Sunday, July 31, 2011

{Logos} Show us Your Teeth!

    It’s that time of year again… cue the heart pounding 2 note "Jaws" theme!  That’s right, it’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel!  This has become a summer tradition in our house.  We can sit for hours glued to the awesome toothy footage of these magnificent creatures.  In honor of Shark Week, we rounded up some fun shark logos.  Well, we’re going to grab two of the number 8s & get back to the show…   
Happy Shark Week everyone!

{Photoshop Corner} How to Create a Cool Lith Print Effect

The Lith Print Effect is based on a technique used prior to the advent of digital photography in which a print is overexposed and then developed in a special device called a lith developer. The original method was difficult to master and required a lot of practice, but fortunately with the advent of Photoshop this is no longer necessary. With a few simple steps, you can transform your photograph with an artistic and memorable style.

            The most important part to remember about this technique is to place emphasis on the contrast of the highlights and shadows, which helps define this style. In the end, your photograph will accommodate a rich texture, warm tones as well as glowing highlights next to dark shadows.

Step 1: Duplicate your image's layer and click on: Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Before making any changes, click the Colorize box. Set the Hue slider to 40 and Saturation to 30. Click OK to apply the changes.

 Step 2:  Duplicate the top layer and go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Select the uniform box, click Monochromatic and set the Amount slider to 30%. Click OK, then reduce this layer's Opacity to 30% to soften the texture. Apply the Gaussian Blur Filter, Radius 1.5 to soften further.

Step 3:  Create a new layer. Go to Edit>Fill; set to black. Now, with the Elliptical Marquee, draw an oval selection over the image. Hold Shift+Ctrl/Cmd+I to invert. Apply a layer mask, and set the layer blending to Soft Light. With a black soft brush, remove the inner edge to create a vignette.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

{Pugs in Design} Knit Two, Pug One

   We were in the craft store the other day & stumbled upon these cute pugs featured in different pattern books.  McCall’s Patterns has some pretty cute craft ideas for man’s best friend. If we only knew how to knit… :-) 

Friday, July 29, 2011

This website just might change your life!

    We have a great website for you today!  One of our friends introduced us to this site, and we are officially addicted.  Pinterest is a social visual bookmarking site that allows you to “pin” things that you love such as recipes, wedding & party ideas, designs, photos, etc.  which are collected onto a virtual bulletin-board like wall.  As you’ve probably seen in magazines, these “mood” boards are a valuable design tool in creating inspired design.  You can create personalized pin boards, search friends’ pins & boards, and explore what others find interesting! All you have to do is request an invite, and then wait for the fun to begin!
Check out our pinterests here! What pinterests you?  Have fun & start pinning!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Need Your Harry Potter Fix? Get it Here!!

   Once upon a time, lived a little boy with a lightning bolt scar named Harry Potter… and the rest is history.  Young & old alike have been captivated by the saga of Harry, the boy who lived, and his incredible adventures in J.K. Rowling’s magical world.  As you know, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part Two, the last installment of the films, recently opened in theaters worldwide.  The Potter movies may be over but they are the beginning of a classic for generations yet to come.  Can’t get enough Harry Potter?? Here are some fun items we have found that any witch, wizard, or muggle will love!

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."
J.K. Rowling

          2.  Witch & Wizard Family Auto Decals 

Are you a huge Harry Potter fan?  Send us an owl & tell us your favorite things about the world of Harry Potter. We’d love to hear from you!

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good,

P.S- Don't step on the dirigible plums!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

{Pugs in Design} Christmas in July!

                             From Target's 2010 Christmas Catalog

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

{Recipe} Southern Eats & Yummy Treats: A Taste of the South at your Fingertips!

     One of our favorite clients, the Roanoker Restaurant, is featured in Southern Living’s latest recipe book, Off the Eaten Path!  Featured on the Today Show, this is a lovely book that highlights favorite Southern Dives and selected recipes that have earned them their claim to fame.  You don’t have to be from the South to enjoy Southern cooking.  Now you can have a taste of that charming Southern hospitality any time you want! We love all of the recipes, but page 237 is our favorite :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

{Creative Corner} The Perfect Gift For Any Occasion

(Images courtesy of Denise Fiedler at Paste SF)

     We came across these creative collages from Denise Fiedler at Paste SF.  Each piece is crafted from hand picked vintage newsprint. Cute, affordable & sure to draw a smile, these framed original works of art would make a fabulous gift for any occasion! You can choose prints from a variety of categories or create your own with a customized photo.  Take a look, you won't be disappointed!

{Recipe} Who Else Wants Cookies?

(Image & Recipes Courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess)
      There’s just something about frosted sugar cookies that makes everything right with the world for just one moment…  The soft, cake like cookie with that oh so good dreamy creamy icing, yes please!  Here is a recipe we stumbled upon from the fun blog site, Hostess with the Mostess that will help create those “life is good” moments.  Treat yourself & don’t worry about the calories today. You know what they say… a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand :-) Happy Baking!!

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400ยบ.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl & set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until mixed well. Add the dry ingredients in slowly & mix well. Chill for at least an hour to stiffen the dough. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin & cut shapes with cookie cutters OR form dough balls and flatten into thick circles with your hands.
Bake 8-10 mins or until just the edges of cookies start to turn a very, very light golden brown. Don’t over-bake. For an extra-doughy consistency, remove the cookies before the edges start to brown.
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk
1 egg yolk (optional)
5-6 cups powdered sugar (thicken to desired consistency)
food coloring
Whisk butter, vanilla, milk and egg yolk together. Slowly mix in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. If it gets too thick, add more milk in very small amounts, about 1 tsp at a time.