Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

How To Photograph People Jumping

| Design & Technology, Kids Fun, Outdoors

Tips for taking jumping photographs.

Tips for taking jumping photographs.

How To Photograph People Jumping – Who doesn’t love summer days spent frolicking on the beach.  More than half of our time during the summer is spent camping at our RV on the beach.  That means a lot of time hanging out enjoying the sand, sun and waves. During the past few summer’s there I’ve taken many, many photos, especially of my daughter.  I love capturing all the moments of childhood – digging, burying, throwing, riding, running and my favourite, jumping.

People are often too scared or intimidated to shoot high action jumping photos but there are a few tricks that can help you capture the moment. Most camera’s these days have all you need to take these super fun photos.

Choose your scene

Make sure you have a simple background. Usually something that isn’t too busy so that the jumper will stand out. Also make sure you aren’t taking the photo directly into the sun – always try to get the sun behind you if possible.

Get up close and personal

The closer you can get to the person jumping, the more dramatic the photo will be and the more detail you’ll be able to capture. Often times taking the photo in portrait format (or up and down) helps make the jumper stand out better – remember to leave room at the top of your photo so that the head doesn’t get cut off.

Go low, low, low

The most dramatic and energetic jumps are photographed when the photographer is lower than the jumper. It helps to kneel, crouch or lay on the ground when taking these photos.

Study your camera

If you have a DSLR camera, use a high shutter speed if possible – if you’re not sure just keep on automatic.  If you’re using a point and shoot, test how quickly your camera actually takes the photo after you push down the shutter button.  Many point and shoots have a bit of a lag so make sure you account for this minor timing adjustment.  You can also use the sports or motion setting  if your camera comes with that setting.


Have the person stand right where you’ll be taking the photo and pre-focus your camera by pressing the shutter button halfway down to prepare for the shot.


Count “1-2-3-jump” to help get the timing right for taking the photo. You may have to do this a few times to coordinate with your jumper. Remember that you want to snap the shot at the peak of the jump.

Shoot, shoot and shoot some more

The beauty of the digital camera’s is that you can take as many photos as your memory card can handle and you can delete on the spot, so take as many photos as you can… well, until your jumper runs out of steam anyway.

These quick tips will help you take great jumping photos

These quick tips will help you take great jumping photos


Pickle Jar Remix – DIY Frosted Glass Vase

| Crafts & DIY, For the Home

Pickle Jar Remix - Frosted Glass Jar

Pickle Jar Remix – Frosted Glass Jar

Pickle Jar Remix – DIY Frosted Glass Vase – Pretty much every time I throw at jar into the recycling bin I feel a little bit guilty because I keep thinking I should do something with that jar.  I wish I could say I’m uber excited to save the environment or something altruistic like that but it’s a little more simplistic than that… I just like to create things.  A couple of weeks ago I found some frosted glass paint.  I didn’t have anything in mind when I picked it up but thought it may come in handy some day.  Well, that someday was yesterday when I went to toss a pickle jar into the recycling bin. I was holding the jar in my hand thinking about what a beautiful size and shape it was when I realized it would make a sweet little vase if done up nicely.  So I tracked down some white paint, the frosted glass paint, some thin tape (washi tape in this instance) and a smallish pouncer. This was a really quick project about 20 minutes all in, not including the drying time.

One last thing before I get to this DIY tutorial.  I LOVE PEONIES! We used to have huge bushes of them where I grew up in Ontario and I loved picking them for my mom when I was a little girl.  I had grown a bunch at our old house that we moved from last year.  Just this Spring I planted a number of peony tubers but then about a month or so after I planted them, my husband had a guy come over to weed all our gardens and didn’t tell me.  The guy he hired “weeded” all of my peonies.  What kind of gardener doesn’t know the weeds from the plants… deep breath.

Anyway, after that incident I’ve been in peony withdrawal so I went back to our old house and with the tenants permission (friends of ours actually) I picked a few peonies for the lovely bouquet in this photo… ah, all better now. Look at how gorgeous those flowers are!


  • Glass paint – Americana Frosted Gloss Enamels – Frosted glass paint in white (from Michaels)
  • Craft paint – Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint in Wedding Cake (from Michaels)
  • Small to medium size pouncer
  • Tape (I used thin washi tape)


  1. Soak jar in warm water to get the label off the jar and then wash it to make sure there is no paper or sticker residue left on the glass.  Dry glass thoroughly.
  2. Place your tape into the position being careful to make straight, consistently spaced lines.
  3. Using your pouncer, gently sponge on your solid colour paint (white in my case) in between the tape.  Carefully go around the outside until all the space is filled in. Allow to dry for an hour or two, then remove the tape.
  4. Now, using your frosted glass paint, dab on using your pouncer starting at the bottom and move to the top until the entire jar is covered.  I found that if I went over it again (about 5 minutes later) with a sparse second coat it had a better “frosted” appearance. Allow to dry completely.
  5. Fill jar/vase with water and beautiful flowers.
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Turn Your Sketches & Doodles Into Vector Art – Tutorial

| Design & Technology

Turn your sketches into digital vector images.

Turn your sketches into digital vector images.

Turn Your Sketches & Doodles Into Vector Art – I love to doodle and honestly, I don’t do it enough.  On the list of everything I have to do in my life, doodling ranks pretty low (shocking, I know) but there’s something about doodling… it helps me relax, focus and just be in the moment. Fortunately, from time to time in my job,  I need to draw something and turn it into a vector image.  I wanted to share this technique with you so that you can turn your works of art into amazing vector graphics too. This tutorial requires a scanner, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator (I use CS6).

