TOOLBOX: Shredding (or Fringe) Scissors are too much fun.

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My Christmas list is getting kinda boring. Well, not boring to me, but maybe to anyone who wants to get me something other than a book (on making stuff) or a tool (to make stuff with.)

This year I got a big ole pair of Shredding Scissors.

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Also called “Fringe Scissors” in the crafting/scrapbooking community, these suckers are basically 5 pairs of scissors bolted together. Practically, they can be used to shred documents (without using an electric shredder). Less practically you can (and will) turn anything…

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into confetti.

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I got them for the ability to fringe paper quickly and consistently for my crafty projects. (Example coming soon.)

Things to love

• It’s pretty easy to get a consistent fringe by eye.
• Turns colorful trash paper into a craft supply!
• Gives you more control than a paper shredder. Plus it’s smaller, quieter and easier to store. (I’ll be using these to shred paper for paper making.)
• They seem pretty heavy duty, and the blades line up almost perfectly.
• The sense of power you get from using 5 sets of scissor blades at once. Also, Edward Scissorhands themed imagination trips.

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Things to Hate

• They do seem to get plugged up pretty easily. Most of the pieces can be pushed out by closing the scissors all the way, but a few will have to be pulled out with your little fingers.
• Cutting with 5 sets of scissor blades takes as much force as cutting with five pairs of scissors. My hands got tired pretty quickly. They are also pretty heavy to hold in your delicate artist hands for a long period of time.

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All in all, they are a hit! I love having another multifunctional compact tool to use, and I’ve already got another tutorial headed your way.

Our Favorite Posts From 2014!

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year! When we started Adventures-In-Making last June, we had no idea where this blog would take us. We’ve had so much fun flexing our creative muscles, sharing projects and ideas, and connecting with like-minded creative people like YOU! We can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for us and hope that you’ll join us in our creative adventure!

Today we are taking one last look at 2014 to share some of our favorite posts and projects. We hope you enjoy looking through. Cheers to a great 2015!

DIY: ‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillow

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

One of my all-time favorite sewing projects. These were so fun to make and sparked my interest in learning more about natural healing and aromatherapy. – Rachel

DIY: Hand-Dyed Paper Flowers

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It was so fun to share this process. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend a day, and I end up surrounded by colorful flowers. – Alison

RECIPE: Lavender & Lemonade

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This year I fell in love with lavender. These lavender creme cookies were to die for! Can’t wait to make them again -Rachel

TODAY: Heal A Creative Soul

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It felt so therapuetic to sit down and think about ways to help sooth the sensitive artistic soul. I try to do a few of these things every day. – Alison

TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit

TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit #artjournal #collage #supplies

Art journaling is my favorite mode of expression. It’s the one thing I always turn back to whenever I need to reconnect with my true self. Sharing my favorite supplies and journal pages felt very cathartic and even sparked new friendships! -Rachel

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer

This was such a fun project! I spent months thinking about what I could do with the Lucky Buddha bottles. Tiki torches were so simple to make and fun to use! -Rachel

DIY: Number Etched Drinking Glasses

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I’ve been making these jars like crazy since the original post, and have a cabinet full! It was such a great way to practice using a new tool, the Dremel Micro. -Alison

TODAY: Inspired by Frida Kahlo

TODAY: Inspired by Frida Kahlo

My biggest struggle of 2014 has been living with chronic pain. Thinking of Frida Kahlo’s life and art is such a comfort and inspiration to keep growing, creating and loving. -Rachel

RECIPE: Pickled Blackberries

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My big experiment in the kitchen- pickled blackberries seemed like such a strange concept, but they turned out surprisingly delicious. I served them to my friends and family with cheese and crackers and everyone LOVED it! I’ll definitely be making these again next year. -Rachel

DIY: Pressed Herb Candles

DIY: Pressed Herb Candles #gift #handmade

This was one of my first candle-making experiences and I just love how they turned out! I can’t wait to make them again. -Rachel

