Review: Florabella's Vintage Actions

8.20.2012




{This post is NOT sponsored. This is my honest, unprompted opinion :) }

This post is even longer than usual, so heat up some coffee and snuggle up to the monitor. Also helps if a cat or dog is purring in your lap. The cat, not the dog. That would be a weird dog.

I recently discovered the joys of pre-made photoshop actions. I am by no means a photoshop whiz and I'm pretty lazy when it comes to everything editing, so awesome actions that some awesome person dreamed up are kind of like my ice cream these days (I'm on a diet and it sucks SUPER BAD but I've lost almost 20 pounds in the last 1.5 months, so go me. okay tangent over).

For those of you who don't know, "actions" are just macros that you download and open in photoshop. When you click the button in PS it runs the action and then fairies sneeze magic all over your photo. I wanted one that would render a "vintage" effect for the edits on the Retro Academic photos, but a lot of the free ones I downloaded were kind of disappointing. Then I discovered Florabella, who with the help of her sneezy fairies designs actions, packages them up in neat little packs, and then sells them to wary girls recently jilted by their free-loading, laz-y-boy sitting, beer-swilling Ex-actions that they downloaded in fits of rebellion out of dank and ill-lit alleys of the Internet.

Florabella's fairy-actions appear haloed in glimmering light with promises of beautiful photos at the click of a button, with only the occasional sideways glance and warning that not every photo will be perfect as a sparkly unicorn horn. Maybe unicorn poo. Still sparkly, but also still feces. The fairies giggle like tiny bells.

But like all fairy tales, the salvation of the heroine comes at a price. The Vintage Pack was $39. I definitely chewed my lip over that. It was the cheapest pack on her site, I believe... Some are upwards of $100. Granted, you get a bunch of stuff, but going from downloading for free to forking over real money was kind of scary. But I did it. And here are the results, so you minions don't have to wonder if it's worth it.

SO. Here we go. The pic above (at the top of the post) is the original, edited with Florabella's makeover actions to get rid of my breakout and the results of years of unprotected fornication with the sun. I like the pic as is, but I'm going to run each of the eight actions on it so you can see what they all do. Each action has multiple editable layers, but I left them all as is, at 100% opacity, so you could see them at full strength. The Vintage Pack also comes with some extra add-on actions, like "sunlight," "sheer haze," and "vignette," but I will review those next week-ish.

1.) Vintage Summer: One of the more gentle actions, with a light sepia tone.


2.) Vintage Summer II: Like 1 (go figure) but a pinker tone and sweeter overall.


3.) Vintage Wine: Lighter wash and more contrasty than the others.


4.) Classic Vintage: Neutral, hazy tone.


5.) Vintage Haze: Pearly light haze.

6.) Sweet Vintage: Soft pinkish blush.


7.) Retro Vintage: Darker, smokier sepia tone.



8.) Retro Lollipop: This action is a little different than the others in that it has multiple colored layers than you can isolate or combine to pop different colors. The overall effect can range from wheat-field tones to soft pastels. For this pic I have the teal, violet, and warmth optional layers turned on. I think this is my favorite. :)


I do recommend them, but they definitely do work very differently on different photos. A lot of the pics I tried looked just awful. They also tend to require a lot of fiddling with the layers to get them looking right; these pics were easy (one-click!) because they didn't have a lot of saturation or contrast to begin with. I noticed that the actions tended to really pull yellow, so that was occasionally frustrating to fix in other pics.

So was it worth the money? For me... yes, absolutely, but my wallet is cranky and wants ice cream now (especially since I got the makeover actions at the same time, ouch). I'm LUSTING after Florabella's other actions though, despite my bank account, especially the Classic Workflow, the Luxe II, and the Color & Haze sets. Plus the chick is super nice, and got back to me very quick when I emailed her a question.

Honestly, if you've got time and more patience than me, you could probably come up with something similar to these effects. I will say that I really struggled to get these results on my own, and after having a look at the details of the actions, I NEVER would have figured them out on my own. NEVER.

I also really love the makeover actions. I think I might do a video post showing how those work on one of my pics. Yes? Might be fun. I'll probably ramble inanely, which will provide you with lots of amusement, at my expense.

OH the things I do for you.

If this helped you out, you can thank me by following me here or over at Retro Academic, whose fault it is that I bought these dang things in the first place. I also hang out at Facebook and on Pinterest, so stop by and say hi or just yell at me if it makes your day better. Oh and if you want to contribute to the group craft board on Pinterest, Do Something Awesome, just let me know here and I'll add you! It's an easy way to have a bunch people following your pins. :)

Twitter Rejected Me so I Kicked a Harmless Robot's Feelings.

