February 21, 2010

Creating Silhouettes

This time next week I will be blogging from the Upper East Side. Yep, that's right I'm moving and that means I'm going to write a lot of posts on decorating! Well, I FINALLY decided on my design scheme for my bedroom. I went back and forth because I love so many styles, but I'm thrilled to announce that I'm designing a Victorian bedroom. I chose Victorian style because it's just so pretty and inviting. It's also feminine and luxurious which works well for a female bedroom. A Victorian room would not be complete without framed silhouettes. They are classic and striking and very inexpensive to create. Here's how to make them.

Photoshop: If you have Photoshop here's what to do...
1) Take a profile picture or a picture of a object, preferably on a white background.
2) Open photoshop and select the background for removal using the wand tool. Once highlighted, go to edit and cut.
3) Go to image and select adjustments and then desaturate to remove all of the color.
4) Go to adjustments and select brightness/contrast. Both lower the brightness and increase the contrast.
5) Use the paint tool to fill in black where necessary.
6) Save your image, print and frame!

Internet Images: You can use ready made silhouette images from the internet...
1) Google "silhouette images" to find royalty free images that are already black with a white background. Right click on the image, click edit and copy to copy the image. Open a word document and click edit and paste so you can adjust the image size, print and frame!
2) Try istockphoto.com to purchase images from a greater selection bank for a small fee. This gives you the right to the images and the selection is stellar. Once the file is purchased add it to a word document, adjust the size, print and frame!

Try clustering a bunch of framed silhouette images on the wall for a beautiful look. Vary the size and shape of the frames, and stick with antique style frames for a most authentic look. (I'm going to do this once I get into my new place so stay tuned for the result!) Here are a bunch of silhouettes I am using for the project. All of the images were printed on ivory colored cardstock. So pretty, right?!


February 10, 2010

Scratch Off Paper Embellishments

Still making cards over here... haha well, it's a snow day so I have the time! I used this scratch off embellishment product on several of my cards and envelopes today. My friend Kristen purchased it for me as a birthday present, she knows me too well! I gave it a whirl and it was fun and easy and the embellishments look great!

The scratch off embellishments can be purchased at any craft store. Just place the clear paper with the embellishment on the surface of your card and scratch away with a popsicle stick. When you lift up the clear paper the design will come off of the clear paper and right onto your card! I love it and it's fool proof so it's great for kids too.


Handmade Valentine Cards

Today in New York City it's the snow day of all snow days. The schools are closed and my work is even closed, wow! This morning when I peered out my window to watch snowflakes fall and see just one car move slowly down the street, I couldn't help but feel delighted that today I was going to take time to make my valentine cards and no one was going to convince me to leave my cozy little apartment for any other plan.

Valentine's Day is the best holiday to make handmade cards. It's a holiday about spreading warmth and love and handmade cards seem especially appropriate for this holiday. At Springside School, during my lower school years, we had a tradition where each student had to hand create a valentine for each girl in the class. On Valentine's Day we would take turns and hand out our creations. It was one of my most favorite things to do and it's proof that your true passion exposes itself very early in your life. Today, as I made valentine cards, I felt reminiscent of my years in lower school making handmade valentines.  I am sooo thankful for this wonderfully white snow day!

I hope my cards inspire you to make a few handmade valentine cards this year. Even if you don't normally make handmade cards, this is your chance to try. They are truly heartwarming!


February 7, 2010

End Zone Brownies

It's Superbowl Sunday and naturally my roommate Kate and I are having a few friends over for football. We have chili, dips, chips and snacks galore and best of all... we have end zone brownies! They are easy to make and super cute to display. Just use a simple boxed brownie recipe, whip up some colored buttercream frosting and go to town decorating. Here's the frosting recipe and other things you'll need:

-Store bought brownie mix
-Rectangular pan
-Buttercream frosting (2 sticks unsalted butter, one teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of salt and 3 cups confectioner's sugar all whipped with a hand mixer)
-Food coloring to color the frosting
-Frosting piping bag and small piping tip

Bake the brownies as directed in a rectangular pan, let cool and make your colored frosting. Use the colored frosting to decorate your heart away! How cute are these? (Now please note that I ran out of space for the 20 and 50 yard lines haha, but hopefully no one will notice and they won't care once they take a bite because these are deeeelicious!) Go Saints!


February 1, 2010

Just Like New!

Hold on a sec, are you sure you want to throw that away? Recently I decided that I wanted a new winter coat. There was nothing wrong with my old coat but I was itching to get a new one to wear. After browsing the pathetic looking sales racks, my guilt set in and I decided against buying a new coat just to satisfy the itch. Instead, I decided to make my wool coat feel "new" by simply changing the buttons. I ran over to the button district here in New York and there was SUCH a selection of buttons. To my delight I found exactly what I wanted. Off to the tailor I went with my old coat, new buttons and a smile.They charge only $2 to change a button so I decided on that route... I mean who can be bothered with needles and thread? (Sewing is one thing I do NOT do!)  My coat looks brand new and several friends have complimented me on my "new" coat, haha fabulous!

The coat story inspired me to share a few fun ideas on making something old feel just like new!

-Clothing: Shorten an old long skirt, have a pocket added to pants or have an embellishment sewn on a top... your tailor can do just about anything you desire.
-Home decor: Add a fresh new pillow to your couch or a new lampshade for an old lamp.
-Monogram: Bring a new identity to an old sweater, fabric bag, pillow etc.
-Upholstery: If it's just a simple seat cushion you can easily upholster it yourself with some new fabric and a staple gun. Ottomans are also easy to do yourself.
-Furniture: Paint an old coffee table a bold new color or decoupage a wooden frame for a new unique look.

There are so many ways to make an old item feel just like new. Before you replace it, consider what you could do with it to just love, love, love it again. You'll be so proud of yourself!
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