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Everything That Makes A House A Home!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

GIMP Photo Manipulation Program

Years ago, I told a friend that I wanted  Adobe Photoshop on my computer so I could edit all my pictures & the only thing stopping me was the price. If you've looked into or own it you know it is really expensive, like rent or a mortgage {Las Vegas prices} kind of expensive!!

He brought to my attention that there is a program on the internet that is a FREE DOWNLOAD called GIMP & its supposed to be the poor man's Photoshop.

This is a GNU/Linux screenshot taken from GIMP.org

This is a Windows screenshot taken from GIMP.org

At first I wasn't convinced that a free program could come close to what you can do with Photoshop; and I convinced him that I needed Photoshop, so he installed it for me & I've used it for years. Let me just say I LOVE PHOTOSHOP. But my laptop is having issues with the cord & so I am using another laptop that is DSP ~ desperately seeking Photoshop. I decided to check out GIMP & give it a shot.

Now I don't remember how long it took to download Photoshop since it was like 6 years ago, but it seemed to take a pretty good chunk of time to download GIMP. The laptop I am using now is a mini so it may have less RAM than my other one, but I haven't checked it out. 

Once the program opened I spent a little time checking a few things out & familiarizing myself with it. I was surprised by what I found. The last free program I used was Picasa & well I was less than impressed. GIMP offers a lot of similar functions to the basic Photoshop:

In GIMP you'll find pretty much all the same filters that you find in Photoshop & you'll also find a lot of the same color tools like: 

*color balance       *hue saturation        *colorize        *brightness/contrast   
*threshold             *levels             *curves                *posturize          *desaturate

 GIMP also offers clone, healing & blur tools. The Image tools are the same as Photoshop as are the Layer options. It has a similar setup in the look of the program as Photoshop does so I can see why some people refer to is as 'poor man's Photoshop' and it does minor changes just fine. I think that for the price you can't beat it!!

There are tons of how to's posted for GIMP, just type in "how do I . . .  in GIMP" into Google or Youtube and you can find out how to do anything! 

Check out this tutorial for using selection tools in GIMP {it also teaches you how to build your own website ~ if you;re interested in that!}

 Here you can find out how to select the background of an image before you change it

I found this cool video on Youtube.  All the moves have been super sped up & if you want to learn how to do any thing in it, again just type in 'how do I . . . in GIMP' into Goolge or Youtube.

This video will teach you how to remove unwanted things from your pictures {like pimples & cellulite!}

What to whiten teeth in your photos? Check out this video.

If you'd like to have a virtual weight loss using GIMP check out this video 
~ too bad real life wasn't this easy!!



Ohh, Baby, Baby Giveaway Hop Signups

Ohh, Baby, Baby Giveaway Hop sponsored by The Shopping Duck is taking signups now. This blog hop event will take place from April 1, 2012 to April 15, 2012. Come join the fun!

Get ready because on April 1st you'll see what we're giving away & at the bottom of the post there will be a link with lots of other blogs all hosting giveaways for this event &  

each prize will be valued at $25 or higher!!! 

So far there are 29 blogs involved in this hop & sign-ups are open until March 20th. . .
  stay tuned because this is going to get exciting!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stylin' With Jodie! Hair Hints for All!

What better way to start the new year than with a new hairstyle! Your hair and your smile are the best accessories you will ever own:) Having said that, I would like you to meet Jodi, she is the best Hair Stylist in Southern Nevada! (okay so that title is not official but it has been awarded to her by "Amy's Craft Bucket.

This is Jodi: (the girl not the boy)

Jodi has cut and styled my hair for years. We moved to Mesquite at the same time and all our kids are the same age. I love her as a friend and I love her as a stylist. AND I L.O.V.E. my current hairstyle. After receiving a billion compliments from strangers on my hair at the Festival of Trees (the Mesquite Christmas Boutique) Since I have nothing to do with the fabulous features of my hair, I figured I would feature the girl who is responsible for it all . My hair would be nothing without her:) This is my hair by the way:

My hair and my hubby:)

So, I would love to do a monthly or bi-monthly feature on Jodi about hair hints and helps and what not and if you have any questions that you want to ask a stylist but never had the opportunity, now is your chance! You can email me (amykaidavis12@yahoo.com) your questions and I will forward them onto Jodi and she can answer them for you right here on my blog!

So without further ado . . . let me introduce to you the fabulous Jodi!

Q: Where did you go to school?
1.I graduated for Hairitage Hair Academy in the Spring of 2000.

Q: How do you stay current on today's styles and trends?
2. I stay current on today’s trends by going to Hair shows (one coming up this weekend!) and taking classes regularly I love to watch T.V. shows that have anything to do with Reality Shows, Popular Movies, and Popular Artists because that is what a lot of people ask for.

Q: What is your favorite thing about doing hair?
3. My favorite thing about doing hair is helping people feel good, there is nothing like when you like your hair. The smiles, when they can't stop touching their hair and when I have clients call or text me that they love their hair or especially when other people repeatedly tell my clients they love their hair. It is so fun to hear them say "Jodi at Valley Curls did it." If you weren't proud of your hair, there is no way you would disclose the information :)

Q: What do you wish all people knew about hair care?
4. Every one's hair is different and it really is up to us as stylists to really explain to our clients what type of hair they have and how to take care of it. Did you know it may not be healthy to wash your hair everyday? For example I have thick wavy hair I wash it usually every three days because it is importnat that your hair oils protect your hair. Washing it more often could cause more damage. If you have thin straight hair, however you probably need to wash it everyday. Everyone’s style needs are absolutely based on their hair types. And your haircuts are based on your face shape and your features 100%.

