March 20, 2012

DIY Silhouette Tutorial

Silhouettes seem to be all the rage right now and with a new room to decorate, I wanted to get in on the action! I found several tutorial that seemed easy enough- but I don't have a projector and after seeing how expensive self-adhesive vinyl can be, I decided to forgo that route for a first time project. This is my super easy version of  DIY silhouette art...

First, you find (or take) the picture that you want to use. I would say if you're just using someone's head, use a profile picture. But if your subject is an animal, it could be fun to use a full-body shot in an off-beat pose, like I did here. For this project, I decided to take a new picture of Kevin. The only problem was that Kevin happens to be a total ham.

He will pose for the picture and then as soon as the shutter clicks, he will lunge for the camera. He really enjoys smiling. Needless to say, it's not easy to get him to focus on something other than the camera to get that profile shot.

Unless I catch him looking out the window. In fact, that's what he's doing as we speak I type.
Cute, right? Neighborhood watch at its finest. Anyway, I said something to the effect of, "Kevin, look at that bird!" and I pointed out the window. (There was no bird. I feel kind of bad. But I got my shot!)
Boom! He looks intense, right?
I uploaded it to my computer and changed it to sepia so I could see the definition around his head better.
Next, I printed that bad boy out, cut out around his head, and gathered my supplies...

  • cut out of your picture
  • canvas in the size you want
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brushes
  • something to mix paint in (if you don't care for the colors the paint comes in)
  • double sided tape (not pictured)

Once my supplies were laid out, I stuck some double sided tape along the edges of the back of my cut out.Then I positioned it on the canvas. Because Kevin was looking down when I snapped the picture, I thought he looked kind of sad. I wanted to make sure he looked more proud in his silhouette, so when I attached the picture to the canvas, I titled his head at the angle I liked.

Next, I mixed my paint. I wanted a soft pink, but only had hot pink, white, and brown. So I mixed a lot of the hot pink with a lot of the white and a dab of brown to get the shade I was looking for.

Then I painted around the edges (cutting in, I suppose), brushing out from the picture to ensure that my paint started at the edge of the picture and didn't seep underneath. I wasn't sure if this technique would work until I was finished...
After I finished the edges, I filled in the rest of the canvas so that the pink would be on the outside and the actual silhouette would be white. (If you wanted another color for the silhouette, paint the canvas that color first, let it dry, and then begin from the start of my instructions.)

After I finished my painting, I peeled off the picture, and ta-da!!!
 It still looks a little splotchy in the picture because it was drying, but it looks pretty sweet now that it's all dry!
And Kevin approves!

Now I just have to find the perfect spot for it in the nursery! :)

March 18, 2012

Week 23

This whole last week has been kind of lame. The weather's been kind of cold and crappy, work was dragging on all week, and Brian had to work a lot of overtime. Kind of the opposite of perfect. All of the down time led me to try something new- attempting to crossover to a self-hosted blog. Turns out it was a little bit more complicated than what I was expecting and my patience was just too short to try to deal with it. And for as much crap as people talk about Blogger, I've really liked it. That's kind of all that really matters. I'm sticking with this for now. Enough of that.

This is what I'm looking like now:
Pretty hefty, huh?

I think the camera may have added those 10 (or 20) pounds though. I mean, obviously I'm getting bigger, but I look like a cow in the 23 week picture. In my own defense I ate a pretty big burger for lunch and I had just downed a cup of almond milk.

Or maybe it was a bad angle.

Or maybe I'm just that effing big now. I don't know... more pictures to come soon though.

On a positive note, I managed to squeeze into my old jeans last night (which I hadn't tried in a couple of weeks, so that's a good thing, I guess).

On another positive note, the baby is definitely getting bigger and stronger. She's kicking a lot more, which is very reassuring. And now, not only can Brian feel her, but we can see her moving! It's nothing too crazy yet, but if I lay down, all of a sudden my stomach will twitch. Right now it just kind of looks like a muscle spasm, but it's neat. :)
Brian had to work all day yesterday, so that kind of sucked, but I got to spend some time with my family, so it worked out. My mom and I went to our step class in the morning. I noticed that although my energy level is back up, my dexterity level is down. Like, if I make the wrong move in class (which happens more frequently than I'd like to admit), I can't adjust my body in time to catch up anymore, so I have to stop and figure out where the class is, and then join them again. It's kind of frustrating, but if I concentrate, I think I can manage. Or I could just look like an idiot. Either way.

After class, we went to Joann Fabric to get some quilting supplies so we can finally begin our project. While I was there, I got a canvas to I could make an art project...
A Kevin silhouette for the nursery! I'll post a tutorial tomorrow- it's super easy. And Kevin-approved!

That night after Brian got home, we went over to our friend Rachael's house for some corned beef and cabbage. It was St. Patrick's day, after all! It was nice to get to spend good quality time with our buddies.

Today was a good day. We rounded up the moms and went to Buy Buy Baby to start our gift registry! Buy Buy Baby is affiliated with Bed Bath and Beyond and it's basically laid out the exact same way- a huge store filled with baby stuff. We've been in there 4 or 5 times now and each time, I get super overwhelmed. Like, I don't even know where to begin to shop for things.

