Just Picked Cherries

iPhone photography, iphoneography, cherries, hypstamatic, typoramaa, photo apps
I took this photo with my iPhone 7Plus using the portrait mode. I then brought the image into the Hipstamatic app and used the Jane lens and the Ina's 1969 film. I added the type using the Typorama app.

Top Ten Tips From My Favorite Magazines - June

1.  Am on my summer sandal hunt and thought these looked comfy. I saw them in the June issue of O. They are called LaaLaa sandals and are from Ugg. Just wonder if that cozy heel would feel too hot. $60 now $34.99 .

2.  I have been wearing kimonos with pants and tops since the 1970s. Looks like that style is back again. Yay! I always loved it. This kimono was also in O and is from Chicos. $169

3.  Read about this Mexican cookbook in the Magnolia Journal. It is on my wish list at Amazon.

4.  Interesting article about naps in the June issue of Prevention Magazine. It says that naps of moderate length (about 60 minutes) can leave you feeling groggy. 30 minute naps help to boost short-term energy. 90 minute naps help restore energy from lack of sleep.

5.  Bright colors are definitely my thing these days. I am on the look out for four used chairs that I can paint and re-upholster in bright colors.

6.  This cute umbrella is from Pier1. I tend to stay away from red outdoor umbrellas for my courtyard because they fade. What I like about this one is the fringe. I think there is a trip to the fabric store to buy fringe and a glue gun in my future.

7.  Every summer besides sandals, I buy the perfect straw bag. I have been doing that since I was about 17 and got my first one in San Francisco's Cost Plus. I really like this cross-body raffia bag from Yonder Living. I have never been to their website before. They have lots of great stuff. I saw this bag in a magazine I have never read before The Simple Things. I think it might bcome a regular for me.

8.  This recipe for Vegetable and Cheese Taco Cups was in Prevention. But then I googled "taco cups" and there are a gazillion to choose from. These should make perfect summer appetizers.

9.  Love this black powder-coated-iron chair with Sunbrella cushion. It is from Storimodern and is a bit pricey for me at $729 (with free shipping). But, love that bright yellow and black combination. When I got married in 1971 I wanted everything for my kitchen to be black, white and yellow.

10. I almost never get regular old mail any more. Really... when someone says mailbox I think email. I do love photographing old mailboxes though. This is a photograph I took many years ago. I read in some magazine this month... and I can't seem to find it again, to put an old mailbox in your garden to store your yard clippers and gardening gloves. That that was such a fun idea.

Blogging Workshops in Ajijic

I have been blogging since 2009 and find it to be fun and rewarding. Have you ever wanted to blog? If not now, when? This summer I am teaching Blogging Workshops in Ajijic. Classes are small - limited only to 3 students. 

Find out more and register at... cynthiasworkshops.com

Now Teaching Journaling Workshops in Ajijic

This is going to be super fun. Find out more and register att.

On The Lookout For the Best Summer Sandals

I am in search of new sandals. The first pair I saw online, that I really liked were $469. Really? Who pays nearly $500 for a pair of sandals? 

Seychelles Coastal Slides from Anthropologie. I like a little bit of height to my sandals. Love the color. They are also available in red and pale blue. $88

Bali Footbed Sandal from Free People. Think these will look great with denim. $78

Now we are talking. Cute, girly red sandals from Amazon. $44.82

So fun. But would I break my neck on cobblestones? From Mango. $79.99

Love the color and "boho" feel. Handmade from Etsy. $136

Mexico Has Changed My Relationship With Color

My sense of color has certainly changed while being in Mexico. It's as if there is not a color that could be too bright for me. Yellow? I love the shade that yells "Good Morning!" Blues? I want the Caribbean. Reds? Don't give me a sophisticated burgundy. I want a red that almost tips into orange. For the first time in my life I like orange and lime green... two colors that I never would have gone near in my previous life.

So I am seriously considering "Stiletto Love" red for a wall in my living room, "Pensive Plum" in a fabric for my two couches, "Sockeye" peach for the master bedroom and "Pacific Coast Blue" for one wall in the guest room. What do you think?

Scanning In the Notes App on Your iPhone and iPad

Did you know that you now can scan directly into your notes? I find this particularly helpful with recipes from friends or magazines.

1.  Notes is part of the iPhone/iPad operating system. Tap on the yellow and white icon that looks like an old school notepad.
2.  If needed click on "New Folder" in the bottom right corner.
3.  Name your folder and click on "Save." I called mine "Recipes."
4.  You now will see your new folders among your list of folders. This is just an empty folder. Click on the folder to start adding notes.
5.  Click on the new notes icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
6.  Type the Title of your note. Mine is Pineapple-Hibiscus Cocktail. Then click on the + within a circle above the keyboard.
7.  Click on Scan Document.
8.  Hold your iPhone (scanner/camera) above the document and click on the white button. You then will be able to drag corner handles to adjust the cropping. 
9.  Tap on "Keep Scan" in the bottom right corner.
10.Next tap on "Save" in the bottom right corner.
11.Your scan is now saved into your notes. In this case in the Pineapple-Hibiscus Cocktail note. You can type in more information underneath the scan.
12. If you tap on the back arrow in the upper left corner you will now see that your new note with the scan is now in your folder.

