Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Photo Ladies: Shutter Speed Challenge!


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Good Afternoon and Happy Monday!  If you’ve been keeping up with our varying posts, you may remember that the last day of the month is not only one month closer to Christmas {hehe} but the due date for my photography challenge assignment!  Missed that post?  {NO PROBLEM}… check out Introducing… The Photo Ladies!  Not only do we have a nice little intro, but you can follow the links to catch up on the first challenge… Aperture!

If you just want the quick version, I am participating in a bi-monthly challenge group to learn the ins-and-outs of my DSLR camera settings by joining the Crafty Wife and her wonderful group in following the study lessons of No Bad Foto.

Once you have that under wraps, let’s move on to today’s post… The Photo Ladies: Shutter Speed Challenge!

The Photo Ladies - a monthly photography challenge

So what is Shutter Speed?  If you remember, it’s one of the three main components to the exposure of your photo (Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO).  Shutter Speed, more specifically, controls how movement is captured.  Using a slower shutter speed allows you to show objects in motion with a slight blur to the image.  A faster shutter speed causes a “freeze frame” effect with your subject in sharp focus.  Both have their benefits, obviously.

Here is an example of two shutter speeds:

DSLR shutter speed photography challenge by My Paper Craze

When you look at the photo on the left, can you see where the movement of the water is represented by a slight blurring?  Then look at the right-side, the water appears to be at a stand-still. Can you also see the differences in the lightness of the image?  A slower shutter speed also allows more light because the shutter is open for a longer period of time.  Here is a closer image:

DSLR shutter speed photography challenge by My Paper Craze

In the close-up, you can actually see a few drops of water that appear to be suspended in motion.  Let’s look at one more…

DSLR shutter speed photography challenge by My Paper Craze
Overall, the subject of Shutter Speed isn’t nearly as complicated as I expected.  Can you think of some situations where you would need a slower shutter speed?  What about a faster shutter speed?

Are you starting to see the full triangle-effect of the three components of your photo exposure?  In dark environments, how will your shutter speed effect your photo?  Just some thoughts to ponder when choosing your future camera settings.

This topic was especially useful for me with the beginning of baseball season… bring on the fast action sports photos!  They won’t elude me this year now that I am a master of the shutter speed!  Bring ’em on!



Easy April Fool’s Day Prank


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Good Afternoon, fellow crafters!  Just popping in today to remind you that {April Fool’s Day} is right around the corner, so don’t be caught unawares!  Introducing our Easy April Fool’s Day Prank!  Of course, Pinterest has zillions of ideas if you’re still looking for inspiration  Check out our Fun April Fool’s Day Pranks board.  I tried one out today to demonstrate how simple the prank can be and still be loads of fun!

jello final

How did we create this fun little project?  All you need is a little J-E-L-L-O!  Just mix it up according to the instructions, pour it in a clear mug or cup of your choice, then pop in a straw.  Once it’s chilled and the jello is set, serve it up to the kids for laughs all around!

Thanks for stopping in today!

DIY Easter Peeps T- Shirt + Pinspiration Friday!


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Hello to all my {PEEPS}!  Thanks for joining us on our journey today!  We hope to bring you not only a {FABULOUS} project but introduce you to Pinspiration Friday!  Each Friday we will showcase our favorite Pinterest finds for the week and, if all works out, choose a project to complete each week from our Pinterest board.  Today’s topic is all about {PEEPS}!

Peep T-Shirt + Pinspiration Friday by My Paper Craze

Now that you’ve seen the big project reveal for our Hanging With My Peeps T-Shirt, let us give you the low-down on where to go to find the full tutorial.  This week we received our inspiration from A Glimpse Inside‘s post “Hanging with my Peeps” Vinyl Shirt Tutorial + GIVEAWAY.  They have great posts and we love following them on Pinterest.

