Sunday, December 16, 2012

New lens!

Since the girls are going with the ex for Christmas we decided to have our Christmas this weekend. Santa visited last night and brought me an awesome new present... The Canon F/1.4 50mm prime lens...oh squee! Of course I had to do something silly and trite with the snowflake bokeh, but also a little bit of real photography. The bokeh is super fun, this was made by taking a piece of cardstock, using a snowflake punch and holding it in front of the lens. This was of our Christmas tree! Photobucket I'm in love. I now know what I was longing for now, that sharpness that comes from fast glass and wide apertures. I was looking at my two older 35mm SLR Minoltas the other day. Wow, the quality of the lenses were amazing back then. With this new lens I'm starting to fall a little more in love with digital photography. Here are some pictures from our early Christmas... Kyle and Boss Photobucket Taylor joins in... Photobucket Boss Photobucket I have this same picture from when she was a puppy somewhere... Photobucket Pouty face didn't want to take a picture... Photobucket Opening presents Photobucket Photobucket I've also been doing post processing in Lightroom after making the switch to RAW and I'm loving the presets! I also found a great photoshop action for web sharpening and made a brush for watermarking :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Law school and some fun with Photoshop

Well my first midterm is tomorrow and I guess that means I'm halfway through my first semester of hell, although by the time I publish this it will be past midterms I'm sure. Law school has been interesting so far.I'm still wondering who I hoodwinked into letting me in. They said on our first day that some time during or first year we would wonder if we were smart enough to be in law school. Well that time came about the first day. Glad we got that out of the way. Actually it's not a new feeling, I spent much if three first year of my PhD thinking the same thing. Then I switched to my masters. Hmmm. I hope that isn't a sign of things to come. The good news is that I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact many of the other 1L students have expressed the same feeling of inadequacy.
Law school has an interesting effect on you're periphery as well. I now "think like a lawyer" and I've devised ways to sue everyone I've ever met, friend and foe alike. I've also learned new cool Latin terms like Res ipsa loquitor and slip them into conversation quite regularly. The best part is that no one else has any clue what you just said so context is inconsequential.
Well anyway back to creativity. I spend most off my class periods on Pinterest lately searching for new fun projects, inspiration to steal and stalking those that I've blocked on face book. I came across a really cool idea the other day to merge text and a picture, but when I decided to try it the site wouldn't load the photo and I couldn't use a large file..

Well I don't have a pirated copy of Photoshop CS3 for nothing (and when I say pirated I mean I stole it from my mom until such time when she might actually want to use it). So here is a quick tutorial on how to do it.I should also point out that I'm not one for calling things by proper names so there will be a lot of "click this thingy" followed by screen shots and arrows. Ok, I'm writing this while I should be paying attention to public easements in property and I don't want the people behind me looking at me taking screen shots, so those may be added later. I would also do an action for it but I'm not that sophisticated.

Well I played around and this is what I came up with at first...
I tried converted this to black and white, but I was unimpressed by the amount of detail I got. But I think that it looks pretty decent in color. Also, this looks better when viewed smaller or from father away.So I tried another one that has less detail for sepia.

How to choose a picture
  • choose a picture without much detail, it will get lost in the text and you won't be able to tell what it is.
  • Use a large file, you want to be able to have options for the size of your text as well as wanting to keep the image crisp.
  • Close ups of faces work well, get creative with cropping!
Now that you have a file picked out, open it in Photoshop and create a new layer.  I find that for this part it is easiest if you hide the back ground layer. In the new layer create a text box the size of the photo and enter your text. Make sure that you go to the paragraph tab and click "justify last left" so the text fills the box completely. Here are some tips for the text.
  • You can use any font that you want, but keep in mind that you want your text to almost "meld" so some of the more flowery fonts will be unreadable by the time you edit the text. 
  • For a clearer picture, use a smaller font.  Large fonts wash out the photograph
  • Put only one space between sentences
  • If you can't come up with enough text to fill the whole picture repeat it until you do.
  • Consider all caps as in the black and white photo to achieve higher density.
Now lets edit the text to make sure that the text is dense enough to see the photo underneath. Under the character tab in right side bar set the "leading" and "tracking" smaller than the font size until you reach a density where the letters are almost touching, but not quite. You may also want to play with anti-aliasing until it looks pleasing to you.  I used sharp. Next choose the magic wand selection tool and select the text and press delete. I have no idea how to rasterize text from the menu, but if you choose the fill tool and try to fill, it will ask you if you would like to rasterize.  Click okay and switch back to the magic wand tool.  Right click on the image and click on "select inverse." Select the fill tool and fill the area without text with white. Deselect all, unhide the background and viola! How easy was that?  By playing with settings you might be able to make the picture look better.  I found that when converting to black and white it helped to have more white.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Just go with the professionals...