Top Ten Tips From My Favorite Magazines - April

1.  I saw this quote from Ursula K. Le Guin in this month's O Magazine. It just seems like such a good reminder for right now.

2.  Also from O is the book Posters for Change. It's a book with 50 removable posters. I have always had a thing for protest posters and this features some good ones. It is available from Amazon for $22.09 in paperback or $9.60 for the Kindle version.

3.  It is way past Easter but this tree with hanging eggs so reminded me of my Mom. She placed a branch in a vase and put it in the dining room fifty plus years ago. During different holidays she would hang different things from the branches. At Easter it was eggs. At Christmas ornaments. During the summer it was small bird houses and at Halloween little ghosts made from napkins.

4.  Good to know that dog owners are less likely to develop heart disease. I saw this in Better Homes and Gardens. Research from a 12 year study found that our doggy friends help to relieve stress and encourage us to exercise.

5.  Love love love this headboard from Anthropologie.

6.  This month's Country Living featured this wonderful Dutch Door. I have always wanted a Dutch Door and especially like the color of this one, with the curved top and white molding.

7.  I meditate every day. Lion's Roar Magazine always has lots of inspiration. I loved the idea in April's issue to dedicate your meditations to others. I had never thought of that before. 

8.  Another fun book (featured in Country Living) is Tin Can Homestead. This book is based on the Instagram site of the same name. It follows the story of how one couple created "a new life in an old airstream." Available on Amazon. Hardcover is $25. Kindle is $13.99

9.  There is only one kind of photography that I like as much as iPhone Photography and that is polaroids. I found this snazzy Instant Camera in Country Living. You can purchase the camera at Amazon.

10. I love a silk kimono with jeans or slacks. I saw this lovely green reversible kimono jacket in Good House Keeping. You can find it at NY and Company for $129.95.

How Did I Do That? iPhoneography Wow!

I was a professional photographer for 25 years+ and got rid of all my cameras except my iPhone 7Plus. People often ask me how I created an image with my iPhone. So I have written an ebook with loads of tutorials, tips and tricks, resources and links.

Easily Improve Your Photographs with Hipstamatic

Before and After
It really is easy these days to take a ho hum image and give it more impact. In the days of film, the "Before" image on the left would have needed a chunk of time in the darkroom to improve it. Not now.

The original photo was taken in Mexico with my iPhone. I then brought it into the Hipstamatic app and added the Jane Lens, Mount Royal Film and Tasty Pop Flash. I also added a vignette. It only took me a few minutes and the photo went from one I probably would have deleted to a photograph I would share with others. 

Also the "After" photo is more consistent with how the moment felt to me. Opening that door into the hidden garden felt mysterious and a bit magical. What would I find behind that old door? I want my photographs to reflect my feelings at the moment I snap my iPhone's shutter release. The Hipstamatic app easily helps me to do that.

Hipstamatic is my "go to" iPhone photography app. I like it so much I wrote an ebook filled with examples of my favorite combinations. It is called Hipstamatic Lens/Film Guide. You can click here to learn more.

Turning Your Photos into Watercolors

There are now so many apps available to edit your iPhone Photographs. I rarely use just one app but "app stack" to make images uniquely my own. With what I have spent on testing various iPhone photography apps over the years (as both an Apple Creative Trainer and professional photographer) I probably could have made a hefty down payment on my dream car or taken a long vacation to Paris.

In my new e-book iPhoneography Wow! I have narrowed all those apps down to my favorites. I include tutorials, tips and tricks, links and resources. iPhoneography Wow! is now available to download for $4.99. Find out which apps are the best and easiest to use and save yourself a bundle on apps you otherwise would purchase and then delete. 

To find out more about iPhoneography Wow! Visit Lake Tree Press.

Best French Toast Ever

Who would guess that the best French Toast ever is found in Mexico. Had it this morning at the Rustica Cafe in Ajijic. It's made with homemade cinnamon bread. Yummmmm

The above photograph was taken with my iPhone 7Plus and edited with the Hipstamatic and WordSwag apps.

For more tips be sure to check out my eBooks 2018 Hipstamatic Lens/Film Guide and 2018 iPhoneography Wow!

Top Ten Tips From My Favorite Magazines - February 2018

1.  I found this globe in the February issue of Do It Yourself. They found it on Craigslist. The 1920's globe was from a one-room school house. Students would swing it across the room to who-ever needed it next.

