Friday, October 14, 2011

Fix-It-Friday 10/14/11

I really will get back into the groove of things soon, lol. I have been SUPER busy, so it is not for a lack of projects to share. I may have to just spend a day unloading (or uploading) all of my projects on here just to prove it. :)

I had a minute to spare this morning and thought I would take part in this week's Fix-It-Friday. For those who don't know what that is, it is where you take someone's less than ideal photo and turn it into something worth keeping. You know all those pictures that you took that you wish you would have done...then it would have been great. Well, take some inspiration from this challenge and play around. What do you have to lose! You check out more here.

Here is the original SOOC photograph.

Here is my first edit. Most of it is done in Lightroom and a touch in Photoshop. First I did an adjustment brush on the background and raised the exposure. I straightened, added an s-curve, cropped and bumped the contrast.

I like to do black and white as well. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fix It Friday!

I love Fix It Friday. I don't get to do it very often, but I really want to make the effort more in the future. Fix It Friday is where you take a specific photo, done by someone else, and make your own edits to it and share how you went about it. Here is this weeks original photo.
Such a cute little girl and fun to edit. Here are my edits in color and black-and-white, along with my process.
-cropped   -healing brush touch up on skin   -adjust levels   -remove color cast   -bump curves   -s curve   -contrast   -resized   -sharpened

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

what big eyes you have...

This is one of our seven animals. Yes, I said seven. Four dogs. One cat. Two turtles. Not to mention the hubby and kids, lol.

I just can't turn them away. Now, I am not even allowed to look at a loose animal or go into anyplace that may have them for adoption.

Unfortunately, I am SOOOO allergic to all of them. I am on three allergy medicines a day just to be able to cope with them. But I could never turn a member of my family over to someone else. And they are definitely a part of my family.

This little one is my little baby. She isn't as small as my feisty pup, but still able to fit in my lap. She is a bit timid as you can probably tell by the photo, lol. She doesn't like noises, storms, quick movement...basically don't breathe in her direction. Just kidding...kinda...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

senior sneak peek

senior sneak peek, originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.
I got to take another senior's portraits this past weekend. With the past weekend's hurricane, I was thankful the weather held out. It was a bit hot at times, but I would rather have that than the thunder and warnings that I am now listening to.

We had fun and I just LOVE this super sweet family. I hope to do more of them in the future. I really love seniors because of the excitement they generate. You can see how they are looking forward to the last year of high school and wondering what the future will hold. I can't wait for them to see the rest of their portraits and hope they heart them as much as I do. :)

Joined up with the following link parties:
Favorite Photo of the Week Contest
Favorite Friday

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

sweet baby bug

sweet baby bug, originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.

My adorable new great-niece has been keeping my attention this weekend (along with all my cuddly hugs). She is so sweet with her squishy cheeks and soft auburn hair. Do you know what I love about having my first great-niece? I get to hug on her AND sleep through the night! Just kidding...not really. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Getting Back in the Game...

Well, I dare show my face (or avatar) again after quite the little break. So much has been going on around me that time just got away from me. Now that summer has beat my door down, I'm trying to get into a new routine. I have been quite busy and have so much to share...but one thing at a time. :)

Stocking my smallfrynotables shop has been a blast and I am looking forward to adding so much more! Please stop by and check it out. Here are a couple of items you will find there...

If you like what you see, please "like" Small Fry Notables on facebook, as well! In fact, if you drop by now, please write something on the wall you would like to find for your upcoming Independence Day gatherings. You might find it as a FREE download next week!

Another thing that has consumed me is...couponing! I never thought I would do it, but once I started, it has become quite addictive. I thought I did well with my bargain hunting before, but I have blown myself away, lol. I always love a challenge.

Well, tootles for now, but I won't stay gone long!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Sweetest Celebrations...

Yummy, candy-coated colors with visually edible details that make them so enticing for a sweet celebration.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Finally feels like spring...

spring02web, originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.

Aahhhhh...fresh air, gentle breeze above freezing temps, spring has arrived.

It feels like we have waited through a longer than normal winter with very little patience.

The windows were opened today to help get the spring cleaning mood set. After some cleaning this weekend, everyone went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.

The kids played catch with the football and made "au naturel" food from mud and leaves.

The hubby did some yard work and I went on a hunt for some signs of spring to capture on film, err, flashcard.

Except for my terrible allergies, this is my very favorite season of the year...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cupcake-rrific Party Activities

The girls were excited to get the party started! They each had a personalized apron at their seat (tutorial on this later) that they (and I!) loved.

