goodbye 2010, hello 2011.

as 2010 nears to a close, i've started thinking about this past year and how it has changed me. as much as i wish i had the power to change so many things that have taken place - those events have ultimately made me a different person and altered my path in life significantly. and it was not all bad this year - there were many wonderful things that happened as well! let's just say i'm ready to get 2010 behind me and start a new year.

so what do i have planned for this next year? i've written down a few things that i'd like to take charge of. because if i've learned anything this year, it's that life is fragile and you don't know what will happen tomorrow.

my health. it's not that i eat junk food all the time or don't get any exercise... but i could stand to do more than i do right now, and that will be a priority starting now.

my family. is there much to say here other than i need to spend more time with them?

my organizational skills. those need some help. i need to put on my big girl pants and purge the stuff that i really don't need and organize what i do.

my sanity. i've been feeling the urge to paint (not the walls) and i've got a few ideas in mind with where to start. art was always an outlet for me and even though it's now my job to be creative, i've still got to do my own thing every once in a while.

my house. it needs some tlc. there are still projects unfinished that are driving me crazy and i'd like to get some work done on it this year. we're not going to live there forever, and i would prefer not to wait until selling time to fix it up a little.

my blog. i am really going to try and post more content: more photography and design stuff. definitely more house updates, diys and tutorials.

what do you want to do in 2011?


diy photo calendar.

now that christmas is over, i figured i would go ahead and post a little tutorial on these fun little calendars. this idea branched from wanting to share my photography with my family, friends and coworkers. i wanted to give something useful, but pretty to look at.

the idea of a calendar had already crossed my mind when i found this martha calendar posted on another blog. i figured i could substitute the frame with a wooden block and go from there.

so, this isn't so much original, as it is borrowed and improvised. and my directions are a little vague, but it's not rocket science! and you could use whatever photo you'd like, some pretty patterned paper, cool fabric or even glue something 3d to the top.

acrylic gloss medium, metallic acrylic paint, wooden blocks (cut to 4x6), and photos, not pictured (4x6)

my father-in-law was kind enough to cut these blocks for me out of scrap wood. he also sanded everything down for me. if you own tools, this would be easy for you to do at home or the guys at the hardware store could probably cut the wood down for a price. i painted the edges and some of the top in case the photo didn't quite make it to the edge. if i had these to do over again, i would have probably stained the edges dark for a different look.

once the paint dried, i brushed acrylic medium over the top of the block, being careful not to get any on the painted sides. i handled my photos by their edges and carefully placed them on top of the glue. adjust the photo to get it in the right spot and then turn it over on top of a clean piece of paper and stack with books until dry (a few hours).

you may wonder why i didn't use mod podge... i don't have very good luck with that product, so i didn't even try it for this project. basically, i can never get it to not bubble up on me. however, acrylic medium dries clear and has an incredibly strong bond. it never once produced bubbles while i was adhering my photos, and i was very happy with the end result. feel free to use whichever adhesive you would like for this project though.

very small cup hooks and picture hangers

after your photo is glued down, now the cup hooks and hanger can be added on (technically this can be done before the glue... it's your call really).

i found the cup hooks at home depot. they were the smallest i could find anywhere, and were only sold in packages of 4. very disappointing when you need 40. basically, i measured half an inch in on the bottom edge and pushed a dent into the wood with a pen. this gave me a guide to screw the hooks into.

the picture hangers are from walmart and are sold in packs of 5. these are the type that you hammer directly into the wood. you could also glue ribbon to the back, or route out some of the wood for a more flush look. to attach these, i measured in from the sides to the middle and marked the center. i then placed the hanger over that center dot and pushed down (i kept my ruler straight across so the hanger wouldn't be lopsided) to mark my spot and then hammered them into place.

for the actual calendar, i created my own in indesign, printed them onto cardstock and had them trimmed by a friend with an industrial cutter. i used my small hole punch to create holes half an inch from the edge to match my hooks. it's not shown here, but i actually made a template to place over my calendar pages so that i would know exactly where to punch. i will try to upload/link to the calendar template so that you don't have to figure that out on your own! i just have to find it on my old computer first...

