Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Texture Tuesday

Kim klassens 'Texture Tuesday'

This weeks challenge is to use at least one Kim Klassen texture and the image should centre around the colour White.
So where's the White in my image you may ask........
Weeeeeeell if you look reeeeeeeal close Huntly has a sweet White arrow on his chest!
That's it, that's all I got!
But it is the ONLY White bit on him so it kinda fits the spec yes? 

 Great Dane, Merle Great Dane, Male Great Dane, Great Dane dog, Black & Grey great dane

Gorgeous aint he!
Meet Huntly, my Great Dane boy and bestest friend in the world (other than hubby of course!).
He's 3 years old and has a typical Great Dane character - lots of slobber! Plus he carries his teddy bear everywhere - so darned cute!

I used a KK texture with this photo and then created a layer mask and erased out the texture on Huntly - that's it!
Oh and added a border.

Thank you to Kim Klassen for hosting Texture Tuesday, if you guys head on over to her website you can see other participants and even have a go yourself!

Linked up to:
'Life with my 3 boybarians'
'Night owl crafting'
'Ginger snap crafts'
'Primitive & proper' 

ColourMe weekly #9

ColourMe weekly #9

I really enjoy taking part in ColourMe weekly over at Rosies Leavesnbloom studio and this week I decided I would Colour up a photograph I took of a drawing done by my artist daughter Leanne.
This Barn Owl image is amazing and is part of some artwork Leanne did for her Advanced Highers in Art, it now has pride of place on a large bare wall going up our stairs.
The Artwork itself is fairly large being A1 in size and is completed using Pastels. The detail is beautiful but unfortunately the photograph does not really do this justice.

 Barn Owl, Owl art, barn owl artwork, bird of prey, bird of prey painting, barn owl painting, barn owl pastel

Fantastic isn't it!
Leanne also did a Snowy Owl with the same medium so maybe one day I'll get that loaded up here too.
Perhaps I'll also upload photographs of our own Birds of Prey including the Barn Owl!

Linked up to:

'Blueberry craft and hobby time'
'My 3 boybarians' 
'Not just a housewife' 
'Lil Luna' 
'Funky Junk Interiors'

Sunday, 26 February 2012

'The key to taking better pictures'.
Please click the link on the right hand side bar.

Please click on link on right hand side bar.

How many of you, like me, own a digital camera but you're so bewildered by all the buttons, settings and modes that you stick it on Auto, shoot away and then deal with the over/underexposed image in your camera software?
And who, like me, is so bewildered by ISO, F stops and shutter speeds in their individual elements let alone how one should be used with the other that instructions fly right over your head and out the window?

Well guys  until recently I too  had come to terms with the fact that 'auto' is just going to be my best friend from here on in - what a complete waste of a DSLR.

So what's changed?

I read an Ebook by Katie Evans titled 'The key to taking better pictures', (click link on right to see it) it's as simple as that.

So why is this Ebook so special and who is Katie Evans?
Katie Evans  began her photography career as an assistant, took the opportunity to be trained by a talented professional photographer and now runs her own small photography business. Her website 'Katie Evans Photography'  is a mine of information, tutorials and workshops suitable for all photography enthusiasts from beginner to professional.

The first thing that struck me about Katie Evans' Ebook was that her style of writing was easy to read and easy to understand, but what I found a real breath of fresh air is that Katie doesn't insist that you need every lens available or a fancy fandangled, multi dimensional, brain of its own Tripod to take professional looking images. In fact Katie takes professional images using 1 of 3 lenses only and doesn't use a tripod at all. 

FStop...............did you shiver?
ISO...................shaking all over yet?
Shutter speed..................... cold sweats now?
Finally I can honestly say that I understand those terms. Plus I am confidently learning how each individual one interacts with and defines the outcome of the other and I cannot even tell you how suprised I am by that. They suddenly seem to make sense thanks to Katie Evans ebook - cool huh!

Over 7 chapters Katie clearly explains the concepts and actions she uses in her own photography and covers everything from those dreaded ISO, Fstops, shutter speeds and all other shooting modes (including auto) to 'Lighting', 'The Shoot', 'Composition' and 'Editing'. All chapters and sub chapters are detailed, clear and very informative.
Just from reading the first chapter you get the feeling that this is a lady who wants to teach you how to take better pictures and that she is more than happy to share her experience and help you to get there and once you have 'got there' Katie then takes you through some of the editing techniques you may still want to make use of.

