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Friday
Jun082012

New iPhone

Almost two weeks ago I finally broke down and bought a new iPhone. If you follow my Instagram feed, you might already know about my utter excitement to have a new bit of technology. My old iPhone was just about four years old and throughout this year it has been moving at a snail's pace (no wonder, four year old technology is ancient). Finding something on the map was nearly impossible unless you wanted to wait an hour. It kept kicking me out of Instagram which made it hard to post my daily photo. Just forget about web browsing. Despite these quirks, I did manage to live with it for quite some time. It's amazing how we adapt when we're too cheap to pay $100 to upgrade.

My new phone is spectacular but what I love the most is the camera. The pictures on it are so much better and clear and crisp. Phone photography has become fun again and I want to capture as many pretty things as I can. So far I have only been using Instagram to edit my images but that has kept me entertained because of all the new filters and effects that I couldn't access on my old phone. But now I'm wanting to branch out and try some other editing apps.

Here are a few scenes I have captured recently.

What are your favorite apps to use for photo editing and processing? I recently discovered VSCO Cam and I'm pretty intrigued. I love the simple adjustments. Have you tried this one?

I wish everyone a happy weekend! I have work to do but hopefully I'll get to enjoy a few moments and snap some iPhone pictures along the way too.

Thursday
Jun072012

Houzz Feature: Vintage Tart Tin Hanging Lamp DIY

Happy Thursday readers! So today I have another DIY to share. I created this for Houzz and it got featured on the homepage yesterday. This is the first lighting project I have ever attempted so I am proud of my efforts into something new. No scary wiring is involved though (this DIY is intended for anyone to do) and you can pick up a cord and socket kit from Home Depot. This project also repurposes vintage tart tins, infusing new life into something old and discarded. I bought a bunch of tart tins at an antique store awhile ago (they were very inexpensive) and have been waiting for an idea to present itself.

These are mini lamps actually, tart tins are quite small, but you could replicate this project with pie or cake pans for something a bit larger. These are the perfect size to read by at night, they put out just enough light. The colorful cords are just plain cords wrapped in electrical tape. I never thought much about electrical tape before but a trip to the hardware store proved to me that it is actually quite handy. Not only does it come in a bunch of bright colors but I could imagine using it for packaging projects as well.

See how to make your own mini lamp on Houzz:

Whip Up a Lighting Fixture From a Tart Tin 

Have you attempted any lighting projects yourself? Have you DIY-ed any lamps out of old materials like in this project? How did it go?

Wednesday
Jun062012

Paper Crush, Vol. I

I'm starting a new series today called Paper Crush. I am pretty obsessed with all things paper and I have a growing 'Paper Goods' Pinterest board to prove it. Old new, colorful, white, DIYed, letterpressed, embossed, I love it all. I hoard paper a bit, nothing that is cause for intervention, but my desk drawers are full of stationary and cards, a collection that has been growing through the years. I'm not sure what I'm saving it all for (if paper becomes the new currency, I'll be a millionaire) but it looks so pretty and pristine organized in my drawers. So I thought us paper lovers could celebrate our {small} obsession here on the blog...a healthy environment.

First up for today is some simple wedding placecards...

These kraft beauties were designed by Annemarie Buckley of Scout's Honor Co. I am pretty convinced that no matter the occasion, kraft paper is the way to go. Wouldn't you agree? It's so versatile. Annemarie did a great job pairing the black, bold type with these old-fashioned looking tags.

Chalkboard paint is all the rage right now but to incorporate it into customizable hearts cards by Bailey Doesn't Bark is pretty genius. The cards are blank inside so you can use them for virtually any occasion or holiday: birthdays, Valentine's Day, 'thinking of you' cards. And if you are blessed with pretty handwriting, the cards can become a work of art.

Featured on the beautiful blog Frolic, this simple DIY was actually a project put together by the talented Annemarie Buckley as well. She is one fabulous lady! This is another set of placecards and although the cards are quite colorful and inspired by Pantone paint chips, I'm in love with the effortless mini envelopes. Also from kraft paper, the natural color scheme of this paper project shines light on the sweet hand calligraphy.

What paper things have caught your eye lately? Anything specific that has encouraged you to buy or DIY?

Tuesday
Jun052012

New Discovery: Dear Photograph

Hi blog friends! How are you all doing on this Tuesday? I have some new inspiration to share today, a blog I stumbled upon a few weeks ago called Dear Photograph. Have you heard of it?

Dear Photograph
It was 70 years ago when my mother dipped her toes in Lake Cavloc, Switzerland along side her father and sister. Beauty was all around them and so were the echoes of youth. My mother’s view has changed now that she lives in a nursing home. Wouldn’t it have been something if the waters they had danced in had washed the fountain of youth over them… Peter

This project was started by Canadian artist Taylor Jones as a way to remember and pay homage to the past through old photographs. The challenge is 'to take a picture of a picture from the past, in the present.' Originally Taylor was posting his own family photographs but soon he was receiving submissions from all around the world. The photographs are undeniably powerful but each photo also has a corresponding caption that can be just as moving. The author addresses the picture, beginning with 'Dear Photograph' as they recount humorous moments, reminisce about loved ones or even express their own hopes and dreams. 

Eight years ago our world rejoiced when we said “I do”. This year, my first without you here, I know the heavens rejoiced too. I’m so glad I had those seven years with you because those seven years will define who I am for the rest of my life.
Miss and Love You Always, Brandi

This is such an inspirational project and a meaningful way to connect with millions of people all over the world. I have always enjoyed going through old family pictures myself, actually it is quite a pastime of mine. My family, on both sides, is lucky to have old pictures and memorabilia. I count these keepsakes as some of our most important treasures. I had family that was from the Chicago area and also family from Pennsylvania and when I see those old neighborhoods and family houses, I long to visit them. See how things have changed. See how things are the same. Just standing in a spot that a relative once stood in, taking in a scene that someone else did years ago, is such a powerful thing. And this project proves just that.

My father was born and raised in this house in 1946. On his wedding day, in 1971, he bought the house from his parents to marry my mother and raise my sister and I. With hammer and nail, he altered every room to meet all of our needs and wishes. This past September he died at the age of 65 and now the house and his lifework are for sale.
Margaret

 

There is something so universal about this idea. Something in all of us is curious about the past. Something intrigues us all about our histories, about the people who are responsible for us being here. I think this is why it resonates with me and with the millions of others who have visited and contributed to the blog. 

Be sure to visit the Dear Photograph blog and see more of the submissions. Each one is special and so personal. And because the blog has been such a success (blogs really do change the world!), there is now a Dear Photograph book. So fantastic and such a deserving project! I look forward to following along to see how Taylor's idea continues to grow and inspire us.

Monday
Jun042012

The Life of Peonies, a story in pictures

These five buds made their way to our home through Trader Joe's. They were the last bundle of peonies available, possibly passed over by other shoppers since they were still dormant. At the time of purchase I tried to remain optimistic about the flowers opening up. Only hours after settling into their new home, they started to spread their wings. Over just a few days, these flowers went through magnificent color transitions, so much so that it was hard to believe they were the same bunch. Deep magentas to summery peaches to bright whites. For a few days I was captivated by these blooms, in awe of them each time I passed the dining room table. With every new stage I had to pull out my camera and document the beauty.

There is such beauty in life, in all the stages.

Happy Monday!