Making the BIG Leap

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BC fine art shop graphic 1 Making the BIG Leap
Today’s the BIG day. I am making the BIG leap and opening my original art shop doors OPEN!! 

Actually its been open for a week now, but I was afraid to show you. But then I remembered my public confession a year and a half ago – I am an artist. I want to make art, for a living, for my life,” – and all the encouragement I’ve gotten from you and others via social media this past year as I shared my works in progress so I decided tonight would be my night to show and finally tell.

Aaaah it feels so good sharing this with you…again.  

Now on to my shop opening, shall we. 

Eight original paintings on canvas or paper are currently listed in my shop. This series of paintings is titled - I’m Fine. These paintings are my take of what sometimes happen with me and you. On the surface we project cool calm collectedness but just below the surface a storm of sorts is brewing – hurt, happiness, despair, ecstasy, disappointment, optimism.  But in our effort to either keep the peace or not impose, we clothe/cloak (however you choose to see it) ourselves in I’m Fine

Come take a look. Tell me what you think. And please spread the word. New original art will be added to the shop every Monday. So keep coming back friend. And because we’re friends, here’s a special discount just for you.

Quick, act fast cause the 20% OFF discount is good only through Thanksgiving. Use code: BCThanksgiving2014 at checkout. 

d2a9967f a178 4b7d 85a8 d2355fc6834f Making the BIG Leap

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How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier

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vsco cam beginners 3 How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier
I give good GRAM, Instagram that is. My picture-taking-and-instgram-sharing-ways landed me in the finalist circle of this year’s Black Weblog Awards. And even though I didn’t win, I am still pretty honored and proud of the collection of pretty I’m curating over on the inspired by Beatrice Clay IG feed. Almost daily I get someone tweeting me, FBing me, or emailing me asking me about #vscocam or how I use VSCO CAM to make my photos prettier.

Well today I will let y’all in on my secret and take you through a visual step by step on how I use VSCO CAM.  Consider this VSCO CAM for beginners. VSCO CAM is a powerful, beautiful and simple photo editing and sharing app, but I only use a small fraction of its photo editing capabilities. And since I believe simple can really be beautiful, I stick to the VSCO CAM basics in my daily use of the app and will share my 4 step easy peasy process.

Get ready, it’s so simple you might miss it. HA!

How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier

Step 1. Download the VSCO CAM app if you haven’t done so already. VSCO CAM is available for both iOS and Android. YAY! 

Step 2. Take a good picture. What makes a good picture? Glad you asked. One that is usually taken in natural sunlight and is strongly composed. Here are some resources on how yo take better photos and yes practice makes perfect and NO you don’t need a fancy camera. I take all my photos both the ones I use on this pretty blog, on Instagram and even the ones I sell for real money on Etsy with my iPhone 5. 

Sure I love a good DSLR, film and polaroid camera (pssst I own all three types by the way) but the secret to taking a great photo isn’t having the fanciest hardware or lens, it’s having a fancy eye for light and composition.  But I digress cause weren’t we talking about VSCO CAM. LOL. Right, where was I.

Step 3: Now that you have a decently composed picture taken with decent natural sunlight, import it into VSCO CAM (just click on VSCO CAM icon on your phone, navigate to library then click the “+” and import image from your camera photos). I should pause here to say that I always use my IPhone’s camera to take all my pics and then import them into VSCO CAM…force of habit. That and I like to keep my original images just in case I want to edit them differently later. So here are a couple simple unedited BEFORE photos I shot in my sunny kitchen on my white Ikea table (white is always a great background and perfect for making your photos prettier). 
vsco cam beginners 1 before How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier
vsco cam beginners 1 after How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier

Step 4: I literally use the same steps in VSCO CAM every single time. Ready? 1. bump up the exposure, 2. bump up the saturation, 3. sharpen, and 4. add my favorite filter f2. THAT’S ALL FOLKS. See pretty simple.  
vsco cam beginners 2 before How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier
vsco cam beginners 3 after How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier

Some other tips – Jot down the settings as you batch edit your photos. I’ll take 4 photos and edit them in VSCO CAM one by one but because I took them all under the same conditions – a la my sunny kitchen and white Ikea table – I can pretty much apply all the same settings (example for the plants and leaves I applied exposure +2, saturation +2, sharpen +5, and f2 +6). Photos taken under synthetic light or by candlelight can still look quite beautiful with a little editing with VSCO CAM. A few days ago, I attended an intimate evening event and snapped a series of low-light photos. I imported them all into VSCO CAM, bumped the exposure to +3, sharpness to +2 and the T1 filter to +9 and ended up with some magical moody photos made prettier with VSCO CAM.

