Monday, February 28, 2011

Giveaway Winner

Just wanted to say thanks to you guys who entered, and thanks so much for your support and for following my blog! I totally appreciate and hope to do another giveaway soon! The winner will have 48 hours to claim, otherwise I will choose another winner.
The winner of the Hobby Lobby giftcard is:
vrb February 25, 2011 9:09 AM
This is my favorite blog to look at when I have free time. Keep it up. Love the shots of your pics.
VRB- email me to claim your prize you have 48 hours.
Thanks So Much, 


There is an awesome groopdeal today! I just had to share.  I have never bought any groupdeals before...gotta save my cash, but with tons of birthdays coming up these are great! Several colors to choose from too!
 (picture via groupdealz)
 Go here or click on the picture to check it out! I just bought a bunch, these will be great gifts...and I am thinking maybe a wonderful giveaway on my blog too! Go check it out!

Giveaway and blog design recommendations?

Just a reminder to go to this post and comment for a entry into my giveaway. Winner will be randomly selected tonight!

Also, does anyone have a recommendation for a good blog designer? I don't need anything fancy, and can't afford much, but I would love to have some better flow and personalized tabs and stuff and wider columns. I tried doing some html and it was a waste of 3 hours! LOL

So I would love to hear if you have anyone to recommend!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Blogger Issues

Can I just apologize for how lame blogger is being? For some reason my posts are showing up all weird. I am not sure why or how to correct it. For some people its displaying fine, others there are huge gaps. When I go to edit it, it looks fine. So I hope you don't mind my lameness!

Also, don't forget my giveaway of $15 Hobby Lobby gift card. Go to the bottom of this post for details on how to enter.

Improving your blog photos-Lighting

I have received lots of emails asking for advice on taking better pictures. I am no expert, but I do love photography. I am most comfortable with shooting:) photographing people since that's what I do part time, but this blog has given me the opportunity to work on product photography which has been fun. I thought I would offer some tips for those wanting to take better pictures for their blogs. First off is one of the most important things regarding photography, lighting! Taking pictures in a room or area with ambient light will improve your pictures so much. Take note of the rooms in your home and when you get the best natural lighting. Open up those blinds! This way you don't have to use your flash and it will make a huge difference whether you have a dslr or point and shoot. In my case, I do not have much ambient light at all without using my external flash and bouncing light even with windows open. However, I have found a few spots in my home that work well. The best place to get good light for me is to open my front door. The light spills in without being direct. When doing tutorials I will actually go sit by the front door in the entry area and craft away. This doesn't make for beautiful backgrounds so I often use posterboard. It works well and the white posterboard helps evenly reflect and balance the light. Here are some pull-back shots of these things you have seen on my blog.
Sometimes in the afternoon when I have some light in my office I will use cardstock for little items.(this photo just happened because I was editing photos and wanted to eat a cupcake but it looked so good I knew I had to take a picture first!) De-cluttering the background makes a huge difference. It makes your photo look better and more appealing with the focus on your subject matter.(Also notice how I moved the paper to face more towards the light for appealing shadows in the right area)

Other times I will simply grab a scrap of fabric. *I sometimes try to take a picture of the craft or home decor item in its spot, but for the most part I want to showcase what I've made which requires me to move it to where there is enough light. (hopefully my next house will be brighter!)
Here is another declutter photo. Far from perfect but I wanted to show how I crop or move things out of the way before I take the photo to get a clutter free background. Simple cropping can be done in any free editing software easily.
As I mentioned before, I hate having to use my flash. I do most of my crafting at night and so I have to wait until daytime to take pictures which is frustrating for tutorials especially when my son is around it gets trickier! However, I think natural light is worth it. Here are a couple picture of flash versus natural daylight. Can you tell a difference?
         FLASH ON LEFT                  NATURAL ON RIGHT  
Notice the "deer in the headlights" look of the flash pictures? See how much more natural the lighting and shadows are from the ones on the right? Plus the backgrounds look better and not so dark as well. It is just a small thing that really makes the pictures pop! 
Left is flash, right is natural light.
I hope this helps someone out in someway. :) I'm no writer and its tough to put what I want to say on paper correctly!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Giveaway and some thoughts...

