Photography

How I Distressed Pine Boards for Photo Backgrounds

 

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw the fun pile of pine wood boards that my neighbor left by my front door.  Many of you asked what I was going to do with them?  Well, they are for the backgrounds of my blog post projects!!

HOWEVER, I came across a little issue....  the pine is so "yellow" that it fools my camera and it makes all the photos really yellow, which require a ton of photoshoping to make them look better.. so.. I decided to buy some paint and start painting and distressing the yellow-ish pine boards to make them look more interesting and a little bit like they'd been weathered for a long time!

 

How to distress wood pine boards by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

 

The boards were single left over pine planks from who knows what project.. and my neighbor (handy-dandy woodshop neighbor) glued them together into larger pieces.. he sanded them and did the beveled edges on them too!!  It's so great to have handy friends!!!! :)

 You can see from the photo below, that the pine boards I found in our garden shed, are quite yellow, and after my "distressing process" I managed to make them all look totally different!

 

How to distress wood pine planks pattystamps before

 

Before and After: How to distress wood pine boards by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

After Distressing wood pine boards by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

 

I really should have looked on Youtube before I started this process, but I just dove right in with some bottles of acrylic paint, old paint brushes, an old toothbrush, foam brushes, sand paper and old rags.

It was about a 3 day process as I was trying to get the house decorated for Christmas at the same time, and couldn't devote all my time to this project.

 

My (totally amateur) process to distress the wood:

  1. start with a wash of paint (acrylic paint watered down) and applied with a foam brush
  2. sand when dry
  3. add a 2nd color the same way as #1
  4. sand when dry
  5. add a 3rd color with a very dry paint brush to give the appearance of wood grain (with a light touch)
  6. sand when dry
  7. evaluate... like it? stop!  needs more color? (probably!) :) add more colors either as a wash or with a dry paintbrush
  8. add paint speckles or streaks with the toothbrush dipped in paint
  9. distress wood with wire brush, coarse sand paper, or anything that will rough it up a bit
  10. apply more paint
  11. sand again
  12. ya, you get the idea... you could do this for days....  I had to make myself stop!

 

Notes:

For the blue ones, I started with white paint and added blue, then added more white

For the light ones, I started with white paint and added hints of gray, black and brown (with a very dry brush)

For the dark ones, I started with brown paint, and added white, gray and black paint

On some of the boards, I dipped my rag into water then into paint and kind of washed over the boards.

I basically experimented with every possible combination I could think of. :)

 

How to distress wood pine boards by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

 

How to distress wood pine boards by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

 

When I am ready to photograph my craft projects, I place them on a board and take photos, as you can see below:

 

How to distress wood pine boards for craft photo backgrounds by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

 

I experiment with different boards depending on the color and size of the project, then crop the photo and add my watermark as shown below.

 

How to distress wood pine boards for craft project photo backgrounds.  Christmas gift bags from Stampin Up  by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

Christmas Kraft Gift bag stamped with Merry Medley background stamp from Stampin Up! by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

Above and below:

Examples of different wood backgrounds for my Merry Medley Christmas gift bag projects.

I stamped the Kraft gift bags with my Merry Medley background stamp and decorated them with some Warmth & Cheer designer paper for easy and fun holiday gift bags!

 

Christmas Kraft Gift bag stamped with Merry Medley background stamp from Stampin Up! by Patty Bennett at www.pattystamps.com

 

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No Foolin' - My Garden is Bloomin'

 

No tricks this April Fools Day... just some pretty spring flowers from my garden to share with you!

One of the things you mention to me over and over is that you enjoy photos of my garden.  I'm so glad you enjoy them and thought I'd show you what's blooming so far this year!

Garden pattystamps alstomeria 2016 yellow 1

 

In my garden, I grow mostly roses and alstromeria.  You can see the beautiful yellow alstromeria above.. it's one of my faves! I think I have 4 colors of alstromeria.  I love to cut it and add it to my bouquets because it lasts a LONG time in a vase!!

