Sunday, July 31, 2011

DIY crayon painting

I saw this idea on pinterest, and followed the link to etsy to this great piece. However if you follow the link you will note the price. Ridiculous for what it is! And way out of our budget for sure.

Here is the above mentioned piece that is selling currently for $70.

Love it? Want it? Well good, cause I will show you now how to make it for a mere $15.

crayons (Target has packs of 24 on sale for a mere 40 cents)
canvas of your choice size (Hobby Lobby has a sale on their canvas of 40% off)
superglue to affix the crayons
hair-blow dryer

I got all the supplies for a total of $15 and I already owned a hair blow dryer.

To begin I HIGHLY suggest you do this somewhere in a large space since it tends to splatter. Also make sure to cover the floor with newspaper in a large radius around your workspace. You'd be amazed as to where the melted crayon splatters once you're done.

Once you organize and attach your crayons tip down at the top of your canvas in the color scheme you want, fix the canvas so that it is at a bit of an angle, but not so flat that the wax won't run. I suggest only a couple inches difference in the top and bottom end locations. Make sure you have the canvas up above your hip height so that it is easy to control the flow of the wax.

Once you get started there are three huge tricks to getting this the way the 'professional & expensive' option has it.

1. keep the hair blow dryer on hi heat and hi blow power so as to get the smoothest wax lines as possible. Also make sure you don't start at one end and then intermittently move around. Pick one edge to start and then keep melting that section until its all melted the way you want it to be and then continue to the other side melting appropriately.

2. when starting melting, melt the bottom of the crayons and then slowly move upwards until your hair blow dryer is straight up and down directed at the very top of the crayons. This is the best way to get all the wax out of the crayons and to ensure a good flow.

***be aware, as the wax melts farther down the canvas, it will start to cool and may stop farther up then you want. Just help the wax go down by directing the heatflow going over the cooling wax lines and use the air to push it down farther.***

3. as you can see in the 'expert' crayon line painting, they do not melt all the wax and cover the ENTIRE canvas. They leave some pretty wax lines, and some space at the bottom. It makes it more artistic.

And in the end with some due dilligence you will have some an amazing painting that people will ask you where you got it/how you made it/mention how cool it is. Every single person who has seen it has said how cool it is. I know exactly where I'm going to put this in our new apt. Happy melting!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Moving 101

As many of you may know we are moving...AGAIN. See post below if you are wondering why. This is the third move since we got married and I figured it was time to actually let on some of my great tips and ideas that I have learned regarding moving. A lot of this I was taught by my mother while growing up during our six moves in my childhood but it wasn't until I was completely in charge of moving our things that I truly started using my moving knowledge (yes, I am very used to moving although that doesn't make me hate it any less. Probably more actually). And for those skeptics who think moving is just putting stuff into boxes, I must correct you in the fact that moving is truly an art. People do it for their careers for goodness sake!

1. The most effective moving is done when both spouses or more than one person is present helping you move. I have really observed this in myself that when there are at least two people packing, moving, etc. that it keeps you BOTH more motivated then you would be by yourself. And of course it goes twice as fast. So enlist as much help as possible, parents, siblings, neighbors, home teachers (great for the heavy lifting) etc. Even if its only a couple hours here or there, it will help out a ton!

2. Make moving fun. We love to put on a movie while we move, have cookies somewhere easy to find, and water stocked up with throw away cups in the fridge. It helps you take quick successful breaks, and then keep going.

3. Huge tip for spouses so read carefully. MOVING IS STRESSFUL. Read that again for good measure. And again if you need some time to let that sink in. Moving is even more stressful when you blow up and say some nasty words at your spouse. It's also slower that way to because you're now both unmotivated. When you want to strangle the other, or throw something, instead say something about how strong the other is and how you couldn't do it without them. It gives them a little reason to do whatever it is you want. (:

4. Another way to help with the above bolded statement. DO NOT PACK IN THE SAME ROOM. Make assignments or offer to do the room they don't want to do. This helps to keep you out of each others already stressed and sweaty hair, and makes you feel very satisfied when your room is done and you can say, 'I did all that'. It also keeps you more on task. If you pack like I do, moving from room to room packing one box here and one there it wastes a lot of time. Stay in one place, make a list if you have to. Find a solution.

5. Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. The earlier you start the easier it is. Normally when we move we start packing about a week before we are planning to move. A great tip is that each load of laundry I have to do before we move I fold it as soon as it gets out of the dryer, and then put it in a box and tape it up. I also spend any spare time I have every night packing up the kitchen and any storage area we have. Make sure to be consistent. And you HAVE to pack each day. Five or six boxes packed each day will save just that many from having to be packed the night before you move. The rooms you want to leave for last are the bathroom, the fridge, and the bedroom (unless you have storage under the bed, or the closet. Do that ASAP.)

6. Make sure to look up every so often. I can't tell you how many times I have finished a box that I thought had everything of the same type of thing in it, tapped it closed, put it in the pile of boxes to go out, and come back to find a couple of left over items sitting on the top of a shelf, the fridge, above a chest, etc. Sometimes you get so focused in looking down at the box by your feet you aren't very observant. Also, its better for your neck to be in more than one position.

