Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hot Style Sunday | The Lace Trend

Hey guys!  Nicole here from Urban Wings Art with the first edition of Hot Style Sunday!
One of the most frequent questions we get asked as photographers is:  What should we wear?  What looks good?   So we will be putting together a preview of some of the hottest trends and styles we have come across and some of the styles that we LOVE to see you guys in! 
I am fairly certain you won't make it out of a single store in the mall right now without seeing a lace dress, lace skirt, lace top and more recently lace shorts (my verdict is still out on those....I can't imagine wearing them, but if you love them?  Rock it!)
I am in LOVE with large, crochet-styled lace dresses and tops!  Here are few of my favorites  (with links to the stores that I have seen them at!)

And here is a link to our PINTEREST BOARD full of more cute styles for you to check out!!!   LIKE what you see?  LIKE us on Facebook!!!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five Free Fabulous Things To Do This Weekend

Deb here to share Five FREE (& possibly obscure) Things To Do in the Des Moines metro area this weekend.  

5.  Starting with the obscure:  Worm races this afternoon at the Grimes Library!  No kidding.  But you have to make a reservation so pick up the phone and call.  All the details here

4.  How about something practical?  Metro Waste Authority is holding a hazardous waste drop-off at Valley Stadium on Saturday morning.  Here is a list of the things you can and can't bring -- along with a map to the location.

3. Our list wouldn't be complete for this weekend if we didn't mention the FABULOUS Des Moines Art Festival. Click here for the hours (all weekend), location and details on lots of free shows. 

2.  As we enter a week of celebrating our nation's independence, here is a special way to remember our state's fallen heroes from the war on terror.  Scheel's at Jordan Creek is the current site for a memorial sponsored by Bellevue University.  Remembering Our Fallen is on display all weekend.   More details here.   

1.  Finally cap off the weekend and get an early start to the 4th with music and fireworks.   Sunday evening.  Jordan Creek Amphitheater.  All about it here

What other fabulous free things are going on this weekend? 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fresh and Fun Wednesday: Hot and Humid!

Howdy all!  I hope you are beating the summer heat with some fun pool time and air conditioning!  It's been HOT and HUMID but we have managed to squeeze in some awesome photo sessions regardless of the weather!  (YAY FOR NO RAIN DATES!)

So what's new this week at Urban Wings?

Photography Fresh and Fun:

We are getting fully into Senior photography and wedding season!  We are so excited about our upcoming shoots!  Have you shared us withyour friends and family on facebook?  We love to have YOU guys spread our name.  If you have had an awesome experience with us, please share us with your friends! 

Design Fresh and Fun:

New items are being created for photographers and scrapbookers that will be available for purchase at the Creative Pixel soon!  There are so many fun things in the mix!  New actions, new textures, new graphics pack.  Boy, we have been busy!
And here are some of our latest products that are available NOW!  Check them out!  Commercial use IS available for your photography company!   

Have any special requests?  Please email me!

And here are some of the AMAZING layouts that were created using our products!!!


Happy Wednesday everyone!  Hope your day ROCKS!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Sizing Constraints AKA Don't Squish My Face

TutorialTuesday Hey guys! Nicole here from Urban Wings Art and I am thrilled to share with you some of my photography, design, and editing tips, tricks and SSSHHHHH secrets! Some of my tutorials are going to be step by step and posted right here on the blog. Others are going to be video tutorials!....but (and here is the caveat) MUST forgive me if you hear a lot of "ummmms".....awkward pauses or... if I generally make a complete goof of myself! I tend to do that A LOT! Ask my family! But if you promise to forgive me for keeping it real, then I am happy to bring you more video tuts in the future!!!! And be sure to share the tutorials, videos and tips with your facebook friends, your pinterest get the idea! We love the LOVE that you can give us and it helps us know what you would like to see more of!!!  

This week's tutorial: Keep Sizing Constraints when working in Photoshop AKA Don't Squish My Face So let's start with a confession. This is something that I see happening A LOT in Photoshop. Stretched pictures, stretched elements, squished faces. And to be perfectly honest....I think I probably did it too when I was starting out in the Photoshop journey! So no worries if you have stretched that rectangular photo to fit in a square frame. You won't have to anymore! I am going to show you how to easily keep size constraints and crop to fit a frame that is not the same size or shape as your photo! Are you ready?

 Let's start with a basic background (just cuz it's purdy and I don't want to stare at a blank page! Grab a photo that you love and a frame (any old frame will do that you have in your digital collection!)

 As you can quickly see, my picture is WAY too big for my frame and it's much wider. I don't want to squish it into that little square space because the picture will be extremely squashed! So let's start transforming (remember that word!) our photo! Make sure you are on your Photo layer and go to Edit>Transform>Scale (or a quick keyboard shortcut would be Ctrl+T or Command+T for Mac) This will give you a nice little "box" around your photo with 8 selection points. Now here is the MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER....are you ready? Hold down your SHIFT key and transform your photo ONLY from one of the 4 corner selection boxes.

