Say goodby to BLUR!!!! Photo tips by Emilie

The most common reason for blurry images is a slow shutter speed.  If you shoot in automatic mode or aperture priority then your camera will often select a shutter speed that is too slow, hence a blurry image.
Shutter speed is the speed that the shutter opens, lets in the image and then closes.  Shutter speed manages two elements of your photo: the amount of light in your image and the amount of motion captured in your image.
When the shutter speed is on a lower/slower setting the shutter is open a longer amount of time letting in more light.  The slower the shutter speed the longer the shutter is open and the more light that is let in to create your image.  When the shutter speed is on a higher/faster setting the shutter is open less time letting in less light.  The faster the shutter speed the less time the shutter is open and the darker your image.
When the shutter speed is on a lower/slower setting the shutter is open a longer amount of time capturing all the motion found in your scene.  The slower the shutter speed the longer the shutter is open and the more motion that is captured in your image.  The lower/slower the shutter the blurrier the image.  When the shutter speed is on a higher/faster setting the shutter is open less time capturing a smaller amount of “time” in our scene, stopping any motion that is happening.  The faster the shutter speed the less time the shutter is open and the less motion is captures.  The higher/faster the shutter the sharper your image.
   I never shoot a portrait of a person less than a 250 shutter speed.  However, as you can see from the example above 250 is fast and doesn’t allow a ton of light.  An image shot inside at 250 shutter speed tends to be a bit dark.  So what do you do???

After pulling up my blinds, turning on all my lights and moving my baby towards the open door,  I set my camera to 800 ISO, 250 Shutter Speed and 2.8 F-Stop and this is my final image….
Learn more in my photography workshops:
-Shooting in Manual Mode
-Perfect Lighting Every Time
-My Favorite Poses
-The Magic of Photoshop
Photo By Emilie Workshops:
My next Salt Lake Workshop will be Saturday, March 3rd
My online workshop prices will increase by $50 on February 15th.
Contact Me if you’d like to lock in the lower price.

Show and Tell

Time to get your link on! Have you created a fab project you want to show off!?! Link it here and get seen by thousands. I’ll often feature favorite links on Facebook and twitter and on my site so by linking you give me full permission to shout your praises and feature you and your post! Consider it FREE publicity!


Conversation Heart Pillow by “Sweetie Pie Bakery”

I think the Valentine candy hearts are one of the most sweetest candies. I love the colors and the messages…but am not very fond of the taste.

I thought pillows would be a fun way to incorporate the candy into my house without having to eat them!


1/2 yd. of fleece per color you choose

1 sheet of red felt


Heart Pillow Template


Sewing Thread


Sewing Machine



1. Begin by cutting out your hearts. Use the template provided to cut out 2 hearts per pillow. Cut out a rectangle measured at 3″ x 40″ for each pillow.

2. Cut out your text. I used a basic font on my computer and then traced the letters onto the felt.

3. Sew the messages on each pillow top. Carefully pin the letters so they don’t shift too much.

4. With right sides together, sew the rectangle end together with 1/4″ seams.

5. With right sides together, sew the loop you just made to the pillow top with 1/4″ seams.

6. Sew the back of the pillow onto the loop, right sides together, with 1/4″ seams. Make sure to leave a 3″ opening to turn the pillow out.

7. Clip the curved parts of the heart and turn the pillow right side out. Smooth the seams and then stuff the pillow to your desired fullness.

8. Using a blind stitch, sew the opening closed. Repeat this process to finish as many pillows as you like!

Share your pillows in the Baked Goods Flickr Group!

For more great ideas from Jessi be sure to visit “Sweeti Pie Bakery!”


Valentines Day door by “My life and kids”

I love decorating my front door for the holidays and Valentine’s Day is no exception.

Valentine's Day Door

Supplies you will need:

  • 2-3 sheets of craft foam in pink / red or both (I used both)
  • 1 sheet of black craft foam (or you can use poster board)
  • 1 sheet of white poster board for the mouth
  • Stapler and staples
  • School glue
  • 3M strips or masking tape – whatever works best for hanging things on your door

Valentine's Tutorial

For each eye – cut a large heart, a medium-size white circle and a small black circle. Glue them together.

For the nose – cut a medium-size heart.

For the mouth – cut two medium-size hearts and a large “smile” out of poster board. Staple the hearts onto each corner of the mouth. Draw “teeth” onto the poster board.

For each arm - cut a circle out of pink or red craft foam. Starting at the outside of the circle, cut a continuous swirl. Cut a medium-size heart for the hand, and staple it to the end of the swirl.

Use your 3M strips or masking tape (or a staple gun) to attach your face and arms to your door.

Valentine's Day Porch

Happy Valentine’s Day!

For more great posts by Anna please visit “My Life and Kids!


