How I get my Photos Web Ready

Camera to Web- Blog Photos Process (includes watermarking and sizing!)

Alright friends, I have something a bit different for you today. If you’re not a blogger or someone who publishes photos- this one might not be for you. But if you come back Monday, I have a freebie for you! And then on Wednesday I’ve got a craft. So there’s good stuff coming for non-bloggers, I promise! But for you bloggers and other web publishers… today I’m sharing how I get my photos web ready. From the camera to the blog- this is what I do to process, watermark, and size my photos. It took me a little while to nail down the best process for me, but now I can process photos in a hurry and get them lookin’ good AND have them watermarked, at web size and resolution in no time at all. The best way I found to show you guys is by making a video- so I hope it’s super clear!

I’m taking an online class right now (actually, I’m taking four because I’m a super-nerd) called ‘Grow Your Blog Traffic with Social Media‘ (or GYB as the cool kids call it)… it’s the reason I finally got Facebook- are you following me yet? #shamelessplug And Regina (the wicked awesome writer of the e-kit) challenged us to share some of our process with our readers. You can see the rest here. If you know me at all, you know I can’t turn down a good challenge. If you read here regularly, when I announced my Reader Survey results, I promised that I’d start sharing some behind the scenes blogging tidbits because over half of my readers blog or would like to start a blog. So consider this the first!

The one thing that I feel like I really have a handle on for this whole blogging thing is processing my photos. It’s also something I haven’t seen a similar tutorial for. So there are a million ways to process your photos to get them web ready, but this is what I find works best for me.

Camera to Web- Blog Photos Process (includes watermarking and sizing!)

This tutorial is using Lightroom- which I can’t recommend enough (it will save you so much time- and improve your images!). Before I started this blog (and still occasionally) I took on photography clients. I’ve done a couple weddings, LOTS of newborns, families, engagements, grads etc. When I was photographing, Lightroom was my one big investment (other than my camera) but now- it comes in the Photography Bundle with Adobe Creative Cloud. What that means is that it’s a subscription service. It’s $10 a month and it includes Photoshop and Lightroom. I’m slowly getting better at Photoshop, but Lightroom is my jam. If you are already paying to subscribe to Photoshop- humour me and try Lightroom? My bold claim for this little tutorial is: If you are processing all your photos in Photoshop- you’re wasting a ton of time. Not to insult you- but Lightroom is made to bulk process. It doesn’t have all the same capabilities as Photoshop (not even close) but what it does do is make great images really, really quick. And you can use it to size, watermark, and prepare your images for the web.

Okay… enough of me jabbering. Here’s my video tutorial! You can skip around if you’re familiar with Lightroom, but it walks you through plugging your memory card into the computer to having completely web ready images. [Read more…]

DIY Felt XO Garland

DIY Ombre XO Felt Garland- perfect for Valentines Day!

January is almost over! You know what that means, right? Valentines Day decor is taking over! I promise that I’ll keep a balance for you- deal? In fact, I can tell you for certain that my next two posts have absolutely nothing to do with Valentines Day, okay? But you know I’m excited! This XO garland is the perfect way to kick off the pink and red madness! It has ombre appeal (which I’m still not over) and uses one of my favourite materials- felt. How could it not be awesome? Plus, I got to get mini cupcakes for the pictures so I’m a very happy girl with this one (even considering the little tummy ache from eating too many).

DIY Ombre XO Felt Garland- perfect for Valentines Day!

DIY Ombre XO Felt Garland- perfect for Valentines Day!

