Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snowflake Bokeh

We are members of the Publix Preschool Pals program. Basically they send us newsletters and coupons in the mail sporadically. Sometimes they include a little gift for the preschooler in the house. This is the gift we received. 


At first I thought they were 3D glasses. What would we need those for? I finally read the fine print on the inside of the glasses. Main point: Put on, look at christmas lights. So I did. It transformed the lights into Snowflakes. First thought, How FUN! Next thought, can I capture this on camera? See for yourself.


So pretty! I could stare at that all night. I will be posting this pick to the I Heart Faces Holiday Bokeh photo challenge, just because it is so fun. I also came across a tutorial on their website where you can do this without the fun glasses. 

Before I go, a quick pic of my tree, in it's original form. 


www.iheartfaces.com

Photoshop Fun

I recently downloaded the 30 day trial for Adobe Photoshop CS5. Let me tell you, I am in LOVE! I have been an avid Elements user for several years, but wanted to check out all the bells and whistles CS5 had to offer. There are so many, I doubt I will be able to play with them all in 30 days (or 26, as I was reminded when I opened the program today). All I have really played with is editing photos, which, to me, goes much smoother in CS5 than Elements.

In order to learn all the ins and outs of Photoshop, I have been watching and reading lots and lots of tutorials. There are so many fascinating things I can't wait to try. There is one tutorial I came across that I immediately sunk my teeth into; Creating Vector Style Illustrations in Photoshop. Have you ever seen a blog with an illustration (like a woman on a laptop) in it's header? I think those are so adorable. When I went searching for those images, I found out they were for sale...for a pretty penny. Too rich for my ever shrinking budget. So I wondered how hard would it be to make my own. I have zero drawing skills to speak of, so sketching was out of the question. After spending some significant time searching the internet, I found the aforementioned tutorial. Instead of creating the character from scratch or a sketch, you use a photo as your baseline. Genius.

Here is the photo I used:

Here is my first attempt at making a character illustration of myself:

I have a few things I need to work out. The nose was the hardest part for me (which still looks huge off to me). If you read the tutorial, you will see I skipped a few things, either because I didn't like the look or couldn't quite figure out how to get it to work right. All in all, I am quite pleased with the final result, especially for my first time. I have already started on one of my daughter. Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Perfectly Pleated Clutch

I am a bit ashamed of myself for not blogging, even once, since I began this blog. I had such high aspirations for Creations By Kera. Unfortunately, life just got in the way. Before this week, I haven't even really worked on any projects on my sewing machine. Eek! I was in a rut. I believe I may have found my mojo again. I am working on some things that I want to try in the new year. I plan to try to organize myself and make some schedules, so I don't fall in the rut again. Hopefully it works. 

Thank goodness for the Christmas season giving me a reason to get back to my love of sewing. Nothing is more satisfying then making the perfect gift for someone you care about. When thinking about what to make for my best friend, Jenn, I was stumped. Really, really stumped. I have been scouring the web and Pinterest for about 3 weeks, but nothing caught my eye. Finally, I turned to my collection of books. As soon as I picked up Amy Butlers Style Stitches, I knew I had found the perfect project. The Perfectly Pleated Clutch. Adorable! I also had all the supplies on hand, which was good considering I waited until the day before it was needed to start making it. 

The Perfectly Pleated Clutch wasn't as difficult as I first imagined. Making the pleats was the most time consuming, but it was very satisfying. I don't know why, but I love ironing fabric. (Not to be mistakin with clothing. Just my fabric.) There are three sizes to choose from. I made the small clutch. All in all, it was a pretty easy pattern to follow. I did change a few things. I used Fusible fleece for my interfacing (it's what I had on hand, and I think it made the clutch feel more substantial). I also used the same fabric as the pleats for the handle. The pattern calls for using the top band fabric for the handle. I wasn't crazy about the look of the handle (reminds me if a tail), so I chose the pleated fabric to help it blend in.  Here are some pictures of the finished product. 






I am very pleased with the finished project. I am still unsure of my fabric choice for the pleats, but it seems to have come together well. Not sure if I will make this particular clutch again. The shape is quite different. However, I will definitely use pleats in future projects. What really matters is Jenn really loved it, which means success in my book. 


Fresh Poppy Design
I linked this post up with Quilt Story, Fabric Tuesday.