Category Archives: Tutorial

Macro Lens Hack for iPhone

No I didn’t think of this myself, I saw it somewhere but I can’t remember where. Maybe one of your blogs. If so thanks, it’s cool to play with.

Take a laser pointer light thingy and remove the lens. The lens on mine was very small. I would like to find a larger one. You will need tape and a bobby pin. Use the bobby pin to hold the lens in place over your phone’s camera lens and tape over the bobby pin.

picture-of-laser

picture-of-lens

This is a piece of cloth that I was working with and below is a macro of it.
purple-regular

purple-up-close

The skin on my finger, I obviously need lotion!
skin

I did find it extremely difficult to hold this still enough to get a good image. Go ahead play around and show us what you get.

I Made a Neck Tie!

Necttie-2-for-blog

Since my mom passed away last month I have been sewing a lot. Something she tried to teach me when I was young but it didn’t go well. Now I have sewn a neck tie. I feel so accomplished! I had never even thought about sewing one. It’s one of those things you just buy in the store. I made this one for my grandson because at my mom’s funeral someone admired his tie. He told them it wasn’t a “real” tie like theirs because it was a clip on. So grandma to the rescue! I just happened to find this great tutorial by Molly over at The Purl Bee.

Necttie-for-blog

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The fabric was 9.99 a yard at Hancock Fabrics and of course I had to have a yard. Well only because I am new to sewing and had no idea what I was doing. The fabric was not 54 wide as was called for. So I had to draw the pattern out double and then lay it flat to cut it instead of cutting it on the fold. So now I have enough fabric to make my nephew one also.

Great Hula Hoop Tutorial!

This is a really great Hula Hoop Tutorial for people like me who actually can not Hula Hoop. Yes it’s true I am Hula Hoop challenged. I guess I didn’t play with mine enough as a child. If you want to give it a try and just can’t keep it up :) then check out this tutorial. It really is great.

me

Taking a Photograph from blah to better!

This is my Ru Ru. Well she isn’t exactly mine. She belongs to my son but she has no idea that she is not one of my grandchildren. She thinks that I go over just to see her. Her real name is Rudie but I often call her Ru Ru. I spoil her. Whenever I babysit her I take her for a ride in the car which she loves. Last time I watched her I took her for several walks and a ride in the car. I even sneak her up on the couch with me sometimes. Ssshhhh don’t tell her mom and dad. That isn’t allowed at her house :(

Rudie-1

As you can see this first photo is a little blah. Using Photoshop we are going to use the content aware tool to remove the water hose that is behind her head. So we begin by using the marquee tool to make a selection around part of the water hose. I don’t go all the way to her head because it will pick up from that. Next go to Edit > Fill > Contents > Use > Content Aware. Blending Mode, normal, Opacity 100%. And like magic the part of the photo that you don’t want disappears.

Rudie-content-aware1

Then I used the clone tool to clean up the rest of the small bits of the water hose that were close to her head.

Rudie-content-aware-2

Now we can work on perking things up a bit. Under Image go to Adjustments then levels. First use the black eye dropper to pick out the darkest part of your photo. I used Rudie’s nose.

Rudie-sample-1

Next do the same thing with the white eye dropper.

Rudie-sample-2

Next use the gray eye dropper. This one you may want to click around on various shades of gray in your photo until the overall color is what you think it should be. Sometimes what you think you should click on isn’t going to work. Do this a few times and you will see what I mean. The first time I clicked on the white part of her chest that was near the bottom sort of shaded. The photo was still to dull. Then I decided to just try clicking on the silver part of her black collar and I knew that was where it should be.

Rudie-sample-3

I always use the dodge tool set to about 12 to highlight the sparkle in the eyes and the iris as well.

Rudie-eye-highlight

Now isn’t that so much better?!

Rudie-finished

How I Made The Watercolor Of Luna

I found the photograph that I thought I had deleted! So now I can show you the process. I started by tracing all of the shapes and shadings in this photograph using my Wacom Tablet.

Then I printed the tracing out and retraced it the old fashioned way to get more detail. I am not happy with the way my tablet is working but I hate fiddling with the settings. It’s old so maybe I need a new one. This way works for me so no big deal.

Then I used these watercolor lessons for the first few steps, the eyes in particular. I started with the eyes unlike the lessons.  And the black part is too large but better luck next time around. I am just learning after all.

Then I blocked in the ear and started laying light colors that I gradually built up over time.  This picture is about the halfway point.

Many times when I thought it was finished I would find something else that needed more attention.  After I uploaded it too the blog I noticed the top and bottom eyelash area and was not one hundred percent happy with it but I really feel as at this point I should not do anything else. It’s done.

Water Color Painting Tips

Today while I was working on this painting I made a mistake on Miss Kitty’s head. I tried to add more too it and it ended up becoming a big blob that looked nothing like a cat. I thought I was going to have to live with it but that is not the case. I am finding that water-color is very forgiving. So I used a small piece of paper towel to blot up the excess liquid sitting on the piece then I dabbed my brush into the green paint picking up just a very small amount with more water than paint and really rubbed it around in the area that needed fixing. It diluted the small black space and removed it in just the right size and amount to make kitty’s head look just like it should. I was so relieved.

