More Studio Calico love! I met April online quite a few
years ago and have since had the pleasure of seeing her at many CHA
shows. I feel like I watched Studio Calico as it was born! It's been fun
to see it grow at a really steady pace and I know that I am a big fan! I
jumped at the chance to create a home decor project using Studio
When we moved into the house we are in, I was determined to not
have a single mass produced decor piece anywhere! I have broken that
rule for myself here and there...however, I am much more likely to
create a piece for my home, rather than go out and buy something. (If I
do buy something home decor, it's usually vintage). I just love being
able to have one of a kind pieces that mean something to me and my
husband. One of my favorite super simple projects to create are
shadowbox inserts. The beauty of shadowbox design, is that you can
simply create your piece with a background of paper and not adhere it to
the actual shadow box, so it's not permanent. I have a box of designs
and switch them in and out as the season or my mood sways.
For this project, I created a little pieced house, using paper,
stickers and the fabulous and innovative FabrRips. You need to check
them out. Every single piece in this project (except the shadow box) is
from the Studio Calico.
I would love to see your projects using Studio Calico. Cheryl
started a flickr group where we can all post our projects here.
I will be checking it out, so please share yours!
When I think of summer, I can't help but think of all the delicious things that come along with it...blue raspberry slushes, dripping ice cream cones, cotton candy when the carnival comes into town and...well you get the idea (and I just got hungry). But the best thing about sweets is that they are one of those sinful, tempting things in life...and sinful things usually come in attractive packages. So for this month's theme, Sweet Shoppe, I asked the team to set out on the deadly task of finding inspiration from those delicious temptations...and I'm so excited to share each of their take's on the challenge and what they had to say about it.
So grab a piece of strawberry shortcake and a raspberry iced tea, sit back, and GET INSPIRED!
I have these little vases i bought at Target's dollar spot a while back
& my kids love lollipops, they ask for them on the daily (lollipops
are such a great bribe when you are out & about...keeps them calm
& you sane).
When I think Sweet Shoppe I think of going out to get a teetering ice
cream cone, but truth be told I'm too much of a neat freak and would
probably ask for it in a cup with a spoon. That doesn't mean I can't
stamp one though.
I made these two towering piles of pink ice cream as cards to go along
with the end-of-the-year teacher gifts my son will be giving next week.
Inside the cards are wishes for a sweet summer.
Since this is the first photography article I've posted here, I thought a little background might be a good idea. I decided to pursue photography more seriously about 5 years ago. I had no idea how little I knew. I had gotten lucky and taken some decent shots with my film camera and thought I knew more than I did. When I purchased my first DSLR, I started really studying online and trying to figure out what I was doing. I took an online class and although the class was somewhat helpful, I learned more by being a part of the private message board of the participants. The other photographers that were on that board were far and away more knowledgeable than anyone I had ever met (many of them have gone on to have VERY successful careers...and I knew them when!) I started sharing my work and getting feedback. They were brutally honest with me, which is what I needed, as painful as it was. I continued to read and study everything I could find. It was extremely overwhelming in the beginning. Tom came home from work a few times, to find me at the computer, teary-eyed, thinking that I would never "get it". Eventually, some of the technical things began to click and I saw quite a bit of improvement in my images. I wasn't just capturing the emotions or just nailing composition, I was seeing that my focus was more crisp and I was applying what I was learning.
I shared all this because I want to encourage those of you who are just beginning. Take it one step at a time and don't try to learn everything at once. I will be sharing simple photography tips that will hopefully be written clearly for those who aren't familiar with photography lingo.
Today I want to focus on aperture. Aperture is the amount of light that enters your camera. A wider aperture (low number) allows more light and a more shallow depth of field. Just your focal object/person will be in focus and the rest of the image will be out of focus. A more closed aperture (higher number) means less light will be allowed and the more everything in your frame will be in focus.
I adore a shallow depth of field. Here are a few examples:
I shot this wide open with my aperture set at f1.4, using my 50mm1.4 lens.
I set my camera on a wide rail and then snapped this very shallow depth of field shot.
My favorite shallow depth of field shots are of people.
My friend Lisa Truesdell took this photo of Sam that shows a cool shallow depth of field. You can check out Lisa's blog here
Baby toes are always fun to photograph with a shallow depth of field too.
Here's an example of a more closed aperture:
Everything in the frame is in focus and it was shot at about f22. A more closed aperture is good for landscapes or group shots with people at different depths.
I hope this very basic information about aperture is helpful!
Simple, well stated and vintage fabulous with color infusion. Those are words I think of when I see Becky Novacek's art. I just love how she can say so much with one of her amazing photographs and just a couple words. She is definitely one of my all-time favorite artists, and I'm so super excited that she is a part of our team. She is just one of those artists that does it all. Fabulous photography, fabulous scrapbooking, amazing decor and so on...exactly what we love! And I'm also very pleased to introduce her as our first design team highlighted artist. So if you haven't run across Becky or her work anywhere (although I'm sure most of you have!) you are in for a big treat!
First, a quick glimpse into her art studio...one that many of us would absolutely die for:
so amazing right? I just love the antiques with the big hanging pom poms and chandelier. And the side view with the grouping of art on the wall that adds such a great touch to a creative space...I love an art studio that is filled with inspiration as well as product! In fact, just looking at photos of her space puts me in the mood to do a home decor project...or to take a tour through the rest of her house, which I'm positive must be equally amazing.
But before I do that, I want to share a little quirky list of random questions that I sent to all the girls on the design team. I've loved reading through them to find out little unknown facts about the cartwheel girls! Here's Becky's list:
1. confession time: tell me something about you that you don't always
feel proud to shout from the rooftops.
I'm a very tolerant person, but when I reach my limit, I'm done.
2. if you could meet anyone on tv right now (in character or as a
person) who would it be? and why?
I love tv, but I truly have no desire to meet anyone on my shows! i
don't want to be disillusioned!
3. what is your favorite color?
4. tell us an embarrassing story from your childhood...
I was such a tomboy and would take my shirt off and pretend to be a boy.
5. if you could visit anywhere in the world where would it be?
Paris....to flea market and eat : )
6. what's the craziest thing you've done for art?
I trespass often to get a unique photo.
7. if you could invent anything, what would it be?
a cure for cancer
8. what would the soundtrack of your life sound like?
9. stranded on a deserted island, what one scrapbook supply would you
take with you?
10. if you received a million dollars and had to use it only on
yourself, what would you buy?
I would renovate my house exactly the way i want it and take a really
nice vacation while it's being renovated. Sorta selfish!
11. if you could have 1 magical power what would it be?
12. who is your style hero?
13. in one word...describe yourself.
14. if you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
15. if you could only talk to one other living person for the rest of
your life, who would it be?
16. funny or romantic? gorgeous or rich? creative or handy?
17. what is your motto in life?
Be real, work hard and have passion, make time for rich relationships,
seek God and live to do His will.
And finally, some of Becky's personal favorites including:
OVERALL FAVORITE ART PIECE: a recent scrapbook page showcasing one of her adorable grandchildren and a very-Becky design.
Becky's comment about this photo: "She is the most outrageous child I've ever met. And I love her to
And a quick shot of the jars she keeps her vintage ribbons in to stay organized.
And there you have it...a little glimpse into the very fabulous art of Becky Novacek. :) You can read more about her on her daily blog updates at www.beckynovacekphotography.com and see more of her art very soon right here on the cartwheels blog. I think you are going to love the article she is planning to write on a regular basis...so inspiring!
Check back soon for our photo share of the day by Cindy!