Sunday, June 17, 2012


2 Friends & 2 Cities

Father's Day is only a few short days away and I'm on the hunt for a hammock to give to my husband. We have the perfect spot to hang one, between two large fir trees in our backyard, and I know he'd love to have his own space to stretch out and unwind once the summer sunshine finally arrives. It should be nice and peaceful too, only a few feet away from our trampoline, ha ha!

Alexandra Angle
Serena & Lily
Hans Blomquist for H&M Home
Elle Decor. Photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna.
Tropicalia Hanging Nest via Apartment Therapy. Designed by Patricia Urquiola
  • There's something so peaceful about hanging hammocks and chairs, don't you think? Shady afternoons spent swaying in the wind with a good book seems like the ultimate in relaxation...unless you suffer from motion sickness, of course! I have a feeling there may be some serious competition for the "money" spot once our new hammock is strung up! Which style would you choose? My budget is small so odds are pretty good I won't go for the $8500 hanging nest by Patricia Urquiola in the second to last picture! I'm leaning towards something very similar to the one in the second image but preferably with a canvas body....and hopefully some stripes. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

tilt shift photo effect

HOW TO MAKE YOUR IMAGES LOOK MINIATURE......really cool trickLil raft
Tilt shift lenses focus on a single part of the photo and shift (blur) the surrounding area to create an optical illusion of miniaturized scenery. Real tilt shift lenses are quite expensive, but a similar effect can be achieved by using Photoshop after you take the photo.
Tilt shift photographs create an optical illusion that makes scenes appear as if they are actually miniature models (like your uncle’s train set). The outer edges are blurred which tricks the eye into perceiving everything in the unblurred parts as miniature. There is a Flickr group dedicated to this technique. It’s a fun post processing trick – and it’s quite easy to reproduce.
UPDATE:  I’ve just found an even easier way to do this by using a Tilt Shift Photoshop plugin called:  FocalPoint 2  Try it out for free for yourself and when you’re ready to buy – use our exclusive coupon code: vizphotoguide

  1. Taking the photo. An above ground shot is usually best for this type of technique. Cityscapes, crowds, streets, and similar things are perfect.
  2. Open the shot in Adobe Photoshop and click onto “quick mask mode”.
    Quick mask mode
  3. Select the gradient tool.
  4. Select the “cylindrical gradient reflected gradient”.
    reflected gradient
  5. Draw vertically upwards from where you want the point of focus to be up the screen to the top of the window, and release the mouse button. A red transparent line should appear.
    Masked tilt shift gradient
  6. Go back into “Standard Mask Mode”.
    Standard mask mode
  7. In Photoshop CS2 or CS3 go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur (Or if you have Photoshop 7.0 you can use Gaussian Blur). Then select the amount of blur you’d like. You can experiment with the radius value a bit to see what amount of blur looks best.
  8. (Optional) For a more “plastic” feel you can increase the saturation and contrast in the photo.
There you have it – you should have a nice “fake tilt shift” photo. You can experiment with lots of different photographs – some are a lot better than others for “miniaturization”.
And when you’re ready to step it up even more,  you can incorporate HDR Photography and Tilt Shift together for amazingly stunning fake miniature scenes in high contrast.  Using the above technique along with HDR software, such as top brand Photomatix (we have a 15% OffCoupon code),  you can achieve results like this:
Miniature House (Tilt Shift HDR)photo credit: Brandon Godfrey
Below are a few more examples of the tilt shift technique for producing realistic looking miniature scenes. Feel free to link to your own tilt shift photos in the comments. Happy shrinking!
Tiny Gator Fans
My Lil Black G35
Miniature Siesta Key
Ferrari Enzo in Sarasota
Plastic ball
lil miami at nite

DIY loveball


surprise love ballsurprise love ballsurprise love ball
surprise love ball
surprise love ball

The ball actually took Ben 15 minutes to unravel and he was tired by the end of it, but loving it all. I like making surprises for him! He's one of a kind!!! The video condensed that time into a minute and a half. I had seen these surprise balls circulate the blogosphere a few years ago and was always waiting for the perfect opportunity to make one for Ben. I was loving making that ball so much, I am kind of in need to make another. I hope I have to make another present for someone soon!

DIY cute little masterpiece


photo to masterpiecephoto to masterpiecephoto to masterpiecephoto to masterpiecephoto to masterpiecephoto to masterpiece
In my opinion, the best kind of art are the kinds my kids make. There is just something so raw and natural about kid art that makes it so beautiful. This particular project was an easy one and can easily be created with any photograph. Sure this one was of the Eiffel Tower, which is already beautiful, but I think adding some kid art on top gives it an extra punch and makes it look less like a print I bought at some random shop. Wouldn't you agree? I have a few more instant art projects that can help fill your summer and your walls. Stay tuned. 