 I am going to HOLD SHIFT and grab my bottom left corner box and "push" the corner in. My picture will shrink to whatever size I like, but will stay in that nice rectangular shape so my subject's face isn't squished or squashed at all!

 Once I have the size I would like. I simply let go of my left mouse button (or pick up your stylus if you are using a Wacom tablet) and let go of the shift key. And hit ENTER. This will get rid of your transform tool. Your picture can be hanging out the sides of your frame still, just be sure you like the general size. Line up your picture with your frame and now we are going to get rid of any excess picture we don't want on there! I have sized my picture so that just my daughter's face shows in the frame but I can still see some of the photo to the left side of the frame. Pic4

We are going to grab our rectangular marquee tool and select the part of the photo we don't want. Pic5 All we do once those marching ants have our unwanted picture area selected is hit DELETE and we are DONE!
 Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please let us know what you think and LIKE the Creative Pixel and Urban Wings Art on Facebook for more products, tutorials, freebies, and fun!!! More tutorials coming next Tuesday! Have an awesome week!!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Photo Prompts: TODAY


 Howdy guys! Have you been clicking away with us in June? Nicole here and I am excited to be bringing you some more fun Photography! So grab your iphones, instagram, or your big cameras and start snapping away with us! Work on your photography skills or just join us for a fun time! And be sure to share with us when you take your pics! You can share them on the Creative Pixel facebook page or in your media gallery at the Creative Pixel!!! So come on! Let's get snapping!!! Please feel free to mix these up, do them in order, skip some, add your own, or combine them....just remember the rule....have a CRAZY GOOD TIME!!!

This week's photography prompts: TODAY....

Photography Prompt 1: TODAY I FEEL.... How do you feel today? Can you share it in a photo? Maybe you are feeling happy and the sun is shining? Maybe you are wearing your favorite high heels and new hi-low skirt and you are feeling beautiful, take a selfie! Whatever you are feeling....capture that feeling in a photo!!!!  
Photography Prompt 2: TODAY IS.... great? your birthday? a boring not so awesome day? the day you go to the dry cleaners? a date night with your hubby? Whatever is going on today, share it in a photo!!
 Photography Prompt 3: TODAY'S COLOR IS.... what is the color of the day for you? Maybe it's your favorite color at the moment or the color that you keep seeing everywhere (can we say neon yellow anyone?) Whatever that color may be, be creative and snap a photo!
 Photography Prompt 4: TODAY MY PARTNER IN CRIME WAS.... who was your buddy today? Who went with you to the grocery store? Who watched a movie with you? Share who you spent your day with!
Photography Prompt 5: TODAY I FINALLY.... finished the book you have been reading? ran a mile? accomplished your goal? What did you finally do today? Maybe you finally got your laundry done (ahem) this is me trying to motivate myself to get that one off the old to do list....
Photography Prompt 6: TODAY I WENT.... to the park with my kids? to the movies? What did you do today? Share in photos!!!!  
Photography Prompt 7: TODAY..... is a free day to take a pic of WHATEVER YOU WANT!!! Share a little of your life with us today!!!! We can't wait to see!!! Be sure to share all your photos with us at the Creative Pixel! We love seeing your creativity at work! And we love being able to comment on what you have done! Thanks for joining in on this fun Photography Adventure! Keep snapping this week!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

FABULOUS FRIDAY: on Saturday....

Hey everyone!  Nicole here from Urban Wings Art!  And I am bringing you a FABULOUS FRIDAY...on Saturday.....yeah, I totally rock like that.  It's called procrastination people.  So let's just start out our fabulous list with that....procrastination

5. least once in a while.  So the truth of the matter is, I am NOT a procrastinator.  I am a to-do-lister.  A planner.  An organizer.  A little high strung when it comes to being timely and ready.  But I am also a mom.  With 4 kids.  Ranging in ages from 1 to 13.  We homeschool.  I work.  I run.  Like, a lot, since I a training for my first marathon.  Soo.....procrastination tends to happen once in a while.  Or maybe it's more of a case of busyness....yeah, that sounds better! 

4.   RUNNING.  So no, the truth is I don't LOVE running.  I do run.  I LIKE running.  Sometimes I even REALLY like running.  But LOVE?  Nah, I save that word for stuff like coffee and gummy bears.  But I DO run and I am LEARNING to love it.  In fact, I am trying to love it enough to run 26.2 miles.  Any advice?  Have any of you run marathons?  I need TIPS!!!  I need HELP!!!!

