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.



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


The skin on my finger, I obviously need lotion!

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!


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.



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 ūüôā then check out this tutorial. It really is great.


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 ūüė¶


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.


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.


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.


Next do the same thing with the white eye dropper.


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.


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


Now isn’t that so much better?!


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.

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.

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. Give them food, water and shelter.
9. Buy a pre-paid gas card for someone.
10. Donate blood.

A quick paper bird hanging sculpture tutorial

Make a lot on using different papers and hang at different heights. You will have your flock of birds.

Animation Tutorial

First I am not an expert by any means. I just know a little bit from trial and error and lots of reading. Lots and lots of playing around. I hope you will give this a try and have fun with it. Most of all I hope it actually works for you!

I am using Photoshop cs5 but it works pretty much the same with earlier versions. How early I don’t know. Sorry I can’t remember what I used to have.

Open all of the photos you want to use and size them all the same, label and save them.

Open them all up and open a new blank canvas on white the same size as your photos.

Using the move tool, move all of your photos onto the white canvas. One right on top of the other.

Under Windows open Animation. It will open with a photo already in the first frame. In the animation frame click the box for a new frame then click shut all of the eye icons (in the layers palette) except for the next photo that you want to open in the frames. Continue in this manner until you have all of your photos used.  When you click for  a new frame it make a duplicate but not to worry the new photo will take its place.

In the animation frame under each photo you will see 0.sec. click on that and choose which speed you want for each photo. They can be all the same or different. Just play with it.

When you are happy with the timing click save for Web and Devices and save it as a GIF.

Creating a high dynamic range photograph

Using a DSLR camera set it to capture three different exposures using the automatic bracketing setting. A tripod is pretty much a must unless you have the hand steadiness of a bionic surgeon. Wouldn’t that be a robot? After you have uploaded your photos onto your computer, open Adobe Photoshop, click File, then go to Automate. A window will open up, you click browse and search through your files to find the three exposures that you want to work with. Click ok and, sit back and let the magic happen. Well sort of. Your three photos will pop up as one merged photograph with an unusual look too it. Some people like that look. Others insist that this should be adjusted to create a photo as nearly perfect as can be. I like the slightly unusual look with a few adjustments. I think it gives a somewhat old fashioned look to the photograph. You can play around with the sliders individually or use the dropdown box to create a preset look. It’s all up to you, do what you want. Have fun. Below are the three photographs that I used for this example and the finished result.

Keep in mind that HDR is generally used to compensate for poor lighting. However I enjoy using it to create photographs that look somewhat different and in this last example I over exagerted it quite a bit.