Hello and welcome to Blue House Studio's blog. Keep up to date on the goings on in my world of art and teaching! Also check out my art and photography that will be posted often!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Now to WOW!!!

Hello all!  I actually found time today to do my Now to WOW!!!  I love to use ACR presets!  FYI- I didn't shoot in RAW this week so..................... 
TIP OF THE DAY:  If you don't shoot in RAW you can still open your jpegs in ACR- go into Bridge and select your files File- Open in Photoshop RAW!  Not all presets that you download will work on jpegs opened in ACR, but its worth a try!!!

ACR presets are a fun way to edit your photos.  I didn't do the preset on all of them because I had things in mind one and the other that isn't on her didn't look good with the preset.  I use MCP's touch of Light/ touch of Darkness FREE action on some of the photos to lighten and darken areas!  I love this action, it works so well.

FYI This is my favorite!!!!


Monday, April 25, 2011

SOOC- Friends and Family!

So I have missed doing the now to WOW tutorial 2 weeks in a row!!!  That is just too crazy!  I have been so busy lately!  I have been gone the last two weekends, we went back to Des Moines on Friday and returned home on Saturday, which I than got ready to host Easter!  I love hosting holidays!!
What a great day!!  Our first Easter egg hunt in the new house and Monkey's first too....last year she was too little and slept through it!  She caught on fast......so here are the pictures for my SOOC......I promise this week I will get the edit done!  PS- I really like Ashley's tutorial last week!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Snowy Sweet Shot Tuesday

Yes, yes that is what you see.....snow and it was taken today, April 19th!  We have received about 4 inches of the heavy white stuff and it just keeps on coming!!!  This is a picture from my art room, taken after the kids had left at 11:30.  Its my first early out due to snow in April!!!


So when I think of Easter I don't think of the typical Easter Bunny, I do think of polka-dotted eggs, lambs and cute cuddly things.  So, here is my Easter shots of Monkey and LuLu he rocking lamb, with her shirt that reminds me of a cute Easter Egg!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Now to WOW!!!

So I was gone all weekend and I just got a chance to do the Now to WOW!  I loved the ruler tool tutorial, however, my horizon line were straight so it didn't adjust it much, but it will help in the future!  So I tried something a bit different.  I did a modified Coffeeshop blog action.......the Polaroid Transfer, I added a layer mask and a distorted layer.  Something that I would LOVE to really do, but I don't have a polaroid camera!!!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How Other's See Me......Mrs. Riehle

MRS.  RIEHLE- I hear that name more than I hear my first name!  MCP Project 52, Week 15,  How other's see me.......  it was an interesting theme.  I thought about it all weekend, Saturday on the way to the cities, Sunday while playing outside with Monkey, Monday during class and finally last night after Monkey went to bed I figured out I needed to do it in the classroom.  That is where I am truly myself......I love teaching........even when times are really messed up in education, I still love teaching!  I love being a mom and a wife, but I have been a teacher longer than both.  I always told my students that I didn't need kids because I had 120 of them each semester and 75 more during volleyball.  I am not a teacher hides the way I am, the kids now I'm crazy and silly and serious all at the same time!!!  They also know I am passoniate about my art, my marriage and my daughter!!!!  Now that I have a daughter that adds the the definition of my life.....mommy.......it makes me a better teacher....how would I want a teacher to treat my daughter?

I spend so much time being a teacher.  Not just from 8-4 everyday.  I can't wait until May when I can be a teacher for monkey 24/7 for 2.5 months.

So I hope others see me as a mom, a wife, a daugher, a sister, loving, fun, crazy, an artist, an art teacher, caring, funny and a friend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My First Action

Not only is this my first action, but it is also my Sweet Shot Tuesday!!!  Pictures after the storm we had this weekend!!!
Here is my first action that I have created for others to use!  I taught my class to do Ashley's Planet Tutorial and as I was creating my planets I realized it would super easy to create an action for it!
Ashley took a panoramic picture and made a "planet" out of it.  Of course if you want the entire tutorial check it out HERE!!!  Of course I tweeked it a bit.  I added a mirrored image to the action, some of my skies were so different it was hard to clone it and make it look good!  So you can download it here!
Original cropped
Mirror Left

Mirror Right

Planet Action

Well Action

Monday, April 11, 2011


So this weeks Now to WOW's theme is Faith.  I really didn't know what to do for this at first....  My husband is a church decorator (Here is his website, I help cut and design the stencils) so I do have some wonderful pictures of insides of churches!!!  But, they weren't new pictures and I didn't want something so literal.
This weekend there was some CRAZY weather. 9 tornadoes touched down and we drove one hour in down pouring rain and head hurting lightening.  Although we were in a tornado warning we didn't have any touch down or any damage done around our home or town.  Unfortunately some towns were destroyed in western Iowa near where I got my first job.
Sunday the sun was out and it was so warm!!! Than another small storm came up so quickly we didn't know what hit.  I got some great shots after the rain had moved through to the east and the sun was shining in the west. (Although they need to be cropped)  Sometimes you just have to have Faith that you will be safe and everything will pass......

