Kindness Is...

Today I had a little time to play so I decided to play along with Little Tangles challenge. Make sure you go check out all the creativity over there! The only requirement is that it not be an A2 sized card. I had fun playing with the new We R Memory Keepers paper I picked up at the LSS. I love it when I can use my new stuff right away (I don't feel so guilty for buying more stuff then). Here's what I came up with...

Kindness Is

I used two of my favorite techniques on this card. Masking and fussy cutting. Using my spellbinders I cut out a shape with typing paper and used my momento ink and a sponge applicator I applied my ink then I removed my mask and stamped my butterflies. I then stamped my butterflies again and fussy cut the yellow butterfly. This card measures 5.5x5.5.

I'll be back with some scrapbook pages tomorrow so make sure you check back.


DIY Light Studio

Hi all! I'm back today after almost 2 weeks of not having home internet with a project I have been dieing to share with you. Do you ever feel like there is one thing that is holding you back in your crafting?

 Mine is that I don't ever feel like the photos of my projects do them justice. Because of this I have spent countless hours doing research on product and jewelry photography and asking some of my scrappy friends/crushes their secrets. Take a peek at one of my biggest photo quality crushes Lea Lawson over at Lea's Cupcakes & Sunshine. Not only are her cards amazing but the photos of them are too!

My first step was investing in a new lens for my camera. Previously I took all my photos with an 18-55mm lens on my Nikon D70. My new lens is a 40mm micro lens by Nikon. The second step I took was improving my lighting situation. Almost every blog/website I visited on this topic said LIGHTING was the key to solving all of my problems.

This solution involved a trip to the hardware and office supply store for some cheap lights, pvc piping and foam core board. Because I'm a tightwad I wanted to do this on my own and on a budget. So for about $55 this is what I came up with.

I used the pvc ($1.99 for a 10 ft section) to make a frame to clip my cheap lights (about $6 each) onto and put Ott-lite brand daylight bulbs (about $6 each) into my cheap lights. My box is made out of foam core board with squares cut out of the sides and top to let the light through and the entire box is covered in muslin fabric to diffuse the light. 

Here is my old set up on my sun porch

In my old set up I would always have to to take my pictures at a certain time of day so my lighting would be just right and I was still never happy with them. The details of the cards were always lost. Gems looked like studs and the colors weren't quite the same. In my new light studio I can take pictures any time of day. If you noticed my new set up is also in my basement (no windows). I was a little leary about this at first but I couldn't be happier with the difference in my pictures.

Here are some photos of a card taken in the old set up and then one in the new light studio.

Old sun porch set up
New light studio
Do you see the detail and color difference? I think I'm most amazed at the color. Now I know I have a lot of practice to do on my photos but at least now I know I'm moving in the right direction.
Here is one more picture to show you the diffence in the details. Look at the gems on this card.

Kindness mini
One other tip that I have not taken advantage of yet because I can't find my equipment is to use a tripod.

I hope this helps some of you that struggle with some of the same issues that I do. I'd love your feed back and tips if you have any to share with everyone. Thanks for looking today!


Happy St. Patty's Day

May the luck of the Irish be with you all this weekend whether you celebrate or not. I am both Irish and German. I often tell my husband he got the best of both world because the Irish are fun spirited and the German are stubborn. Which really just makes me hard headed some times, lol.

Here is a fun card I created in the spirit of the season :) With a little piece of trivia attached. The shamrocks four leaves stand for something. The first leaf is for The Father, the second The Son, the third the Holy Spirit and if a fourth is found it stands for God's Grace.

For this fun card I tried to stay on the CAS side. For those of you who know me this is really hard. I cut my clovers on my CAMEO, ran my white background through a cuttle bug folder and glittered up my clovers with my all time favorite Elizabeth Craft glitters. My wood veneer is from the $1.99 section at Archiver's and I added a gem because I couldn't make a card without some bling on it.

So to wrap this up, I hope you all have a fabulous and blessed weekend and be safe how ever you choose to celebrate.


Changing things up a bit

Yep. I decided it was time for a change up, I think maybe its the cabin fever setting in. I don't know about you but I am SO ready for spring and all of this cold weather and snow to go away.

I did a ton of research before this change up to decide what it is that I really wanted my blog to look like when I was all finished. I found that I am attracted to the less is more look. If any of you know me this is super surprising because as much as I really like the CAS look, I'm not very good at it. I just don't know when to stop sometimes....I love color, I love patterns, I love elements and bling. But I took some advise from a blog crush of mine (Emily Branch), some times less is more. LET YOUR ART SHINE.

Now I stumbled on Emily's blog, Emily Branch Designs, just recently and she has a new some FABULOUS advise and a great Top 10 series that I highly recommend that you read whether you are new to blogging or not.

In my research I also found that I didn't want to spend a ton of money because I'm a cheapskate and this is a hobby for me. I'd rather spend my money on product to play with. I'm pretty savvy when it comes down to it I found out. I spent $0/zip/zilch/nothing/nada on this remodel. With a little help from google and my super nice friend Allie Gower over at Larkspurs on Saturday. I was able to figure it all out. Now it did however take me some time, about 12 hours total. I used Photoshop to create all of my graphics.

Here are some of the resources I used when I made my new clickable header:
Vero's View: clickable header tutorial
Image Maps: www.image-maps.com
I had to remove the header that blogger has in the templates which requires editing the html. It really not that scary. I plan to learn more.
Here is the tutorial I found on google that worked for this:

I hope you can all use some of this info and you take the time to visit Emily and Allie's blog they are both great artist!