Thursday, January 31, 2013

DIY Once Upon a Time Earrings

So I started watching this show Once upon a Time last week. Had it been about anything else than Snow White I might not have continued looking, but am now hooked! Anywho, I was at Michaels looking at fabric paint, when I accidentally (...) stumbled into the beads section and saw these really delicious yellow stone beads... Well, I just thought about Snow White (you know, the red apple, her red lips etc) so I just had to have them! A perfect hint of color on days when I'm all monochrome :)

These just took a couple of minutes to make, and it's really easy:

How to:

You need your beads, wire and hooks.

Take about a yard (1m) of wire, put the bead in at approx the middle of it.

Twirl the wire around a bit.

Put both wire ends through the hook's loop, and then twist the wires around the already twisted part.

When you come to the bead, just keep twirling it around.

Stick the ends of the wire inside the bead to hide them.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hideaway: A Bookworm's Bedroom

The last couple of weeks we've been taking a peek at Kirjatoukka ja Herra Kamera (Bookworm and Mr Camera) blog writer's beach home in Hanko, Finland. First we had the guesthouse, and then we had their bright upstairs bathroom. Now it's time to take a look at the rest of the upstairs:

Since they live in an old factory building they have a really open floor plan which I LOVE. The upper part of the house is bedroom all the way. I admire this family, for being able to share!

If you want to participate with your own hideaway:

E-mail me 3-10 photos (600px wide if square or horizontal, 400px if vertical) of your hideaway, preferably including at least two DIYd projects or handmade things.

I'll showcase the most suitable entries here on the blog. If you have links to the DIY projects or just want me to link to your own blog, I'm more than happy to!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DIY Bleaching "Pattern" onto Jeans

I was supposed to post about this leather-modpodge-thingie I've got going, but I ran into some problems I haven't yet solved, so this'll be the project for today:

So, I really really wanted to make this cool un-bleached-pattern onto partly bleached jeans. It did not turn out as I wanted, but thought I'd still post this in case someone likes how it turned out. The pattern is sort of "seeable" at some parts, but not as I wanted it. Well, happy accidents, all the dripping from the spray bottle etc looks kinda cool anyways.

I'm not giving up on it, though, just need to go back to the drawing board and figure out what went wrong (I've got some suspicions which I'll share in the tutorial-steps). 

You need:

To be wearing vinyl gloves!

Bleach (1 part bleach, 2 parts water)
Distilled white vinegar (2 cups per half a bucket)
Contact plastic stuff
Cardboard/something else to "stuff" into the jean legs

How to:


I made a pattern on my computer (with iDraw), which I then placed under some contact plastic film. I traced the pattern, and then I cut them out (you can just draw your own pattern onto the contact plastic. Then I attached them around the jean leg. I think problem number one might have been here: the patterns might have needed to be a bit wider.


On the left you'll see how the jeans looked before: my phone has left a nice little "bleach" there already so I felt these pants needed to be more bleached up.

I put the jeans in the tub, top part on the shower-thing so it wouldn't fall into any bleachy business.

I had some cardboard inside the jean legs, to keep the bleach running from one side through the other.

I had 1 part Clorox UltimateCare Bleach (gentle on fabrics) and 2 parts warm water, which I put in a spray bottle. I sprayed the bottom few inches (up until first pattern). Every 20 minutes I would spray on the area that had already been sprayed plus a couple inches more.When I had come as high as I wanted on the pant leg with the bleach-mix, I just waited until it looked like it was the shade I wanted.

I think the large amount of water in the mix resulted in the jeans getting so soaked with the bleach that the color creeped up under the plastic pattern stencils.

Even if I sprayed on "evenly" I thought, there were some creases etc that seem to have gathered the bleach, which made all of those random white splashes.

This is how they looked when I decided I was done (they looked really yellowy and dirty, but as you saw in the end result the light part is very "clear" once dry).

Dip your jean legs into a bucket with water and distilled white vinegar (I had 2 cups of vinegar in half a bucket of water). Let it sit in there for 15 minutes; this will stop the bleaching process. Then wash jeans in washing machine twice (cold wash, with detergent). Dry. Enjoy :)

So you can sort of see the pattern I tried to make at certain parts, but not really as I wanted them to be. Don't you worry, I'll think of something else with these jeans and try my pattern-stuff again when I have other jeans to play with :)

NOTE: These jeans are 44% cotton, 29% lyocell, 26% polyester and 1% elasthan, so they probably behaved differently than regular denim (maybe that's why the bleach has concentrated on different places?), so keep an eye on your jeans to see how fast they bleach!


