Category Archives: Photo & Fotografía Ideas

Easy DIY Photo Canvas Art

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Photo canvases seem to be all the rage.  So far I haven’t taken the plunge and ordered one yet, they are cool but pricey.   I guess I’m more into the DIY thing right now anyways….

The other day when I was crazily decorating for my daughter’s Lalaloopsy Cute-As-A-Button birthday party, I found a dollar store canvas and easel that I had bought without a specific purpose in mind.  I kind of thought that I would glue buttons to it, in the shape of the birthday girl’s age…but at the last second, decided to make a photo canvas to display this cute photo that my photographer friend April snapped of her at a kitty birthday party.  Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.comI went to handy dandy Pinterest and looked up how to print an image onto tissue paper.  Hmmm, seems easy enough!  Let’s try it out, I said to myself. I went for a black and white photo since I have run out of colored ink!   I work with what I have!

Honestly, this craft took almost no time if you have the supplies on hand.  I usually have some Modge Podge somewhere on the premises, so I started the project before I exactly checked…turns out the Modge Podge I have is an antique colored Shimmer finish.  (Modge Podge is the brand name of a water-based sealer glue and finish, a paste-like medium from PLAID and is usually completely transparent, but you can find different finishes like glossy or matte.)   Oh well, I thought it might work, and in the end I was quite pleased with the look it gave the canvas….if you don’t mind a sepia tint and shiny finish.

So the supplies are: Modge Podge, paint brush, white acrylic craft paint, a printer, tissue paper, double-sided tape (or even clear tape should work), paper confetti (optional), a canvas and easel, and some photo editing software to touch up your photo and print it out.  Here’s the canvas I used, sorry I don’t have a photo of the Modge Podge and my camera battery is dead at the moment…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Page 012Here is the fairy easy process:  first, edit your photo.  (don’t spend too long on this if you don’t want to.  You can always print off a photo w/o editing it and then just snip off the corners etc. of the tissue paper copy).Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - After cutting out her arm, blending her hair and cutting off the corners of the photo, I blurred the edges and erased a bit more, then I added some digital embellishments, like swirls and some flowers with buttons in the center (from my digital stash), but of course this step isn’t necessary and real embellishments could easily be glued onto the canvas afterwards.Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Now print off a test photo, to see the effects and to see where to position the tissue paper.  Using a sheet of white tissue paper,  cut out a rectangle.  I thought it had to be almost the same size as the paper, but apparently it only needs to be bigger than your photo.  I used double-sided scrapbooking tape to tape the tissue to the regular printer paper, but I think even regular scotch tape should work.  Make sure there is no stickiness showing!  The tape showing must not be sticking!! I can only image what kind of a paper jam that would cause!!  It’s hard to see in the photos, but you can kind of see the edge of the tissue paper (in the photos above and below).  When you go to run your paper through the printer, be sure you know what side it will be printing on!!  To check that out, when you print off your test copy, add a small X with a pencil to the corner of the paper before it prints, then check to see what side was printed on.  Then you’ll know whether to load your tissue papered paper face up or face down (I hope that sounds clear?)Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Cut as close as you want around the tissue paper photo and test it out on the canvas….this is the tissue paper just setting on the canvas….(I should have photographed the tissue paper held up to the light, it’s so cool, but I was in a big hurry…..)Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Now add a layer of glue, Modge Podge, to the canvas…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - See how yellow the glue looks in the jar?  It’s harder to see on the canvas, but paint on your glue then quickly get the tissue paper on before it dries.  I actually had to peel off the photo, add some more glue and try it again.  It worked without tearing!!  yay!Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - I wasn’t sure if I should paint right over the photo, as is usual with Modge Podge, as it is a sealant, too.  But I didn’t want her face to get too yellowed looking, and since my Modge Podge is shimmery and a bit shiny, I knew that if you look at it from the side it would just glare…hmmm, what to do?  But first I added some white paint to the edges, to kind of soften them up and hide the edge of the tissue paper a bit (not that is showed very much) and I wanted to downplay the yellowish sepia color, too and make it look a bit like a painting….Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com -So this is what I ended up doing, following the direction of her bangs with brushstrokes of shiny glue…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - I only painted over the edges of the photo with the Modge Podge, and left the face free of it…so this is how it looks with the light shining at an angle.Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com -I seem to always have to do that extra little bit, add that extra detail, it’s the hardest thing in the world to stop myself  (I know, Art is knowing when to stop, and that’s why I don’t make money by my “art”!!)  so of course I threw some paper confetti that I had laying around from some other party decoration onto the canvas while the glue was still wet.  I like it anyhoo.  And my little buddy was quite pleased, too!!  🙂Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com I hope this little tutorial has been helpful to someone! 🙂  Now I just need to make 3 more……Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 014

