Archive | Tutorials

Photography Tips: Using Natural Light

One of the most important parts of getting great photos of your kids is understanding where your light is coming from.
Here’s a picture demonstration of how lighting can effect the outcome of the picture.

I wanted to get a picture of Claire in her crib- so I took the following picture from the doorway after her nap. The window was straight across from me, to the side of Claire…
I love it, but it doesn’t show her beautiful bright blue eyes very good right?
That’s because she’s not facing the light source. Which makes all the difference.
After I changed her out of her jammies, I put her back in the crib and stood in front of the window for this next shot….(facing the light source, but not in direct light)
Ah. Now her eyes have the important catch lights, and her face is brightly lit.
So having your child face the light is the most important key to getting great pictures of your kids.
Unless of course (there are always exceptions), you were going for dramatic side lighting – which is also beautiful.
The bottom line is to practice getting to know the light in your house.
Do you want sparkly eyes? Face the light source. (i.e.- the window)
Shadows and drama? light to the side.
Light pouring in behind your subject? Back to the light.  (backlighting is amazing, but semi-hard to do)
Here’s one more example-
This is such a basic- but vital part of photography,
and something that anyone can do with any kind of camera to greatly improve your pictures!
*I am in no way claiming to be a Pro at photography- I’m simply a mom that wants the best pictures of my kids possible. I have read and practiced for 3 years– and am happy to share some tips with others.

Don’t forget Natalie’s giveaway in the post below!

Wordle Template

I am definitely not the one you want talking about home decor, 
but I do have this nice collage that I copied from a friend of mine.
People usually always comment on the word collage- so I thought I’d share where I got that!
 I found this LINK before I got photoshop, 
so I had a friend of mine make it up for me. 
I wanted to keep it simple for her, so I used the same colors that Lyndsay (amazing photographer if you’re into that) did, and lots of the same words.
Since I’ve gotten photoshop, I’ve wanted to redo ours- but here is one I did for a close friend of ours to hang in her front room. I love how it had fun inside jokes for their family….
This is another one that takes photoshop (or a friend with photoshop) but I’ve loved it.
Again- the link is HERE.
And of course- it’s FREE!

Money Jars for Kids: Tutorial

I have always enjoyed working with money.  I love balancing my checkbook, paying bills, and just counting it.  I’m crazy, I know.  Well, I have noticed a need at our house.  ONE place for the kids to put all of their money.  Lately I have found money in the wash, on the floor, in the beds, or in one of their several wallets or purses (i.e. – all over!)  So, we made some money jars to help the kids learn how to take better care of their money.  Here’s how we made them:

*Be sure to find some jars first.   I found my cute little jars at Ikea.  ($2.99 each)  Then, you can make a crate for them that they fit in.

  1. I bought a 1/4 inch thick board that is 4 inches wide (really 3.5 inches) and 4 feet long (long enough to make 3 of them).  Also a 3/8 in square stick, and 2 paint stirring sticks I had laying around.
  2. Cut your bottom board 12 1/4 inches long.  Cut your paint sticks for the sides (4 1/8 inches) and the front and back (12 3/4 inches).  Cut the square stick into 4 – 2 inch lengths.
  3. Break out the hot glue gun.  Glue your four square stick to the corner edges of your bottom board.
  4. Glue your sides on next, then the front and back.  (If you look closely, I didn’t think about the order before I started glueing.  So, my picture shows it slightly different.)

*Your measurements might be slightly different if you have different sizes of wood or jars.

Now you are ready to paint. (Enter painters – the kiddos)

Using my Silhouette machine, I then cut their names and labels for each jar.

We love how they turned out, but the best part was teaching the kids about what went in each jar.  We have taught our kids to put 10% in tithing (you could also label this jar “giving” if you prefer), 40% in saving (long term), 50% spending.  We also made a document that is folded and placed behind the jars to help each child keep track of their earned money.

This project has really helped us get organized. Our kids enjoy writing their (meager) income on the worksheet and figuring out what goes in each jar. We hope this inspires you to help your kids learn how to manage money while they are still young. Enjoy!
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