If you’ve worked with Heat Transfer Vinyl before, this project will be a cinch to put together!  I’ll warn you, though, that grass is a real pain to weed {LOL}.  Here is a list of supplies you’ll need:

Hanging With My Peeps Heat Transfer Vinyl HTV T-Shirt by My Paper Craze

For the Heat Transfter Vinyl, we took Allison’s (A Glimpse Inside) advice and ordered Siser Stripflock from Expressions Vinyl. They have a great selection and their prices are very competitive. Here’s the colors we chose: Pink, Pale Blue, Purple and Lemon Yellow for the {PEEPS}, then Green for the grass.  For the wording, we ordered Siser Easyweed in Black and used KG Luck of the Irish from  The {PEEPS} and grass are available for purchase in the Silhouette Online Store.

There are only a few differences between our project and A Glimpse Inside.  Mainly, she ironed on her {PEEPS} individually, using a ruler to line each one up exactly.  We tend to have a more relaxed approach… and a lot less patience {LOL}.  So I slapped all my {PEEPS} on there at the same time and gave it a good ironing.  It helps me to see all the {PEEPS} on at the same time to measure my spacing.

Hanging With My Peeps Heat Transfer Vinyl HTV T-Shirt by My Paper Craze
Next, I layered both the grass and the phrase, followed by another hug from the iron.

Hanging With My Peeps Heat Transfer Vinyl HTV T-Shirt by My Paper Craze
If this is your first experience with HTV, I strongly suggest testing a small area BEFORE you attempt the full project.  Pull out an old shirt and experiment a little as it can take a few tries to get the technique down.  For example, I prefer to iron on my tile floor OR on a stool.  This allows me to apply the most pressure when ironing.  A countertop will work just as well, but it is a matter of comfort and preference.  HTV is not a forgiving medium, so better safe than sorry.  I ruined three brand new t-shirts and a whole roll of HTV before I got the hang of it!

Also, if you are ironing on more than one item at a time, there a just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Are you overlapping?  If so, iron these on separately (such as with the {PEEPS} and the grass.
  • Is my HTV making full contact with the fabric?  This should be YES.

So what other Pinspiration do we have for you today?  Jump on over to our Where My Peeps At? Pinterest board and give it a stroll.  As you can see, it is very {PEEP-TASTIC}.  Centerpieces, t-shirts, banners, cards, scrapbook pages… there’s tons of inspiration to be found!  Once you choose your project, give us a shout and let us know how it goes!  We’d love to share your Pinterest project with all our readers and possibly even feature you on next week’s Pinspiration Friday post!  How exciting!  Ready… Set… PIN!

Don’t have an electronic cutting machine?  Not a problem!  Check out these similar projects for making t-shirts with fabric paint!

Pinch Proof! St. Patrick's Day T-Shirts with Fabric Paint by My Paper Craze
Pinch Proof! St. Patrick’s Day T-Shirts

Veteran's Day Fun with Fabirc Paint T-Shirts by My Paper Craze

Veteran’s Day Fun!

DIY Glass Block Monthly Craft Night… A New Tradition!


Check out this post and other crafty inspiration over at our new blog!



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Hi friends!  Glad to see you here again!  I’m excited to share with you that we hosted our first tutorial group class this past weekend!  You know how much we love these glass blocks… I mean, who doesn’t?  They’re fabulous!  Mixing them with vinyl is a perfect melding of my two loves.  So we introduce to you our DIY Glass Block Group Craft.

Header2We had such a blast, meeting and networking with fellow crafters.  My favorite part, other than the crafting, was that each attendee specialized in a unique craft.  We got to pow-wow about all types of crafting and share our areas of specialties.  Who knows, maybe we’ll take turns hosting and sharing our skills with the group!  Allow me to introduce our beautiful little crafting network…


We had so much fun, we’ve decided to host a Monthly Craft Night with a different project each month!  Interested in hosting a craft night yourself?  Here are a few helpful tips that might come in handy!