Before reading this ebook I  spent many a time trying to get a photo of a diary that belonged to my GreatGrandmother detailing her journey to Scotland in the early 1900's, but no matter what I did I just couldn't get the image right. Yes CS5 would do it for me eventually but I want to be able to spend more time taking good images and less time editing them.
Well this is it now:

Well, I know it's still not fabulous BUT the only thing I have done to this in my editing software is to reduce the image size, normally CS5 would have had to rectify everything for me.
The fake flower is a bit naff  as composition is soooooo not my strong point but that pencil is the exact one my Gt Grandmother used so I wanted to get that in the shot. You even get a sense of how pencils were cut to be sharpened rather than using sharpeners as we do nowadays.
If the image looks a bit blurry it's because I used those screw on lens filters that screw onto your usual lens and +1 or +4 or +6 the image. It's a cheaper option than a proper lens but it means you have to focus in a weird way, but at least there is a point of focus there now.

Here's the Lichen that covers all the trees here (apparantly it's a sign of clean air - which I know we have).

tree lichen

Again not perfect BUT all my previous attempts before reading 'The key to taking better pictures' resulted in either under or over exposed images and I just couldn't get the tone right without going RAW and editing it. This has only been edited to reduce the image size.
I'm going to spend some time getting a fabulous Macro image of the Lichen now I have my ebook to help me get it right.
So now I can continue to improve on these new found skills and use them to take better pictures for my blog. Who knows maybe I'll even take something that is printable or could be used in postcards or note books - now THAT would be super cool!

So if you want to improve your photography skills and get the most out of your camera. If you want to take better photos for your blog, your business, crafting printables or even family portraits then you should click the link over on the right, head on over to Katies blog and get your own copy of  'The key to taking better photos'. You will not regret it.

Linked up with

'Somewhat Simple'
'Nifty thrifty things' 
'The Southern Institute'
'My 1929 Charmer
'Under the table and dreaming' 
'Keeping it simple
'Sew can do
'Three mango seeds
'The Girl Creative
'Sew chatty
'I'm along for the ride'

Friday, 24 February 2012

Scrap wood plant labels

It has dawned on me just how many plant labels I use, whether it be in the garden,  in the veg plot or in  the polytunnel.
For the most part I'm happy to use my 'recycled milk container labels' as they're durable and can be wiped clean to use over and over again.
But what if you need something a bit more fancy for say, pots? or the front of the border? Somewhere  plastic just isn't going to do anything for the aesthetic appeal of the blooms you're trying to showcase.

Well how about these:
 wooden plant labels, scrapwood plant labels, plant pot labels
Labelled in photoshop just to show what they can look like.

These are very easy to make from scrap wood so cost nothing more than your time and they look pretty darned good in those pots you've spent time and energy on with planting design.

Quite simply you cut the desired length of stake, cut one end into a 'V' point and cut  a 45degree angle  across the width of the other end, this is for a more pleasing visual angle once the top is attached and the plant name is written on.
A smaller piece is then nailed onto the angled end of the stake and voila!

plant pot labels, wooden labels, wood garden labels

wood garden labels, wooden plant labels, diy garden stakes

Once you have used a permanent marker to label the labels you should then give the whole thing  a coat of sealant or exterior grade varnish. If you need to change the plant name on it at anytime you can sand it down and start again.
Cheap and easy!

Linking up to:
'Ginger snap crafts' 
'Craft junkie too'
'Craft envy'

Thursday, 23 February 2012

EditMe wk8

EditMe Wk8

This weeks image to edit is courtesy of Bree from 'His honey and her mommy'.

Gorgeous ain't it! Such an angelic looking little girl.

Here's my edit:

  • Opened in CS5.
  • Cropped the image slightly. 
  • Then I erm used various 'Coffeeshop' actions (as much as I would like to tell you exactly what I did I can't because I just kept playing with actions, deleting them and then fiddling over and over until I got what I wanted - makes a change huh!)
  • Once I'd done all that I decided this little girl needed to be looking at something because she does look as though something has caughter her eye! Now, I ain't the best Photoshopper in the world and instead of doing what most 'normal' people would do and incorporating a photo of a butterfly I stamped a butterfly!!!! Bizarre huh! Yes I know it looks ridiculously unrealistic and compared to the lovely fairy wings that Squishydoo photography added to her amazing edit it does look a tad........ok alot fake? out of place? but I like it anyway!
Thank you to Bree for submitting the photo and for judging this week.
Thank you also to Branson for hosting this fabulous EditMe challenge.
And Thank you also to all you guys for reading (or at least staying) this far. If you want to edit the image yourself then head on over to the EditMe website and have at it!

