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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: soylent green is people! on: March 14, 2009 08:38:18 PM
Hahahaha. SO clever. I love that movie and the cross stitch is classic! Looks great to me. Nice touch with the glow in the dark effect too. Wink
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Anyone Using a Light Box for their Photos? on: March 14, 2009 08:37:01 PM
Hey there everyone!  I've been testing out different light sources and camera settings as some of you have suggested and want to show you my latest picture of a very brilliant brooch.  Give me you honest opinion--don't hold back!

Looks great! Without seeing the brooch in person I can't say for sure, but it seems like the picture is an accurate representation of the colors and it shows the brilliance without having too much glare. Bravo.
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Hidden in plain site! Cat litter cabinet on: March 10, 2009 03:51:11 AM
I love the look of this. Our bathroom is ridiculously huge and I've sorta hidden the box behind the door, but out kitty (Gracie Lynn Von MeowMeow) is a big mess maker. She finds the need to scoop while standing outside of the box and does a crazy jump-and-run thing every time she makes a poo so I get litter all over the floor. I haven't put a lid on her box because I'm afraid she won't use it and will pee on my bath mats. I'm hoping I can train her like you did yours. No risk of her tail being caught (she doesn't have one!) is a big plus too.
4  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Re: Hundreds of buttons from the 50's and 60's? on: March 09, 2009 05:18:40 PM
I think a cute button bouquet or jewelry (ring, charm bracelet) would be a special way to use these buttons. My great grandmother collected TONS of stuff, one of which was buttons. I have about 10 big tin cans full of them.
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Anyone Using a Light Box for their Photos? on: March 09, 2009 05:15:53 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice. I was just wondering if anyone can tell me the exact brands for light bulbs they use.

Ragnazlder (or anyone else), do you know other brands besides the one you mention?

Thanks  Smiley

Reveal is the most commonly known brand for the daylight spectrum bulbs, but I have been buying generic name brand bulbs as well. For example, Western Family carries these bulbs. Just look for the words "daylight spectrum" and the purple-ish tint to the bulb. The higher wattage ones, like 150 watt, are usually a clear purple where as the lower wattage (75 watt) are a more frosted appearance. Its worth the money to invest in the higher watt for better photos. You can but them almost anywhere that sells lightbulbs, although you may have to hit the hardware store for something over 75 watt.

As for tungsten bulbs, I've purchased mine from photography supply stores. 500 watt is really the most you'd need for photographing items. I only take mine out for snapping photos of my paintings and never really use them in my light box.

Hope that helps.
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Anyone Using a Light Box for their Photos? on: March 05, 2009 10:32:28 PM
Thank you so much for this great information!  I spent so much time taking pictures today trying to use natural light and I just couldn't get it right.  I also did not want to spend a ton on a picture box.  Can someone tell me where to get the foam and I am pretty sure what freezer paper is...

Thanks! Grin

I get foam core at my local craft store. A lot of art shops and framing places carry it too.
Freezer paper is sold at the grocery store- it is waxy on one side and plain white on the other. The reason it works so well is that you can cut a piece long enough for the box, but wrapping paper or a big piece of bristol paper work just as well if your local market doesn't carry the freezer paper. For a variety of backgrounds get a couple different papers.
Make sure as well that you are using daylight spectrum bulbs (reveal brand or others) at least 75 watt or higher. I use 150 watt, but also have 500 watt tungsten bulbs for bigger items. The lower the wattage the darker the photo will be so you'll have to compensate by increasing your exposure or brightness. My camera seems to work best on the "tungsten" setting without flash and with a +2/3 exposure. Be sure to use a tripod and the timer feature for really crisp photos. Macro (looks like a little tulip) is definitely your friend with small, detailed pieces such as jewelry.
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Anyone Using a Light Box for their Photos? on: March 01, 2009 11:19:53 PM
I just started using a lightbox a bit ago and found a HUGE improvement in my photos. I couldn't justify spending the money on one and I wasn't sure where I was going to put it, but I found an online tutorial for a collapsible lightbox made out of foamcore pieces. It cost me less then $10 to put together and works great. The trick was not really learning how to use the lightbox, but how to use my camera! Haha. I messed with the settings a lot to find what works best for me. Before I was using natural light, but with the cold weather and my night-owl sleeping habits I needed a way to take photos that worked on my schedule.

If you're interested, I blogged about it some: http://ragnazidnar.blogspot.com/2009/01/let-there-be-lightbox.html
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Bedroom Remodel/Rennovation {Picture HEAVY!} on: February 16, 2009 02:49:13 PM
Thanks everyone! It was REALLY gross before and I don't think I took of the rubber gloves for about the first 3 weeks! Coincidentally this house was once used as a grow operation for marijuana, so maybe that explains what the people before us were thinking!  Wink

I forgot to mention that the furniture is "espresso" even though it looks black in the photos. Glad y'all like it.

