20 October 2014

The Handletterer: Stay Positive

Happy Monday everyone! What? The words "happy" and "Monday" don't go together? Well, that's where I change things up.

Last week I was feeling pretty mopey about a lotta things and complaining like the drama queen I am. Fortunately, The Mister put things in perspective for me and reminded me how lucky I am. I doodled this phrase on a post-it note early Friday to remind myself throughout the day to quit complaining. Quite a few people liked it so I thought I'd ink it and digitize it. You can print it out, set it as your background, or pass on the sentiment. Use it as a reminder to be thankful even when work is busy and you're feeling too tried when you come home at the end of the day. Or you know, whatever you're dealing with currently. :) Thanks for stopping by and have a positive rest of the week!

13 October 2014

Weekend Project: A Gallery Wall

Don't worry friends, I'm still alive. I know you missed me but let's be adults and move on. 

I recently found that it's quite helpful to  about my hobbies and interests. Yes, this blog currently serves that purpose but it's a different thing entirely talking out loud and sharing with another human being about my artistic endeavors. These out-loud talks have allowed me to better organize my projects and my time which in turn let me cross off something on my never-ending To Do list! Huzzah! The Mister and I put up a little gallery wall in our living room, and it has since then brought some warmth and personality to our little home. There are a handful of instructions on how to put up a gallery wall, but I found this one** to be most helpful because it gives tips on the design element of a gallery wall. 

For our gallery I decided I wanted mostly photos and not as much art. I also wanted candid shots because I'm not really into the studio portrait kinda photos. It took a while but I finally got the arrangement pictured above (click to embiggen). I arranged the photos and frames to create a sort of symmetry and balance. It really helps to lay out the frames and photos on the ground beforehand as opposed to putting holes haphazardly on your wall.

We didn't have butcher paper or kraft paper and I didn't want to go out and buy some only to throw it away so we resourcefully used our stash of junk-mail advertisements. I used washi tape to temporarily adhere the frame-templates to the wall because it holds pretty well and comes off easily.

It only took one weekend! In reality, it would've taken one day, but I was really particular about selecting  and arranging the photos which took one day by itself. Regardless, it's up and it's done and it's off the list! 

It's been over a year and a half since living in this space and it's slowly looking more home-y. I remember a time when a few friends were over at our place recently and one of them commented, "Your apartment looks like an actual home now." To be fair, the last time he visited was during our first week of moving in and we only had two coffee tables and two bookshelves. A lot of people may think this is all a waste of time because we're renters and we might move in a few months but if I'm going to come home everyday, I'd like it to feel like home. Have a good week and make more stuff!

**link found via Elise Joy

22 September 2014

The Chronicler: May was a good month

May is slowly making its way to the top of my list of favorite months. It's when the weather starts to get a little warm but not too hot. It's when I don't have to work on Saturdays. It's when there's a little more sun and a little more fun. ;) So these pages that mark the beginning of May 2014 make me quite happy because they document happy times.

I used a lot of flowery prints because spring tends to bring a lot of flowers. You might recognize that title card background from another project. First week of May meant more play time with Penny and relaxing at home. It also meant more time for baking! I finally got to try out a recipe for S'mores Brownies I pinned a while ago. I also had more time to exercise and did one session of yoga from the P90x3 series with the brother. It was refreshing!

Our apartment has a small balcony but it's shrouded with trees, which has it's ups and downs. May marks the beginning of slow season at my job so I get to stay at home Saturday mornings instead of working half days. My first free Saturday morning I read an epic novel while drinking green tea. The Mister took the Pup to the vet and brought back donuts. It was a good morning :)

Used some dot stickers to disburse a similar color theme throughout the page. I also like writing little notes or captions directly on the photos in white space with sharpie.

I really like these tiny alpha stickers from Basic Grey. These ones are from the Fact or Fiction collection but they release the same ones in different colors for every set.

I like adding "3D" elements without making the pages too bulky and one method is stitching. I hand-stitched this heart card from Amy Tangerine's Cut and Paste collection with some white embroidery floss.

I also use machine-stitching to make sure alpha stickers stay put on the photos. They tend to lose their stickiness over time :/

Usually when a photo has a bunch of colors that don't really mix with the rest of the photos, I convert it to black and white and embellish it with stickers or alphas that match the rest of the page.