Monday, 20 February 2012

ColourMe weekly #8

Originally I wanted to use a photo of my last Great Dane for this weeks ColourMe but no matter how long I spent on the image it just didn't look right so I gave up and went back to floral images - but at least this one has a thorn to it.

 Gorse bush, Whins, Scottish gorse, Gorse flower

This photo was taken recently and believe me it wasn't an easy flower to get an image of.
You see those thorns? Well they're about 2" long and the entire plant is massed with them and just for good measure those thorns will pierce any amount of clothing layers you can throw at it, I've tried!
The plant is a Gorse bush and our land is plastered with them, apparently the founder of our village planted them on his 'plantation' land to feed the cattle in the winter - youch!
I'll admit that Gorse (or Whins as they are known locally) have a beautiful flower with the most lovely scent plus  the seed pods make a funny popping noise when they burst, BUT it's as invasive as the ruddy Triffids and a nightmare to get rid of.
After years of cutting down and burning the stuff we are left with brand spanking new fresh bushes that will grow to a height of 7ft within a few years.
Now we have to get down and dirty if I want pasture land for a horse and we're going to have to Grazon 90 the whole lot, plough it, seed it and constantly mow it until it gives up.
Problem is, this plant seeds prolifically and seedlings are popping up all over the place....... in abundance.

I'm posting this on the ColourMe weekly over at 'Leavesnbloom Studio', why not mosey on over and check out the other entrants.

Linked to:
'Night Owl Crafting'

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Book Review

The Bakers Wife - Erin Healy

Book description:
If what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, why is Audrey growing weaker by the day?

When her husband Geoff, a pastor, lost his job after a scandal rocked their congregation, Audrey never lost faith.

They decide to resurrect a failing bakery as a way to heal family wounds and restore their place in the community.

Running late to the bakery one foggy morning, Audrey strikes a vehicle. Emerging from her car into the fog, she discovers she hit a motor scooter. But there’s no rider in sight. Just blood.

The absence of the driver is a mystery, especially to Sergeant Jack Mansfield, the detective and church member responsible for firing Geoff from his pulpit. The scooter belongs to Jack’s wife, Julie, a teacher at the local high school, who has vanished…like morning fog.

Though there is no evidence to support Jack’s growing suspicion that Audrey and Geoff were involved in Julie’s disappearance, the detective is convinced of their guilt. When he takes the tiny bakery and its patron’s hostage, Audrey must unravel the secret of Julie’s disappearance and her own mysterious suffering before Jack hits his breaking point.

I had high hopes for this book and in parts it didn't disappoint, however there were far too many slow and disjointed parts for my liking especially the ending which seemed rather rushed and out of context with the rest of the book. In fact it almost felt like the author either got bored and wanted to end it quick or just had no idea what else to do.
The character Audrey has a 'gift' that some readers may feel uncomfortable trying to understand, a gift of empathy toward sick people that enables her to 'feel' their pain (is this even a 'gift'?).
For me this 'gift' was the most interesting part of the story and is what really had me hooked from the start.
The main theme of this book is each characters belief / faith in God / religion and showed how the same religious belief can become distorted by grief, ignorance and self importance for some and yet can remain steadfast and a source of strength for others.
While I appreciate religious belief is a personal thing I feel uncomfortable reading a book where a characters entire life and every conversation is a quote from the bible. To me it's an excuse to not have think for yourself.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. The concept of the story is pretty sound and the writing is mostly sound also. The downsides to this book do not outweigh the creativity and aside from the ending and a few boring parts in the middle it's a pretty decent read.

BookSneeze gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

I'm guest posting

This week I am guest posting over at 'Leavesnbloom studio'.

