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Ideas 3: 10 Minute Tunic

June 30, 2011


You know, I'd really like to try this sometime. 

A DIY 10 minute tunic or dress. 

Take one wide and long scarf and cut slit in center, sew together at sides to middle, then with elastic bobbin sew at waist. 

Hey, if you used a belt you wouldn't even have to do the elastic waist part!

Source: lemlem.com via Amber on Pinterest

Tutorials 42- Put Me in the Zoo Dress

Isn't this the cutest "Put Me In the Zoo" Dress? See full tutorial at Shwin & Shwin.
PS. Made also sewed her own really cute PMItZ dress too!
It's a great look!

Inspiration Kids 1: Nautical

June 29, 2011

Someone get one of these for me too!

Inspiration 26: White Party Dress

but with a dark leather belt instead of a satin ribbon.

Kids Bedroom Makeover 1


OMGoodness. This is so timely. I have been moving my girls to what used to be my upstairs craft room. My craft room will be what is now their bedroom. It's been beyond more work than you could imagine. It had to be done for so many reasons. Not only did I have to paint the upstairs and move their entire IVAR system and bunk beds but all the really heavy furniture that was in the craft room had to be moved down and taken to my mother's house by Brian and his dad (sofa, armchairs, 36" tv, TV stand, 8' sewing tables, desk, treadmill) that's a lot.

Now I'm in the process of figuring out how to configure their furniture in the room which if you've ever planned a room with furniture that was bought for another room, you know can be so tricky. So far I've only had to buy a few things. I'm very satisfied with the way I've taken their old furniture and made it fit with the new room. Everythings finding a place. 
 We're taking ALL the toys in the downstairs save one toybox in our bedroom and moving them upstairs. In our dining room is a GORM shelf like this one pictured at top that houses four big bins full of toys. I've never liked toys in the dining room but we live in such a small house it was our only option.

So now upstairs, the only place I have to put the GORMS are under the very low set windows (see above pic). The shelves are about 3' high and would block part of the windows. But if I cut them like in the top pic and add a seat cushion, I'd have double the shelves AND a place for their books that they can access AND quaint window seating.

I love when things like this happen;)

Inspiration 25: Bowties

Sometimes I wish Brian would wear bowties just so I could make a bunch for him to wear;)

Wedding 10: Cake Toppers

June 28, 2011

I guess I have weddings on the brain this morning. But I loved these silhouette cake toppers. You could even make your own! Especially if you had a silhouette machine and used heavy cardstock;)

Inspiration 24: Girls Sailing Shorts

Omgoodness! I really love these little girl shorts via JCrew kids
This would be like....the SIMPLEST pattern to make.
Source: jcrew.com via Alexa on Pinterest

Wedding 10: Enchanted Chiavari Covers

I'd love to make these chair cover for my wedding. Via Ariel Yve.

Seems simple enough. Just two pieces of sheer pink sewn together and slipped over the back with long lines of circle ruffles (which you can buy precut) knotted at the bottom of the sheer fabric and hanging down. 

But if you made your own circle ruffles you wouldn't have to hem the edges since they'd all be cut on the bias. You might need some no fray spray depending on the fabric but I think that would be enough. If you bought nylon chiffon you definitely wouldn't need to worry about fray.

Variation 2: Coffee Date Dress

Second picture down, could be a variation on coffee date dress? I love the stripes, yellow and white together. Makes me want to make another version! I have the perfect yellow flats to match;)

Accessorize 8

June 27, 2011

Heartbeat Necklace. A heartbeat to wear on your chest.
Source: etsy.com via Kathleen on Pinterest

Tutorials 41- Undies

Make your own undies. Via Come and See the Seitz.

Tutorials 40- Floor Rug

Making a floor cloth/"rug" out of a tablecloth! This might be also great for a porch deck!
Via Design Share.

Tutorials 39- Feather Skirt

Wildflowers and Whimsy offers a super fluffy and sweet feather boa skirt tutorial.

Inspiration Home 4: Buckets and Zip Ties

June 24, 2011

These are really expensive too but could so easily be replicated. Just drill small holes into the buckets and connect with zip ties.

Ideas 2

Neat trick! I always like short cuts.
Faux stitching: quilter's wheel dipped in acrylic paint.
I wonder how this would look on fabric.

Food 4

OMGoodness. I'd love to try this. It would be dangerous for a small kids party but maybe for older kids with a lot of adult supervision.

Ideas 1

These are actually pretty expensive but wouldn't it be a great and easy project? Just sew five thick pillows together with two long pieces of fabric. Would make for a neat little birthday gift. Would be even better if you embroidered the child's name at the top of the first pillow.
Source: gltc.co.uk via Amber on Pinterest

'Temporary' Decorating Guest Post

June 23, 2011

I'm guest posting on Stories of A to Z today! I talk about 'temporary' decorating and how to decorate a rented property with pics of my own home. Please join me!!!!

