Book Review: The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos


In my opinion are one of the number one keys to success in selling handmade goods online.   I won’t pretend to even to be great at taking photos, not even good.  I don’t have a fancy camera by any means, just a cute little black Cannon Powershot.  On my list of “things to accomplish, or at least attempt this year” is learn more about photography.

And now I have just the book to teach me.

Meet The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos, your new best friend in learning about photography.  Heidi Adnum, the author of this wonderful book was kind enough to include me in a practitioners spotlight.

So you want to learn about taking great photos?  This is the book for you.  Thankfully Heidi starts with the very basics- camera basics.

Need to learn about using your flash? Check.  How to pick out the right camera? Check. What all those fancy camera words like aperture, shutter speed, and exposure mean? Check. It’s all there and explain in very easy to understand terms.

The book goes on to also explain what makes for great composition,  background, props, and so much more.  Heidi even covers all the ins and outs of working with your photos in post production.

So I decided to step out of my comfort zone of shooting in only natural light by trying out one of the great DIY projects in the book: how to make a light box.

Chances are you probably have everything you need on hand: a decently sized plastic container with a lid, a light source such as a flashlight of white holiday lights, and a towel.  With just these three common household items and less than 10 minutes you too can build your own light box. Now I’m starting to sound a bit like an infomercial, sorry.

But in all seriousness like the rest of the book the DIY projects are clearly explained and well illustrated.  That’s is what makes this book so great, it is written in a way that is accessible for even a novice camera owner and photographer.

Here is one of the resulting photos shot in my not so awesomely lit kitchen.

Not bad, not bad at all.  So want to learn all about taking great photos to help your handmade goodies stand out? Go and order The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos, by Heidi Adnum.

Also check out these other great reviews at the online book tour for The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos.

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New Teether Dolls

I received a fabulously fun package in the mail from the wonderful duo, Jen and Jane at Sewn Natural. Inside were some of the cutest little teething dolls I have ever seen!

These soft, cuddly organic teething doll, are handmade with lots of love.  Each doll is made of only eco-friendly materials.  Their bodies and sweet little hats are crafted from the incredibly soft  organic  bamboo velour.  And the stuffing you ask, oh it is softy springy natural carded Canadian wool  with gives the doll a sold yet soft feel.  Each face id carefully hand embrodiered onto their head that is made with organic cotton.

Now comes our contribution to these sweet little dolls, the silky smooth all natural rounded corner triangle.   Each triangle is hand cut and sanded from hardwood and has no extra finishes or polishes.  Just simple wood that little ones love to chomp and chew on to soothe their gums.

Not only are these dolls really darn cute and snuggly but they are handmade from the most natural and safe materials around. No synthetics, toxins, o rgassing off to worry about- super safe and super snuggly- perfection!

I just added the newest dolls in the shop here.  These will be the last dolls added before Christmas. They make wonderful toddler and baby gifts and stocking stuffers!

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{this moment} Little Lion Man

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thanks Soulmama!

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Long weekend fun

One of the perks of being a wooden toy maker is that when you are in need of a fire there is always plenty of wood scraps around to fuel it.  We try to reuse our scraps as often as possible but there are scraps that just are not usable because of their shape or a defect.  It would be a shame to throw them away and since they are completely untreated, natural wood they are perfect for making a wonderful fire!

If you look close you might recognize the cut outs of so shapes from the shop.

Then add s’mores ingredients and you have the perfect treat.  My son, Elliot has several food allergies so we went with dairy free chocolate chips for him.

And now the fire…

With just a bit of assembly you have a tasty and fun treat!

Posted in Holidays, Recipes, family, memories, weekends | 1 Comment

{this moment} Oh hail!

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thanks Soulmama!

What a stormy week it has been all over the US!  I hope that everyone is safe and well.  Our thoughts go out to all of those who have suffered losses this week.

