MODERN DAY MARTHA

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    Getting Crafty in 2010

    Monday, January 11th, 2010

    LensBaby7

    My sister and I have been talking about working together on a bunch of projects this year.  We are both very excited to make both things for our homes and for ourselves and our children.  Today we spoke for a little while and solidified our intent to get our craft on.

    She started making a tangible list of projects and that has inspired me to make a list of projects too.  With the thought of creative list making in mind, I was wondering what blogs inspire you.  We have discussed it here on MDM in the past, but I was wondering if anyone had any new inspiration blogs to offer.

    A few that I have been enjoying and gleaning inspiration from are:

    Burdastyle – a site dedicated to sewing and altering patterns to express your own individuality.  There are a whole bunch of free patterns that you can download and and print out, and some that are offered at very low prices.  Their blog is very active and frequently makes say out loud, “I want to make that!”

    The Purl Bee – While I would classify myself as NOT being a knitter, I do enjoy fiber arts and one day will put myself in that category.  Until that time, I find a lot of inspiration for projects from the Purl Bee.  They have many knitting projects but they also have a lot of other types of projects too.

    Nap Time Crafts – I love this site because it constantly reminds me that even with small children I can still make time to work on projects.  She has really colorful and cute projects for herself and her home and often puts together tutorials for the things she makes.  She’s very big on sharing knowledge and telling her readers how she made things and I LOVE that attitude.

    The Little Green Notebook - This site is run by a woman who is a great home decorator.  She is getting back into the game and opening her business after having children.  She posts projects she has worked on for both herself and her clients, things that inspire her and how she did the occasional project too.  I find a lot of inspiration from both her designs and in where to buy certain items.

    Steep Street - As a photographer, I have been finding great inspiration from this blog.  She always inspires me with her creative use of PhotoShop and her ability to capture the light and see things in angles that I might not think of.  She has really inspired me to learn my software better and be able to use my tools to create more creative art pieces.

    What has been inspiring you lately?  Are there any projects that have been bouncing around in your brain lately?  Are there specific colors or themes that have really been catching your eye lately?  Where are you finding your creative inspiration?

    Photography Tips

    Saturday, October 10th, 2009

    There is this other blog that I occasionally update called MomShots.  My goal in creating MomShots was to learn how to photograph my children so that I could get professional quality results and teach other parents how to do that too, as I learned.  This October is my two year anniversary of learning photography.  I don’t claim to be a photog expert but I do know that I have learned so much in that short time frame and have transformed my photography.

    I am much more happy with my results since I discovered these five tips.  I want to share with you, dear MDM readers.  These tips helped me take my photography to another level.  Maybe they will help you.  I am much more happy with my results since I discovered these five tips.  You do not need a fancy camera (though it doesn’t hurt to have good tools).  You can achieve results you will love with any camera by following these simple guides.

    Tip List:

    • Get close.  Get real close.
    • Get down on their level.
    • Focus on the eyes.
    • Be aware of your background.
    • Be flexible and take lots and lots of shots.

    My first tip here about getting really close was a huge change for me.  For some reason I avoided taking close ups like they were the plaque.  I just didn’t do it.  Once I broke through my photographic mind block I really enjoyed these new shots I was getting.  You can really focus on one person and get a feel for your subject’s zest for life.
    Summer Fun

    The tip of getting down on their level was something that blew my mind.  I could not believe what a difference it made.  Suddenly my shots of my kids went from a boring “adult holding a camera” view to suddenly seeing the world at the child’s level.  If you incorporate this into your photos, you will possibly jump for joy by how much of a change this brings instantly to your shots.
    Cora at the Beach

    Focusing on the eyes is a great way to make sure that you get the attitude and expression you are looking to capture.  You don’t always have to have the eyes in the center of the frame but if they are a prominent feature and in focus, you will enjoy your results much more.  Sometimes you will get so captivated by the eyes that you will ignore all the gunk stuck to their hair and face!
    Mag_by_chair

    Being aware of your background is a huge subject that takes lots of practice and thought.  The basic idea is that you want to avoid backgrounds that are distracting or detract from your subject.  A classic example of this is to take a photo and then you realize that there are trees or sticks in the background that appear to be growing out of their head or body.  Realistically we know that nothing is growing out of our children but it can be distracting and unpleasant to look at.  Think about the background and a neutral background is not what you are going for, try something fun.
    Gar_tractor_tire72

    Taking photos of children can sometimes get frustrating because they don’t always want to do the things you would like them to do.  Children have a mind of their own and love to exercise that independence.  In order to save your sanity remember to be flexible.  Try new things and if possible make your photo shoot into a game.  The most important thing to remember is to take tons of photos.  With digital photography you can take many more shots then you might have been able to justify with film.  Don’t be afraid to take as many shots as you can.  The more shots you take, the better the odds are that you will end up with a few that you really love.

    The last bit I want to pass onto you is that once you have learned these tips feel free to expand on them.  Feel free to try new things and ways of looking at your subjects.  The old adage about rules being meant to be broken is a fun thing to apply to photography.  Let your creativity guide you and you will love your results!