Watercolors and colored tape were purchased from the Target Kid Made Modern line. You better stock up while supplies last!........ OKAY. HOW DAMN CUTE ARE THOSE LITTLE CAKIES GIRLS. OMG!

DIY gold toe flats....thank you liz


Two toned gold toe flats have been on my mind lately since I spotted this Jimmy Choo pair, and I thought it would be a really easy DIY to turn any pair of flats into a gold two toned pair for your holiday parties. Or just a trip down the street to the grocery store. Plus, it would nicely hide scuff marks around the toe on an old pair (thanks for that tip, reader Andrea!)
I started with this purple $15 pair from Target. I went the patent leather route because I worried about the texture of spray painted cotton. 
 I tore off a large piece of scrap paper and added a piece of tape at the top
Then I wrapped that tape and paper around the toe, leaving exposed the area I want to be gold. I also added tape around the bottom to protect the sole. I carefully pressed that tape down firmly on the edge to be sure there weren’t any holes where paint could leak through.
Then I sprayed metallic gold spray paint (after opening a few windows). I made sure to be at a decent distance for an even exposure.
After letting it dry for a couple hours, rip off the tape/paper and you’re holiday party ready!
Also, here are a couple other DIY holiday fashion ideas from the archives: 

DIY cookie bowls

this is the best idea!

We had a banana split party last night (oh yeah. 80s flashback) for some friends who are moving away. I decided to make these little bowls with some chocolate chip cookie dough I had handy in the fridge to keep the dessert’s sweets:fruit ratio far beyond the medically advisable level. I used a medium muffin tin, but I think they’d be really sweet using a mini muffin tin for a kids party. You can prepare the mini ice cream cups beforehand, and then stick them pre-made into the freezer until it’s time for dessert!
I should probably stay far away from these cookie cups (it’ll seem less indulgent if you call them ‘cups’) if my skinny jeans ever want to be buttoned up again without injury. But just in case you need to know how to make these bad boys…
Supplies: Medium or large muffin tin, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray well. Cookie dough. Teaspoon. Ice cream and toppings.

DIY Bauble necklace

Handmade Bauble Necklace How-To

Bauble necklace DIYWe're loving bright pops of color this season! In this next D.I.Y. project you'll learn to make a trendy bauble necklace in any colors you choose! These necklaces are easy to wear with casual and dressy outfits. Enjoy... 
Wood bead necklace stepsSupplies Needed: Craft Paint (choose any colors you fancy! We went with mint, grey, pumpkin and neon pink), Gloss We used DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze as our top coat (this glaze is our secret weapon for giving these beads a polished look!), raw wood beads, leather cord or chain (long enough to slip over your head) and scissors. 1. Paint your beads with two coats of paint. Allow beads to dry between each coat. 2. After the paint has dried, Use the gloss to add an extra coat of shine to your beads. 3. String the beads. We had a difficult time threading the leather cord through the beads, so we added a little tape to the end of the cord to make it more sturdy for treading. Super simple, no? Best part is, you can make necklaces for you and your friends in an afternoon! 
Handmade Bauble NecklaceHandmade Bauble NecklaceChoose colors that compliment your personality and wardrobe! whoop whoop! easy peasy!

Great Glass Idea DIY....

Polka Dot Etched Drinking Glass Set

Etched glass polka dot drinking glass
Glass etching diy1. Supplies: scissors, etching cream (we used Armour Etch ), mason jars, contact paper, sponge brush, gloves for protection. 2. First, cut out large circles in the contact paper. 3. Then, apply them all over the mason jars. 4. Next, following the detailed instructions of the etching cream when applying it to the mason jars. You want to pay close attention to the instructions on the cream since it can be extremely dangerous if it comes in contact with you skin. Follow all safety guidelines. Here's a link to the instructions we used to learn. We leave our cream on for about three minutes. 5. Next, remove the contact paper and wash cream off in running water. Use a sponge and don't be afraid to really scrub it until the cream is completely gone. 6. All finished! Enjoy your new glasses. Your new glasses are dishwasher safe.
Etched glass mason jarEtched glass mason jarHave fun creating your own custom etched glass set! xo. elsie + emma

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Loving this easy DIY

Photo Dot Journal DIY

Photo Dot JournalToday I'm here to share a cute polka dot journal cover that you can make with your own photos. Like our Instagram Journal, this project is easy to customize with your own photos. It makes a great gift! Enjoy...
Photo Dot Journal StepsSupplies Needed: Journal (ours was provided by Miro), photos you don't mind cutting up (magazine pages work great too), scissors and glue. 1. Use a small bottle cap to trace circles on your photos and cut them out. 2. Use glue to adhere photos all over the front of your journal. Be sure to leave some circles hanging off the edges. Allow to dry completely and repeat this step on the back cover. 3. Trim circles along the edge of the cover. 4. Use washi tape (ours was provided by Freckled Fawn) to create a cute spine for your journal. Enjoy your new book! 
Photo Dot Journal ProjectPhoto Dot Journal DIY