A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: October 2011

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31 October 2011

Have you been here long? | A Nest for All Seasons BIO

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Many of you are new to this blog, and I would love to formally introduce myself!  
If you have been reading this blog, you might find out something new!

Hello Birdies!


I am Amy Renea and this is my blog!  Welcome!  My blog is a a one stop shop for the modern dilettante (the Modillys!!)  interested in DIY home design, garden, food and photography tips and tricks.  When I am not blogging or chasing my three crazy boys around, I am a professional photographer shooting primarily weddings and commercial clients.  I absolutely love what I do and can only hope to simply keep on keeping on!

I use photography to tell stories on my site.  One of my favorite stories to tell is the whisper of the garden.  I know gardening is kind of out of vogue, but I feel closest to God, closest to myself and calmer than ever when I am working or just resting in the garden.  It is my therapy, my creative outlet, my inspiration and I have embarked on a journey to convince all you girls that love Pottery Barn and adore babies, that gardening really is just the next step.




I am addicted to pinterest, but even moreso to craftgawker.  Please tell me you have heard of craftgawker?!

my craftgawker gallery

  I love submitting my posts to craftgawker (and don't be fooled by the size of that gallery -  there have been MANY rejections!).  
I have had one project really light up on pinterest of my baby's little footprints.  You can see the how to BY CLICKING HERE!  


If you get tired of reading about home and garden, you can skip over to the food or photography sections.  Most of my posts on food and photography are full on tutorials or photojournals, and I love to feature guest posts, so shoot me an email at anestforallseasons@yahoo.com if you are interested in sharing!

I am a big supporter of new photographers and moms learning how to take beautiful photos of their children, so if you are an official MWAC, you might want to read THIS!  If you are new to photography I hope you peek at a couple posts and I even have FREE TEXTURES you can download!

One of my most popular photography posts was a simple how to on creating bokeh.  Prepare for the holidays early by checking out how to make this effect!


All of my photography articles are published on my PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG, but you can find the links at the NEST!  As I start to publish more photo posts this winter, I will be posting them here...so stay tuned!   If you look next door to the photography tab, you'll see the foodies tab!  I don't think I have to say much more than sweet tea and homemade mayo, do I?


SO if I lost you, here is a recap!

PHOTOGRAPHY

I love featuring readers here at the nest and I love seeing all of your projects and photos and culinary goodies.  Feel free to upload yours (up to 3 a day) to the Flickr POOL right HERE!



Have you been here long? | A Nest for All Seasons BIO

Pin It

Many of you are new to this blog, and I would love to formally introduce myself!  
If you have been reading this blog, you might find out something new!

Hello Birdies!


I am Amy Renea and this is my blog!  Welcome!  My blog is a a one stop shop for the modern dilettante (the Modillys!!)  interested in DIY home design, garden, food and photography tips and tricks.  When I am not blogging or chasing my three crazy boys around, I am a professional photographer shooting primarily weddings and commercial clients.  I absolutely love what I do and can only hope to simply keep on keeping on!

I use photography to tell stories on my site.  One of my favorite stories to tell is the whisper of the garden.  I know gardening is kind of out of vogue, but I feel closest to God, closest to myself and calmer than ever when I am working or just resting in the garden.  It is my therapy, my creative outlet, my inspiration and I have embarked on a journey to convince all you girls that love Pottery Barn and adore babies, that gardening really is just the next step.




I am addicted to pinterest, but even moreso to craftgawker.  Please tell me you have heard of craftgawker?!

my craftgawker gallery

  I love submitting my posts to craftgawker (and don't be fooled by the size of that gallery -  there have been MANY rejections!).  
I have had one project really light up on pinterest of my baby's little footprints.  You can see the how to BY CLICKING HERE!  


If you get tired of reading about home and garden, you can skip over to the food or photography sections.  Most of my posts on food and photography are full on tutorials or photojournals, and I love to feature guest posts, so shoot me an email at anestforallseasons@yahoo.com if you are interested in sharing!

I am a big supporter of new photographers and moms learning how to take beautiful photos of their children, so if you are an official MWAC, you might want to read THIS!  If you are new to photography I hope you peek at a couple posts and I even have FREE TEXTURES you can download!

One of my most popular photography posts was a simple how to on creating bokeh.  Prepare for the holidays early by checking out how to make this effect!