For those of you who are familiar with Rosies blog you will be well aware of the quality within it and so will understand my excitement at being asked to guest post there, especially as this is the first guest post EVER for both myself and 'leavesnbloom studio'.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Rosie and / or her blog you really should head on over there and check it out.
Rosie is a natural gardener highly trained in the Horticulture business, skills that she puts to use within her own garden.
In Rosies own words her blog "is also a journal of the wildlife, flora, fauna and natural history that this area of scenic Scotland has to offer".
Not only is Rosie an accomplished gardener but a fabulous photographer too and her blog has a Fine Art Shop with some amazing images.
'leavesnbloom studio' also hosts a ColourMe Weekly challenge which I luuuurve to take part in and to top it off there's Freebies too - we all love freebies right!

When choosing what to write about for the guest post both Rosie and I decided a more in depth tutorial to my 'Greenhouse space saver' and Milk carton plant labels would be a great idea.

 garden space saver, plastic plant labels, recycled plant pot, craft storage

 plastic plant labels, recycled plant labels, milk carton labels

This tutorial was very popular when I first posted it and so I created a whole new tutorial with step by step instructions and photos for both the space saver and the plant labels.
Plus the finished item is amazingly versatile, not only can it be used as a seedling holder, veg holder, herb holder etc etc but would also make a fabulous craft storage idea for pens, paints, fabrics, beads etc.

So head on over to 'leavesnbloom studio' and let us know what you think. I'd also love to hear from anyone that has had a go at making the space saver.

Linked up to:

'Along for the ride'

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Texture Tuesday

Texture Tuesday.

OK so this weeks 'Texture Tuesday' challenge from Kim Klassen must include one of her textures and should be centred around the theme of happiness.

My entry this week is of a Rose my sister bought for my mum one mothers day. I have fond memories of these Roses because I had just got my first DSLR and I wanted to test it out.
As this was also one of the first times I had used anything other than a point and shoot I was a bit OTT with the water droplets - too eager and heavy handed.
In fact this poor Rose was drenched during my first attempts and had to survive much shaking to dry it out a bit - patience is a virtue I do not possess, no way was the Rose going to dry out naturally.
Happy times!

Rose, Cream Rose, Rose head, Rose photo, Rose image

Edited in CS5 using 2 of Kim Klassens textures set to multiply and soft light and the opacitys adjusted. 
Hard to see the textures I know but they are there - they looked more obvious in CS5 than they do here for some reason.


Linked to:

'Craft Junkie Too'
'The Shabby Nest' 
'Its a hodgepodge life'

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

I promised myself that this year I would be on the ball where my cardmaking was concerned. No more excuses that I can't make them cos my stuff is all in storage, or lack of imagination or the most common excuse, I don't have the materials I need for a particular card.
How long did that promise last? Yup, you got it, let's just say.........not long.

My mums birthday was February 5th and I planned her card for months. I bought a Saturated Canary digi stamp and then took many weeks and mucho money finding a cardstock that would work with my new Promarkers.
I scoured blogs and tried everything from cheap cardstock to more expensive Neenah card and even tried Letrasets bleedproof paper - all of em resulted in the markers bleeding through the edge of the stamps - so annoying!
I got some fabulous advice from many craft bloggers and one lady even sent me a sample of the cardstock she used - bingo, it worked! Problem was I lost her email link and couldn't find her blog to buy the cardstock so I made one last purchase of Rymans coated cardstock that other bloggers had raved about and bingo - wait I already said that, oh well!
Rymans card worked fabulously but now I had another problem. My mother was to be 72 and I was suddenly looking at my digi stamp and realising it kinda wasn't for that age bracket ............ or even close.
By this time I literally had 1 day left to make this card so I decided to give up and buy a card and happily went to bed.
Next morning I felt guilty! My mum has given me some lovely craft goodies, the least I could do was make a ruddy card.
So with just an hour or so to go before we were schlepping up to the town to post it  I went into the craft room and chucked something together. After all that planning, prepping and worrying I chucked something together!!!!!!!!!

It's not brilliant but here it is;

 birthday card, handmade card, popcorn the bear card, ladies card, girls card
 As you can see I didn't use my Saturated canary Ellie digi stamp. Instead I used Popcorn the bear and coloured him in using my Promarkers.
As for the flowers, how awkward!!!!!! Not one of my glues that would dry quick enough would hold those babies down so I turned to my best friend 'Fixsall glue'. I've used this glue for so many things from fixing hubbies digger (yup, the real thing) to making 'these' Roman blinds. I love the stuff!
Not one of my best but in my defence I haven't made cards since Christmas and even those were the first ones in many years and my mum loved it so alls gooooood.
Although after all this pallaver the card didn't arrive on time anyway! A week after her birthday she got  lovely card from the post office saying she needed to pick it up as the postage was low by 12pence! They charged her an extra £1 for the privilege too!!

