Creating & Editing Images for Blogs & Social Media

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Are you looking for some quick free solutions to creating pretty graphics for you blog and other social media accounts? I have a few different sites I’d like to share with you as an alternative to Photoshop or other expensive complex graphic and photo editing software.

First up is Canva. This is by far one of my favorite sites to use to add text and graphics to images! Canva is incredibly user friendly and offers a variety of design sizes for you to choose from. From Facebook cover designs to Instagram photos, Canva guides you step by step through the design process. It allows you to upload your own photographs and even provides several filters to change their looks. There are free stock graphics available as well as ones you can purchase. There are plenty of images and text layouts to choose from without having to pay for anything!

A great site to use for resizing images is this one found on the Internet Marketing Ninjas site. This tool allows you to upload an image from your computer or use a URL. Once uploaded, you can either manually enter the dimensions you’d like to resize the image to or choose from different sizes outfitted to the requirements of a social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

Do you have a great quote you’d like to share on Instagram? Visit Recite and enter your quote into the text editor and then choose one of their layout templates. The site gives you the option to share your creation with social media sites or download it. Here is a quick example:

recite-awt6ztDo you need to edit photos? Use Picasa  or  Gimp as a free alternative to Photoshop.

These are just a few of the many amazing free tools out there to help you create stunning images. Have you ever tried any of these sites? I’d love to hear your feedback or recommendations for similar tools!

Have fun designing!
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Christmas Things

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday! Mine was calm and relaxing, thankfully. It was filled with tons of yummy food like my fancy Christmas morning breakfast of orange cranberry french toast with fresh strawberries and blueberries.

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I also got some wonderful gifts from my Husband:

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Kindle Paperlight – I never really planned on getting a kindle because any digital reading I did, I used my iPad. Now that I have been using my iPad to draw on I am slowly running out of space. I love the convenience of the Paperlight because it is so compact that I can stick it in my purse and carry it anywhere. The screen is so crisp it is almost as if I’m reading an actual book. I love the automatic anti-glare light adjustment feature as well. If you are a big reader, I definitely recommend one since they really are so affordable now.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 – I have the first version of this stylus which has more of a rubbery thick tip. Although, it is pretty precise I wanted to try out the new version since the tip allows more intricate details. Unfortunately, this stylus is only compatible with a few iPad drawing programs. Right now I use ArtStudio, but I will be transitioning over to Procreate slowly. Everyone seems to love that program, but I just can’t seem to get the hang of it!

Carnival Coloring Book – I saw this at Barnes and Nobles and fell in love with the artwork. I plan to use to for inspiration rather then an actual coloring book.

The Book of Hearts – Another pretty book I found with different illustrations of hearts that are anatomical designs as well as typical heart shapes.

Pusheen the Cat 2015 Wall Calendar – Do I even need to explain why I got this? Pusheen is the most adorable cat character and I’ll get to see his cute face hanging up at work everyday in 2015.

Christmas Eve we visited Lights in the Parkway, which is a big display of lights throughout one of the parks here in PA. It is beautifully done and here is a short video of it:

I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday! I’m thankful this week is another short one for me because I took off for New Years.

I’m excited to see everyone’s posts of gifts they received! If you made a Holiday post leave your link in a comment so I can check it out!

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Friday Favorites September 5

Guess what?!

Tomorrow is my birthday! Hopefully right now I’m still asleep spending the day relaxing. Tomorrow night we have reservations for a yummy dinner at Emeril’s Italian Table. The Eggplant Parm is amazing. Without further a due here are this week’s favs…

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1.) This Ulta Blender Sponge I learned applying make up by trial and error. My first tool of the trade was my fingers. Next, I graduated to those foamy sponges, and for awhile I just used the puff pads. I started wearing MAC liquid foundation and moved on up to a brush. Out of all of these methods, the brush provided the most smooth lasting coverage. UNTIL I tried this blender thingy. I saw it over and over again at Sephora and refused to pay $18 for it. On a trip to Ulta my husband I insisted I try it because it was only $5. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe what a different it makes with make up application.

2.) Target High Waist Flare Jeans Flares Flare jeans became popular while I was in junior high school and I’ve been a fan ever since. HOWEVER I don’t do low rise. My hips are large and any item of clothing that goes lower then my navel instantly creates a muffin top. I have a hard time finding jeans with my body type. I’ve been wearing a pair of Tilt jeans for like 5 years now that have fit me on again and off again. Right now, it’s an off again period. I gained a little weight (maybe 5lbs or so) and the jeans no longer fit as well as they should. When I saw these at target I had to try them on. I love the faded color and the fact that they are “high waist.”

I felt they were flattering, the high waist was perfect to cover up that little bit of extra bulge and they are a bit stretchy. Jean problem solved!

3.) Naked 2 Basics Palette Everyone is raving about this thing and yes, it is that awesome! I love that the colors are matte. I own both the Naked and Naked 3 palette an both have a lot of shimmery colors included. I work in an office and try to usually stay toned down. Plus, I’m lazy in the morning and don’t feel like going all out on my make up. If you like neutral matte colors, definitely pick this up!

4.) The Simpsons Powder Blush in Sideshow You. I grew up watching the Simpsons and love that MAC paid homage and came out with a special collection. The eye and lip colors were a little too bold for me so I opted on the coral blush. The packaging is adorable and the blush is beautiful. One of my favorite blushes is Orgasm by NARs but I find that to be too sparkly. Sideshow You reminds me of it but it is more matte. If you are a Simpson fan, definitely pick up something from this collection!

5.) NYX Xtreme Lip Cream in STRAWBERRY JAM Am I the last to know that Target now sells NYX products? I am pretty much at target every other day and have never noticed them before. I love love LOVE these lip creams. The colors are super sheer and not sticky. Strawberry Jam in particular leaves a pink neutral hue on your lips. It’s very subtle but pretty. I think these are about $4.50 each. Try one, seriously.

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School Journey Month 4

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As the final week of my fourth class wraps up, I let out a sign of relief. I am so glad this one is finally over! This month was incredibly tough for me. Before I started this Art History class, I believed that I would enjoy it. As long as it is not math, I figured I was prepared to handle anything. This class just flat out frustrated me. The workload was similar to every other class, yet I found myself stumbling through this one. Like the other classes at Full Sail, this one required a lot of writing. I don’t mind writing and I feel that I am able to write about any subject once I get into the flow. During this class I found myself typing out a few sentences, going back and deleting them, re-typing them, and after an hour or so I’d be lucky if I managed to write one paragraph. It is not that it was particularly hard, I just could not decide on what to write. My Husband said my problem is that I am looking for the right answer and in reality, there is no right answer. I agree, I believe that art is subjective. Each of us are drawn to certain things about an art piece. What I see, others may not, and vice versa.

I understand the importance of an Art History class especially when you are majoring in art. There are certain things in composition and techniques used that are great to know. I admit that I did learn some things that will benefit my career in the future, but it did not make it any more enjoyable.

It is virtually impossible to learn about the ENTIRE history of art in four weeks and actually retain that information. Somehow Full Sail is able to mush it all together. Maybe my opinion is biased, and I’d actually like the class if I had enough time to digest it all. Again, the best thing about Full Sail is the fact that the classes are so short that you only have to deal with them for a month and then move on to the next.

I’ll be more inclined to dissect the composition of a piece of art next time I visit a museum. Usually, I’d look at a piece and would base judgement on it by first sight. If it was not visually appealing to me, I would not take a second glance. If there is one thing I learned during this class, it is to pay attention to the finer details.

Tuesday is the start of Designing Computer Graphics. This class is geared towards my major, so I am really looking forward to it!

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