2.  Also from Do It Yourself, I like how these drawers have been painted in graduating colors like paint chips.

3.  Everywhere I go I see easy recipes for Sheet Pans. Here are four Sheet Pan cookbooks recommended by Rachel Ray in her Every Day Magazine.

4.  I am always looking for interesting ways to hang photographs. This display is not one I would usually like, but I surprisingly like the casualness of the pink tape with the pink flowers.

5.  Also from Rachel Ray is this recipe for "Boozy Mexican Hot Chocolate." Looks like  winner to me with chocolate, cayenne and KahlĂșa.

6.  No top ten list would be complete without at least one pair of shoes. I love these floral embroidered boots. I found them in the February issue of Living Etc. They are from Charles Keith. I could not find them at Charles Keith but found similar ones in tan or indigo. I think I like these even better. The indigo pair would be so great with jeans.

7.  I found a new magazine called Taste of Home this month. In it was a mixed selection of blue patterned plates. It reminded me of a Thanksgiving dinner I attended in Mexico where the table was set with a colorful mix of fiesta ware plates. There is an amazing range of colors from Fiesta on Amazon

8.  I have to say I was rather floored by the price of these bags from Fendi, Dior and Longchamp in the Feb issue of In Style. I find bags just as beautifully made in Mexico everywhere. Just think for the price of one Fendi bag you could travel to Mexico, stay at a beautiful inn, eat all your means and still have enough money for ½ dozens bags for your and your friends.

9.  Another issue with prices. I found beautiful mules for $325 a pair (also Feb In Style). Ya. Not going to happen. Then I saw this even cuter pair of velvet mules in this month's issue of Woman's Day. They have pearl polka dots are are just $26 from lulus.com. Afraid they were gone really fast from Lulus but I did find them on Amazon in five colors for $40.99. Still beats $325.

10.  I am a bit late for Valentines Day but love these sweet easy to make, penguin cookies also from Women's Day.

Before and After - Step by Step Instructions for Making a Diptych and Adding Type to an Image

My theory is if you take a picture of your food, it sucks the calories right out. 

Want to make a diptych with your photographs? I used two apps to create the above image -  PhotoSplit and Phonto

If you would like to see more step by step tutorials, I just released my eBook iPhoneography Wow!  It is full of tutorials, tips and tricks, resources and links. You can find it on the Lake Tree Press site.

How I made Before and After...

I launched PhotoSplit and clicked on the layout icon in the upper left corner. I chose the layout with two side by side images that includes a border.  I tapped in the left box and then clicked on the polaroids icon in the bottom tool bar to select images from my Photo Library. I then tapped in the right box and again selected the polaroid icon.


To adjust the border, I clicked on the frame icon in the tool bar. A slider appears. I moved the slider to the right to increase the size of the white border. I then clicked on the share icon in the upper right corner to save the diptych to my Photos Library. I next wanted to add next on the bottom border so I launched the Phonto app and clicked on the camera at the bottom of the screen.

A filter screen appears. I did not want to add a filter to the image so I clicked “Done” in the upper right corner. Tap anywhere on the photograph to bring up the “Add Text” tab. Then tap on the tab to bring up the keyboard. I typed in the word “Before” and aligned the type to center and clicked on “Done” in the bottom right corner of the text box.

At first it looked like nothing was there. Then I realized the font was white and was in the white border area. That’s why I could not see it. I moved the text box with my finger onto the darker part of the image and then clicked on the “Style” tab to change the color of my text. I made sure the “Color” and the “Text” tabs were selected. I chose a reddish brown color to match the dark part of the cinnamon roll and clicked “Done” in the upper right corner. I tapped on the "Size" tab to resize the caption and then moved it into place with my finger. I repeated my actions to create the “After” text.

Once the type was all in place, I clicked on the share icon in the bottom right corner and then on “Save Image” in the next screen. 

2018 Favorite iPhone Photography Apps

Time for this year's list of my favorite iPhone Photography Apps. My list changes a bit each year when new apps are added to Apple's App Store and as old apps are updated and changed. So (drum roll) here are my favorite dozen for 2018.

1.  Instant - I have tried quite a few apps that imitate old Polaroid cameras. This is a new one for me. I like it because of it's simplicity. It also has the Polaroid sound, a larger border at the bottom for a caption and filters for intensity, vignetter, emulsion and grain.

2.  TaDaa is also a new app to my list. It is a good, easy editing app, but mostly I like it because of its borders. 
Click to download Free with in-app purchases

3.  WordSwag - Pronto and Typorama have been my go-to font apps for quite awhile. However lately I have been using WordSwag a lot. It has fun, graphic fonts that give my photos a bit of whimsy.

