Rain Is My Favorite

I woke up to the sound of rain, the most beautiful sound in the world.  Rain never fails to put a smile on my face and inspire me.  I jumped out of bed, made a peppermint mocha latte, and sat down by a window to blog.  I hope your 2016 has been as wonderful as mine so far.  This didn’t happen in 2016, but my family took a mini vacation the week after Christmas (not our best idea) and visited the San Diego Zoo.  Subscribe to my Youtube channel and keep an eye out for my vlog that will be posted VERY soon. :)  My brother and I started watching the Star Wars and Hobbit movies.  YES! :D  I saw Riverdance for the fifth time, and it still made me emotional.  More to come on that subject!  On Sunday, my family and I sat and watched not one but two movies: “Get Smart” & “Nacho Libre.”  It was a cozy movie night. <3  Yesterday, despite not wanting to go to work, I was blessed with a slow flow of customers and a bigger than usual paycheck from the last week of Christmas madness.  Even though my bank account is a happy camper right now, I’m still waiting for one million dollars to fall from the sky. ;)  I’m off to read “The Pawn” by Steven James (thrillers were made for rainy days) and watch some Netflix (after the reading of course).  Enjoy the rest of your day readers!

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Let’s Make Polaroids

Let's Make Polaroids

Hello hello hello!!  Today I am taking you through the steps necessary to make polaroids in the comfort of your home.  You will need a picture file on your computer desktop, Adobe Photoshop (I own CS6), photo paper (I use Red River UltraPro Satin, 8.5 x 11), and a printer with the capability to print photographs.  I know I am most likely not the first person to come up with this idea, but this particular process was developed during my time in college.  This digital art project is perfect for days when there is not much else to do.  Why not get those creative juices flowing?!  Let’s get started!

***Note: Click any of the images to make them bigger.

Step 1. Open Adobe Photoshop.

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Step 2. Drag the picture into Adobe Photoshop.

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Step 3. Use the Crop Tool to crop the image into a square (4 x 4, 8 x 8, 16 x 16, etc).  As long as the width and heighth are the same dimensions, you are good to go.  For best results, keep the image at its native resolution (72); do not increase it!

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Step 4. Check the bit depth.  Do not make any changes!

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Step 5. Make sure the color profile is set to Adobe RGB (1998).

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Step 5. Create a new canvas, and set the width to 3.5 inches and the heighth to 4.25 inches.  You can make the resolution 72 to match the image, but I went ahead and made it 300.  Set the bit depth according to the image.  In this case, the image’s bit depth is 8.  Make sure the color profile is Adobe RGB (1998).

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Step 8. Using the Move Tool, press down your mouse over the picture, drag it to the blank canvas, and release.

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Step 9. Press Command Quotation Mark/Apostrophe.  A grid should appear over the entire image.  Use the Move Tool to make the picture bigger.  According to the grid, there should be one square of space on the top and sides; there should be four squares of space on the bottom.  You now have a recognizable polaroid format.

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Step 11. Press Command Quotation Mark/Apostrophe to get rid of the gird.

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Step 12. This step is optional.  My image has a light background therefore I am placing a thin, black stroke (size 2) around the outer perimeter to make it pop against the white canvas.  If your image has a dark background, a stroke is not necessary.

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Step 13. Save your polaroid as a Photoshop file (.psd).  I labeled my image “Winnie the Pooh Polaroid_Layers.”  This is the file I will come back to if I want to make any adjustments or changes.

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Step 14. Flatten the layers and save the image as a JPEG (.jpg).  I labeled my polaroid “Winnie the Pooh Polaroid.”

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Step 15. If you plan on posting your polaroid on the internet, save an alternate JPEG with an sRGB IEC61966-2.1 color profile.  I labeled my polaroid “Winnie the Pooh Polaroid_Online.”

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***If you are not interested in printing your polaroid, skip the following steps.

Step 16. Create a new canvas.  Make the width 8.5 inches and the heighth 11 inches.  The resolution should be 300, the bit depth 8, and the color profile Adobe RGB (1998).  I labeled my canvas “Winnie the Pooh Polaroid_Print.”

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Step 17. Using the Move Tool, press down your mouse over the polaroid, drag it to the blank canvas, and release.  Make sure the polaroid is flattened before moving it.

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Step 17. Add a thin, black stroke (size 2) around the picture.  This will make it easier to cut out the polaroid once it is printed.

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Step 18. I use 8.5 x 11 paper because I can print four polaroids at once.  If you are doing the same, repeat steps 16 and 17 for every polaroid.

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Step 19. In the Print dialog box, choose your printer, layout (vertical, located on the left), Color Handling (Photoshop Manages Colors), and Printer Profile (name of the paper you are using).  If you are unfamiliar with how printer profiles work, you can look it up online or contact me for further help.

How To Use ICC Color Printer Profiles For Inkjet Printers: http://www.redrivercatalog.com/profiles/how-to-use-icc-color-printer-profiles.html

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*** The Final Results! ***


Pile of Polaroids

Click the following link to watch me go through the process: https://youtu.be/nlcewD0t3yE

I hope you have enjoyed this project.  It is a great way to display cellphone pictures, collages, and quotes you are inspired by.  For even more flair and personalization, add text in Photoshop or with a sharpie.

Say cheese! :D

– Lauren Michele <3

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In The Barnyard

In The Barnyard (Source: http://kindredspiritmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Shaun_the_Sheep_06.jpg)

Earlier this week, a friend of mine invited me along for a house sitting adventure.  The adventure was mine to have because my friend had already visited this house and barn many times.  I have seen farm animals multiple times in my twenty-one years of life, but feeding them was a brand new experience.  To be exact, there were five dogs, three cats, two doves, two horses, two donkeys, and a small herd of goats and sheep (approximately ten).  The first part of the afternoon was spent inside watching TV with the dogs.  Nothing especially exciting except for the new episode of Once Upon a Time (Any fellow Oncers reading this??).  Eventually it was time to go outside and feed the other animals.  It was raining, but I did not care one bit.  I was practically leaping out of my skin from excitement!  I put on boots and a large coat, and followed my friend’s lead out the door, over the little bridge, and into the barn.  After filling buckets with two kinds of feed, I volunteered to feed the horses (my favorite domestic animal).  I enjoyed every little thing: opening the gate, walking through the rain and mud, and filling the barrels.  What happened next was the real adventure.  I walked into the goat and sheep enclosure but left the feeding task to my friend.  Have you ever watched goats and sheep be fed?  They are greedy!  There were three bowls, and yet as soon as my friend moved on from one bowl to the next, the entire group would ignore the food in front of them and follow the bucket.  After giving the donkeys some feed, we made our way back into the horse pen.  The group of goats and sheep followed, and one particularly bossy sheep managed to push her way in.  She made her way over to one of the horses and watched it eat as though she was going to take part.  Like I said, GREEDY!!  As I made my way through the mud and attempted to herd the animal back to where she belonged, I could not help but laugh.  The seemingly annoying situation was actually a dream come true.  I felt like Anne of Green Gables trying to get her cow out of Rachel’s field with the help of her best friend Diana.  I managed to back the sheep against the gate but simultaneously had to keep the rest of the pushy herd out.  Teamwork prevailed, and all animals were where they were meant to be once again.  I really wish the chase was on video, but alas it is not.  All I have is the hilarious, muddy memory.  I hope I was able to paint a vivid picture and add some laughter to your Saturday night.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

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