3.   DAY DATES.  Hubby and I went to our first movie about....3 years?  2 years?  I don't even know!  I can't remember the last time we actually went to a theater....WITHOUT KIDS!  It was AWESOME and quiet!!!  Ahhhhh, it rocked.  And so did our large tub of popcorn that we managed to polish off before the movie had even started.....I believe it was around 1200 calories all together...and I loved all of them!!!

2.  SWINGING AT THE PARK!   Last year getting my kiddos out to the park was a little more challenging.  I had a 3 month old in tow who wanted to nurse, in 90 degree heat....YUCK!  But this year, little man is all grown up and LOVES to go to the park and swing....and swing....and swing some more!  He is so stinking funny!  Gotta love baby swings!  Thank you so much to whoever created those mommy-lifesavers! 

1.  THREE YEAR OLD SASS.  Yes, I do love it.  But only for a moment and then I need my three year old little pistol to grow out of it.  She is FULL of sassiness!  Seriously!  It's bad!  She is my ONE child that is just determined to push every button but look adorable doing it.  She keeps us on our toes but she is so stinking cute!!! 

Hope you guys had an FABULOUS week, too!  Tell us about it on facebook!!!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fresh & Fun Wednesday: New Products, New Photos, New Stuff

Hey Guys!!!!  Nicole here with a FRESH and FUN filled Wednesday post!  There are LOTS of great things happening over here at Urban Wings!

We just put a bunch of new products in the Creative Pixel store!  Have you checked out the store yet?  It is SO awesome and we are thrilled to be part of such an uber cool company!!!


I also had a little time to scrapbook one of Dylan's One Year pictures. 
I so miss his flippy silly hair, but he has his big boy handsome hair cut now that he is all grown up and everything ;)

We also had an awesome weekend of photo sessions!  Here are a few highlights, plus a fun pic from this week's three year photos I took of Miss Payton! 

Also I wanted to let you guys know that we are SO excited for our 2014 Senior sessions this year and would love for you to pass our name on to any fun, artsy, unique Seniors you know!  We love working with Seniors who really want to create ART with their photos!  Do you know any awesome seniors who would be a perfect match for us? 
Happy Wednesday everyone!!!!!  MMMWWWAAAHHHHH!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Matte Vintage Photo Effect

Hey guys! Nicole here from Urban Wings Art and I am thrilled to share with you some of my photography, design, and editing tips, tricks and SSSHHHHH secrets! Some of my tutorials are going to be step by step and posted right here on the blog. Others are going to be video tutorials!....but (and here is the caveat) MUST forgive me if you hear a lot of "ummmms".....awkward pauses or... if I generally make a complete goof of myself! I tend to do that A LOT! Ask my family! But if you promise to forgive me for keeping it real, then I am happy to bring you more video tuts in the future!!!! And be sure to share the tutorials, videos and tips with your facebook friends, your pinterest get the idea! We love the LOVE that you can give us and it helps us know what you would like to see more of!!!  

This week's tutorial: Vintage Matted Photo Effect in Photoshop 

 So I was all excited to bring you this tutorial as a video this week. But low and behold, I can't get my video recorder to work right. Yes, I am SURE it's a user error and I am trying to remedy that, but you will have to be patient in the meantime and hopefully you can easily follow along on this step by step tutorial! This tutorial is pretty simple. So let's start by picking a photo that would work well with a vintage coloring and a matte effect. Close-ups of seniors or romantic pics of engagements or weddings always work great for this effect! And this is SO popular right now, I have seen this effect done by a lot of very awesome photographers! Once have you edited your photo (popped those eyes and made them sparkle, cleaned up any skin imperfections, etc.) then we are ready to start! Pic1 
The first thing I am going to add is a curves layer to add some vintage coloring to my photo. I do this by going to: 
The first adjustment on my Curves I make is I pull the center part of the RGB curve up slight and bring the bottom left corner of the RGB curve in. This lightens up the midtones of my photo and darkens up the blacks. 
 Next, I stay on my Curves adjustment layer and I switch the dropdown to BLUE. For my BLUE Adjustment I pull the top right down slight to make my highlights slightly more yellow casted. And I pull my bottom left up to make my blacks more blue casted.  
 Now that we are done with our curves adjustments we are going to make another adjustment layer. 


We are going to adjust how dark our blacks are and how bright our whites are. This is going to create the matted tones we are looking for! We are going to pull our output levels in slightly on the right and the left side. I have pulled my output levels from 0-255 and moved them to 5-230. PIC6 
Now we are going to swap the two layers. Pull your curves layers so that it is under your levels layer in your layer palette.
At this point you are DONE! If you are working with a close-up portrait you might want to adjust the yellow tones in the eyes and teeth so that they aren't as yellow. Look for more tutorials on how to adjust selected colors coming soon!!! 
 More tutorials coming next Tuesday! Have an awesome week!!!!