I never, ever thought I would reach 1,000 readers on this blog.
So it has really been an exciting time; watching more & more of you come to read my posts, to chat to me (and each other) and generally just make this space so much fun. It's no huge number in comparison to some blogs, but it really is wonderful to me.
I remember starting up Tiny Paint Pot with zero readers and seeing it develop over time has left me feeling extremely happy. So, to say 'thank you,' I thought I would give away 'a little bundle of happiness' to one of you! I would love to be able to give something to each and everyone of you that takes the time to read any of my posts - but unfortunately my bank account won't let me do so!
I tried to choose things as if I were buying for a friend (and got a little bit carried away - giveaways are exciting!), so I hope there's a bit of something for everyone!
Here's what you could win :
♥ Essie Nail Polish in Chubby Cheeks ♥ Bracelets from Accessorise ♥ Notepad & pen from Paperchase ♥ Bourjois Rouge Matte Velvet in Peach Club ♥ Dream Time Bath Melt from Lush
To enter, all you have to do is simply follow my blog in some way : Bloglovin', GFC or Email Subscription, and let me know which one in the Rafflecopter box below. There are a couple of additional things you can do for extra entries should you wish, but they're not completely necessary.
This is in an international giveaway and will last for one week(conscious of getting the Lush product to you in as fresh condition as possible!). The winner will be contacted as soon as the raffle ends and will have forty-eight hours to respond with their address before another winner will be chosen. Giveaway-specific accounts will be disqualified as this is a thank you to genuine readers.
I'm no photographer or Photoshop specialist, but I thought I would share some tips of the tools that I use on a weekly basis when editing my photos. Some of these things took me a while to figure out, but they're so useful and easy to use when you get your head around them, that I thought it might be nice to share them with anyone that's interested!
Ever taken a picture, only to find it's not exactly straight? The Ruler tool is fantastic for fixing these issues. Simply draw a line over the place you would expect to be straight, then click image > image rotation > arbitrary and the perfect rotation angle will be ready & waiting.
Obviously, you will need to crop your new image, meaning you will lose a little bit of the outer edges, however, I usually find it's nothing too drastic and helps give that 'I have an internal built spirit level' look.
Save For Web
Possibly the most useful of all the tools on Photoshop, in my opinion, is the 'save for web' option. If you take pictures on your DSLR, your file size will be huge, which is great if you ever want them printed, etc. but for the purpose of your blog, a lot smaller file size will result in images loading quicker and ultimately saving space wherever you upload them to.
I personally save mine to 650px as that is the width of my blog column; meaning, when I upload them and click 'original image size' my image and text will be in perfect alignment. Which not only looks nice & tidy, but (supposedly) helps the readers eye not have to jump around the page. (This blog post may help you find out the width of your post column!)
Ah, actions. Actions are my best friend. They make editing photos so much quicker & generally make them look a lot better too. Actions essentially take away the process of layering filters & adjustments on top of each other and basically do all the hard work for you. They can be as simple as altering the brightness/contrast or can completely give your photos a whole different feel.
Some of my favourites are from Paint the Moon(they have a couple of freebies too), but there are also some great free downloads available online, particularly on Deviantart. Also, if you like the Afterlight app, then you will love Simon Filip as he has a whole set of free actions that are wonderful.
Once you have them downloaded, simply open your image (I recommend adjusting contrast/brightness manually first) then hit the play button and watch as your image transforms! Don't forget you can always adjust the opacity of your action too, in case you want things a little more subtle!
If you're generally happy with your image and just want to alter a couple of things, the adjustment layers button is for you. It's really worth playing around with the options on the list as you can really improve your image with just a few easy clicks.
Curves is always wonderful to make your whites whiter (sounds like a washing tablet advert) or your blacks darkerwhich will give your photo a bit more depth. Or if you wish to cancel out yellow tones, for example, you can lay a blue photo filter over the top to cancel them out slightly. Exposure & Vibrance can also be great little tools to pep up a particularly dark image or alternatively bring back some detail from an over-exposed photo.
I appreciate not everyone has Photoshop, but that doesn't mean you can't edit your photos. There are plenty of options on the internet that can help you, including Pixlr & PicMonkey. Also, if you're an iPad or iPhone user, it's not out of the question to edit your photos on Afterlight, Vsco Cam or Snapseed, just save at the highest quality, et viola!
I personally find PicMonkey very useful when making YouTube thumbnails as you can choose your dimensions (1280 x 720, if you're interested!) and insert pictures to your hearts content. They even have some pretty great fonts to choose from too!
I hope this has been of some interest or help! As I said, my images are never perfect & I'm definitely not a professional, but these are just a few of the things I use to help get my images to how I want them to be.
Mainly because I wear years & years out-of-date/out-of-style clothes and the majority have no real shape or fashion sense to them (painting an attractive picture or what?). However, I had a little bit of birthday money left from May & a gap in my Summer wardrobe where a kimono needed to live. I've never owned one, but love how relaxed they look & how they can make even the simplest of outfits a little bit funkier.
After spotting this one on Essie Buttons site a while back, I knew immediately that it was my kinda thing (apparently no longer available, but plenty of similar - here). I hadn't found an opportunity to wear it but after finding this simple, black cami in the Urban Outfitters sale & these brown, thick strappy sandals(which I first saw on Blue October's blog - this should just be called 'Bloggers Made Me Buy It, shouldn't it?), I knew that it would be the loose, casual Summer outfit I'd been looking for. Even if it is all dark colours... I don't actually subscribe to that whole 'dark clothes attract heat' thing!
I think the lace detail on the cami makes it a little different from every other cami out there, plus it's a nice average length, loose fitting and not see-through; which are all things I love (and are apparently hard to find on the high-street at the minute).
The sandals are unbelievably comfortable. Like... uber comfy - almost padded - with a lovely chunky heel that adds a nice amount of height and 'dressed-up-ness' to any outfit but without the crippling pain of regular heels. They're such great quality and I'm so pleased I bought them. I know I'll get so much wear out of them & they pretty much go with everything! Bonus.
As for make-up, I felt like going for a bright lip for once and opted for Bourjoir Frambourjois Rouge Matte Velvet which is such a lovely colour and definitely adds a more summery feel to a fairly dark outfit! I then paired it with just about every piece of silver jewellery I own - as I always do! My favourite at the moment is the turquoise bangle from Topshop & a dainty silver bracelet that I found in the Accessorise sale for £5!