I of course had to try this again, so I made wider patterns&used 1 part hot water 9 parts of the same bleach. Once again the pattern is sort of visible (a little more this time), but the bleach still got under my pattern... The main problem seems to be that the spray bottle doesn't spray an even mist, more like random splurts (not sure that's a word...). Will post a photo when I get one!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Crossover Cascade Braid Tutorial

I shot photos of my friend Ev last summer, and used some of them for my photo storytelling post. I made this braid for her since it looked so cool with her natural color peeking out. Anyway, I thought a tutorial for it would be in order for this week!

(Thanks again for modeling, Em!)

How to:


Take the front part of your hair from one side, and pull back. Start by braiding it just a couple of steps.


Then, every time you add a new piece of hair (only from the top) to a section, you'll part the whole section so that you leave approx 1/3 to hang loose, while the rest (2/3) goes back into the braid as if you'd braid just normally, like this:


 Then just keep repeating every time you take a new part of hair into each section.
NOTE: You only take new parts of hair from the top, not from the other side like in a french braid.


This is how it should start to look!

When you've added a piece of hair from the front (opposite side of where you started), you can just start braiding the sections like you would normally, without adding any more parts of hair. You can also stop and start the braid at any point you like; you don't have to go all the way from "side to side", especially if you'r hair is shorter in front it's gonna be difficult to get those parts to stay in the braid.

Secure with a see-through elastic. Spray?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

How to Create Bokeh Effect in Photos

Bokeh! That's something I want to try out in my portrait photos, so I needed to learn how to find out how to make them. It turned out to be really easy, and now it's your turn!

How to:

You obviously need some light sources (I used the Christmas lights we still have up...):

Switch your DSLR camera to aperture mode (A (Nikon) or Av (Canon). Aperture mode is where you can tinker with the depth of field (how narrow the area is that will be in focus). Then turn the wheel; you'll see that the F-number changes. Make the number as small as possible (depth of field get's as narrow as possible). I shot these photos with a 50mm lens, F1.8.

You need a tripod if you're shooting in the dark, or something to steady your camera on (for example a chair).

(I always shoot photos in RAW, since I want to be able to tinker with them afterwards.)

Now, there should be a switch near your lens (on my Nikon D90 on the left side) with the options AF (Auto Focus) or M (Manual). Switch to manual mode. Then, just start turning the focus ring until the lights start to blur. Take photos at different focus values to see which effect you like:

If your photo seems to light for you, for example like this:

... you can adjust by finding a button that has +/- on it (exposure compensation). Press it down, and turn the adjustment wheel more to the minus side (the darker you want it, the more minus you want to turn it to). Test at different values to see how dark you like it. Or, if you think your photo goes too dark, you turn it more to the plus-side. 

NOTE! When you're finished, remember to turn the +/- back to 0 so you won't ruin whatever photos you're photographing next. 

If you want a bokeh background for a subject:

Simply put, you just (auto) focus on your subject, when there are light sources behind the subject. Still keep your F as low as possible.

If you do not get a bokeh effect behind your subject, the problem might be that the subject you're focusing on is too close to the light sources or that your F is too high.

Update: I was just out testing, and I tried taking the F a bit higher. It affected the shape and the size of the lights, but still created a bokeh effect when unfocused enough :)

f 2.8

f 4

Friday, January 25, 2013

DIY Salad Server Makeover

We were in need of salad servers when we got dinner guests. I did not have time to venture into wood craftmanship, but I did want to put my own spin on these.

How to:

(I got these Bamboo salad servers at Bed, Bath & Beyond)

Sand paper the ends a little bit, if your servers are already finished in some way. That way the paint will stick better. Put tape over your salad servers, it will create an edge for your paint.

Paint the handles, I needed three layers.

(I used Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Metallique Paint in Champage)

Take off your tape. Use black paint or black nail polish (I had some lying around!) to make dots or other desired patterns onto your servers. Voilà!