 

Garden pattystamps rose 2016 1

 

Above: This is a Peace rose.. it's very happy in the sunshine... there are dozens of buds ready to bloom on this bush!

 

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Above: A bunch of sunflower seeds planted themselves under the bird feeders.. so this year I just let them grow.. they are already all in bloom!!  Why did I think that sunflowers bloomed in the fall?

 

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Above: This is one of my pink alstromeria growing up in amongst one of the rose bushes!

 

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Above: I think this is Star Jasmine.. it sure smells wonderful when it's blooming!  It climbs all along one of the back fences.

 

Garden pattystamps rose 2016 sihlouette1

 

Above: Another Peace rose silhouetted against the shade...

 

Garden pattystamps alstomeria 2016 pink 1

And more happy alstromeria!

 

Garden pattystamps squirrel buddy 1 2016

One of my backyard buddies was resting, watching me in the garden.. they are so funny...

Thank you for letting me share a little about me, and my garden.  I get asked all the time what my secrets are for gardening and success with roses .. truly I think it's the San Francisco Bay Area climate - perfect mix of warm, cool, rain and sun.. and yes, I do talk to them.. not sure if that helps.  I prune them sometime between Christmas and Super Bowl weekend (how's that for a funny schedule) and they are always still blooming so it kills me to cut them back, but boy does it make them come back with a roar of new growth!!

 

Garden pattystamps new rose growth 2016

 

Have a great day my friends! 

 

 

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Easter Blessings to You

 

He-is-risen-easter-frame-pattystamps

Wishing you all a Blessed Easter.

This Easter Weekend, I am just sharing some photos from the beautiful trees in our neighborhood and some flowers from my garden... enjoy, rejoice, be thankful, smile, and spread some cheer this weekend...

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I love to take photos of the Cherry Blossoms each March in our neighborhood.

Aren't they gorgeous!!??  I am thankful for God's beauty in nature!

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And here is a quick collage of flowers blooming in my garden as of March 19th.

March 2015 garden collage

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Delightful Visit to Anna's Flower Shop in Hercules

 

Today we are taking a break from crafting so I can share a fun day I had last week... one of the things I constantly hear from you is to please share more of my rose garden with you .. so today, we're talkin' flowers, roses, florists, lunch and more! :)

Last week I met some friends for lunch at the Powder Keg here in Hercules, CA.  It's been open for many years and we've never been there.. so it was a fun experience!  It is on the corner in a neat building that was built down at the waterfront .. made to look old but it's a fairly new building! 

Powder-keg-restaurant-hercules

My friend Joy and I both tried the grilled crab sandwich... it was like grilled cheese for grown ups... grilled cheese and crab on the perfectly grilled sourdough bread!!  I could seriously eat this every day!! (but then I'd have to walk about 10 miles a day!)

Powder-keg-grilled-crab

After lunch,I walked with my camera down to the waterfront (just at the end of the building) and took some photos... the fog was just clearing and it was still hazy.. but the bay is there in the haze.. ya.. hard to see. . but that's the Bay.. we are across the bay from San Francisco and Marin County.

Hercules-bay

On my way back up the street, I walked past a florist, turned around and decided to go in and see if I could buy some "filler" to go with my roses from my garden... boy am I glad I stopped in, because I met 2 of the nicest people EVER!!! 

Meet Chance and Anna of Anna's Flowers of Hercules!!

Annas-flower-shop-chance-2

Chance and Anna were prepping for a wedding the next day and I was just awestruck with the beautiful arrangements they were creating!! Oh my gosh.. so gorgeous! I asked if I could take photos.. then I mentioned I might just have to blog about them, and then before you know it Anna and I were posting photos of each other on Instagram and we felt like old friends by the time we parted ways that day!

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Aren't these fall wedding centerpieces just amazing!?  I am normally not an "orange person" but wow.. I loved these!

This was another one of the centerpieces:

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  Annas-flower-shop-small-business

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Thank you Chance and Anna for a delightful visit!!!

So after we chatted for about a hour and a half (!!) :) I bought some filler for my roses and went home to cut roses from my garden.