  • Consider your potential attendees when choosing a date, time and location.  I kept my “meeting time” fluid until everyone had a chance to weigh in on what worked for their schedule.
  • Scout out free locations unless you want to host the craft night at your house OR pay a rental fee.  JoAnn’s offers free use of their craft rooms, as long as they don’t have an organized craft class of their own.  Just call and ask and they’ll sign you up!  Also helps to be in a craft store if you have any forgotten supplies!
  • Facebook is a great organizer, especially if you are already connected to a local crafters network.  I organized a Facebook event, invited my potential attendees and started to pow-wow on crafting ideas.
  • Connect with Pinterest!  I started a group board for all of us to pin our ideas on.  It was a great way to express our interests with pictures!  You can post the link on your Facebook event so that everyone has access!
  • When choosing a craft, think about the supplies (that you will have to lug around!).  Are you going to supply everything?  Do you have enough for everyone?  Are there any supplies you will need to order or have shipped?
  • Consider your total costs and communicate it with your group.  You don’t want to buy supplies and have members of your group be surprised when it’s time to pay up.
  • Plan far enough in advance to get all the supplies you need, especially if you have to order anything online.  When I decided on glass blocks, I stalked the Hobby Lobby newspaper to get the best price.  I only got a few funny looks when I walked out with 20 blocks in my shopping cart, but it was worth it!
  • Prepare as much as you can in advance.  For me, I conversed with each attendee weeks in advance to order the vinyl, set up the design in the Silhouette software and frost the glass blocks, if necessary.
  • HAVE FUN!  Remember, crafting is FUN FUN FUN, so don’t organize to the point where it sucks the fun out of it!  If it’s easier, have everyone bring their own supplies.  You can work on the details as you have an opportunity to host more and more events.

This was such a great time for everyone, including myself.  We sure hope to keep up the tradition!  If you happen to be in the Pensacola, Florida area, come and join us one Saturday!  We’d love to have you!

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out these others…

{ELEGANT} Decor Night Light by My Paper CrazeDIY Sweetheart Glass Block Tutorial {with FREE CUT FILE} by My Paper Craze{ELEGANT} Princess Night Light by My Paper Craze

It’s Kind of a Big Deal… A Liebster Award Nomination!


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Hello friends!  Welcome back to our wonderful little blog, I have something super amazing to share with you!  We have been nominated for a Liebster Award!  How exciting!  We’d sincerely like to thank Jen at Driftwood Gardens for the lovely nomination!  Be sure to check her out as she is also a Liebster Award nominee and has a ton of great crafty inspiration to offer!


The Liebster Award is for small up-and-coming blogs.  The most honoring part for me is that it is given by other bloggers {AND} that I now get to share it with other small bloggers like myself!  Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:


My Eleven Questions… and Answers!

So here are the questions so kindly asked of me by Jen at Driftwood Gardens:

What is your blogging niche?

To be perfectly honest, I’m not convinced that we have discovered a niche.  We love crafts of all kinds, starting with paper and expanding to anything and everything that we can get our hands on.  I’d almost say our niche is {REAL LIFE} crafts, as in I like to blog about practical projects that I have enjoyed and that I can use in my day-to-day life.

What is the best thing about blogging?

I love sharing.  Before blogging, I was always eager to share any and all of my projects with anyone who was willing to listen.  Instead of showing off photos of my kids, it was photos of my crafts.  Blogging gives me the perfect outlet to share my projects and ideas with others AND network with others who enjoy doing the same.  It’s a form of therapy, LOL.

What is the worst thing about blogging?

Finding the time to blog is a continuous challenge.  I found this love at a rather inconvenient time in my life.  I spent the first decade of my adult life doing a whole lot of nothing and started my family at the age of 28.  My daughter was only a few weeks old when I fell into my love of crafting and creating, the same time in my life when I now have so many other obligations.  But such is life, a continuous juggling act.  And my wonderful readers don’t seem to mind my organized chaos.

Who is your favorite TV chef?

Unfortunately, I don’t watch any cooking shows on TV.  Since my culinary skills include burnt toast, it seems like a useless effort, LOL.  I do enjoy finding new recipes to try out on my unsuspecting children, but my husband is definitely the chef in our family.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Oh, so many to choose from!  I would say rolls.  Not the answer you were expecting, lol?  Even my husband has learned that I love rolls.  Brown-N-Serve rolls with butter.  Rolls with cinnamon butter.  Rolls with honey butter.  I just love them for some reason.  My favorite?  Sweet Hawaiian rolls.  They even come in sandwich buns… yum.

Name someone you admire and why you admire them.

