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A couple weeks ago, my husband and our friend went to a football game, but our friend’s babysitter fell through at the last minute. So, I gladly took the opportunity to hang out with a couple of the cutest and sweetest little boys I know. Lucas (age 5) and Caleb (age 3) are so much fun. Caleb has been obsessed with his Superman costume that his awesome mamma made for him for Halloween, so that’s what he was wearing when we decided to head down to the park. And I’m so glad because it made for some really fun photos. But Caleb isn’t nearly the camera ham that his older brother, Lucas is. I couldn’t get enough of either of them. So without further ado, here they are:

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pssst. If you click on any of the pictures, it’ll take you to a gallery where you can see all these photos bigger and better!

A few days ago, I told you about my new camera and gave you a peek at the first photo shoot of Bridget I used it for (see that here). After a few long nights of processing, I’m back with the whole album. So without further ado, here it is:

(Psst. If you click on any of these photos, it’ll open a photo viewer where you can see them bigger and better. Try it. It’s good stuff.)

I’m so grateful to Chrysa for including me in her Etsy Treasury. There are so many lovely items all gathered in one place. Here’s a look. And if you want to go directly to my Etsy shop to see my other products, you can click here.

‘Yellow night’ by mualokoukoutsi


Ceramic Pig Planter Vintage …

$29.99

Cyber Monday , Black Friday …

$20.00

Yellow and purple knitted be…

$20.00

Giraffes 8X10 giclee YELLOW …

$25.00

Felt Birds Garland (Yellow)

$12.00

Basket hand woven ocra golde…

$24.00

Mustard Yellow Leaf Patterne…

$12.00

Color Progression Felt Neckl…

$36.00

Yellow Bowl with Salt Molecu…

$25.00

Single hand block printed ca…

$4.00

Yellow Polka Dot Pouch/Clutc…

$4.00

Hand dyed yarn, Golden Yello…

$14.00

Good Day Sunshine Yellow Ray…

$26.00

Sunflower Yellow Soft Leathe…

$98.00

Yellow and Gray Modern Birch…

$17.00

Pillows Chevron PIllows Pill…

$24.00

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

I really couldn’t be more excited to have gotten a new camera! My husband and I decided to use some of our wedding gift money to make the purchase. After some research, we decided on the Nikon D5100, and so far, I think I’m in love.

I’m hoping to start a part-time photography business doing portraits for families, couples, and individuals. I’ve got a little work to do before I’m ready to officially start, but James Taylor (no, not that James Taylor, though I like him, too) from Outlaw Photography and PartTimePhoto.com has given me the resources and encouragement I needed to make the decision to work towards this goal.

And I’m lucky to have a friend and co-worker who is gorgeous and just starting to pursue modeling. We’ve both been practicing our respective skills on each other, and yesterday I had the pleasure of using my new camera at a really fun photo shoot of Bridget. I still have some processing to do, but I picked a few favorites and edited them each a few different ways. Culling down the 500+ photos is definitely the hardest part of the process for me. I’m working on it.

So here is a peek at yesterday’s shoot. I really love what I have so far! Let me know what you think. I’d love some feedback and/or photography advice, whether technical or business oriented. And as the main differences in these edits is the coloring (how much or how little saturation and/or color vs. black and white), I’d love to hear which style you like best. I like them all so much, I can never decide which to go with. Please, please, help me decide!

(Hint: If you click on any of the thumbnails below, you can see a bigger and better version of these photos in a gallery format.)

My house was built in 1928, and along with tiny closets and plaster walls, that means charming details. One of my favorite of those details is our mailbox. It’s actually a little mail chute with a little mini-door next to the front door. See:

Here’s a closer view:

It’s super convenient to get the mail, seeing as I don’t even have to open my front door. And when our friends with kids come over, the little ones L-O-V-E that little door. My husband likes to tell them that tiny pirates live inside. Yeah, he’s that guy. And they love him.

But the other day, I got the mail and didn’t shut the mailbox. A little while later, I looked over from my perch on the couch and saw this:

I’ve lived here for a year and a half, and as many times as I’ve gotten the mail, the inside of the little door — with paint slapped on in what looks like an afterthought — never really bothered me. I guess it was mostly because the little door was always shut, hiding the slack paint job from my eyes. And who cares if the back of the mailbox door looks kind of crappy, right? But for some reason, that day, I cared. And not only did I care, but I actually did something about it. I grabbed my book of scrapbook paper and picked a patterned paper that is fun, but not too crazy. Who doesn’t love some stripes?

Then, I measured the back side of the mailbox door and cut the paper to size and put a hole where the “door knob” gets screwed in.

I used some paper glaze and a paintbrush to glue the patterned paper to the back of the door.

Once it dried, I painted another layer of glaze on top of the paper to seal it.

