My name is Amanda Johnson, and I'm just an easy going 20-somethin' girl trying to live the rich life I always wanted. And by rich, I mean full of friends, laughter, creativity, and love. I'm quite pleased with life in my home of Canton, Ohio, and love sharing my adventures with my friends in the online world.
This blog started three years ago as a way for me to share my crafting endeavors and scrapbook projects with the online community. Since its inception, I now cover a variety of topics, including vintage fashion, home decor, DIY projects, classic cinema, real life adventures, and even food! Basically, Here's Looking at Me, Kid is a lifestyle blog that has helped me reach out and keep in touch with kindred spirits who share the same passions as me.
When I'm not hanging out at the coffee shop, crafting it up, or working on various freelance graphic design jobs, I can usually be found scouring thrift stores for great vintage clothing or traipsing about local antique haunts searching for another hat to add to my collection.
One of the best parts of my life is getting to share it with a handsome, motivated, adoring, and godly man. Phil and I have been married since June 2007, and I couldn't imagine living life with anyone else by my side.
In July of 2010, I moved from my brother's home, where my husband and I lived for two years, into a gorgeous 1920s Tudor Revival apartment close to the heart of downtown Canton. I share a lot of the inspiration and progress with you as I fill our home with treasures I've found.
I love living so close to downtown, as I can ride the 1950's bicycle that my father and I restored in the summer of 2010 (before and after). I just got a bike basket for Christmas, so now I can make trips to the grocery store and library.
Since moving back to Canton after college, I've been able to reconnect with old friends, and make lots of new friends. It's a small city, so you easily run into the same people- which is a good thing, because from my experience, Canton people are good people! I love my friends and think that because of them, my life is quite wonderful.
Q: What camera do you use?
A: Up until mid-December 2010, I used a Canon Rebel xTi. It's a low level digital SLR, which means you can use interchangeable lenses, giving you flexibility with image quality, but without the professional (and desired) features of a more expensive camera. My camera died, forcing me to unexpectedly purchase a new one. Now I have a Canon Rebel T2i, which is a step up and still compatible with all of my old lenses.
Q: What lenses do you use?
A: I primarily shoot with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens that works well in low light and give a nice depth of field (blurry background) in most circumstances. I also really love my 85mm f/1.8 lens, but it's not very useful unless I'm shooting photo-journalistically at a wedding or something. My next lens purchase will be a 28mm f/1.8 lens to replace the one I tragically lost this year.
Q: How do you get your photos to look vintage?
A: I use Photoshop as editing software, and created a set of actions which do the editing for me. They are available for purchase here.
Q: How do you get the borders around your photos?
A: The borders seen in this post come in the set of actions I wrote about above. I don't use borders so much these days, but you can look through some older posts to see examples.
Q: Do you take pictures of yourself, or do you have someone take them for you?
A: Most of the time when I take outfit photos, it's just me, the tripod, and the camera remote. Also, sometimes if Phil is around, available, and it's not dark outside, he's pretty willing to taking photos for me. It saves me so much time and I feel like those photos are always my favorite!
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I like to think I'm a Jill of all trades. Well, lots of trades at least! I graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in interior design. I then worked for Joann Fabrics & Crafts corporate headquarters in Hudson, Ohio doing store planning for all of their stores nationwide. I decided that the cubicle life wasn't for me, and when my husband got a full time job teaching, I was able to stay at home and work on what I pleased. Now I shoot weddings part time, design blogs at Freckled Nest, sell vintage clothing at local events and online at Fine & Dandy, and keep this blog busy every week. In 2010-2011, I also wrote a bit for Apartment Therapy (see my posts here).
Q: How did you get into design?
A: My degree covers a bit of graphic design in addition to interior design, but a lot of what I know in the graphic design department comes from the tutelage of my graphic designer brother, and also just spending lots of time practicing. I have been able to get jobs because of people finding me from this blog, or networking with people I meet.