Yep, save yourself some time and grief and find a reputable vendor for you wedding. When I first started planning this thing I had a friend or a friend of a friend who did everything. I had a friend who was going to do all of the bridal party's hair. He flaked out in the first month of planning. My brother in law's cousin is a florist at a grocery store and was going to do flowers on the side. Never heard back from her. My sister had a friend who does cakes, but she quit doing wedding cakes. And a friend of our officiant (also a friend) was going to do the catering. I just heard that he's possibly going to flake out too. So when it comes down to it, do yourself a favor, start looking for reviews and get someone you can trust. I now have an awesome photographer who I've seen in action even before our engagement pics. I have a cool florist who shared pics with me over pinterest to get exactly what I wanted. My cake shop comes highly recommended and sent me pics of a cake similar to ours. Found a restaurant that does catering and the price is right and I love their food. So the only service left from a friend is our officiant and he's not going anywhere. Almost planned, time to sit back and take a breather!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why is it that every time I start to get ahead of my DIY wedding list that I find something new and interesting that I want to make for the wedding? I'm finally getting somewhere with the flowers, I even fluffed out about 100 of them a couple weeks ago and ended up with a very nice pile of pretty flowers Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App I also decided to see how it would look as a centerpiece... Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Can you guess what my favorite drink is? I also decided that I really like the rufflie looking chair decor so I made a few of those. I think that I need to get some more fabric though to fill them out. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App And last I painted my aisle runner! Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App My neighbor finished both of our signs Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App That is the ceremony sign and I love it! It turned out well even after the missing "e" fiasco. I have a smaller one that points to the reception as well. Interesting how my squiggly little arrow looks like the word "love." A happy little accident, I didn't even notice until our neighbor pointed it out to me! Now that invitations are out and RSVPs are starting to come in, I'm on full on wedding mode. I think it's starting to get to me because I'm having wedding nightmares. Last night I dreamed that I couldn't get a hold of the photographer. He didn't show up til almost two hours after the ceremony and I was very upset that I didn't get all of the pre-wedding pics, ceremony pics and the family had already changed out of their wedding garb. On top of that we were in some sleazy smoke smelling banquet hall instead of the tent. I kept telling everyone that we were supposed to be outside and playing games, but they kept saying it's going to rain, don't worry about it. The whole thing just turned into a complete mess! All I could think was, "what about all the stuff I had planned? I put so much effort into this and no one cares" For the next couple of weeks to do list, program board (I started this but it turned out a complete disaster so time for plan B), vows book, menu/reception program, and signs signs sings! Till next time!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why your girlfriends are better than a forum

I had a little frustration with something today and the one person who I talk to about every two hours every day was unavailable (Damn you!). So feeling like I had to get it out NOW, I turned to a forum that I have never posted on before. Yeah bad idea. So here is why your best friend is better than anyone on a forum.

When you call your best friend to rant, they will listen, sympathize momentarily, then tell you that you need to calm down, tell you that you are being a tad bit unreasonable, offer a suitable solution and then proceed to chat about everything else you have to get out from the last two hours that you haven't talked.

In opposition, women on a forum will call you a brat, a bitch, a snatch face, proceed to ridicule you for any and everything you've written and continue to tell you that you are the worst person alive. This is why they have no friends and must continue to post on a forum of which they should really have no valuable input for.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lower North Fork Fire

The Lower North Fork Fire is threatening the home I grew up. We have evacuated animals and taken a lot of sentimental items out. Now we sit and wait, and hope that firefighters can contain the fire before it reaches home. Not only is this my favorite place on earth, but it's also where we are planning to have the wedding.

In an attempt to get my mind off this, I've decided to share a little bit. I'm also avoiding real work. Mostly because I've gotten about 6 hours of sleep and I don't have brain capacity to think anymore.

Talked to my future mother about the points in the last post, got a little snarky to get it out of us and decided that it's best to just go with what I want. She's such a doll! Most people I start in on the ex about and they roll their eyes. She gets up there with me. It doesn't last long, but it feels good to just get the frustration with that horrible girl out. It was also nice to find out the cake topper that they had was picked out by his mom, since I was worried that the one Mr. GL and I had picked out was too similar. He did tell me that he wasn't surprised that some of the things that we were doing were the same, after all he did pick us...I gave him a nasty look. I'm much better than her!

