Blogging

Blogging About Home Matters

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

There’s something happening in our little home blogger niche right now. Call it an awareness or consciousness, a reprioritization or awakening, like something out of a Mary Poppins song…  winds in the east, mist coming in like something’s a brewin’ and ‘bout to begin…  Some are switching gears, slowing down, taking breaks, reevaluating their priorities and their work/life balance.

Anyone who works to create content for a blog, the DIYers and designers, alone or with a team, knows that blogging is work. From the research and creativity to execution to photography and writing and responding to readers and fielding emails from brands and running a website, yes it’s work. We’re not curing diseases or saving lives, let’s keep it in perspective, but we are spending our hours contributing something I believe to be worthwhile.

Despite how we go on and on about decor and trends, for me it’s never been about the things. It’s about the rooms created through hard work and the expression of creativity, and the value from what stems from those projects and spaces. Time together with family in a comforting place. A laugh with a good friend who sits on your sofa whether it’s old or freshly slipcovered. Blogging about home has always been about three things that started this journey and they keep me coming back.

autumn leaves bowl

Sharing.

Blogging provides a forum where we constantly share our ideas on making homes happier, livable, more organized, more stylish, more relaxed. They’re also an opportunity to put our tastes and personalities on display. Blogging about home is like having hundreds of friends to sit around and chat with about what works, what doesn’t, what’s new, what’s next. The conversation can be frivolous or it can be meaningful. The internet has created this place where we can meet and chat with like minded people and that brings us joy. We all crave something to talk about, blogging about home give us that.      

coffee cozy

Connection.

We have a need to hear from each other and share our experiences, not in a businessy LinkedIn kind of way, but in a human heartfelt way. Poignant stories, craft fails, progress reports, tips on where to score great deals or the best source for this or that, we smile at our screens when we connect and feel the same or learn from each other’s insight. Blogging is this big piazza where we can join in on the people watching while in our pajamas or on a lunch break from work and live vicariously.

I read so many of your blogs too so know that when you write about your travels, your kids, your heartbreaks, your failures and successes, your favorite things, your new adventures in home improvement or otherwise, I’m along for the ride. I like hearing your voice and reading about your approach to life or design whether you write once a week or more. As a subscriber, I’m invested and you matter to me.   

leaves on mantel

Inspiration.

Each of us has an idea to contribute, a new approach to an old method, a little place of beauty we’ve created in the world. We inspire each other with our ingenuity and resourcefulness. Home bloggers create beauty inside their homes in authentic ways and for all of you I’m grateful for your contribution. We love the shelter magazines, but I believe the blogosphere brings a realistic imperfect approach to decorating that is personable and achievable. Cheers to that. 

As long as I have something to write about, I’m sticking around this little space of mine on the world wide web. I am thankful you stop by from time to time and I promise to (mostly) stay on topic. Know I truly love reading what you have to say and what you create in your homes too whether you blog yourself, leave an occasional comment, or share a thought in a personal email, it matters to me. 

Clipping Mask Basics

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I’ve received a few emails about how I created shapes around images of products featured in the Holiday Gift Guide and in some subsequent posts since then. The answer is by use of a basic process of layering shapes and images with the clipping mask option found in Photoshop Elements. (For those that don’t have this software, Adobe is having a sale, you can purchase it for $70 before Dec 28th.)

This doesn’t take any advanced skills just a basic familiarity with the tools in Photoshop Elements. Follow these seven steps and you’ll be on your way to framing any image inside a shape of your choice or creating patterned or textured lettering. Both are helpful for blogging or scrapbooking or card making, or simply for having fun with photo editing or getting creative with fonts.

clipping mask basics

For demonstration, I’ll use this pretty Cambria Dinnerware image from Pottery Barn. Open the image you wish to frame inside a shape in Photoshop Elements.

open image in pe

 

1) Double click on the image thumbnail that is visible in the sidebar Layers window to unlock it (it’s automatically named “Background” by PE). Rename it anything, I usually use the default name of “Layer 0″

change background to layer 0

2) Select the Shapes tool and pick whatever shape you want to use to frame your image, from an ellipse to rounded rectangle to hexagon. In this example I’ll use the ellipse (or oval).

select shapes tool

 

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