"Best Day Of My Life" According to Duke


Yesterday my niece came to visit us for a few days.  The boys were in heaven as Maddy is one of their best friends.  When she is here I pretend she is my daughter.  I think she thinks I am weird.  ;-)

They organized the day's entertainment on their own.  It started with a Mentos and Diet Soda geyser.  We had two bottles of cheap diet soda and a few packs of Mentos, nothing we would ever ingest ourselves (YUCK!), but mixed together work magic to form a huge explosion.  

Two bottles of soda for three kids caused a minor argument as only two of them could pull the cord to create the chemical masterpiece.  I stayed out of it and they worked something out.  I think it involved me going to the store today and buying more soda, but I really wasn't paying attention.


The 20-foot geyser was very well received. Both times.


While they were making my lawn a sticky, smelly mess I took some time to photograph the few roses left in my rose garden.  Even though we live in town close to a busy road, we still have some deer in the area and they have used my roses as a tasty buffet.  This tiny red one was a fighter.


Next on the entertainment roster was a water balloon fight.  Duke was the only one who changed into a pair of swim trunks.  He has always been one to think ahead.


Blackberry hung out in the lawn watching them fill the balloons.  She had no idea that her peace (and dryness) was about to be shattered.  She puts up with a lot considering she is the only girl in our family (other than me of course).  


I took a chance that my camera would not get any water damage and I continued to photograph a few surviving roses.  The scary angel/cupid statue in this photo came with the house.  I was going to get rid of it but it weighs a ton and it has grown on me.  It looks like something you would see in a spooky cemetery.


Here is little Imp, covered in sweat as it was over 100 degrees and incredibly humid.  What a little innocent angel.


Oh, that is right.  He is an avenging angel.  Watch out Duke!


Yeah, Imp is getting out his frustrations of being the little guy in the family.  And he has wicked aim.  You can't tell in this photo, but Duke is calling him some really obnoxious names right now. Probably on the lines of "stinky poopy head" or "smelly tooter".  Duke's name-calling usually has a theme involving stinky poops or toots.

Maddy is busy filling the balloons.  Poor dear, they used them as fast as she made them.

After the kids picked up a million tiny balloon pieces from all over the front yard they jumped in a shower and then played with Legos.


See the Lego mess?  They must have been working on something really huge and amazing, right?


Here it is, a mini-golf range.  And not quite finished.  And quite small without many bricks.  That is because there are thousands of bricks usefully strewn all over Imp's room.  Arggggh.

Finally, they had dinner and spent an hour playing video games.

Soda: $2
Mentos: $2
Portable Pumping Station for Water Balloons:  $10
-------
Total Cost:  $14

Entertainment Value = "Mentos geysers, water balloon fights, Legos, and video games; this was one of the best days of my life."  Duke, 9 years old.

There is nothing like a free-range child-centered summer day.  Did I mention after photographing a few flowers I then read a book and watched an Amazon Prime video?  It was one of the best days of my life too.  :-)

Summer ROCKS!

I need to get off the computer.  My parents brought all three kids to the museum for the day and I need to get some housework done (read a few books), weed the flower bed (watch a movie), and go grocery shopping (take a nap).  I can tell it is going to be a productive day already.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures. 


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CoffeeShop "Afternoon Tea" Website/Blog Design Set!



Today I am posting a peachy-pink blog/website design kit.  It comes with a top header with customizable logo (add your own studio name and tagline), two backgrounds, a set of social media buttons, and a post and/or sidebar divider.

I used Freebooter Script for the studio name and Cochin for the tagline. Both can be completely customized by you.  You can also drag-and-drop in your own ready-made logo.

You can use these design elements on anything you want, no  attribution necessary.  :-)  I plan on doing a series of these designs, so if there is something specific you would love to see me post, just leave a comment below and I will see what I can do.  :-)  I love reader feedback/suggestions.

If you need a custom website/blog/website-blog combo design, my designs are only $99 right now and include a custom-designed site with drop-down menubar and full installation.  I absolutely love website design and I will walk you through the entire process to create your perfect site.  I also send instructions for you to maintain and update the site on your own, and I am always around for questions. My website design helps fund my addiction for posting on this site.  ;-)

Here are a few samples of my current designs.  Please don't hesitate to email me with any questions.


Download the CoffeeShop "Afternoon Tea" Blog/Website Design Set.  You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures. 

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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CoffeeShop Pink Portrait Tint and Texture: A Photoshop/PSE Tutorial!


Today I am posting a tutorial for Photoshop and PSE on how to add a soft pink tint and texture to your portraits.  This is a completely adjustable edit and can look so incredibly beautiful on portraits of girls and women.  I think this type of editing technique makes the image almost resemble a painting.

CoffeeShop Portrait Pink Tint and Texture Photoshop/PSE Tutorial:


1. Fixing Backgrounds:  Start with a portrait that is already edited for contrast and color.  If you want to see how I edited this lovely photo, you can follow along the edit with me on this post. I used the CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait 3 Express action on this edit.

I love this image as-is, but I think it will be fun to create a dreamy version.

The upper left side of this image is bugging me because it doesn't have any texture like the rest of the background.  That will be my first fix.


A quick way to do this is to duplicate (Ctrl-J) the image to a new layer and use the Clone Tool (S) to clone the background from the left side over to the right.  Then add a layer mask and paint over it with a soft black brush to remove any unintended background off of your portrait.  In this case I removed some from her hair.


2.  Add Texture:  Add your texture(s) of choice.  I used a beautiful texture called "Heather" from the FlyPaper "Spring Painterly Set".  I also love using textures from Shadowhouse Creations.  

I removed all color (ctrl-shift-U) from this texture so it wouldn't interfere with my final image coloration.


I put the texture layer in Overlay blending mode and added a layer mask.  I used a soft black brush in normal mode at 30-100% opacity to remove all texture from her face and hair.


3.  Add Pink Tint:  You can add a pink/peach color fill layer to girly portraits for a wonderful soft result.  This edit is not for every photo, but it can really create lovely works of art with the proper images.

On this image I added a Color Fill layer with hex#debeb4 (a pink). You can use any pink/peach color you want.  I usually play around with the color fill layer after painting on the layer mask (next step).


I keep this in Normal Blending mode and dial down the opacity to 15-35%.  The opacity really depends on how much softness/pink tint you want in your edit.  I really like to bring out the eyes, lips, and hair; so I use a soft black brush in normal mode at 20-50% opacity on the Color Fill layer mask and paint over them to remove some of the hazy tint.  In this edit I used around 50% opacity for her eyes, 40% for her lips, and 30% for her hair.


4.  Add Contrast (Optional):  If you want to add a bit of contrast to make the darks "pop", add a Levels adjustment layer (without making any changes to it) and put that layer in soft light blending mode and set the opacity to 30-50%.

I hope you enjoyed following this editing tutorial.  If you want to have additional editing fun on your images, please visit my tutorial page and action page.  Please post your before and afters on my Facebook page, I love to see your images!



Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


♥ Read more!