Thursday, March 31, 2011

journey to etsy: photography.

Well if you've looked for any kind of advice on Etsy one of the first things you'll hear about is having good photographs. There are a ton of people out there that have online shops, and as much as we would hope to be unique, a lot of them are selling the same exact thing. So, what is going to draw a customer to your shop over others? Photographs.

I'm not going to lie; I'm not an avid online shopper. I like to see, touch, and even smell what I'm going to be buying before I buy it. So I want to make sure my photos highlight my products as much as possible for an online shopper. You'd think for a photography major that this would be easy, not so much. I'm still just learning, and I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my photos. Thanks to some advice from two other wonderful bloggers and Etsy seller; Ashley and Chrissy, I decided just to go with it. I'm going to roll with what I've got and just keep perfecting my photos as I go. I can't hurt to change things up and relist on Etsy right?

Etsy Shop Photo Preview.


I also discovered two tutorials that I think are really going to help me the next time around.
Ashley from After Nine to Five recommend that I build a lightbox for my photos. I think this is going to be really useful and I'm going to be taking tips from her tutorial over on her blog. {Thanks again!!!}

Maryam from Pamplemousse! also did a great blog guest post on how to Etsy photography. The tutorial is over at The Art of Staying Up All Night and it is really helpful.

Well, I guess that's that! If you have any advice or know of any good tutorials on photographing products please let me know! Or, if you want any advice or critique, I'm still learning but I can help some, right? I can't help it, I love to help!

Now, go take some pictures! ^_^

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

i change blog layouts like i change underwear.

I decided I need a little change of scenery. I was working on editing a different photo for my new banner and it ended up changing completely. I came up with the one I have now. I'm still not sure if it's 100% the way I want it, but I decided to take it for a test drive. I have some other work on the blog layout that I'm going to be perfecting here. I love working with editing and graphics. Sometimes I forget how fun it is for me. I get totally sucked into it and before I know it two or three hours have zoomed by and I've done nothing but poke around with an image.

While I was working on my banner I also came up with two new lovely little buttons to share. Having four different blog buttons at this point might be a little much, but oh well! I do love sharing blog buttons!!

with a chance of


Let me know what you think. I always love feedback. If you add one of my buttons to your blog let me know so I can add you to my blogs i heart page. Have a great Wednesday!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

more music video love.

Today we got up extra early and took my husband to work so I could have the car. On the way back one of my favorite songs came on the radio. I always forget about LeAnn Rimes and I have no idea why. I love her voice. She kind of stay under the radar most of the time I think but she is seriously talents.

I love the style of this video. These ladies look beautiful and sassy!

Her newest music video. I just love this style, who doesn't love swing? I love the 1930s sytle with a modern take. Lovely. This song makes me want to dance!

Happy Tuesday!

Overcoming my fear of…

the sewing machine.


I consider myself a pretty crafty lady. I’m not the best at everything but I’ll try anything at least one time. I really enjoy finding new outlets for my creativity, and I’m really still trying to find my niche in the crafting world. Back in the days of Home Economics I was a wiz kid on the sewing machine. I made just about everything and I really enjoyed it. I was a “tom boy” though, so sewing wasn’t supposed to fit into the things I did. I stopped soon after those classes ended and never touched a sewing machine again. New that I’m older I wish I never would have stopped. I received a really nice sewing machine from my parents two Christmases ago and it still sits in it case. I’ve attempted to use it a few times, but got frustrated and gave up.


Traci and Jasmine over at Butter Toast has decided to create a lovely bunting banner to decorate their already beautiful shop. I then began to think of my fear of my sewing machine and home many amazing projects I’m missing out on because I’m too scared to use it. Really, I’m afraid of making mistakes. If I can’t do something perfect the very first time I do it I tend to give up on it. It shouldn’t be that way and I definitely don’t want my kids learning from my poor example! So I’m going to take out the old sewing machine and for the next couple of weeks really give it my best. I have some time off from school, and even though I have a million things on my “to do list”, I think I need to try something new. Who knows what will come of it!


If you have any tips or sewing machine ticks PLEASE let me know! I’ve been perusing the Burda Style website for some ideas but I can use all the help I can get.

Oh, and thanks to Traci for inspiring me to overcome my fear! (Good luck with the Bunting!!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

AZ Blogger Meetup Recap!

I've said it once and I'll say it again, this month as totally flown by! All of a sudden one day I realized that the Arizona blogger meetup was right around the corner. I have been excited for this event for months it feels like! What a great event it was too. Chelsea, Danielle, and Kelsey did such a great job. Because this month has been so crazy for us I decided to give myself, and my family, a little break and I only attend some of the daytime activities. I couldn't have been happier!