All of my photography articles are published on my PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG, but you can find the links at the NEST!  As I start to publish more photo posts this winter, I will be posting them here...so stay tuned!   If you look next door to the photography tab, you'll see the foodies tab!  I don't think I have to say much more than sweet tea and homemade mayo, do I?


SO if I lost you, here is a recap!

PHOTOGRAPHY

I love featuring readers here at the nest and I love seeing all of your projects and photos and culinary goodies.  Feel free to upload yours (up to 3 a day) to the Flickr POOL right HERE!



30 October 2011

Dresses for Romania Update - How you can contribute!

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Hello all!

Some of you had expressed an interest in contributing to the Dresses for Romania package we will be sending.  If you would like to contribute you can do so using the paypal button below.  You can write in whatever amount you wish - every dollar is fabulous and nothing is too small!  If a whole huge amount comes in, I will buy and buy and buy for the little girls and then send a check along with the extra.




THANK YOU to Jen for contributing bunches a hoodies for the little girls to stay warm in those cold Romanian winters!  I just went out today and bought bunches of fun bags with girly stuff like picture frames, cup cozies and more!!  I'm so excited!!!

Dresses for Romania Update - How you can contribute!

Pin It

Hello all!

Some of you had expressed an interest in contributing to the Dresses for Romania package we will be sending.  If you would like to contribute you can do so using the paypal button below.  You can write in whatever amount you wish - every dollar is fabulous and nothing is too small!  If a whole huge amount comes in, I will buy and buy and buy for the little girls and then send a check along with the extra.




THANK YOU to Jen for contributing bunches a hoodies for the little girls to stay warm in those cold Romanian winters!  I just went out today and bought bunches of fun bags with girly stuff like picture frames, cup cozies and more!!  I'm so excited!!!

28 October 2011

Exposure Compensation | What took me so long?

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Seriously! Why did no one tell me about exposure compensation when I was starting out?!?!  I know what you are thinking.  You didn't know about exposure compensation?  ...and you are a PHOTOGRAPHER?  ummm...the answer would be YES.  Resoundingly. 

A few years ago, I was shooting just fine, adjusting my ISO, my aperture, my shutter speed, creating interesting compositions, capturing emotion - I thought I was doing great!

Something was missing though.   I had to shoot in perfect lighting.  I always had to find perfect shade for beautiful photos.  Even when I was adjusting my settings, I couldn't shoot in horrible conditions (like shooting into a bright wall of sunlight and still capturing the people's faces without silhouetting them). How could I shoot weddings where I couldn't arrange the setting to maximize my photography?  I needed to figure out exposure compensation, but I didn't know it.

By now, you probably realize that I was NOT formally trained.  If I were, I would have learned everything about exposure early on.  Now, let me take a short side trail and encourage all of you girls (and guys!) that are learning photography on your own.  It absolutely can be done and there are advantages!  When you teach yourself, you often learn things differently, you grow into your own style instead of being heavily influenced by your teacher and I believe you learn things more deeply and intrinsically when you are heavily invested in studying and figuring things out yourself.  Of course, there are downsides to teaching yourself as well.  One downside is that you might skip something vitally important - like exposure compensation.

So what is exposure compensation?!  By definition, "exposure is the total density of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (photographic film or image sensor) during the process of taking a photograph. Exposure is measured in lux seconds, and can be computed from exposure value (EV) and scene luminance over a specified area.  In photographic jargon, an exposure generally refers to a single shutter cycle. For example: a long exposure refers to a single, protracted shutter cycle to capture enough low-intensity light, whereas a multiple exposure involves a series of relatively brief shutter cycles; effectively layering a series of photographs in one image. For the same film speed, the accumulated photometric exposure (Hv) should be similar in both cases."
 
Still confused?  It is easier to think about it in terms of film.  Picture the roll of film in your camera.  A large roll of brown of film inserted into your camera and attached so that it will "capture" whatever picture you are looking at through the viewfinder.  When you press the shutter, you allow light in and that light prints a picture on the film.  Yes?   Basically, exposure is how much light is "falling" on the film.  If you allow a lot of light, then your picture will be brighter and lighter and if you have a small amount of light, the photo will be dark.  You can adjust the exposure by adjusting your ISO, your shutter speed and your aperture.  However, to tackle the serious exposure nightmares, you need to compensate - thus exposure compensation!