DIY: Ampersand Shadow Box

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This shadow box was so much fun to make, and now sits proudly in my studio. I can’t wait to try this process on more pieces. -Alison

DIY: Shiny Robot Ornaments from Wine Corks

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Another reclaimed material project, I sure like using trash. I’ve made even more robot friends since this post. They’re a blast. -Alison

TOOLBOX: Dremel Micro Review for Glass Etching

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I have a secret. I’ve been hoarding glass bottles… and jars. Sure, I’ve been drinking out of a set of 6 jars, but what no one knows is I have a whole box of them in my closet.

Shoot. Now you know.

The big plan was to use etching cream to mask and etch them into glass masterpieces– but something always stopped me. It may have been that the first time I pulled out the etching cream, Safety Husband insisted on reading the ingredients and warnings. He then set out a strict list of suggestions for using the DANGEROUS stuff I got from the craft store. I followed the suggestions once, but lived in fear of getting out the cream ever again. “Wear gloves. You don’t want it eating through your skin… to your bones.

We live in a world of excess caution, over here.

Safety Husband recommended safety goggles and a respirator- talked down to spectacles and a dust mask.

For Dremel Etching, Safety Husband recommended safety goggles and a respirator- accepted spectacles and a dust mask.

The box of glass lived to taunt me. Sitting in there, instead of going to the recycling bin where it belonged; until I got the bright idea of looking for alternate etching options. There are a lot of great, videos, but the one from Dremel sold me. It was time to replace our old rotary tool, so after some shopping I decided on the…
Dremel Micro, which is cordless.
•I bought two diamond bits, but I’ve only got around to playing with the one that looked most useful, the Dremel Diamond Wheel Point Bit.
** UPDATED 12/14 – I’ve since started using two different diamond bits with more success. 7105 Diamond Ball Pointand 7103 5/64-Inch Diamond Wheel Point

Experiments

I tried several different ways of getting my initial artwork laid out, including drawing the design on with a Sharpie, as well as using masks that we had made with the intention of using the etching cream.

Tara Bliven drew and cut out this beautiful mask for me.

Tara Bliven drew and cut out this beautiful mask for me.

We drew and cut these masks out of contact paper, but you could also use masking tape. They are a great way to start out, because the mask will help you learn to control the tool. If you jog out of the lines, the mask material will shred before you mark the glass, giving you one chance to screw up without consequences.

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The mask is definitely the most time consuming and tedious way to go. I’ve moved on to freehand patterns, and occasionally use paper templates that taped to the other side of the glass. (More on that later.)

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Tips

•Higher Speeds (controlled with a button on this model) work much better for etching glass. I usually use the second to highest speed. The highest works even better, but the sound is skull-splitting, so I only use it when absolutely necessary.
•Using the bit I’ve listed above, you will mainly be making thinnish lines, so plan on going over your artwork a couple of times. It works best to hold the bit as close to parallel with the surface of the piece.
•Make a jig for round items. I took a couple of wood scraps and made a kind of rail for the glasses to lay in. (See in the photos above.) Make sure it’s small enough to move around, as you will want to be able to approach your piece for all angles. After my experiments, I sprayed the whole jig black so I could see my work more easily.
•Wear Protective Gear… or you’ll get in trouble. I found a dust mask and glasses worked for me, but it might be good to start out with even more coverage. Remember that your glass could shatter at any time.
•Start with thick glass pieces, and don’t grind too much in one place. This is not a tool for drilling, so you’re more likely to shatter your pieces than cut cleanly through.
•Start with trash pieces you’re not afraid to throw away. There’s definitely a learning curve.
•Hand-wash any pieces, to make sure you’re not shocking the thinned glass with hot water.
•Work outside. You’ll be generating a ton of dust. While I haven’t had any sharp pieces (yet) it’s nice to let nature get rid of the dust.
•This is a no-distraction project. Don’t plan on watching TV while you work with power tools.

