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Pink Yarn & Raffia Gift Wrap

Today’s simple gift wrap technique was inspired by the hoards of leftover yarn currently taking over my craft room. To make your own pink yarn & raffia gift wrap you will need yarn, double sided tape and a piece of pink raffia (makes sense).

pink yarn gift wrap

Simply adhere tape to the top of your gift box/lid. Cut strips of yarn to fit across the top, align side by side until the top is covered. Place lid on box and secure with raffia bow.

pink yarn gift wrap

It’s that simple. This pink yarn & raffia box took about 10 minutes to throw together. Don’t dismiss that leftover yarn the next time you are looking for a easy way to dress up your gift wrap.

Guest Post: Photographing Details

To continue our weekend focus on those pretty little details, here is another incredible guest post from Kira of Kira Noble Photography. This article teaches the amateur photographer how to turn those decent pictures into works of art. Be sure to head over to Kira’s website and show her some love.

Details, details, details! I have noticed that in the past few years the detail elements of a wedding day have become increasingly important to brides, wedding planners and photographers. If you look at any wedding style blogs, like Style Me PrettyOnce WedGreen Wedding Shoes and countless others, the photography featured revolves around how to implement fantastic detail and intricacy into a wedding or event.

As a wedding photographer I realized that I needed to learn quickly how to take the kind of photos that would highlight and pay tribute to the details every bride, florist and wedding coordinator spend countless hours creating.
Of course at the end of the day, the photo of the “first kiss” is more important to my client than the cool photograph of the cupcake tower or bouquets. However, details seam together the story of the day, revealing something about the bride and groom, and hopefully reminding them of the depth of their wedding day.

Although I have certainly not mastered how to take detail shots, I have learned a lot in the past few years and thought I would share some specifics of what I’ve learned here with you. Even if you’re not a photographer these techniques can apply to any detail photo you may want to take. From taking photos of your latest creation in the kitchen, to the flowers blooming in your garden to the next event you attend or host.

1) Find good light- The first thing to do is make sure you have great natural light. Seriously, light can make the difference between a mediocre photograph and a photo that makes you sigh! Sometimes this will mean moving the object of your photograph from its original location (if possible) to a location with better light. The photo below is from a wedding I recently shot. I was taking photos of the reception details and took this photo of the tiered cookie stand. The first one was taken in the afternoon (before anyone came into the reception) and I didn’t have time to move it to better light. It is dark and although it works, it is not the best photo. Later in the evening the room was filled with lovely light and I got this photograph of the same detail.

2) Remove anything distracting- I learned this tip from Jasmine Star in her first creative live workshop. She encouraged photographers to move anything that would “cheapen” the photo. Feel free to move things like salt and pepper, serving utensils and sugar packets from a table. And of course, put them back after you get the photo you need. Before I heard Jasmine talk about this, I was too afraid to touch or move anything on the wedding day. I didn’t want to mess anything up. However, once I had the confidence to remove distracting items from my frame, my photos of flowers and tables settings started looking more like something you could find in a magazine. Holla!

3) Use surrounding environment- Use your environment to add interest to your photograph. First take a few photos of your object and then take a step back. What else in the room can you use to your advantage? Is there a window that can act as a natural frame for your object? Are there other elements already in the room that you can add to your photograph to make it tell a story? An example of this is in the photos below. I took these photos this summer at Jackson and Shayla’s wedding. Shayla got ready at her parents beautiful home. I started out the day taking photos of her jewelry, shoes, dress and makeup. I wanted close-up photos of her hair-piece and rings and I started out in a spot I thought had good light, but the background was a little boring. Then I saw the antique books sitting on the coffee table. I moved the rings and hair-piece and immediately the photos took on more life. The books, wood tray and burlap added texture the photograph was missing.

4) Lower your perspective-- This one is simple. To diversify your the kind of detail shots you take, simply change up your angle and perspective. At first, I simply shot a table setting by standing above it and shooting down. While this type of perspective can yield good photos, changing your angle or getting “low” can capture the setting and mood in a much stronger way. The photos below are from Dani and Tyson’swedding last summer. One was shot from above, the other I shot by getting on my knees and getting “eye level” with the table.

5) Shoot wide-open- In my opinion, one of the best ways to get strong detail shots is to shoot with your camera set at a low f-stop. (Click HEREto read a great explanation about aperture and f-stops.) By shooting “wide-open” you not only get the most out of all the pretty light, your detail will stand out and you’ll achieve that cool “drop-off” effect. Below are a few detail photos that I shot wide open and the settings.

85mm 1.8 1/30 and ISO 250

50mm 1.8 1/320 ISO 400

Grab your camera and start shooting!

{the cute vintage fabric tape is from Pugly Pixel. Find them HERE.}

10-Minute Pillowcase Tutorial

Are you ready for the easiest pillowcase-making tutorial ever?! I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I like my projects to look fabulous and take a grand total of 10 minutes. It’s not that I’m impatient (I am) and it’s not that I get bored easily (I do), the problem is I have too many things to do and not enough time to do them (right). Whatever the reasoning, these pillowcases satisfy my need to craft along with my A.D.D. lifestyle.

First, cut a strip of fabric that will wrap once + 8 in. around the pillow (meaning the fabric should fold around the pillow snugly and overlap itself by 8 in.). This fabric should also be 2 inches wider than the pillow. You want the pillowcase to look full so don’t worry about cutting the sides of your fabric too small.