Take a look at the top of your camera.  There is a little +/- button - see it on the right?.  That is your exposure compensation button.  You press the +/- button and roll the knob on the back at the same time to adjust (this might be different on some cameras...consult your manual!)  Very basically, if you want more light, you adjust to the + numbers.  If you want less light, you adjust to the - numbers.

You are confused again,. aren't you?  
Don't worry...it gets easier when you practice with it - I promise!

Let's move on to the nitty gritty details...

Redbud: Erika Ward of Blu Label Bungalow

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Have you heard of Erika Ward?
If you haven't yet, you will soon!!

She is amazing...an amazing designer, the sweetest person you ever did meet and a fabulous blogger.  It almost doesn't seem fair that she is also blessed with those gorgeous eyes and a football coaching hubby.


You have to check out her blog BLU LABEL BUNGALOW and make sure you don't miss her TASTEMAKER series where Erika interviews some of the top names in the BUIZ!  You also must check out my favorite post on her site: IKEA does it right.  Y'all know I am an IKEAholic, particularly in the as-is section, so I just ADORE this collection of clever ideas with IKEA product.  ...and Erika's little man room is just to die for!

via blu label bungalow
Erika's blog is all about "inspir {ing} you to live well, to live in style, and to extinguish the myth that style and budget are mutually exclusive. I truly believe you can achieve all the above at any price point."  Rock on Erika!!!  I am SO with you!




Want to meet the rest of the redbuds?  Check them out below!

Redbud: Erika Ward of Blu Label Bungalow

Pin It

Have you heard of Erika Ward?
If you haven't yet, you will soon!!

She is amazing...an amazing designer, the sweetest person you ever did meet and a fabulous blogger.  It almost doesn't seem fair that she is also blessed with those gorgeous eyes and a football coaching hubby.


You have to check out her blog BLU LABEL BUNGALOW and make sure you don't miss her TASTEMAKER series where Erika interviews some of the top names in the BUIZ!  You also must check out my favorite post on her site: IKEA does it right.  Y'all know I am an IKEAholic, particularly in the as-is section, so I just ADORE this collection of clever ideas with IKEA product.  ...and Erika's little man room is just to die for!

via blu label bungalow
Erika's blog is all about "inspir {ing} you to live well, to live in style, and to extinguish the myth that style and budget are mutually exclusive. I truly believe you can achieve all the above at any price point."  Rock on Erika!!!  I am SO with you!




Want to meet the rest of the redbuds?  Check them out below!

26 October 2011

How to Plant Terrariums that Rival Anthropologie's for NICKELS!

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You know what terrariums are right?  If you walk into Anthropologie right now, you can see a host of them for $48-$298 each.  (WHAT?!  Yeah...I know...ridiculous right!  I'm not kidding though...you can see them right HERE...and um you must excuse me -THIS terrarium is $1450.00  $1450.00!!!!  NO JOKE!).  Basically they are a tiny little greenhouse in a glass container.  You can use any type of glass container, but you have to be able to close up the top, so you want your container to be larger at the bottom, but narrow at the top.  Anthropologie uses regular old glass soda bottles and apple gallon jugs among others, but you can use whatever recyclables you have laying around.  I am using two glass containers that I purchased for pennies at an auction.  (Mine usually have glass plates that cover the top: not pictured)


You can fill them with any type of plant, but I like to use hardy plants that I don't have to worry about.  That is part of the point of a terrarium...very little watering and care and the green just keeps on going.


I fill my terrariums with a very light and dry soil mix.  If the soil is thick, heavy, wet garden soil, it might be too wet and will drown your plants, as a terrarium does not really dry out.  I then line the "floor" of my terrariums with moss.  I harvest it from my backyard under an old pine tree.  If you don't know how to harvest moss, you can see the full technique of how I scrape moss off the soil RIGHT HERE.


My succulent "farm" that I take cuttings from. 
This pot comes inside every winter and the plants survive.


I put the soil and moss at an angle to give it a bit of a "hill" effect and then start adding in plants.  I use succulent cuttings that are super hardy and simply stick the tough stems down through the moss.  By using these easy to root succulents, I can make bunches and bunches of terrariums using one base plant.  These 4 types of succulents cost 25 cents each last year at Lowe's, so both of these terrariums were made for under a buck.  That is a bit better than Anthro's 14 HUNDRED and 50 bucks, right?




