Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bad (but awesome!) Prom Hairstyle Inspiration

Time to showcase some awesomely bad prom hairstyles in the lead up to my prom party.  There's a few angles I could go with - having shortish hair does limit me slightly.

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First up is the crazy big hair - tease central.  I can definitely do this and even though my hair might royally hate me for it, the final look would far out way any hair damage right? right?

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I like these two above which are more about the big fringe, especially love how Christina's has the wave sweep going on.

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Okay how about these three beauties rocking the bow/ponytail/accessory, I don't think my hair is even at the tie up stage but I do like the crazy pulled back fringe or Madonna's curls - too many options!

Talking about options let's head to the 90's early 2000's
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Crimp madness! If I had a crimper I'd be all over this but I don't so let's move on!

 Drew barymore = love especially 90s drew when she was all about the daisies and pale faces!

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And ending on a super high note - so bad so good, the twists the butterfly clips - gold!

I'm really torn, big hair or twisty 90s.  I'm thinking with the 90s, I could go Alicia's twists, some butterfly clips and throw in some daisies or would that be too much? Maybe I need to do some hair trials in the privacy of my own bathroom :P 

What would you guys go with? 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

DIY Prom King and Queen Crowns

With the party now less than a week away, I'm doing one DIY project a day whilst still managing to spend time playing with a certain kitten :) My first DIY project were the Prom King and Queen Crowns. I definitely could of just gone out and bought some plastic crowns but I wanted them to be way more cheesy and love filled!

I started off with the Queen Crown, which I knew was going to be all about the pipe cleaners using the below images as inspiration...

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I really liked the gold heart in the bottom middle image and the inclusion of pom poms and diamontes. I wanted my crown pretty elaborate so I added some pink tulle and glued on some silver stars :) 

Ta- Daaaa!

and then it was onto the King's Crown using the images below as inspiration :)
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I was amazed at the crown on the left, I originally thought it was corrugated cardboard but alas it's actually a traditionally handcrafted Norwegian crown! Anyway it was definitely the deciding factor in using cardboard and spray paint rather than buying that gold shiny cardboard from the newsagent - probably in hindsight not too much of a difference there :p. 

I was also inspired by image number three to include some fake fur to the bottom, I only had black lying around so I went with that. The shape was inspired by no. 5 and of course I had to include some jewels. I used what I had in my craft box but if I had to buy supplies I probably would of gone even bigger with the jewels.  Crown number one also inspired me to stick some toys to the crown - the silver pendant found from a gum ball machine and the birds wings were from an old yowie toy (anyone remember them?)

Prom king and Queen sashes

The sashes apart from being really hard to photograph were super easy to make. I bought some silver glitter scrapbook letters from a cheap store - two packs for under ten dollars and 4 metres of ribbon from the party section at a craft store for four dollars.  I then used some bits of adhesive velcro I had lying around to finish their closure :) The scrapbook letters also came in handy when making my voting box, I simply covered a cardboard box in shiny material and stuck on "vote" to the front!

Today I'm working on my prom dress which I picked up from the op shop, I'm going to try and make it super tacky. I'm still not sure if I'm going grunge yet or super girly but time will tell. I also managed to buy the best sparkly silver material for my photo booth backdrop and I have 200 pastel silver and pink balloons arriving in the mail sometime soon :) Yesterday I also hand drew 24 poses for the photo booth to help people out the their posing - omg - took way too long but hopefully will be a helpful inclusion :)

*breathes out* Ben just told me everyone is going down the back to lie in hammocks with frosty beverages and hang out with a Gremlin so I'm signing off! Hopefully I'll be back with more updates on my party processes :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gremlin the kitty

My blog has been neglected and will most likely continue to be because Ben and I finally got ourselves a kitten!! Oh man I really can't express how happy I am, I'm not even sleeping my excessive hours anymore because I want to get up for kitten love :)

So the past week we were looking around at a few different kittens, most kittens fell through, but there was one kitten that Ben had nicknamed Styles who I was secretly (or not so secretly) rooting for. On a random side note he was given the name Styles because of his hairdo and thus sharing a common link with some popular boy band guy - Harry something or other :p Anyway, we went to go look at Styles and straight away lovely owner Luke told us one of the kittens had been taken and I was sure it was going to be Styles but it wasn't.. *suspense builds*

Mamma cat Nala had had five kittens, two Ginger & white tabbies, a black kitten and two black & white guys. Ben was sold on the little black kitten but I was still rooting for Styles. Luke told us that when Styles was born he named him Gremlin - being the only longed hair dude of the bunch and sharing a surprisingly similarity with his movie counterpart. Ben and I had previously thought of a few names but we were both instantly sold on his new name :) After a two second negotiation with Ben, a Gremlin was in a box coming home with us. That part was actually extremely difficult - taking him away from his mum, brothers and Luke. I hadn't really prepared myself for it and honestly I just wanted to cry especially after Luke had told us Gremlin was his favourite :( 

Playing with my extension tubes!

