Monthly Archives: February 2013

Photo Love : RadLab Giveaway

Hi everyone! You all know I’m kinda obsessed with my camera and I find so much joy in not only taking pictures but “making” pictures too! I love the versatility and endless possibilities available when using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Experimenting with layers, textures, filters and brushes brings me much happiness and I have to tear myself away from the computer at night! Creativity gives me a caffeine like buzz!

Anyway, my latest favorite tool in conjunction with PS is RadLab! It’s a plug-in that works within PS, PS Elements or Lightroom that you download and oh my goodness – it is addictive! It makes editing photos so super easy (seriously) and I love that you can save what you did in a “recipe” and then apply it to another photo. This works out brilliantly when I’m editing photos for the shop and I want to achieve a consistent look. RadLab makes my post-production SO much faster!

I love it so much that….TODAY I’M GIVING ONE LUCKY READER RADLAB FOR FREE!!!! (worth $150.00)  Yah! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment and tell me why you want RadLab. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on March 5th! ***Please be aware that you NEED Photoshop Elements 7 (or later) or Photoshop CS3 (or later) to use RadLab.***

I wanted to share a snapshot I took of Grace last summer. It’s not a great shot by any means but with a little RadLab magic it can become something so much better!

grace first shot

Here is the shot after RadLab…

grace summer touched up

Here is my recipe for this effect:

(if you don’t have RadLab then this won’t make much sense to you, so bear with me.)

{RECIPE: Lights On 100% – Oh, Snap 100% – Punch Out 49% – Contrast 5% – Cool as a Cucumber 70% – Claire-ify 25% – Vario-tone 100% – Iron Mouse 31% – The 600  63%}

Note: I also did some sharpening of her eyes with the sharpen tool and brought more light into her pupils by using the dodge tool.

Voila! A much better pic with better clarity, high-key drama and fresh, crisp color!

Of course, I couldn’t stop there…I went on to do a digital collage piece with this photo. Here it is…Grace helped me and picked out the flower for her hair! :) I’ll show you how I did the digital collage another day.

grace summer collage

Had a blast creating these. I hope this encourages you to experiment with your programs no matter what you may have. PicMonkey is a fun, free editing tool to learn on and Photoshop Elements can be purchased for under $80.00, (which is a steal compared to Photoshop) but offers plenty of power to get creative with your shots. Oh and the fabulous folks at RadLab gave me this 15% off coupon code just for my readers! Enter – GRACEANDIVY  at checkout.

Now go play!

xo,

***Full disclosure – I do get a small affiliate cut if any of my readers buy RadLab, just so you know. However, I am promoting it because I truly LOVE it and not for the money. This is the first time I’ve ever had an affiliation with any online product or business.***

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Filed under Art, Digital Art, family, giveaway, Photo tips, photography

Favorite Things: Sheer Addiction Jewelry

Hi there. Look, I know I’m not supposed to be window shopping online…there is laundry to be done, the kitchen is a disaster… but how can a girl help it when this lands in my inbox…

beaded_34

Gorgeous! Tamara Schafhauser is the brilliant designer behind Sheer Addiction Jewelry. An amazing line using vintage and antique pieces from around the world to build exquisite compositions of metal, jewel and found objects. Religious medals, old coins, vintage crystals and other unique baubles add such depth and story to her creations. I want!

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Layers of history, charm and luxury. What a fabulous blend!

sheer addiction

This little guy is a favorite of mine.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 2.16.21 PM

Her beautiful trio necklaces can be worn together or separate for some lovely versatility…here are two stunning examples!

trio 1 trio 2

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest

Go check out the wonderful shop for yourself, Tamara’s blog is enchanting too! So much inspiration!

Have fun perusing all the treasures to be found…

xo,

All images via Sheer Addiction Jewelry.

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Filed under Art, fashion, favorite things, Shopping, vintage

Etsy Love: Pastels

Hello lovelies! Hope your week is going well so far. I gathered up some pretty Etsy treats to get your excited for the approach of Spring. I adore Spring and pastel hues always remind me of all the beautiful flowers about to bloom and the soft sunlight peeking through the gray…

Pastels for Spring with numbers1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6| 7 | 8 | 9

Go make a cup of tea and enjoy browsing these lovely shops.

xo,

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Filed under Art, Etsy, Paris, photography, Shopping, vintage

Some exciting news…

Hello there. How was your weekend? Ours had everything typical of a weekend including, pizza, thai take-out, a kids birthday party, sleeping in (not) and pancakes. Not exactly exciting, but fun anyway.

I have some exciting news to share with you today. On March 1st, Somerset Apprentice will hit store shelves and little ole’ me will be featured within its inspiring, art filled pages! I feel so lucky and humbled to be included among such wonderful artists!

somerset apprentice 2013

One of the projects I did for Jeanne Oliver‘s class – Creatively Made – will be outlined in detail with a helpful DIY guide that will walk you thru the steps to create a vintage journal. I can’t take credit for the idea, since Jeanne masterfully taught the lesson within her e-course but I was very pleased with the process and the outcome. It was a joy to build this romantic book. You can check out the full post here.

vintage journal collage

So, I hope you will check out the latest Somerset Apprentice. If you have never read the magazine, it is bursting with creative ideas and projects – many by very successful and well known artists – all laid out with guides to their processes! Brilliant! It’s a must read if you need to fire up your artistic side!