What creative containers have you used as planters or terrariums?

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, PLEASE vote for me HERE!




How to Plant Terrariums that Rival Anthropologie's for NICKELS!

Pin It

You know what terrariums are right?  If you walk into Anthropologie right now, you can see a host of them for $48-$298 each.  (WHAT?!  Yeah...I know...ridiculous right!  I'm not kidding though...you can see them right HERE...and um you must excuse me -THIS terrarium is $1450.00  $1450.00!!!!  NO JOKE!).  Basically they are a tiny little greenhouse in a glass container.  You can use any type of glass container, but you have to be able to close up the top, so you want your container to be larger at the bottom, but narrow at the top.  Anthropologie uses regular old glass soda bottles and apple gallon jugs among others, but you can use whatever recyclables you have laying around.  I am using two glass containers that I purchased for pennies at an auction.  (Mine usually have glass plates that cover the top: not pictured)


You can fill them with any type of plant, but I like to use hardy plants that I don't have to worry about.  That is part of the point of a terrarium...very little watering and care and the green just keeps on going.


I fill my terrariums with a very light and dry soil mix.  If the soil is thick, heavy, wet garden soil, it might be too wet and will drown your plants, as a terrarium does not really dry out.  I then line the "floor" of my terrariums with moss.  I harvest it from my backyard under an old pine tree.  If you don't know how to harvest moss, you can see the full technique of how I scrape moss off the soil RIGHT HERE.


My succulent "farm" that I take cuttings from. 
This pot comes inside every winter and the plants survive.


I put the soil and moss at an angle to give it a bit of a "hill" effect and then start adding in plants.  I use succulent cuttings that are super hardy and simply stick the tough stems down through the moss.  By using these easy to root succulents, I can make bunches and bunches of terrariums using one base plant.  These 4 types of succulents cost 25 cents each last year at Lowe's, so both of these terrariums were made for under a buck.  That is a bit better than Anthro's 14 HUNDRED and 50 bucks, right?




What creative containers have you used as planters or terrariums?

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, PLEASE vote for me HERE!




25 October 2011

10 Tips to Help you Survive a Blogging Conference Alone

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This past weekend I attended Blogalicious in Washington DC thanks to the generosity of the CLEVER GIRL COLLECTIVE and a twitter contest I won.  It was FABULOUS!  I am so very grateful to Clever Girls and Blogalicious for the experience and so very excited to attend more conferences.  They are absolutely delightful!

However, they are only delightful if you have your big girls boots on.  I did a lot of mental prep for the conference because I knew it would be difficult terrain for me.  I knew that if I were my turtle self, all nervous and withdrawn, I wouldn't meet anybody I needed to or anybody that I wanted to.  I knew that I would just wade through the days without connecting with people and I knew that I would probably end up leaving early a lot.  SO I had to put my big girl boots on and get with it.  I figure there are other girls like me, attending a conference for the first time, or attending a conference alone and I wanted to give you a few tips on how to make the most of your time without feeling like a doofus all by yourself.

How you might feel after a blogger conference if you follow my tips...

#1  I'm not kidding about the boots.  When I say put on your big girl boots, I truly mean put on your big girl boots.  I don't know about you, but when I wear boots I feel powerful.  There is something really awesome about a great pair of boots that make you feel like you are walking on top of the world.  So I brought 4 pairs.  4 pairs of boots - black, grey, brown and even slipper boots.  Don't judge...I had a car so I just piled my collection of boots and scarves in the passenger side floor and picked out which ones I wanted to wear that day when I arrived at the convention center.  If you are taking a plane, perhaps 2 pairs would suffice?   The point is not that you have to run out and buy some boots for the conference (though that would be quite fun!).  The point is to have at least 1 item of clothing that makes you feel strong, confident, self-assured.  I had my boots and my scarves.  The scarves serve a bit of a different purpose.  They too can be stylish, but also provide a layer of warmth and a layer of protection.  Whenever I wrap a big scarf around my shoulders, I feel comfortable, warm, and less vulnerable than without.  These clothing items are little things, but they literally set you off on the right foot.  So go through your closet and find clothes that you feel strong, confidant and comforted that look great.