I admire stay-at-home parents.  For the first 27 years of my life, I used to think stay-at-home moms had the easy “job”.  I mean who doesn’t want to stay at home all day and watch soap operas and eat ding-dongs, right?  I’ve never been a stay-at-home mom, but I think if I spent all day taking care of everyone else, you would find the kids duck-taped to a tree outside — for their own protection.

Favorite book ever?

I have to jump on the bandwagon here and say the Twilight series.  NOT because it was the best story ever or I live in some fantasy about vampires and werewolves.  Rather, it’s my favorite book because it was my first book and it opened up the world of romance novels and sparked my love for reading.  And… I’m totally Team Jacob, LOL.

Favorite movie of all time?

I’m not sure that I have a favorite movie of all time, I prefer to organize them by genre.  Animated?  Shrek.  It was one of the first kids movies that taught more than princess meets prince.  It was also hilarious for both children and adults.  Also a huge fan of the recently released Lego Movie.  Suspense?  Primal Fear.  The Shawshank Redemption.  Comedy?  Dogma.  Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  Who doesn’t love a good Kevin Smith movie and some stupid funny laughs?  Romance?  The Notebook is an obvious answer, lol.  Also really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice.  Side note:  I am also a huge fan of Robert Downy Jr.  Yum.

Best song of all time?

“Con Te Partirò” (Time to Say Goodbye) by Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman.  I had heard it a few times in passing, then fell in love with it while visiting Las Vegas for my wedding and honeymoon.  I was fortunate enough to stay at the Bellagio and have a room overlooking the fountains where they coordinated a water show to this song.  I still don’t know what they are singing about, but the melody is beautiful enough to bring me to tears.

What is your favorite social media?

I’m still a Facebook junkie.  I know there are tons of social media platforms that offer a wide range of benefits and interactions, but I guess I’m just stuck in the old school of what I know.  Oddly enough, my mom handles the rest for our blog.

Will you still be blogging in ten years?

Absolutely.  My themes may change over the years, but I can’t see that I would ever give up blogging.

Eleven Random Facts about ME

  1. Orange is my favorite color, but having a little baby girl puts a heavy pink hue on my life.
  2. I am a zombie junkie!  I love me some Walking Dead and will watch any zombie movie available.
  3. I am also a secret history buff.  Not that I know that much about it, but I enjoy learning.
  4. I think one of man’s worst creations is styrofoam.  And saran wrap.  They make the most horrible sounds.
  5. I love slobbery baby kisses — the wetter the better, lol.
  6. I earned a degree in Business Management.  My studies made me realize how much I never want to manage a business, lol.
  7. I am an Internal Auditor by day and feel like crafting is my secret identity.  My version of Clark Kent and Superman.
  8. My favorite number is 37, because that was my school bus number in elementary school.
  9. My husband and I eloped to Las Vegas to get married (I secretly planned everything from the ceremony to the photographer) and sent announcements that were postmarked with the location and date.
  10. My husband and I dated less than three months before we got married.  Still the best decision of my life.
  11. I am a die-hard Saints fan.  I didn’t care about football until I went to my first professional game in New Orleans.  Can you say WHO DAT!  I cut myself with my craft knife the other day… and yeah, I bleed black and gold.  Coincidentally, those were also my high school colors.

My {AMAZING} Liebster Award Nominee Blogs

Part of the fun of the Liebster Award is getting to nominate amazing blogs that you feel are deserving of a Liebster Award.  This is great for getting to know new bloggers AND for helping each other find readers!  Unfortunately, I did have to guess at the number of followers, so please don’t be offended if your following is larger than 200.  Without further delay, here are my amazing nominees (in no particular order):

  1. Kristy GD @ Please Excuse My Craftermath
  2. Michelle @ Weekend Craft
  3. Tanya @ Tanya’s Creative Space
  4. Joyce @ Peace, Love & Joyce
  5. Dawn Marie @ Mama Sonshine
  6. Tiffany @ The Outlandish Momma
  7. Sarah @ Creative Carnival
  8. Pam @ Get Silvered
  9. Janice @ Nearly Handmade
  10. Lisa, Rona and Grace @ Teach Love Craft
  11. Rachel @ Love Your DLSR

Eleven Questions for my Eleven Blogs

Now let’s get to know a little more about these amazing bloggers!

