Monday, February 27, 2012

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf

When I saw this ah-mazing pom pom scarf on Modcloth last fall, I thought it was the coolest thing. Actually, I can mark this scarf as the beginning of my pom pom/ glitter craze. But alas, the Modcloth scarf was a whopping $90, (blergh) and I knew there was some way I could make those cute little pom poms because they adorn pretty much all DIY projects from the 1970s.

So I went to JoAnn fabrics and asked one of the nice little ladies how in the heck I can make a yarn pom pom. She showed me these cute little pom pom makers and I was hooked, it's really fun and easy to make them. I spent an afternoon making pom poms and watching Downton Abbey. :D

Turns out, my project didn't look as wearable as the Modcloth version, despite the fact that I found a jersey knit with a similar geometric pattern. I still like the scarf and I think it's fun-- sometimes the unfortunate thing with DIY projects is they actually look like DIY projects. #WinSomeLoseSome

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf
My dress is from a vintage/antique shop in Mooresville, IN. I think I paid $8 for it.

To Make the Pom Pom Scarf:

You need:
-Pom Pom Maker
-Sewing Machine
-Fabric for Scarf
-Straight Pins

Pom Pom Scarf
Step 1: After you've made your pom poms,
leave a little bit of yarn extending from the pom
pom and tie a little knot. Pin the knot to the
edge of your scarf.

Pom Pom Scarf
Step 2: Stitch up those bad boys.
And you got it!

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf
Nice circle skirt...

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf
...that twirls!

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf

DIY Modcloth-Inspired Pom Pom Scarf
The thing is, even if this scarf is a little bit too whimsical, I really love the geometric print of the jersey knit and I might add some non-DIY pom pom trim to it so that I'll wear it more. :/ So this DIY is... TBD. ;)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Project 365: Week 8-- Week of the Lambs

This post is part of my Project 365 where I am taking one photo every day for a year. Click here to see all of my photos in the series-- and if you want to join, feel free to do so anytime! :)

Project 365: Week 8

2-17-12 I took this photo of my bedroom window with my (dreamy) Diana lens mounted on my Nikon. I originally saw the lens on Photojojo, but bought mine from Amazonbecause of the price difference. You will also need an adaptor for the Diana lens, the adaptor only comes for Canonsand Nikonsright now.

Project 365: Week 8
49/365: ISO: 400 f/1.8 Shutter Speed: 1/125

Project 365: Week 8
49.5/365: ISO: 400 f/1.8 Shutter Speed: 1/125

2-18-12 I took a ton of baby lamb and mama sheep photos this week over at my grandpa's down the street. They are so irresistible, I couldn't stay away. I think I'll continue taking photos of this spring to show how they grow and change. ;)

Project 365: Week 8

Project 365: Week 8

Project 365: Week 8

Project 365: Week 8
50, 51/365: (All of these) ISO: 400 f/1.8 Shutter Speed: 1/200

2-19/20-12 Went back and took TONS of photos on Sunday as well as Monday because it was President's Day and I didn't have to work. I. Love. Those. Cats. They are so funny with the lambs, they even play with them a bit. :)

Project 365: Week 8
52/365: ISO: 1000 f/1.8 Shutter Speed: 1/160

2-21-12 A fancy fork bracelet my mom gave me for Christmas. It's so much more intricate than my fork bracelets. :)

Project 365: Week 8
53/365: ISO: 2000 f/1.8 Shutter Speed: 1/200

2-22-12 Went back to my grandpa's after work to test my NEW camera a bit. (Ahh! I upgraded to a Nikon D7000. I love my D40, but there were a lot of things it couldn't do that were starting to really bother me. I had the darndest time getting indoor photos without a whole light setup. Plus, I've been saving up in my Etsy store for a while now and I decided to just go for it. :) I've been reading the manual this weekend and I am so excited to work with this camera. I can already tell it is a lot more intuitive for the settings and there will be a lot less guessing and checking for photos. I refuse to insult this camera by putting it in auto, so I've got to figure out what things are updated and better compared to the D40. :)

Project 365: Week 8
54/365: ISO: 400 f/2.0 Shutter Speed: 1/1250

2-23-12 A scarf-covered purse strap that I made/assembled at work on Thursday. :)

For more photography tips, see this post on digital photography tips for beginners. You can also check out the rest of my photos from the year for my Project 365!

If you want, you can always join the project!

Friday, February 24, 2012

How to Style Curly Hair


I spent most of my kid life in battle with my hair. It never set the same way twice and I couldn't, for the life of me, get my hair to look like all the other cute little 6th grade girls with their stick straight locks. It also didn't help that I had BANGS which is about the worst thing to have as a curly-headed girl with no curly-hair-taming tricks. And don't even get me started on my preteen nemesis: HUMIDITY.