Then the decorating began... The first cupcake was not the edible kind. Painting ceramic cupcake boxes, the girls were deep in concentration. I just loved how different each one turned out.

I joined these parties:
More the Merrier @ The DIY Home Sweet Home
The DIY Show Off Parade @The DIY Show Off
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
Show Me Monday @ Fashion Diary of a Mormon Girl
Manic Monday@ SewHappyGeek
Who's Got Glam? @ Giggles, Glitz & Glam
Homemaker Monday @ 11th Heaven Homemaking Haven
Life Made Lovely Monday @ Blessed Little Nest
Creation Mondays @ The Life of Me
Craft Catwalk @ Embellishing Life Everyday

Weekend Wrap Up @ Colours Dekor
All About You Monday @ Texas Monkey
Polly Want a Party Monday @ Polly Want a Crafter?
Pink Hippo Party @ Pinkapotamus
Made with Love Monday @ Sew Chatty
You're So Very Creative @ Me Making Do
Mad Skills Party @ Mad in Crafts
My Crafty Weekend @ Until Wednesday Calls
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping it Simple
Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Craftastic Monday @ Sew Can Do
Craft-O-Maniac Mondays
M.M.M. @ C.R.A.F.T.
Made by You Monday @ Skip To My Lou
Anything Goes @ Type A Decorating
Santa's Gift Shoppe - Year Round
Amaze Me Monday @ Dittle Dattle
Marketplace Monday - Finding Fabulous
Making the World Cuter Monday

A Sweet Tablescape!

A Sweet Tablescape!, originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.

This was the scene as you entered From Art to Zebras for my daughter's 10th birthday party. It was a sampling of the cupcake decorating celebration to come.

Each place setting had a chef hat and tiny cupcake lip gloss to match the cute cupcake decor. The kiddos had bright colored Crush sodas in glass bottles and colorful bendy straws, so no cups were needed. Next up, some sweet activities...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Perfectly Cute Cupcake Invite!

My youngest just turned 10 years old! My babies are both now in the double digits. It goes by so quickly.

My kiddos are both great with coming up with ideas and running with them. We needed a theme that was great for multiple ages of girls. My daughter had just finished taking a cake decorating class with our homeschool group and we thought that would be a "sweet"idea, lol.

I wanted to make some special invitations for her big day and had an inkling of what I wanted. One afternoon, while demonstrating some techniques for one of our art classes, I did some cupcake doodles and loved them so much I wanted to include them on the invites! So the cupcake graphics and paper layers are all hand drawn and painted and the invites are digitally created and printed on glossy cardstock.

We were both so excited about how they turned out and think it was a great peak at the party to be. I will post more picts of the favors and activities later so stay tuned!

I linked up to the following parties:

Ten Buck Tuesdays @ Young Nesters

Creative Share Wednesday @ Trendy Treehouse

Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest

The DIY Show Off

Friday Free For All Party @ Sassy Sites

Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative

More the Merrier @ The DIY Home Sweet Home

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fix-It Friday

Life has hit me hard the last couple of weeks. Between unexpected travel and a houseful of flu, I'm ready to burst! Luckily the Fix-It Friday on I Heart Faces came about just in time to save me today. :)

So here is the original photo, shot by Andrea Riley, straight out of camera.

The first thing I did was crop the image. Then I bumped the curves, added more contrast, reduced the red, burned the background, and finally sharpened the final image. This is my edited color version.

And here is my version in a soft black and white (my fave)...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

From Drab to Fab - January Creative Challenge

So for my project with a $20 maximum, came in at $18.44. It was a lamp that someone had given us long ago. I had kept it in my basement for ages because I really disliked it (that's really an understatement). I had to buy a new lampshade because I couldn't find one at the thrift store that was the shape I wanted. I'm sure I could have scoured more, But I was still under $20 so I didn't sweat it. So here is what I started with.

Pretty bad, huh? Not to worry. The first thing I did was to give the metal a little rub down with a fine grade sand paper to give it some tooth, then gave it a couple of coats of a red spray primer that was made for metal.

After priming it, I left that to dry for a bit while a freehanded a simplified leaf shape in pencil on the new lampshade. Next, I used thick artist acrylic black paint to fill in the pencil sketch. This was a silk lampshade, so anything too wet will spread. I went back and painted a black border on the top and bottom to give it a bit more punch.

By now, the primer was dry and I gave the base a couple of coats of matte black spray paint.

I then took a copper patina glaze and drybrushed all of the edges and surfaces that would normally show wear, topped it with the new shade and called it a day!