Well, back to the subject at hand...the wedding! The ceremony is almost done, I have the wording and it's lovely. Just waiting for Mr. GL to put some words down for when we exchange rings. After what seemed like forever, I have finished all of the Kusumada balls for the pews. I had a little help from the big girl, but mostly done by myself. I am considering making more so that I have two for each pew, but I'll have to see how ambitious I really am. I also added sparkly fun and cheap beads to the center of the flowers. I wanted pearls, but Walmart was out. And of course in Laramie, it's either order in or deal with what you have. The seem to catch the light so I'm sure it will be nice.

I have a wonderful neighbor whose dad bought a routing machine for wood! I've asked him to make me a few signs for the wedding...I can't wait to see how they will turn out.

The reception decoration is going well. I ordered some very cute and very cheap glass photo coasters. I had considered giving only one per person, but they are so cheap we are giving out a set of two. We put a picture of us in one coaster and then a little printed "thank you" in the other and then put them back in the plastic box they came in. Originally I wrapped them with the purple and green raffia and put a paper rose around each bow. They ended up like this...

Well that's nice, but I decided that I would rather actually wrap them with kraft paper. The result was very nice,
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
I plan on adding a tag of some sort and those will be all done!

I've also been working on getting the table decorations done. It turns out that my original idea of vases with orchids in water with a floating candle on top would be entirely to expensive, but I found this on pinterest. Oh yeah, cheap and very pretty. So I'm now most of the way through making them! There will be a mix of purple and green on the tables. All the big flowers are made, time for the small flowers. All for about $75. I also found very cute square vases at IKEA for very cheap (about $130 for all) that will go in the center with sand and a candle. In lieu of the fire though, we will be going for flameless candles.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Invitations are ready to be sent out as soon as I buy stamps!
I started off with printing envelopes, but decided to call upon my calligraphy skills in the end and hand address the rest of the envelopes.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I will have to take a picture of the inserts, they are pretty cool. I already gave my dearest neighbor who helped inspire the design her invite and she refused to give me the RSVP card back because she wanted to keep it. Mission accomplished!

Jewelry is also done, here is what I ended up making for mine.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Well that's about all the crappy cell phone pics I have for now. I really should get the big camera out to take pics, but I've been entirely to lazy when the cell is so easy to get pictures online with!

As I update, the fire doesn't seem to be moving any closer to home. Let's pray that the wonderful firefighters can get containment soon and no one else loses their homes or lives!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Second time epiphany

Well the wedding crafting is in full force. I spent a  good portion of the weekend putting together the favors with a little break to go ride the sled and drink some beer.

Thursday night I decided that I didn't want to do anything that Mr. Get lucky did in his first wedding so I convinced him that I needed full access to the pictures and files from his first wedding which we will call from here on out the practice wedding.  Being the guy he is, he gave them to me. I spent a good portion of the evening and Friday looking through them and making snarky remarks. Bad idea. I was starting to feel crappy about the whole thing.

That was nothing though. This morning I decided to tackle the ceremony wording. I picked a few readings including one from a favorite book, The Prophet. Since I like to be original we have decided on a hand fasting ceremony as well. I opened the practice wedding ceremony wording to make sure she never read The Prophet and it wasn't included. Well, good news there. As I read a little further my heart sank. Some of the wording that I had found for the hand fasting ceremony was repeated very closely. Well crap. I had to notice that what I found and I liked so much was about partnership while her rendition was all about how wonderful she was. Typical.
I showed it to Mr. Get Lucky and he shrugged, "well the context is different." Thanks honey. After calling all of my friends and whining I got some of the best advice I've heard. Don't worry about her and do what makes you happy. I've been so concerned about bot repeating anything that was in the practice wedding and avoiding asking Mr. Get Lucky as to avoid him thinking about it as well as having my ideas rejected without a reason why. But they are right. This is our wedding and we can't avoid everything. While I don't want to remind him of the past it might happen. While I don't want to repeat what she did it might be inevitable.

What I have to remind myself is that this is the real wedding. I won't ever tell him that I want a divorce in a pathetic attempt to....uh, "save the relationship." I refuse to be that stuck on myself. I will do everything in my power to stay together forever.