then just place the pages on the hooks, hang on your wall and enjoy... or give it to a friend! these calendars were what was packaged in this post if you need some wrapping ideas. these would be great new years gifts or just something thoughtful for a friend.

i received lots of positive feedback on the calendars i gave to my family, friends and coworkers, and i guess next year i'll need to print out a 2012 calendar for those that i've given these to! i was a little apprehensive to be giving handmade gifts to so many people, but everyone seemed to enjoy and appreciate the work that went into them.


thursday link love.

i'm having a hard time believing that christmas is only a few days away. it will probably sink in once the baking madness starts tomorrow morning (i volunteered to make coconut cream pie - my favorite! also my first attempt...)

these last few evenings have been spent finishing up a few last minute small diy gifts and cleaning the house. i'm happy that i'll get to spend some time with my family. after all the things that have happened this year (none that i've shared here, i don't think), i feel extremely lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life - i just wish i could spend more time with them.

let's get on with the links...

tracey mason's paper roses are beautiful, and she shared a video on how to make them!

these water balloon luminaries are smart and inexpensive to make. i could see these used for decorations at a wedding or party... i just wonder how long they would hold up? from wisdom of the moon.

felted ball garland tutorial on say yes to hoboken. these are so cute! i should really make a few colorful ones for future parties and showers! thanks grosgrain for the tutorial (who also posted a fabulous embellish knit month you should check out).

i usually make these awesome cookies every year around christmas, but i haven't had a chance to this year. kevin & amanda's version is a little more time intensive. i usually just buy the mini peanut butter ritz crackers that are already assembled!

cute reindeer cutout and tutorial on eat drink chic. these would make great gift tags or ornaments!

diy snowglobes? awesome. design mom used her kiddo's photos, but this would be cool with pretty paper as well.

i LOVED di overton's sneak peek over on design*sponge. i would love to pull off the light colored walls with pops of subtle hues... but it's just not how i decorate. bright colored walls are my thing, and i've come to terms with it.

these paper snowflakes are amazing. that's all. via just something i made.


friday link love.

eeep! only one week left, my friends. i am happy that i won't be venturing out into the shopping world this weekend, because i can imagine that it will be scary out there.

so, how about some links?

i love this idea for a handmade gift ornament exchange between friends from linwood avenue. we do a little chinese christmas throwdown, but this would be super fun too. new ornaments every year? yes, please.

dying over this home transformation posted on design*sponge. it doesn't even look like the same house!

this hand-painted (chalkboard!) christmas tree over at the city cradle is a clever idea. want to redecorate your tree every day? no problem! this would be perfect for those with small spaces and small children to entertain...

there are some cute freebie gift tags over on eat drink chic.

also, this is a really cool tutorial for those of you with a camera (which should be everyone!) and a christmas tree with lights (don't ask). i tried it with a point and shoot last week and it worked perfectly.

have a great weekend!!!

flowers and packages.

just a few images from right before our girly party last night. i made quiche, and it was wonderful. i always swear that i am going to take photos of it before it gets devoured, but that never happens. i'm always in such a rush to get it to the party while it's still hot! i love our dinner potlucks... so much good food to eat! i always leave very satisfied, but feeling that i must have gained 10 pounds over the course of the evening.

these little flowers i made make great gift toppers. and they have an alligator clip on the back so you can wear it pretty much anywhere! i would share a tutorial, but there are already so many out there, i don't know that it would do any good. these are super easy and fast to make though.

the gifts i needed to wrap were a little oddly shaped, but the kraft paper was perfect. and i didn't have time to make tags, so i pulled out my alphabet stamps, and that did the trick. i will have to remember this in the future, i can't believe how cute it turned out.

i really wish now that i had wrapped all our christmas presents like this. so simple, but they turned out so perfect. it's trying to snow here, but not succeeding very well. as beautiful as the snow is, i'd rather it not ruin my travel plans for the weekend.