I joined the party at:
DIY Project Party monthly contest
Creative Share Wednesday @ Trendy Treehouse
FFA Friday @ Sassy Sites
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
The DIY Show Off Project Parade
Amaze Me Monday @ Dittle Dattle
Letting the Creative Tuesday Juices Flow
Restored It Wednesday @ Restore Interiors
Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday @ Sassy Sites

Monday, January 31, 2011

January Creative Outburst Grownup Gathering

We had so much fun at our first Creative Outbursts at our new From Art to Zebras studio! Our theme for this one was New Year, New You. We each did a 16"x20" mixed media canvas. Everyone chose a face or design that represented how they felt. I loved the variety and seeing how everyone felt about themselves. And I am so looking forward to our February Creative Outbursts that we will be creating cupcake collages for a sweet soiree!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Dino-Mite Party Idea!

Here is my FIRST treasury on Etsy! WooHoo! This was really fun to put together. I just love these dinosaur items for a little boy's party! I do really like the cutesy kind of dinosaurs, but the "big" boys tend to think they are too babyish. These are that perfect medium between cute and downright scary!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What to Wear Wednesday - Valentine's Kids Style

-reposted from minor impressions

Ok, I admit, I haven’t even taken down my Christmas tree yet! I know, I need to get with it because before I know it, I’m going to get a note in my daughter’s folder giving me all the fun info for her class Valentine’s Day party. It’s hard to believe it’s only a month away.

If you’re a little more prepared than I am, you still have time to plan an adorably unique photo shoot to make some cards that all of your kiddo’s friends will be excited to show off. The great thing about Valentine pictures is that they can get away with being very casual. Since these are cards that will be given to their friends, let them show their personality. You can make a simple t-shirt dressier with a tulle skirt or a little more casual with a jean skirt and leggings. Let your son show his wild side for all the girls, or how tamed and put-together he is.

This is also the perfect time to find some adorable props to add. Instead of buying real roses with the thorns, you can find a bouquet of fake roses at a craft store, and all of the other items are easily found at Wal-mart or your local grocery store. Most kids will love the opportunity to eat chocolate or lick lollipops while being photographed, and the younger kiddos will find it hard to resist squeezing a new teddy bear!


Girl Outfit & Accessories – Gap

Boy Outfit – The Children’s Place

All props can be found at Wal-Mart, but these were found on the web.

Lollipops – Melville Store

Teddy Bear – Target

Chocolates – Sees

Rose Bouquet – Wal-Mart

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Creative Challenge!

Theme: Totally Drab to Totally Rad!

I know it sounds a bit 80s but don't let that influence you (or do, if that's your thing!). Here are the details of our first public challenge with From Art to Zebras. Above all, HAVE A BLAST!

Your challenge this month is to spend $20 or less at a thrift store and buy something super ugly, tacky or otherwise abominable and revamp it into something totally awesome. If you have something totally horrible already, first, let me say I'm sorry; second, why???; and third, go ahead and use it for the challenge. You must take pictures of the item in its original state, so we can see both the before and the after. Your purchase can be a piece of artwork, clothing, figurine, statue, platter, furniture -- whatever! You decide. You can purchase more than one item at the thrift store as long as your total is $20 or less, and your items somehow come together in the same theme of the project.


  • Craft your project during this challenge period (Jan 11 - Jan 31st 2011) only. Projects created before this timeframe will not be removed, but they will be excluded from the voting. Post before and after shots on our From Art to Zebras facebook page and tag yourself in them. If you don't have a facebook account, you can either get one, lol, or just email them to us and we will post them.
  • You can make this by yourself or as a group or family. If participating as a group, please tag all individuals. You will be responsible for working out how the prize will be divided.
  • Post your craft no later than Jan 31st.
  • Voting will happen from Feb 1-8, 2011.
  • Enter only ONE project. Your entry can have multiple components to it.


It's probably impossible to know whether your project is 100% original or made by anyone else in the past. But if your project was definitely inspired by something you've seen before, please give credit to that project.

At the end, I'll set up a poll and the first place winner will get:

(1) their project featured on blog, facebook, website and twitter!
(2) bragging rights (you'll probably do it anyway).
(3) a $75 gift certificate to use with From Art to Zebras on anything! classes, camps, events, artwork, gifts, photography, okay, you get the hint. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow, snow and more snow.

I know this isn't mush snow for a lot of you. And I grew up with much more. But for this area, not many are used to the snow and puts a scare into their hearts. The roads aren't cleared, no chains allowed, stores run out of milk, bread and snow materials, and schools and businesses close down. Just this little bit wreaks havok on our community.

