Mar 31, 2014

How to erase or remove background from your photo

Photos play important role for (almost all) bloggers, particularly crafters. For smaller pieces I use a large white cardboard as a background but furniture is always a problem for me, no such good place in the house to take a picture and be happy with the background. Recently I found this free software - Clippingmagic. For a long time I haven't been so thrilled with some product, and it is absolutely free. You don't even need to install it on the computer - just upload the photo and follow the instructions. It is extremely easy to use it, but if you need help, there are very detailed instructions.
Of course, there are some other products, Photoshop is one of them for sure, but it is commercial. And I couldn't get the satisfactory result using some other photo editing tools (not to mention the effort needed).

Some tips:

Take care to keep contrast between the main object and background you want to remove - it is much easier and faster to achieve the result (like on the photo above - dog is dark and the environment is light).

Update to this post find here.
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Mar 27, 2014

Two chairs makeover - easy and fast

These chairs I have for a very long time. Put them on the balcony and didn't know what exactly to do with them - unlike my cat who  used them during summer to nap. I decided to finally refurbish them and it was rather easy and fast project. I really could have done it years ago.

Short tutorial how to makeover chairs

Above are chairs as they look like before makeover.

First step is, as usually, to sand the wooden parts. I  did it manually wit the sand paper grade 80 (moderately rough).  It is essential to thoroughly clean the dust using wet sponge or rag. If there are some grease stains you can use some dish washing liquid. 

As I wanted to achieve shabby look, used wood stain. Put two coats of green color low-build wood stains (acrylic, of course) and one coat of transparent varnish for protection. Allow each coat to dry before putting another one. For acrylic paint it is less then 30 minutes. And voila, chairs are ready.

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Mar 19, 2014

How to organize your craft studio

Whether having large studio or just a corner in the kitchen, it is rather important to organize stuff - tools, materials, paints, on-going projects. Although I practise to use leftovers or supplies I already have for new projects, I can't resist to buy something new as well, some new strip, fabric, paint, beads ... And I am very frustrated when I can't find what I need (and know I do have it somewhere). So, it is spring, right time for the cleaning and organizing. There are a lot of beautifully  designed studios, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money or time at the moment and searched for the affordable, quick to implement, solutions.

Paper box with drawers - excellent for me, drawer lover - cheap, convenient, easy to setup.

I was using various plastic bags for leftovers and other material - and never knew what was where. So, I used ordinary transparent bags and sorted my strips and fabric - now I can spot immediately what I need. Jars could be used as well, but more place neede to hold them.

This awesome idea using cloth spines I found   here.

Actually, I have two 'studios' - corners where I am crafting - for sewing and for painting. This shelves used to organize tools for furniture makeover.

Pegboards are certianly my 'number one' choice to organize studios - so versatile and practical.
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Mar 4, 2014

Virtual painter software to help you pick up the best color for your room

I love to paint - furniture, walls, fabric. And I love to do it by myself. But sometimes I have not enough courage to try some wild paint or unusual color, particularly if this is costly - time or material. Sometimes I am pretty sure my hubby would complain. I tried some tools earlier, mostly for photo editing to simulate various colors, but this was too tiresome. Recently I discovered there are tools particularly developed for this purpose. Some big paint manufacturers offer their own software, and there are some more to be found on the net. Some tools are very simple - there are photos embeded and you are able just to chnage different colors. Others  allow you to upload your own photo and then play  colloring objects on the photo. Bellow are some free tools I tried. It is now much easier for me to make decisions. 

Colorjive is an on-line tool. You can upload your own photo, choose the color and (re)paint object on it. But nothing is perfect, of course, and some adjustment you need to do by hand. There is an excellent 3 minute Youtube video tutorial for this tool.

Resene EzyPaint is a free software you could download on the PC (ful version with all images takes 400 MB, but the customized one is just about 100 MB.) There is on-line version as well adn help is very easy to follow and very usefull. Y>ou can upload your owen photo as well.

Some manufacturers like Dulux and Sherwin Williams offer their own tool. Dulux offers just a basic, simple possibilities - to chane colors on their photos, but it could be usefull (and fast to try).

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