i had such grand plans. diy gifts, ornaments and gift toppers. pretty things, made by me. unfortunately, i only got around to a few diy gifts and no gift toppers. mass-produced wrapping all the way, baby.

anyway, i thought i would post some fun diy ornaments i've found recently to get your gears turning. you could always throw a few together this weekend or keep them in the back of your mind until next year.

these would be cute to print onto fabric and stuff!

there's always next year, right? i should probably make these now to get ahead of the game. i'll try to share my diy gift here pretty soon. even though it will probably be too late for christmas, it would still make a great new year's gift :)


friday link love.

i don't think i'm the only one ready to head home for the weekend. it's been a long week - with everyone trying to wrap up projects before christmas!

i also received my silhouette machine today. wasn't sure when it would make it since i didn't receive any notification that it had shipped... but oh well. i'm glad it made it safely and i can't wait to play!!

now for the links...

i love this roundup of crate photos over at decor8. i could see this trend staying around for awhile, but i certainly wouldn't spend major bucks on this look. i scored a few fruit crates for free on freecycle, and they just need a little love (and cleaning!)

maggie makes has a great tutorial on making your own molded package toppers. these would be beautiful ornaments or just everyday artwork too!

these hand sanitizer holders seem really handy (and cute!) visit a lemon squeezy home for the tutorial.

design mom posted a great tutorial on making bleached out tees. these would be perfect, inexpensive gifts for the kiddos in your life.

these painted pillows are really beautiful... i could see these being a pretty simple diy. found on hindsvik.

i guess that's it folks. have a wonderful weekend!!!


friday links & update.

where has the week gone? it felt extremely long, but went by rather quickly. i also can't believe it's already december. luckily, we have most of our holiday shopping done (ahhh, and spent too much money last week!), but i still need to do some wrapping and maybe some decorating. i'm almost embarrassed to post a photo of our 'tree'... i just can't bear to lug out the big one and rearrange our furniture. it's okay since we don't really entertain, right?

in other exciting news, i took advantage of a special earlier this week and bought a silhouette machine!!! i am so freaking excited for it to arrive so i can start playing with it. i already have a few projects in mind...

anyway, let's get to the links...

love these chairs posted by little green notebook. i have some extra chairs that were hand-me-downs, and have highly considered plastering paper or fabric all over them.

as much as i love painted furniture, seeing a dresser makeover like this makes me remember just how much i love the texture of stained wood. props to the painted hive for keeping it natural!

this ribbon stamped with an eraser stamp would be perfect to wrap around my gifts this year! i guess i'll have to make some for myself! via creature comforts.

welcome to the goodlife shares basic tailoring tips to make your clothes work better for you.

these paper stars would make great (cheap!) ornaments for your tree. visit annekata for the tutorial.

i guess that's it for the week... have a good weekend!


{wednesday} link love.

since i doubt (hope) i won't be on the computer much the rest of this week, i thought i'd pull together a short link love today.

these paint by numbers coasters on d*s are cute. i really need to chop up our branches and make something!!

i'm sure this will be making the blog rounds, but this fence bench on the brick house is pretty sweet. gorgeous and just about free.

this decorated chalkboard is super cute and would make a great gift. and, i didn't know sharpie made paint pens! i will be on the lookout. from creature comforts.

wristlet key fob diy over at prudent baby. another cute (and cheap) gift.

these newspaper ornaments are really nice looking and would be easy for kiddos to make. via life in the fun lane.

diy monogram mugs are another inexpensive gift option. i've seen similar initial mugs for $10 or more, so why not make your own? thanks design mom!

i guess that's it, friends. i look forward to eating lots of food and being lazy over the next few days. are you taking part in black friday? we've gone to a few stores super early a few years in a row, but i don't know if i can do it again this year. i'm hoping to take advantage of the internet instead.


headboard is finished!