Q: What is the appropriate amount to tip?
I always say if you love your hair tip appropriately I work for tips so when I go to a restaurant and had a great waitress/waiter I leave a big tip. But really if you are happy with the service provided I say 20% is a great base to go off of if you are a numbers kind of person most of my clients for a $28.00 haircut usually leave a 5.00 tip.

Q: How can people figure out what color or cut will work best on them?
When considering a haircut, the first rule of thumb don’t look at pictures that are no where near what kind of hair you have. If you have thin hair google haircuts for thin hair. If your hair is thick, google thick haircut pictures. Same idea for long and short hair.
The best thing, like I said above is know your face shape. I am sad to admit, that my face is pear shaped and there are things I would love to do with my hair that I can't, like those cute layers around your face. Also I have a small forehead that is terrible for bangs.
During your consult before your hair gets washed these things should be addressed. If you don’t know what face shape you have ask your stylist. If you have certain features you hate (like I have tons :)- we are always hardest on ourselves.) We also have features on our face we love, usually eyes or lips... so you can cut the hair to accentuate the great features and minimize what you don’t like about your face (like my widows peak :)
Hair color is all about your eye color and skin tone!!! Your eyes are amazing things. Have you ever looked at the ring right outside the color of your eyes? I don’t know the technical term, but if the ring around your eye is dark then dark tones most likely will be the best for your hair. The speckles of color throughout your eye are also a great secondary color to watch. Choose colors that compliment your eyes. Think of them like a paint chip to build a color scheme around.
Also it is important to really watch your skin tone. If you have really pretty golden brown skin and naturally dark hair, the browns, chestnuts, richer red tones are where you want to stay. If you can work eye color and skin tone together to create that perfect color it is such a great feeling. To me it feels pretty amazing if I can mix a color and it comes out exactly as you pictured it in your head!!! So gratifying!!!

Q: If someone was to get their haircut or colored and they don't like it what should they do?
Please come back to the stylist who did it especially if it was me and give them the first opportunity to make it right! If it was me I want to do what I can you have to remember you are the boss and if you are not happy then I don’t get paid! No way on earth will I ever or have ever charged a client for something they were not happy with.
(** note from Amy . . . I have had this experience with Jodi. A few years ago, I wanted to go blond and she made me a blond. She did exactly as I asked, the trouble was I wasn't really ready to be a total blond, even though I thought I was. My husband loved it, but I did not. I called Jodi the next day even though I felt kind of dumb doing it and without making me feel the least bit bad about not liking my hair color she had me come back in a she gave me a few low lights that made me feel so much better about the color of my hair-just so you know she practices what she preaches)
I have had many women come to me to “fix” a bad dye job or a cut that they got elsewhere. I feel terrible for those who have paid for a color and haircut and hated what they left with and then choose to go somewhere else to get it fixed. Why do I feel terrible? Because then they pay for a color or cut service again. Who wants to spend double the money?! I will admit, sometimes there is a miscommunication and I have had people not like the service I provided. They didn’t pay me until it was the way they wanted it or they didn’t pay me at all! Thankfully it hasn’t happened but a few times.
Bring Pictures and Communicate!
When you have a consultation with your stylist, bringing pictures of what you want your hair to look like is a great way to help your stylist visualize what your personal style is. Now, if you bring in 3 or four pictures of totally different hairstyles, that sends up a red flag to me that you have no idea what you really want. It is really important to decide what you want before you are sitting in the stylist’s chair, unless you need help figuring out what is best for your face shape.

Communication is key; always. I have had clients who are really shy and give one-word answers with no explanation when I ask them what they would like me to do to their hair. When this happens I feel like I am working blind when I start cutting because I have no idea what kind of hairstyle you want and am left guessing the whole time. Believe me, this happens a lot!

So here are some questions that you should be prepared to answer in order to help your stylist give you the best cut. They are really hard questions, so prepare yourself accordingly:
1.When was the last time you got your hair cut?
2.Did you like your last hair cut?
3.Would you like me to follow the pattern of your last haircut or are you ready for something new?
Hard right? These three questions will make your next hair cut less of a guessing game for your stylist.
Never Feel Awkward!
Also as a personal note... if I know you outside of the salon and you don't like the way I cut your hair it’s totally okay. It doesn’t need to be awkward at all between us because I am your friend and that is way more important than business :) I know how to separate the two and would never feel or be offended. I have been doing this a long time and I pick keeping a great friend rather then sweating the small stuff.

My husband runs a business with his family and if I didn’t know how to separate the two we wouldn’t have any extended family ... totally kidding love my in-laws they are the best! We work great together...all in all I am very passionate about hair, its my stress reliever believe it or not. So gratifying to make someone feel good about themselves. The smile and thank you is enough but that doesn’t pay the bills ... j.k.



There you have it folks . . . remember, Jodi will be happy to answer your hair questions whether they be about, hair health, style, pregnancy related topics or upcoming trends! Send your questions to:

Happy Crafting (or hairstyling!)

xoxo, Amy

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oversized Pictures Made Cheap

I absolutely love over-sized pictures on bare walls.

While trying to figure out how exactly Pinterest works, I came across THIS tutorial from Sugar Bee Crafts & now I can't wait to try it out.

The best part is that she said the print only costs $8 for 3 x 4 feet & the backing was $11 {which gives you more than enough for 1 print}

Happy crafting :)