It’s a quick and simple DIY- I made this to test out a technique because I’m planning another felt garland for something coming up… but it turned out too well not to share it with you. So I’m breaking my ‘no Valentines until February’ rule- and I’m actually happy about it! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own. [Read more…]

2014 Reader Survey Results (You Guys ROCK!)

It’s that time! Today I’m sharing the results from my first ever Reader Survey. I’m ridiculously thankful that so many of you took the time to let me know what you think of Lemon Thistle. And I’m incredibly humbled by your words of love, support, and general awesomeness. You guys are the best- really, I think I have the best readers ever. Before I spill what you spilled (see what I did there?) I wanted to let you know out of the 164 of you who completed the survey (Wow!) 142 of you entered your emails. I drew using a random number generator and have emailed the winners if the two Target gift cards (Congrats Lorene and Suzanne!). Also… did you hear the sad news? Target is leaving Canada already! The big sales haven’t yet begun but I’m already missing my weekday retreat, with two kids in the buggy (why is it so hard to find a buggy with two seats?) and a Starbucks in my hand.

Lemon Thistle Reader Survey Results

Anyways… The survey results! Like I say above a whopping 164 of you took the survey! That’s huge! Thanks so much guys, you make my heart happy. What did I learn about you? I learned that 100% of you are females! I can’t say I’m too surprised on this one. Actually, in full disclosure, there was one male… but my husband told me he took the survey so I didn’t count him :). I also learned that over half of you are aged 22-39… just like me! [Read more…]

DIY Constellation Painting and Copper Frame

DIY Constellation Painting and Copper Frame

Eee! This idea of a constellation painting has been in my brain for way too long and I’m thrilled to finally have it done and hung! Friends, meet my new above-the-mantle painting. We’ve slowly been picking away at renovations and while we’re busy running to the hardware store for more grout or ducting (so fun, I know) we’ve neglected making our house a home. We moved in this summer… and we still have only hung one piece of art (mind you it’s a maaaassive map… the one in my welcome photo) in the whole house. It took us months to even hang curtains. So it feels really, really good to have this hanging! Plus, the copper frame ties in our copper curtain rods (finally!).

DIY Constellation Painting and Copper Frame

DIY Constellation Painting and Copper Frame

When our twins were born last year, Shane and I talked and talked about what tattoos we would get for them (we’re tattoo people by the way, we love ‘em… him more than me) and although we still haven’t gotten them (all our money is going to leaky bathtubs and diapers and such) we decided on the Gemini constellation. Now, I don’t really care about astrology… at all… but we love the stars and star maps and when we get to more decorating we plan to order a star map (this would be amazing if we could afford it). And our kids aren’t even gemini by sign, but we love that gemini is twins holding hands.  I had pretty much decided to get this print for their bedroom (I just didn’t like that it said ‘Gemini’ on it) when I spotted this painting on Pinterest.  Light bulbs, guys. I could do that! So out of storage came a very old canvas (like, I’d bought it when I was in highschool art class and thought that I was an artist) that had been moved from house to house to house with us. It had a few dings, but it would do the job.

This is probably the easiest ‘painting’ you’ll ever try your hand at. There’s no mixing paints, no drawing (just dots- and maybe a star if you wish). It’s dead easy. Here’s what you need to give it a try: [Read more…]

DIY Hand Painted Felt Wall Hangings

DIY Hand Painted Wall Hangings from Felt- these are super cute for a nursery!Happy Humpday friends… I have to say this week I’m so glad it’s half through. This weekend we got busy and tore out our leaky bathtub (we only have one in the house!) and have spent the past 5 days replacing boards, plumbing, tiling, tiling, tiling, and grouting. I’ll be so glad in two more days when the grout has cured enough for me to have a shower without fear that our basement suite is collecting water! If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the tile we used (a collection of the tiles we used in the Kitchen) and I’m SO happy with how it’s turning out… I’ll leave the ‘reveal’ if you will for another post but this was only my second time tiling (the first was our basement suite!) so I’m especially proud of how it’s looking.

But that’s for another day… TODAY I’m talking about these adorable hand painted felt wall hangings. And it’s a bit of a walk down memory lane. I originally created these felt banners for my first contributor post at Pretty Providence and then promptly forgot to share them with you! For months. So my babies are itty bitty in these photos- I can’t stop staring! These banners are still up in their nursery… and their nursery is still not ‘complete’. I think it’s the next room on our hit list… but we’re also trying to get our basement finished- so who knows when it will happen #RealLife.

