Spotify

A friend mentioned this app to me so I downloaded it, and I really like it so I wanted to share!

Spotify is a free music app where you can listen to music you know but also find some amazing new songs or artists.

There are categories to Browse through but you could also choose to Discover, use the Radio, etc. You can follow artists and create your own stations. I can’t wait to explore the app further!

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You should check it out!

Blueberry Haiku

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Tart yet sweet to bite

Simply and beautifully blue

Fresh gift from nature

We must enjoy the very small things in this world to achieve the balance we so desire in our everyday lives. Choosing this pretty bowl to compliment the berries’ color, carefully photographing them on a well lit and natural surface, and writing the fun little poem above helped me to embrace them. I want to teach my daughter to create happiness from nature. I want her life to be rich with art. I want her to take her time, to look at things around her, and to appreciate simplicity.

Beauty and Brain–2 Small Items

I love sharing things I find with all my readers!!! This is so fun!!….

Here are 2 small and inexpensive items I plan to purchase to enhance my beauty and my brain…

Beauty

This gorgeous necklace by Free People could be “dressed up” or “dressed down”. This pretty little piece of art makes me feel really happy when I look at it; I plan to display it on my chest with glee!!

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Brain

Khaled Hosseini,  the author of one of my favorite books, The Kite Runner, is at it again as he presents his new story…And the Mountains Echoed! According to the descriptions I have been reading, this novel is all about family, love, honor, and caring for one another… Can’t wait for this one!!

I hope this post inspires you to find an item or two to buy and enjoy!! Spoil yourself, just a little. Be appreciative of small purchases, which mean a lot!

Thanks for reading!!!

Photo Editing Tutorial plus an awesome deal I found…

Until 4/26/13, Canvas People are running a deal and it’s awesome!!

Free 8×10 Canvas! Click HERE.

All you pay is $14.95 for shipping. I just ordered mine!

*Make sure you opt out of all special effects on the site to get the deal

Here is a really fun idea for editing your image before you import it…

Step 1: Go to Picmonkey.com

Step 2: Click the “edit a photo” button

Step 3: Select the photo you want to edit (make sure it’s a good quality photo)

Step 4: Once you get to the photo editor screen, select the “effects tab”, it looks like a chemistry flask.

Step 5: Scroll down and select the effect called “Warhol”

Step 5: Select one darker color and one lighter color that would look great in the room in which you will hang your canvas…I chose a gray/blue and pink because those two colors will be in my baby’s nursery…

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Step 6: Click “Apply” when you have decided. Feel free to play with other effects or continue to step 7

Step 7: Click the “save” button and save your image in a place where you can quickly retrieve it.

*If you want to use the photo you just created for your free 8×10 (before 4/26/13) continue to Step 8..

Step 8: Click this link (if before 4/26/13 you will get the deal; if after 4/26/13, go to canvaspeople.com and order a canvas for their regular price)

Step 9: Click “create my canvas”

Step 10: Click “upload my photo”

Step 11: Find and select the photo you just edited!

Step 12: Select free 8×10

Step 13: Select “no frame” and “no effects”

Step 14: Add to Cart and order your canvas!! That was fun!!

Here is my completed canvas:

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Undergrowth with Two Figures– A Personal Favorite!

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Undergrowth with Two Figures
Vincent van Gogh
Painting, Oil on Canvas
Auvers-sur-Oise: June, 1890
Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America, North America

I first saw this piece at the Philadelphia Museum of Art! I was in heaven walking through the Van Gogh Exhibit!!

I am fascinated by Van Gogh’s short but AMAZING career! I am so interested in his mental illness and how it affected his art.

I was absolutely drawn to this painting because it reminded me of my husband and me. I think these two figures only have each other in the big world. Their love is strong and these two are okay as long as they have each other. They are surrounded by beautiful flowers but also a lot of darkness. I love this!

Ironically enough, I encouraged by best friend, Deirdre to go see this exhibit as well (as if she wasn’t gonna go anyway, she is more cultured in art than I am) and when she left she started describing her favorite piece to me; it turned out to be the same one!!

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Some photos of me and my bestie, Deirdre!! She is so awesome!!

Our Cooperstown Vacation PLUS a DIY Tutorial: Create a Simple Watercolor Image from a Favorite Photo

In April of 2010, I took my husband to Cooperstown for what we call a “Minication”, a short vacation to visit  somewhere close to home. I treated him to this vacation for his birthday. He loves baseball so we traveled to Cooperstown to walk through the Hall of Fame. We had a lovely time at the hall of fame along with walking around the town, visiting a local brewery and apple farm, and eating at some of the local people’s favorite restaurants!

Here are some photos from our trip and a short tutorial of how I turned a photo from this vacation into a simple water colored piece. First, a picture of me in Hank Aaron’s locker, next a picture of my husband and I having dinner at Alex and Ika Restaurant, and finally, a picture of my husband’s favorite part of the trip, Doubleday Field!

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and now…

How to turn a color photo into a simple watercolor piece:

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Left: This is the photo I started with, brings me right back to a lovely walk around this small town with my man.

First, I printed this photo to the size I wanted on my home printer. Then I cut the photo out, covered the back with graphite using a graphite pencil, and taped (with painters tape so it doesn’t stick when you want to peel it off) the photo to a piece of water color paper.

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You then use a regular pencil to outline the lines you would like to transfer, peel the photo off the watercolor paper and trace your pencil lines with a thin black marker.

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Use any watercolors you like, I have a cheap set from Michael’s Craft Store, any kind will work, don’t spend and arm and a leg. You can try to recreate exactly but you don’t have to, of course. Just have fun with it! Here is the final product:

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Welcome Home, Creativity

I have been recently reintroduced to the confident, creative part of me that I used to know very well. This part of me moved away for a while; it would come visit or call sometimes to be a part of my life, but was mostly living in a different place. Now, I am thrilled to say that I have invited this part of me back into my world, where it will stay, for good; I couldn’t be happier about it! I plan to learn, practice, and share my creativity with the people around me all of the time!!

I feel that this part of me left because of lack of confidence, distraction, or confusion but I feel that I have had an epiphany! I was one of very few students in my class as a child to test into an advanced creative learning program where I excelled. I was encouraged during this time but my heart wasn’t in it; I am not quite sure why this was and my memory is very faded. I believe it was mostly because I was only 10 years old at this time so I had many interests that I wanted to explore. I am glad I explored the other interests but I wish I invited the creative part of me back into my life sooner than I did.

I have always wanted to please everyone I share anything with; I never felt confident enough to stand alone in a room and defend something I believed in. I wanted to feel approval when I finished something I had been working on; I didn’t think it was “good enough” if I was the only one liked the final product. I still struggle with this but I refuse to let this “good enough” monster keep that creative part of me out of my life. I am choosing now to do my best in creating things that I think are beautiful, share them with others, and take positive feedback as bonuses instead of a needs.

Welcome home creativity!