5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Travel Pics!

As a devotee of Instagram, I know how it usually is when it comes to travel photography. We snap a million great photos, eagerly post a few to social media to share with our followers, and then we let it drop, except for the occasional Throwback Thursday.

Your photos can do so much more for you!

Travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences we can treat ourselves to. Learning about other cultures and ways of life can humble you, expand your mind and heart, and make you appreciate both the things you have at home and the things you don’t.

If you leave your photos only on social media, you’re missing out. Your home’s walls, shelves, and niches all deserve to showcase your travel memories and provide you that daily opportunity to reconnect with great experiences. Continue reading “5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Travel Pics!”

Makers in the Raw: Agnes in August

With a motto like “nature simplified,” it’s easy to see how Kourtney Branagan’s Agnes in August line of modern string art pieces draw the essence of the Albertan wild indoors. The soft wood grains of the boards, lovingly sanded and finished, are contrasted with the perfect angles of stringed peaks, making artworks that are wonderful additions to the walls of every outdoor enthusiast’s home.

Born in Red Deer, but living in Calgary since she was four, Kourtney has always enjoyed everything the outdoors had to offer. Adventures with her mom took her and her brother snowshoeing through the snowy wilderness in winter and camping throughout her summers. Continue reading “Makers in the Raw: Agnes in August”

Hobbies as Income

A few weeks ago, my mother and I were chatting about how hard my father has worked and how he’s never really known anything other than that. As he heads into retirement in the next year, it’s going to be a considerable adjustment for him. A large part of his identity comes from being a working man, and this could be a very tough change.

As we chatted, I realized I have never known anything but work, either. The more I thought about it, any downtime hobby I’ve ever tried to establish ended up turning into another source of income. What does that say about me? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Continue reading “Hobbies as Income”

DIY Pinhole Camera Lens

Pinhole cameras are simple little devices that use a tiny hole to focus and expose an image. They are the simplest of lenses and are based on the camera obscura effect.

Since the “lens” is so tiny, pinhole cameras create dreamy images. The pinhole makes for a very narrow depth of field and aperture, which works together to add mood & mystery to otherwise ordinary scenes.

For those photographers who like to DIY their equipment and experiment with various photographic processes, making a pinhole lens for your SLR or Micro Four Thirds camera is one of the easiest and most fun projects. As a bonus, it’s really inexpensive, especially if you happen to have a spare body cap for your camera. If you don’t, you can pick one up for $6 to $15. Everything else on the equipment list is likely already in your house!

Ready to get started? Follow along below! Continue reading “DIY Pinhole Camera Lens”

Navigating the Multi-Purpose Life

With this year comes a big realization for me: I’m a workaholic and I like it that way.

I love being busy, making things, and just generally having my days full. Without a long list ahead of me, I tend to get bored and my creativity just seems to dry up. Though there’s a time and a place for being quiet and still, it’s not in my overall day-to-day.

This leaves me with an average of 4 part-time jobs and 1-2 volunteer projects at any given time. With a workload like that, things can get out of control fairly quickly, but thankfully, being organized is one of my favourite things and probably the main drive behind why I love diving into work.

With every passing year, I learn new ways of being organized and tactics for tackling all the objectives of my various jobs. Since many of my friends are fellow handmade business owners, I thought I would share some of the tools & tricks I use to keep on track and enjoy the process and life at the same time. Continue reading “Navigating the Multi-Purpose Life”

Introducing “Makers in the Raw”

It started when I began organizing local handmade markets. Applications would come in from hopeful artists eager to sell their goods to Calgary’s many handmade supporters. Included in their applications were photographs of their work, descriptions of their process, all to be juried by myself and my co-organizers.

It was easy to see how many talented people there are in Calgary. These artists take seemingly mundane materials and transform them into something beautiful. They make everything one could possibly need, from fashionable clothing to elegant home goods. It leaves me feeling a little awestruck and throughly impressed. Continue reading “Introducing “Makers in the Raw””

Using Layers to Give Photos Magic & Whimsy

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Glitter is a beautiful creation. It adds sparkle and shine to otherwise dull surfaces and is fairly synonymous with holiday cheer. Can you picture a Christmas-themed item that doesn’t have at least a little glitter?

No, you cannot.

Working with glitter can be an absolute nightmare, though. Eventually, you’ll just find glitter everywhere, making it’s sparkly appearance even weeks after using it in some minor project. So, just in time for the holidays, I took one for the team and busted out my extensive glitter collection to create a rainbow of glitter photographs. Abstract, shiny, and mess-free, these images are the perfect solution for sparkly Christmas cards, elegant name plates for holiday meals, or anything else you can think of in need of a little holiday polish.

The magic doesn’t stop there, though! These glitter photos can make an interesting addition to any other photograph to add a little whimsy & wonderment. In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to use my stock pack and Photoshop’s layers function to add some enchanting textures to otherwise normal images. Continue reading “Using Layers to Give Photos Magic & Whimsy”

Indiana Jill: DIY Fruit Liqueur

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As we head into the Christmas season, there’s one thing most of us can enjoy: good drinks.

If you ever wanted to try making your own liqueurs, I recently posted a photo-filled tutorial on the subject over on Indiana Jill. I used Nanking cherries for the recipe, but there’s a world of flavours to choose from just by perusing the frozen fruit aisle at your local grocery store.

Have fun & happy drinking!

Read More on IndianaJill

Etsy: Made in Canada 2015

Last weekend, it was finally showtime for Etsy: Made in Canada 2015.

Myself and my two co-organizers, Hilda & Lindy, have been working on this show since February. Though we’re volunteers, we’ve put a lot of work into this project. I can safely say I’ve spent an average of 12 to 16 hours per week on this show, equivalent to a part-time job.

This year, we had the privilege of working with Golden Acre Garden Sentre – a beautiful greenhouse with an outstanding staff. A huge part of the success of the day is due to their staff members. It’s rare to come across a business these days where employees clearly feel a sense of loyalty to their companies. Everyone loves working there and is happy to be a part of the company. It was so refreshing to see! Continue reading “Etsy: Made in Canada 2015”