Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photography Wednesday: Shooting With A Color Palette In Mind

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Happy Photography Wednesday to you!

I gave myself a specific photography challenge this Easter.

I wanted to photograph Miss L in her darling {if I do say so myself} Easter dress and shoes, and I wanted to use a color palette of navy, pink, turquoise and green.
photography ideas via

I grabbed one of her little turquoise chairs and set it up in the backyard where the grass is finally green!
photography ideas via
I was kind of surprised that she actually stayed in the chair!

I also took photos in front of our turquoise front door.
photography ideas via

Girly girl pose! Love this! ;)
photography ideas via

Let me tell took a lot of patience and a lot of shots, but I definitely got some keepers!
photography ideas via

I told her I wanted a subtle and pensive expression.  I think she nailed it.
photography ideas via

I just couldn't be happier with how her Easter photos turned out!
photography ideas via

Have daddy dance around with the dog behind you while you snap pictures!
Works like a charm! Ha!
{To see my tutorial on how to make one of these Motion GIFs, click here.}

How could you incorporate a color scheme into your photography?
You don't need a "fancy camera" to give it a try! ;)

Have a great day!

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I'm linking up at: Work it Wednesday

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why I Started Blogging...

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Good morning!

A few weeks ago, I got an email from my blogging-buddy, Mandy, from The Hankful House.  She informed me that she was featuring me and my blog in her monthly "Blog Love" post.  
I know.  Talk about flattering!

She asked me to answer one simple question:  Why did you start blogging?

I thought I'd share my answer with you today.


Why did I start blogging?  
I've asked myself this question probably a million times.

Other frequent questions I ask myself:
1) Who do I think I am, anyway?
2) Why would anyone want to read something I write?
3) How the heck did my two year-old empty out her entire toy basket in the two minutes it took me to find my camera to take a picture of the picked-up living room?
4) No, really.  How does she do that?

Sorry.  Back to the real question that Mandy asked me:  
Why did I start blogging?

I'll take you back to about two years ago.  I had a six-month old, I had quit my teaching job to stay home, we sold our first house in Indianapolis, and we had just moved "back home" to a small town in northeast Indiana.  It was a lot of change in about a four-month span of time.  My head was spinning, my identity of who I was and what I was doing with my life was up in the air, and I was searching for a creative outlet to share my love of decorating and creating.  Oh...And I was kind of bored.

I had been an avid home-decor/craft blog reader for a long time, I followed a lot of blogs regularly, and I always kind of thought, "I could do that!"  So I just decided to give it a try.  I made a blogger account, customized the look of my blog, started posting and reaching out to other bloggers, worked really hard at improving my photography and finding my writing voice, and here I am today...still working at it!

I blog to give myself a creative outlet and to share my creations with people who seem to enjoy what I do.  I blog in the hopes that it will lead to more opportunities to share my creativity.  I blog because I think it's kind of cool that my daughter {or her daughter, or her daughter} might read my words someday and realize that I am just like them...I'm just a lady trying to balance motherhood, being a wife, and working full-time...Oh! And I'm trying not to let myself get lost in the mix.

It's hard to find the balance.  
But I can do it.

I'm lucky to have the support of my family.  
If I didn't have that, I simply could not keep up with everything I try to do.

I've tried to write an appropriate ending to this post about 20 times, and I've finally settled on this:

I hope that you are inspired today to do what makes you happy.

Have a great day!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

25 Adorable & Whimsical Spring Projects

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We have some fabulous features to show off to you today!  25 to be exact!  These features are from our Thinking Spring challenge.  We were so amazed at how talented you all are and had such a hard time narrowing it down.  Here are some of our favorites....

Friday, April 18, 2014

Decorating With Repurposed Pieces

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This may sound weird, but something that might be very obvious to you just occurred to me the other day:

I have a LOT of other people's old crap treasures in my house.
how to decorate with repurposed items via

I'm not sure when or where I decided that I liked reusing or repurposing junk, but it's a full-blown fascination/addiction of mine.

I have an inclination that it's always been a part of who I am.  
I distinctly remember pulling an antique fan out of my neighbor's trash when I was maaaaybe 11 or 12 years old. {I still have it today! Ha!}

It's a skill(?) that has really come in handy as I've been decorating our house, though!

Remember when I found these awful prints at Goodwill and made them into fabric art?
how to decorate with repurposed items via
That was so much fun!

Or what about turning free old windows into a chalkboard, a bathroom towel rack, and a calendar?

Three of the most satisfying projects I've ever done!  Still love and use these windows all the time!

More recently, I started using this old window grate as a photo display.
how to decorate with repurposed items via

My first {and only} pallet project involved using repurposing pallet wood to make this plate wall art!
how to decorate with repurposed items via

I really didn't set out to go on a trip down "Old Trash Memory Lane" with you today, it just sort of happened.  
how to decorate with repurposed items via
I really just wanted to show you how I hung a clock on an old door and am calling it decor!

What do you think about using repurposed treasures?

