Wednesday, November 30, 2011

exodus 35 creativity party #13

thanks to everyone who linked up last week! i'm sure you were all busy with thanksgiving, so i am super appreciative to those who participated.

here are the featured projects from last week:
1. such a great idea to keep organized for the holidays from babblings and more.
2. learn how to turn an old sweater in to a slouchy hat from vixen made.
3. i LOVE this hilarious and very logical christmas gift idea from style baggage.
4. check out this gift idea from rindy mae. very delicately pretty.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

blog tip #5: good photography

warning: long (but good!) post.
   
good photography is essential for blogging. to be honest, if i come across a blog with crappy photos, i will leave very quickly.
  
you don't have to own a DSLR to take a good photo. i'm not saying that every photo needs to be a piece of art. i just want a technically good photo for the camera you have. following are ways to do that. i could write a million more, but these 5 things will help your photos tremendously.
  1. Utilize Good Lighting
    - DON'T use your flash, unless you are a pro photog with off-camera lighting or external flash. your built-in flash is horrendous. it makes the subject look washed out and totally different than how you would see it face-to-face. AND, flash illuminates imperfections.
    - DON'T rely on indoor lighting for photos. nothing is worse than a new post about a coffee table re-do that is newly painted white, but looks like an ugly yellow in the photo because of your indoor lighting.
    - DO find a window (during the day) to light up your subject. even on an overcast day, you will get great lighting. or go outside!
  2. NO Blurry Photos
    - DON'T post blurry photos. if you take a blurry photo, just click again. we live in a digital age; i'm sure you're not using a film camera. one more click won't hurt. actually, it will help!
    - DON'T be afraid to toss any photo that is blurry. sure, you might think, "oh i know it's blurry, but besides that, it's a good photo!" no. it isn't. just toss it.
  3. Take Close-ups
    - DO take close-ups of your subject, focusing on details.
    - DON'T take a far away photo of a subject expecting me to see what you're talking about. (for example, if you do a post about your new shoes, i want to see the shoes, not search through your wardrobe to find your shoes.)
  4. Step Back and Take a Photo (kinda opposite of the last one, but hear me out)
    - DO step back and take a photo as well as take a close-up, depending on your subject. (for example, if your subject is that re-done coffee table, i want to see how it looks in your living room.)
    - DON'T step back for photos of small objects. i don't care about where your shoes are stored (unless you're doing a post on organization). and you're not making me want to try your new recipe when i can barely see what it looks like.
  5. Keep Photos Simple
    - DON'T have tons of clutter in your photo. remove objects out of your viewfinder that could potentially grab attention away from the subject.
    - DON'T take diagonal photos. it's okay, everyone goes through a diagonal-photo-taking phase. but just get out of it now. your brain and eyes will be less confused when looking at a straighter photo. (but don't freak out if the horizon is a little slanted. that's alright. especially during action or journalistic shoots.)
    -DON'T overdo it with editing. i want to see how your subject looks in reality. slight enhancing is fine, of course. but when the sky looks purple in mid-day, that don't make no sense.
a few examples:

remember, though, there are exceptions to every rule!
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Monday, November 28, 2011

christmas is coming...

now that thanksgiving is over, i can think of christmas and actually be glad it is coming. hearing christmas songs and seeing houses decorated with lights before thanksgiving is just too early for me. but the feast is over. and it is finally cold in houston!! so, i finally feel comfortable saying:
 
last year was the first time my husband and i had a tree of our own for christmas. trees are about the only christmas decor i take part in during christmas. i'm not that big of a fan of tons of holiday decorations unless it has a purpose or is meaningful in some way. or maybe if your kid created it. i guess that's fine. but i don't have a kid, so only the tree for me! here's my tree from last year:

this year, i'm doing another handmade/thrift store christmas. so i've got a lot of work to do. especially to top last year! i love the gifts that i gave AND the gifts that i received. but no one can top my favorite christmas gift ever, my pup! we got him two years ago the day before christmas. i love him like crazy! here's my pup from last year:

i'm linking up over at my friend's new photo link party. go check it out!


love.bug.


hope you had a (ful)filling thanksgiving!
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

exodus 35 creativity party #12

thanks so much to everyone who linked up last week. i loved looking through all the projects! very inspirational. here are this week's featured projects:
1. check out this amazing craft room makeover from silver boxes!
2. this DIY notebook from tousled day would be a great christmas gift.
3. babblings and more has a great and innovative idea to use all those free address labels you get sent in the mail. check it!
4. i am loving this baby shower by rosita designs! perfect.