8.09.2012


Apparently twitter finds me so weird that it can't find one single person out of TWO HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE that might enjoy my digital company. That's "digital" as in "via the internet." Not fingers. Perverts.

I attempted to draw a sad face on my profile pic but it just came out looking like I gave a strawberry popsicle a messy blow job. And who could be sad after that? ASSHOLES, THAT'S WHO. And me. Apparently.

Anyway, I was reading @SarcasticRover's tweets:

Also there was an Arrested Development scrotum pic reference. And then I emailed my husband and asked him if it was okay if I made out with the Mars Rover. 

and I was like "hey I should use twitter more often. Cause if a robot with no consciousness who's busy lasering rocks on Mars can find time to do it, then SO CAN I." But then Twitter was all "hey we don't think anyone will actually like you. So you should just go grab that box of cookies and sit in front of your window and stare out at the bleakness of life while your dogs reject you and your computer plots to give you ERROR 101s all day."

But then I remembered that the Mars Rover is even lonelier and more miserable than I am, and that cheered me up. So thanks for that, @SarcasticRover.

Yeah, if you're feeling like subjecting yourself to my tweets, you can follow me @JamieScissors. Let's prove twitter's algorithm for social compatibility wrong. After all, it's just AI, and nothing which relies on AI will ever be adequate in the biological world. YEAH THAT'S RIGHT I SAID IT, MARS ROVER. Go cry in a crater.

And now I'm on Skynet's hit list. Awesome.

(Skynet probably wouldn't bother sending the T-1000 after me, actually. It'd probably just send the Mars Rover, which can't even manipulate its equipment and hold rocks at the same time. On account of the one arm. HA MASTURBATION INADEQUACY JOKE. I'm feeling much better now. Unlike the population of Mars)

Just kidding Mars Rover. I love Science. And you. I'll have a big hug waiting for you when you get back.


[For those of you who spent 80% of this post distracted by thoughts of strawberry popsicles, here's @SarcasticRover and my significantly less funny but also usually less depressing @JamieScissors. And for those of you who want to make out with Science but somehow missed the big event, you can check out the Seven Minutes of Terror, i.e. the Mars Rover landing, here. It's long but worth it to see a bunch of NASA scientists freak out and hug over trajectories and accelerations. HAHA LOL like I've never done that. God I'm a nerd)

Speaking of nerds, this post is sponsored by Retro Academic. I know the author personally and she's definitely not lonely cause she has two arms, and she is a huge nerd. I think she fantasizes about the Mars Rover. 

Pencil Skirts and Painted Umbrellas!

8.08.2012

I've found a couple awesome posts in blogland recently. This first one is from Cotton & Curls, which is a pretty neat blog that focuses on sewing and "re-fashioning." This post on a super-easy pencil skirt is awesome cause it's very clear and, well, EASY for those of us (me, ahem) who are too lazy for lots of cutting and measuring and pattern nonsense. I am off to get some fabric today to give this a try, so I'll let you know how it goes! Check it out here.


And this second one (which you've seen already if you follow my new blog Retro Academic HINT HINT) is just really cool, and it's from Design for Mankind. I love umbrellas. It's a weird fetish to have, I admit it. But I love them! They make me think of Mary Poppins. And rain, which I also love. I cannot wait to try this but I have no idea where to find a white or light colored umbrella... I assume online somewhere. Ideas anyone?


So yeah, check these out! The man bought me a fancy new sewing machine for my bday (well, fancy for me. I really have no basis for comparison) so I am definitely trying out the pencil skirt one. 

In case you haven't heard me yelling about it, I have a new blog over at Retro Academic where I blog about awesome clothes for hot nerdy smartypants. There's a big ole banner at the top of the right sidebar, which you probably saw already unless you're blind or just super in the BLOG ZONE. Really, it couldn't be more noticeable unless I splashed ugly glitter gifs all over it. Which I did NOT do, cause I'm not an asshole today.

Check it out and follow me there or on Facebook so that I can have FWENDS and feel validated as a human being. Also, Pinterest. I hang out there a lot, with the cool kids. :)



Time for Another Pinterest Roundup!

8.05.2012

AHHHH I love Pinterest posts!!! But you'll have to visit Retro Academic to see this one. ;)

And now I dangle the carrot, I mean the cute retro cupcake girl:


Go here to see the roundup at Retro Academic, or go straight to Pinterest here if you want to see aaaaalllll the pins. More coming soon!
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