after waiting what seemed like forever to find a great (+cheap) headboard, i didn't wait long to fix it up to my liking. d and i both wanted to keep the gold flourish at the top, but i wasn't sure how to tape it off since i had decided to spray paint the headboard.

so, with my vast knowledge (haha) of paint, i figured i could use some type of oil to act as a mask/barrier. i figured it couldn't hurt, and if we didn't like the results, i would just paint over the swirl at the top. so i brushed some vegetable oil onto the gold swirly and started spraying.

after several light coats and some drying time, i wiped the paint off of the filigree. it didn't block the paint completely, but we both LOVE how it turned out. one word of caution though: if you do attempt to block the paint this way, make sure you do a good job of rubbing all the extra paint/oil off. i got most of it, but a few light smudges on our pillowcases prove i wasn't thorough enough. i'll probably put a clear coat over the top when it's dried out a little more.


friday link love.

we are getting new carpet in our offices at work today, woohoo! i've only worked here (nearly) 3 years, and the carpet and walls have always made me cringe. well, they let us paint, and i am super excited to get the new carpet in. it's going to be like we moved into a completely different office space.

can you believe thanksgiving is next week? it's too soon. where did the year go? and do i have to get the tree out? i've highly considered cutting a tree shape out of pretty paper and taping it to the wall. no, seriously.

i've got to work on our headboard this weekend. with the sun setting about the time i get home, i have no daylight hours during the week to sand and paint. bummer.

this puffy bloom tutorial on no big dill is another take on fabric flowers. so different and so cute for little girls. maybe i can get myself in gear to make a few.

great article on the mansurovs discussing equivalent focal length and field of view. they also did a comparison between the 35mm f/1.8G(which i have) and the 50mm f/1.4G. definitely helped me feel better about my lens purchase.

both of these before and afters on d*s this week were amazing. putting a dresser up on legs and that adorable type tray makeover? love.

this crayon apron would be a cute gift for little ones this year. tutorial on prudent baby.

lovely leather cuff tutorial on made by me. shared with you. reminds me of a sexy red bracelet miranda on satc wore...

paper twine flower tutorial on no big dill. these would be pretty bunched together on top of a gift or tied around a bag...

i love the quote from bazaar of serendipity this week: "my little dog, a heartbeat at my feet." (wharton) such a simple line of text to describe something so meaningful in my life.



one of my favorite images from the party i shot last weekend.
cupcakes and party hats, what's not to love?


my diy camera bag.

when i went to amarillo recently, i searched for a bag that would hold my tenba insert. i actually had a few at home that worked, but they looked more like computer bags than purses, which is not what i wanted. also, since i'm a cheapskate, i didn't want to spend much. like... less than $30.

luckily, at our last stop (kohl's), i found this cute, shiny red bag that looked to be big enough (i carried a small tape measure just to be sure). it zips down the middle, stands up on it's own and has an opening on either side (so it's more like 3 sections instead of 1) with zipped and open pockets inside those. i think it's supposed to work like a computer bag, but it looks nice and feels sturdy. and more importantly... it keeps my camera gear out of sight. oh, and it was $20. so, total i spend $40 on my camera bag instead of $90+.

so... how much stuff does it hold? i used it this weekend, and i carried with me:
nikon d60 + kit lens attached
telephoto zoom (70-300mm)
prime lens (33mm)
fisheye lens
sb400 speedlight and diffuser
a few memory cards

+ inside the bag
car keys
cell phone

and, i still had some extra space. i'm telling you, this thing is pretty big. but, if you're only taking the camera and one extra lens, there's plenty of space for a bottle of water or something. and the great thing? i can just take out the insert when i'm ready for a new bag or i've worn this one out.



i feel like i actually accomplished a few things this weekend! we put a heavier comforter on our bed this weekend. i've had this green one on our guest bed forever, but thought it would be perfect in our new gray room. and one of my finds this weekend? that retro pillowcase. i bought it thinking i would just use it for the fabric, but i stuck it on a pillow and i think it's going to stay there for a while...