  1. Why did you decide to start a blog?
  2. Is blogging your obsession or your hobby?
  3. What is your greatest source of inspiration for your blog?
  4. Do you plan your posts in advance or are you a spur-of-the-moment blogger?
  5. If you could choose a blog-idol, who would it be?
  6. What do you consider your biggest success so far as a blogger?
  7. What has been your biggest obstacle?
  8. Is there anything you would change about your journey into blogging?
  9. Do you have any insight to share with those contemplating starting a blog?
  10. What is your favorite activity (or non-activity) to relax?
  11. What do you envision for your blog in 10 years?

Bloggers… Go!  Readers… be sure to stop by my nominees and show them some bloggy-love!  Another round of thanks to Jen at Driftwood Gardens, be sure to check her out, too!

Introducing… The Photo Ladies!


Check out this post and other crafty inspiration over at our new blog!


Hello there and welcome back!  We sure appreciate you taking the time to check out our organized chaos week after week.  We hope to continue to bring you quality posts on topics that you, our {AMAZING} reader, enjoy reading about.  Today, we want to talk to you about photography and introduce you to a new group we are partaking in… The Photo Ladies!

I came across this group through one of my Silhouette groups and jumped right on it!  Before I get into the specifics, let me give a shout out to the Crafty Wife for hosting such an amazing group to help us photo newbies!

So what are the Photo Ladies?  Well, it’s a photo group dedicated to learning for beginning and intermediate DSLR owners.  I recently jumped into the world of DSLR cameras a few weeks ago and then screeched to a halt when I realized that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  When this group surfaced on my radar, I knew it was perfect for what I needed.  It’s not a boring tutorial on the in’s-and-out’s of photography, but rather a learn-as-you-go.

If this sounds like anything you are interested in, I strongly recommend that you check out the great information the Crafty Wife has put together:

The Photo Ladies Intro

Photography Challenge #1: Aperture

So each month we have an assignment to help us learn how to use our beautiful cameras.  The assignments are due on the 15th of each month, so be sure to check back each month to see our progress — and maybe learn a little something yourself!  Now I know what you are thinking… “Geez Becky, this is already the 21st of March”.  Yeah, I know… I’m a little late.  I say better late than never, so I’m proceeding with the assignment to catch me up to date.

Our assignment this month was learning {APERTURE}.  Jump on over to the Crafty Wife‘s post for the full rundown on what we learned and what the assignment entailed.

Learning Aperture: Assignment 1.1


So why do I have random photos of baby shoes on my blog today?  These are my assignment photos!  As you can see, I used varying aperture settings to determine the field of depth for my photos.  As you can also see, the first photo is way over exposed when using my lowest f-stop.  Why?  Because I can’t read directions, evidently.

So what did I really learn?  This is what Aperture Priority Mode is for {LOL}.  Aperture Priority Mode allows the photographer to manually adjust the f-stop while the camera adjusts the shutter speed.  So looking at my white-out photo, you can see that I chose a low f-stop (1.8) and did not adjust my shutter speed to limit the amount of light, resulting in the over exposure.

So skipping over my boo-boo, compare photos two and three.  Although I still wasn’t using the Aperture Priority Mode, you can still see the differences in the depth of field when photographing the same image on different f-stop settings.  And {TADA}… blurry backgrounds!  Aren’t they beautiful?  I love, love, love my blurry backgrounds.

So now that I’m done being a slacker and have posted my assignment, I realize that I need to go back and re-learn using the aperture settings on my camera.  But, since I managed to figure out the blunder to my white-out, I thought I should post it to help anyone else who might have overlooked the same issue.  Afterall, we’re all learning together, right?

Guest Post: {ELEGANT} Decor Night Light


Check out this post and other crafty inspiration over at our new blog!


Good Morning all my fabulous crafters! We are honored to be another guest blogger today for Brenna @ Life After Laundry with our {Elegant} Décor Night Light!  Here is just a sneak peek, so be sure to jump on over and check out the full tutorial and all the other great projects Brenna has to offer.


Thanks again Brenna for hosting our guest post!  Don’t forget to check her out!


Here are a few of my favorite projects from Life After Laundry… be sure to check them out!