It's been a few years since I went out in public looking like I stuck my finger in a light socket and I'm up to about 50%-50% on good hair days vs. bad hair days. :) (Humidity and I are on more civil terms these days as well. ;)) I thought I'd share a few tips (and a video!) to help all my curly-haired girls out there... here's to good hair days and banishing straighteners. ;)

Additional Tips:
-I know it looks like quite a process, (because it is...) but I want to point out that I only wash my hair twice a week... and I only have to do this routine twice. It all evens out in the end in terms of time and I probably spend the same amount as the straight-locked gals. Most days I can just wake up, tousle my hair a bit, and I'm ready to go. I've found that my hair and the products behave best on day 2 or 3 anyways. :) Also, it is healthier to wash your hair less.

-As for the hair products themselves, I don't use anything fancy. (I do put overnight conditioner in my hair after I've washed it to help hold in some moisture.) I usually use Suave for mousse... or something a couple dollars more if I'm feeling rich. ;) I use Tresseme gel, Aussie "Sprunch" for volume, and I love, love, love the Aussie "Aussome Volume" hairspray for toning the curls. I also take "Hair and Nail" vitamins when I remember. Ha.

-With curly hair, product is your friend, my friends.

Hope these tips help! Any questions, just drop a comment. :) You can also see another hair tutorial I made, how to do DIY feather hair extensions!


PS-- Project 365 post coming tomorrow sometime. I was too excited about video-makin' to post it today. :D

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIY Shoelaces


I love details-- almost too much sometimes. (In high school I might've been accused of over-accessorizing on more than one occasion.) :D I just don't see the problem with a look made of glitter sunglasses, dangly earrings, an "S" necklace, and a hair flower. ;) While I might've toned it down a tad in the accessory department today, if something feels a bit boring to me, I feel a bit uncomfortable wearing it.

DIY Shoelaces

These boots were feeling a little bit drab to me. For a while I wore black ribbons as shoelaces to spruce them up a bit, but it just wasn't cutting it for me anymore. After I made the Anthropologie-inspired scarf necklace for work, I had all these extra serged scarf strips left over... and I decided to make them into shoelaces. Also-- I've been seeing some awesome shoelace inspiration around the web. ;)

Like these from Martha Stewart:
DIY Shoelaces

Or these from Atlantic-Pacific:
DIY Shoelaces

Or these awesome ribbon shoelaces I saw on Jag Lever:
DIY Shoelaces

Here's how to make my scarf shoelaces:
(If you don't have a serger, you can always use ribbons.) ;)

DIY Shoelaces
Find some scarves at a thrift store. The scarves I used had some holes in them and they weren't really serving as great scarves anymore. :)

DIY Shoelaces
If you have a serger, run the scarves through the serger and make little strips. If you don't have a serger, you can get a similar look with a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine and cut along the edges. It won't be as clean as if you used a serger, but it will do.

DIY Shoelaces
That's it! Thread the scarf strips or ribbon through the holes in your shoes and you've got a funky new pair of laces. :)

DIY Shoelaces
Good luck!

Monday, February 20, 2012

How to Choose a Polaroid Camera

How to Choose a Polaroid Camera

Every week I get a few people asking about Polaroid cameras through my Etsy store or via email. While I love talking shop about the Polaroids, I've come to the conclusion that it might be a little bit more helpful to have a detailed post about my Polaroid camera experiences and any advice I have for Polaroid newbies. :)

While I am not a certified expert on the Polaroid subject by any means, I've had quite a bit of experience working with the cameras over the past few years. I went to the Impossible Project's grand announcement that they were restarting the production of film, I've done some camera surgery, I've read Edwin Land's biography(the inventer and founder of Polaroid), and I've sold dozens of cameras in my Etsy store. Oh-- and of course I love love love shooting the film. :)

Here are the FAQ's I receive often-- if you have a more specific question, leave it below and I can try to answer in a comment back. Plus, it might help others to read through the comments as well to answer anything I've missed in the post. :) I've linked to one of the best and most inclusive Polaroid resource lists on the web for more information about the specific cameras.

Project 365
Some of my favorite Polaroids.

"Do you have any advice on buying a Polaroid camera? And where do I buy film?"

I think one of the coolest things about Polaroid cameras is the fact that the camera body itself is a really simple piece of machinery. Essentially, most Polaroid cameras are hunks of plastic that shoot light on the right spots of the film. The film is where all the magic is.

You can find film over at The Impossible Project-- they make it pretty easy to navigate their site and find the film that fits your camera. For a while you could still find film on Ebay, but I think the eBay films are such a gamble that it isn't worth it. I've bought Impossible Project films often, and while some of the "First Flush" films are temperamental and really frustrating, sometimes you get a mind-blowing shot. **Make sure you follow the film manual. This is SO important.

There is no cheap way to find film, unfortunately. Because Polaroid stopped producing their film in 2008, Polaroid photography has evolved from a form of expression where you could buy your supplies in Walmart to more of an art form with art prices. *le sigh. That being said, the Impossible Project's films keep getting better and better and hopefully as more people buy up their stock, their prices will drop.

Project 365
Some Impossible Project films, some found photos.

"What camera should I choose?"

♥1. For the serious photographer willing to drop a little extra $$$:

Try the folding SX-70's or the professional SLR Polaroids.


