Tag Archives: Tutorial

Guest Post – DIY Photography Tent

Well, today seems like as good a day as any to post this lovely guest piece from Fiona – who co-hosts #CraftBlogClub with me and is hosting tonight’s chat about photography – which runs in line with this great post about a cheap and easy way to get great photos for your blog! Thanks Fiona!

Hi!, I’m Fiona from fizzi~jayne makes…. and I also co-host #CraftBlogClub with the lovely Emma.  Over on my blog (fizzijaynemakes.blogspot.co.uk) I have been doing a photography season with lots of hints and tips for taking great photographs.  I reviewed the book “The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos” by Heidi Adum and in this book there is a tutorial on how to make a light tent from a cardboard box.

If you have a blog or sell your products you know how important it is to have professional looking photos but not everyone can afford a professional photographer or have all the gear, so I wanted to see if this cheaper alternative does the job.

You will need:

1. ingredients1

Required

  • A Cardboard Box.  The larger the box/tent the more the light can bounce around.
  • Semi-transparent paper such as tracing paper or baking parchment
  • Stanley knife or something suitable to cut through the box
  • Sellotape and Double-Sided Tape
  • Thick white paper, I used wallpaper lining
  • Natural light bulb and lamp

What I used in addition to the instructions:

  • Cutting mat to protect your surfaces whilst cutting the box
  • White paint (I used some white emulsion left over from decorating last year)
  • Have parcel tape on hand in case you get carried away with cutting, like me!

Hopefully most of this you have stashed away or you can easily get hold of them cheaply.

The camera I used is my Digital SLR, a Canon EOS 600D. I took all the pictures on shutter speed 1/125.  ISO was on auto.

How to make it

Take your cardboard box with the opening facing you and cut out large pieces out of the top and side panels.  Leaving enough of the edges to keep the structure and keep the base and back intact.

I painted the inside of the box white, allowing light to reflect more.  Light picks up colour and could cause a colour cast on your product.

2. box cut and painted3. box with sides cut outReplace the sides and top with semi-transparent white paper, I used baking parchment. However, being waxy it didn’t stick well so I would advise using a strong double sided tape or use tracing paper instead. 4. Box covered in parchment inside

5. completed box from outside

Create a runway from the back of the box with the wallpaper lining. Make sure there is a curve at the back to create a seamless background.  I attached the paper with double-sided sticky tape.

6. completed box insidePlace tent near a light source such as a window, outside or lamp.

Place your product inside the tent so it is within the three papered walls.

7. product in box

As with all my photo shoots I took these pics in my conservatory, depending on the direction of the light and time of day I use a lamp with a natural light bulb to balance the light and remove dark areas. On this particular day I did not need additional lighting.

So does it work?

I was pleasantly surprised! I took the following pictures and the only editing I did was cropping the image.

Here is the image of one of my custom orders that was ready for its portrait before being delivered….

8. card image taken in box

And then I took a picture of my favourite mug….

9. mug in box

The lighting was particularly good when I took these pictures and I know not everyone has a conservatory and not every day is a heatwave! So I took more photos of my favourite mug in a darker room.

10. lounge shot I thought I might need my lamps for inside.  I took a photograph with the lights on….

11. mug inside with lights And without the light….

12. mug inside no lights The lights did help but some further tweaking of the brightness would be needed in post-production, however, this is what I would expect from taking pictures in my lounge.

Overall I think it did work as a light tent.  The problem I have is it won’t fold flat so I am not sure where I will be able to store it.  The box is also fragile, you may have seen the amount of parcel tape I ended up using, so I do not think it will last long but as a short term solution I am happy with the results.

If you fancy making your own light tent I would love to know how you get on and see your photos.

fizzi~jayne x

fizzijaynemakes@blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @fizzijayne

Facebook: FizziJayneMakes

Frugally Mummy: Knitted Hanging Heart Tutorial & GIVEAWAY!

 

Hanging heart 3Mother’s Day has always been a wonderful excuse to do something special for my Mum.  We have never been a family who are all about the big spending and days like this are nice to mark with little gestures, to show my Mum how special she is!

This year is also my first Mother’s days as a Mum (D arrived 2 weeks late and Mother’s Day fell right bang inbetween her due date and birth date) – so it’s a very poignant one and I’m kinda sad I won’t be able to spend it with my own Mum!  So I thought I’d get to work knitting up something special to send her.  Check out this wonderful knitted hanging heart, a simple design made from basic stocking stitch and decorated with one of the many many daisy buttons I have lying around the house!  I popped mine in the post with a little box of cheeky chocolates for my Mum…but if you’ve yet to get a present or want to try something homemade for your Mum, why not give my tutorial a go?  You will need about 2-2/12 hours to complete and you can use ANY YARN AND ANY DECORATION!

However, if you’re sorted for presents, keep on scrolling, because I’ve decided to do another HANDMADE GIVEAWAY for you all – see below for details on how to win your own heart!