Things to Love

•It’s lightweight. Initially I was planning to use a flex shaft like they use in the video, but the cable is not very flexible, and I decided the lack of cord would be a benefit.
•It compact and easy to transport (although it does not come with a carrying case.)
•The battery lasts longer than I do. I haven’t had to stop what I was doing to recharge.
•I haven’t hurt myself (yet). This is always remarkable.

Things to Hate

•The “Lock” button sticks out just above the power button, and I have hit it accidentally a couple of times while the Dremel is running. It makes a terrible sound to tell me I’m killing it to death.
•It’s still a little clumsy. Even though the end is tapered so you can hold on to it, it’s more like trying to write legibly with a Squiggle Pen than an actual writing implement.
•It is quite tricky to get make a curve. A lot of this has to do with skill, and the kind of bit I’ve been using.
•The sound, especially at higher speeds. It makes a high keening when you’re using it on the glass. The birds have been complaining about this as well. It’s just life in the etching game.

Things to Try

•More bits. I tried scratching the glass with non-diamond bits with little result, but now that I’m hooked on the etchin’, I’m going to try everything. (If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.)
•More freehand designs.
•On flat surfaces, like plates, trays, etc. On mirrors.
•Make a set of matching glasses, with patterned numbers, using paper templates. That’s pretty specific, huh? I guess a DIY is in the works… but until then, have fun!

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TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit

TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit #artjournal #collage #supplies
Art journaling has been a part of my creative process since high school. It’s the one thing I always come back to when I’m feeling lost or overwhelmed by life and is the one place where I can create intuitively, without a specific purpose or judgement. Just the act of doodling on a page or making a collage in my journal calms my nerves and helps me to reconnect with my true self.

Whenever I get the ‘itch’ to journal, I get out my art journal supply kit (which I often carry with me in my bag or purse) and get started.

TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit

My Art Journal Supply Kit Includes:

• Pens and markers
• Colored pencils and sharpener
• Glitter glue and gel pens
My travel watercolor set
• A small pair of scissors
• Glue stick
• Mechanical pencil and eraser
• Large zipper pouch (mine is handmade by Slide Sideways, now known as Year Round Co.)

I love to experiment and have fun when working in my art journal so I like using supplies I wouldn’t normally use when making art. I love adding a touch of glitter or using a white gel pen to doodle over a dark watercolor wash.

TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit #artjournal #collage #supplies
TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit #artjournal #collage #supplies

My Favorite Collage Materials:

• Vintage National Geographic magazines
• Vintage postcards and other ephemera
• Vintage books
• Pressed leaves and flowers
• Any other bits I find and collect

TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit #artjournal #collage #supplies

You may have noticed that I use a old book as my art journal medium. There’s something about drawing inside the pages of a book that feels so satisfying. There are no blank white pages staring at me saying “this better be good” and I love choosing an old book with a title and cover that speaks to me.

TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit #artjournal #collage #supplies
TOOLBOX: Art Journal Supply Kit #artjournal #collage #supplies

Do you art journal? What are some of your favorite supplies or techniques?

TOOLBOX: Alison’s Essential Drawing Supplies

TOOLBOX: Alison's Essential Supplies #drawing #tools

My favorite supplies have changed a lot over the years. Right now I have a loose-leaf system that works great for me, and along with my travel kit, it’s incredibly portable. (Portable tools mean you’ll get more done, more places!)

Since I have a tendency to do things a little differently, I thought I’d share a little about my process and supplies; then let you decide if you think I’m crazy- or a crazy genius.

I’ve included links to many of the supplies, in case you’d like to try them yourself*.

Paper and Stuff

TOOLBOX: Alison's Essential Supplies #drawing #tools

I like to work on 8.5 x 11 inch loose-leaf pages because I can carry them around easily. From time-to-time I’ll cut pages down so I can have an even more portable set- but I keep the same selection of papers.