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These are some photos from my garden..

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After cutting about 3 dozen roses, I brought them inside and made 2 bouquets.

Flowers make me HAPPY... just Happy.. that's all.

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Patty-flower-garden-roses-bouquet-3

I'm just hoping that nobody tells my garden that it's November, because there are still about 50 roses out there.. I need to cut more.. maybe it's time to deliver some to the neighbors!

 So we'll get back to stamping tomorrow.. thanks for letting me share my day with you.. hope you enjoyed the "detour".

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4th of July Fireworks at the Oakland A's Stadium

 

As part of our family traditions, we try to go to 1 or 2 Oakland A's Baseball games each season, and we really try to include a fireworks night. We went on July 3rd and the game was super exciting AND they won! Whohooo!!  Can't beat that!!  And we walked all the way around the entire stadium and found new food booths and found a corn dog for Eric.. so that was super exciting too! :)  (ok, I'll admit it.. for me, it's mostly about the FOOD, and not the game) :)

I hope your 4th of July celebration was fabulous!

Enjoy our fireworks photos from the Oakland A's stadium!

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I love my Nikon P510 camera.. it's a point n shoot and I put it on Fireworks mode and I think these snaps turned out great!!

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Eric-corn-dog-4th-of-july

Yep, that's the famous corn dog... it's a DOUBLE corn dog.. 2 dogs on the stick!!

I think it's so fun that they allow fans on the field for the fireworks show!

Fireworks-oakland-a-4th-july-2014-fans-on-field

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thank you for stopping by!

 

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A family trip to San Francisco

 

Afternoon Birthday Trip to San Francisco

Several times each year we try to make a trip over the bridge to San Francisco.. we love "playing tourist" and taking photos, eating at a fun restaurant on Pier 39 or on Fisherman's Wharf, and doing a little shopping or at least window shopping!

For my birthday, I decided I wanted to take the afternoon off work and the 3 of us ventured over to the city.. stopping at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge to take photos and then heading on to Pier 39 to walk around and have birthday dinner at Bubba Gumps!  Thought you'd like to see some photos of our delightful day!

Golden-gate-bridge-eb-pb-jbThank you to the kind couple from Venezuela who took our photo!

Golden-gate-bridge-pattystamps-1

I can never get enough of this bridge, or any bridge.. with my 19 years of experience in the architectural and structural engineering field, I developed a real love and appreciation for amazing structures and design.. bridges are one thing that fascinate me and I could look at them and photograph them forever!

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Pier-39-boat-marina-pattystamps

There are tons of great photo opps on Pier 39 in San Francisco.. I love the marina and all the colorful boats!

Jason had a GREAT idea.. to get a little bag of the hot fresh donuts as an appetizer before dinner... did I raise this kid right or what!?  LOL

Donuts

Bubba-gumps-pier-39-san-francisco

 We celebrated with my birthday dinner at Bubba Gumps, one of our long-standing birthday traditions.

Shrimp-dinner-bubba-gump

Do you think we have enough shrimp between the 3 of us!? wow!! YUMMMO!

Birthday-dinner-bubba-gumps-san-francisco

At the end of the pier there is a super clear view of Alcatraz... I probably have 50 photos like this but I still take this photo every time we are there!

Alcatraz-pier-39-pattystamps

We caught the setting sun just at the right moment.. thank you for a beautiful day!

Sunset-san-francisco-bay-pattystamps

On our way to the city we went over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge, and on the way home we went over the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.. I snapped this bridge photo with my camera phone so it's not very clear.. but I love this new bridge.. it just opened last year (replaced the section that was damaged and fell in our 1989 big quake).

New-bay-bridge-oakland-SF

Thank you San Francisco for yet another lovely visit!  We will be back soon.

 

 

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April 2014 Lunar Eclipse and Blood Moon

 

Did you see the Lunar Eclipse on Monday night?  It was really fascinating!!  Since we live about a mile from the San Francisco Bay, we are often shrouded in fog, as was the case Monday night.. so my photos from the first hour or so of the eclipse were pretty "foggy"... but it cleared up in time for the full eclipse and the blood moon.  It's soooo cool that this happens.. and of course what really blows my mind is the fact that scientists know when this will happen.. that's just sort of beyond my realm of thinking.. ya know?