On the way home Gremlin was meowing, missing his family and it was super sad but we kept reassuring him and letting him know he was coming to a new home where he would be super loved. We're on day five now and he has adjusted amazingly. He started off hiding under chairs but now he is one super tree dweller (any Jackson galaxy fans out there?) bouncing all over the sofa tops and cuddling with everyone. We play with him, take him on a daily car trips and have regular harness practice so will be able to go for walks with him. He is doing so awesome at everything, even the visit to the vet went better than we had expected :) I honestly love him so much, he is super soft and I just want to smoosh him against my face all the time, heck maybe I even do.

Since this is my first kitten ever, do you lovely cat people have any advice? Our aim is to get him adjusted and comfortable with things that might not be so easy to do when he is all grown up but I'd love to hear advice or maybe even things you didn't do with your cat as a kitten that you wish you would have? Probably the most important thing is just to make him feel super loved and hopefully we're succeeding at that :)

Love you Gremlin!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Prom Party - Inspiration

So my 30th Birthday is coming up at the end of the month and I'm holding a prom party theme :) 

In Australia we have a formal as opposed to a prom which is less cool than the prom but maybe I've been mislead by all those America movies!  I've got a few ideas for the party but one essential part is the classic prom photos that months later you can purchase for a ridiculous price (well that's what happened at our school). I've been hunting for some cheesy backdrops as inspiration and thought I'd share my findings today! So sit back and enjoy some cheese - nicely categorised for you guys!

1) The Tropicana Set

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Why wouldn't you want to stand in sand wearing your fancy shoes? But seriously that left photo gets mad props for the sand and the "real" flowers in the foreground. I also commend the right photo for their airbrushed sunset.  When originally thinking about what background I would have, palm trees were my first thought but now I'm thinking that might be too much work :P lol

2) Balloons

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My next thought was definitely balloons but it might clash with the balloon archway I was also picturing in my head at the entrance - yikes I might be over achieving here :P  I'm also crazy in love with that pink love heart balloon arrangement and those pot plants on pillars - amazing! Even the confetti on the ground is a good idea!

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Again we have a nice balloon arch on the left and the pillars make a comeback on the right, I also think the balloons here are meant to be clouds which brings us too....

3) The Cloud Theme

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 I love the backdrop, love that hideous cotton wool and most importantly I love that gaudy railing! This railing was responsible for leading me down a dark path of incorporating more items into the photo!

4) The Set Phase

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How about a sofa to lie on or a mini bridge? Big credit to the airbrushed background of the left photo too!

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 Okay I'm not sure whats going on over on the left but I like it, tulle, pillars and cellophane!  I'm also loving the pink castle theme on the right and especially the crepe paper twisted background - may definitely need to incorporate that into my set :)

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I only wish I had the time and money and patience to do the photo over on the right - a balcony at night with a crescent moon - yes please but I think I'm leaning more towards a glitter background and some balloons - definitely seems more doable.

5) Balloons and Glitter

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So I've come back to the balloons but with more emphasis on the shiny backdrop. Yup I think I can make this work - I'm not sure where I'd get those glitter curtains from but even if I got some shimmery material and some balloons maybe throw in some twisted crepe paper - winner?

And just for a bit of extra prom goodness, I stumbled across these modern day sets you can hire out they're pretty insane!

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The set over on the left is call the "land of make believe turrets" and we also have the "Cinderella Coach Kit" on the right.

Too much perhaps?

What's your favourite and what would you go with if you were throwing a prom party?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Budget Macro Photography - Extension tubes/rings

So the lovely wedding photographer I've been working with Nick Murray first introduced me to extension tubes as a cheap alternative to macro photography. At weddings there is usually only one thing you need to macro - the ring photo and for one photo sometimes it's a bit crazy to lug around a heavy macro lens.  This is where the extension tubes come in handy.  Essentially they are a tube that extends your own lens (fitted to the camera body before you put your lens on) allowing you to focus more closely on a subject.

Now with most camera equipment you can get the high end goods right down to the ridiculously cheap items off eBay. I personally went ridiculous cheap (under ten dollars) because I wanted to test the tubes out but after using them for a few weeks I'm definitely keen to upgrade. The set I bought doesn't have any electric contacts and therefore can't speak with the lens or camera, so you have to manually focus (which is okay because I use manual most of the time anyway) but the other bad news is that you can only shoot wide open - so you have to really nail focus. My set came with three rings but I've only been using the one - more that that and I've found the magnification just too much. My set also had this crazy silver lever you have to press down when removing the tube - I may have spent ten minutes thinking I had officially stuck an extension tube onto my camera for life!

For a few dollars that's not a bad shot to get :) I have been playing around with Nick's high end macro lens as well and it's beautiful and definitely in a different league to the tubes but if you want a cheaper solution and one that is easy to carry around I definitely recommend getting yourself some of these :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


We go down to this spot a lot not only is it beautiful but it has lots of sea glass and shells and is nice and close too :)


So many shells after some recent storms. 

