Three Mango Seeds Link Up Party

Please tell me I'm not the only person who's accidentally left laundry in the washing machine after it's been washed...you know, just like a day or something...?  Then you're left with big, fluffy towels that smell like putrid death...?  Yeah, I have done this to my towels more than I'd like to admit.

I've tried everything to remedy the situation, including throwing out the towels and buying all new ones...only to immediately do the exact same thing to them.  Sigh.  No amount of Bounce fabric softener sheets can stand up to that mildew smell.  Even if they smell good dry, once you're drying yourself off, the moisture rekindles the ick factor.

Finally one day, while surfing the world wide web, I found the answer:  white vinegar.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it really works!
Just put about a cup to a cup and a half of pure white vinegar into the rinse cycle, and voila! your towels will return to smelling like fresh, clean towels!  Don't fret if you're like me and don't have the attention span to notice what cycle your machine is on.  I usually let the washer go through all of the cycles, and once it's stopped, I add the vinegar and reset it to "rinse."

I know this is yet another non-DIY post for this link-up...I promise to get more in line with 3MS's theme soon!  In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying my randomness!


LEM Photo Challenge: Anything

I haven't played in awhile...couldn't resist sharing this image, and LEM's "anything" challenge seemed the perfect opportunity!

This sweet angel belongs to my high school best friend.  I was honored to do their family portraits last week, and I am so totally in love with every image I captured for them!  My job is tremendously easier when my subjects are so gorgeous!


Three Mango Seeds DIY Link Up Party

For the past few years, I've been teaching Beaded Jewelry Design at a local college one night a week.  One of the most difficult areas of design for most of my students is color selection and combination.  I've always truly enjoyed combining colors to create unique duos and trios, and my eclectic tastes usually steer me towards colors that few others would choose.  I'm not a matchy-matchy girl. 

Here are a few of my best tips for selecting and combining colors.  Although I apply these tips to jewelry-making, they ring true for any and all instances in which you're using multiple colors on a single project (painting, decorating, scrapbooking, etc).

1.  Always stay within the same color value when combining colors.
On typical paint swatches, all of the colors on a card are the exact same hue (color), but they all have different values (darkness/lightness)The darkest color on the swatch is typically the hue at 100%, and each progressively lighter color is the same color with a percentage of white added to it to make it lighter. 
Sticking with the same value across the cards will give you a more cohesive look...like you planned it...and the result is much easier on the eyes.  So, in the example above, you could use both Melon and Hidden Meadow together, or Apricot Flower and Carolina Parakeet.

2.  Use the color wheel for inspiration
Admittedly, this is a pretty elementary color wheel, but it will do.  It's common knowledge that a color's complement lies directly across from it on the wheel...red complements green, violet complements yellow, orange blue, etc.  Combine this knowledge with the above step of staying within the same value, and you're already going to be making good color choices. 
But what if you've got to make three or four colors work together?
1.  Choose two adjacent colors...let's say blue-green and green...and then use their complements...red and red-orange.
2.  Choose two equally spaced colors and their respective complements...blue, violet, orange, yellow.
3. Choose a block of three or four adjacent colors...red, red-violet, blue-violet, blue.

3.  Don't be so matchy-matchy.

For me, this rule mostly applies to my jewelry selections, but really, let's face it, aren't we all a little too matchy-matchy?  When I create a knock-out piece of jewelry, the whole point is that people notice it.  If it blends in to my outfit, that's less likely to happen.  A little contrast goes a long way.  Here's where the color wheel comes back into play:  choose an outfit that complements, rather than matches, your jewelry!  Or go for broke and just wear a piece simply because you can't stand not to, even if it doesn't "go" with your outfit.  I have sold countless pieces of my jewelry right off of my neck or ears simply because someone noticed them...and I attribute that to the fact that I never match, so it catches their eye.

The matchy-matchy rule applies to talents, too:  gold, silver, bronze, gunmetal, nickel...they all mix and match well.  Who says you can't wear them together?  Oh, and ALL neutrals mix well.  Black can indeed be put together with brown, and the world will not stop turning.