So that's the first half of May, pretty chill.  The second is just as good if not better, so stay tuned for that. And now that it's September I realize I'm like four months behind...yikes. Better get on that. Thanks for looking, friends!

I use a memory-keeping system called Project Life by Becky Higgins. It's simple and fully customizable to fit one's lifestyle. You can find my 2014 Project Life posts here and my 2013 Project Life posts here.

15 September 2014

The Baker: Finding the Perfect Pancake Recipe

At the beginning of this year (or the end of last year) I started a quest to find the perfect pancake recipe. Not sure how it started, but it did and now I'm here. I Googled the internets, browsed food blogs, and even tried the back of Bisquick boxes. I must have made stacks and stacks and stacks of pancakes but never was satisfied with any of them. I was just about to give up on this seemingly unreachable quest until I stumbled upon a crazy man and his tattoos. I guess that's how the best things in life happen: they find you. cue dramatic orchestral music. After all the searching and experimenting I'd done in the realm of pancakes, I was weary of Matty Matheson's self-proclaimed "Fluffiest Pancake Recipe". I decided to give the guy a chance since I was on my lunch break and had nothing better to do. The video proved to be entertaining and informative. The methodology was completely different that any pancake recipe I'd cooked before so I was veeeeeeeeeeeery interested to test this recipe. 

It was around midnight but I had a couple of guinea pigs who had the munchies so all systems were go. I got to work and had trouble with the first couple because I'd made them too big. But let me tell you. This Matty Matheson--he knows what he's doing. I was over the moon. I was on cloud nine. I found the Holy Grail of pancakes, guys. The search is over. I finished cooking the rest of the batter and served the little stacks to the guinea pigs. They were in agreement. It was a good night. 

Now for some of you, you like your pancakes flat and tasteless. That's fine. Some of you like your pancakes rubbery and greasy. That's fine, too. BUT NOT IN THIS HOUSE. We do our pancakes thick and fluffy and cute. So if that's how you like to party, come on over. You're welcome here. If you want to see if thick and fluffy is for you, here's the recipe. Here's the video. Fair warning: the video would probably be rated R, and the recipe itself, probably PG-13.

 I would have totally illustrated the recipe for you guys like last time, but I realized I don't like illustrating recipes. It sounded cool in my head at first but I just don't find any joy in drawing out ingredients and cooking steps. I much rather spend time baking and eating. Just being real here. So you guys get my edited photos and links instead. Delicious links. Let me know what you guys think about the pancakes. We can still be friends if you don't like 'em! 

09 September 2014

The Faux-tographer: A roundup of photography cheatsheets

As you might be able to deduce, I take lots of photos. But a boatload of photos does not a photographer make, i.e. "selfie" culture. Despite me not being a professional photographer, I have a hobby of researching the latest camera. I've never owned a DSLR (digital single-reflex lens camera) but I've gone through enough point-and-shoot cameras to know that I have a problem (the problem is losing cameras). My point-and-shoot cameras had always automated the camera settings for me. Hence, the name. You point your lens towards your subject and you shoot. There are now cameras the size of their point-and-shoot sisters with manual settings called compact cameras. I've had two compact cameras but never got around to learning how to properly use one, so I tried researching tutorials on how to use my specific camera and manual settings in general. The articles were long. And I felt stupid. So I Googled cheat sheets instead. Would you like some cheat sheets and tutorials? Of course you would!

Ok so the first one actually is a step-by-step process for a DSLR. But the article was very simple and easy to understand and I think it still is applicable for my compact camera.

This article breaks down the three elements of exposure in photography. The font on the cheat sheet is pretty small but I thought the graphics were quite informative.

This sheet has about the same information as the one above, with additional charts regarding shooting modes and white balance. (Also, the website is in Spanish, but the actual infographic is in English)

I like this sheet because it gives examples of situations where you would use certain settings. It also briefly mentions photo composition.

The website calls this a cheatsheet but it's really an article. It explains the different shooting modes, different focal lengths, and even what to do after you take a photo. 

If you have any other easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles/books/tutorials on photography or your own tips/tricks, I'd love to read them :)