Have a great weekend and a happy Easter!!! :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Photography Wednesday: Creating Auto Awesome GIFs With G+

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I'm a little obsessed with Google +'s new "Auto Awesome" effects for photography.

My favorite Auto Awesome effect is the Motion GIF effect.
Basically you take 5+ successive photos of something moving  and Auto Awesome will automatically string them together to create this super-cool Motion GIF.
How to create a motion gif in auto awesome via

Last week I used the Motion GIFto show you how I put together my Spring Dining Room Vignette:
How to create a motion gif in auto awesome via
I set my tripod up and took a picture of each step in the process...
How cool is that?!?!?

Now, it took me a little bit of digging to figure out how to do this, and I'm going to do my best to explain how to use this effect.

1)  You will need a Google + profile/account.  If you use gmail, then you already have one.
2)  Turn Auto Backup on.  This page from Google can explain it much better than I can, but you can set Auto Backup to automatically back up your photos that you download from your camera, or put on your desktop, or take with your phone depending on how you set it up.  {I did NOT want it to back up every photo on my camera or phone, so I set it to only backup the photos I put on my computer's desktop.}
3)  Take your 5+ successive photos with your camera and download them onto your computer's desktop.  {Auto Backup will automatically back them up onto your Google + Photos.}
4)  Go to your Google + Photos {I type "Picasa Web Albums" into a Google Search, and it takes me to my Google + Photos page.}
5)  Click "More" and "Auto Awesome".  Google +  Photos will have already detected that you took 5+ photos in succession and will have already put together your "Motion" GIF.  {Sometimes it takes awhile before the slideshow actually shows up.   Refresh the page every couple of minutes.}

To get your effect onto your Blogger blog, you need to put your Motion GIF slideshow into a folder.  When you click the "Insert Image" button, click "From Your Picasa Web Album", and it should be in the folder you chose or created.

Like I said, it took some persistence to figure this one out.
{Tech-y stuff never comes easy to me...}

Auto Awesome has some other cool effects too!
The "snow" effect adds snow to any photo that has snow in it!  Ha!

How to create a motion gif in auto awesome via

To read more about the Auto Awesome effects, click here.

Thank you to Carly, over at C. Style, for pointing me in the right direction on how to make these cool little GIFS!

Have a great day!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Wreath

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Hi, friends!
Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend!
I had a very lovely girls weekend with some loooooong-time friends.
There's something so comforting about spending time with people who've known you since you were little and share happy, sad and funny hilarious memories with.
how to make a spring wreath via

I have a confession to make:  
I kept my interior Christmas wreathes up in the windows of my house until March.  I loved the way they looked and they added some character to our dining room, so I didn't want to take them down.

Then March arrived, and I knew they had to go.
I replaced them with two simple, springy wreaths that were so easy to make!
how to make a spring wreath via
I basically used some floral wire and attached some springy sprigs to a twig wreath.  I weaved some flowers in, stood back and high-fived myself for making an easy wreath.  Then I made another one.

It's so hard to photograph something with a window behind it, but you can see my two springy wreaths hanging in my dining room windows!  I simply looped the spring wreaths through the burlap bows that held my holiday wreathes!  Easy switch!
how to make a spring wreath via

How have you been spring-ifying your house?

Have a great day! :)

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I'm linking up at: Inspire Me Please!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Decorating for Spring on the CHEAP + A Spring Giveaway

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If you need to know one thing about how I decorate, it's this:
I LOVE to decorate as inexpensively as possible {without sacrificing style points.}

I'm not opposed to splurging every now and then, but when you decorate {and redecorate} your house as much as I do, you can't be splurging all that much.

Plus, Mr. Hoff insists on saving money for retirement and Miss L's college, and yadda, yadda, yadda.
{Saving money is so annoying!}

I'm kidding.
{Sort of.}

But seriously folks, let's talk about how we can scratch our decorating itch without breaking the bank.

Here is the breakdown of approximately how much I spent on my spring dining room display:
-  Old window frame: $0  {I found a stack on the side of the road last spring!}
-  Mirror: $11 {I found it at Goodwill last year and painted it}
-  White dishes and blue ball jars: $0  {I have had all of these things for years, so I don't count it as spending money....You are entitled to disagree.}
-  Blue cloche: $5 {Painted Goodwill find}
-  Bridies and bird nests: $10ish at Hobby Lobby  {Birdies were 40% off}
-  Chalkboard: $6 {It is an old cabinet door from a free wash basin that I painted and added a $6 birdie knob to}
-  Floral Twigs: $14 {half off at Hobby Lobby}
So $46.00 total on this entire display...not to shabby!

Aaaaand now for the BEST giveaway EVER!
Use the Rafflecopter below to win a $150 TARGET gift card!!!
{Starts at 8:00 AM on 4.10.2014}
Target Gift Card Giveaway

Would you like to parooze some more inexpensive spring decor ideas?
Check out the awesome ideas below!

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Have a great day!

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