Project 64: Burnt Orange (A day at the zoo)

Does anyone else take too many pictures?  I mean, so so so many?  That you have no clue what you're going to do with, but you just love them?  Phew!  Thought I was alone.

This week's color was a breeze.  I went to the zoo with the boy and hubbs, and while I was randomly pointing my lens at all kinds of odds and ends, I managed to accidentally capture the color, Burnt Orange, before I even knew it was the color of the week!  I got home that day and was pleasantly surprised!
This will be my link up for the week.  It is nearly SOOC...I adjusted the levels ever so slightly.  I really like it just the way it is.

This neighboring flower was apparently the talk of the hive.

One of the cubs, almost all grown up.  I love how regal these beasts look!

You have to kind of squint to notice the Malayan Tiger sleeping up on his platform in the background.  These cute little birdies caught my eye...they seemed like the best of friends.

The latest edition of one of my photography magazines featured black and white edits of safari animals.  I cannot even describe how much more powerful images of these animals are without color.  This is my pitiful attempt at recreating that effect...I loved the curve of the giraffe's neck.

Okay, I'm a bird person, so of course I love this, but come on, this is beautiful, right?  Golly, may be one of my favorite all-time animal pics!

Does anyone else think that kangaroos look like a conglomeration of animals that got into that machine from The Fly?  Like a horse, rabbit, deer, gopher, and a whole bunch of leftover stuff?

project64 button


Three Mango Seeds Link Up Party

When my lovely friend, Clydia asked me to link up a post to her Link Up Party, I immediately knew I'd have to do something photography related...duh.  I mean, I could have done something around handmade jewelry, but then I'd have to think. 

My very best advice for transforming a snapshot into a portrait is this:  move around your subject, and get on his/her eye level.  Below are some examples of the exact same pose from different angles and perspectives.  I'll walk you through my thought process for each while I was shooting them.

For this one, I thought I'd accentuate the staircase by shooting up at her from ground level, but in the end, this really just looks like I took a picture of a staircase that just happened to have a ballerina stretching on it.  Very snapshotty.  Yes, I'm coining that term.

For this one, I climbed up to her eye level.  Already, 100% better, butt, er, I mean but, this perspective just wasn't doing it for me.  From this angle, I did however notice the story being told by her hand and foot. So...

...I hustled to the opposite angle.  All three of these shots happened within about 60 seconds.  This final shot is one of my favorite portraits that I've EVER taken.  

I know that it isn't possible in all situations to move around your subject and recompose your shot until you get it right.  Sometimes a snapshot is all you can get, and in reality, snapshots tell the stories of our lives.  However, if you do have the time, take the time.  Your photos will really be elevated to art!

To see the rest of this shoot, jump over to my photography blog, Cindy Kay Photography.


iHeart Faces: Hands

I've loved this sweet little ballerina for a very long time.  I can still remember when she toddled around in her first leotard.  So beautiful.

To see the rest of this shoot, head over to my photography blog, Cindy Kay Photography.

Photo Challenges & Photography Tutorials


Project 64: Brick Red

When I hopped over to link up this week, I was excited to see that my periwinkle entry won for the week!  What a great honor amongst so many terrific entries!  Thank you for picking my scripture cards...I've been leaning on those a lot here lately.
After a reeeheeeheeaaallly long weekend of editing, I hope you won't mind an SOOC shot this week!  When I decided a couple of months ago to leap into professional portrait photography, I guess I never imagined that I would be so busy.  It's a blessing for sure, and I'm not complaining one bit.  My confidence is definitely being boosted by my sweet clients' comments and referrals!

These little berries were growing on a tree at the zoo.  The hubby had the week off, and the weather has been exceptional, so we took the kiddo one afternoon.  If I get around to it, I'll post some more pics from that day...mostly of flowers, imagine that.

Project64, Weekly Favorite Button


Project 64: Periwinkle

In recent years, I have learned to trust and depend upon God's Word.  The Bible tells us that God wants us to engrave his Word upon our hearts.  These little flash cards help me to memorize scripture...the address to the verses are on the backs.  I love that the top card is a perfect periwinkle.

project64 button