19 October 2014

How to make a transparency layer in photoshop. video tutorial

The other day I shared my recent Project Life pages and the sweet Deb asked how I made a transparency like this:

It is super easy in photoshop and I figured if Deb had asked, a few others would probably want the answer too! So for your pleasure/enjoyment/amusement, here is a little video of me on photoshop doing my thing!

The video is slightly blurred if made full screen so to see it bigger, click on the title on the video to watch in vimeo. 



If you happen to watch it, I would love some feedback. Was the video clear and easy to follow? Do I go too fast? Anything that needs clarifying?! Thank you! 

17 October 2014

Project Life weeks 39 & 41

This is real life friends! You may have noticed by the post title that this is weeks 39 and 41 of PL. I didn't do week 40 as there simply weren't photos for it.
Why sweat the small stuff! I simply and joyfully left it out!

This what the last few weeks have looked like:


Things I am loving this week:
It is no secret that I am a big fan of anything paislee press create. I love their minimalist designs and gorgeous kits. I treated myself to a new kit this month called 'heirloom' and love the papers and colours in it. Think navy, bright green and creams.


Techniques I have tried:
I made a simple mask for my birthday photo. I knew I wanted 22 to feature so just used a transparency to get the effect.


Photos documented:
Of course a fun birthday photo had to make its way into there. I also used a lot of photos of my room from my last blog post. I did this with my student house last academic year and am so pleased I will have recorded both places in my PL album.
We went to a wedding this Saturday so that makes up most of one page. My old housemates and I also treated ourselves to a meal out at Chiquitos and had to get some photos wearing the sombrero!


Thoughts on the project:
I feel much more relaxed now I have caught up. I have set aside Saturday mornings to work on the project and like that I have a dedicated time to enjoy PL.
I can't believe we are up to week 41! Where has the year gone...

14 October 2014

Decorating a student space

After seven years at boarding school and another two at uni, I would consider myself pretty adapt at making a space my own.
I love the challenge of filling a dreary bit of accommodation with my own things to make it a cosy space.


I am so blessed to have a nice big room this year, complete with mantlepiece (I know...) and lots of walls to fill.


Each year I go through my folders and find out all my favourite photos. Most are taken on my big camera however quite a few selfies got in there this year! I then run them through an action on photoshop to make them all black and white. With so many photos in my room I find it can look really busy if they are kept in colour.


This year I wanted to make a 'thing' of the mantlepiece so made a big grid above it of my photos. I like the effect and it also did a good job of covering up all the chipped paintwork from everyone else who has blue-tacked before me!

I also love using frames to highlight special photos. Because I travel quite a distance to uni I order my photos in the correct size beforehand and then buy cheap frames up here. I had big (pun very much intended) plans for this photo of the boy and me and am so pleased I decided to go large.
To me, adding a few frames makes my room far less studenty!


For my pinboard above my desk I tacked string across it and then pegged some instagram pictures onto it. I like using pegs because it means I can change things around easily.


From years of decorating rooms, I brought along a few old favourites. Bunting always works well and I made a few metres with some of my favourite fabrics before term started. I also whipped out the old tuck box and filled it with soft quilts, perfect to grab on the chilly evenings I am sure to have living in student accommodation!



Now I am in my final year I decided to go all 'grown up' and get myself a few houseplants. I often have flowers on my side but went a step further with these .....(insert name of plant here. I think it is a gardenia). I would love any tips you have on keeping house plants. So far they are surviving and I think even flowering so there is hope yet!



I really enjoy the process of decorating a room. To me, it is akin to nesting. I can't wait till I can get my own little place and settle things permanently but for now, my room is home.

And you always have to have a touch of humour.... I call it the 'nude' corner!

9 October 2014

One photo & twenty words



An annual gift from my Godparents. Last year cupboard supplies, the year before biscuits, this year many many sweets! Amazing.
........................................................................................................................................

My challenge for you today. Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here. The link will stay open for a week so you have plenty of time to join in! 