Ok, time for a little snark though. I will be the bride with a beer pong table but I won't take pictures of us kissing half in the portal potties as a posed picture. I don't think my photographer would even agree to that. I will not have "artistic" pictures that involve my deodorant or me making a fishy face.
I will not make the same pose forehead to forehead to every member of my wedding party. My pictures won't have my acne scars visible, oh wait I don't have acne scars. My photos won't have red eye. My bridesmaids will not be in prom dresses. I will not force Mr. Get Lucky to read a full page of vows I've written for him about how much he loves me. My wedding will not look like Toucan Sam threw up. I will not have cupcakes that look like they came from Walmart. I will not make my future sister in law be my personal attendant and treat her like a slave. I will not hire a bartender to get my future in laws drunk so they will look like asses in front of our friends and family (especially when they paid for the wedding).  I will not make it all about me, but I will make it all about us. I will be unique and the wedding will be visually stunning.

Most importantly I will never take my future husband for granted and I WILL love him for all that he is.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Decorating a wedding

I some how thoughtd that decorating a wedding myself would cheaper. Just like I thought that doing my own invites would be cheaper. It's not. Why? Cause just when you think that you have it perfect, you see one more element that needs to be added. Case in point, I just decided that my outer envelopes will need liners and my inner envelopes need paper bands, but I will get to that later.

As thought how to decorate the aisle for the ceremony I dreaded the cost of flowers at the end of each row of chairs. I saw this picture on

Lanterns! What a great idea! But lanterns are still a couple dollars a piece...I'm sure I could do better than that! A few months ago I downloaded an app for kusudama origami for big girl since she has discovered oragami and loves it. Then I ran into a blog post where a bride to be had used these for pew decorations.There are a lot of variations, of these flower balls and some very stunning, but finding instructions was all too difficult so I'm staying with the traditional ball. You can find some nice instructions here. I got out my stock of purple and green scrap book paper, made a bunch of 3" paper squares thinking that I would be well on my way to the 16 balls I think I will need. Not even close. I have enough for about 5. So I started searching for origami papers to make it out of. Wrong again, too expensive for the amount of paper that I needed. My next bright idea was to go through all of my old magazines and pull out any pages that had the same colors. Brilliant! That got me another two balls. Crap. Why didn't I think of it sooner....wrapping paper! Of course! It comes in every color and design imaginable, it's relatively cheap and there is usually a lot of it.

If you are thinking about kusudama balls for decorating keep a couple things in mind.
  • They are time consuming. I can do one ball in about two hours.
  • They take an insane amount of paper. I made mine with 3x3 pieces for each petal. They take 60 petals to make a ball. Do the math.

I'm thinking of doing the balls and a lantern on each end chair for a bit of overkill. Or just to annoy the guests sitting in that chair.

Of course buying 100' roll of wrapping paper in our wedding colors also gave me another idea, envelope liners and paper bands! Work continues on getting them together. I already have to buy more ink for the printer (magenta went first).

Another piece of advice, make sure you spell check your invites and all inserts. I did mine in photoshop and didn't spell check. The first thirty direction cards I printed I spelled south with an "r". Whoops. So I whited out the R and figure I will send those to people who are getting the courtesy invite but won't actually come.

I've also decided that printing our return address as well as the RSVP card envelopes will be too much of a pain, so I decided to create a stamp. Now the stamps that the paper source have are undeniably cute, but also too small and also expensive. But it turns out that you can have a stamp created from a jpg file very affordably. I chose a 2 7/8 by 1 3/8 self inking stamp for $18 from I created the design I wanted in photoshop, uploaded it and tada! For $10 less than the cost of the papersource stamps, I have one that is large enough to stamp our address on the RSVP cards and will work for return addresses as well. It's also something that I can have Mr. Get Lucky do. As good as he is about all this wedding planning and DIY, I would love a little more help.

Well that is what I have for today! Or at least this morning...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

OMG! So Flipping Cool!

After hand addressing 130 some save the date envelopes I'm pretty sure of three things: 1) I really need to lighten my grip on the pen; 2) I have carpal tunnel; and 3) I'm definitely printing the envelopes for the formal invitations. While says that it is absolutely unacceptable to let your computer do the work, Martha Stewart says that it's okay. I'll trust Martha on this one, given she's the queen of all things DIY AND Etiquette. I'm sure she didn't write the article, but I digress.....

