Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Paper Issues + Project Life WINNER


and the winner is:


Congrats Becky, I've just sent you an email !  Thanks to everyone who commented and played along.  I am so glad y'all liked the mini album!



Monday, August 26, 2013

How to photograph and edit your craft projects

How to edit photos of projects- Jen Chesnick

Hello Hello!  As promised I have finally gotten around to writing up a post on how I take my project photos and edit them.  My style has evolved over the years.  Usually when I change to a new room in the house how I photograph my projects changes with it.  I am lazy, I don't want to take my projects out of my room.  I used to shoot in the dinning room which has great light.  However my setup down there has changed and my scraproom isn't in close proximity so there you go.  

So currently I am in a tiny little room in the house with mostly afternoon/evening light.  Which is GREAT however I only have one window and it casts a lot of shadow if the light isn't just right.  So I purchased a lighting setup from Amazon (this one) I didn't purchase with the intent to use it for my projects mind you.  I wanted for photography purposes mainly in the winter when light isn't that great.  

How to edit photos of projects- Jen Chesnick-c

So here I have a white board that you can pick up at your local craft store.  The science fair kind (tri-fold) I purchased a backdrop on Etsy made by Swanky Prints.  Also if you are a new customer they have a coupon code on their main page.  I used to shoot them just on the white backdrop but I really like seeing an edge around my projects.  Plus a lot of my layouts have items that hang off the edge and they tend to get trimmed off when you crop them down.  When we get to the editing part you can adapt it to a close crop too.

How to edit photos of projects- Jen Chesnick-b

I have one light setup on the right side of my project. You can see in the two photos below with and without the light. 

How to edit photos of projects- Jen Chesnick-d

with the light 

How to edit photos of projects- Jen Chesnick-e

without the light.  See the difference on the right?  So anyway you set things up be mindful of where the light is and how it looks.  You can only photoshop so much before your project is just over worked. Now onto editing.  Click on the photos to enlarge. 


To start I used the photo posted above (with the light) I took a straight on shot.  Try to get eye level with your project.  I edit in PSE it's simple and I don't need any actions or anything that I would use in photoshop.  I first run the PSE Auto-Smart fix.  If you have your settings pretty accurate on your camera this is usually a nice boost and doesn't over do anything. You can also adjust the smart fix if you like.


step 2 - I crop down leaving a bit of space around for editing and a gap at the bottom for my label strip. 


step 3 - this is where a good bit of editing comes into play.  Go to the transform section of PSE.  There are 4 options, Free transform, Skew, Distort and Perspective.  The only one I don't use is distort.  The other 3 all the time!


Free Transform is what I use to straighten my projects.  So if you are a little out of line.  Boom. 


Perspective is just that.  If your layout has a lean to it or seems to bow you can fix that!  It takes some practice. 

Lastly is Skew. It is hard to screenshot because you can't really tell what it is doing unless you are doing it.  I use this one a lot.  Basically you can pull corners and straighten things up a little bit here and there.  It's great!  Again just practice, practice!  


So I used skew and perspective on my photo above.  My next step is Levels.  I love levels.  You can really brighten up your project and midtones and such with levels. 


Use the slider to adjust your levels.  I use the slider on the right to adjust highlights and the middle to adjust mid-tones (I think) 


See the difference?  Once I am done editing I do a quick crop if needed then I add my label strip.  I finish up by flattening my image and saving as a JPG.


and there you have it.  So let's take a look at what we started with. 

How to edit photos of projects- Jen Chesnick-d


How to edit photos of projects- Jen Chesnick

I am no professional, but I hope this gives you some ideas on how you take your own project photos.  Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lets Sketch with Paper Issues & Simple Scrapper


It's Sunday and that means a new issue is posted over on the Paper Issues Blog.  We've teamed up with Simple Scrapper this time to offer our fans a chance to win a membership, gift cards and more.  To enter check out the Paper Issues blog for full details.  

We all were given a sketch to use to play with.  Here is my layout.  Beach Cheeks.


I used most Studio Calico Atlantic for this layout.  The wood veneer circles are for reallllll my fav right now.  I just ordered two more packs. oops. If you shop don't forget to use the code on the left hand side of my page for a 20% discount. 



So be sure to stop by PI HERE and Simple Scrapper HERE.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 23, 2013

In the Leaves + Little Yellow Bicycle

Jen Chesnick- In the Leaves

Feels like Home is now in stock and shipping from Little Yellow Bicycle!  I had to dig out last years photos for this one as it is 100 degrees here in Maryland! I am SO ready for fall, so ready.  You can find this line right here at Two Peas OR directly from Little Yellow Bicycle HERE! 