#2 Once you have a few wardrobe basics knocked out, it is time to do a little research.  You need to figure out where you need to be and when because there are going to be multiple things going on at all times of the day.  You need to skip the fluff that won't help you and soak up the good that will.  When prepping for the conference, I went through the list of sessions to see what sounded like it would be beneficial to me.  They got one star.  Then I went through the speakers at the sessions and checked out their blogs, their history, their expertise.  If they were someone I thought I would relate to or learn a lot from, they got a star.  If there were lots of speakers that were fabulous on one panel, well - that session had like 6 stars.  Carol Schiller's session had 7 stars just because she is a rock star.

Now the trick is to be flexible with your schedule once you get to the conference.  I had all of my sessions mapped out and everything starred that I wanted to go to, but I did not follow that list to a T.  You have to be willing to walk out of a session.  This is where your figurative big girl boots come in.  If a session is not "speaking" to you right away, it is ok to leave the room.  Wait for a lull in the lecture (perhaps when panelists are switching at the podium), be quiet, open the door just enough to slip through without letting noise in and make sure it doesn't slam.  You are not going to break the speakers heart, but you might just get the information you need to rock your world in another session.

For example:  I was in a travel session that sounded really great (and it was!).  There were several speakers that I wanted to hear from and it was on travel - who doesn't want to travel?!  Well, me.  While I love traveling with my husband and family, it really is not a blogging passion of mine AT ALL and I realized that within the first 5 minutes of the lecture.  There was no reason for me to soak up all of this information on building a travel blog when I knew that that was not the direction I was headed.  So after the first speaker, I quietly got up, slipped out and jumped in the other session.  That other session just happened to be led by Tara Ziegmont of Feels Like Home where she dissected SEO optimization.  It literally rocked my world.  I am so glad I went.  Not to mention Tara is a local Harrisburg area blogger right in my backyard and I was able to meet her and greet her and share some fettuccine later with her at lunch.  THAT is the reason you need your big girl boots on and your schedule open.

#3 Be aware where the freebies are.  There are freebies EVERYWHERE at a blog conference and some are great, but some are not so great.  If you aren't particularly interested in a product, don't take it just because it is free.  Save it for somebody that loves that product.  However, if you LOVE a product, make sure you are there to take advantage of it!  For example, the Sears/KMart Suite offered massages, hot coca and cider and eventually a Dirty Santa giveaway complete with flat screen TVs, GPS devices and mini-tablets.  My new friend Jenna and I arrived at the suite just in time for the last two massages of the day.  That free massage and spiced cider were perhaps the most awesome treat of the the entire conference.  Seriously.  Of course, I was at the WRONG place when it came time for the Dirty Santa giveaway, so shame on me for missing out, but you get my point, right?  Keep your eyes and ears open and you will walk away with some wonderful experiences and product!

#4 Have a home base.  These conferences go from morning until late at night, so you will need some peace at some point to just get away from everything.  For a lot of the girls, it was simply their hotel rooms, for me it was my car.  Perhaps a quiet couch in the hotel that nobody else has found can be your spot.  Whatever and wherever it is, you need somewhere with a mirror, snacks and quiet.  Freshen up, eat a cheap snack and rest for a bit and go back to the conference refreshed.  You do NOT want to buy snacks at the convention center.  Things are always horribly priced and usually quite stale, so either grab a snack from the free provided tables or bring a few things yourself.

#5 Speaking of money, you will end up spending much more than you anticipated if you do not research and plan for meals and transportation.  Many of the meals for blogalicious were included, but there were a few that I had already left the conference for.  Make sure you bring along your own food, have an idea of the city and where to find something great and cheap, or have your wallet open.  In terms of transportation, the Gaylord complex where Blogalicious was held is fabulous, but absolutely terrible for getting around.  It is actually quite brilliant the way the complex separates itself from the city, so that guests have to pay quite a lot to either park or be transported back and forth.  (It is such a puzzle that I will actually be writing another how-to for the Gaylord Event Center in DC.)  Suffice it to say, do your research; read reviews, read blog posts, read the site's website and weigh the cost and benefit of various options.  I chose to drive and park off site and both decisions were good ones.  I saved at least $140 and had a lot more piece of mind having my car around.