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Now to WOW!!!

So when I read Ashley's blog to day I did a little cheer, than a little dance, my first hour class thought I was strange!  But I love adding textures to my images......love, Love, LOVE IT!!  I am so in my zone this week!  I joined a challenge group on Flickr with SkeletalMass's textures, he is wonderful.  Both of his blogs are on my blog roll.  There are also so many other Flickr resources out there for textures.

So I did my first photo and followed very close to Ashley layers and what she did, then I went and did my own thing, I did however use the same textures she used.

After my first one I thought why not do a screen shot with my recipe on it!  So the last two have screen shots.  I do a lot of layer masking when I am working on portraits because you might get a strange line in the face or lose some detail.  I always use a brush at 50% or lower when do that!

On my last one I did what I love to do.....add brushes.  I added a little brush frame around it.  Sometimes I layer mask with brushes as well, it gives different tones with the layers.
Here are some examples of my texture challenge using brushes in my layer masks.  The flower is my photo, the fairy was for a challenge.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Fusion a lot of things come to mind when you say that word.  However when I read it last Saturday on MCP's blog the only thing I could think of was baking cookies!  I don't know why but it was, so much to the enjoyment of my husband and daughter I baked cookies, just so I could take a picture of them!  The picture I took was exactly what I had envisioned, but it turned out quite nicely.
I have said it before that MCP Project 52 has really helped me this year.  I gives me something to look forward to each week!  The first thing I do on Saturday morning is read the blog to see what I am going to take a photo of that week.
So I fused that with my teaching, and I have gotten some great photos the past two weeks! I had all A's, all of them!  It was wonderful!  Here is a link to my HUGE labor of love.....my art room website!  There are links to my digital camera's websites, which are their portfolios and to daily updates on the blog and examples of all of the projects we do in class.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Waterdrop Tutorial

Hello everyone!  Some people have asked about the link to the water drop tutorial so here it is  http://www.clickinmoms.com/blog/?p=1792.  I also posted it in a comment.  I can't wait to show you some of my students water drops, they are awesome!!!  Stay tuned for a post with the link to my Digital Camera page on my art room website!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My first Tutorial for My Blog

A "Wordle" Tutorial
Have you ever been to the Wordle website?  You can easily create your own word collage.  What if you wanted to put a picture in that collage?  Well you can actually add one of their collages to your photos, but this tutorial shows you how to do it on your own!

Open the document you want to add the words to.  Clean up your photo, run any actions you like.  I ran Moody Pop on my example.

Use your text tool to create words.  I hid my background layer so I could see the words more clear. 

Right now it doesn’t matter where you place the words, how big they are, or what font, just type.  Make sure you to put the words on separate layers.  (Click the move tool between typing the words) (See Below)

To make life easier have the auto select layers option checked on your move tool.  (See Below)
Now start free transforming, rotating, formatting and moving your text.  When choosing a font you want to pick larger, bolder fonts.  Thin fonts don't work as well.  Also, you will probably want to turn your background layer on so you can see where it overlaps your photo.

Once you have moved all of your text around and it is in the EXACT place you want it, go to your layers palette and select all of your text layers.  ( You can click on your bottom text layer, hold shift and click on your top text layer).  Go to your layer menu and Merge Layers. (See Below)
You will want to select your word layer. One of my favorite short cuts is the Cmd Click (Ctrl Click for PC) on your layer this will select your text within that layer.   
Now you will want to make a new layer via copy- so now select your background layer and Command J (creates a new layer via copy). 

Turn “off” the original word layer in your layers palette.

Now to make the words actually appear!  to do that all you have to add some blending options to your layer.  I like to do bevel and emboss and drop shadow or stroke.  You can play with the settings of these options, but the bevel and emboss is the most important option to add to the layer

You can either leave it as is or create a new layer and fill it with a color.  If you are going to do this option you would want more words than what I have below.

Up two Ways

So our SOOC Now to WOW challenge this week is UP!  I decided to interrupt that two ways, one literal and one not so literal.....

The first ones are of Monkey playing on top of her slide with her hair standing up, than there is one of her outside and  UP as in the temp is UP.....70 degrees on Sunday!  It was wonderful outside and we played and played and played!!!  She really loved it out there.  The last one is of her falling asleep up, she was soooo tired!

Now some of these aren't my best SOOC shots, but I love them anyways!