This is my favorite and treasured Polaroid SX-70. This camera usually goes for $80-$300, but I was SUPER lucky because my grandpa actually gave me his old camera. The thing that I love about this camera, besides the fact that it is an incredibly beautiful piece of design, leather, and metal, is that this camera has an SLR lens which allows me to change the focus of the lens and the depth of field.

Some of the photos I've taken with this camera: (Click on the image to go to the original post.)

Flatiron Building, NYC Statue of Liberty San Juan Polaroid
Riverside Church Polaroid Polaroid Times Square Polaroid

♥2. For the camera enthusiast just looking to have a bit of fun:

Try a cheap(er) and easy-to-find Polaroid camera.

Polaroid Polaroid
These are my two favorite non-professional plastic cameras, the Polaroid Spirit and the Polaroid One Step Land Camera in the rainbow edition. These cameras are great for taking photos when I do not care about having as much control over the photo. They are really great for outdoor shots and longer focal distances. I've found that while the Polaroid Land Camera and the Spirit take different film, they don't behave that differently as a camera. (I've also used a few of the cameras in the link above, like the very common Polaroid OneStep 600 and the Polaroid OneStep AF, and they all feel similar to me. You have the ability to adjust the lighten-darken wheel and there is a flash on some of the cameras, but other than that, the photo really depends on the film.

Polaroid "Spirit" Camera Photos:
Franklin, Indiana Polaroid Ferris Wheel Princeton Polaroid
DePauw The Artcraft Polaroid Carousel

Polaroid OneStep Land Camera Photos:
Fountain Square Road Signs, Indianapolis Polaroid Fountain Square, Indianapolis Polaroid

♥3. For the handy camera lover who's not afraid to do some camera surgery:

Try a packfilm camera that needs a tweak of electric work-- these cameras use easy-to-find and CHEAP film.


I say this about all of my Polaroids, but I really love this Polaroid 103 Land Camera as well. It takes Fujifilm pack film which is easy-to-find and readily available on Amazon-- the only thing you need to do is modify the battery to take modern AAA batteries. (You can find black and white film or color.) My dad helped me do this, but after I saw him do it, I am pretty sure anyone can do it if you follow the directions and use the correct tools. Here is the tutorial I used.

The packfilm cameras are a bit older than the cameras I mentioned before this, and the packfilm cameras have more things that can go wrong inside the camera... but I bought my camera online for $7 and it works wonderfully. (I love the smell of these films-- it really adds to the tangible sensory experience of using instant films.) These are the types of cameras where you take the photo, pull out the photo, wait a minute, and then peel apart the film and the chemicals. It's awesome. :)


Here is a list of the packfilm cameras that can be converted and what they need.

Polaroid 103 Land Camera Photos:
img004 Scan 102880004_2
Roy O. West Library, DePauw University Hollandsburg, IN

"Where do I find a Polaroid camera?"

I am lucky to live in a small town where Polaroid cameras aren't really in high demand, so for me it is a bit easier to find incredible cameras for good prices in the thrift stores and local antique stores. If you are on the prowl for the perfect camera, I recommend visiting your local secondhand shops as often as you can to snatch a camera before anyone else does.

My cameras
My collection a couple years ago.

One thing I have noticed lately is that the cameras are growing more and more scarce-- I don't know it is due to the fact that the hipsters are taking over the world or if I've bought up all of the cameras around Central Indiana... I do know that I haven't found a camera in a couple months. (And before anyone tells me in a comment below that I'm the pot calling the kettle black in terms of "hipsters taking over the world"-- I realize that I am writing an enormous post about kitschy film cameras.) :)

If you have an antique mall around you, definitely check it out and don't be afraid to dig. I can almost guarantee that there will be at least one camera in an enormous antique mall.

And of course, you can always find Polaroid cameras online. I've sold quite a few in my Etsy store, but if you check out Ebay and read the descriptions really well, I'm sure you can find an awesome camera that is perfect for you. Just make sure the camera looks intact and the rollers seem clean. Like I said in the intro, most Polaroid cameras are essentially big boxy hunks of plastic that reflect the light on just the right places, (exceptions are the brown SX-70 and the professional Polaroids.) The finicky and temperamental aspects of the Polaroids rest with the film.

"What is a good price for a Polaroid camera?"

One thing that I hate is when people charge insane prices for the Polaroid cameras and fool people into thinking they are more valuable than they actually are. (People have even messaged me in my Etsy store asking why my prices are so low-- they wonder if the cameras are broken or something. They're not. :)) Sure, the brown SX-70 is a rare and valuable camera, and so are a few other models, but for the most part, Polaroid cameras are everywhere if you are willing to look. Don't get duped into paying $80 for a Polaroid OneStep 600 that is actually worth $25.

Morphed Polaroid, Self-Portrait
Polaroid self-portrait with some expired film.

Good luck!

Again, if anyone has another question that they can't figure out, just leave it below. I just have to say-- there is nothing quite like the mechanical and magical feeling that comes with taking a Polaroid. The colors, the smells-- it's a photo experience like no other. :)

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