Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

CG Turns Three!

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

turning 3Hello friends, it’s just an ordinary Wednesday for most, but for me today marks three years blogging here at this site. Looking back, I’m rather proud of everything that’s happened to date and very excited for what the future brings. I still find it a bit surreal that this hobby-turned-real job thing happened to little ol’ me.

The first thing I want to say is thank you to all of you who come over to visit with me, who leave such nice comments, and who interact with me via email and on social media. 

I also need to thank all of the DIY and design bloggers and businesses out there who’ve been incredibly supportive, welcoming, and encouraging – you really are such an amazing community and I’m honored to be a part of this online movement to better our lives and homes through good design and a can-do attitude.  And also thank you to my contributors, Courtney, Amanda, Michelle, and Abi – they’ve helped so much with this site!

My second year of blogging brought some fantastic features my way including  partnering with DIY Magazine, working with Matthew Mead for Holiday Magazine, and I also had my home featured in Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine.  Just this week, the blog hit 27 million pageviews, which I still can’t wrap my head around but those are the stats. 

Last month, I partnered with four other bloggers to write the Growing Your Blog Series (links to all five posts are there – it’s a great read) but today, I’d like to offer some words of encouragement and a few thoughts on what I think is the key to a successful DIY blog.

 

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50 Things to Write About When You Have Writer’s Block

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

A new blogger Abby wrote to me last week asking how I find stuff to write about everyday and I had to really think about it. I don’t often suffer from writer’s block but I used to in the beginning. These days, it just sorta comes to me at night which is why I keep a notebook by my bed of thoughts and ideas. I also get inspired from a lot of what I read online.

Writer’s block is a real issue that bloggers encounter at some point. It can be mild or it can be crippling.  It’s that feeling of not knowing what to say, what to write, what to put out there and to be frank I didn’t really know how to answer Abby’s question.

writers block button

But then it came to me last night. How about 50 blog posts from writers that I’ve bookmarked or remembered from the past year. All of these posts are great because they’re personal and/or offer a takeaway. So here you go Abby, fifty great examples of what to write about when you can’t think of anything at all.

1.  Answer a reader’s question (like Kristi did).

2.  Rediscover your home (like Courtney).

3.  Share your vacation photos (love Stefanie’s).

4.  Make a funny observation (like Steph).

5.  Share a great bargain (like Emily).

6.  Teach readers something technical you know all about (like Amy).

7.  Start a clever series.

8.  Try something cool and wacky. (like Ree)

9.  Share some pretty pictures.

10.  Talk about a device that makes your world complete (like Holly).

milk frother life int the fun lane

via In the Fun Lane

 

 

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Ten Basics for Better Home Photography

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

I’ve had a few emails recently requesting I write up a post offering tips for taking better pictures of interiors. I really don’t consider myself an expert by any means in the field, but I have learned over the years how to take a pretty good picture of a DIY project, vignette, or room reveal.    

I wrote an article last year about better blog images, and it was mostly about moving out of automatic settings and into manual mode. It’s a good read, and today’s post really piggybacks off what I wrote last year.  

As decorators and home bloggers, we are constantly surrounded by gorgeous interiors, whether it comes from shelter magazines, other blogs, or the newest sensation, Pinterest.  The bar continues to be set higher when it comes to photographing our projects and our homes. Don’t be discouraged by this, feel the opposite. Any novice can improve his or her ability to take great images of homes, projects, or spaces with patience and practice.  I know. I’m proof.  

I look back at my pictures from a few years ago and I cringe.  Just take a look at this and you’ll see what I mean. Back then I knew nothing about photography beyond the simple point and shoot. But I realized that I had to better my ability to take decent  pictures if I was going to grow as a blogger and have my work recognized and featured. I’ve been blogging for almost three years and along the way I’ve taught myself a few of the basics of better photography.     

So to answer the questions of a few readers, I’ve narrowed what I’ve learned to these ten very basic tips for taking better images of your interiors or projects.   

 ten basics for better home photography

 

1. Invest in a Good Camera

I’ve read a few posts here and there from bloggers who use a regular point-and-shoot camera, and yes, I do believe a more basic model has the ability to take a really good picture.  So does my iPhone.  However, a good SLR digital camera with variable settings (F-stop, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, white balance, etc.) is the best ticket to high quality interior photography simply because it allows the user to manipulate the amount of light that enters the lens.  And if one thing is true, a great interior shot is all about proper light.     

Both Nikon and Canon offer excellent choices, personally I use a Nikon D90 and I stick mostly with two lenses, my 18-55 mm lens (the standard one that came with the camera) for close ups and a Tamron 10-24 mm lens for larger room shots.  A great camera will do most of the work for you, so I consider it a worthy investment. 

 

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