On another note, a lot of people have messaged me asking what camera I use. Let me tell you -- you do not need a fancy camera to take amazing photos. Turn your flash off and use that natty light. Keep your hand as steady as possible. Use the continuous shooting mode if you are photographing a fidgety child. If you think you've got something pretty good, contact me (click the "Contact" tab) and I'll offer up my Photoshop skillzzzz for free. If you used a flash, I won't help you. Seriously. This offer disappears July 13th.
Don't be shy!
We've spent a lot of time updating the interior of our home. The exterior? Looks blah. It was not taken care of by the previous owners -- the shrubs are overgrown and dead in some sections. The shutters need to be repainted. The white trim needs repainted. Our grass has been overtaken by weeds. For two people straight out of a condo, these things are overwhelming. We are clueless.
One thing I do know how to do: Photoshop things. (The horrible bush cloning -- please ignore. I was only trying to quickly prove to myself that our exterior CAN look better). Instant makeover. Instant gratification. That is, until I walk outside and see our reality. During walks with Daphne, I take mental notes on the things I like about other houses in our neighborhood. There are a few houses with INCREDIBLE grass situations. I tried to get Brian to ask how they grew such a luxurious lawn (they were out gardening while we took Daphne around the 'hood), but he was not having it. I will continue to stalk our neighbors' lawns until I figure out the secrets. And to do so, I'll need to man up and just ask.
I'd like to take our shutters a few shades darker. I'd like a new lamp post out front. And I'd like the sky to be perfectly blue for our down-the-road real-life "after" pic. The landscaping needs a lot more work than what I've photoshopped here. I just have no idea about anything regarding landscaping. The best I could do is brighten up the shrubbery. Those two pink roses? Random. The tree next to our steps? I'd like it cut into a swirly thing, thanks.
Our neighborhood has a contest each year -- the house with the prettiest exterior/lawn wins. SPOILER ALERT: we didn't win. At least, I don't think we did as we've received zero notifications telling us that we did. Maybe next year.
Labels: home improvements
I've never bought party hats, and after realizing how easy it is to make them -- I never will. Here's my party hat template if you'd like to make your own!
How I did it: I first created a zig-zag pattern in Illustrator at standard letter size (8.5x11). I printed the pattern on one side, then flipped the paper over and printed the template on the blank side. (Be sure to use a thicker paper than the standard computer paper.) I could have printed the template on top of the pattern, but I wanted to avoid having any lines from the template showing through on the pattern. Hey, I'm not the best at cutting!
After everything was printed, I cut out the template (if you are following the template I've provided, remember to cut on the pink lines also.) Then I rolled up the paper into a cone, pulled both tabs through the slit, and slapped some invisible tape on the crease to keep everything in place. Voilá!
But don't get too excited. You still need to add the elastic. Poke one hole on each side, about 1/2-3/4 of an inch up from the bottom of the hat. After you've determined the right length for your elastic, knot one end. Thread the knot-free end through the hole from inside your hat. Now thread it through the other hole from outside the hat. Knot that end. The end.
You can attach anything or nothing at all to the front of your hat. You can add even more bling if you want -- cotton balls around the bottom, a pom-pom at the top. Or literally, bling. Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like diamonds...
Random notes about this project:
- My elastic is too thick. It's what I had on hand so it is what I used. I recommend something much thinner.
- Do you want a custom made party hat template? If you do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk.
- Size the elastic to your head before you start cutting. Don't guess. I did, and the first time I put mine on, I almost strangled myself. Most people probably don't have a larger head than you.
- After you poke the holes for the elastic, place scotch tape on both sides of the hole. Poor man's reinforcements (does anyone still use those things?!)
- I'm really excited to celebrate my Angel Pie's birthday. Sorry, had to throw that in there.