Jen Chesnick- In the Leaves- close-2

Jen Chesnick- In the Leaves- close-1

Jen Chesnick- In the Leaves- close

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stuff Parker says

Well at almost 15 months Parker is quite the chatterbox. I had no idea this was a little much to be saying, so I figured I would start a list to add to her 15 month baby book entry. 

Ninny (her pacifier)

Baa (cup)


Dog (which can be ANY animal)


Side (meaning outside)

No (she loves this one)


Mama sometimes Mommy

Shoe (she loves shoes)


Buh Bye (just like that)


Yes or Ya

Nack (Snack for short)


Ibby (Libby the dog)

Nana (could be banana and her Aunt Savannah)

Nigh Nigh

Boo Boo

Choo Choo



Tank Tu (Thank you)



Shake (her hiney!)


Duck and Sit (you can imagine what those sound like)

She will say 2, 3 but not 1

She will also say A, B and sometimes C

Here are a couple videos for your entertainment.









Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Camera and Editing choices

I get a lot of emails and messages on facebook asking about my camera equipment and photo editing software.  So I thought I would go ahead and put that all on here for you!  

I used to exclusively shoot with Nikon.  I started out with a D40 then quickly upgraded to the D90.  Just before Parker was born I really wanted to upgrade to the D7000 or higher.  The D7000 was out stock for a long time, a LONG TIME!  I was panicky so I sold on my Nikon gear and switched to Canon.  I purchased the Canon 60D.  I really wish I could have gone with a full frame body, but with a baby coming I just couldn't financially do it.  Next time!



I went ahead and purchased the Kit lens as well because I was unfamiliar with Canon and had no clue what lens I wanted. Typically it comes with the 18-135MM 3.5 which I what I went with.  I don't use this lens often, but its great for outdoors and in well lit areas.  


F4.5 1/640 ISO-200 SOOC

After I had my body for a bit I went ahead and picked up two other lenses.  I had a Sigma 18-50MM 2.8 wide with my Nikon and decided to go ahead and pick one up for my Canon.  While not a true wide angle lens for my budget it works great and rarely ever comes off my camera.


F/5 1/400 ISO-200 SOOC

The other lens I picked up I also had for my Nikon and that is the 50MM 1.8 prime (or fixed)  I love this lens too because it is fabulous for low and light and its very inexpensive!  I must not use it too often because I can't find a photo I've taken with it. 

So for editing I used Lightroom 2.  I also have CS6 and PSE11 I don't use either of these for my photos, but I do use them to edit project photos.  For my photos a lot I will do some minor adjustments and then typically with run some Lightroom presets.  I use Pretty Presets and Itty Bitty presets. 



Parker at 10 Months 022

Pool time 058

I use quite the set-up to photograph my projects and I will post all that information in another post. Hope this was helpful! Feel free to email and or comment with questions. 






Monday, August 19, 2013

Beach Babes + American Crafts Shoreline

Happy Monday.  I just got a load of new 8x12 photos in the mail this weekend and I couldn't wait to do something with them.  This size has quickly become a favorite.  I have a lot of Shoreline in my stash so I decided to make a 2 pager of sorts!  They go, but don't match exactly, but I figured while I had it all out I may as well do two!


She is just a big ole ham for sure!  I didn't have any 12x12 papers left so instead I matched up and used a 6x6 paper pad.  I love the smaller print on the papers.



The little stars are from UmWOWStudios.  It's laser cut chipboard!





Sunday, August 18, 2013

Project Life Pages + Elle's Studio & Studio Calico

Good Morning everyone!  I have a couple Project life spreads to share.  If you are looking for the Project Life giveaway from Paper Issues find that post RIGHT HERE.  You have one more week to enter to win! 


My first spread I made using Studio Calico PL kits.  I don't remember which ones because I don't keep them separate.  I also added in bits from their Atlantic Collection



I am still struggling with how to photo these spreads.  With this one I left the pieces out of the page protector.  I much preferred those photos to the ones in them.  Does it matter or is it just me being ocd?


For this spread I used Elle's studio exclusive kit pieces.  




Since I've only just started using this system I am finding out what I do and don't like.  These page protectors are FOR THE BIRDS.  I can't wait till I use them all so I don't have to bother anymore.  They are really frustrating.  I ended up added cardstock in between to try and keep things tight and snug so they wouldn't fall out.  Becky Higgins page protectors are certainly of higher quality. 




Friday, August 16, 2013