Usually, if it is going to snow, it isn't here until February and March. But oh no, it had to start EARLY this year. And it keeps coming back for more! If I could curl up with my kiddos and not worry, I might welcome it more. But knowing my husband has to be out with the freaked out drivers and the fact that we own a business that makes no money when we have to close, snow is not a joyful sight.

I have a deep yearning for spring...

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Supermodel Family...

originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.

Yay!!! It's Friday! We made it through the first week of winter session classes at the studio with flying colors. Okay, maybe not flying colors, lol, but colors nonetheless. We, meaning I, have finally realized I can't get through the chaos of still having boxes stacked as tall as me in the office with who knows what looming inside.

Everyone else at From Art to Zebras has known this all along. I just say I'm a free spirit and can't stop what I' doing long enough to worry about such things. Uuuummm, yeah, I can't find anything...

So with this amazing revelation, I plan on locking myself in the studio tomorrow and going to town! I know it will be a shock to many, but I will step into reality for this short time and deal with it. I have my big girl panties on and am ready to face the music. Okay, I'm really trying to not talk myself out of it. It is supposed to snow here tonight and I'm hoping it isn't enough to do the trick. It wouldn't be hard. Until tomorrow...

BTW, the photo of my family was throw in there to distract the passerby from my pile syndrome. ;)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Someone to Cuddle

boxer watercolor 2, originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.

This cutie pie is a watercolor I did last year as a Christmas gift for my MIL. I really enjoyed painting it more than I thought I would. I have always been more drawn to painting people and never really tried animals. But I believe this experience has changed my mind! So now I think I might have to do some more this year. I know how much people love their animals (we have 4 dogs, a cat, and 2 turtles!). I'm sure I won't be at a loss for inspiration!

I joined the party at:

Handmade Gifts Link Party - At Second Street

Show and Tell Saturdays - Be Different Act Normal

Saturday Spotlight - craft eNVy

CraftOManiac Monday Link Party

Take a Look Tuesday - Sugar Bee

Power of Paint Party - Domestically Speaking

Transformation Thursday - The Shabby Chic Cottage

Look What I Made - Creations by Kara

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What to Wear Wednesday - stylish winter outerwear

-reposted from morgan dawson photography

So I’m sitting here in my office, looking at a fresh 20 inches of snow, and wondering what my client will wear to our outdoor photo shoot this Friday. I’m thinking it will definitely involve a jacket. Probably some gloves. Likely a scarf. Boots for sure. Maybe a hat...

When an outdoor shoot is scheduled for cold weather, often this happens: You arrive wearing a random coat over your favorite I’m-wearing-this-no-matter-what outfit - throw off the jacket for pics - freeze to death - throw back on the jacket to warm up - take it off and try again - shiver and try to smile - rinse, repeat. Sounds like fun, right?

And then there are those who don’t want to deal with the cold at all, and opt to wait until the weather warms up - which here, might mean April or May.

I’m not a fan of either scenario, and there’s really an easy solution - bundle up, while also looking great!

Now I know some of you are lucky enough to live in a place where a snowplow contract isn’t the best investment you make each year, but that doesn’t mean a little cold-weather outerwear isn’t necessary. And we need to blow up this notion that by bundling up, you can't look absolutely outstanding.

But what to choose? Those tips we’ve been sharing with you - layers, color, accessories - are still key ingredients when it comes to putting together stylish outerwear for photos. And here's more:

  • I suggest staying away from straight white or black and opt instead for greys, browns, beige and color, color, color! I absolutely love bright yellows, pinks, greens and blues - the more vivid the better.
  • Since jackets can be expensive, don’t feel like you need to go and buy a trendy colorful coat that you’ll only wear once - especially for kids that will grow out of it in by next year. If what you already own fits you well (not some oversized thing you wear because it “goes over everything”), then keep it - and accessorize! Adding a hat, scarf or gloves can really make a huge difference.
  • If you warm up because everyone is hiking to reach that perfect photo spot, you may want to unbutton your jacket, so make sure the outfit beneath the jacket is photo-ready by looking over some past WW posts.
  • Vests look great over chunky sweaters or hoodies, and often come in a million different colors at a decent price (think Old Navy).
  • Leggings are another way to add fun color, and look great with boots over them. They also help you extend your fall wardrobe because you can wear them under skirts or dresses.
  • You can’t go wrong with jeans, so consider dark denim a winter wardrobe staple. Consider wearing them a little different by tucking them into your boots or rolling them up to meet the top of the shoes (especially cute for younger boys).
  • Still not warm enough? Throw on some long underwear, a thermal top, and an extra pair of socks! Pretend you’re dressing to go play out in the snow - just with style :-)

Below, I’ve put together outerwear ideas for a family of six. I only included one accessory for each person, but you can definitely add more. For women, I love chunky earrings peeking under hats, or a necklace you might only see if the jacket is worn open.