6 October 2014

Me on Monday

Hello Monday


Today I am back to my favourite seat in the library. Right by the window in the history section, trying hard to work but feeling distracted!

This weekend was a train travelling, new room finding, unloading, unpacking, sorting out sort of weekend. It was an old friend meeting, socialising sort of a weekend too.
I am starting to settle back into this final year of uni. getting used to lectures again, walks in the cold, putting on an extra jumper and motivating myself to do my work.
Bring on year three!

What has this weekend brought you.

I'm linking up with Sian today for her fun meme, 'me on monday.'

3 October 2014

Project life weeks 37 and 38

Project life. It's a constant game of catch up around here! 
Part of me loves the catching up process because I can sit with a cup of tea in hand and quietly re-live some of the best bits of the last month. The other half of me is overwhelmed working out photos, and words and when different things occurred! 

This was what weeks 37 and 38 looked like: 



Things I am loving this week: 
The font courier new. Its clean and light and fun and I am using it for most of my journalling. I am also loving using lots of white space with dashes of patterned paper. Definitely the predominant style through this years album and it is making me happy.

Techniques I have tried: 
Nothing too new here. I really wanted to include that square photo booth style print of me and my friend but was struggling to fit it in. I ended up cropping out one side and moving it across the page with the journalling in the middle. I am really pleased with how this turned out.

I also included all of that blog post about my long distance relationship. Although the post wasn't written that week it felt right to pair it with the photos of my time in Oxford with the boy. I don't usually include blog posts but I like that it is a strong focal point on the page.


Photos documented: 
These two weeks really are the best of a project life mix. There were some big moments like my dear friends 21st birthday tea party and meeting up with some lovely faces at the bloggers weekend. There were also some everyday moments to record like painting our bathroom and making a new dress.


Thoughts on the project:
PL can sometimes be a chore for me. I'm happy to admit that. But once I have those memories down I am so grateful that I do. This project is worth so much more than the time it takes to complete each page. Already I am itching to see this year in book form! Not long now...

I am heading back to uni this weekend so the blog may stay quiet while I adjust to being back up North. See you on the other side. 

30 September 2014

Sewing the Wiksten Tova

I'm going to state this now. I never thought I could sew clothes. 
I looked up lots of patterns, I saw others finished results and yet I was convinced that it was too complicated. I knew the theory of sewing pretty well. My mum sewed clothes for us and for herself for many years. I knew how dressmaking worked but I always talked myself out of it. 


When we were in the States I dragged my family around several beautiful fabric shops. The fabric was far far cheaper than in the UK and I realised that if I was to have a go at sewing my own clothes, it would be less of a disaster if the fabric was cheap in the first place. 

I started with a free pattern, the sorbetto top, and when that turned out wearable I progressed on to the Wiksten tova. 
I am about three years late to this sewing party. The tova top/tunic apparently graced the blogging scene three years ago and since then has been sewn up by near about everyone who makes clothes. Thankfully being late to finding the pattern was in my favour because when I came down to making the top, there was a wonderful sew-along that Fiona pointed me to here, as well as hundreds of photos of the finished top. 


The Tova is a simple smocked tunic style top. It can be sewn up as a shirt or as a dress. It looks good on everyone. No kidding, google 'wiksten tova' and I challenge you to find one person it doesn't look great on. 
I decided to make mine 'dress length' but as I am short anyway, I had to lop quite a lot off the bottom! 

To my surprise I found the process enjoyable! The instructions were so clear and came with photos, There were endless online guides to sewing the top up and I realised quickly that, like quilting, dress making just has to be taken a step at a time.  I am beyond thrilled with how it eventually turned out. I sewed my tova in a soft chambray so it was nice and drapey. Sewing the insert (that square piece across the bust) was the most fiddly section but certainly not difficult. 


After sewing two pieces of clothing I am learning that just because something looks tricky doesn't mean it necessarily is. Like anything it looks hard until it's done. Wearing homemade is perhaps equal now in my book to giving handmade! 
I feel that this is only the beginning. Dressmaking, here I come. Blog- watch this space.