and what else did i find? a headboard! the acb was having a 1/2 off sale on saturday and i was lucky enough to find 3 queen size headboards to choose from (this never happens!) it was marked $10.91 down from $19.91... so, yep, i got it for $5 with the sale. it's missing something on the posts... looks like there was brass that broke off... but i'll figure something out. my thought right now is to paint it matte black (should i leave the swirly thing gold?) and i've also considered painting some sort of type or graphic over the black... and yes, our garage looks awful, please don't judge.


friday link love.

it's getting cold, my friends. and last night i woke up thinking our house was going to blow down... oh well, i guess the semi-warm weather couldn't last forever!

i've got some fun stuff going on for this weekend. i'll be taking photos for a little boy's birthday party (dragon themed) and hopefully getting some crafty stuff done as well.

oh, and i did try out my new flash a few times this week, and all i can say is wow! it helped me take the most color accurate photos of our bedroom ever. i have a feeling this will always be with me in my camera bag.

here are some links from my week:

my friend katie has a new website, blog and etsy shop! congrats katie, everything looks amazing (as usual...)

pretty rose wreath from the pretty poppy. i need to decide what kind of wreath i want this year and make it! this is beautiful though, and would be great for all year.

this diy painting on ceramic is beautiful and would make a great personalized gift. i've actually seen a few other variations of it, but ashley ann's turned out just perfect!

this casserole dish carrier tutorial is really smart. would definitely come in handy the few times a year i do take food somewhere outside my home! from little birdie secrets.

i've been looking for an inexpensive way to build an outdoor table rather than buying a cheap, ugly one or spending tons of cash on something prettier... this pallet table from sewing in no mans land could be finished so many ways and done very inexpensively (aka free) depending on what you already have on hand.

another pretty felt flower tutorial, this one from lorajean's magazine. i would skip the glitter and make a bunch in pretty colors!

these apple rolls sound really good! i don't think d would eat them though, do i'll have to save that for a get-together... from little birdie secrets.

brown paper bag popcorn from our best bites. cheaper and way more healthy than the store-bought stuff. and yes, you microwave it!

anthro knock off belt tutorial on a lemon squeezy home. there are so many cute belt tutorials lately, but this one looks easy - basically an upgrade on an existing skinny belt.

grosgrain has been posting cute cardigan tutorials all month, but i think this one is my favorite. i've got a stack of sweaters that were headed for the thrift store, but i think i'll try to make them into cardigans instead.

images 1/2/3


mellow yellow.

i wasn't sure what to think of this color combination when the order first came in. i'm cool with yellow and gray - it's the light blue that threw me off.

but as i started cutting ribbon and paper for the cover, the more i knew this was a winning combination. i absolutely adore how this book turned out, and i hope the couple does too. i would love to see the photos from this wedding and how these colors were incorporated.

i feel like my composition in my photographs is getting better... but at the same time it seems like my technical skills are getting worse (how does that happen?). i can usually fix/adjust most of my mistakes in photoshop... but the point is to not have to do that. but, as with most of life, you take one step forward and two (or more) steps back. i understand i need to be patient and practice more.


friday link love.

oh, weekend... how i am looking forward to you. this week has been an odd one. but with all the things going on that i want/do gripe about, i try to remind myself of all the other things in life that i am thankful and grateful for. so with that...

i am looking forward to
learning to use my new flash
finding the perfect bag for my new photo insert
spending time with family
helping out a friend

here are some links from my week:

a welcome reminder to pick up some spaghetti squash from hot and healthy mom. no need to tell my husband.

this diy fabric ball would make cute, fluffy ornaments for your tree. i would imagine it would also be a cool wreath... found on fresh crush.

crochet pattern roundup over at luvinthemommyhood. not that i can crochet. a girl can dream, right?

really smart portfolio book. found on design work life.

these buckeyes sound delish. a homemade version of the reeses. from smitten kitchen.

this falls under the "why didn't i think of that?" category. and while i have made baby books for a few friends, none have been quite as cool. you can win one at prudent baby.

loving these pasta skeletons! from the coterie blog.