Bottom line: This is a wonderful time of year for outdoor photos! It doesn't take much to turn a drab day into a thrilling memory.


Outfit Guide


Double-Cloth Colletta Coat - $208 (on sale) - J.Crew

Sequinned Jersey Scarf - $28 (on sale) - Boden


Down Shirt Jacket - $99 - Eddie Bauer

Men’s Ribbed Scarf - $34.50 - Lands End Canvas

Young Girl:

Cosy Textured Coat - $35 (on sale) - miniBoden

Olive Green Beanie Hat - $9.00 - Etsy

Young Boy:

Detachable Hood Puffer Vest - $18.99 (on sale) - Crazy 8

Avocado, Cream, Mustard & Coffee Children’s Hat - $24.00 - Etsy

Baby Girl:

Faux-Fur Trim Hooded Jacket for Baby - $17.00 (on sale) - Old Navy

Gingerbread Earflap Hat - $5.99 (on sale) - Crazy 8

Baby Boy:

Jersey Duffle Jacket - $21 (on sale) - miniBoden

Stocking Hat - $28 - Etsy

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Commissioned Digital Painting on Canvas

I had to wait a bit to post this picture because it was a Christmas present. This is one of my faves that I have done and a super fun family to work with.

It is painted, scanned, digitally painted, printed on canvas and stretched on a 16"x20" frame. I love to incooperate words into my pieces, whether it is a favorite verse, song lyrics or just a definition or quote. I think it adds something even more personal that helps define that person.

I hope they loved it as much as I did. Let me know if you would like one of your own made up!

I joined the party at:
Made by You Mondays - Skip to my Lou
Transformation Thursdays - The Shabby Chic Cottage
Craft Schooling Sunday - Creative Jewish Mom
Market Yourself Monday - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
CraftOManiac Monday Link Party
Marketplace Monday - Finding Fabulous
Anything Related Tuesday - All Thingz Related

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dino-Mite! Party Invitations

dinosaur-invite-2, originally uploaded by smallfrynotables.
I made some invitations for a little boy that is having a dinosaur birthday party at the studio soon. I had so much fun with it, that I ended up making a series of eight different invites. I wish my young man was still at an age to enjoy these...Oh well, at least I get to make them for others! I will be adding these to the online store soon as well as smallfrynotables. These would be cute for a baby shower to if you were looking for something not quite as traditional. They are all 5.5"w x 8.5"h and printed on glossy cardstock with recycled kraft paper envelopes included.

I joined the party at:
Market Yourself Monday - Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Toot Your Horn Tuesday - A Silly Little Sparrow
Frugalicious Friday - Finding Fabulous
Feature Yourself Friday - Fingerprints on the Fridge
CraftOManiac Monday Link Party
Tot Tuesday - My Delicious Ambiguity
Marketplace Monday - Finding Fabulous
Take-a-Look Tuesday - Sugar Bee

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shared Sweetness

Today was a somewhat relaxing day for us. After a thoughtful church service this morning, our kids helped put away the Christmas stuff while I was cleaning. We decided we really needed something sweet to eat. :) Who can say no to that? So my hubby and 12yo son baked a strawberry cake (the guys of this house love their pink cake!). Then my 9yo daughter iced and decorated it. Notice I didn't mention me! With very little help from me, they made a great cake! We may have to try this more often!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011, Another Beginning...

Yay! It's another new year! A fresh start, a new beginning. It is always so exciting for me to pull out the fresh calendar and new journal. The pages so crisp and waiting for all the plans. Of course, it is just another today; it will be another yesterday; so it feels a bit odd to put so much importance on the one day.

Each day should really carry that much importance. Each day is a new beginning. As I look over my resolutions, I try to remind myself of this. I try to cut myself some slack when I'm just too tired, or really need that peanut butter cup, lol. I can start over again tomorrow.

I try to just take each day at a time instead of a whole year at a time. It is just too overwhelming for me to look at the whole year. You never know what will happen or what the next obstacle or opportunity will be. If you plan so far ahead, it is almost like you are putting yourself in a bit of a rut. Put those things that are most important there, so they stay on top, and keep the rest a bit open to allow some spontaneity into your life.

But I do love the new pages! And for a little creative outing today, I got myself a yummy new art journal. Mr. NonCreative didn't understand why I was so excited about some rumbled, jagged pages aka handmade, molded, deckled edged paper with a woven hemp cover. Whatever, I LOVE this journal and can't wait to make my first marks in it in the morning! I hope you have found something to inspire you for the new year!