I showed up late to the event meeting up with the group at the GROWop. Thankfully Chelsea was kind enough to text me and let me know where everyone was. It was a little akward at first, so I just kind of poked around checking out the GROWup and The Butter Toast Boutique (on a side note I can't wait to go back to Butter Toast and pick out some super cute vintage kids clothes!) I finally butted my way into a converstation and things felt a little more comfortable from there. I've always felt socially akward and since I've gotten older I've learned that running into walls or smashing a cake in my face isn't really an exceptable way of introducing myself. It's to bad though, I enjoy all of those things, leave it to an EX-theater major!

Everyone gathered at the GROWop

I heart this store! Can I live there?

Some of the ladies being creative.

Flowers? Yes please!

Coming from someone who works with faux flowers all the time, real flowers are totally different! I give all the florists in the world a ton of credit.

After the fun and festivites down on Roosevelt Row, everyone headed to Frances Boutique. I've never been that far into Phoenix before and I'm really glad I got the chance too. Even though it was just a short drive it really gave me an idea of how different Phoenix is from Pittsburgh. Everything is so spread out and still fairly new. I saw some beautiful articture as well as some more interesting sites. I just could believe how different it was from the crowded city I grow up by. I can't wait to go on more adventures!

Did someone say candy?! Smeeks Candy shop is so awesome!

I got so excited walking in, I can't wait to take Aurora there, she is going to go CRAZY! I've never seen a kid react to sugar quite like little Miss Aurora and this place is loaded!


After a stop in the candy story everyone slowly made it over to Frances. This boutique is so beautiful. You walk in and it just smells welcoming. I was seriously inspired just by walking around this places, it gave me such an itch to open my own shop. It also made me realize how much work it takes to do that!

I can almost smell the fragrence again just looking at this picture. I could spend all day there, is that weird? ^.^

Of course I stopped at the adorable kids section!

Love Phoenix or Leave Phoenix. Seriously? Love this shirt.

Anything with words or phrases on it catches my eye! It's a wonder I didn't come out of there spending a ton of money. I was a good girl though!

We were so so lucky the Short Leash showed up and happily opened early to feed all the hungry bloggers. I was so excited to see them pulling up. I heard great things about them from Chelsea and I didn't think I'd ever get a chance to try them. It's amazing what happens when you leave the house. The owners and opporators, Brad and Kat (love the name ^_~) are amazing! They have increadible food too!

A hot dog to this pregnant lady is like gold!

I wasn't sure how to even begin eating this thing, but it didn't hang around long after I did. YUMMY!!!

After we had stuffed our faces, Kelsey and Chelsea presented us with around gift bags given to us by Frances!
How cute is that? It almost made me cry! Stupid hormones.

Inside was a gift box from Smeeks filled with Taffy (that is now gone!), an adorable pair of earrings, a container of the most luscious body butter, and a luxury bar of soap. Wow, seriously, how sweet?!

I'm so glad I made it out to atleast part of the event. I know that everyone had a great time at dinner! The great thing about blogger is that I still felt like I got to experiance atleast a piece of it from photos and stories I've read. I can't wait to see everyone elses posts and photos! I hope that this can happen again, if it does I would love to help in any way I can. It was such a boost and a really high point for me. I feel so lucky right now. I'm so glad we moved to Phoenix, it has been such a great experiance for me, I don't regret it at all. I came home from the event floating on cloud nine I think. Holy inspiration overload!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

one year down... how many more to go?!

I just finished my final math test of the quarter, which means, if I pass it I will have successfully completed one year of my new college adventure. It’s defiantly been an uphill battle getting through all of my classes. I’ve cried a lot, wanted to throw my computer, wanted to jump through my computer and shake someone, and I've wanted to give up. I’m really glad I didn’t. Although my goals are different now, I still want to finish and finally have my Bachelors degree. I think it’s kind of crazy that “people” expect kids to come right out of high school and spend a ton of money and time going to college and learning something and then 5 years down the road they find out they hate it and/or they can’t find a job. I think in that way I’m really lucky. Even though I still have no idea what I’m doing at least I’ve had time to grow and learn before starting up again.

My core photography classes have been kind of frustrating for me as well as my regular classes. I either feel like I haven’t learned anything, or I’m learning stuff I’m never really going to use. I have had cases were I feel really empowered by what I’m learning. I don’t really feel like I’m growing as a Photographer yet, if anything I feel like I’ve taken several steps back, but I know I’ll get there again. It’s hard to want to break out my camera for a fun event when I know I’m just going to have to bust it out again and do a project that I really have no interest in at all. I guess that’s what college is though right? They want us to be “well rounded.”

I wanted to post a bunch of photos from my classes, but I could find very many I like enough! You can always look at my past blog posts about my classes and photography! Some of my favorite photos were talking in my Photography 101 class, way before I even thought I was going to be going to school for photography at all. I posted them before, but they make me happy so I wanted to share again.