great tutorial on prudent baby on how to sew with bias tape.

leather bow tutorial on made by me. shared with you. these would be great gifts!

this ruffle scarf is really cute! will have to make one someday... found on living with punks.

photo credits 1/2/3



aaahhh, so excited! new photography stuff! i've really been wanting an external flash to use on my camera for a while and couldn't decide between this SB400 or a lightscoop... and i really felt like the flash would do more for me long-term. it's gotten great reviews, and i can't wait to try it out. it showed up yesterday, and i still need to get some batteries for it... technically it's my christmas gift, but d is generous enough to let me play with it now.

for those wondering why i would buy another flash when i have one built-in... well, this one tilts and is a lot more powerful. basically, i can bounce the light off of the ceiling or a wall to create more light without giving my subjects a pale, deer/headlights look. and, i pretty much never use the built-in flash unless i have to because of the reasons above. that doesn't mean i like jacking up my iso and praying nobody moves. this will help me get better photo indoors with low-light situations...


friday link love.

do you ever start off your week thinking that the weekend will never get here? that was my monday (and tuesday). but now friday is here! i'm feeling pretty motivated to get a few things done around the house this weekend... the yard really needs some attention!

anyway, happy friday! here are some links from my week:

i'm normally a trial and error type gal when hanging up stuff on my walls, but this is a smart alternative for those that are picky about nail holes. found on the little green notebook.

this chili and cornbread in a jar idea (on giverslog) sounds perfect for a fall get together. my husband would probably disagree, though. while he likes both, he doesn't want to eat them together...

cute inter-changeable bows for your shoes on a lemon squeezy home. perfect for a cheap pair of flats!

great photoshop template download on shutter sisters to create your own photo calendar. i have been brainstorming a diy calendar to give out as christmas gifts... should i just take the easy way out?

this spiced applesauce cake sounds yummy. thanks smitten kitchen!

design*sponge is hosting a create your own alphabet contest with quite a substantial prize.

cute cardigan refashion on ruffles and stuff. you can never have too many cardigans...

loving anna's new black wall on door sixteen. d lets me do some crazy things in our house, but i doubt he would okay a black wall!

images 1/2/3


diy camera bag?

remember when i was lusting after a new camera bag? well, i still hadn't purchased one, even though it was supposed to be my birthday present. i just couldn't make myself spend that much!

but, i bought some new equipment yesterday and decided it was time to figure out the bag situation. i came so close to getting the jo tote in scarlet... but when i saw how much shipping was and the fact that i was about to spend over $90 on a bag... i just couldn't do it. i did a search on 'diy camera bag' and several photographers mentioned this little ditty:

the tenba pro digital photo insert. $20 + free shipping? sold. it has great reviews, and i'm positive i can find a sturdy bag to use this in. and the freedom of being able to switch it out depending on my outfit/needs? that's awesome too.

so, i ordered it this morning. i'll update when it gets in and i find a bag for it. i'm so excited that i'll be carrying around something other than my plain black bag that screams CAMERA!


diy gift list | jewelry & accessories.

okay, now this is the list i'll be pulling from to make gifts for all the girls in my life! i've listed several flower tutorials here - i love to put pinbacks or alligator clips on these so they can be worn however the recipient desires.

leather chain necklace | cumbersome
you could use an old leather jacket to make tons of these!

one of many, but definitely a favorite!

this would be awesome for a young girl who's into science or a friend who likes quirky jewelry


on my mind:

rugs! we are in the market for a new one in our living room, and i'm having a tough time deciding what i want. i don't know if it's the dogs constantly playing on top of it, or if we just bought a dud from the start, but our brown shaggy rug is starting to look pretty bad.

here are a few i found on overstock that i really love. all are really reasonable, and shipping is under $3! several of these are also wool...

our current rug is a brown shag. i'm half tempted to just replace it with a solid brown again since we know it will look good... but i'm just not sure. rugs are a great way to add a splash of color and pattern into a room, but maybe we have too much color right now? maybe that's why the brown works so well - it grounds it all together. although i think a dark grey would probably have a similar effect.