It looks really glossy in the next picture, but that’s just because the glaze is still wet.

I waited until it dried, then replaced the little mini door knob and stepped back to admire my mini makeover.

It’s just a small thing that took very little time and effort, and it’s hidden 99 percent of the time, but it makes me happy.

Have you tackled any “hidden” projects lately that make you happy? Let me see. Please.

Pins in place

I use bobby pins all the time. Not every day, but close. And somehow, it always seems like once I put a bobby pin in my hair, it becomes practically disposable. I don’t have a home for bobby pins, so they end up in random spots and I can never find them when I need them, so I grab some new ones instead. It’s not a good system.

So, I thought this was one of the simplest and most brilliant things I’ve ever seen (originally from here):

To be honest, it never really occurred to me that bobby pins are magnetic. Once I saw this, I got right to it. Since I generally do my hair in front of the medicine cabinet, that’s where it seemed like I should corral my bobbies. So I went from this, before:

And with a couple of strips of adhesive-backed magnets and about three minutes…

I had a place for my bobby pins to land when I take my hair down at the end of the day:

Here’s a closer look:

And one more close-up, for good measure:

It was one of the easiest organization projects I’ve ever done. And it’s easily hidden away behind the medicine cabinet door. How about you? How do you keep your bobby pins organized? Or other hair supplies? Have any great secrets of organization I should know about? I could use ‘em.

I have jewelry boxes. Two of them, in fact. And you might think that would mean organized jewelry. Two words. Ha. Ha. The thing is, when my jewelry is hidden away in little drawers and cabinets, I don’t wear it. So I inevitably wear a pair of earrings, then take them off and set them on top of the jewelry box at the end of the day. Eventually, I have a little pile of earrings that I chose from when it comes time to adorn my ears in the morning, completely ignoring all the earrings tucked away inside the jewelry box, out of sight.

So all the inspiring jewelry displays on Pinterest got me excited. There are so many creative ideas to make functional art out of organizing jewelry. Ideas like this (originally from here):

And this (originally from here):

And this (originally from here):

And this (originally from here):

So a while ago, I picked up some old frames from a thrift store and got out the spray paint.

Valspar has spray paint in a color called “New Avocado.” It’s the same color that I used as the accent on the headboard that I painted, shown here. (Though I didn’t use spray paint for that application.)

Once the paint had dried, I grabbed some wire, some crimping beads (basically, I raided my jewelry-making stash), and a staple gun, and came up with this:

The crimping beads were to keep the earrings from all sliding to the center of wire. It actually worked pretty well. Here’s what it looked like with earrings on display:

I liked it pretty well for a while. But it was crowded. And it took a while to put together. I still had three more frames to make, but I had run out of time the day I made it, so the lone frame leaned against the wall. For months. And in that time, I realized a pretty major flaw in the design. Since the frame is completely open, if I missed the wire when I was hanging a pair of earrings back up, the earring would slip behind the frame and fall to the ground. Which happened far too often. I’m sad to say that I still have random earrings lost behind my dresser.

So I decided to call a redo when I saw this (originally from here):

I used a pair of needle-nose pliers to rip out the wire and staples. Then I went to the hardware store and got this:

It’s a sheet of decorative, laser-cut aluminum called Lincane. (Or maybe the design is called lincane? Not really sure about that, actually.) While I was at Lowe’s, I also picked up a pair of tin snips to cut the metal sheet down to size.

I basically just put the corner of the metal sheet into the corner of the back of the frame and marked the spot where it needed to be trimmed.

Then, I got to snipping. It was way easier than I thought it would be. I expected it to take a lot of effort to cut through the metal, but to my surprise, it was like a hot knife through butter. (Well, maybe not that easy, but pretty close.) I think it was partly because all the holes make the metal perforated. And the other thing the holes made easy was cutting straight lines. It was like a built-in guide. Nice.

See. Easy Peasy.

Then, I just slipped the metal into the back of the frame.

I used the staple gun to secure it in place. I didn’t staple through the metal, but rather into the wood like little tabs to block the metal from falling out the back.

Like this:

Pretty simple, huh?

Three more frames filled, and they went up on the wall. And so did all of my earrings.

I’m not totally sure about the configuration of the frames, but I like it, for now.

And now, I don’t have earrings falling behind the frames and down behind my dresser.

I kind of love it. And I kind of love the Pinterest Challenge for giving me the push I needed to get it done. If you don’t know what the Pinterest Challenge is, go check out Young House Love, Bower Power Blog, Ana White, and House of Earnest to see what all the fun is about. And if you’re participating in the Pinterest Challenge yourself, please feel free to link to your own projects in the comments. I’d LOVE to see what you all have been pinning and more importantly, what you’ve been making! Oh, and feel free to check out my boards on Pinterest, and don’t forget to follow me there, too.

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