You Will Need:

1 Ball of DK yarn (I used some Supersoft DK in Cream that I had lying around)

4mm Knitting Needles

Toy Stuffing

1 piece red felt (you will need a small circle)

1 decorative button

Method:

Using 4mm needles, cast on 2 stitches

First Row: K one, P one

Row 2: Increase into each stitch (4 sts)

Row 3: Purl to end

Row 4: Increase first stitch, k to last stitch, increase last stitch (6 sts)

Row 5: Purl to end

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until you have 18 sts

Next Row: k 9 stitches, turn and purl to end.

Next Row: k2together, knit to last 2 stitches and k2together.

Next Row: Purl

Repeat these two rows until you have three stitches remaining.  Without following a purl row, cast off the three stitches.

Rejoin your yarn and repeat the second section on the other side to create your heart shape.

Once completed, repeat this process to make your second side.

Hanging heart 2To Join Together

Place the right sides of your heart together, on top of each other and stitch around.  When you reach the ‘v’ shape of your heart, Take a long piece of matching yarn and stitch into place in a loop – this will be the loop from which your heart hangs!

Be sure to leave a big enough hole and pull the heart shape through to face the ‘right way’.  Then stuff the heart shape with toy stuffing.  Stitch up hole.

Using a small circular template – such as a coin, cut out a small red piece of felt and place your decorative button on the top.  Using a small needle and thread, secure onto the heart through the button holes and stitch into place.

Package up as a lovely Mother’s Day gift!

Do you want to win your very own heart??  Well it couldn’t be more simple!  To be in with a chance of winning, simply follow these steps to have your name entered into the hat.  Each step counts as ONE ENTRY – so you have THREE opportunities to win!  I have decided to make up another 2 HEARTS to giveaway to 2 LUCKY readers!

1. Share this post on Twitter, be sure to tag me (@LivePeachy) and use the hashtag #peachyhangingheart.

2. Nip over to my Facebook page and give it a ‘Like’ – make sure you leave a comment on the picture of the heart, to make sure you are entered.

3. Comment at the bottom of this blog post to be entered!

The giveaway will run until Sunday 6th April and I shall announce the winners on Wednesday 9th April!  Well what are you waiting for?? There’s a heart waiting to hang in your house, courtesy of Frugally Peachy!!

Good Luck!  Love to the Mothers and BIG LOVE to mine! x

hanging heart 1

 

 

Frugally Ever After: Knitted Intarsia Heart Square

knitting bag

Having always been an avid knitter, I wanted my Frugally Fabulous Year challenge to push my creativity and learn new skills in the knitting department as well as sewing!

I’ve become fairly accomplished at knitting, through teaching myself how to read patterns and frequenting a knitting club, many years ago, in Bath.  Last Christmas, I had great success selling these handknitted gnomes (I’m taking orders all year round for them this year too – please drop me an email if you’re interested) and this year, I wanted to try some new knitting styles and really challenge my abilities, to create new and interesting bits and pieces for the home.

One knitting method I have never tried is Intarsia, a simple form of working with blocks of colours in knitting.  I love the idea of creating motifs and wanted to give it a try.  I came up with the idea of trying a simple knit square with a heart motif – another possible idea for a Frugally Ever After gift, this Valentine.  I think the idea of making a patchwork ‘memory throw’, starting with this heart as a central point, that charts special occasions and moments in our family life is a really special idea and a perfect crafty way to say ‘I Love You and I Love Us’.

So…..here is my first square!  I cast on 44 stitches and knitted 44 rows on 4mm needles.  I roughly sketched a heart design on graph paper and basically increased my row of red stitches by one on each side, to get the shape of the heart. intarsia heart finished I had this lovely blue yarn, stashed away at the bottom of the pile and a tiny red double knitting ball that I’d never used.  The colours go so vividly together.  The heart is far from perfect – indicative of my own, I’m sure; but I was really proud of my first attempt, that I decided to leave it as it was, ready to be stitched up to whatever else I may make in the coming year!  I plan to work with new textures and pattern ideas using simply Fairisle and Cable Knit methods, alongside other quirky Intarsia designs and mood colours.  I’m lucky that Mr J really appreciates handmade gifts and loves adding to our handmade home with some of my Frugally Fabulous ideas!  This Valentine’s Day…why not get your needles out give a loved one a little piece of you!

I’ve learnt the hard way that preparation is everything when it comes to Intarsia and making mini yarn balls is probably the way forward.  You know me – renegade crafter by name AND nature.  I was more concerned with remembering to twist the yarn in place and work from the right end of the yarn – not to mention engrossed in catching up with some of my TV faves; so I made sure to cut out a few yarn guiders from an old cereal box, ready for my next square.

intarsia heart closeI’m working on another knitted WIP at the moment, ready for a very special unveiling in March!  Trying out Intarsia has given me so many ideas for this one, I can’t wait to share it with you all.  I also can’t wait to update you on the Memory Throw as I make progress with it throughout the year.  Fingers crossed, by Christmas, we will have a colourful throw of haphazard designs and quirky memories, to snuggle under!