The save the date cards had a bit of a snafu; according to them I'm getting married. 7/14/201. Get your time machines out peeps. I'm pretty sure that I just missed the full date not fitting in the allotted spot when I created them on Walmart's photo page (yes I'm cheap). I really didn't want to wait the 2 weeks it would take to return them and have them reprinted, so I sucked it up, found an old scratch board pen and scratched the two in the photo paper. Wouldn't you know that after 150 I could scratch out a fairly convincing two? This is the second F-up I've made; the first being that I ordered text paper, not card stock to make the pocket folds out of. I decided that would be okay since it just reduces the weight of the invite and hopefully the postage as well.

Back to the invites I think I got the wording down, the directions return cards and so on together. All I needed was a nice map. Now I could spend 4 hours on photoshop trying to make one, I could pay someone on Etsy a ridiculous amount to make me one...or I could do a little internet searching. Since I'm both lazy and cheap, I chose the latter and found this little bit of awesomeness....

Which gave me an awesome map, that I will choose not to share less my three anonymous readers decide to crash my wedding (email me, and get a formal invite at least!) Hopefully the link took you to the right place, but here is a mock one that I created so you can see how cool this is.

In the meantime I wait for postage to arrive so I can send out save the dates and the rest of the fun stuff for the invites so I can finally get a full mock up to weigh, send to myself and of course take pics of it for here.

What mistakes did you make when planning for the wedding? What cool tools did you find to help you along?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fiberwhore is getting Hitched!

Second time is the charm right? Oh it's third? Well we are going with second....

So for the next six or so months wedding me will be taking over the blog! Mostly so I can bitch and moan about how ridiculous weddings are of course. And of course it will be a mostly DIY wedding so hopefully I can add something useful to this as well.

I've already gotten a jump start on the planning. The first thing to get reserved was the photographer of course. I am choosing Volkel Image. He did a friends wedding and the pictures were fantastic! Pricey but so is the wedding and what use is all that money spent if you don't have great pictures to help remember it by?

I'm getting a head start on invites, decorations, lighting and rentals. What I'm not so excited about doing is finding a DJ, baker, caterer, florist and officiant.

So far one of the greatest challenges has been addresses. Getting them how to write them, FRUSTRATING!!!!!!! So I stole the bright idea from a friend who had done the same, to put an event invite up on Facebook to get friends and families to send us addresses since I have none of them...

If you are thinking about doing this DON'T. Worse idea ever. While about 20 of the people who I added to the "Event" bothered reading the event title and description and actually sent me their addresses, the rest either didn't respond at all or thought that it was the actual invitation to the wedding! GRRRRR!

The problem is that sometimes you want to send an invite to people even though you know there isn't a snow balls chance in hell that they will make it. It's more than irritating having someone write on your event wall, "JACK AND JULIE SMITH WILL NOT BE ATTENDING!!!!!" Names were changed but yes, that happened. In all caps. Thanks for being subtle Julie.

So I've deleted those who already given me their address and those who decided they will not attend. I'll send out one more message and then the whole disaster will be going away.

Thankfully my very lovely sister- and mother-in-law to be got together the huge list of addresses from his family. It was 50 some people, and I'm very sorry but second cousins aren't getting the automatic invite. There are a few that he is close enough to that they bothered to give me their address so they will get an invite.

In the end I decided to go through the list of originally invited, have Mr. Get Lucky do the same and sent them individual messages asking for their address which worked much better.

Now I have a list of 125 households and such that need to be sent invites. I know that about half of those won't attend. After all this is a second marriage for the both of us, his family lives 1000 miles away and they all attended the first one. I'm sure that most of my side should attend since my first wedding was more of like a backyard picnic and dinner for our immediate family (all 10 of us including the officiant). So I designed the invites and realized that the postage cost more than the invites! I have to fight the urge to cheap and not put a RSVP card in with the invites going to people I know won't come. Or to put the RSVP card in but not stamp it..... Also it is a good thing that I have til May to get these things put together as well.

So there is now way I'm paying someone to do Calligraphy on 125 envelopes, inner envelopes, return card envelopes, etc. Not when there are enough pretty fonts out there that I can run them through my printer and have a nice result. But now I'm trying to figure out exactly what the proper way is to write so and so's name. Should I address it to Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith? Mr. Jack and Mrs. Jane Smith? Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Jane Smith? I'm supposed to include children's names on the inner envelope but even Mr. Get Lucky doesn't know all their names. Do I spell out Northeast or abreaviate NE, do I right out Sixtyfifth Street? It gets a little long when I have to write 122345 Sixty fifth Avenue Northeast Number 23456. Why is there no consensus on the right way to do it?

So what is your biggest invitation pet peeve?