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My Daughter’s Photography

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Just wanted to share some photos that my girl has taken for her photography class at school.  I think she has a great eye for photography, and I’m pleased that she’s learning all the technical skills that I don’t have!!  There were different assignments for the photos, such as optical illusion, painting with light, night view, etc.  Her brothers and sister were sort-of cooperative models…and I tried to help out a bit, but my idea to take photos with sparklers on the basement stairs, well…great way to set off the fire alarm!!  (Hey, growing up in Guate we never set off any fire alarms with sparklers inside our *cement* houses!!)denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photography denna's ideas: my daughter's photographydenna's ideas: my daughter's photographydenna's ideas: my daughter's photographyAnd this last photo is of me….nice and creepy!!! 🙂denna's ideas: my daughter's photography

Japanese Gardens on Kodomo-no-hi Children’s Day

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Take a trip with me for a few moments to a place long ago and far away…to celebrate Kodomo-no-hi.  Or just to see how we celebrated Japanese Children’s Day on the fifth day of the fifth month!  We discovered the Kurimoto Japanese Garden at the Devonian Botanic Gardens near Edmonton.  During this Japanese national holiday, families fly colorful carp-shaped streamers (koinobori), display special dolls and ornaments and generally celebrate children!  We started our celebrations with a picnic, then wandered the gardens under the flying carp!denna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's DaySpring has hardly sprung around here!  This was the first really warm weekend we’ve had since winter…which ended about 2 weeks ago!  The gardens are beautiful, even so.  The kids were fascinated by this waterfall which leads to a pond with koi fish.denna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's DayClimbed the hill to ring the big bell….the kids enjoyed hearing the tolling over the quiet garden!denna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's DayAnd then crossed the bridge and watched the fish for awhile….denna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's DayIn the Temperate Zone Greenhouse, surrounded by tropical plants drinking in the sun, we heard a traditional Japanese folk story told with a kamishibai story box!denna's ideas: Japanese traditional storytelling with a kamishibai story boxThe story was about Momotaro the Peach Boy and then we listened to another story from a book…denna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's DayAnd then back to the gardens where my little friend was convinced to wear her costume that I had been carrying around all day!!  It’s not “real” but we had such fun!!denna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's DayI’m loving this photo!  It makes me think of a photo in a 1960’s magazine!!  Then my friend and I watched the huge carp streamers, lovely to watch in the breeze…denna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's DayIn the classroom, we made our own flying carp kites and did a little origami…denna's ideas: making koinobori flying carp to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: making koinobori flying carp to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's DayAfter flying our koinobori carp streamers, we headed for home to display them and eat popsicles!denna's ideas: making koinobori flying carp to celebrate Children's DayWe had our large carp that we made, then some smaller more traditional looking windsock-type ones from the gift shop.  Each carp represents a member of the family.  Usually the father is a large black carp, the mother is usually pink or red, then the children.  I made a few extras to even out our carp numbers using the pattern I linked up to the other day from HERE.denna's ideas: making koinobori flying carp to celebrate Children's Daydenna's ideas: making koinobori flying carp to celebrate Children's DayIt was a lovely way to celebrate the day, being together, discovering something new and learning about customs from another culture.  And taking photos (of course!) though I mostly relaxed and let Henry snap away!!denna's ideas: Kurimoto Japanese Gardens to celebrate Children's Day

A glimpse of home…

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denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers

These hibiscus type flowers grew like weeds in our hedge…

Yesterday we visited the Devonian Gardens for the first time.  I wasn’t expecting a glimpse of my past!  It was our first visit to the Gardens and I was surprised to see so many plants and flowers that reminded me of my childhood.  I grew up in Guatemala City and our yard was always full of flowers and green leafy things!  Here are some of the plants that I was happy to recognize (though I can’t name them all!)

denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers

I have always loved bougainvillea of any color and you can see it everywhere in Guate!

denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers

I was so surprised to see this flower as I have never seen it outside of Guatemala before…it was in the butterfly greenhouse. Just 2 small branches of flowers…a taste of the masses of lilac blooms I remember…and I remembered exactly how the leaves would feel…like stiff sandpaper….

denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers

We had a small coffee bush growing in our yard, and I remember popping the red berries into my mouth to see what they taste like, not like coffee that’s for sure!!

denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers

These papyrus plants used to grow in our back yard and we would use them for pretend umbrellas when we were little….

denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers

Papayas!!

denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers

My Mom always had cacti around and we were always picking up spines in our feet and knocking into the prickly things!! (Ok, and even licking them! That was me…)

denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowers denna's ideas: tropical plants and flowersWhat a beautiful day we had!  After a long long cold cold winter, seeing the flowers and greenness was a site for sore tired eyes, that’s certain.  And the gurgling of a little stream….nice!   Ahhh, my tropical memories!

Spring is here?

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So we’ve passed the first day of spring….and guess what we are doing…..here are some photos of what it looks like outside my front window.denna's ideas: first days of spring=blizzardCan you see what this is?  It’s my son, making a snow angel….in our front yard.  Right beside him on the left side is the walk to the front steps and right above him is the sidewalk.denna's ideas: first days of spring=blizzardSomeone wasn’t too happy about shoveling the walkway….denna's ideas: first days of spring=blizzardwhat walkway?denna's ideas: first days of spring=blizzardThere’s one under there somewhere….it’s no wonder we didn’t get any mail delivered that day….denna's ideas: first days of spring=blizzardStill snowing….denna's ideas: first days of spring=blizzardThis is a photo of an elderly gentleman walking down the sidewalk to pick up his newspaper from the machine by the bus stop.

And so that is what our first days of spring look like here in Alberta, Canada.  How are yours??  Hope they are a bit brighter!!  🙂

Easter Traditions in Antigua, Guatemala

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Could this be the most colorful Easter Tradition ever?  During Lent and Easter Week in Antigua, Guatemala there is some amazing color fabulousness going on!  Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is the time when Guatemalan Catholics take to the streets in Antigua and create gorgeous carpets made of colored sawdust, flowers and even fruit,  to show their devotion and faith.  Later on, processions of people carrying huge floats and led by priests will walk over the carpets.  You can find some history and interesting facts about these traditions here on Revue Magazine.

I don’t have any personal photos of these carpets, but have found a few links for you to check out.   over at AntiguaDailyPhoto.com has some cool articles and photos of this season, and check out the Home page for up-to-date articles and photos about the Lent processions.

Here are some of the fabulous carpets (found on AroundAntigua.com):

Easter week in Antigua Guatemala easterweek-5 easterweek-6 holy-week-antigua-guatemala1

To see some more, really awesome photos, check out this set of photos:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/brswanson/sets/72157603296294473/

Now that I am more into photography than I was as a teenager, I’d love to go back for Semana Santa and photograph EVERYTHING about these amazing works of art!!  Someday……. 🙂

Some Digital Memories…

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I was messing around on facebook, trying to find myself (heh heh) and none of my searches were finding my name…so somehow it  got into the web search….and then I googled myself (Denna de Motta) and a whole bunch of things popped up that I had forgotten about!  Mostly they were digital scrapbooking projects that I did in the past for Creative Memories.  Since I just re-found them, I thought I’d share some of them here:

Legohead"Authentic Legohead" Discover Grunge Digital Scrapbook Layout

and a tutorial on the Digital 411 blog:  Making the best of a blurry photo, has some ideas for editing photos.

and Baby’s Favorite Things:

Baby's Favorite Things - Ashby Series Baby Girl Scrapbooking Two Page Layout (left side)Baby's Favorite Things - Ashby Series Baby Girl Scrapbooking Two Page Layout (right side)

Daddy’s little girl!!  My sister took these photos.

And another  idea from the Creative Memories Digital 411 blog, giving an idea for a scrapbook page layout : The Rest of the StoryD-Motta_The Rest of the Story_image - Page 004

All of these projects were created with all Creative Memories Digital content, of course.  I had a great time designing digital stuff for them 🙂