Book Review Girl's World

June 22, 2011

I just wanted to let you guys in on a great book for making girls dresses. Jennifer Paganelli's Girl World!


Jennifer is well known for her bright and bold designs of Sis Boom Fabric which has over eight lines with Freespirit and a line with Sunbrella. Now, in her debut book she shows you how to make twenty-one fabulously colorful sewing projects for little girls including seven dress patterns!

The dress patterns are so super cute. Eclectic and girly at once. The kind of dresses that make a girl feel like a princess or fairy but sensible enough to wear out.




Jennifer takes you step by step through the sewing process of each project. From materials to cutting to assembly. All the details are laid out in a great easy to follow format with simple diagrams that explained well how to put the pieces together. The dress patterns also seem simple enough with the skirt pieces consisting of rectangles so that really cuts down on confusion and great for beginners.
Some of my favorites from her accessory and home chapters include the poofie ruffled pillow, banner tableclothes with pompoms, faux flower headbands.

My four-year old Molly loved looking through the pages and acting as though the book were hers. It really is a feast for the eyes, just like her fabric line. I've seen some sewing books that look colorless so it's always refreshing to find one that is as interesting to flip through complimenting the projects they contain.


You can purchase Girl's World online from Jennifer's Sis Boom website or blog, at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel or your local independent bookseller.

Tamron AF 18-270mm Zoom Lens Review

June 20, 2011

For a long time I've been using the lens that came with my Canon DSLR along with a fixed 50mm f/1.8 and a 75-200mm telephoto lens. And that combination is great but it does require a lot of changing, not only of lenses but settings after you've changed lenses since the f/stops are different. It's okay but it is a lot of work.

I really wanted something that could do a lot of the same things in one lens. Enter the Tamron 18-270mm lens. It has the best of both worlds in terms of zoom beginning at 18mm (closer than my standard lens) and ending at 270mm (further than my telephoto lens). I can get very close (ie the top photo of a yucky cupcake the girls made was taken at only 2 feet above.)

And then here are some really fantastic examples of how extreme the 15x zoom lens is.
In comparison to my fixed 50mm f/1.8, the Tamron lens has an f/stop of 3.5 however with a zoom of such a wide range I can still achieve the blurred background effect of my f/1.8. If you're new to photography one of the great bonuses to having an f/stop around 2 is that you can get good perspective. That is, you subject is in focus and your background is not. The lower the f/stop the less distance you need between your subject and the background to achieve blurring. BUT, you can ALSO get that effect if you have a camera with a long zoom.
Just stand far enough away from your subject that you will be extending your zoom very far and you will get the same great background (or foreground) blur. I took this pic of Molly at around 15 feet away. I took the lower pic at about 5 feet away of Eloise who had been playing in the dirt and managed to get all the messy details on her face.

So really, this lens IS the best of all my lenses.
 
For an example of a night shot, I took this picture in VERY dark lighting (twilight), holding the lens in my hands, while keeping the camera as still as I could. One very important feature which helped to reduce blur at this low shutter speed was the Vibrator Compensation mode. With the VC (Vibrator Compensation) you can do handheld shots at as many as four shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible.
 
Another benefit from the VC (Vibrator Compensation) is when you are shooting from far away. When you have a heavy lens with a long zoom your photos would very often suffer from the movement in your hands especially when focusing on a subject a couple dozen feet away. But with VC you have far more image stabilization for sharper images. I took this pic of Molly jumping out of the baby pool at 35 feet away. Pretty impressive.
This lens retails for $650 compared to other similar brand name lenses which cost $2000+ it's a great deal! And the Tamron lens fits on both Canon and Nikon cameras.

I think that calls for a celebration! PS. Molly's birthday was yesterday;) Happy fourth!

So in my opinion this lens gets a thumbs up! Great in price, great in versatility and great in picture quality. Can't wait to show you all the more great photos I'll be taking with it:)


The Dreamy Diana Lens for Your DSLR

June 16, 2011


For those of you who like the look of the dreamy blurred diana lens but not the cost of film or processing time you might want to give the Diana Lens + Adapter a try!

It's a lovely plastic lens that transforms your beloved hunk of metal and glass into a digital toy camera. You can now get that lovable Lo-fi "technology" on your digi cam from Lomography's series of Diana plastic cameras. Dianas are known for their low saturation, soft surreal blurs, and unpredictable colors.

Simply attach the plastic lens and its adapter directly onto your SLR's body (Nikon or Canon) and shoot away. With one part Diana camera (old school lo-fi plastic) and one part modern DSLR you've got yourself one mighty fine recipe for unconventionally amazing photographs.

Now, I tried to be as hands off as I could in terms of digitally processing any of these images. I wanted you to see what these looked like straight out of the camera just the same way film would be. I did NOTHING with saturation or blurring or vingetting in Photoshop. That is all settings out of the camera.