Thank you again, dear readers, for all the support and encouragement you have given me. I will always be grateful.

xo,

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Filed under Art, Crafting, magazine features, News, photography, Stories

Up for the challenge…

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. I come to you today excited about possibility, learning and expanding! Even though I am exhausted from a night up with my poor teething, Claire – I am thrilled at some of the new things I’ve been trying lately!

First of all, I am super excited to let you know that I just signed up for Blog Boss – a new e-course with Holly Becker from decor8! I took her first course – Blogging your way – a couple of years ago and it taught me so much! This next one looks to be amazing and I can’t wait for class to begin. There is still time to enroll – check it out here.

8488219001_66bd99db2d_oLately, I am trying to expand my photography knowledge so I’ve been dabbling in portrait photography. I know you have all seen my attempts with my children but recently I’ve been taking pics for friends and it has been quite the learning experience. I have such respect for those professional photographers out there that do portrait work. It is a true art! My latest subject was my neighbor, Taryn Emerson. She is such a fantastic friend and an incredible interior designer too! She asked me to take her portrait for her website (in production) and online social profiles. I agreed. So, last Sunday, I handed over Clarie to my hubby and off I went down the street with my trusty camera, in the hopes of capturing my friend and doing her beauty justice! The overcast sky provided the perfect, softly filtered light. We jumped around from her place to mine, outside, inside, front yard, back yard…but ended up with this as our winning shot!

Taryn b & w touched up2

Some of our other attempts…

PicMonkey Collage taryn 2

Taryn was a great sport and put up with all my amateur-ish mistakes. In between giggles, she was poised and patient.

It is so wonderful to have another creative buddy right in the neighborhood and she is always encouraging. She likes to challenge me too…which is a rare gift in a friend. Since I have been avidly taking pictures, she suggested I shoot her gorgeous designer kitchen for her portfolio too. I balked at the request, insisting I knew nothing about interior photography and how we would probably have to rent lights and wide angle lens. She rolled her eyes and said, “Oh come on, let’s just try it!” So over a bottle of wine that night, we styled the entire kitchen and shot it the next morning…

kitchen 4 touch up

It was so much fun dusting off my interior design skills to style this lovely space and collaborating with another designer is something I have missed! When we started the shoot it was dark and gray outside and I was doubtful that the light was sufficient but like a sweet gift, the sunshine broke through the clouds, spilling light into the room. We scrambled to move Taryn’s heavy kitchen table so we could let the shadow of the window unfurl onto the warm wood floor.

kitchen2 touch up

kitchen 3

All in all, we were both pretty pleased with ourselves and I learned a lot! There is nothing better than the feeling of meeting a challenge, especially a creative one. So don’t limit yourself, expand your creative gifts – sure it can be a little scary and you might even mess up but one thing is for sure – you will learn and you will grow – and that is worth it every time!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo,

***Check out more of Taryn’s beautiful interior design projects here and like her new Facebook page here.***

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Filed under decorate, Home, interior design, News, photography, Stories, Styling

Guest Post: Vintage Dressers & Chests

Hello, everyone! It’s Mari here from Arcadian Home blog, a wonderful place to find lots of decorating inspirations, including all kinds of lovely lighting fixtures from ornate torchiere lamps to massive crystal chandeliers. I am so happy to have the opportunity to visit Grace & Ivy with a guest post about appealing vignettes that show off the beauty of vintage dressers and chests.

Today, I’ve brought along eight images to inspire you to continue to explore the possibilities of giving new life to one or more of the many vintage chests and dressers just waiting to be discovered at a local garage sales, flea markets or in family attics and basements. Please enjoy!

Vintage Vignette

Our first vignette is the focal point of this all-white bath up under the rafters. This antique piece has been transformed with a glossy white paint finish and deep contemporary vessel sinks. It’s quite charming with a vintage floor mirror and cherub pendant light.

Vintage Vignette

An ornate bombe chest gets a new life with coats of chalky white paint from those cute little feet to the swirly metal drawer pulls. What a perfect baby shower vignette that includes a charming collection of DIY cake stands and gorgeous dessert offerings!

Vintage Vignette

Even a broken vintage dresser can get a second chance at life in a guest bedroom. The “shelf” left behind by a missing drawer becomes open storage for extra towels. Lots of table decor (read found objects) add to the dresser’s worn charm.

Vintage Vignette

A small vintage vignette atop a distressed gray chest fits in beautifully with a charming wall gallery and metal pendant lights at the top of the stairs in this country home.

Vintage Vignette

A beautiful focal point is created in this farmhouse kitchen by pairing a vintage chest turned marble-topped work island with a glorious crystal chandelier. It seems even Mr. Dog appreciates great design.

Vintage Vignette

A vintage chest stripped down to its bare wood, lovely little arm chair and interesting side table create a stunning corner vignette. I am a big fan of contemporary lamps, but have never seen one quite like this tabletop beauty I’m quite smitten by its unique design.

Vintage Vignette

Quirky little “decorative accessories” add a sense of fun to this vintage vignette. How cool is the look of an oversize swing arm floor lamp as it appears to inspect the sprouting bulbs atop the repurposed map chest?

Vintage Vignette

Even a distressed chest deserves one last chance to shine. This aging beauty with peeling paint is perfect in an appealing outdoor vignette. What a pleasure it is to see vintage pieces that have served well for many years still being enjoyed well past their prime!

What do you think of these vintage dressers and chests? Leave us your thoughts below and be sure to stop by our website for more home decor, lighting, and inspirations!

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

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Filed under decorate, Guest Post, Home, interior design, photography, Pretty Rooms, Shopping, Styling, vintage