DIY Hand Painted Wall Hangings from Felt- these are super cute for a nursery!

I still love these things so very much- the only thing that I would do differently is order better felt. I used the cheap-o dollar store felt and was really happy with it… until I made these felt masks with a more luxe felt and now I feel the need to order it for everything… ever! I maaay go ahead and re-make them for that reason alone. Well- and honestly, I think my hand lettering has improved! (Speaking of improved- these graphics remind me of how much I love my new branding!!) These little felt banners cost me a grand total of $4 (plus tax) to make four of them- and I have leftover supplies. Not bad, eh? (I’m Canadian, so I can say that). Here’s what you need before we get started.

DIY Hand Painted Wall Hangings from Felt- these are super cute for a nursery!


[Read more…]

DIY Felt Masks (6 Free Templates!)

I love these DIY Felt Masks- 6 Free Printable Templates!

Happy Monday! As promised, I’m back with the new freebies for my email list! These felt masks were so much fun to make and even more fun to watch my nieces and nephews running around in. My sister-in-law and I had been admiring all the felt masks on Etsy for quite some time. This year we decided we’d try our hands at making them for the kids for Christmas gifts. I’m so glad we did! They were such a hit and we were able to make so many more than we could have afforded to buy. They were a bit tedious to sew, but you could use fabric glue if you like. The hardest part was designing the templates… how big should the whiskers be? What about the ears? How many of each could you fit on a sheet of felt?

I love these DIY Felt Masks- 6 Free Printable Templates!

Six Free Printable Templates to make DIY Felt Animal Masks!

I love these DIY Felt Masks- 6 Free Printable Templates!

So I’m taking the guess work out of it for you. I’ve taken my hand drawn sketches that we used and created templates for all six animals that we made: Fox, Wolf, Gorilla, Tiger, Deer, and Bear. I’m so thrilled with how they turned out guys… if you look closely my sewing is pretty rough. I’m not a seamstress by any means. If you know how to use a sewing machine and have some patience, you can do it. In fact- some of these were made by my sister-in-law who hasn’t sewn in years and her five year old daughter did some. Seriously. You can do it too! [Read more…]

2014 Year In Pictures (And a Giveaway!)

$100 Gift Card Giveaway

So I know that 2014 is gone… and that January almost is too. But I wanted to sneak this post in before it’s absurdly late. Last year I did a year in review post using my Instagram photos and I love looking back at it to remember the year. I use Instagram daily, so it’s a great way to reflect on how our year was spent (psst… are you following me yet?)!

This year I wanted to do the same thing, but had such a hard time choosing so few photos. So I chose more photos and made them smaller… because I’m a good negotiator with myself. I know a lot of you are new to Lemon Thistle- so I’d love if you got to know me a little bit better!

Before I do that… it’s time for another giveaway! I’ve never had this many giveaways going on at one time- but I’m so thankful for you guys and want you to know it! So here’s to free stuff! Today’s giveaway is from the Pretty Providence Contributor Team for a $100 Visa Gift Card (who couldn’t use that?). If you missed it- I also have two $15 Target Gift Cards as a giveaway if you complete my 2014 Reader Survey, AND I’m giving away a Light Rust Studio print with my Office Update!

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Now on to my year in review!

This year has been a crazy year… a year of so much good packed in to so little time. I’m amazed at what we’ve accomplished, and how time has flown. Our babies are toddlers- our fixer upper is a home. Anyways… let’s get started! Each row kind of has a ‘theme’ if you will… The top one here is the beginning of our year- we started it off the way every married couple with kids wants to. Living with my Dad. We sold our apartment in the fall of 2013 and when the house we were negotiating on foreclosed- we moved right in with my Dad. It’s near impossible to find a place over Christmas- especially when your list of needs is long. We wanted our own place more than ever, but looking back, it was such a fun time. Our kids got twice as many cuddles, and I only had to worry about dinner half of the time- that left lots of time for play and this blogging thing.