Boy today was sure gloomy! Not to mention I started another DIET. I know, its supposed to be a lifestyle change...yada, yada. Hopefully it will be. What am I doing besides being irritable and cranky? Surviving thats all. Just eating fruits and veggies, limited processed foods, watching calories, and exercising. I'll let you know how it goes. To keep my mind off sweets and crappy food that I love, I decided to go shopping. I found some beauties at the antique store. I really want this. It really reminds me of home. I think of my Grandma and Grandpa and it makes me quite happy. Its only $225, still too much for this student wife. :( I really do adore it though and I want a place to display some of my things that mean a lot to me and make me happy to look at.
At another store I found this one. It was $85. I would like to take out the black mesh and put in chicken wire spray painted white. Its very cute, but the one door didn't close quite right. I did like it though.
After finding lots of 'wants', I really started thinking about my priorities. I think my problem with all these wonderful blogs out there is I have seen so many AMAZING projects and rooms to love that my style has turned into that. I long for what they have...I want white furniture and grey/or light blue toned accent walls. Fun patterns and painted cupboards. I want a collection of white pitchers and funky window frames of all kinds! My beautiful white bedspread I am already planning. What's the problem with that? Well, my budget for one. Plus, I have always thought I was independent but I am starting to realize that I have fallen into the "blog trends".  I am hoping that I am just finding my style and that its not because everyone else is doing it. Time will tell. I just got to thinking the other day about what I like and why I like it. Do I really like it? Is it because its the 'ballard' or 'pottery barn' way? I am still not sure. One thing I am sure is...I have decided to stop the madness of buying cool crap! By that I mean that I am going to cut out thrifting for a month. Can I do it? We'll see. Its kind of a high to go shopping for affordable stuff with a vision of what it can become. After organizing my basement and seeing my lovely finds waiting for me I was thinking do I really need this stuff? Yes, its going to be cool. Yes it will look nice, but do I need it? More clutter, more things that I can turn into lovely knockoffs at a fraction of the price? Maybe some things, but not most. I have realized that many of my little cheap finds are adding up in storage space and money wise. Every penny adds up. Plus, I have lots of things to decorate with that mean nothing to me really. So, I am going to try and use what I have. I am going to try and stay out of Hobby Lobby too. That's a big deal for me. Lots of projects coming up that will be out of my own stash. I am pretty excited about it. I have also decided to make a commitment to myself and my spending. I don't mind buying but I am trying to do it with a purpose. Where will it go? What does it mean? Do I really need it? It'll be a work in progress I'm sure, but I bet it will help with my upcoming move.
 Okay, on to happier topics like my first giveaway! I now have over 100 followers and I just want to say thanks for being a follower and for leaving sweet comments. So of course I decided to do a gift card to my favorite store! Hobby Lobby!

So the giveaway is for a $15 gift card to Hobby Lobby. 
To Enter:


A winner will be announced Monday, Feb 28th!

Monday, February 21, 2011

March Calendar

Here is the free March calendar printable.

download here

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Decor Switch-V-day to St. Patty's

I don't usually do much with St. Patty's decor, but I wanted to do a few updates. Remember this frame I love and over use all the time?

 I love this frame, and as I mentioned when I made my valentine 3-d art. I initially had burlap backing this frame and vinyl on the glass. I really love how it looks and haven't wanted to take off the vinyl yet. Trouble is the glass is glued on this frame, which I didn't realize, so when I was updated I just cut out some white card stock and slid it in front. Problem solved! Here is my update from Valentines to St. Patricks decor.
 Took out the hearts to put away with Valentine Decor for next year.
 Little glittery shamrocks from Hobby Lobby. I was hoping for something smaller and not glittery, but this is the best option I found.
 Filled frame with white card stock (I think patterned scrapbook paper as a backing could look super cute, but I am keeping my style fairly simple.)
 Glue on Shamrocks...and you're done! Super easy update!
I'm linking to the parties listed in my side-bar under "Where I party".

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nightstand Redo

While browsing salvation army one day I came across this little gold nightstand. I liked the lines of it and so I picked it up. It cost about $11 bucks which was a little more than I wanted to spend but I liked it so I went with it. Here's how it started out.

I pulled out my sander and went to town.  I removed the front detail to sand and get rid of some of the gold.  After I sanded it down I primed and painted it white.
Here's how she looks now. I added a little distress ink to the edges but just softly. I love how it turned out, I only wish that I could have found another one to match!

linking to:


Transformation Thursday

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Printables

Here are some St. Patrick's Day printables. I got a little carried away, I just can't seem to make up my mind and when I get in that frame of mind I overdue it! Hope you enjoy these free printables. These are all jpeg files. Let me know if you have issues with the link!

For Green go HERE, for White go HERE, for Gray go HERE
 For Sage clover go HERE, for white words on green shamrock go HERE, for green words go HERE
 For green background go HERE, for white background go HERE
For green go HERE, for white go HERE
 For this scrolly shamrock go HERE.
 For Lucky go HERE.
 For clover on sage go HERE
For Subway art go Here
 I am on the lookout for some cute frames, my trusty black frame just isn't working! Guess I should have looked when I was at the thrift store yesterday.  I can't make up my mind on which ones to go with. Can you tell?

Linking To:

I Heart Naptime
Craft Couture
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

P.S. Just wanted to give a shout out to Obsidian Dawn for a few of the photoshop brushes I added in a few of these.