friday link love.

i can't believe how quickly time flies by. the older i get, the faster it goes!

i guess that's what happens...

this kitchen before and after is gorgeous! i can't believe it's the same space. from urban grace interiors.

these framed dessert trays are really cute. i would probably add some handles at the top to make them more portable... found on ruffled.

these have made the rounds, but i really love the dexter posters designed by ty mattson. my favorite tv show + awesome design = one happy graphic designer. d*s also announced he'll be getting a walk-on part in the next season.

madebygirl posts a great list of resources for (affordable) cow hide rugs. lillie has just about destroyed our shag rug in the living room, and i've really considered replacing it with something like this. would the dogs consider it just one big rawhide though?

this fold up and snap bib tutorial on made by rae looks like it would be useful (to those with kids, you know). i'll be keeping this in mind if i ever get my sewing machine dusted off...

this pipe and plywood shelf is genius. another idea to file away... found on manhattan nest.

i guess that's all... have a wonderful weekend!


photos, post processing and actions: less is more?

i was taking photos of a project when the dogs distracted me. how could you not want to photograph this face? i've learned, if you ever want a photo of scottie, just open up the blinds so he can look outside. just hope nothing walks by... otherwise he'll start barking his pretty little face off.

i wanted to talk some about post-processing images and actions. i have very mixed feelings about this... on one hand, i think they can be useful. on the other, i think they can get ridiculous and way over done. and (don't shoot me) i think they are way over-used in the photography world.

the example above is my photo, straight out of the camera. i take photos in raw so that i can adjust the white balance and fill light as much as possible.

this next photo is after i've 'processed' it. basically, i took some of the yellow out of the image and adjusted the exposure. while i really liked the colors in the raw image, i wanted to adjust it so that the colors looked normal. the whites look white, and the wall is much closer to its actual color.

and this one is an action i run on it. specifically coffeeshop buttercream from the coffeshop blog. it's a beautiful action, and would work well in any number of applications.

this is a cross process action, which i can't take credit for either. it was already loaded on my computer, and i believe miss brandi is responsible for it. this is probably the one i've used the most just because i love the colorful/retro effect.

what are your thoughts? on actions or post-processing?
i certainly believe in editing a selection of my photos before posting or printing them... rarely do i take a photo that i believe is perfect straight out of the camera. but - what about actions? i think there is a place for them, but i don't use them on every photo. and i would certainly rather spend my time learning how to take better photos than learning how to fix them. But, they are so much fun to play with and i can definitely see using them to make some artwork for our home!


diy gift list | upcycling

last year, i remember the rush to finish our christmas shopping. it wasn't much, but there was always that nagging feeling that we had forgotten something. or someone. i swore that i would spend some time next year making some of my gifts. i figured that now would probably be a good time to start... so i'm going to do several roundups of tutorials/diys that i've found that might inspire you to make some of your own gifts this year! i'll be splitting these up into different sections, and adding to them if i find more fun stuff.

i thought i would start out with an upcycling list. i know there's only a certain group of folks this will probably be okay with, but there are some fun projects out there... and a few things i'd really like to make for myself!

(these would also make super cute magnets!)

(these too would make super cute magnets!)

(not really a tutorial, but great ideas on using these to personalize a gift!)

if you find others worthy, feel free to email me or add them in the comments. i really just pulled stuff that i think is appropriate for gift-giving.


friday link love.

another week gone by? of course, and very quickly. which i guess is okay. i've felt like crap pretty much this entire week, and blame the changing seasons. enjoying wearing layers? yes. enjoying sinus headaches and not being able to breathe? no.

and in other news, it's boss's day. did you know that? you didn't! well, you should tell your boss how much you appreciate them. or not if they don't do a good job...

i know i keep saying this, but i am going to try and post more... i've got some tutorials (hopefully) and a few before/afters i need to tackle. if i can get to feeling better anytime soon, that is...