A. Papers

I use Smooth White Cardstock  for early sketches and drawing. Cardstock handles a lot of erasing a redrawing.
When I can’t erase any more, I’ll do additional edits on  cheap tracing paper.

I use higher quality Canson Marker Paper for final drawings, and for inking. I tried a bunch of different papers, and this was the best with my Uni-ball pens. It doesn’t bleed too much, and dries quickly enough that I’m less likely to drag my left hand through wet ink.

Graph Paper and Miscellaneous Guide Sheets  I’ve found it’s handy to keep guide sheets that I can use with tracing paper. I usually have sheets of graph paper, script slant guides, and other handy shapes I use a lot.

B. Clipboard

I love this low profile aluminum clipboard. It’s lightweight and means I can draw anywhere.

C. Project Filing

I keep each project I’m working on in a clear page protector. When I’m done, I can discard the pieces of my process I no longer need, and retire the whole protector to a binder or other file for safekeeping.

 

Tool Kit

TOOLBOX: Alison's Essential Supplies #drawing #tools

I do as much work at the store as I do in my studio, so I’ve come up with a very extensive travel kit to carry. (I like to be prepared for everything.)

A. Pencils

I love using Woodless Graphite Pencils  for shading, thick lines, and because they are awesome. I use BIC Mechanical Pencils  a lot in my early sketching phases. Blackwing Pencils are my newest obsession. The erasers are especially useful, and replaceable! I prefer the harder “Pearl Pencils”.

B. Pencil Sharpener

This small metal pencil sharpener is essential if you want to use anything other than a mechanical pencil.

C. Erasers

I use a Mars Plastic Eraser for heavy duty changes and a narrow eraser for getting into tight spots

D. White Pencil

I often us a white Prismacolor Pencil to correct mistakes that can’t be erased, I also like to be able to draw on surfaces that aren’t white. (See the pictures of my work table.)

E. Ruler

This 6″ Ruler was one of the best things I added to my kit. You can’t eye-ball every line.

F. Compass

For years I used a cheap school compass, and when I upgraded to this guy, suddenly my life got so much better. Perfect for making curves, and circles.

G. Inking Pens

Uni-ball Pens are my preferred pen for inking on marker paper.

H. Scissors

A tiny pair of scissors like this comes in handy often.

I. Permanent Marker

I love the twin tipped Sharpie Markers. Sometimes I want to go nuts and make a permanent drawing impact (ie. leave my tag somewhere.) I don’t usually do that, but a permanent marker is great to have on hand.

J. X-acto Knife

I think everyone should have a quality X-acto Knife. I use this one from Martha Stewart Crafts because the lid stays on well, which is important in a tool that travels around with me. I also like to keep a few extra blades on hand; this box set does just that, and has a place to store the old blades.

K. Glue

It’s important to keep glue around for when you want to add something to your drawings. A glue stick works well, and leaves less mess in your bag. I also carry around a small roll of scotch tape.

L. Miscellaneous Tools

You probably need a Bone folder. I also try to keep something that will poke, but isn’t sharp, like this embossing tool, or a small wooden skewer. Think of other miscellaneous tools you might need – a needle and thread?

M. Pencil Bag

A gorgeous pencil bag will inspire your work. Check out this lovely one from Slide Sideways (now Year End Co.)


Well, now you’ve seen what I’ve been working with lately. It’s not your usual collection of art supplies, but life is all about trying unusual things!