Also some filters work better with inanimate objects like f2 and other filters work better with people like HB1 and HB2. For my portrait up top, I didn’t make any adjustments to the exposure, saturation or sharpness; I simply the HB1 filter to +12. In short the simplest way to make your photos prettier with VSCO CAM is to practice and experiment. 

Keep tabs on the VSCO CAM app menu for updates to the app and for FREE filters. Periodically the fine makers of VSCO CAM share free filters when they roll out new paid filter packs.

Once I finish editing my photos, I save them to my photo folder on my iPhone and later add them to Instagram using the #vscocam. Lately I’ve been curating the content I share on the VSCO CAM Grid, a photo sharing platform similar to Instagram but owned and maintained by VSCO. I share my art work in process on VSCO Grid. Are you on the Grid? Let’s follow each other – I’m “beatriceclay” on VSCO Grid, come find me….K. 

Darling, that’s a wrap!

Do you use VSCO CAM? What are you favorite filters? Also if you’re a VSCO CAM or INSTAGRAM newbie and have questions leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them. **HUGS and Hi5s**
bc sig pink satisfaction How I Use VSCO CAM to Make My Photos Prettier

Minted Makers Night NYC

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minted makers night nyc 2 Minted Makers Night NYC

I heart Instagram. I find out about the coolest things and events like the Minted Makers Nights happening around the US. I was lucky enough to get on the list for last week’s Minted Makers Night NYC at Little Owl in the West Village.  In a phrase – MAKERS MAKING MAGIC…oh and sipping COCKTAILS.

Vané Broussard of Brooklyn Bride showed us a short and sweet DIY Holiday Card Pinboard made with exclusive Minted fabric. The fabric was glorious, so many beautiful patterns…and y’all already know how obsessed I am with making patterns right!? Fingers crossed Minted calls for more pattern submissions soon. I missed the first go round, but I will be ready next time. I’m reading Mastering the Art of Fabric Printing and Design and sharpening my pattern making skills.

The Minted Makers Night NYC was an intimate gathering of about two dozen or so makers, mostly pattern makers and other creatives. The venue was softly lighted with candles and barely glowing bulbs hence the moody images. Just beautiful. Here are some of the pics I snapped of the evening. Enjoy!
minted makers night nyc 6 Minted Makers Night NYC

We had lots of pretty fabric to choose from. It was very hard for me but I ended up going with some blue and pink floating scallops.

minted makers night nyc 5 Minted Makers Night NYC

 On each table Minted set up beautiful baskets full of patterned papers, holiday cards, ribbons, washi tape and sparkly pushpins. 

minted makers night nyc 8 Minted Makers Night NYC

Oh and the cocktails DARLING! So good. I ended up sipping on the vodka and cranberry cocktail. So good. I ended the night with some spiked hot cocoa with marshmallows YUMMERS!

minted makers night nyc 4 Minted Makers Night NYC

minted makers night nyc 9 Minted Makers Night NYC

 Come over to Instagram to see the pics I took of my board + more Minted pretties I snapped the day after under some good natural sunlight. 

minted makers night nyc 7 Minted Makers Night NYC

Hey darlings true story, after writing about the wonderful time I had at the Minted Makers event here on le blog, I got an email with a nice little discount for code you and me. YAY! pretty holiday cards for ALL OF US. Below is the one Minted has for you – 15% off (1 week only) and heads up when you click on Minted you’ll be taken to their site via my affiliate link. Even without the discount I would have shared my good craft night out with y’all.

Want in on the Minted magic? Well here is a special discount code courtesy of Minted just for YOU. Use code: INSPIREDBYBC at checkout to receive 15% off your purchase from Nov 19th – Nov 25th. YAY pretty holiday cards and art for everyone! 

Make any magical DIYs lately? Do tell in the comments below.

bc sig pink satisfaction Minted Makers Night NYC 

 

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