There is a technique to using this lens. If you like the same leeky light, plasticky, vingettey photos that you get with a film diana you need to do a couple things which then produce great results.
First I created a splitzer. You can buy splitzers for this lens which block out some of the frame of the lens so that you get that cool vingetting effect. But I didn't have one on hand so I just made one of my own. It wasn't hard. I just took a used cardboard box and cut a hole just a little smaller than my lens. To figure out how small the hole needed to be I just used trial and error. I did make a slightly irregular hole since the photos are rectangle instead of square but you could take this as an opportunity to make a square so that your pictures are a square shape instead of rectangle. You'd just have to go back and crop out the extra black space on the edges when you put them on your computer.

Another great add-on would be the fisheye option. You can buy any add-on lens as long as you also buy the correct adapter to fit your camera.
You could also add colored cellophane to make the photo warmer or colder.
A few interesting notes. The first time I put this lens on it felt very loose and I read a lot of other people had the same issue. However, when I looked into it further it's just a matter of really clicking the lens in place. It's not terribly obvious but once it's on properly you shouldn't have any problem with the lens being loose.

Also, when you use this lens, obviously you don't have any control over f/stop. But you do have free range over ISO and shutter speed. So getting just the right light is not a big deal which actually is a plus in comparison to the original plastic film cameras. I will also say that the type of blur is slightly different from the plastic film camera version but as long as your ISO isn't too high it doesn't look grainy.

 


Professor Kobre's Light Scoop Review

June 15, 2011

Yesterday I introduced you to Katie Perkes and her incredible ebook The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer. So now, that you know all the ins and outs of your camera I wanted to introduce some really neat adds ons that will help you to take pictures like a pro!

Remember yesterday I mentioned how a lot of people use their built in flash indoors and how you don't need to do that? Well, I wasn't lying BUT there are some drawbacks to using no flash in low light. Now, don't get me wrong, I've seen people use their flash in perfectly fine lighting but I realize that there are some situations where not using a flash results in a very orangey, yellow picture. Now, I'd rather have that than a blown out over exposed face taken with a flash and try to clean the yellow out in Photoshop but that's just my preference. Some other people might like the crisper details of the scene. But I have a really GREAT secret. You can have both, a great crisp picture, no yellow and without the cost of an expensive speedlite.

I know a lot of you have heard of speedlites but can't afford to buy one. I got mine as a Valentine's Day gift but I know it costs close to $300 for a new brand name version. If the only reason you need a speedlite is to take indoor photos and avoid that head-on glare then take a look at the Light Scoop!
 
Now, let me preface this by saying that a speedlite will do about a million more things that a Light Scoop can't like adjust multiple angles of flash, take external flashes and adjust the brightness of your flash but honestly, a lot of those settings aren't necessary until you are a seasoned photographer in which case an expensive speedlite would be an appropriate purchase. For those of you who just want nice indoor shots, the Light Scoop is INVALUABLE! No lie. And at only $30, it's a heck of a lot less expensive than a speedlite.
Take a look at these two photos. Both were taken straight from my camera no digital clean up. The one on at top was taken with the built-in flash directed in front of the subject (Eloise), while the one below was taken with a Light Scoop. These were taken with a lot of natural light in the room but I have to tell you that you get the best before and after results when you use the Light Scoop indoors with artificial light. See here. See here. And here.
This is how it works....the Light Scoop attaches to your camera's hot shoe like any other external flash. Then when the picture is taken, the built-in flash is triggered and bounces off the mirror in the Light Scoop directing it up and away from your subject for a much more diffused, true-to-life lighting. I'm actually wondering why no one ever thought of this earlier. I'm ACTUALLY wondering why cameras aren't made with an adjustable flash standard but that's another story I guess.

Here's a video on how the Light Scoop works:
I bought mine at Photojojo. But I bet you're wondering "Will it work with my camera?" The Light Scoop will work with:
Canon 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, Rebel XTi, XSi, 400, 450, XT, XS, 350, 1000D
Fuji FinePix Pro
Nikon D40, D40x, D50, D60, D70, D70s, D80, D90, D100, D200, D300, D700
Olympus E420, E520, E3, E620
Pentax K10D, K100D, K20D, K200D
Sigma SD14

Sony cameras require a Sony Lightscoop, not a Universal model.
Sony a100, a200, a250, a300, a350, a330, a380, a500, a550, a700
It will not work with point and shoot cameras. Their flashes are not strong enough to bounce light onto the ceiling:(

Here's some more before and after shots I took with my camera. The one on the right was taken without the flash. The one on the left was taken with the flash pointed at the subject (Molly) and the one in the middle was taken with the Light Scoop.
One more thing, even though I OWN a speedlite I've found the light scoop to be far more practical. It doesn't require batteries and is light as a feather. I found that I was often leaving my speedlite at home because either I had forgot to charge the lithium batteries or it was just too bulky to tote around. Now, I leave the light scoop on my camera at all times and use it whenever the situation arises. Very convenient!
 

 
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