The holidays and pretty bokeh go hand in hand, no? I think I take at least a dozen bokeh shots in a week but it's fun to mix it up and add some shapes to those lights. I've provided a few free cut files for you to try. If you don't have an electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette, you can print the PDF and use an Xacto knife. btw, Studio Calico is offering a Silhouette might want to add that to your wish list. Total game changer for me.

The circle will fit perfectly into a 50mm or 85mm lens. It's a tad loose so they come out easily. Just add a few pieces of washi tape to hold it in place. Ideally you want to use black card stock but I didn't have any on hand so I used a dark gray. Worked just as well.


I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 50 mm 1.4 lens. I also like to use an 85mm 1.4 lens for bokeh. If you don't know how to capture bokeh, set your lens to manual and twist the lens until you see your lights going out of focus. This is where you can experiment to see what settings will give you the best results as I'm sure is varies.

Have fun!



Paper banner wall hanging

I created a simple paper banner for the Basic Grey blog using the RSVP line. I'll be honest and say that that was a challenge in itself. The line is super feminine but it didn't stop me from creating something I now have hanging in my studio. The challenge was welcoming and it was just the sort of thing I needed to get me out of my creative slump.

I created a second banner using the leftover flower cut outs as stencils with watercolor paint.

I'll have more detailed instructions on how to recreate the banner later this week.


Create your transparencies

Happy Wednesday yo! The sun is finally out after weeks and weeks of rain, gray clouds, fog and snow. Yes, snow. It was gone within a few days but still, snow in September? Not cool.This marks the "get my sh*t together for the long winter" rush. I'm out and about trying to find the perfect jacket and boots when really I should be getting my snow tires on. My priorities seem to be off at times people, I'm fully aware of this. At least I've got the kiddo's winter gear, that was simple. They make such cute stuff for little people.

Besides moaning and groaning about the upcoming winter, I've been busy with projects and deadlines. You know, the yoush. (how the eff do you spell that? short for usual) I've got a cool tutorial on the Studio Calico blog today. I work a lot with transparencies since I use them to burn my screens for printing. I made a batch of these years ago for a Dare swap and never thought twice about making them for my Project Life album until I started messing around the SC digital brush stamps. They're fun to create and trust me, they get addicting. My advice to you is to fill up that sheet as much as possible because they're not cheap. They run about $60-$80 for a pack at my local office supply store up here. I found a great source online through Amazon because I use them so often. You can find them here. Of course you may not need 100 of them but still, you can't beat the cost.

Hey look, an actual PL page! And you thought it was a myth. Ha! (Girl print by Jamaicamakes & Gold amp on chipboard by Life.Love.Paper)

My PL is boring compared to what I see out there and I'm totally fine with that. I lost site of what this project was suppose to be about and now I've simplified it even further. I just grab a precut card, staple a journal spot, sometimes date it and insert it in a pocket. Done. Then I print photos at the end of the week and insert those. I'm not going to worry about exact dates or completing full weeks. I'm still pondering on doing this for 2013. If I do, it'll definitely be smaller. I'm not into this huge 12x12 binder. I need something more portable like the new SC Handbook.

Well, I've got some finger painting to do with the little man. XOT

Homemade tortillas yo.

Don't ask me what spurred the sudden interest of making my own tortillas but it seemed like a good idea since I had forgotten them from my shopping trip the day before and did not want to go back to the store. I repeat, I DID NOT WANT TO GO BACK TO THE STORE. I'm wearing what could be the ugliest sweatpants I own, no make up and hair that could not be tamed. I already had chicken in the crockpot that I had planned on shredding and was craving mexican so homemade it was. I found this pin to a recipe from the Taste of Home site for tortillas that did not require lard. (didn't have any of that either) The ingredients were incredibly simple but it was more time consuming than I had planned. But now I know what I'm doing so the next round should go a little better. One issue I had was that I could not roll out my tortillas in perfect circles. Screw perfect, I just wanted a somewhat traditional shaped tortilla but kept getting misshapen ovals. I swear one looked like the profile of Shrek. They did taste good. That was the important thing.