How to hand color photographs via www.ABeautifulMess.comPhotography has come a long way since I can remember. In the 90s when I was in high school, I bought a disposable film camera nearly every week. I carried them with me everywhere and amassed a pretty impressive collection of random high school memories. My favorite disposable cameras were the black and white ones, which I liked to paint with a set of Dr. Ph. Martin's paint that my mom let me borrow from her art room.

Today I'm working with Canon USA and taking a time machine back to my high school days to show you my favorite painting technique. It's so fun! So pick out a variety of your favorite black and white images, print them out and paint with me! 

How to hand color photographs via As always I used my Canon PIXMA iP8720 printer to print my photos on luster paper. The quality is amazing! No matter what size photos I am printing, I use 13x19 paper and arrange the photos in Photoshop on a 13x19 page. Here I am printing four photos, all 5x7 inches. 

How to hand color photographs via  Supplies needed: Printed black and white photos, watercolor paints (I love these Dr. Ph. Martin's brand, which you can find at most art shops), paint brushes and water. 

How to hand color photographs via   Tip 1: Start with light coats of paint, water it down a bit before applying. You can always add more color, but you can't go back if you apply too much. 

How to hand color photographs via    Tip 2: Photos with more contrast and darker areas look more realistic when painted. Photos with large blocks of white space (or very light tones) will show more brush marks and look less realistic. 

How to hand color photographs via     Tip 3: Print extras so you can practice! This is probably the most important tip. Not only is it good to practice your technique, but it's also fun to try coloring different areas of the photo or experimenting with different colors before you commit.

You can see here that I tried something kinda weird on the bike photo. It didn't end up being my favorite, but it was fun to try. And the sky on the house photo was just too much space to fill evenly, so on the final print I decided to leave the sky and focus the color just on the buildings. 

How to hand color photographs via      The thing I enjoyed most about this project was the experimenting. Laura and I printed a bunch of extra prints and tried different colors and applications. I could do this all day. The "playing" part is by far my favorite! 

How to hand color photographs via        I'm super in love with the result. It's kind of a pop art effect. A little bit of an Andy Warhol vibe due to the punchy colors. Fun! 

How to hand color photographs via          How to hand color photographs via           How to hand color photographs via           I framed my photos minimally with white mats and simple, inexpensive frames. I think they make a pretty rad grid as a set of four. 

What do you think? Do you want to try this technique? Please do. I promise you'll have fun. We'd love to see your photos on Instagram using #mybeautifulmess XX! Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions. 


At Home with Hannah RussellWe are excited to welcome Hannah Russell to the blog to share her lovely home with us today!

Kitchen shelves"We moved into this house in Peckham, South London about a year ago after completely renovating the whole place. It had been a student house before and everything was quite tired, so we knocked down some walls to open up the whole living space and painted everything in a beautiful, neutral pale blue grey. The foundations of the house are the neutral walls and flooring, and this allows the beautiful colours of all the vintage furniture and accessories to really pop and stand out.

Brass pineappleDining area shelves"The open plan living area is just such a beautiful space to be in and it really works. I'm so happy with the grey industrial-style kitchen and love collecting gold antique items to decorate the shelves behind the sink. I'm like a magpie, absolutely obsessed with anything shiny and gold.

PotteryDining roomGold milk carton"I spent a lot of time at antique fairs and early morning markets to furnish the house. My Mum and I have always been interested in the markets, and I love buying things with character. I've tried to furnish the house in different layers, the foundations are all quite neutral and newly installed, but I've slowly accumulated and added vintage and antique pieces to give the space a personality. These different styles and textures work together and create the happy, light-filled space that we live in! I believe that antiques and vintage items don't have to be dark and fusty. They can be incorporated into a modern home and these contrasts are what gives some interest.

Decor detailsAntique candelabraHannah Russell"My favourite piece has to be the bronze metal rose candelabra in the dining area. It's an old French piece and just looks beautiful from every angle, like a piece of art in itself. When we have people over for dinner, I buy some very thin white candles and light it all up as the table centre-piece. 

