Favorite Things

Bliss at the Beach

Monday, May 28th, 2012

I’m a pretty lucky gal and on a day like yesterday, I’m reminded just how fortunate I am.  My family and I live near the coast but we still have to travel half an hour to see it.  It’s a beautiful drive but when we arrive, most of the time it’s foggy and cold (to be expected in Northern California) but lucky for us, yesterday was not!  Yesterday the family spent a blissful afternoon out at Bodega, repeating the same kite and clam chowder adventure we do several times a year.

surf

 

I have both a love and fear of the ocean.  I’m drawn to the visual beauty and rhythmic sounds of the surf beating on the sand, but the power of the ocean still frightens me since I almost drowned in it as a young girl after I was caught in an undertow.  I’ve snorkeled in deep water but I refuse to swim in the waves, and yet I still can’t resist the allure of a beautiful Northern California coastline.

cali coast

 

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How to Layer Furnishings (without Photoshop)

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great weekend!  I’m finally feeling caught up after all that traveling, and today wanted to share a technique with you on creating inspiration boards by layering furnishings on top of one another for better visualizing spaces.

For years, I had admired the Photoshop skills of others and especially how they were able to layer furnishings in a room to create a mood or inspiration board.  As a home and design blogger, it’s a cool thing to know how to create a realistic looking space by using digital image editing tools, right?  Even if you’re not a blogger, there are tools you can use to create “rooms” for yourself just for fun too.

I have been playing around for months in Photoshop Elements and finally have a comfortable working understanding of the tools.  But here’s the news of the day: even if you don’t have or don’t know how to use Photoshop Elements, there is a way to layer furnishings in a room just like you see below, and without Photoshop!

how to digitally layer furnishings without photoshop

 

When I say “without Photoshop” what I mean is you really can create a multi layered space like the reading corner seen above without actually buying the software.  You’ll be using a few of the basic Photoshop tools but you’ll be applying them in a free online user friendly image editor called Pixlr.

In Pixlr, you can cut out and layer furnishings or objects on top of each other without buying or installing Photoshop and when I first discovered it last year, I thought it was pretty cool and rather user friendly too.  If you haven’t taken the plunge to buy, install, and learn Photoshop Elements, this program will allow you to get your feet wet and play around with the tools before you make the leap because it mimics Photoshop Elements in both layout and functionality.  And it’s free.

If you want to make an inspiration board that looks more three dimensional, or more like a “real” room, here are the basic steps that allow you to layer a chair on a rug and a pillow on that chair just like you see below.

how to layer furnishings intro

 

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