I really want to work on this more and more. I want it to become enjoyable again and not just a burden. I’m really glad that I cut my schedule down to part time for a while. It will really be a nice change! I have a week off until my next class starts and I have A LOT planned! I just hope I can get it all done!

On a side note I just want to thank all the lovely bloggers that were out at the Arizona Blogger Meet Up this afternoon! I’m really sad I wasn’t able to attend the dinner but I’m so glad I got to share some tasty wieners out of a truck with you guys! ^_~

Cheers to Chelsea, Danielle, and Kelsey (and everyone else) for putting this whole thing together! I have so much to blog about this event, stay tuned!

mellow yellow.

Spring has really come on fast and it’s got me thinking about colors and patterns. This spring I’m really drawn the many beautiful shades of yellow. I’ve never been into yellow for the most part but there are some really great items out there right now that defiantly have changed my mind.

I just recently discovered Spotted Moth and I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing because I love so many things about that site!

Ladybird Dress - Spotted Moth

Lemon Créme French Macaron Soap - Spotted Moth. This looks good enough to eat, yum!

Twig Necklace - Spotted Moth

Etsy Finds!!

Retro Buttercream Sunsuit - Butter Toast Boutique.

Lemoncello Skinny Enameled Bracelet Trio - bullfinchbarbury

One of a Kind Hand Embroidered Pendant Necklace - Merri Weather Council

Handmade Pencil Pouch Soft Yellow Ruffle - Milk and Honey Handbags

What are some of your spring color inspirations?

Friday, March 25, 2011

where i'll be tomorrow....

I'm so excited and slightly nervous for the AZ Blogger Meet Up tomorrow! I feel like this month and been a flash. So many great things have been happening... now... what do I wear? oh boy...

What are your plans for the weekend? Will I see you in Phoenix? ^_^

beach memories.

I love the beach. With spring upon us and the weather being so unbelievably beautiful around here it makes me long to see the ocean. When I was a kid we used to take a yearly trip to Ocean City, Maryland. Some of the few things that I remember from my childhood are those trips. I just loved be there. We stopped going on our vacations as I got older, because I was a very difficult teenager! Oops…


When I met Marc he was always up for new adventures and traveling somewhere. At one point we just got up one weekend and left to go to New York City because we wanted to see Rent on Broadway (AMAZING might I add.) On one of our adventures we took a drive to the Outer Banks. The drive is so beautiful and totally worth the three days we spent there. While we were there, however, we got burnt and burnt bad! When your mother tells you time and time again that it is important to wear sun screen please, listen to her! I will never forget walking around the local grocery store trying to find aloe as the pain slowly started to creep in. We could pull sheets of burnt skin off after awhile, Marc’s ankles started to puss and I still have scaring from it on my right shoulder (it doesn’t really tan.) Although painful it is a memory I will hold close forever. We can laugh about it now for sure.


Fast forward two years and we got to take a great trip back to the Outer Banks with Marc’s family. Aurora was only 5 months old and she loved being at the beach. She was also surprisingly good most of the car ride too. All seven of us stayed in beach house. I love his family so much and I am so glad to be able to call them family myself now.

My all time favorite family photo. I have no idea what we are laughing at, but it looks like a good time.

We love going to the Outer Banks so much that we decided to get married there. We got to travel back and plan the whole wedding. This trip leads to our brand new Jeep Commander almost being swallowed by the ocean, but that’s another story! I was so happy with our wedding. Everything was perfect. I just wish it could have lasted longer. Only our imamate family and closest friends attending, which made both of us a lot more calm about the whole thing, I wish we could all go back and do it again!

August 27, 2009

The wedding party (minus one flower girl, Aurora.) Marc's sister, Kaylyn, and his brother-in-law, Mark were our Maid of Honor and Best Man. I couldn't think of two more amazing people to stand by our sides on this important day. They've been so supportive of us all along. They are great parents too! New baby girl, Lily, is a lucky lady!

I'm really happy Aurora was there! Not every little girl can say they were in Mommy and Daddy's wedding!

I love this photo. There is nothing like a beautiful black and white wedding photo.

The whole crew. We were quick the bunch! I'm so happy everyone was there to share that time with us. The entire week was incredible!

I really hope we can make it back to the Outer Banks again. I've never been to any West Coast beachs and that is way closer then heading to North Carolina from Arizona! Our new little one has to experiance beach time too! It's like a childhood staple in my book!!!

Any plans for hitting the beach this year?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

quiet time.


One of my favorite times of the day is getting in the shower. It's one of the few times I (hopefully) wont be bothered by anyone. I can just relax and listen to the water. I do get some other peaceful times, like nap time, but in the shower there are no other distractions and I can clear my head and focus on the day.

I have no idea why I'm sharing this, I just feel very peaceful right now. Yes, I just got out of the shower.

Where do you find your daily peace?