2014-eclipse-blood-moon-bennett

I took this with my Nikon P510 point n shoot camera on a tripod.  Isn't this just beyond amazing?  LOVE it!!

I tried taking some pix with Jason's new dSLR but it doesn't have nearly the zoom that my point n shoot does (wish list:  zoom lens for the Canon!), so these photos are pretty much from my Nikon point n shoot.. enjoy!

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Pretty cool, right?

 I documented the December 2010 Lunar Eclipse here if you want to see more pix.

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Merry Christmas from the Bennett home to Yours!

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From the Bennett home to your home, wishing you

Christmas Jingle - tag 2

Thank you to each and every one of you for your kindness throughout the year

and for visiting me here at PattyStamps.com

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Wishing you a wonderful Christmas as you celebrate with family and friends!

Christmas-tree-penguins-2013

Above.. some of our sweet Penguin Collection - do you love Penguins? check out my Pinterest board

Bokeh-ornaments-stockings

I learned about this photography technique called bokeh a few years ago and always love to take photos of some of our ornaments every year like this.. 

Bokeh-starbucks-red-cup-ornament

Bokeh-sf-49ers-oakland-a-ornaments

Bokeh-angel-ornament

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May your Christmas be filled with

family,

friends,

love,

good health

and the sweet memory of the babe in the manger!

 

  Come to Bethlehem - camels city and star

 

Come to Bethlehem - giving thanks

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Our Backyard Friends - Jason's Amazing Squirrel Photos

I hope you don't mind a little break from stamping projects today.. I wanted to share a fun part of our lives with you .. For about 15 years we have been feeding the birds and squirrels in our backyard.  We thoroughly enjoy buying seeds and peanuts for them and watching them as they visit us all day long.

Jason-squirrel-hello-are-you-thereThey have us trained, mind you... they come to the back sliding glass door and look in ... "hey you.. toss out the peanuts".... :)

They have come really close to walking right in the back door, but we have not let them.. it scares me to think of them going and hiding under the couch or something!

Collectively, Jason and I have taken over 500 photos of our backyard friends... I've made calendars and cards using the photos, and I always thought it would be fun to put funny captions to the photos.. so if you have suggestions for funny captions, leave me comments below my blog post.. who knows..  I might just end up using your comment on an upcoming funny squirrel project :)

Enjoy this fun photo blog post today featuring Jason's Squirrel photos... and a couple of mine, too.

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When it gets hot, they love to do their spread eagle thing... too funny...

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um ya... busted.. they sit in the bird feeders... a lot!

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I think this is an award winning photo... what a silly squirrel!!!

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yep, Jason feeds them by hand, too...

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their favorite treat.. peanuts in the shell...

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and busted again... sneaking seeds from one of the birdfeeders!

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Do you have backyard friends?  They sure do bring hours of pleasure and lots of smiles for all 3 of us. Thank You Lord for creating such adorable creatures to entertain us!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Happy 4th of July Fireworks Display

Oakland a baseball stadium 2013 pattyWe always enjoy going to 1 or 2 Oakland A's Baseball games each season and usually try to pick a "fireworks night"... hope you enjoy these photos I took at a June A's game!

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JUST ADDED after watering my roses and garden today... I thought my George Burns Rose Bush looked a bit like Fireworks! :)

July 4th george burns roses

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Stay safe.. enjoy the holiday!

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Flower Garden Happiness

NEW!!!  Washi Tape Bundle!

You already know that my flower garden brings me SO much happiness,

and I am excited to share 3 bouquets of happiness today!

 

3 bouquets patty 2013

Have an amazing day!

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2013 alstromeria 1

2013 dahlia 1

EDITED TO ADD at 2:30pm - 100 degrees in the SHADE

Heat wave too hot

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Embossing Folder GIFTS for my Luv 2 Stamp Group

I have a few fun things to share with you today!