Stay Peachy x

 

 

Frugally Peachy Handmade Giveaway: Oscar The Owl!

oscar 3

Just before Christmas last year, my friend and I set each other a challenge of handmaking a present for each other.  I love giving and receiving handmade items, but wanted to try something a little different for my friend who was both, a proud new rent-er of her own place AND a huge fan of owls!  So, after trawling Pinterest, I thought I would try my hand at making a little owl mug-warmer…meet Oscar the Owl!  He may not be cutesy, but he’s lovely, moderately creepy and snuggly for your afternoon cuppa!

Made from brown and cream double knit yarn; I’ve taken a lot of inspiration for Oscar from some of the china owls my Nan used to collect.  My Nan was too cool for school – she had an owl obsession waaaaay before woodland animal interior themes became cool!  I knitted the main body using woven stitch, which really worked on some red cafetiere cosies I did the year before and I fixed two press studs to fasten the holder.  The eyes were made from a traditional flower knitting pattern and I had these wooden buttons lying around too.  The result was weirdly sweet, quirky and looks LOVELY in my friend’s home!

oscar 2

So…do you fancy making an Oscar the Owl yourself?  Why not follow this simple tutorial to make your own!  Now, be kind, this is the first knitting pattern I’ve technically written, I hope it makes enough sense!  I have designed the mug warmer to fit around a large round mug, so you may need to adjust stitches if you want to make a smaller one.

If, of course, you don’t fancy making your own Oscar, why not scroll to the bottom of the post – where there is a little surprise waiting!!

YOU WILL NEED

1 x ball of brown yarn – I used an old DK one.

1x ball of cream yarn – I used a Sirdar Aran Knit I had – but a cotton would also look really effective

2 large round buttons – wooden ones really work with the texture of the woven stitch

2 Press-Studs (you can also choose buttons).

1 Pair of 3mm Needles

1 Tapestry needle and 1 small sewing needle as well as matching thread for the yarn,

METHOD

Using 3mm needles, cast on 62 stitches and, beginning with a K row, work regular stocking stitch for 10 rows.

With the knitting facing the ‘right side’, complete the next row as follows;

k1, sl1 wyf, k1, sl1 wyf, repeat until last stitch, ending with a k1 (this seals the row)oscar 1

Next row: Purl

Repeat the last two rows for a further 14 rows, ending with a purl row.

Next 2 rows: Knit

Next row: Purl

Starting with a Knit row, stocking stitch a further 6 rows, ending with a purl.  Cast off.

FOR THE EYES (make two):

Using your cream yarn and 3 mm needles, Cast on 57 stitches

First row: Purl

Second Row: K2, *k1, Slip stitch back onto the left needle and carry over the next 8 stitches, of the needle, YON twice, knit the original stitch again, K2*. Repeat the starred section until end of row.

Third Row: K1, *p2 together, drop loop of 2 YON stitches and k1, p1*. Repeat until the last stitch, k1.

Cut a length of the working yarn and, using a tapestry needle, thread it back through the stitches and release.  Tie two yarn ends together to make a ‘flower’ shape and secure.

FOR THE BEAK:

Using your cream yarn again, cast on 12 stitches.

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3, Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning and end of the row

Row 4 Purl

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have 2 stitches remaining – thread yarn through stitches, break yarn and sew in end.

TO MAKE UP:

Sew all the ends of your main warmer-body in and, place two little brown yarn loops about 2 cm from an end.  Sew securely into place, using yarn.  Match up the two sides of your press studs and sew on each end of your main body.  I always find measuring by hand and eye much easier than using ACTUAL measurements! But then again I am a crafting renegade….

For the eyes, place your cream knitted shapes and large buttons in the middle of the body.  Using thread and needle  that will fit through your button holes, sew securely into place.  You can also tack a few discreet stitches through the cream shape too, to hold in place, before you attach the buttons.

Finally, place the large end of your cream beak in between and slightly underneath the eyes, stitch into place along the top line.

BUT WAIT! There is, in fact, more.  As a special thank you for tuning into my new venture and for the support my lovely readers have shown me since I started my new blog, I’ve handmade another Oscar The Owl to GIVE AWAY to one lucky Frugally Peachy reader!  So what are you waiting for?  Your tea is getting cold…..

How to enter….

There are a number of ways you can enter the giveaway – each way that you choose to enter will be counted as 1 entry, in other words, you do all three? You get three entries in the bag! The giveaway will run until Sunday 2nd February – and I will pick a winner using the age-old tradition of names in a hat! The winner will be announced on Monday 3rd February – so make sure you tune into my blog! Good Luck!

1. Please leave me a comment at the end of this post and your name will be entered into the giveaway.

2. Share this post on Twitter, tagging @LivePeachy and using the hashtag #OscarOwlGiveaway and your name will be entered into the giveaway.

3. Give my Facebook page a like and leave me a comment on my Oscar The Owl Picture and your name will be entered into the giveaway!

Good Luck everyone – Oscar’s waiting to meet you!

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