Twelve Months of Favorites

December 29th, 2010

It’s roundup time right?  My good friend Rhoda is hosting a fab party, and how perfect is a ‘Top Projects’ post this time of year?  Here are my favorite projects from 2010, the ones that gave me the most satisfaction, taught me something new, scared the bajeezus out of me, or simply made my world a better place. 

January: 

That ‘Five Days to a Fresh Start’ series where I kicked my booty into gear with some serious decluttering, recycling, filing, and all natural cleaning

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February:

I repainted my kitchen island and walls.  There are more improvements on the horizon next year for this space, including a new backsplash just behind the range.  The white tile stays, the yellow can say ‘buh bye’. 

painted island

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Snap! Even More Photography Tips

December 28th, 2010

Hello hello, hope you all are staying warm amidst the storms!  I hinted in last week’s article about better brighter blog photos that I would be bringing in some friends to back me up in my explanation that you can achieve better interior shots by pulling more light into your lens with the manual functions on your camera.  Well, well, that day has come! 

I gave all four blogger photographers a mini assignment.  Shoot for me the same image 1) with a flash, 2) on Auto with no flash, and then 3) in a Manual Mode, adjusting your aperture or f/stop, shutter speed and/or ISO setting.  (My brief definitions here.) 

Please welcome four of my favorite bloggers, who just so happen to have excellent photography skills, and are here to offer some fabulous tips for you!  Settle in with a hot cup of coffee or tea on this blustery day, and hear what they have to say. 

Mrs. Limestone of A Brooklyn Limestone in Progress:

“If there is one thing I repeat a lot on my blog it’s this: cameras don’t take good photos, people do.  It is essential you get to know your camera and some of what it can do to make great photographs.   It might seem daunting at first but it’s worth the effort.  Let’s use an example of this trio of vintage cameras.  Apropos, no?
 
The first shot is with the camera set on Auto with the flash turned on. I shudder just thinking about it because if there is ever a way to ruin a photo, it’s with on camera flash.  Take my word for it – never ever  use it and you’re photos will be so much better without doing a thing.

brooklyn limestone 1

See, not so good. So let’s try it again, this time with the flash off.

brooklyn limestone 2

 

So much better, but not quite right. I will be the first to tell you that the AUTO function (always with flash off) is pretty darn handy.  It makes for lovely photos 7 times out of 10.  That’s because nearly all cameras are quite smart in that they figure out how to get a good photo without any effort on the photographers part.  Particularly wonderful when you are trying to capture an image quickly and don’t have time to fiddle.  But sometimes there are outside influences that fool your camera and that’s when using the manual controls come in.
 
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Upholstered Headboard with Nailhead Trim, Revisited

December 27th, 2010

Greetings!  I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!  I can’t tell you how nice it was to take a few days off to just enjoy this beautiful season with the family.  I did things I don’t often do, like sitting still.  Ha!  Some of you may be taking some well deserved time off this week, and truth be told, it’s going to be a slower week around here too. However, I am very excited for what the New Year brings and I already have a few home improvement project in the works.  One is a good friend’s master bath remodel, currently underway.  I can’t wait to share the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ with you come January!

While reading some emails yesterday, I came across this question from Andrea:

“I have recently been working on my master bedroom and the last piece of the puzzle is a fabric headboard.   My husband wants to just buy this one from West Elm for $449, but I like to do things myself for much less money!

west elm headboard
I have been begging him to let me just try to make a fabric headboard with nailhead trim.  I saw one on your blog that you’ve already done.

Here are my questions:  1) How do you know how wide/tall to have the plywood cut?   2) I am willing to spend more on fabric since I’m doing it myself, so what texture do you think will hold up/look the most expensive?  I like the natural fiber look but I also want it to be comfy!  3) Did you mark where the nailheads go before starting them, or did you just follow a straight line as you went along?”  ~ Andrea Larson from LoveLifeLarson blog

Andrea, I love upholstered headboards with nailhead trim, so much so I had to have one of my own for my master bedroom.  I made another version earlier in 2009, but then later tweaked the design and replaced the fabric.  I did manage to reuse the same nailhead trim with this newer version by oh-so-carefully removing it from the original.

Making an upholstered headboard for your own room, your child’s room, or a guest room is one of the easiest projects you can tackle, and you can certainly achieve the West Elm ‘Look for Less’ in an afternoon.

You savvy readers and DIYers know there are quite a few tutorials online for this project.  Here is my own version and the steps how I made this headboard with nailhead trim for my master bedroom.

centsational-girl-bed-linens.jpg 

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