 Storms and rough seas = the perfect time to go treasure hunting :)

I always think that nature does the best patterns!

And my finds for the day :)

It was a good bounty of goodies - some pretty blues and greens and some interesting shell pieces to add to my collections

Thank-you beach :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Film - Brisbane

When I was in search for the Friday floral post on something romantic I visited New Farm park in Brisbane to suss out their rose garden but I also swung by the valley to snap some street art as well :) I never showed those photos so I'm sharing them today :) These were all shot on kodak portra 160 film using my canon 1000f.

The back piece is by an artist called Shida, who is quite a prolific Brisbane artist and does amazing work.

The flower mural was from New Farm Park but that's another Shida piece on the left and I believe the character riding him is by the artist ghost patrol (Melbourne artist).

Death bug paste up by philb - totally awesome dude!!

And lastly (although I didn't take the best photo) the white and black paste up guy with the crown is by humble dumpling :) :) 

(double smiley for that one)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Collections - Shells

Collections - shells

When I was little I used to collect shells, there is something so nice about finding treasure at the beach. I'll admit these days I'm more likely to pick up sea glass then shells but I'm always on the look out. My shell collection is pretty refined and I'm super picky to what I keep but I don't mind taking home broken bits of shell if I think they look pretty or interesting.

Shell Collection
I've also been happily gifted some shells as well :)

Do you guys collect shells?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Floral Friday: Flower as Art

This month's Floral Friday was to produce flowers as art.  I definitely could of gone a billion ways but I decided to keep it simple and put in a fav quote of mine :)  I collect quotes like a mad women and have 10+ quotes framed above my work space.  Ben jokes that I'm a feign for inspirational hip hop too but it's kind of true :P 

The Earth Laughs in Flowers

This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson is just sweet though! 

Floral Fridays is a monthly photography project with different themes each month. This series is about fun and taking time out to smell the flowers. To play along, please email Trishie (trishie@underlockandkeyblog. com) for next month's theme

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Canon 299T Flash Review

So I told you guys how I picked up a flash at the thrift shop the other day and now I'm back to show you a bit more. I'm pretty hopeless at flash, 3 weeks ago I knew nothing and now I know enough to comfortably get by but I still have lots to learn. If I could avoid flash photography I probably would but if I want to do weddings it's a prerequisite especially with those low light, end of the night festivities. Which brings me to why you would want to use flash. Some photographers use flash in the daylight, referred to as a "fill flash" to get a nice overall light onto their subjects, I personally am not such a fan but maybe that's partly based on my own lack of knowledge. The other main reason to use flash is when the lighting is too low for the camera and you can't use a tripod or don't want the effect of a slow shutter. Or hey you could just really like the look of flash photography too!

You can "bounce the flash" which is when you point the flash upwards and it bounces off something (like a ceiling). I like bouncing the flash, it's gives a less harsh tone and also nicer not to have to flash someone in the face when taking portraits. The other way is direct flash which, as you may have guessed is aiming the flash directly onto your subject. For the photos above I did direct flash because I wanted a high contrast image and my brother was very obliging of me shooting a flash in his face - thanks Matty! You can also use a flash off the camera as well but I'm not even going there today!

The canon 299t was made for canon SLR cameras (the film version of the fancy cameras on the market these days) now some of the older film flashes are a big no no when it comes to putting on your fancy new digital gear but the 299t voltage is very low so I had no qualms throwing it onto my 5d mark ii but others may not want to take the risk. Unlike the new canon speedlites flashes you do have to set everything manually on the back

I set mine onto F.NO. mode told the flash what aperture my camera was one, made sure the shutter on my camera was below 1/200 of a seconds - this has to do with the shutter curtains (a faster shutter speed leaves you with only a partially exposed images - not cool!). I also needed to set the ISO on the back of the flash body. There are a couple more features on the 299t the tilt of the flash head - so you can do bounce or direct flash and then there is an pull out section on the top, dependent on the size of lens. If I wanted my pictures brighter I played around with my aperture and ISO. You have to remember that there is the light coming from the flash but there is also the ambient light around that the camera is also recording - sounds confusing - yup and I'm definitely still learning!

I eventually want to pick up a new canon speedlite flash because you can set those onto nice and (easier!) auto settings :) I don't mind the 299t though because chances are what you are photographing at night will have a pretty consistent light reading, so it's just a matter of fine tuning the settings and then snapping away which is what I did when I took pictures of my brothers fancy dress get up the other week :)

Thanks Matty for being my very patient model :)

Does anyone have any flash tips for me, I'd love to hear as a newbie to the flash World.

I personally love really bright washed out flash photos and am not ashamed to admit I like Terry Richardson Style of the white background. Apparently he uses direct flash and as close to the camera lens as possible to avoid any flash shadowing around the person -interesting!