Brian put up with me pretty well because I was kind of being a jerk. Not to him, but in general. The long week caught up with me, I was exhausted, and being in a huge store and not knowing what's what was making me feel like a pretty inadequate mom-to-be. But the moms were patient with me and Brian calmed me down. So between us, the moms, and a very helpful saleswoman, I think we made some pretty good decisions about what we want to get for the baby. Oh, and we bought a crib, so that was pretty exciting! Things are starting to come together and I'm feeling a lot better. And I got to spend more time with this guy today,
and what could be better than that? :)

March 14, 2012

Testing the blog

I'm in the process of transferring this blog over to a self-hosted one. But it's getting frustrating. Probably because it's 2 hours past my bedtime. I'm going to put it down for tonight... not even sure if this is going to post.

Fingers crossed.

Good night!

March 9, 2012

Soooo... I'm supposed to be working on my thesis right now. I gave myself a goal for the weekend to finish all of the edits my adviser has given me so far. It's been difficult to focus recently, but I put off finishing my degree last year because of the wedding, and I definitely want to be done with now so I don't have to worry about it once the baby is born. There is so much that I have going on right now- exciting, fun things that I'm actually looking forward to doing, so I decided to do a thesis-writing break to write an exciting-things-post...

Short Term
  • A nice, quiet night at home cuddling my boys and watching some Netflix.
  • Step class tomorrow morning- I've been feeling pretty good during workouts lately. Definitely not working out as hard as I used to, but I'm feeling pretty good when I consider my new size. (belly is currently having over the lap top, BTW. That would be it to your right!)
  • Picking up the guys right after class and heading over to watch my old softball girls play a game. I miss them and I miss watching them play, so it will be nice.
  • Date night (I think Friends with Kids- I have high hopes since Bridesmaids!)
  • Working on projects with my mom and dad... my mom and I need to get some supplies for our quilt and my dad and I are putting the finishing trim on the bookcase, then sanding, then painting! :)
 Long Term
  • We're planning a Babymoon... spring break is coming up in 3 weeks, and I'll be about 26 weeks along, so it would be perfect timing because I won't be huge and I'll still feel comfortable walking around. We're planning on going to San Diego. Not too far, but relaxing and fun!
 Which brings me to...
  • Spring Break! Who wouldn't look forward to a week of no work?!
  • I want to sign up for a short race while I still can. Just because I want to try. Not to PR, obviously. Just to say that I did. I found this one...

 Proceeds go towards victims of abuse (it has nothing to do with cats) and it's like, 20 minutes from my house. win-win.
  •  I signed up for two online classes yesterday through mu old community college. They're six weeks long and I'm pretty stoked about them- a photography class based on how to shoot human subjects and a photoshop class. Photography has always been interesting to me. And photographers are so expensive these days, I figure if I learn more about this art, I can take my own portraits of the baby on a regular basis... something like that!
  • A possible role change at work, but it's still hush-hush so that's all I'll say for now!
  • I'm having a baby, duh!
There's probably more, but those are the big things on my mind lately. Time to get back to work before Brian gets home so I can enjoy more weekend fun-time with him! :)

Have a great weekend!

March 8, 2012

Passing on my inner nerd...

I always enjoyed reading while I was growing up. My parents have a picture in of me that is still hanging in their hallway from when I was like a year old, fast asleep with a book opened up and resting on my chest. My mom used to continues to tell people that I brought a book to my first Dodger game. Before I got a TV in my room, I used to put myself to sleep with a book every night. I still have my huge collection of Baby Sitters Club books hidden away in a closet, and you know I've read each one at least twice.

Needless to say, I like getting lost in a good book and I believe all the reading I did as a child helped me immensely in school and broadened the range of my imagination. I want my daughter to enjoy reading as much as I do, so like I discussed in my last post, I want to create a reading area in her room from the get-go.

Over the weekend, my dad and I started working on a book case. My dad's pretty awesome- as soon as I told him what I wanted to do, he sprang into action by creating plans and drawing out dimensions of shelves. We went shopping for a bunch of lumber and started construction on Saturday morning.

A couple of hours in, Brian came over and jumped right in to help. Why wasn't he there from the beginning, you ask? It's because he's the best husband ever! He stayed home to vacuum and do dishes while I went to go play with power tools. He's awesome! ♥

But like I said, as soon as he got there, he jumped right in, so this piece of furniture is really going to be a collaboration of love for this little girl! We're still not done yet. We still have some trim to add and then some sanding and painting to do, but it's looking good!

One of the highlights of my week was coming home to one of my first purchases for the baby... books!!!

Sure, they're well beyond the reading comprehension level of a baby-toddler-young child, but they're classic stories (that I want to read/reread myself), so I'm going to start young! I felt kind of silly at first, but I'm looking forward to diving into some of these stories with her. Plus, Brian and I found a bunch of Golden Books (remember those?) and Disney books that we'll read to her too.

I'm so excited for it all! These books are really cool too- leather bound with shimmery pages and even some very pretty illustrations.

And for anyone keeping track, I've moved into my 22nd week, so here's last week's picture:
And compared to the previous weeks':
Starting to get bigger! The cool thing is, aside from the occasional heartburn (which is bad when it hits), I'm feeling pretty darn good. I'm staying awake later, I have more energy, and I'm starting to look pregnant in clothes and not just fat and frumpy. I've been feeling good at the gym each morning and the ladies there have been very sweet and complimentary, which has been making me feel good too. I'm also starting to feel her kick (Jab? Upper cut? Swing a bat? Not sure but she's getting stronger!) and that's been very reassuring. It's been a good week!

More to come soon!