Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lochlain's photo birth announcement

It seems that others have been inspired by nature this summer as well. Birth announcement orders are coming in that include baby photos that were taken outside. In baskets, on baskets, laying on the grass, laying on a fluffy blanket, surrounded by flowers ... so cute. And here, a photo of a baby in an old, hollowed out tree. Simply divine. I fell in love with the original photo --- what gorgeous colors! -- and was so excited to work with it. Coupled with an apropos poem ...simply perfect.

In this photo, you'll see that I added the leaf (taken from another photo), "removed" the arm at the bottom of the photograph, and positioned the photo to give the best impact. Once I have the baby positioned perfectly within the frame, I work to fit the details in such a way that they add to the photograph, not detract. In design, there can be a fine line between too much and perfect. Part of it is your own aesthetic. I'm not one for overdone. Not in anything really --- I like "just enough" the best. It feels good to my eye. I want everything about your announcement to lead to a simple "wow". I want everything about your design to be simply perfect. There isn't one thing you'd add, or one thing you'd take away. Good design makes me happy!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Luke's photo holiday announcement

I've been thinking about the holidays already ---- I know, I know, it's hard to think of the holidays when it's 95 degrees out at 7:49 pm .... *in the shade* ....but perhaps it is a good thing to think of snow when it is so hot you don't have time to finish an ice cream cone before it is running down the side of your arm.

The 2006 holiday season is right around the corner really; summer flies by. I've been thinking about my new holiday designs. Of course I do my usual custom work for my photo holiday announcement customers, but I also offer a variety of template designs --- designs that I create, and that I can personalize with your information. And of *course* I use my photo restoration and enhancement skills to make your photo look better than you thought it could. Even professional photographers send their work to me to improve!

I pulled one of my favorite announcements of 2005 out --- that is Luke, above. Isn't he so cute? So bright-eyed. I enhanced the photo, adjusted shadowed areas, enhanced his eyes...then decided where to place him in the card. The original photographer did a great job framing him, so I hardly adjusted the original placement at all. Then, to add a bit of "winter" to match the rosy cheeks and wool cap, I added a few translucent snowflakes. Then, the simple details say the important stuff. It's not over the top, it's not frilly. It says what it needs to say, perfectly. As a good design should. That is important to me!

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Saturday, July 08, 2006


I had a follow-up appointment with my bone doctor yesterday. I broke and severely sprained my ankle in April, and am finally almost completely healed. At the doctor's office, waiting for him to arrive, I took my foot out of my shoe, one of those big, awkward Croc shoes, and rolled up my right pant leg. The doctor arrived, gave me a short exam (a couple of physical therapy sessions and I'll be good as new), and I was on my way. I slipped my foot into my Croc and took off.

Already being downtown, I thought I'd make a few short stops. Pick up printing, run by IKEA. Well, it seemed to me that people kept looking at my feet. I assumed they were checking out my Crocs, which have been a source of conversation wherever I go. Why? Well if you're not familiar with Crocs, they are a rubber-like shoe initially intended for boat/outdoor use because of it's non-marking, no-slip sole. And I find them adorable in their utter only-their-mom-could-love-them way. Did I mention they are incredibly comfortable? I bought a pair a month ago. Since then, I have had several Croc encounters. Waiting for an elevator: a group of women saying "Oh you have those shoes! I hear they are so comfortable but they are just so ugly!" What a way to hurt a mom's feelings. A young girl: "Oh you have those shoes! Everyone at school is wearing them!" I am nothing if not trendy. The woman shopping organic produce: "Oh don't you just love those shoes! I just bought my latest pair...". And so it goes. So naturally, when I caught people looking down towards my feet yesterday, I assumed they were admiring and/or fearing my Crocs.

But back in my office, sitting at my desk, I realized my right pant leg was ... yes, you guessed it ...still rolled up. I am nothing if not trendy.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Tell me what is better than a vine-ripened tomato. Or a vine-ripened tomato with fresh basil, fresh mozzarella or chevre ...topped with a drizzle of a high-quality olive oil, sprinkled with a dash of just-grinded sea salt. Heaven help me. And if you happen to have a grilled baguette nearby, all the better.

Between designing a few birth announcements and two wedding announcements today (one will be in Hawaii - I'm jealous!), I did enjoy taking a break, caring for the tomatoes that have begun to turn red. I adore tomatoes! Everything about them. Especially eating them. It was nice to be outside (for a little while), despite the 93 degree weather. Thankfully it isn't very humid today; if it was I would not use the words "nice" and "outside" in the same sentence. I snapped this photo on my back porch -- where I have two "patio" type tomato plants growing. I don't think my pots are large enough though, and I need to buy those tomato tents! I realized the other day my plants were suffering so I grabbed a couple plastic hangers, string, and scissors and got busy. While it seemed to do the trick, I think I hurt the roots when I pushed the hangers down into the soil. But I'm learning. Life is a journey, right? Same thing with gardening. :)

I came across the other garden birth announcement that I mentioned in my previous post, so here that is! In my memory the flowers were roses, but now I see they are not. Some type of flowering shrub? And it looks like someone simply held the baby up to the bush so the flowers were around the baby. I enhanced the colors, took some imperfections off the flowers, cropped the image and blurred the edges to set the stage for the details, written in an elegant font.

Kate is adorable isn't she. And I don't think this announcement would have the presence it does if it had been changed into grayscale or sepia-tone. Perhaps it is because of the gorgeous, saturated colors that I felt to do this photo justice, I simply needed to enhance the colors, and not remove them. That's it for now; back to the designing board!