Like the rest of the interwebbing world I’m quite obsessed with photo editors. I don’t have any expensive, fancy image editors on my computer; I do all my editing using Picasa. It’s free, and pretty awesome.
Here are some of my favourite features:
~ Easy Import
Just click and drag the pic you want to edit. Done.
You can crop to many different sizes and dimensions, or to set sizes like “Facebook Timeline”, different sizes for “Avatar”, and “Desktop”. The hard work is done for you!
The sharpness and clarity sliders allow you to instantly gives photos a boost.
Pretty, pretty filters.
I added text to this photo to create Paul’s birthday card.
There are lots of different buttons to choose from to add some quirky/tacky additions to your pics.
Plenty of choices for frames to give your photo the right finish.
Scariest Features ~ Touch Ups
Charlotte has had highlights, a tan, eyes brightened, mascara added, lips coloured, teeth whitened, and cheeks blushed. It’d almost be funny. If it wasn’t so freakin’ scary. *shudder*
~ Save and Go
You have your edited picture downloaded to your hard drive in a click. No hoo-ha with registration and special offers and ads. Just your picture: better.
*PicMonkey is currently free but some features are ‘Royalty’ features, indicated by a small crown. I’m not sure what this means yet, but perhaps we’ll be asked to pay up soon. I might be interested, depending on cost. It is a pretty damn good tool.
What are you waiting for? GO THERE NOW!
I need to confess. For an early childhood teacher I’m not very crafty. I’d like to be, but most projects are just way over my head. I can’t sew. Like, not even a hem. Or a button.
Two things that do work with me are: Paper and Computers. So when it came to Charlotte’s birthday parties I decided to make my own simple decorations with those two tricky tools of mine. I had a little look around some favourite sites for inspiration and thought “I can do that!”.
One decoration that I LOVE is the bunting I made for Charlotte’s second birthday. We still have the “Charlotte” section hanging up today, adding a little bit of pretty to her craft corner.
Who doesn’t love a good bit of bunting? And who can resist a free printable? Well, look no further ladies and gents, because today is your lucky day! You can choose from two free printable buntings, Rainbow Pastel and Rainbow Bright:
Each bunting has a white background so that you can choose whatever delightful colour or pattern paper that you want to print it on (see how I did that alternating colour card thing with Charlotte’s bunting? Fancy, hey?). It includes the letters to spell HAPPY BIRTHDAY and one spare bunting triangle with pretty balloons on it.
To make the bunting:
- Print onto cardstock in the colour/pattern of your choice.
- Trim each bunting triangle into shape (or be a dare devil and use a guillotine to cut more than one at a time. I did!).
- Use a hole punch to (wait for it…) punch a hole in the top two corners of each piece of bunting.
- Thread a piece of ribbon or twine through each piece of bunting (in order – check your spelling peeps). Thread on top or underneath depending on whether you want the ribbon/twine to be a feature.
- Use nifty removable hooks to hang your bunting on the wall.
- Hide the unsightly hooks with some pretty ribbon or balloons.
Download your bunting here:
Have you ever made your own birthday decorations? Oh, do tell!
Anyhoo, as you probably gathered from my waffle about podcasts, I am an Android user (gosh, doesn’t that sound dirty?). I have been lusting after Instagram for what feels like forever. BUT now that I have Instagram it doesn’t mean that I’m going to neglect the other awesome photo apps on my phone. Here’s some apps that I’ve been cranking:
Lightbox is a photo editor and sharing app. It creates very similar looking effects to Instagram, and allows for uploading into a community where others can follow, like and share pics. I love how easy it is to use, and the community has some smokin’ talent. Here’s a little of what it can do:
So fun! PicsArt is a photo editing app that has lots of neat tools and tricks, including cropping, masks, effects, callouts, text, drawing and collages. You can also share your creations to almost any social networking site: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram + every other social networking tool I’ve ever come across. Here’s a few shots that I’ve played with using PicsArt:
And now, a few extras if you’re still looking for something to play with.