#6 Speak to the speakers.  They are just people too.  I am horribly intimidated by speakers and people "in charge" (anybody else cry buckets every time they get pulled over just because you are in trouble from an authority figure?!?).  Anyway, you have got to seriously pull those big girl boots up by the bootstraps and TALK to the speakers that made an impact on you.  I am so glad that I went up and spoke to Erika Ward.  She is the most wonderful, kind hearted girl and she has been where I want to go.  I learned so much from her and Jess C and am so thankful that I got up the courage just to go chat with them after their session.

#7 In the same stroke, talk to the people around you.  You never know who is sitting next to you.  I have to admit, I'm pretty sure I ignored Ted Rubin (the former CEO of E.L.F. and a PR Guru) the first night.  There was a movie on and there was this white guy sitting on a bean bag in the back of the room.  I assumed he was with the hotel or something because this was a blog conference celebrating diversity.  He couldn't be one of the people I want to meet, right?  Wrong.  I should have been brave and said hello and talked to the guy.  This is not to say everyone you talk to is successfull and has something to "offer" you in terms of relationship or opportunity.  The truth is, most of the girls are just bloggers like you and me, but you never know which ones you will connect with.  I feel like I made many friends at the event and look forward to growing relationships with them virtually until I see them at some point again.  I would not be able to create and build those friendships if I am afraid to talk to people.  So  again, pull up those boots and say Hello.  After you say Hello - ASK QUESTIONS and actually be interested in their answers.  Attempt to move beyond small talk and don't focus on yourself.  Focus on them and if they do the same, your conversations will be natural and bonding. 

On a side note: you might be wondering what happens if someone ignores you.   Perhaps you think attending a blog conference by yourself is a bit like going to a new high school on the first day when everyone else knows each others.  In some ways, it is like that.  That is why you need your boots and scarves.  If you aren't outgoing and tough (at least on the outside), there is the chance that the conference could be really hard for you.  The honest truth is that there are some people that are going to ignore you.  There are some people that you will try to open conversation with and they will literally not look up from their computer.  There will be others that just keep looking over their shoulders trying to escape from you.  That is ok.  Just say nice to meet you and move on.   From my limited experience, NONE of those girls were big names in the blogging world.  None were tremendously successful and clearly none of them would have been a good friend.  The big names that were at the conference were actually amazingly kind, willing to talk, willing to share and very, very helpful.  It is the girls that feel threatened or think more highly of themselves than they ought that are standoffish and weird about talking, so don't feel looked over or put off if you experience it.  Just move on and find a kindred soul or two.  They are there.  You just have to find them and be confidant enough to introduce yourself.  If you are one of the mean girls - stop.

How you might feel if you do a blogging conference without these tips...

#8 Have cards you are proud of.  I totally missed the boat on this one.  I have my photography business cards, but I don't have separate cards for my blog.  Oops.  I should have.  I felt ridiculous writing my blog name on the back of my card.  Luckily I HAD a card though...it is very hard to remember people that did not have a card because you meet SO MANY PEOPLE over the course of the weekend, so have some made!  Vistaprint offers 250 free cards when you sign up, so just do it!  If you are investing in the conference, the one tool you really need to invest in (besides your boots!) is a simple business card.  Bring more than you think you will need!

#9  Write little notes on the back of business cards.  It is hard to remember who everyone is and where you met them and what you talked about.  It is invaluable to jot down a few facts about that person and what you spoke about on the back of their card.  I also arranged my cards from front to back in a little binder depending on whether I really connected with the person or not.  It really helped when I returned home and started going through the cards.

#10  If you are uncomfortable, it is ok to leave.  One of the best decisions I made while I was at the conference was to leave a few of the events.  Mainly the social events at night were 100% socializing and I am such a closet introvert that that type of event is very, very draining.  I had spent a ton of energy toting around my big girl boots all day long, and if I were to stay all night every night, I would not have enough confidence the next day during sessions when I really needed it.  So know your limits - know that it is ok to skip an hour of sessions if that is what you need to take a long bath and get yourself put together before the evening events.  Take a walk by yourself outside, read a book for a half hour somewhere, go talk on the phone with your hubby for awhile.  The world will not pass you by.  Just be sure that you don't chose to do any of those things when the HDTV is being given away in the Sears Suite...then you'll be kicking yourself...