Thread & Rhinestone Bracelet by “Miss Lovie”

 Yesterday I showed you how to make the Thread and Rhinestone Bangle so today I’m going to show you how to make the Braided version! This is the second bracelet I made for my audition on SYTYC This bracelet is a little more difficult to make than the bangle maybe, but you can still do it!! I seriously love these bracelets. They are so fun and pretty.
Materials Needed
Four different, but coordinating colors, of chenille embroidery thread, about 2 1/2 times the length of the diameter of your wrist (depending on how loose you want the bracelet) I used about 24 in. and it was a little long, but it can always be trimmed.
Rhinestone chain (I bought mine when it was 40% off and I had a coupon at Hancock’s Fabric), 8-12 in.
Gold chain and antiqued bronze chain, 8-12 in.
Large and small jump rings
2 solid (not like jump rings) connecting rings
2 crimp connectors (see larger picture below)
and gold wire (22-24 gauge)
eye pin and large pearl or bead (not pictured)
You’ll also need all tools above minus the crimp tool.
(All measurements are approximate. I usually eyeball. And often I have to fix it because I don’t properly measure. The measurements above may be overshot a little, but you can always trim the thread as needed)
Ok first you’ll do the same technique to get the colors all mixed together like in Thread and Rhinestone Bangle Tutorial. This is optional, but I think it looks really cool.
First you want to cut about 24 inches of embroidery thread from each color. Then you are going to separate the threads into 2 strands each. Each thread comes with 6 threads twisted together so you’ll separate it into 3 sets with 2 strands in each set. Once you do that to both sets from the same color you’ll have 6 sets with 2 strands in each set. Do that with the rest of the colors and you’ll have 24 sets with 2 strands in each set.
(please email me if you have questions. I know that’s confusing!!)
I don’t know if my way is the right way to separate embroidery thread, but I always hold one end of the thread between my knees and pull the threads apart slowly. This keeps it from tangling so much. If it tangles, let it untwist some and be patient. If you pull too hard, it will knot.
After your thread is ready you want to put the threads together by alternating colors. On every thread you add, run your thumb and index finger along the entire length of the joined threads to keep them together to reduce tangles and knots.
When you’re done adding all the thread it should look like this. See how the colors are all mixed together?
 Cut each end for a clean edge to work with.
Slide the embroidery thread through one of the solid connecting rings so that there is an equal amount on each side. These will make up two parts of your braid.
To make the third part of your braid you’re going to put all chains (rhinestone, gold, and antiqued bronze) on a large jump ring. Before doing that you have to create a connector from the rhinestone.
Here is the crimp connector. As the picture above shows, the flat parts that stick up are going to be folded down between the rhinestones to hold it in place. The loop will be under the rhinestone and it will help you connect the rhinestone chain to the large jump ring.
Fold one end down first using your (patience) and bent nose pliers.

Then fold the remaining flat part on top of the other.
The back of the rhinestone chain should now look like this with the loop behind the rhinestone.
Use your  bent nose pliers to pull up the loop a little so it’s useable and place a small jump ring onto the loop. This step just makes the rhinestone chain a little easier to work with so it will lay flat like it’s supposed to. (step not pictured)
Then slide the two chains and the small jump ring connected to the rhinestone chain onto the large jump ring and close the jump ring around the large connecting ring between the two embroidery threads. The chain cluster will act as the third part of the braid.
Now you’re ready to braid!
Braid as you normally would being super careful the settings on the rhinestones don’t snag the embroidery thread. Make sure the braid is tight enough that it won’t fall apart! Try to fit the thread in between the rhinestones when you cross over the chain cluster so you see as many rhinestones as possible and to help keep the braid tight.
When you have your braid done to the desired length, push all the embroidery thread to one side and run the thread through your fingers to get it nice and even and looking like a cohesive piece.
Slide your cohesive embroidery thread through the other solid connecting ring and see where you need to cut the chain so that they’ll lay be tight enough and not have any slack in them. Cut them with your wire cutters
Add a crimp connector to the rhinestone chain again as described above, then add all chains to your second large jump ring and close the jump ring around the solid connecting ring.
Loop your embroidery thread around the solid connecting ring and pull tight. Use the wire to wrap around it once and twist the end around itself once. Do this very close to the solid connecting ring so you can work your way down.
Here you can see the wire wrapped around itself once.

In between each wrap use your pliers (doesn’t matter which one but I usually find I have more control with my bent nose pliers) to clamp the wire down flat. Be sure the wire is tight around the thread.

A couple of wire wraps away from being finished, cut the excess thread off (not pictured) and continue wrapping the wire (and crimping it down) to enclose the loose thread ends. When you’re done, clip the wire with the wire cutters so that the wire is in the middle of the bracelet and bend the wire in towards the bracelet with the bent nose pliers. The arrow above is pointing to the bent wire.
Tuck the bent wire into the thread and up under the wire as shown above. I purposely made my braided part a little shorter so I could add that fun goldish pearl to the clasp.

You could even wrap wire around the other side in the same manner and it would look pretty cool, too. I might do that next time.

To make the clasp like this, simply take the eye pin and slide the pearl onto it and create a simple loop above the pearl. See pictures below to make a simple loop.
Open the loop to connect it to one side of the bracelet.
 Connect the clasp to the other solid connecting ring with a large jump ring and use the other simple loop on the pearl to clasp the bracelet together.
All finished!!
And no, that bracelet is not made of hair like someone on Pinterest obviously thought at first.
See their comments here. I literally laughed out loud when I read those. Yikes. If I ever make anything out of hair you have my permission to call me seriously crazy and I’d hope you wouldn’t read my blog ever again. HA!
I’m really loving them. I wore one to school today. :)

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you missed it, be sure to go check out the Thread and Rhinestone Bangle Tutorial that matches this one!


For more great ideas from Allie be sure to visit “Miss Lovie!”

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