*Support Adventures-in-Making by shopping from our Amazon store. We’ve selected a few things that we love, and think you will too. If you purchase through us, you pay no more for those items, but we get a small portion of the sales to further the adventures. Check out the whole store at http://astore.amazon.com/adveinmaki-20

TOOLBOX: Lacis Cord Maker Review + Video Demo

TOOLBOX: Lacis Cord Maker #tool #equipment #braid

This nifty braiding machine is something I picked up a few years ago for Camp Smartypants. I was getting really sick of hand-braiding for my greeting cards (each card included a braid around the fold of the card back in the day). When I reached the point where I was selling hundreds of cards, the braiding got to be pretty daunting. After doing a bit of research, I found this battery powered cord maker on Amazon. It works great and definitely sped up my production process. I’ve since discontinued the braids with the cards (since I’m now selling over 1000 every year), but I still use the cord maker to make my Peace Bracelets.

Here are a few examples of what the cord maker can do. I typically stick to using three different colors of embroidery floss, but the Lacis Cord Maker can twist/braid up to 4 strands. You could also use yarn or even ribbon to make your cords.

TOOLBOX: Lacis Cord Maker #tool #equipment #braid

To Love

• The Lacis Cord Maker is powered by two AA batteries, making it portable and easy to keep running.

• It makes consistent twisted braids quickly and easily.

To Hate

• I’ve found that sometimes I have trouble getting the two settings to work. I have to play with the button or give the whole thing a good shake to get it to run (you’ll see this happen in the little video demo I made below).

• The noise. It makes a loud noise when you use it, making it a bit distracting if you are making braids in a public place or trying to watch a movie.

Here’s my video demo, so you can see exactly how it works:

All in all, I would definitely recommend the Lacis Cord Maker to anyone interested in making twisted braids for their craft projects!

TOOLBOX: Lacis Cord Maker #tool #equipment #braid

TOOLBOX: Rachel’s Favorite Drawing Supplies

TOOLBOX: My Favorite Drawing Supplies #art #materials #drawing
After a recent trip to my local art supply store to stock up on supplies, I realized how much I love getting new pens, tubes of watercolor paint, and finding the perfect paper. Even as a kid growing up, I always looked forward to a new school year and fresh new pencils and notebooks. Since I’ve taken up illustration and making art for Camp Smartypants, I’ve found some favorite tools I use again and again. I’m always on the look out for new materials to try out, but I rely on these essentials for most of my drawing.

For Sketching + Drawing

TOOLBOX: My Favorite Drawing Supplies #art #materials #drawing

1. Spiral Bound Sketchbook

I prefer the spiral binding for my sketchbooks because my pages are able to lay flat at as draw and it’s easy to curl up on the couch with. You just have to be careful not to crush or bend a metal spiral, or you’ll be annoyed while working in it.

2. Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad

The perfect tracing pad you carry in your bag along with your sketchbook. Read more about how great this thing is in this post.

3. Mechanical Pencil

Mechanical pencils are my go-to sketching tool. I prefer these over a normal pencil because I don’t have to worry about sharpening, and I can get a consistent line weight as I use it. I don’t worry about using anything fancy, any mechanical pencil will do the trick.

4. Blackwing Pencils

I picked up a sampler set of Blackwing Pencils after taking a lettering class from Mary Kate McDevitt on Skillshare. I learned a lot about the drawing process from taking her course and now use a blackwing to draw over my sketches, making for a nice clean drawing.

5. Metal Pencil Sharpener

A good pencil sharpener is an essential tool. I use a Mobius & Ruppert Brass Pencil Sharpener. It’s something I picked up in college and have used ever since.

6. Staedtler Eraser

The Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser works great.

For Inking


TOOLBOX: My Favorite Drawing Supplies #art #materials #drawing

1. Translucent Marker Paper

Another material I picked up in art school, this marker paper is great for ink drawings. You can achieve the smoothest lines with little bleed from your pen.

2. Ink Pens

I use Copic Multiliner pens. It’s one of many good brands (Fiber-Castell is another good one) and comes in variety of sizes. 0.3 and 0.5 are the two sizes I use most often.

For Watercolor

TOOLBOX: My Favorite Drawing Supplies #art #materials #drawing

1. Arches Watercolor Paper

A high quality watercolor paper. I use hot-press for watercolor and ink, and cold-press for watercoloring only. The difference is cold-press paper has a nice texture while hot-press paper is smooth.