Cute Stuff to Make!
Finally, check out these clever peeps sharing ideas for making adorabubble stuff with Instagram photos:
*This is a good time for a little disclaimer. This is not a sponsored post. I just love the stuff that I’m ranting about. If Samsung or Instagram or Google want to pay me in cash or products they are most welcome. A Samsung Galaxy Tab should do the trick. Ta.
Over to you: What’s your favourite Android app?
I love a good hit of quality podcast. I love it in the car. I love it while I’m doing housework. I love it while working out at the gym (oh, what’s that message on my phone? I haven’t been to the gym for 90 days? Surely a clerical error…).
Here’s what I love to shove in my ears during those moments.
For the Kids
These are great places to pick up free stories for kids. I have used audio stories lots in the classroom, however the one time I tried one with Charlotte she wandered out of the room in under 3.7 seconds. I must try again. Perhaps your toddler will be more interested!
Get Your Geek On
GEEK ALERT! Yep, I can’t get enough of Radio National. It’s not enough that it’s on the free to air radio, in fact, that is almost useless to me. What I like is the shows I want, when I want ‘em. Here’s my favs (click on each pic to find out more).
My number one fav is Life Matters, and it was quite the adjustment this year saying goodbye to long time presenter Richard Adey. RN chose a fantastic replacement in Natasha Mitchell, who I already loved listening to on All In The Mind. It’s about life and stuff that matters. Monday Modern Dilemmas is a good new segment to check out.
New favourite is Download This Show presented by Marc Fennell. It’s everything geek-tech news and I can’t get enough.
For a Laugh
Answer Me This: Two British presenters, Helen and Olly, along with Helen’s husband, Martin the Soundman, answer anything and everything from their listeners. I’m about the same age as all of the presenters and their humour just gels with me. Plus, I love English stuff. The weekly live custom theme tune is enough for me to tune in alone.
I Like to Move It, Move It…
For those times that I do move my butt and get some exercise, Motion Traxx has an amazing selection. You can choose depending on exercise (running, cycling, walking) and BPM, to match your fitness level. Now, where are my sneakers?
How I listen
I use my Samsang Galaxy S (no, not even an S II – just a good old S) to stream podcasts using Stitcher and Google Listen. Stitcher generally satisfies all my geeky needs but occasionally there’s something that I can only get through Google Listen so I use both. I’m a bit of a slut that way.
Phew! I think I’ve ranted and raved about my love of Podcasts enough.
Got something to say? Go on, you know you want to…
I’m a technology addict. I love myself some blogs and gadgets and games and social networks. Oh, hey! Did you see you can catch up with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – shameless, I know…
So, I thought, how can I make the most of my addiction, and probably your addiction too, if you’re reading this, am I right? I’m going to make your day, because this little blog is going to be sharing fun and fabulous techy things all the time. Like, weekly. I’m calling it: Click.
This week? Something for the little ‘uns and something for the school kids too. Next week? Who knows… maybe some fashion, maybe some blogs, maybe a new gadget, you’ll have to wait and see. Fun!
For now, get your small one and plonk them in front of this for a bit:
Poisson Rouge (French for Red Fish) is a labyrinth of fun, easy, interactive games for little kids. It’s great for teaching the smallest of hands to use a mouse as they click and click and click all over the page. Almost anywhere you click will take you to somewhere exciting or make something amazing happen. You almost can’t go wrong.
Oxford Owl looks a little more studious, but don’t be fooled, it still has plenty of fun factor. I use this a lot in the classroom, especially during guided reading sessions. I hook up the six-way headphone set to the PC and BAM! instant listening centre. Plus, many of the books come with follow up games and activities to teach literacy concepts from the story. I’m sure kids would have fun reading with this at home. Books are levelled by age, and can be searched for by genre, book type and series.
Have you found any fab clicky places for kids lately? Please do share them in the comments.