7. Take any children to a family members or friends house to play. Or in our case get your dog a location that is where they will stay during the packing/moving process. It will help you out a ton to not have them underfeet or distracting you. Sorry, but moving is quite seriously a full time job when you have to move. It goes A LOT slower when you have extra things to take care of.

8. Make sure to take about an hour break when you need to for meals. But remember to only take an hour maximum so you are time efficient. Provide food for everyone who is helping you move. It IS necessary, and a great way to say thank you for helping out. Pizza is a great solution or the big party sandwhich's from subway or the local grocery store. We personally like to get pizza our last night just us two and eat it on our floor and reminisce about our memories in the apartment. It's a nice way to get closure from the apartment if you need it.

9. Pack effectively. Well duh right? But quite truthfully it took me a long time to learn this one. Firstly position the stiff room consuming items in first, make sure to fill the item with something smaller, and then fill the space around it and between the other hard items. Don't be afraid to mix and match items from different rooms. I know this goes against tip 4 but sometimes you have to put in sheets or blankets or whatever in with the breakable stuff. Also, put the breakable things near the middle of the box, not the edges. Seems like common sense but this rule will save you from lots of broken valuables! Make sure to pad a lot of course. Hand towels are great for this, so are garbage bags or grocery bags. Whatever the issue is don't be afraid to play around, reposition things the way they aren't normally positioned. Problem solve. Think of it like a big puzzle and it will become less frustrating.

10. And lastly my HUGEST TIP!!! One of the reasons we hate moving, aside from its hugely time consuming and exhausting, is its expensive. Boxes are about $1 apiece and sometimes upwards of $3 apiece. YIKES! So, do as I tell you and it will save you mucho dinero. Call Famous Footwear. That's right, I said call Famous Footwear or your local shoe store and ask for the manager (preferably on Saturday). Tell her your name and then ask if they are receiving shipment on Sunday. When she says yes (and I guarantee she will because they always do) ask if she will save you the best _______ boxes. They normally receive around 50 big brown boxes that contain their shoes each Sunday, and upwards of 150 boxes during the change of season. (You will have to go in around 4:30 approx. on Sunday, but its not really work picking up boxes so I don't consider it breaking the Sabbath.) This will save some poor girl the task of sitting in the back and spending hours shoving the boxes into the compactor in a non air conditioned room. You get boxes, they don't have to pay to have their compactor emptied as soon, its totally a WIN-WIN. Trust me, you will be grateful. And then tape, just buy in bulk at costco. Much cheaper then the single rolls you get at a grocery store or Walmart.

So there are my number one tips for couples and families moving. And of course don't forget, that if you don't think its valuable or you feel like its junk, toss it! Moving is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to clean out and de junk stuff you don't need or won't use.

We will be officially moved out and in on Monday and then I will post some of the great DIY projects I am in the process of doing, or have recently done. I have quite a couple really fun ones plus lots of tips to make it easier for you to do them yourself, so stay tuned!


p.s. here are some fun pics I took of Adi with my new Canon f1.8 50 mm lens. Enjoy!

Love, love, LOVE that blur! I'm seriously addicted to this lens. I can't wait for all the sessions I have booked in August. All for super cheap. Engagements, bridals, Post wedding, family, pets. Hit me up. I'd love to do yours, and I won't charge a lot. Let me know!

Friday, July 22, 2011

long time no blog

Sorry for leaving you all hanging. Since Adi decided to use my photo transporter as a chew toy a couple of weeks ago all of my photos are backing up on my camera. So. Since I got paid today that is the number one thing I am ordering off ebay. That and a replacement TV remote. We can blame that on Adi too.

But anyways, in case some of you didn't know, we have signed a contract at an apt. complex in Draper and will be moving first of August. THANK GOODNESS! We will have a 24 hr. gym, pool, and a dishwasher. Hallelujah! One huge perk for me is that it has a little patio so I have somewhere to put my ever growing number of plants. I swear, one day I will be one of those old ladies that's inside of her house looks more like a jungle. Think Jumanji. Anyways, Jared and I both have new jobs. I am back to working nights (working one right now actually), and I'm hoping it doesn't kill me.

Adi is the most adorable little poop ever. Wherever I take her she always has a little following crowd, and people who stop and adore her. p.s. super huge annoyance is when people ask me what HIS name is? or how old is HE? I want to say, can you not see the BRIGHT PINK collar on HER? Anyways.

Sorry for the random post, but there is an update of our life currently. Boxes, finding boxes, and more packing. It's a love/hate relationship. I love the fact we are moving out or our little dump, but I hate, no LOATHE moving. Moving is just sooo stressful, ugh yuck. Anyways in just a couple of weeks we will be in a mold free, bug free, non scary part of town apartment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

what I learned this past week

So I've been taking a slight break from my photography buzz, the good news is after my short break the thrill and love has continued. I'm just getting more frustrated because I don't see my photographs improving as much as I'd like. I know that will take practice. But the best way is to get some tips from another more experienced photographer. Which is exactly what I did.