Next, hem in one end (not side) of the fabric, 1/2 in, nothing fancy, just a simple fold over and hem.

After hemming, place fabric right side up with the unhemmed side closest to you. Fold about 1/3 of the fabric on the hemmed side down (toward you), so right sides touch. This edge will end up being on the outside of the pillow.

Next, fold up (away from you) the unhemmed side and overlap the hemmed edge by 8 inches. (see picture). Your folds might not split the fabric exactly into thirds, the main point is that when you fold the unhemmed side back over the hemmed side, it MUST overlap by at least 8 inches.

Pin in place. Sew a 1 in. strip down the two open sides. Flip pillowcase inside out.

Insert pillow and enjoy your fabulous handiwork!

I’ll be honest I’m not great at writing out tutorials so if you have questions or need more pictures of the process let me know. I’ll try to get a few more pics up to clarify the steps. Good luck and happy sewing!

Rosette Tote

A gal can never have too many bags, at least that was my rationale for making this latest tote. Totes come in all shapes and sizes, patterns and colors, and of course price tags. Since the price tags are usually uncomfortably out of my price range, I choose to make my own after scrounging around in the $2 bin at the fabric store.

My first bag-sewing attempt was a diaper bag from Make Baby Stuff.com. You can find the original tutorial here. This tutorial is extremely easy to follow, even if you are a beginner.

After my first successful diaper bag, I began to draw my own patterns in order to make different shaped purses and totes with a variety of pocket combinations. The instructions in the link can be used for pretty much any type of bag combination you can think up.

The rosettes I attached with hot glue. These are very simple to make. Cut a strip of fabric about 2 in. wide and 10 in. long. The actual size doesn’t really matter, the wider you cut the fabric the fatter your twist will be. The longer you cut the fabric, the more times you will be able to wrap it around itself.

Once the strip is cut, simply hold one end still while twisting at the other. With the fabric completely twisted, place it on a flat surface and start to wrap it around itself. Have sewing pins ready to hold the flower in place while you continue to wrap. Am I confusing you yet?

I’ll try to make a better rosette tutorial with pictures at a later date. Basically, once you have wrapped all of the twisted fabric around itself (so it looks like a rose), pin it, hot glue it onto another piece of fabric, cut around the edges and glue to your tote!

Here are the measurements I used minus the lining. The diaper bag tutorial gives more details with images if you need them.


4-15X21 (green, 2 for each side to reinforce)
1-10X21 (pattern)
2-5X21 strips (pattern for straps)
1-8×23 strip (green for bottom)
2-3×11 strips (purely decorative straps on the front pocket)

I didn’t have enough of the two colors of fabric to make a lining for this bag (yes, I suppose I could have used another color). Here is the order of my sewing:

1. fold over the top edge of pocket lining (the 21 in. side) and sew a 1/2 in. hem
2. align pocket with the 2-15X21 pieces of fabric (I use 2 to reinforce the walls, making them more sturdy)
3. pin the vanity strips of fabric over the pocket and sew each side down (that’s 4 lines of stitching through four pieces of fabric)
4. pin this front piece to the two remaining 15X21 pieces (right sides facing in)
5. sew up the 15 in. sides making sure to catch all pieces of fabric in the stitch
6. pin the bottom piece to the bottom edges and sew (this one’s tricky, check out the tutorial)
7. flip the tote right side out, fold over the top edges 1/2 in. and stitch
8. fold strap fabric (5X21) in half (hotdog style) with wrong side facing out, sew along the long edge, turn right side out
9. pin straps 5 in. from each side and sew in place

15 Minute Dress

So, I like clothes…a lot. Although I usually default to jeans and a fitted T-shirt, my fashion tastes did evolve while working at Nordstrom before Jack and I got engaged. Nordstrom clothes+discount=hooked.

Nowadays, being a young married couple, there isn’t much shopping taking place. Instead, I look at clothes online and dream of flowing cotton dresses, classic cardigans, and modest heels.

Every now and then, I see a dainty dress and think, “I can make that, no problem.” Unfortunately, it usually turns out to be a problem. I tend to overestimate my sewing abilities and let my impatience get the best of me, usually resulting in a less-than-satisfactory end product.

This time however, the end product was a success and it really only took me 15 minutes.

I chose this olive/purple stretchy fabric, it’s like a rayon spandex blend of some sort. First, I took two pieces of the fabric and placed right sides together. Then, I set a dress, that I love, on top of the fabric (see below) and placed pins in the fabric around the dress to copy the shape.

Next, I sewed 4 inches across the top for the shoulders, not sewing all the way to the edge. Then I measured down about 6 inches (the dress I copied had wide arm holes) and started sewing from that point down to the bottom of the fabric following the line of pins. I got the idea for the simple sewing on the shoulders and sides from this baby hankie dress which explains the setup more precisely sorry forgot to take pictures of the setup).

Finally, I turned the dress inside out and added a cute belt and some matching shoes. Tada! A dress I can actually wear (excuse the headless pictures, it was late and I have no desire to have my picture taken). I still have to hem the bottom, but I wanted to get the pictures up. Want to try your hand at sewing an outfit? Trust me this is the simplest outfit ever ever. You CAN do this. Happy sewing!