Five on Friday, March 24th

5 on Friday best of the week

Hi Friends! What sort of plans have you got for the weekend? Myself, I’m the type who delights in planning to have no plans, but I do have a couple of projects I’m hoping to finish. I’d also like to get a start on cleaning up the yard if the weather co-operates. We will see what happens!

I’m going to start this weeks Five on Friday with these amazing Mid-Century chairs from Marie at Frugalista. All of her pieces have an amazing style that I adore, and you really should take a look at these armchairs. Marie covered them in a gorgeous retro floral that works perfectly for her MCM armchairs. You can see it >here<.

Now what about some sweet floral bunny tea towels for Easter? With a ruffled hem and pom-pom tails they’re probably more decorative than useful, but they’re too pretty to dry dishes anyhow. Flamingo Toes has the tutorial >here<, and I bet you have a couple of floral fabric scraps in your stash that would be perfect!

Then there’s these painted wooden tulips! Perfect to add a pop of color to your Easter displays and they were super cheap to make too. You can find the details >here<.

If you’re more Industrial than MCM, then you really must check out this printer cart tutorial. And who says you have to make it a printer cart? That’s the beauty of DIY, making what you need for where you need it right? You can see it >here<.

And for my last share – check out this sweet bunny collage! I am loving these button collages. Perfect for any season and a great way to use up a button stash if you’ve got one. If not, check your craft section for bags of buttons sold by color. You can see it >here<.

Happy Friday and happy crafting!

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Easy Changes for Better Photos

Make these easy changes for better photos!

As a blogger, taking better photos is a skill I am constantly working on. If you’re like me and still working on those photography skills, there are a few simple things you can do in your environment to improve your photos.

Create a photo studio!

I get it, that sounds completely over the top pretentious, but bear with me. Think about the last time you had professional photos taken. There were lights, there was a back drop and there were props and the pictures were great. Now if I can make all of that happen in my tiny little house most likely anyone can.

Designate a space

The first step is to set aside a space for taking photos. This is so important for bloggers because we are working in our homes where daily life continues to happen. Who wants to scramble around hiding that load of laundry waiting to be folded or the dishes you haven’t yet got to so you can take that picture you need for your next post?

This was one of the biggest driving forces behind my closet to craft space makeover, and it has been awesome to have an area that is ‘photo shoot’ ready. Life happens, and it happens a lot at my house so having this one space for taking pictures removes tons of frustration from my blogging life.

Improve your lighting

This is probably one of the biggest things you can do to improve your photos – add more lighting.

If I lived in the US this would be my first choice for lighting (affiliate link), but this same item is nearly 3 times as much in Canada.

Flood light with LED bulb equivalent to 75w

So I did the next best thing with two of these clamp on lights*. and LED bulbs equal to 75 watt flood lights. (*affiliate link)

Here are a series of photos that clearly show the difference these two floodlights make.

Notice that the photos with flash are never as nice as the ones without? And that is during the day! Because I work during the day, I take most pictures for my blog at night and without the extra lighting they always have a yellow cast to them.

Get some Props!

My house is a work in progress, so a lot of my rooms have horrible flooring or worse, painted plywood. I have two placemats that simulate the look of wood flooring. I also have a panel that looks like tile for ‘kitchen’ shots. The boxwood ‘hedge’ in the background is plastic greenery tiles that I picked up at the dollar store.

One last thing…

Probably the number one thing you can do to improve your photos is get a tripod. I am assuming you already have a decent camera, but even if you’re still using your phone for pictures, get a tripod. I found the one I use at a thrift store but I’m sure there are newer ones with more bells and whistles.

If you are looking for more photography tips, consider following me on Pinterest where I pin the very best I find on my Images and Graphics board. Bloggers are usually helpful people, and a lot of them have published tools, tips and hints on this very topic so you can be sure I’ll have more to pin.

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5 on Friday, Best of the Week

5 on Friday best of the week

It’s Friday! Every week I come across awesome DIY’s and crafts, this week I’m sharing my favorites of the week.

Floating shelves that are secret drawers!

My house is tiny so I’ve got shelves in nearly every room so we have places to put our stuff. How handy would it be to have drawers in all of them? Sure it’s a shallow drawer but it would still be useful – gift cards, important files, kids artwork (I had boys, they each gave me one single piece of artwork in all of their school years), jewelry, the list is endless. Not Just a Housewife has a full DIY on her Reclaimed Wood Floating Shelves – with secret drawers.

Tin Can Fairy Houses

Fairy houses have been all the rage in garden centers for a few years now, with the accessories getting more and more elaborate. So seeing two cute little fairy houses that looked as if they were straight from a ‘Borrowers’ book is cool. The little houses are darling too. Dazzled While Frazzled has a tutorial on how to turn tin cans into fairy garden houses here.

Decorative Ribbon Easter Egg

Usually instructions to make ribbon flowers involve some form of tedious hand-sewing but not this tutorial! Not a single sewing needle in sight and still there are pretty ribbon flowers to make. Purple Hues and Me has the tutorial for you – Decorative Ribbon Easter Egg DIY.

Kitty Rice Heating Pack

I have a Magic Bag and that thing is amazing for stiff necks, back aches and cold feet, but after a few years it’s looking pretty disgusting! A Beautiful Mess has a tutorial so you make a Kitty shaped one! For the full DIY click here.

DIY MCM Plant Stands – with Printables!

This was my absolute favorite of the week. I am a huge MCM geek and so are Angie and Joe of Ambient Wares. Joe created two amazing Atomic Patterns that you can download, but he didn’t stop there. He also made two plant stands in the classic boomerang shape and then, because that wasn’t enough awesome, he made hairpin legs for them out of hangers! Clearly if you love MCM you must head over to Ambient Wares and check out their darling plant stands for yourself!

For more great craft and garden DIY’s check my Pinterest boards, Facebook, or now – Twitter!

Happy Friday – make it a great one!