Traveling to DC?  THIS is a fun, interactive trip planner :)

10 Tips to Help you Survive a Blogging Conference Alone

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This past weekend I attended Blogalicious in Washington DC thanks to the generosity of the CLEVER GIRL COLLECTIVE and a twitter contest I won.  It was FABULOUS!  I am so very grateful to Clever Girls and Blogalicious for the experience and so very excited to attend more conferences.  They are absolutely delightful!

However, they are only delightful if you have your big girls boots on.  I did a lot of mental prep for the conference because I knew it would be difficult terrain for me.  I knew that if I were my turtle self, all nervous and withdrawn, I wouldn't meet anybody I needed to or anybody that I wanted to.  I knew that I would just wade through the days without connecting with people and I knew that I would probably end up leaving early a lot.  SO I had to put my big girl boots on and get with it.  I figure there are other girls like me, attending a conference for the first time, or attending a conference alone and I wanted to give you a few tips on how to make the most of your time without feeling like a doofus all by yourself.

How you might feel after a blogger conference if you follow my tips...

#1  I'm not kidding about the boots.  When I say put on your big girl boots, I truly mean put on your big girl boots.  I don't know about you, but when I wear boots I feel powerful.  There is something really awesome about a great pair of boots that make you feel like you are walking on top of the world.  So I brought 4 pairs.  4 pairs of boots - black, grey, brown and even slipper boots.  Don't judge...I had a car so I just piled my collection of boots and scarves in the passenger side floor and picked out which ones I wanted to wear that day when I arrived at the convention center.  If you are taking a plane, perhaps 2 pairs would suffice?   The point is not that you have to run out and buy some boots for the conference (though that would be quite fun!).  The point is to have at least 1 item of clothing that makes you feel strong, confident, self-assured.  I had my boots and my scarves.  The scarves serve a bit of a different purpose.  They too can be stylish, but also provide a layer of warmth and a layer of protection.  Whenever I wrap a big scarf around my shoulders, I feel comfortable, warm, and less vulnerable than without.  These clothing items are little things, but they literally set you off on the right foot.  So go through your closet and find clothes that you feel strong, confidant and comforted that look great.

24 October 2011

Rolled Fabric Flower Tutorial

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So last week, I showed you a few more of my projects from my 85 cents scraps.  Now I will show you the final projects I created with the scraps left over!  These are NO-SEW projects!  (P.S.  Don't miss your chance to be featured for YOUR no-sew projects at the bottom of the post!)

The first is one of my favorites of the bunch and you saw it when I first introduced this houndstooth project HERE.  It is a very simple wrap bracelet created by making bias tape from a strip of fabric left over.  I could have sewn the bias tape, but I just used a hot glue gun to make the sides, wrapped it around to fit my wrist and voila - a new accessory!


With the remainder of the scraps I made fabric rosettes.  
Surely you have seen these everywhere, but in case you are new to the train...here is a simple how to!

Cut a scrap into a square...no need for perfection, but it needs to be more square than rectangle.

Now simply use fabric scissors, start at the outside edge and create a curly cue.

Start rolling with the ugly outside edge.  You want to save the nice inner circle for the end.
1.  Roll the ugly outside part into the middle of the flower.

2. Keep wrapping around and around until the petals start to have a nice curled edge.

3.  Every once in awhile press the flower down on the front to even out the layers.

4. Tuck that perfect end piece onto the back with a dab of hot glue to cover up the mess.

...and all together now...

1.  Roll the ugly outside part into the middle of the flower.
2. Keep wrapping around and around until the petals start to have a nice curled edge.
3. I press down on the front every once in awhile to make sure the rose is tight and compact.
4. Tuck that perfect end piece onto the back with a dab of hot glue to cover up the mess.
5. Attach your rosette to a pin, hot glue it on something, sew it on whatever...endless uses for these little girls!

Well worth 85 cents, right!

1. Clutch        2.  Eyeglass Case       3.  Dickie      4.  Rosette      5.  Broken Candle

Now it is your turn!   
Go find something cute in your closet or at a thrift store that you can't wear, 
but you can turn into a bunch of fun new accessories!  
Upload your project to the POOL 
and you might be featured here at the Nest for All Seasons!








Did you miss the other projects from this little bit of houndstooth?  You can check them out here:

Bias Tape Bracelet and Vases
Clutch and Dickie
Eyeglass Case and Candle NO-SEW Fix
Rolled Fabric Flower Tutorial

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