9  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: My completely redecorated first home on: February 16, 2009 04:07:25 AM
I just looked through your whole flickr set. Smiley

DH and I just recently bought an older home that was in need of love and elbow grease, so I totally sympathize with you.  Looking at the before pictures makes you shake your head and wonder how people actually lived in these places in the conditions they were in.

Bravo to you and your efforts. You really breathed new life into a great home.
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Bedroom Remodel/Rennovation {Picture HEAVY!} on: February 16, 2009 03:39:45 AM
Let me first start by apologizing for the massive-ness of this post.  Cheesy

After almost a year of searching for a house that we both like and could afford, DH and I found an awesome 1908 farmhouse that had been updated and added on to over the years. It was a foreclosure/bank repo and was a disgusting mess which kept most other potential buyers at bay, but I couldn't help but fall in love with it's hidden potential! Trusting my intuition we started the LONG buying process in August 2008 and closed on the house just before Halloween. We worked on it for 6 weeks every day to get it ready to move in the first week of December. We're still not 100% finished, but we're getting close and I wanted to share some of the progress so far.

I'll post several others, but let's start with the bedroom. It was an add-on to our house that was built in the early 90's and transformed our bedroom into a massive space. I don't know the exact numbers, but I'd say it is just over 700 sq. feet. Bigger than some of my friend's entire apartments.



A before and after shot of the bedroom for comparison.



This is a (crappy) photo of our bedroom before. There were a lot of problems with this room. The most obvious was this hideous 12" tall wallpaper border that went around the ceiling that is jungle themed. (toucans and leopards. *gag*) Oh, and you can't forget the silk floral vines thumb-tacked to the ceilings. Because the drywall was never painted it not only was filthy but the wallpaper was stuck on like you wouldn't believe! The carpet and the walls were soiled with dog urine and there were puppy scratches everywhere.



This photo is the same room, looking towards the opposite wall. (Check out the awful yellow living room! I'll post that transformation later.) The only closet we had was a small coat closet and the door was in sad shape. It was painted a yellowy-cream and grafitti'd with sharpies, then the graffitti was painted over with white. If you look close you can see the ceiling light (with the pull string) barely hanging on for dear life (by the wires!).



The first thing to go (after the wallpaper!) was the nasty carpet. DH ripped up the carpet and the pad which you can see in the background of the above photo all stained and smelly-looking. Then we ripped up the carpet tacks to prep the floors. Because the add-on didn't have wood floors underneath we had to replace the flooring rather than re-finish. Here is the line between the two floors.

We also took advantage of the carpet being gone to prime (sucked up 3 coats of primer) and paint the walls. They are a light blue/grey color called "Sky's the Limit." The floor then had to be prepped by filling in gaps and uneven areas with Fix-all that we then sanded. BIG mess!



We decided on carbonized bamboo flooring that was a simple tongue and groove installation. With the help of my parents we finished the huge floor in 2 1/2 days. The first 3 rows were the hardest part and once we got the hang of things it went really fast.



We then put up baseboards all around that I painted gloss white. We also spray painted the original ceiling fan (which was green) gloss white.



The view of the other side of the room. In this photo you can also see the built-in bookshelves that we gutted down to the original wood. Since this picture was taken we've drywalled it and turned it into a linen closet on top and a wardrobe on the bottom (since the closet in our bedroom was so dinky. Now we have his and hers closets). The door behind the soon-to-be wardrobe is to the 2nd bathroom. We have a master bath connected to our room as well, so we basically never use this door or the 2nd bathroom. We also painted the closet door and I replaced the knob with a vintage glass doorknob that I scored on sale!



This shows the wardrobe in-progress a bit better once we started moving in our furniture. (Don't mind the mess with the boxes in the corner!) That huge armoire is acutally for our TV. We downsized from a giant entertainment center and put the bigger of our two TVs in our bedroom inside this thing. We also bought big binders and threw out our cases for our 700 DVDs. (DH watches lots of TV) The binders, our PS2 and our games are stored in the drawers underneath.



More furniture after it got moved in. I LOVE these mirrors. We saw them at a furniture store and I had to have them. DH talked the price down and I am so happy they are mine now! The bubbles on them are an optical illusion- the mirror is one flat piece. You can also barely see my apothecary jars in this photo- I've since filled them with moss balls and other fun things.



The final product (kinda). I'd love really modern lamps for our nightstands but I'm holding out for the right ones.  Grin The basket on the floor on his side (left) is because he will wear the same lounge pants all week long and I needed a place for him to throw his clothes that had been worn but weren't "dirty" yet. I am also in the process of hanging art, photos and shelves so that's why my walls are bare. I need to move the pic above his nightstand and center it more too. The vintage trunk belonged to my great-grandfather and it holds extra linens. I love the cream frize (or however you spell it) rug that it sits on. The green rug on my side is laying there temporarily until the upstairs is finished.

So... if you are still with me thanks for checking out our room makeover. I'll have plenty more to post soon.





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