Tuesday, February 24, 2015

beaded diamonds first peek

It's been...several years since I last published a beading pattern. How did that happen? I've been way overdue to publish another pattern. It feels so good to have one well underway right now.

I'm writing basic instructions for creating beaded diamonds, eight variations for earrings, and instructions for making a ring, pendant, and bracelet. I'm planning to release two versions: the full pattern and earrings only. It's been a very time consuming process because I've had to make so many samples. I will be able to sell all of them when I'm done with the pattern, which is some consolation. (It also means that if you see anything that you like, you're welcome to claim it now). Regardless, it's still exciting to see it all come together.

Tentative release date: April 2015. Stay tuned for more details over the next couple months.

What have you been working on lately?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

glassware vases kitchen decor

Last month I visited Antiques on Second here in Milwaukee and couldn't seem to stop noticing the blue vintage Ball jars. Apparently it stuck with me because ever since, I've been noticing glassware all over the place. I'm not sure how it came to me to use it as kitchen decor, but it did.

I bought clear and blue Ball jars, clear and blue soda bottles, and clear milk bottles from Michaels and Target.

I also bought fake flowers from Michaels. I bought four single stems and four bouquets, which I cut into single stems so that I could distribute them among more vases. Of course you can use real flowers, but gardening isn't my thing, and I don't like to keep real plants in the house with the cats anyway.

 I really love the soda bottles.

The combination of the blue and white here makes me very happy.

I'm also in love with my new fake wood backdrop that I previewed on Instagram a couple weeks ago.

Here it is, displayed in my kitchen. Both of these shelves were already installed when we moved in, and the top one has sat largely empty for three and a half years. Decor items are perfect for it because it's too high for me to reach without a chair.

Of course I had a kitty helper assist me with cutting the flowers, arranging the vases, and most importantly, taking the pictures. Does anyone else have an ever present kitty photo helper?

 I can't even call this a tutorial because it's just pretty glassware and fake flowers, but I'm so happy with the result. If you need a simple display for virtually any room in your house, this is a great option.

I'm also sharing my kitchen decor as well as some other ideas for kitchen decor using mason jars over on HubPages.

Has anyone else been decorating at home lately?

Monday, February 16, 2015

joining the world of Filofax

Since the beginning of 2015, I've been thinking about overhauling my organizational system. None of my paper and pen tactics that I've been using since I started freelancing are working particularly well right now, and I've been really unhappy with the latest updates to the Google calendar app. So it was time to switch gears. After extensive research, I decided to purchase a Filofax Personal Finsbury. I'm still using a spiral notebook alongside it with a more streamlined approach for the notebook content.

I did a write up about setting it up over on HubPages. I'm hoping to share follow up thoughts after I've been using it for a few months.

Does anyone else use a Filofax or another ring binder planner? Feel free to share your insight in the comments!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

It's here!

I'm so proud to announce that my first ebook, Jewelry and Other Small Item Tabletop Product Photography: Tips, Tricks, and Advice to Help You Take Stellar Product Photos, is now
 for sale. In 33 pages, I explain everything that you need to know about small item product photography from buying a camera to selecting backdrops to editing photos. With more than 50 product photo examples, you have tons of visuals to help you take your own photos to the next level.

You can buy it on Amazon and Etsy.
Please note that you don't need a Kindle to buy the Amazon Kindle version. If you don't own one, simply download the free Kindle app on any Android or Apple device.

After you buy the book, please take a couple extra seconds to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+. This little gesture goes a long way toward supporting my efforts. Thank you!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

winter weather escape

At the end of last month, Jake and I spent a week in Orlando at Disney World and Universal Studios. It's become a tradition for us to take a vacation in the winter to somewhere warmer than the Midwest. Even a few days away from freezing temperatures provides a much needed break. Today I'm sharing highlights from Magic Kingdom and Epcot and saving Universal Studios for future post(s). Enjoy.

I also put together an article about wide angle and night photography at Disney World with more pictures and tons of insight and tips about travel photos that extends far beyond visiting Orlando. Check it out on HubPages.

Is anyone else taking a winter weather vacation to a warm destination?