Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Etsy Coupon Codes!!!

One of my favorite things to do is hang out in the forums on Etsy. While doing this I have found some great new friends and some wonderful new websites.  And it's the later that I would like to share with you.  A new venture by Dragons Creations to help etsy sellers get there coupon codes all in one place. And for a limited time you can post your coupons for free!!  Be sure to check it out and help make this smart idea into a huge success!

Here's a link to her shop


And Blog where she offers giveaways

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Need a Free Calendar??

As I stated in my first post I love finding freebies. Adding to my joy is passing those finds along to those who will enjoy them as much as I do. 
This leads me to my first find of the year.  Mousesavers. One of my resolutions, if that's what it can be called, for 2011 is to go to one of my favorite places on earth, Walt Disney World.  I am hoping to pay my own way but I figured why not try and win my way there just in case.  That's when I stumbled on this forgotten website.  Along with the page dedicated to the latest sweepstakes it also offers free info on how to get the most out of your trip to the house of mouse. Going back to my intial offer of free, one of those sweepstakes includes a chance to receive a code for a free 12x12 calendar from Snapfish. Not bad if I do say so myself.  The free calendar allows for free personalization in everyway, so have fun and only worry about shipping and handling. To celebrate I thought I'd pass along a few of my photos from my last trips to Disney in 2008-09.

The second site/magazine I found to promote is All You. I do not have the magazine but I have heard it is chalk full of coupons and money-saving ideas.  When it comes to the website, you can sign up for daily free samples to be emailed to your inbox.  There can be a lot of repeats but some of the samples have been quite a find and it gives back all the time I would have spent trying to hunt them down.

Finally in an unrelated shift, I am proud to say I entered my first photography contest.  Photo Spiva is an international competition so I am setting my goals pretty high. I'm just happy I have decided to take this leap whether my entries are accepted or not. For now here are the five photos I placed in the running.

All are available on my Etsy store except the Packard Emblem if you would like to make them yours.  Or to see a more complete version of these five photos.  Thanks and good luck in whatever freebie you chose : )

Monday, January 10, 2011

Watermarking your Masterpieces

Photography used to be a medium that was hard to copy, but with the advent of the Internet it's becoming harder and harder to guard your images from those who would claim them as their own.  There are many programs available to help relieve some of these worries but they can be costly.  I did find one however that is very inexpensive (i.e. free) and after a little bit of investigation, was very easy to use. TSR Watermark Image Software is the site I found while browsing through google and Cnet.

You start by downloading the program to your computer. Once that is done you have to set up a new folder in your "My Pictures" section of your computer.  I labeled mine “Etsy Copyrights

(I tried to do screen shots but blogger wouldn't let me)

I then created another folder inside of that one. I called it “finished” but really it should be labeled something like unfinished so that you know those images are without watermarks.

What you will do is put all of the photos you would like to have watermarked into that secondary folder.

At this time you would open the program that you just downloaded. 

(again no screen shot, please refer to the open program on your desktop

At the top left of the screen you’ll see the word “Source” and “Destination”.  In the source section press select and a screen will pop up that allows you to chose the folder that contains the photos you would like to add a watermark to.  In the space under destination you repeat the step from above only choose the folder you would like your finished images to land in.  I would not mess with the defaults under these two sections unless you really want too. 

As you work your way down the left side of the program it allows you to choose the type of file you would want. It also allows for the strength or transparency of your watermark.  I usually try to go as light as possible but the default is set at 75% which is a pretty good starting point. 

Beneath that you can also chose the location of your watermark. I usually go right for the middle but you can head for any direction you want.

Going back up to the top middle you have a section that allows you to chose an image for testing.  You simply choose as you would to load an image to Etsy.

And in the top right is the section that allows you to enter what you want your watermark to say and look. This is a great area to play with until you what fits for you. 

Finally click on the “Start” button. It will run through all the photos and the previously empty first folder should be filled now watermarked photos.  Your secondary folder will still have the unmarked images you had in there before and you can then move them to any other folder or leave them and they’ll just be run through every time.  There shouldn’t be any duplicates unless you unchecked the “overwrite similar files” option.

And that’s all there is to it.  You now have you very own watermarked images and can still show off their artistry all in one simple step. Good luck and let me know if you discover more : )


Monday, January 3, 2011

My Texas Home

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope this first Monday back to work or school is going well and that all is on track for being a great year!

Am I excited to share some great new photos with you all.  For the holidays, after much trial and error, I made my way down to Houston, TX to spend some time with friends and family. Along the way I found some eye catching treasures.  One of the first images I caught was on a rare frosted Texas morning.  My Grandpa is an avid Packard car collector.  Some of his cars are beautifully restored but others are just part cars still filled with aged splendor. Here is an example..

My next adventure took me to the shores of Galveston, TX.  Growing up near this quaint seaside town was a treat I have greatly missed since moving further north.  I was anxious to get back and see if my childhood haunts were still around since Hurricane Ike blew through there in 2008.  Some great landmarks were sadly gone but other small things were still there to enjoy. Like these wonderful steps

And then there was this unique telephone pole

And finally we did some strolling on the strand, the older downtown area of Galveston. I greatly enjoyed the Victorian architecture full of color. Some were in the midst of restoration like this wonderful door full of character. See if you can find the pigeon that snuck in.

All in all it was a great and restful trip. I'm not going to lie, I shed a tear when I crossed the border of Texas headed back towards home. Texas is always full of majestic wonder and I can't wait to head back to continue my photographic journey there.

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