2. Shmincke Watercolors

I first learned of Shmincke watercolors from Geninne Zlatkis. They were a big investment, but totally worth it. The pigment is bright, saturated and beautiful.

3. Paint Brushes

I use fairly cheap paint brushes. The brand shown are Princeton Snap and Loew-Cornell.

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TOOLBOX: Photography Basics For Bloggers

Photography Basics For Bloggers #eqiuipment #supplies #adventuresinmkg
Photography is an essential skill for any blogger and one of the most intimidating tools to learn (at least for me). I’ve had my Canon Rebel for over 6 years and am only now really learning how to use it. I took an online class from A Beautiful Mess called Mastering Your DSLR last April and it has helped me improve my photography skills immensely.

At my last job, I worked as blog editor for an online company and spent a lot of time working with their in-house photographer to create blog content. I learned so much from watching the photographer work and assisting her in styling each shot.

Since launching Adventures In Making, I’ve had to dive in and take all the photos you see here myself. I can tell you it’s definitely something that takes both patience and practice. I have a few essential tools and techniques I use to achieve the quality and look that I want for each photo, plus aside from my digital camera, all the equipment I use is low-budget or found second hand.

1. Basic Equipment

Digital camera. Although a professional DSLR camera is ideal, you can still get great photos from a simple point-and-shoot, or even your iPhone. It’s worth your time to look for tutorials and advice for using the camera you choose. There may be simple techniques you overlook when you’re using it. Definitely take the time to ask friends what they use, and if they have any tips.

Tripod. Even the slightest movement while taking a photo will cause a motion blur. The closer you get to your object, the more obvious the motion blur becomes. Even an inexpensive tripod will make a big difference in the sharpness of your images. Tripods are available at all sorts of stores. If you’d like a more portable setup, think about using a small table-top tripod, or a flexible tripod like a Gorilla Pod.

Remote switch is also helpful to prevent moving the camera while taking a photo. Even the action of pressing the shutter will often cause you to move and blur your photo. A remote switch can relieve this frustration. If you don’t have a remote, try playing with the timer setting on your camera.

Reflector. A reflector can help direct light to your subject and soften dark shadows. You can purchase one like this one, or for a cheaper option you can use a large white poster board. I recommend reading this post from Making Nice in the Midwest blog. Mandi goes into great detail about the equipment she uses and how reflectors can make all the difference in your photos.

Image editing software to crop, brighten, sharpen, etc. your photos as needed. It may seem easier to use the image exactly as it was shot. But in reality, it is difficult to shoot an image precisely how you want it to appear in its final form. We recommend using Photoshop or similar software program. PicMonkey is a free online source for photo editing.

2. Styling

Styling is essential to create a strong image because it gives your idea context for the viewer and can help tell your story. Simple backdrops and props are great for enhancing photos. For example, I like to use different fabrics, papers and textures for backdrops and I have a variety of different props I like to use (like baskets, dishes, ribbon, flowers, etc.)

Photography Basics For Bloggers #eqiuipment #supplies #adventuresinmkg

You want your photos to showcase your idea, so it’s best to try not to use too many props that distract the viewer. With that said, you can still get creative with different prop ideas to enhance your photo. For example, in my Watercolor Gift Wrap post, I used a small vase of flowers, and a dish with dried chamomile (one of the ingredients for my eye pillows) as props. For my Fire Cider recipe, the ingredients themselves became my props. And in my Pretzel Treat Favors post, I used paper straws, ribbon, tags, and balloons to create the look and feel of a party.

Photography Basics For Bloggers #eqiuipment #supplies #adventuresinmkg

When thinking of prop ideas for your photos think simple and try to use what you already have in your home or kitchen. I also recommend dollar stores and thrift stores as great places to find baskets, flowers, old fabrics, etc.