EditMe Challenge Wk7

EditMe Challenge Wk7

This weeks amazing image is of a "scottish castle on a frosty morning at sunrise with the sheep huddled up around the old stone walls"... and was taken by Rosie of  'LeavesnBloom studio'.
I'm sure you'll agree is a lovely image and if you head on over to Rosies equally fabulous site not only will you find a very productive blog but there is also the popular 'ColourMe weekly' challenge to take part in, tutorials and Freebies - and we all love a freebie - so check it out, you'll love it!

So here is Rosies SOOC

I was having so much fun with the image this week that i actually did two edits.
Here's the first one and my entry for this weeks challenge:

Steps taken (as accurate as I can remember anyways)
  • Opened in CS5
  • Cropped slightly.
  • Converted to Sepia.
  • Adjusted highlights shadows slightly.
  • Added a 'Kim Klassen' texture and set to multiply.
  • Added another 'Kim Klassen' texture set to soft light.
  • Twiddled the opacity and fills on each layer a little.
  • Over sharpened it to add some grain.
  • Flattened the image.
  • Added a Black/White/Black border.
That's the first one but I've just noticed I didn't add the first texture correctly and the postage stamp is subsequently warped. Oops!

Second edit:

Steps again:
  • Opened in CS5 (getting bored of CS5 now)
  • Cropped the image slightly.
  • Opened HDR and basically played until I boosted the colours as much as I dared.
  • Adjusted shadows and highlights a little.
  • Added a White/Black border.
  • Flattened image.

I really enjoyed playing with this image, thank you Rosie.
Thank you also to Branson for hosting this awesome challenge, another fabulous image.

Thanks also to you guys for staying this far. If you fancy having a go at the EditMe challenge then click 'here' or if you want to head straight on over to Rosies awesome blog click 'here'.

Monday, 13 February 2012

ColourMe weekly #6

Leavesnbloom ColourMe weekly #6.

I am fortunate enough to live by the coast and while this location may be in the very Highlands of Scotland (hardly tropical weather conditions) the scenery and especially the Flora & Fauna can be stunning.
Birds of prey can be seen everywhere and we have Buzzards, Goshawks & Tawny owls all in the woodland to the boundary of our land.
But one of the most amazing sights is the seal pups that inhabit the coves twice a year while they prepare for their life in the ocean.
A few years ago we were lucky enough to come across a seal colony only a few miles away and the opportunity for fabulous shots just couldn't be ignored - despite the freezing weather conditions as it was November.
As long as you respect the fact that these are wild animals and keep a suitable distance they can be pretty accommodating and it's one of these images that I chose to link up with Rosies Colour Splash wk.

This guy was pretty happy to photographed from a distance but I made sure that mum was nowhere closeby beforehand as these cute looking mammals can be amazingly vicious if the need arises.
This little guy was made for posing though. I guess he knew we were no threat and he just stayed put, gave me some fab shots and then fell asleep.

Thank you for looking, hope you enjoy the image. Feel free to leave a comment, I love getting them and always respond if a return email address is available.

Thank you also to Rosie, I'm really enjoying these Coloursplash weeks.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Book Review - Ascent from darkness - Michael Leehan

Ascent From Darkness - Michael Leehan

Wow! This book is a real eye opener and is certainly hard to read in places but once started it is hard to put down.
Michael Leehan has a very powerful way of writing and I feel I should warn any potential readers that this book is a very descriptive account of his experiences with Satanism and although the premise of Ascent From Darkness is Mr Leehans fight against Satan and subsequent renewed faith in God, some may find it a very difficult read.

After selling his soul to the Devil Michael Leehan began a journey of satanism and ritualistic killings resulting in him losing his loved ones, his job and eventually his freedom.
Over 20 years Michael honed his manipulation skills becoming ever more fanatical with his belief that Satan was his god and he, Michael, was drawing power and strength from this malevolent idol.
The end result of Michaels journey is quite inspiring. He believes God saved him with the help of his church and he journals the desperate fight of Good versus Evil within himself with much clarity.