Monday, November 21, 2011

DISCOVERY GREEN | HOUSTON, TX

my sister and her roommate came down from fayetteville to visit a couple of weeks ago, and we decided to have fun around houston.
 
discovery green is an urban park smack dab in the middle of downtown houston. there is so much to do there. the park has a playground, a lot of green space, outdoor art, restaurants, a dog run, ponds, kayaking, and so many different seasonal events like concerts, movies, ice skating and more. if you ever visit houston, discovery green is a great place to go.
 
unfortunately, the weekend my sister visited, there were unnatural swarms of mosquitoes in houston. i mean, they were frikkin crazy. so we were only at the park for about 30 minutes and only got to snap a few photos. but it was a fun 30 minutes!
 
here's me being all awkward:
and here, i'm telling mark that he's not supposed to climb the wall, as it clearly states on a sign nearby. :)
my sis, carley, and her roomie, morgan:
my pretty mama:
yay for jumpy pictures!

have a fun monday!

[All photos were taken in October 2011.]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

exodus 35 creativity party #11

thanks so much for linking up last week! i loved looking through everyone's creative ideas and masterpieces. here are the featured projects from last week:
1. this is how i like to gift wrap my gifts....with YARN of course! i love the way maya at little treasures does it--with a little bit of knitting, as well. prettyyyy.
2. oooh, these glitter wine glasses from the sasse life would be perfect for a new year's celebration.
3. why didn't i think of this?! these glitter thumbtacks from vixen made are the cutest! (it seems i'm liking glitter a lot today...)
4. i love the idea of using evaporated milk to create non-toxic paint. go check it out at how do u like them apples.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY | WASHINGTON, DC

mark and i spent our anniversary in our nation's capital. 
  
the weather during the week was cold (i loved it), but the sun played hide-and-seek the whole time. it just so happened that the day we spent at arlington national cemetery was a day that the sun decided to show up! it was amazing.
  
i'm pretty sure this was mark's favorite part of the trip. i've been there before, so i knew what to expect. mark was blown away. there's just something about seeing all those grave markers of people who have sacrificed their life for you.
  
the cherry blossoms and magnolias were amazing there, just like everywhere else in the district in the springtime.
JFK gravesite (above left) and the arlington house (above right and below).
i love the above photo. the graves, the trees, and the washington monument (as well as the rest of DC) in the background makes for a perfect depiction of the day.
if you look hard enough, you might be able to find a family name on some of the markers. (bowman is my maiden name.) i was so glad to find these. amazing.
our favorite part is the tomb of the unknowns. specifically the changing of the guards. i love how the unknowns who have died are honored in this way. it's awesome.
  
if you get the chance to visit DC, do NOT skip going to arlington national cemetery. hope you enjoyed the photos!

[All photos were taken in March 2011.]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

exodus 35 creativity party #10

once again, sorry for not having the link party up last week. thanks for those of you who linked up two weeks ago!
  
here are the featured projects from two weeks ago:
1. this felt wreath from pictures of happy is so cute!
2. oh, i love this yarn sign from the sasse life! i've wanted to do something like this for a while!
3. go take a look at this reupholstered chair from the turquoise piano! so pretty.
4. i love love love this painted piano bench from art is beauty. wow.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

AN UPDATE AND SOME INSPIRATION

hello everyone. first of all, i'd like to apologize about skipping out on my creativity party last week. i WILL be hosting it this week, on wednesday. so sorry, guys.
  
i've been crazy busy this past week. i've been de-cluttering and gathering things for a community-wide garage sale coming up in my mom and dad's neighborhood. i have SO MUCH CRAP! and i am so excited to be getting rid of it all. i will update you all on how that goes and also some tips and tricks i learned to have a better garage sale. and we'll see if they worked! oh and if you live in houston or the roundabouts, you should come! it will be located in coles crossing community (a neighborhood in cypress), this saturday, november 12.
  
another thing that happened this week was a pretty big deal, but i can't go into the details. all i can do is ask for your prayers for my family. BIG prayers, please. my family and i would appreciate it tremendously. thanks so much.
  
in the meantime, i am going to leave you with a little color inspiration. i created this palette using colour lovers (an online community), which i loveee. i took this photo last fall at a creek bed in a park. i love the colors.

see you soon, with more posts! i promise.
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