3. Lighting

Window/natural lighting makes the best photos. Never use a flash or overhead light. Set up your backdrop and props near a window and take your photographs during the day when there is good light. If photographing outdoors, an overcast day or shady spot is best. Direct sunlight creates hard shadows in your photos (which is not good!). Think soft light not hard light.

If sunlight is never where you need it, consider trying some supplemental lighting. The trick is to find a light fixture and bulb that will help you replicate sunlight. I recommend stopping by a store that sells cameras and photography supplies, and asking what sort of setup they recommend. Avoid using a normal household bulb as it will produce yellow light (which is bad for photography), especially when you are aiming to replicate the look of ‘natural’ sunlight.

Additional Resources

Food & Light: Photography Tips from Diane Cu by Averie Cooks
Food Styling By Celebrate Creativity
Lighting Tips and Tricks for Bloggers & Photographers by Making Nice in the Midwest.
Basic Photo Tips for Bloggers by B.You

TOOLBOX: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad Review

TOOLBOX: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad #product #review

My mom, who is especially good at finding useful things in unlikely places, brought me home a Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad one day. Actually, typical of my mom, she bought 3! One for her, my grandma and me. Both her and my grandma are sewers, so she thought they would be useful in tracing pattern pieces. Boy, was she right! Who would have thought you could find such a handy tool in the toy section.

TOOLBOX: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad #product #review #adventuresinmkg

What’s great about this light pad is that it’s small and portable. You can easily fit it into your bag along with your sketchbook. After showing it to my friend Tara, she picked one up to use during her calligraphy classes! The light is powered by three AA batteries and is nice and bright, making for easy tracing.

This has become one of my go-to tools for my illustration work and I love that I can sit with it on the couch, at a bar or in a cafe.

TOOLBOX: Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad #product #review

UPDATE! Here is a video from Crayola showing off their Light-Up Tracing Pad. Watch to see it in action.

Note: I did not receive any kind of compensation for this product review. At Adventures In Making we love sharing information about our favorite tools and resources because we believe knowledge should be shared and that we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

TOOLBOX: Martha’s Score Board Review

Toolbox: Martha's Score Board Review #productreview #marthastewart #craft #paper #tool
My awesome mother-in-law got me this Martha Stewart Score Board for Christmas. I have to admit I was excited by the possibilities (envelopes!) but didn’t see immediately how often I would use it.

Cut forward to the invention of the FlipOver planner and my elbow, sore from using a rotary scoring blade. I pulled out the score board, and I’ve been using it since.

Toolbox: Martha's Score Board Review #productreview #marthastewart #craft #paper #tool

To Love:

• I heart the square corner to line up in, and the ruler. I often will put a piece of masking tape on a score point I plan on using again and again.
• The 1/8 inch divisions usually give you all the options you need. Also, if you would like to make something like a curved/flexible spine you can do a few scores in a row, and they are all parallel and perfect.
• There’s a little box at the top of the board that stores your bone folder, or anything else you might like to keep in there. There is also a corner guide for scoring on 45 degrees that slips into a slot at the bottom of the board.
• The score result is lovely, straight, consistent, and deep
• I really like how flat and compact it is (especially compared to my rotary cutter). It’s a lot easier to find a home for it.

To Hate:

• DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Do not glance away. Do not blink. If you blink the Angels will make your bone folder slip and will ruin what you are doing. I plan for 10% failure rate on this because I get distracted easily.
• The bone folder they provide is clumsy at best, and danged uncomfortable at worst. I replaced mine with a slightly sharpened bone folder from an art store. (I’ll tell you how I sharpened it, if you ask nicely.)
• I want to score everything, and I really don’t have time to make all my own envelopes.

Note: I did not receive any kind of compensation for this product review. At Adventures in Making we love sharing information about our favorite tools and resources because we believe knowledge should be shared and that we can all learn from each other’s experiences.