FLOWERS:

 Thought you might like to see the bouquet I picked from my garden last week..  I think it's the prettiest one yet!!

Mothers day flowers patty

I feel so blessed that I got my mom's love for the garden, AND I'm very lucky that we live in a great climate here in the San Francisco Bay area and that my plants are usually VERY happy! :)

I wish my mom were here to celebrate my birthday with me yesterday.. but I know she's smiling down from Heaven!

25 FREE EMBOSSING FOLDERS:

 I challenged my Luv 2 Stamp Group to MAKE and SEND 10 cards to 10 special people in May.  We are in the business of making cards and making people smile by sharing those stamped cards! I wanted everyone in my group to participate and told them I'd draw 25 names to recieve a FREE Embossing folder of their choice!!  56 participated and here are the names of the 25 winners!

  25 embossing folder winners

 I challenged my group to keep sending 10 cards a month - if all 225+ of us do this for the rest of the year, we will have blessed over 15,700 people with handmade cards!!!

FUN DAY ON THE BAY:

Last week we had the opportunity to board the Grand Princess cruise ship .. she was in port in San Francisco on her way to Alaska... we had friends who were sailing to Alaska, so we were able to do the "Bon Voyage Experience" that Princess offers and board the ship for the day and enjoy the superb service at lunch in the dining room and then spend a few hours on the ship! Here are some of the highlights from our 1/2 day on the ship.

Below: Grand Princess from the Bay Bridge, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

Grand princess golden gate bridge

Below: Eric, Patty and Jason at Pier 39 with the Grand Princess in the background

Grand princess eric patty jason

Below: lunch in the dining room

Grand princess lunch menu

Grand princess eric patty jason lunch

best shrimp and avacado appetizer EVER!! and I mean EVER!!!

Grand princess shrimp avacado

Grand princess beef tenderloin

orange souffle for dessert... wow would I love that every day!

Grand princess orange souffle

Views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf and downtown San Francisco from the Grand Princess

Grand princess golden gate bridge pier 39

Grand princess san francisco skyline

Below.. this is the bridge we come over to go in to San Francisco.

In 1989 this was the bridge that was damaged in the quake - remember when a section of it collapsed? .. they are FINALLY building a new bridge!  I think bridges are beautiful.. I can't wait to see the new span open and the old one demolished.

Grand princess new bay bridge

Below: After our short 4 hour visit on the ship, we walked up and down Pier 39 and watched the Grand Princess sail out of San Francisco bay and under the Golden Gate Bridge, on her way to Alaska!

Grand princess docked san francisco

Grand princess leaving port san francisco

Grand princess alcatraz

Bon Voyage, Grand Princess!

 

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Mother's Day Flowers

Wishing a Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing moms today!

Patty mothers day bouquet 2013

 Sending my warmest wishes and blessings to all the amazing Mothers in my life.. and a special greeting to my aunt Mary Jo and to my sweet guardian angel mom #2 here on earth.. Shirley.  My Love and Thanks for all you do!

I loved the sunset lighting on these roses in my garden the other night.. this is my Nancy Reagan rosebush.. aren't they gorgeous!?

Mothers day flowers patty nancy reagan

More Mother's Day flowers from my garden for you!

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Mothers day flowers patty 1

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Patty's Spring Garden - April Update

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I thought I would take this beautiful day to share a few more pictures I took in my flower garden this week... I hope you enjoy these and that they bless your day!

Rose 2013 patty 3

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Garden 2013 patty flowers

Garden 2013 alstromeria 1

Hope that you are smiling and that these garden photos helped brighten your day! I'm so thankful and blessed in so many ways... you probably know that my flower garden and photography are both a passion for me and I love to share them with you!  Thank you for letting me do that.

I stopped counting at 145 rose buds while I was watering yesterday.

April garden 145 buds

I am blessed!

Here is my scrub jay buddy who watches me water and loves taking a bath in the birdbath and eating all the peanuts we will give him.

Garden 2013 scrub jay fence

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