  1. Create the sketches that you’d like to convert into digital vector art.  I like to use Pigma Micron pens because they come in various thicknesses, are a rich black colour and they write beautifully but use whatever you prefer. I also like to use tracing paper to sketch on – it’s cheap and there’s a smooth quality to the paper that’s really nice.
  2. Scan your sketches with a flatbed scanner.  Scan at a high resolution of at least 400 dpi while using the greyscale setting.
  3. Open your scanned sketch into Photoshop and make sure your file is in the RGB colour mode.
  4. Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > SELECTIVE COLOUR. Toggle the colour to WHITE and using the slider, move to -100% black with the ABSOLUTE radio button clicked on.  Then toggle to BLACK and using the slider, mover to 100% black.screen2screen3
  5. Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > CURVES. Grab the tiny black square at the top right of the graph and slide it over slightly towards the left (not down at all) and then grab the tiny black square at the bottom left of the graph and move it slightly to the right. You’ll have to eyeball this a bit and see what looks best. The goal here is to make the white as white as possible without washing out any black while making the black very dark without turning any of the white to grey. There are many ways of adjusting colours in Photoshop besides SELECTIVE COLOUR and CURVES.  You can also use BRIGHTNESS/SHADOWS as well as LEVELS to achieve your desired outcome.  Feel free to use what you’re comfortable with.screen5b
  6. Once you’re satisfied with the colour settings, crop your page to select the part of the image you want for your design.  You may also bring in the entire page into Illustrator if you have multiple sketches, convert them all together and then just pick out the selections you’re after… whatever works best for you. Save your image.
  7. Select the entire image and copy or use CTRL+C and then open a new page in Illustrator and paste in your sketch onto the canvas. Feel free to enlarge the sketch slightly (remember to hold SHIFT + ALT to constrain the proportions).
  8. Select your image using the SELECTION tool (black arrow) and you’ll notice that in the properties bar at the top, a LIVE TRACE  button will appear (or IMAGE TRACE depending on which version you have). Click on the LIVE TRACE or IMAGE TRACE button. (If you’re not super happy with the results, you can click on the white arrow to the left of the IMAGE TRACE button and play around with the various settings – I find the Black and White Logo setting can work well too). Once you’ve clicked the  LIVE TRACE or IMAGE TRACE button you’ll notice that it now says EXPAND.  With your image still selected, click on the EXPAND button. screen7
  9. With the image selected, right click your mouse and toggle down to UNGROUP and click on it. Now, click on a white area of the drawing so that it’s selected and then go to SELECT > SAME > FILL COLOUR and all the white in your image will be selected, hit the DELETE button. You want to get rid of all the white sections of your image.screen9screen10
  10. Select all the black items on the canvas, right click your mouse and toggle down and click on group. Now your sketch is all grouped together. (Don’t bother with this step if you’d like to move the various elements of the image around on the page or modify them individually).
  11. At this point you can get creative, add colour and use the vector on top of backgrounds, photos, etc. Use your vector to create or enhance your very own work or art.screen11
    Free printable

    Free printable

    Feel free to download this printable here. Enjoy!


Simple DIY Key Fob Wristlet

| Crafts & DIY

Simple key fob wristlet anyone can make

Simple key fob wristlet anyone can make

Simple DIY Key Fob Wristlet – At least 3-4 times a year I get to work, and go to open my office door only to look down to see that I’m holding my husband’s keys in my hand instead of my own. After a few choice words come out of my mouth, I turn around, go back to my car and drive back home (thankfully, I live close to my work). Neither of us can get into our offices without our office keys. Our keys look almost exactly the same since we both have identical key fobs and keys for our cars, house, trailer, etc. There are some minor differences but not enough that you’d notice if you just quickly grabbed the keys on the way out the door. So I’ve decided it’s time to put a stop to this frustrating mistake I keep making time and time again (seriously, this has been going on for years and yes, it’s taken me this long to decide to do something about it).

Now that I’m starting to find my way around the sewing machine, I decided to make some really cute key fob wristlets.  Sometimes, like when I’m just popping in to pick up my daughter at school, I don’t want to carry my purse with me so I just grab my keys and go. So a key fob wristlet it is. This is ridiculously easy to make, even for novice sewers. Just get some pretty ribbon, cotton webbing, key fob hardware and you’re ready to go.


  • ¾” ribbon ($1/roll at Michael’s)
  • 1.25″ Cotton webbing (bought from Etsy)
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • 1.25″ Key fob hardware (bought from Etsy)
  • Pliers (I wrapped a piece of masking tape around the ends so it didn’t scratch the key fob hardware)
  • Sewing machine and thread


    1. Cut a strip of cotton webbing as well as a strip of ribbon exactly 11” long (I have small hands and didn’t want the key fob too large so adjust the length if you think you’d want it larger).
    2. Put a moderate amount of glue on the back of the ribbon and then place it onto the cotton webbing so that it’s exactly in the middle.  Allow to dry until it’s securely in place.
    3. Take the cotton webbing with the ribbon glued on to your sewing machine and sew a straight  line approximately ¼” in from the edge of the ribbon from one end to the other. Repeat on the other side of the ribbon. Trim off any long pieces of thread.
    4. Fold in half so that raw ends of the cotton webbing/ribbon are even. Sew the two ends together about ¼” from the edge.
    5. Place the sewn end inside the opening of the key fob hardware making sure that neither side is sticking out the sides of the hardware. Take your pliers and gently squeeze the sides of the hardware together until it clamps firmly over the material.  Give the webbing a tug to make sure it’s securely in place. Add a jumper ring to the hardware and you’re done.

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