Lemon Thistle- My Year in Review [Read more…]

DIY Rustic Calendar Stand

DIY Wooden Calendar Holder

I’m really excited about today’s post, friends! If you follow me on Instagram, you saw me share this goooorgeous calendar stand for my free printable calendars. I didn’t make it. Nope, a reader (and new friend!) Jennifer Hawkins created it for the calendar she printed for herself (and her friends and family for Christmas) and shared the photo with me on Facebook. I died, of course, and begged her to make another one and share the DIY with me! Then I shared her photo on my Instagram and you all liked it too- so I’m excited to be able to share it with you!

If the name Jennifer Hawkins sounds familiar- it’s because she’s the same talented lady that submitted her daughter’s birthday shoot to Lemon Thistle this fall (those pictures still make me swoon!). So basically, she’s wonderful and you should tell her that.

In other news… if you haven’t gotten your free printable calendar yet- I’m releasing it for everyone today! So if you hop back over to the original post, you’ll be able to download all three calendars for free! If you’re a part of my e-mail list, I’ll be launching your next freebie on Monday… and it’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Free Printable 2015 Calendar

Alright, back to the calendar stand! I’ll turn it over to Jennifer now:


Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own:
[Read more…]

Office In Progress- Practical tips for an Inspiring Workspace

Office Progress, Practical Tips to create a workspace that inspires you

So friends, remember before Christmas I mentioned that getting my office in order was my holiday project? Well, I’m getting there! It’s in order! I have big plans for this space- a new desk, shelving (in progress!), and a few other building projects. But in the meantime, I didn’t want to be working in a storage room. I wanted to be inspired in my space and not overwhelmed. Today I’m sharing what I’ve done so far with my 9 tips for creating a work space that inspires you (it’s easier than you think!). Also… I’m giving away a print from Light Rust Studio (the same one I’m using in my office!).

I cringe at this, but let’s take a look at the before photo:
Before and After- Office Progress, Practical Tips to create a workspace that inspires you

Seriously guys, that was my before. It’s not hard to make the after look 1 million times better… but getting here really has been a lot of work! I didn’t just want to dump those boxes in the basement (and we couldn’t- because we’re still finishing it!) so it took about three days of Shane and I (and some ‘help’) sorting and organizing and moving stuff around over the break. But I’m so glad we did! Obviously, that was no way to work- but the inefficiency of it was what pushed me over the edge. I would probably spend an hour of my 5 daycare hours every week looking for things. There was NO organization in that room. SO much wasted time! Now I know exactly where to look for supplies and ‘that’ notebook or marker. It’s amazing. But organization isn’t the only change that has made this space better. [Read more…]

DIY Custom Street Maps Wall Art

DIY Custom Street Map Wall Art (Step by step!)

Happy Friday! Are you happy it’s almost the weekend? I sure am, Shane was off for so long over Christmas that we got used to having him around. This was his first week back and we’re ready to have him home again! Today I’m sharing something a little different with you. I have started falling in love with Photoshop. I know- everyone else has but I’m so new to it! I’m a beginner so I thought if I could make this- you can too. Yep, I’m sharing a Photoshop tutorial! I’m going to show you how to make your very own custom street maps wall art. I love the way these turned out and can’t wait to get a frame to put Shane’s up next to mine!

DIY Custom Street Map Wall Art (Step by step!)

These cute little maps show the street that I grew up on, and after I photographed it I decided I needed to make Shane one too… so that’s the greens streets. I’m a big fan of decorating our home with things that are meaningful to us specifically. Don’t get me wrong, I love pretty stuff- and that can bring joy into my home too. But having something that is special to you? That brings a smile to my face- I want to be surrounded by that. Last week I shared a DIY Special Dates Pillow over at Today’s Creative Blog and talked a bit more about that if you missed it.  [Read more…]