Q: How did you get on scrapbooking design teams?
A: I used to scrapbook for Hambly Screen Prints and Jenni Bowlin Studios, but have since stepped down to spend my energies on other areas. From my experience, it helps to have a current blog that is updated with new projects. The projects need to be photographed or scanned at a very good quality (this is probably the most important part) and shared on scrapbooking sites like Two Peas in a Bucket or Scrapbook.com. A lot of times scrapbook manufacturers or kit clubs will announce that they are having a search for a new design team, but sometimes companies contact you first, if your work is high quality.
Q: Do you plan on designing another scrapbook line soon?
A: For those of you who don't know, in the summer of 2009 I designed and produced my own scrapbook paper designs. They are still available for purchase here. Designing and producing my own scrapbook paper was a huge learning experience for me. I made a lot of mistakes involving production, and probably won't undertake such a huge project myself again any time soon. However, I love designing paper and would love to work with a scrapbook company if they were interested in me!
Q: Can you tell me more details regarding sponsoring your blog?
A: Sure! Check out this post for details.
Q: Could you send me detailed images of your tattoo so I can get one like it?
A: I really appreciate the admiration of my tattoo design, but I don't like the idea of someone walking into a tattoo parlour and asking for the exact (if not very similar) tattoo as the one I worked hard to design and implement on my body. It's a very personal thing for me and something that many people don't understand until they are actually tattooed themselves. In any case, no, I don't send out high quality images of my tattoos. Sorry, but I hope that someday you will understand.
Q: Where do you find all of the movies that you share with us for Movie Mondays?
A: From a very young age, my parents highly influenced my taste in movies. Fortunately, they have great taste- at least, I think so! A lot of the movies I share have been favorites of mine for quite a while. When I used to have a television, I watched Turner Classic Movies a lot, and learned so much about what is out there, and the history behind the people and productions. All of the movies I share with you have been viewed via Netflix DVDs or instant view. So, if you see a movie featured on this blog that you are interested in, you can probably find it there! (Also, I get no kick-backs from Netflix for saying that.) :)
Q: Where do you get the images you use for Movie Mondays?
A: I take screen shots of movies while they play on my computer. You see, I don't have a television, so whenever I watch movies, it is on my computer. This works out just fine with movies on Netflix instant view, but I discovered Apple DVD player does not allow screen captures. So I had to purchase and instal special software for that.
Side note: I always credit images if I did not personally take the photo or capture the image from a movie (and the movie is always credited, of course). If I want to use an image on my blog but don't know where it came from, I simply don't use it. So if you see an image without credit, it was taken by me.
Q: Woah, you dyed your hair! Did you do it yourself?
A: I am a natural brunette, but at the beginning of 2011 decided I would like to try strawberry blonde. Being short on funds, I decided to go to Sally Beauty Supply and ask the ladies there what I needed. So, when I got home, I spent hours bleaching my hair to lighten it, and then I applied a nice coppery red color that evened out the bleached tones and gave me the color I wanted. It wasn't that scary doing it myself, but I kind of like to do everything myself. :) Maybe I'm a control freak? These days, My hair is dark again, but as the base has been bleached, the color fades quickly. So you might notice that my hair is sometimes randomly dark again- when I've redyed it.
Q: Are you vegan?
A: At the beginning of 2009, I decided to become a dietary vegan, mostly for health reasons. This might sound a bit hypocritical, if you know of some of my other horribly unhealthy life decisions, but anyways, I was super healthy for about three month. I juiced a ton and really made sure my diet was balanced. But then, I got burnt out on all of the work that went into being a strict dietary vegan. So now, I am a very strict vegetarian, and try to be as vegan as possible in my diet choices. I still will eat baked goods with eggs, and sometimes consume dairy, but usually only when dessert is being consumed and I know it's unhealthy anyways!
Q: So wait, you are a vegetarian, yet you wear fur?
A: Yep. I know it's controversial. But yes, I do wear vintage fur.