here are some links from my week:

i find blogs all the time i've never heard of. ruffled is a new to me blog that posts about handmade/vintage inspired weddings and projects. fun to look at, and some great ideas for parties! (and these diy paper doily envelopes would be really sweet for a shower for a baby girl!)

i emailed this to d, who thought it was awesome. star wars flocked wallpaper... what's not to love? now, if only there were a star trek version... found on apartment therapy.

these felt letters on made by rae are really sweet. i'll have to keep this one in mind for the next baby shower i help host.

another cute fabric flower tutorial, this one from jones design company. these are so great! i've been making some different ones lately and will try this one out soon too.

this picky eater taxonomy is hilarious. except that they don't always turn out to be normal eaters. case in point? my husband. thanks dinner: a love story for making me laugh!

i mentioned maybe using one of my new scarfs as artwork earlier, and then this post showed up! perfect timing. how to frame a scarf on high-heeled foot in the door.

loving this sneak peek on d*s. bright, cheery colors will always have a place in my home!

you need to check out this roundup of diy's for mason jars. so many options! on h is for handmade.

these doily lanterns are really beautiful. another party idea to keep in mind! via the happy home.


the weekend.

always seems to go by so fast. i did manage to have a few hours to myself, scouting estate sales, antique stores and thrift shops. sadly, the only purchases i made were at one of the estate sales. but, at least they were good ones! the photo above is a little section of our living room. the brass lamp in the corner is one of my finds at the estate sale. i've been looking for a vintage floor lamp for what seems like forever - and found this one for $5!

a little better view of the couch... yes, it's purple.

i got these 3 scarfs as well, for 25 cents each. they are lovely... the middle one is huge, and i'm thinking it would be great framed. i also got a set of 4 stainless steel nesting bowls and a huge watercolor. it was rolled up, and too large for me to hold and photograph at the same time...

also, the floating shelves finally got installed in our bedroom. yay! (thanks dwayne!) i'd had a hard time deciding where to put them, and i'm happy with the end results. now i just need to decorate the rest of the room... i'm hoping to do so with stuff from the rest of our house. i've also been on the lookout for a cheap vintage headboard, but haven't had much luck.


friday link love.

friday again. i'm really looking forward to a little down time this weekend. this week has been interesting and i feel like my body is trying to catch a cold, on top of everything else. i am hoping to catch up on some diy projects this weekend...

here are some links from my week:

i am loving this house tour posted on young house love. i think the guest bedroom is my favorite. gray and orange? yes, please. and their announcement last week that they are going to move! stunned. but, i can't say i blame them. i mean, they've practically updated everything they could on that house. so why not start over?

this idea on d*s for a design swap is great. all my friends have awesome taste, you can't lose!

i adore the new online mag adore! it's wonderful. there have been a slew of online magazines appear lately, and this one really fits in with my design aesthetic the best.

this fireplace makeover is pretty amazing. let's make it ours took a standard fireplace and made it modern, but something that will be in style for a long time.

this apple cake sounds delish. from a new to me blog: all things farmer.

one of the only fall/halloween decorations i can really get behind. these leaf skeletons from the idea room are pretty, and could be left out all year. no offense to all the other halloween decor out there, i just don't want to store a bunch of decorations for most of the year - with the exception of christmas.

love these new bags from katie henry. old lace/doilies are the perfect addition to her line. too bad they sell out quickly... and i don't have an extra $158 laying around...

this lemon cake also sounds good. make it and love it is a great resource for recipes and cake decorating tips!

i guess that's it.

images found here: 1, 2, 3, 4


the hodgepodge.

this past saturday, my good friend dinah celebrated her store's 6th birthday! if you live in or around lubbock, hodgepodge is one of the best places around for a thoughtful gift, beautiful home decor and amazing stationery. i should know, i used to work there! dinah is one of the sweetest girls you will ever meet, and i am so honored to call her my friend!

thanks for letting me snap a few pictures of the store! christmas stuff is coming soon - look for it all to be out the first week in november.