This past weekend Samantha and her sweet husband came down and took our family pictures before my parentals head off on their mission this upcoming Monday. I picked her brain afterwards for some tips, we discussed some of my issues specifically wanting to take better portraiture photos. One of my specific issues was regarding grainy-ness of my photos.

Ugh, so grainy. Anyways she said its because my ISO is way WAY to high. Her tip was to start as low as 100 if possible and if the lighting is bad, go up. She also said that its partially because I'm underexposing my subjects by not changing my exposure time so it lets in more light. This can also make it more grainy, and doesn't exactly make it easy to edit. All great tips. 

The good news is I have two bridals to do, possibly three in the next month, and a wedding on August 6th. AH! Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional wreck. I'm trying to make myself feel better as I get prepared, but its really hard since this is my first wedding, ever. Good news is I'll get to practice as  a second photographer as one of our friends weddings beginning of August so hopefully I'll learn A LOT! 

Tips? Seriously. Lots of tips for shooting your first wedding. I need them.


Click it Up a Notch

Thursday, July 07, 2011


help! I am finally looking to expand into a good quality lens besides my kit lens that came with my Canon Rebel XTI and I am having serious issues finding one that I'm sold on between quality and price.

here are a couple I'm looking into:

Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR ZL Di LD


Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8-4 DG

The whole point of buying a new lens is to get a f/2.8 since my kit lens will only get down to a f/4.5 and everyone is saying that the Sigma f/2.8 is worthless but the Tamron is almost 200+ more...ah advice? Better suggestions?Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


desperately wanting...

as I don't get my paycheck until friday, and we have found a perfect apartment but will need a couple different things, I have been thinking nonstop tonight about decorating ideas...

I've been eyeing this duvet cover for QUITE a while. Love. LOVE. LOVE.

Also there are absolutely no shelves anywhere besides the closet.
We'll definitely be needing one of these.

and definitely a couple of these. Particularly one for the HUGE bathroom we're going to have and another for the walk in closet. 

and a lot of these to decorate the couch that will now fit THROUGH THE DOOR!

I can't wait to get into a new apartment that doesn't make me and Jer's allergies go haywire, have cars getting broken into out front, and bugs and spiders galore.

Any decorating advice or ideas would be highly highly accepted. 


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

{HappyEverAfter} ch. 3

This is the part of the story where Jared and I start to disagree about some of the facts, but don't let that fool you. I'm right. Women are always right. Right?

If you haven't read the rest of Our story, go here, here, and here.


The reason for the BBQ was played out in a two day trip to far away lake where we camped, spent the day on the lake, played card games, and ate delicious food. 

I agreed to go on this single's ward trip since my friends were going. I figured it would be a great trip to go have some summer fun. Little did I knew that this Jared boy who I knew very little about was also coming although I had thought he wasn't planning on the trip. Months later when I asked him why he came on that trip he said it was because of the interest he had in getting to know me better. He may deny this, but its true.

The first full day we had on the lake was started by a wonderful breakfast and then followed by groups of singles climbing onto one of the multiple boats that had been brought up for the weekend. I waited for one I had been on previously while passing my time on the beach playing in the sand and dipping my feet in the water. A group had congregated behind me, but I didn't recognize anyone except for a couple from high school, Andrew Jones and Heidi Hanson (now Andrew and Heidi Jones). Since they seemed rather engrossed in their conversation I concentrated on the arrival of the boat I'd been waiting for. As it pulled close Jared jumped out onto the dock to close the gap. The people changed out, and I jumped on among them. There was one more place so Jared offered, rather quickly that he'd be willing to go out again. I kinda of thought his excitement was rather odd, but didn't really think much about it since we were pulling away and I was ready to get in the water.

Of course he sat across from me and then after I took my turn, kind of showing off on the water skis, he congratulated me and then sat next to me making conversation between the other riders runs. I can't say I wasn't interested in this flirty fun boy who was being the perfect gentlemen. But I definitely wanted to play it cool. And then while he was showing off, which was very noticeable, he biffed it hard. Then laughed at his expense with us.

Back on the beach we played card games, I taught him phase ten, speed, and california speed. Of course he let me win. Almost every single round. In the group around the campfire I mentioned if anyone liked Kenny Chesney that the radio had mentioned that you could buy six tickets for $100. Jared at that perked up and said, "you like Kenny Chesney? You really like Kenny Chesney?" I was afraid this meant that he didn't like country and was about to make fun of me. When I said I did he then asked, "I have a pair of tickets and no one to go with, you want to go?" This took me a little by surprise but of course I enthusiastically said yes. 

The next day right before my car was about to leave, Jared asked if I'd like to go on a date before the concert. When I asked what we'd be doing he nonchalantly responded that it would just be casual fun and dinner. I let him know I was up for that, and then left excited and definitely twitter-pated constantly asking the girls in the car what they thought of this huge development.

Hope everyone had a great fourth of July weekend! Once I get a new card reader for my camera card (Adi had fun flossing her teeth with the old one) I will upload our fun fourth photos.