Weekend Wanderings 4.30

This past week I came across a photo that made me laugh. It was one of those shots clicked off accidentally. I didn’t delete it because it actually captured my thought at that split moment. That’s kind of cool, right? Of course only I would know that, but I clearly remember thinking, “Oooh, he’s got-this,” as I was reaching over to show our new travel friend how to manipulate my camera. He was going to take a photo of Captain & me using my camera. I guess that’s my facial expression of pleasantly surprised relief, since we were still unsettled in our seats (in a gondola in Venice) yet pulling away from the dock…so it was nice to see he quickly figured out how to work an unfamiliar camera…

Well, this particular photo captured a lot more (minus Captain) than the other posed shots. It captured not only my secret thought, it also includes the gondola in the background and look at the reflection on my glasses – the gondolier’s traditional black & striped shirt! I love it when clues to the story are tucked-in throughout the picture, didn’t Waldo wear a striped shirt, too?

SOOC…(below) unedited photo. See the buildings that line the canal reflected on the polished black gondola? Another little detail hidden within. I’m so glad I did not delete this accidental memory.

One other thing captured in the accidental closeup is the “concern creases” on my forehead. Apparently they are a part of my “pleasantly surprised relief” face – Uck!  I plan to use this photo for a travel profile photo, so I edited the SOOC in Elements using Topaz Labs, Clean (digital plastic surgery) and Clarity, then Florabella, Trinity bundle, Buttermilk action to give some matte & tones. In Elements, the gondola was gaussian blurred, then I cropped the image into a square. What a giant improvement for a once terrible photo.

If you, too, are interested in editing your photos here are links to my favorite photo-editing tools:

Photoshop Elements, I prefer to use this less bulky version rather than full Photoshop. It is affordable and is still very powerful.

Topaz Labs, totally awesome plugins to create professional quality photos. Free updates and great training webinars.

Florabella Actions, bring beautiful effects to your photos. I used the Trinity bundle, which has so much in it that I still have a lot to discover.

Classes & Inspiration, Kim Klassen is my favorite online photography & editing teacher. She has some free classes to get you up to par in Elements and Lightroom. Her site is a beautiful place to spend your time.

Have a Peaceful weekend!

Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside!

How to Letter Paint a Vintage Window

Decorating the inside of the Lake Cottage this Spring has been fun. Aside from my usual refresh of accent pillows, rugs and the fireplace mantel, I painted my vintage window for Spring! What I like about art & words on the window, is that the sunlight creates a subtle mix of opacity – you look through it, not at it. Unfortunately to show details I had to skew my lighting, so the paint’s transparency is not captured in my photos.

During the Winter Holidays I used chalk pen to decorate the window (HERE’S the tut)

For Spring I put away the chalk pen and used acrylic craft paint to paint flowers and letters on the window, The Earth laughs in flowers, a quote from Emerson.

I have limited painting skills, so I gathered a handful of brushes and tested out their strokes on the a paper plate. It’s moments like this that I really miss my artsy sister, who could make suggestions, show me how, or just paint it for me.

Spring Vintage Window…

Here’s how I did it, I learned a lot so I’m including lots of suggestions, aka: Tips, which brings me to Tip#1: Guts – if painting is not your skill, I’m with you there, just remember it washes off easily, so be brave & give it a go. If you don’t have a vintage window use any window in your house. An window near the entry would be so welcoming to guests.

Tip #2: Trace your letters and art. I told you this was simple! I knew using a paint brush would be challenge enough, so I chose a Spring freebie printable from one of my favorite bloggers, Kristin, at YellowBlissRoad.com, I love her blog. You just need something to loosely. Google, images with quotes, to find 100’s (millions!) of ideas for tracing.

Lay the enlarged lettering & art under the glass as your guide. You can paint on both sides of the glass (later, I tell you why you want to do that)

After positioning letters & art, I painted the flowers first, so I could get the feel of the paint & its flow before tackling the lettering. Tip #3: Paint on both sides of the glass. The flowers & birds have a layered look because painting on both sides of the window affects the transparency of the paint. Light shining through the glass creates a pretty variation of opacity, which I can tell you, greatly enhanced my painting skills.

Tip #4: Experiment with brushes & strokes. Take your brush and test it on a paper plate or in a blank area of the window (remember, it wipes off). The brush is your tool, so you should test out what it can do, each brush shape creates a different look. I accidentally discovered that my fan brush makes a fan stroke, duh. I used it to make a feather comb on the head of a bird and to make white puffy flowers by tapping the brush. After testing a flat brush, I created some yellow “violas” with a press/lift brush movement. I like how each petal opacity is different.

Tip #5: Relax! Place the window at a height that you feel comfortable for painting. I used the dining table, although it may be easier for you to hang the window and paint in a vertical position. Either way your arm needs to be relaxed so your brush stroke is smooth…Flowing. When lettering, I was jittery at first, trying to trace letters exactly, but as I continued I loosened up, and let my template just guide me. Seriously, a glass of wine would be a good idea, just one glass ; ) Your excuse…you really need to relax to paint cursive letters. BTW – I used a brush with a slant (?) tip (see brush in photo below) to get a broad thick & thin letter like in calligraphy.

After I finished, I re-hung the window and filled in the top edge with cascading flowers.

Then the next day, after I walked by the room several hundred times admiring it, I thought, it needs birds…why not. I again, went online, Googled “bird silhouette clip art”. First I painted the birds on the backside of the glass, then flipped the window over, and painted the feather detail on the glass front-side.

I “winged-it” when it came to details, ha, using my new-found brush skills. There was a freedom in knowing mistakes could be wiped-away without messing up the bird’s body. I won’t tell you how many times I redid the eye on one bird.

I hope you are Inspired to paint on glass, especially since you now know it is easy, forgiving and involves wine. Relax & Enjoy your week, next time MML will be kicking into high gear with a full month of gardens and all things Spring!

Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside!

One Change for Earth Day 2017

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Did you vow to make a CHANGE for Earth Day 2017?  I DID! For a long time I’ve had this gnawing feeling in my gut that it is time to stop using plastic water bottles. It almost seems crazy to write that…Why does … Continue reading

DIY: Centerpiece Basket Arrangement

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For Easter I planted a basket of pretty flowers and placed it on a table near the front porch to create Spring ambiance for arriving guests. The basket was one of my recent yard sale finds. Remember how the basket looked BEFORE? It was simple … Continue reading

Weekend Wanderings – Easter Printable

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Download: MML HE is Risen Printable This lovely Easter verse PDF Printable is setup to fit a 5″ x 7″ frame. Enjoy the freebie printable for your personal use only, not for resale. I purchased the beautiful watercolor florals at Creative Market.com. Artist: … Continue reading

A Review – Truth About Vaccines episode 1

There is still time to register to watch (for Free) the Truth About Vaccines, and you can catch the first episode if you register now. HERE I watched episode 1, Truth About Vaccines, last night – I thought the information was … Continue reading