just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

From Slides To Photos

For years all the slides my husband made during a wonderful holiday in Tunisia lay forgotten in the attic until the slide scanner I got for Christmas encouraged me to bring them down, dust them off and convert them to photos. Said like that it sounds easy, doesn´t it? Believe me, it wasn´t! What looked like tiny blemishes and scratches, once converted to a 70 inch photo, were simply enormous and the very prospect of editing out all those monstrous flaws was so daunting I almost gave up before I´d started. In fact it was actually a little easier than I´d imagined as the very size of the photos was in my favour because I soon discovered that the larger the blemish the easier it is to remove. I chose one of the worst to practise on as it was such a good example of what a photo shouldn´t be that it gave me the chance to try out a variety of Photoshop´s editing tools. Here it is warts and all, though in this small format only the largest blemishes are visible.

First I used the Spot Healing Brush to remove all the blotches and freckles. Luckily they were mostly in the background as I´d rather leave the reconstruction of faces to a cosmetic surgeon. There were too many distracting odd bodies floating around in the sea so I ruthlessly eliminated them using the Clone Stamp Tool which I also used on that huge scratch on the right. Later I regretted having spent so much time on that. You´ll see why on the finished photo. Then I altered the brightness/contrast and after that the only editing left was to straighten up the horizon to prevent the sea from spilling off onto the page. That was really easy - you´ll find a simple tutorial HERE - and my only regret was that it also entailed amputating even more of our feet than in the original slide. Still, no pain, no gain. After that the proportions of the photo didn´t look quite right so I trimmed off a fair bit at each side until it was almost square. Here´s the result...

I used a couple of frames from Flight Of Fancy and held them together with a jewelled clip from the kit. Then I made a pair of flip flops from 2 background papers and attached them with the gold safety pin. You can see a preview of the kit HERE and, if you like, you can also pick up a little gift or two.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Desert Beauty

While we were on holiday in Tunisia we hired a local man to take us on a trek through the desert on his camel. When we stopped to take photos we were invited to tea by a Bedouin family consisting of an elderly man and his two wives. The photo shows the younger of the two who had fun dressing me up in her wedding finery. In fact the out of focus part of this photo is one of several long gold chains which were attached to the headdress I was wearing. I´ve got to show you the photo of us three ladies together sometime so that you can guess which one is me! That shouldn´t be too difficult as the older wife had green facial tattoos. I still haven´t plucked up the courage to have that done...

I created this page using Summer Past, the new kit I´ve been working on recently. I hope I´ve done this desert beauty justice.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Helen!

Helen, I decided that you needed a special room to celebrate your birthday.  I found the perfect QP Room in Shabby Chic Rooms Part 2 where I also found some roses to place into your vase and a book where I marked the perfect place for you to read.  I tucked many little surprises inside the hat box just for you...but, I accidently opened the lid and you'll find them floating around your blog throughout the day!  In the DP "Ever After" kit, Deb had whipped up a silver and gold cake that is just perfect for your room and Diane's silver leaded hearts and alpha were perfect to add some birthday decorations to your birthday room.  If you tire of reading, just relax on the gorgeous pink pillow from Shabby Chic Rooms Part 2 and dream about the blue bonnets you planted from Diane's seeds that will hopefully return again in the spring.  With all the snow it might be hard, so I added a visual for you to gaze upon. 
Happy Birthday, my friend...I hope you have a perfect day!!!

PS...Oh my!  I decided to play with an animation program and the writing birthday wish turned out so big and I'm not sure why it has the white edge.  It's 25 frames so I don't think I will redo it since it will only be up for a few days.  Fun practice for me anyway...guess it's one way to send a "BIG" Happy Birthday message.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Creating A Cameo

This 1930s studio portrait of my aunt, as you can see from the original below, was in very bad condition when I got it and it took quite some time to restore.
This is what I´ve done so far. It still requires a little tweaking but it´s a lot better than it was. The easiest part was replacing the damaged border. I´ve made it white but may change it to a light sepia to reflect the age of the photo. If you´d like to try this easy technique, you´ll find a tutorial HERE
I think it looked even better after I´d faded out the edges and framed it to create my own cameo.

You´ll find the original cameo, which I´ve used in the blog header and which you can also see on the right, in Shabby Chic Rooms Part 2 where, if you´d like to create your own personal cameo, you´ll also find a link to the frame and even to a room to hang it in!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year. A New Look.

I´ve only been in this room since November but I feel quite at home in it already. I´ve enjoyed keeping the Victorian doll company on the couch, drinking tea from the china cup, making calls on the antique phone and welcoming visitors. But I felt it was time for a change and a new look. Few women can resist moving their living room furniture around now and then...well, as long as someone else does the actual lifting and moving! With a virtual room it´s easy not only to move it but to replace it entirely along with its deco. It´s also a lot more fun to design a new room than to sweep and dust the old one...so here´s my brand new room furnished and decorated using Part 2 of my Shabby Chic Rooms Collection. I hope you like it. If you do, you might like to have a room of your own to display your treasured photos. You´ll find one HERE. Have fun with it!
Happy New - scrapping - Year, everyone!