BedroomGarden herbsCourtyardGarden table and mirrors"But it's the courtyard that is the real triumph of the house. It was a dark, dirty area before and felt as if nothing would ever fit in there. We decked the whole space and created a different level. Then painted everything white. It makes everything feel so much bigger, and I love the way the vintage mirrors on the fence reflect back and give you a feeling of depth. The wall of herbs is a little depleted at the moment after the winter, but we're working on building it back up again—it's such a luxury to be able to pop out for a handful of basil or coriander."

Thanks so much for sharing your space with us, Hannah! To see more of Hannah, you can visit her blog and follow her on Instagram. xo

Sister StyleHey, friends! It's our 150th Sister Style...can you believe it? We hardly can!

Sister Style Elsie and I have been trying to make sure we hit up all our favorite Springfield spots together this summer before she moves. Of course, we'll go to them all again when she's in town, AND we'll start compiling our favorite Nashville spots together once she moves. But one thing we realized was we've never been to Pineapple Whip together. Which is crazy! Because Pineapple Whip is sort of a summer Springfield, MO staple. I mean, if you don't have at least one IG photo with Pineapple Whip before the end of the summer, you're just not cool. :)

Sister Style  Sister Style   Sister Style   In case you're wondering—it's frozen yogurt and it's amazing!

Emma's Wearing: Shirt/Alphonnsine, Skirt c/o ModCloth, Shoes/second hand (brand is Luxury Rebel), Sunnies/Lulu's.

Sister Style     Sister Style     Elsie's Wearing: Sunnies/Crap Eyewear, Top/Target, Skirt/ASOS, Sandals/Urban Outfitters, Bag/J.Crew, Bracelets/Madewell and The Nashville Flea Market. 

Sister Style       Kiss kiss, hug hug! Make some summer traditions where you live! xo. Emma (and Elsie)

Credits// Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Trey George, Elsie Larson, and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with Norma from The Folk Collection and Film Grain from Basic Actions (which comes with every pack). 

Adorable! Key lime pie jello shots! (click through for recipe)      The weather is getting warmer, the shorts are getting shorter, and all I can think is, "Summer is on its way!" One of my favorite things about the nicer weather is going to lots of picnics and outdoor parties with friends. I always looked forward to those outings as a kid and would usually save a lot of room for the giant dessert table full of summery sugary treats. Key Lime Pie is a dessert that makes me think of those summer picnics, and I thought my adult self would really enjoy it in a jello shot format as well. Turns out I was right!

Adorable! Key lime pie jello shots! (click through for recipe)        Key Lime Pie Jello Shots, makes 12.

For the crust:
2/3 cup crushed graham crackers
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar

For the jello:
1 cup vanilla vodka 
1 small box of lime Jell-O
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half

Adorable! Key lime pie jello shots! (click through for recipe)      Preheat your oven to 325°. Take your graham crackers and blend them in the food processor until they are fine crumbs. Mix your sugar into the crumbs. Then pour your melted butter in slowly while stirring. 

Adorable! Key lime pie jello shots! (click through for recipe)      Lightly coat the inside and bottom of a mini cheesecake pan (the kind where the bottoms pop out) with cooking spray. Spoon your mixture evenly into each compartment. Use your fingers to press the crumbs down into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven. Then let them completely cool.

Adorable! Key lime pie jello shots! (click through for recipe)  Heat your vodka in a small pan over medium heat. Once the liquid starts to simmer, slowly whisk in your Jell-O. Once all the Jell-O has dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and pour in the milk and half and half. Stir to combine.

Adorable! Key lime pie jello shots! (click through for recipe)      Place your pan of cooled graham cracker crusts on a flat baking sheet (to catch any leaking jello), and pour the jello evenly into each compartment. Quickly place in the refrigerator and let sit for 2 hours until set. Once set, push up from the bottom of each compartment to free your jello shots, and you're ready to serve!

Adorable! Key lime pie jello shots! (click through for recipe)     Adorable! Key lime pie jello shots! (click through for recipe)       These little guys look adorable, but even better, they taste delicious!! The graham cracker crust isn't a crispy dry crust like you might get in a baked pie since you pour the wet liquid on top, but it still tastes so good with the lime and totally gives you that pie feeling. I can definitely see serving these at an outdoor summer party, but whatever occasion you choose, I think they'll be a hit! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


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