This book is a fabulous read if your are strong in your own faith or beliefs and are able to read it and accept it for what it is: Michael Leehans own personal experience of ascending the darkness to bask in the light.
If you feel sure you can do that then I would definately recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, 10 February 2012

Linky Follower Blog Hop

Linky Follower Blog Hop

So I guess we've all pretty much heard about the dissappearance of Google Friend Connect pretty soon and while it won't affect Blogger or Blogspot (for now) I've decided to join up with Linky Friends anyway. Why??? Haven't a clue to be honest, it just seems like the best thing to do - keeping options open and all that!
So you'll find my Linky Friend connect in the bar on the right and I'd appreciate you taking a few minutes to join up and follow.

Now on to the Blog Hop - Or like me do you not know what a Blog Hop is? Well apparantly it is a Linky List that is shared on multiple blogs. because when we all post the linky list code to our blog the exact same list appears on each one. How cool!

Join up to Linky friends and grab the list code here:


1 years FREE online quilting class

1 years FREE online quilting class with 'Craftsy' & Amy Gibson.

I'm new to Craftsy online but I'm hooked with this free interactive class.
It's a FREE online class hosted by Amy Gibson an experienced quilter featured on Moda Bakeshop and Sew Mama Sew.
Here's how the class works: For the first 10 months we'll create different blocks and even learn 2 new funky blocks. Then for the last 2 months we'll be putting the whole thing together to create a fullsize quilt.
As this class is interactive we can ask Amy questions as we go and even interact with the other quilters taking part.
There's no rush to watch the whole thing in one go as once you've joined Craftsy for free you can go back to the lessons anytime you want, plus you have the ability to print out your instructions - cool huh!
And did I mention it's FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

Once you join Craftsy you'll find many other online classes for quilting, Knitting, Crocheting, Sewing, Scrapbooking and so many other crafts, plus fabulous discounts on a range of crafting supplies. So what have you got to lose, head on over to Craftsy, join up and join in.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Editme Challenge Wk6

This weeks fabulous image for editing and judge for this week is Selena from 'Stoneyville' and 'Selena stoney Photography'.
Selena has recently started her own photography business and judging by the images on her site I have no doubt how well this lady is going to do. Go on take a look, you'll not regret it.

This is Selenas SOOC:

Gorgeous ain't it.
Here's my edit:

Here's what I did:
  • Opened the image in CS5.
  • Used a warm filter to help give an early summer evening feel.
  • Cloned out the funky green flare on the sleeve.
  • Added Kim Klassens Organic texture and set to multiply.
  • Added Kim Klassens Simplicity texture and set to multiply.
  • Added Kim Klassens Revolution texture and set to multiply.
  • Played with opacity and fill on each layer.
  • Added text.
  • Added a Black, White and then Black border.
  • Opened curves to deepen the grooms coat colour as the textures had made it look grungy.
  • Done.
I really enjoyed playing with this edit and it's original state was fabulous already. I didn't do any cropping as I didn't feel it needed it so I basically got to just play and see what works.

Thank you to Selena for giving us this fabulous edit and Thank you to Branson and Sarah for hosting this challenge - I love it.

So if you guys would like to have a go or want to check out the other edits then head on over to the EditMe challenge page and don't forget to check out Selenas wonderful blog too.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Pallet wood space saver

I love coming up with solutions for the home and garden that are either space saving or just make life easier for me, so when I come up with something that does both things for me ......... well let's just I would have wet myself if I didn't have a bladder with an iron constitution!
During Spring and Summer I have loads of garden pots full of either veggie seedlings, perennial seedlings or just general plants waiting for their permanent home.
But when it comes to hardening these plants off before they're planted out or just needing somewhere to contain these many pots and protect them from being blown over by the terrible winds we get up here, well it's a nightmare.
The seedlings have to go out each day and come in each night for a short while and the ones that can stay out permanently in their pots were constantly blowing over, so I decided to make something that would make life easier for me, will protect those pots and space save as well.

