’ve also been using up older photos! These were of Brandon when he was 11 months. I can’t believe we’re starting to plan for his third birthday already. Seriously. Where did the time go?

This morning Alexis got to wear jeans to school as part of a fundraiser the school is having to benefit Haiti. She was really thrilled. They normally have to wear uniforms, and “uniforms are SO boring Mom”. She has been doing pretty well in school for the last few months. She’s in a reading tutoring program that seems to be helping her. Thank goodness! For a while we were worried that she might fail second grade, and that would be disastrous for her self esteem. I didn’t take any pictures, but I’ll try to snap one when she gets home. I haven’t been taking many photos at all lately. I’m just burnt out with it.

Journaling Question Time!

What’s your favorite smell? What do you associate with your favorite smell?

Such an easy question today! My favorite smell is freshly ground coffee beans. I also love the smell of brewing coffee, and specialty coffees. Sensing a theme here?

I also love the way baby powder and baby shampoo smells. There’s nothing sweeter in the world than snuggling a baby that just had a bath. I loved rocking Brandon to sleep after his bath when he was teeny tiny. Now, he’s too big for baby shampoo and wants “big boy shampoo”. Because “I not a baby Momma!” (Still tearless shampoo of course!) He always cries when I wash his hair, even though I’m careful to keep it out of his eyes. I don’t want to add any additional trauma by burning his little eyes. Can you tell my kids are rotten?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Absent

I’m going to try to be more active on my blog. I promise. I’m going to re-implement the journaling prompts so I’ll have something to talk about. I miss posting my Project 365 pictures. I’m glad for the break from the project, but it certainly gave me things to post about! LOL

Jordan has been sick again, and so have I. That means I’ve been super busy trying to keep up. Even Ronnie got sick. The only one who didn’t was Alexis. I swear she’s a tank. She must have the strongest immune system on the planet!

I’ve been scrapbooking a bit, mostly digital because I haven’t had time to pull out the paper supplies. I’m still doing Project 52, which means that I’m making a layout each week of this year. Much more simple than last year’s undertaking. Here are a few of the layouts I’ve done lately.

Love Is

Supplies: Sue Cummings’ Project 12 Extraordinary Love Kit

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Supplies: Crate Paper Zoom Kit, Scattered Straw Distress Stickles, Signo Pen.

52 Weeks Week 4 Diva

Supplies: 52 Inspirations Week 4 installment by Vicki Stegall.

I haven’t been taking many photos, but I did get these when Brandon and I went to the park a week or two ago.

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Funny things the kids have said:

The other day Ronnie was playing with Jordan’s guitar. He has absolutely no clue how to play the guitar. None of us do! We’re thinking about getting lessons for Jordan. Ronnie was strumming away, and Brandon looked up at him for a minute. Then he made a face and said, “Daddy that’s tub-bub-bul (terrible)!” We just laughed. He definitely says what he thinks.

Alexis came home from school on the day of the pep rally last week. Our entire state is in an uproar over the Saints going to the Super Bowl. She told me, “Momma, Ms. Carter was dancing to the ‘Who Dat’ music at the pep rally and everyone was looking at her.” “Then when we got back to class, we were talking about the Super Bowl.” “One of my friends asked Ms. Carter if we were going to the Super Bowl for a field trip, and she looked at him crazy.” Then she said ‘I DON’T THINK SO!’. “That boy is crazy.” “The Super Bowl is expensive right Mom?”

We’re planning Brandon’s 3rd birthday. I can not believe that he is going to be three, but that’s a whole different post. We went to pay the deposit on the venue we’re renting for the big day. They were having “Open Bounce” time. It’s an indoor facility with the big inflatable bouncers inside. I paid the extra 7 dollars on top of the 100 for the deposit so he could bounce that day. I think I’m in trouble. He refused to bounce at all. He said, “No, Momma!” “I not bounce!” I hope he agrees to jump in them once his sisters are there. If not… it’s going to be a mighty interesting party.

I guess I did have things to talk about after all! LOL I’m still going to do the writing prompts though. Feel free to play along on your blog, and link the answers to me!

*Do you visit your local library? Do you remember to have books back on time? How often do you read? What assumptions would a stranger make about you based on the books you read?*

I adore reading. It’s a little mini escape for me even on the busiest day. I visit my local library at least every other week. They have a feature on their website that keeps a running list of the books I want to read, and as they come in, they put them to the side and I can just walk in and pick them up. It’s an excellent feature. It lets me get in and out without my children wreaking absolute havoc on the library. It’s also really cool that I can request books on certain topics if the kids want to learn about something new. One week we learned all about elephants. Since I’m in there so frequently, I usually don’t forget to have the books back on time.

I read a little bit every single day. It’s not a good day if I don’t get to read a few pages. A stranger would assume that I’m one of those Goth girls by my reading list. They would totally picture me with black hair, nails and lipstick! Why? Because I LOVE vampire books, and books about the supernatural. If it’s got a vampire or a werewolf in it… I’m totally reading it. That’s not saying I don’t read all of the good for you books with life lessons in them. I do. I just love my guilty pleasure books more. LOL