New Photoshop Actions with A Beautiful Mess!

abeautiful-mess-actions-before-and-after-natural-beauty-5

I’m so excited to announce the launch of the brand new A Beautiful Mess actions for Photoshop and Lightroom! If you really want to take your digital photography to the next level, this is the perfect tool for you! All it takes is one click, and your photos are completely transformed, and you can easily adjust opacity to change the strength of each effect. I love every single one of these filters, and have been using them on my photos for the blog and Instagram for a while now.

You may know that Sarah and I created all of the filters for the A Color Story app, and most recently we’ve been developing similar actions for people to use on their computers with Photoshop and Lightroom. I created a set of basic actions that come free with every Photoshop action pack, and I also designed 15 actions for the Natural Beauty collection and 10 actions for the Black and White + Enhance pack (which also contains some fun effects Sarah designed). Sarah did the Clean + Modern pack as well as Lightroom presets. There’s a lot to love, you guys! Sorry if it sounds like I’m gushing, but I totally am. This is a product I’m really proud of and very much enjoy using myself.

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + AfterA Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

The Basics pack comes free with every action pack and includes five actions that make simple adjustments to your photos. Actions include: “Bright + Warm,” “Bright + Cool,” “Dark + Contrast,” “Sharpen + Pop,” and “Color Enhance.” You can apply these actions before using a more dramatic effect from another pack, or just use them on their own. Here are some examples of me using only actions from the basics pack to kick my photos up a notch.

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After
A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

 
A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + AfterA Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

The Natural Beauty collection is my favorite thing to use on my photos. I designed this pack to mimic the look of both film and vintage magazine editorials. If you’re tired of vintage-inspired filters adding a yellowy cast to your images, this will be a breath of fresh air to you! The filters from the Natural Beauty Collection gives you bright whites (with the exception of a couple of the filters), but the colors take on different moods and all feel very cheerful. I would like to tell you my favorite, but to be honest, I enjoy them all. The ones I use most frequently are “First Love,” “Teen Romance,” “Timeless,” and “Coffee Date.”

Check out some of my edits using filters from this pack! So fun, right?

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After
A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After
A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After
A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

 

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + AfterA Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

Finding the right style of black and white editing can be frustrating, especially since your needs change from photo to photo, depending on how light or dark your image is, or depending on how much natural contrast there is. I created ten different black and white actions that will suit a wide variety of photos and styles, creating classic black and white photos that pop much more than a standard black and white effect. I think all of these filters are very usable, without being too extreme or trendy in style.

This pack also comes with effects like flares and light leaks that Sarah designed. Check them out here!

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

A Beautiful Mess Actions Before + After

WHAT WE WORE | Summer’s Still Kickin’

Ohio fashion blogger

Well, you’re either gonna buy me a drink or dramatically roll your eyes at the crankiness I’m about to display. You know the feeling you get when someone scrapes their fingernails on a chalkboard? That’s the way I feel when I hear my friends and loved ones bemoan the end of summer with the passing of August. You guys, I don’t care if kids are back in school. And yes, I realize Labor Day has passed. But can we please just face the fact that Summer isn’t over until September 23rd? Why rush a good thing? We’re still doing laps in the pool and quickly licking our ice cream cones before they melt all over our hands. Summer is here, and I’m just forcing myself (and my family) to enjoy every last bit of it before it’s officially over. Just like a sixth grade girl wishing away the innocence of her childhood and sneaking makeup behind her mom’s back (no, not me! Why would you think that… mom… are you reading here?), I hate to see my dearly beloveds wishing away a good thing that we will soon be longing for come next February.

Now, that being said, I certainly won’t begrudge anyone the enjoyment of an early pumpkin spice latte or an apple picking excursion. And I actually become quite giddy when my favorite stores display Fall merchandise at the beginning of September. I even gleefully busted out my favorite big sweater during an unseasonably chilly evening last week, and today I donned a black beret, even though it felt a bit premature (according to my sweaty head).

I guess this season is more about transition than anything, and I absolutely love it, despite everyone’s insistence on Fall being here, or Summer being over. (You guys, it’s just not. It’s not. IT IS NOT.) This is the only time in the year we can enjoy Summer bike rides in the afternoon and cozy campfires in the evening. We can eat ice cream cones from our favorite seasonal shacks or decide to bake fresh apple pie a la mode. We can wear our favorite Fall color palette, but still bare our legs and arms. This season is the best. Just don’t call it Fall, yet. (Because, let’s get down to my real issue… Fall means an Ohio winter’s a coming!)

Ohio mom style blogger

O U T F I T   D E T A I L S :

top: ASOS / skirt: thrifted / hat: ASOS / shoes: Amazon / purse: thrifted

L U C Y ‘ S    O U T F I T   D E T A I L S :

jumpsuit: vintage from Miss Pity Kitty on Instagram / bow: Free Babes / shoes: Saltwater Sandals

photos by Matthew Graber

Ohio mom style blogger

Ohio mom style blogger

vintage toddler fashion blog

Ohio fashion blogger

Ohio mom style blogger

Media Center Revamp

Record Player Media Center

You guys! Our living room revamp is so close to being completed! I’m just waiting on one piece of art to be custom framed (it’s been sent out, I’m waiting for a call to pick it up), and then I’m callin’ it. I thought in the meantime I would discuss one of my favorite aspects of the revamp: the media center!

First, let’s take a trip on the way-back-machine. The first image below is from right after we moved into our home from our big, gorgeous 1920s apartment. (You’ll have to browse through old posts in my “home” category to see the beautiful old apartment and my granny-chic style.) Things from our old home didn’t fit or feel right in our new home, but because money was an issue, we just had to ride that wave for a while.

living room before (2012)

We literally saved up money in an envelope until we had the funds to buy an Ikea sectional. Along the way I collected some plants, rearranged art, and found a pair of orange armchairs at a garage sale for $5! It all was an improvement for our space, but still wasn’t tailored to our taste. But it fit the price point, and that’s all that mattered, really.

living room before (2014)

Finally, four years later, we’ve slowly been able to make enough changes to this room by selling off some things (rugs, art, furniture) in order to buy some new items which fit the style of our home as a whole and also went along with a more refined color palette and aesthetic. In addition to swapping out items, tweaking the arrangement of objects has made a large impact in the space. Removing the gallery wall and installing shelves to create a media center is one of the biggest changes we’ve made as far as the balance of the room goes. It feels much more calm, and is way more useful than the random assortment of art, which may have helped our t.v. blend in a bit better, but maybe didn’t suit our needs so well in the end.

Entertainment Center

So here it is now! I purchased some new boards which are supported by a shelving standards system I had taken down from the the wall on the other side of the room when we installed our office set-up. (See the post about our office wall here at A Beautiful Mess.) Finally our record player is set-up in a convenient place with access to our receiver and speakers. We have movies, blankets, and media equipment stored in the sideboard, and— no longer in hiding— our t.v. enjoys prime real estate, because let’s be real guys, we watch a lot of t.v. Ain’t no shame in that! (I call myself a movie buff to make my habits seem more refined.)

Media Center Shelving System

Record Player Media Center

The girls and I have been listening to records almost every day now, and our room feels way more put together with this set-up than it had before. I still need to work on some cord control, but overall, I’m really pleased with how it has affected our overall enjoyment of our living room.

Dr. Dog Be the Void

I can’t wait to share the rest of the space with you, and! Our new slipcover, which arrived last week during a really frustrating and dark time in my Summer— so I just couldn’t be happier about it. What a fun experience this revamp has been! So happy to share the process with you all. -Mandi

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