4.  ColorStory is a rather addictive filter app. I like it because it has a lot of bright, pastel, playful filters. It comes with basic filters and effects and then you can purchase more. ColorStory seems to add new filters fairly often. Most of the packs are $1.99 or $2.99. This is a fun one.
Click to download Free with in-app purchases

5.  Enlight - You might have seen Enlight around as it is a pretty popular app and I have had it on my favorites list before. This is a pretty hardcore editing app with a bit of a learning curve. But it has some very handy tools for improving your photos.

6.  Hipstamatic is my most used app and is on every one of my favorite apps lists. I have even written an e-book to explain how it works, to give examples of my favorite combinations of lenses, film and flashes and to include links and resources for the large Hipstamatic communities online.

7.  Canva is a terrific app for making posters and images for social media and blogs. You also can create flyers, invitations, greeting cards, business cards, album covers, YouTube art and more. There are lots of free templates and others that you can purchase. All are customizable. It's easy to use and can add a professionally designed look to your graphics.
Click to download Free with in-app purchases

8.  Quickshot - This is a fairly new app from Enlight. It has decent editing tools, but what I like most is the "Strobe" feature. It is a really fun way to capture movement, whether it is kids, pets, sports or just fast action.
Click to download Free with in-app purchases

9.  Diptic is another app that is always on my favorite lists. It is an easy way to make collages and to tell a visual story. The graphic in this post was done in Diptic. Hardly a day goes by when I am not using it for something - especially social media.

10.  Skwrt is my go-to app when an image I have photographed has a problem with perspective. You know, like those times when you photograph a tall building from below and the top of the building looks like the point of a triangle. Skwrt does a great job of straightening those lines and edges so that they are parallel.

11.  Wacopix - I have used the Waterlogue app for years to achieve a watercolor effect. However lately I have been playing around with the Wacopix app. It has some fun watercolor looking options.

12.  Formulas is the app I now use most often to add texture to an image. It is especially useful if you want a vintage or grunge effect. 

If you would like to learn more about iPhone Photography apps, 
I just released the 2018 iPhoneography Wow! ebook.

Top Ten Tips From My Favorite Magazines - January 2018

1.  Saw these tassel earring in the January issue of O. Love them. $58 from harthagerty.com.

2.  I saw this wicker chair in the Jan/Feb issue of Country Living. I am seriously wanting this swivel chair for my desk. It is $499 from Pottery Barn.

3.  I love O magazine, but honestly she has a thing for thousand dollar shoes. The chances of me spending $1,000 for a pair of shoes are zero. Then I discovered these boots. Love them! And they are only $40 from Just Fab. Not sure I could walk in them but my feet would look darn cute sitting!

4.  This is such a cool stoneware painted jug. I saw it in this month's HGTV magazine. And it is only $20 from IKEA.

5.  This month's issue of Country Living is all about creativity. Lorraine Nam is a featured paper artist. You can find her on Instagram @lorrainenam. Her thread is an absolute treat for the eye.

6.  Now this is one very clever idea from Martha Stewart Living. She suggests using inexpensive radiator screens to cover a boring bulletin board. 

7.  Do other people keep walking off with your charging cords? I found this solution in Real Simple... Washi tape. You can get 30 rolls for $7.89  on Amazon. End the "whose charger is this" debate forever.

8.  I saw this collection of cluster lights in January issue of Better Homes and Gardens. This image is of the lobby of the Asbury Park hotel in New Jersey. I love how they have different styles. There are lots of options on Amazon.

9.  Speaking of lights, I saw this very cool red metal outdoor light in the current HGTV magazine.  $49 at cshardware.com

10. One more artist from the creativity issue of Country Living - Meghan Rosko. She makes the most adorable macrons. I have someone in mind for these bicycle macaroons. You can find out more about her at Instagram - @nutmegandhoneybee.

Reading Magazines on Your iPhone and iPad

I have loved magazines since I was in junior high and read all of my older sister's teen magazines. Once I started buying my own I turned back the corners and ripped out pages to save. Over the years I have been known to have file cabinets of articles about places I wanted to travel, crafts I wanted to attempt, outfits I wanted to buy, decorating and gardening tips I wanted to implement.

Now instead of having piles of magazines stashed under my bed, I read them on my iPhone and iPad. Instead of file cabinets full of articles I take screen shots  (hold down the on/off button and home button at the same time) of things I want to remember and save them in my Photo Library Albums. It saves on space, saves trees and I can carry dozens of magazines to read in even the tiniest purses.

The two apps I use to download magazines are Texture and Zinio. With Texture you pay a monthly fee to download as many magazines as you want from their collection of over 200.

With Zinio, you purchase the magazines you want, either by subscription or by individual magazines. I primarily use Zinio when I want a magazine that Texture does not carry.