I was brave and just painted kitty in without drawing her first. If you think about the shape, it’s just an oval sort of, then a tail which anyone could paint. Then a round bit for the head and two or two and half pointy bits for the ears. Also a little smudge bit for the back leg.  And a collar for the cat. See very easy!

Right at the end of the red arrow is where the big blob of black paint was. I had no idea that it would really work but I had no choice but to take a chance. Sometimes you just have to try it! It might work.

Of course the kitty in the tutorial looks nowhere near as good as the first one! The neck is too fat. But still you get the idea, it really isn’t all that difficult. Give it a try.

Quick And Easy Window Dressing

I made this quick and easy window dressing for the larger window in my kitchen. My house is most definitely not formal at all. Some things are even put up temporarily, just to see what I think about them.

I like bright colors and whimsy.  I’m not at all above decorating using kids toys. Who doesn’t like toys?!  Why do we have to hide our inner children? I can play too. Or at least look at fun things that make me smile.

So here is a curtain that I made and threw up in a jiffy. My kind of timeframe.  I used iron- on hemming tape, probably the wrong way but it worked for the purpose, a babies teething ring and super glue.  Yes I have moved on from staples and duct tape to super glue. Works great when you don’t get it on your fingers or in your eye!

I had this really long piece of material that my daughter left here many years ago and I just rediscovered it in a drawer.

I super glued the curtain to the window frame (a tiny bit) because I couldn’t find a little tiny nail.  You can do things like that when you have an old crappy house.  Then I super glued the teething ring to the bottom of the window sill and to the curtain behind it to keep it in place.  If I decide in a few months that I want to replace it I will just take it down and paint over the chipped paint.  See I told you, quick and easy window dressing. And fun! Makes me smile anyway.

I call it my Happy Curtain.  Go ahead let your imagination go. Look for something you can use in an unusual, creative and unexpected way, something that will make you smile.

Space Blanket and Altoid Tin Survival Kit

This is a good idea to have on hand for any number of emergencies. Of utmost importance in some emergencies is keeping dry and warm and this thin blanket fits the bill without taking up a lot of room. In this Youtube video that I watched this blanket fit into the lid of an Altoid’s can.

I have been fascinated to see all of varieties of Altoid Tin Survival Kits. It is very interesting to see who uses what and why.  There are always the basics but then it can be personalized as you wish. It could be fun challenge to make one of these kits. I started mine last night and then realized that the particular one I made was not specific enough. I was mostly playing around and looking for things that would fit and could be used in some way but after thinking about it  I would like to figure some more practical items that are not quite so at the worst case scenario end of the spectrum. Sure there could be a time when one would need to contribute any kind off odd item for who knows what reason but I want items that are more immediately useful. I would keep most of what I have in there now but add too it. Things like bandaids, cough drops and orajel.

In the light of day now my quest is too find things are a little more practical. So what would you put in an Altoids Tin Survival Kit? Remember you can go from one end of the spectrum from full on doomsday situations to slightly less dramatic emergencies such as temporary displacement.

I encourage you to go to Youtube and watch as many as you can stand to get some ideas, to think about what might work and what wouldn’t work for you. And remember it’s probably a good idea to have one for each car and your purse (for ladies), sorry men you are on your own.

If nothing else it is a fun creative exercise.

P.S. The flat cell battery can be used in conjunction with a tiny LED lightbulb to make a flashlight. It would be about the size of your pinky, maybe smaller.

I am also going to add electrical tape and duct tape to my tin.

Ten Ways To Make the World a Better Place

1. Smile for a stranger and say hi.
2. Hold the door open for someone.
3. Allow someone to go ahead of you in a line.
4.Turn your music down.
5. Surprise a few children with a new backpack full of school supplies.
6. Cut someone’s grass for them.
7. Pass out cold water bottles to homeless people where ever you see them.
8. Help a stray dog or cat. Some food, water, your house.
9. Buy a pre-paid gass card for someone.
10. Donate blood.

Solar Light Recycle

Quite a few years ago I discovered this old lighting fixture at a thrift store. It so reminded me of a giant pop light! I had to have it even though at the time I had no idea where I would use it. True to form it has been living under the bed until I was ready to work with it.

I took the lid off and removed the old bulbs, wearing gloves and glasses of course.

I had done a practice run with the solar lights the night before and it worked, that’s why you see them in the base already.

The lights are just the tops of those little poke in the ground solar lights that are popular for lining patios and driveways.

 

The red, white and blue themed ones are the cheapest and since it doesn’t matter what color they are or you can spray paint them those are the ones I bought. I just sat them in amongst some of the old bulb clips and wires for the time being. I will be going to get a few more, then I will hot glue them into place at an angle. I suppose they could just lay on their sides and would work just as well.

Here is the finished product at night working as it should. I will however as I said before need to buy a few more solar lights.

You probably can’t tell very well from the photo but the light is about fifteen to twenty inches across. I love the sort of space ship look it has. I think a kid would have a great time playing with it on a warm summer’s night.