Here's my solution - no more schlepping about with pots for me!

pallet wood project, garden space saver, garden pot holder

Okay so maybe it's not the most pretty of solutions and it does need another coat of protector but this took me just half a day to make, used up scrap wood and pallets and does the job perfectly.
So how does it work? Well like this

 pallet wood project, garden space saver, garden pot holder

Still not getting it? I mean holding one of those free garden pot holders is hardly a space saver is it! Nope, but this holds Twelve of those free pot holders - more of a space saver now isn't it!

Here's what I did:
  • opened it in CS5 - Oh wait, wrong project, that would be the photography projects I'm doing!
  • Used 2 old pallets to make the sides. These were then attached to a stake I hammered into the ground at one end of each pallet - the other end was screwed to the fence that already existed. (ps make sure both pallets are pretty much the same where the slats are concerned)
  • Then I measured the width of those free plastic pot holders the garden centres give away and placed battens across the top slat from one pallet to the other. I used 3 battens to the top slat and 3 to the bottom. This gave me enough for 6 pot holders to the top and 6 to the bottom.
  • Covered the base with plastic and bark mulch.
  • Stained the wood for protection.
It was that easy. I now have a pallet wood space saver that holds a total of 12 pot holders - 6 in rows of 2 at the top and 6 in rows of 2 at the bottom.
When deciding how many rows you want you do need to bear in mind the height of the plants you'll be putting there, that's why I only have 2 stages to this one - it means I can use the top or bottom for pretty much any of my pot plants.

 pallet wood project, garden space saver, garden pot holder

 pallet wood project, garden space saver, garden pot holder

Obviously it's not in full use at the moment cos all my plants and seedlings are under cover of the polytunnel but come Spring and this will be full of pots and best of all they stay put no matter what winds whip up!
Hope you like the idea and maybe give it a go yourself!


Linked to:

'Show Me What Ya Got'
'The Ivy Cottage'
'Kammys Corner' 
'The Shabby Nest' 
'Finding Fabulous' 
'French country cottage'

Monday, 6 February 2012

More colour and splashes.

So there I am editing photographs so that I can upload some of the projects I've been tinkering with and share them with all you guys and what happens?
I open an image to test out how some Photoshop brushes I uploaded might go with a colour splash and I end up getting so engrossed in it that nothing else gets done - typical! Although I did play around on Pinterest for a while, it's kinda addictive!

So what's a colour splash you may ask.
Well until last week I had no idea either, figured it must be splashes of tester colours stuck all over a wall or something but no it's way more groovy than that.
'Leavesnbloom studio' introduced me to this satisfying photo playabout and basically you open a photo in your image editing software, colour pick a colour and then stamp it using a groovy brush onto a sideboard or any other area you choose. It makes for a very pretty image.
Now I'm new to this so you'll have to forgive the lack of imagination (I'm a straight line kinda gal) but if you check out Rosies blog you'll see loads of imaginative ways of going with this.
You can see my attempt last week 'here'.
Anyway here's my colour splash:

Nifty huh? And there are soooooo many ways you can go with this.
All this was done in CS5 but I think you can do it in pretty  much any editing software.
The brushes I downloaded FREE from 'here'.


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Texture Tuesday

I enjoyed Kim Klassens 'Texture Tuesday' last week so much that I've been itching to give it another go this week.
I'm still new to this texture stuff though and I just couldn't get the effect I wanted on the original image I wanted to use so I kinda had to make it easier for myself and use an easier image - boo me!
Here's the SOOC

 pampas grass, photo edit, Kim Klassen texture, Texture Tuesday

OK when I say SOOC I kinda mean SOOC plus a colour boost, a frame and a watermark - I actually can't find the SOOC because that's how organised I am and I'm thinking I may actually have deleted it - oops!
Now here's my texture edit:

 texture tuesday, kim klassens texture tuesday, pampas grass, photo edit

I added the textures through CS5 and the textures I used were Kim Klassens Organic, KK Musiclovin and KK Simplicity and then I did the most professional thing ever and ............played!
I can't remember what I did to each layer but I basically had the 3 layers set on different effects i.e one was on multiply, one on colour burn and one on........................ see, told you I couldn't remember.
Anyways, after that I just fiddled with opacity and fill on each layer until I got what I wanted and Voila! Done!
Not everyone's cup o tea but each to their own and all that! I personally love the sepia oldie misty kind of groove it's got going on now, hope you do too.

Now, why not head on over to Kim Klassens blog and have a little go yourself or just head on over and check out all the other cool edits?
Thanks for stopping by.