Looking for a fun project? Want to try your hand at making a knitting “spool”? Give it a try here with this easy tutorial.

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Knitting “spool” tutorial

Ever wanted to try out a French Knitter (also know as a knitting spool)?  My oldest has been showing interest in learning how to knit but sadly knitting is one craft I just have never been about to really get the hang of. Honestly, knitting frustrates me so much that knitting needles are much more likely to become projectiles that actually knit anything.

However using a french knitter is not nearly as frustrating and is a great tool to teach the basics of knitting to little ones.

All you will need to make your own knitter is a piece of dry tree limb (or even a dowel rod), approximately 1.25″- 1.5″ inches wide, 4-6 finishing nails, a drill bit that is at least 3/8″, and a hammer or mallet.

First you will need to cut your piece of limb down to size.  I made mine approximately 4″ long.  Make sure to that the cuts are flat. If the ends of you knitter are rough just sand them a bit.

Next, you will need to drill a hole in the center of the knitter.  Try to make the hole in the center of the limb.  Allow the drill to remain in place while drilling so that the drill smooths the inside of the hole.  This is where the knitted portion will go as you finish knitting each round so you will want it as smooth inside as possible.

This is what your knitter will look like after drilling the hole.

Now you are going to make markings so that you will know where to place your finishing nails.  I just used the tip of a nail to make little indents.  I did not measure, I prefer to guesstimate this type of stuff.  I wanted 5 nails but you can use different amounts such as 4 or 6. The more nails the thicker the “tube” you will make.

This is the type of nail I used.  Go ahead and place the nails that you just laid out with a hammer.  And yes, I love sparkly nail polish!

This is what your knitter will look like as you begin to put the nails in place.  Leave about 1/2″ of nail sticking up.  Make sure though that you drive enough nail into the wood so that it is secure.

This is what the top of your knitter will look like after putting all the nails in their place!

Here is a sample of what the “tube” you can knit with your French knitter can be used for.  Elliot is loving his new bracelet.  Stay tuned, I will be posting a directions on how to knit with your brand new knitter new week!

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wip: sweet little bonnet

This week I have been working on some very little hats for a very little baby girl.  Hopefully this little rainbow bonnet will bring a bit of cheer to the family of the sweet little mirco preemie it is intended for. This soon-to-be bonnet will be slightly larger than the others I made so that she can grow into it.  Grow baby, grow!

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{this moment} Airplanes and Uncles

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thanks Soulmama!

Posted in Children, family, memories, {this moment} | 7 Comments

Happy Birthday!

Six year ago today I was starting one of the most amazing journeys of my life.  I was in labor with my oldest child, Stella.  For nine months I had dreamt of this day, I had imagined it, planned for it and secretly been terrified of it. I wasn’t worried about pain or contractions or my water breaking in some embarrassing situation but rather that they were going to let me take this little baby home and be complete in charge of her well being.

Did they not know that I didn’t really know what I was doing? Sure I had held babies, changed a few diapers, and even tried my hand at burping them and rocking them but that just wasn’t the same. I was going to be completely responsible for a tiny, defenseless little creature.

Well I have to say the road of parenthood hasn’t always been the smoothest but it has been a trip that I am so glad to be taking.  It’s hard to believe our trip is already six years in the making. When she was first born her repertoire of tricks was quite small- sleep, eat, burp, poop, cry, snuggle to name most of them.  But now she has added some many more talking, singing, drawing, reading, jumping, bike riding, painting nails, and hugging and I even had a hand in helping her to learn some of them.

I’m so very, very proud of how we have grown together.  We have moved from being a tiny little baby and a worried new mom to a joyful and thoughtful six year old and a happy to live by the seat of her pants mom.

Happy Birthday Stella!  I am so proud to be your Mama!

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{this moment} barefoot, finally

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thanks Soulmama!

Just in case you missed it earlier this week check out my bookcase potato patch tutorial!

Posted in memories, {this moment} | 8 Comments