Archive for the ‘Tutorial’ Category

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Three Neutral-Eye Looks for Senior Portraits!

April 19, 2016

When prepping for senior portraits it’s important to consider ALL the little details of your look. So this post is focusing on one of your most important features – your eyes!

The very first makeup tip I give to my seniors is “keep it neutral.” The cosmetics available to us include every color under the sun, but it’s important to remember there’s very limited time during your session. Meaning changing your eye makeup with every outfit is typically not possible. Using a neutral palette will allow you to move through your session with easy touch-ups and a 100% guarantee your makeup will match every outfit.

© Noel Photography & Design

© Noel Photography & Design

Does that mean your makeup has to be boring or non-existant? Absolutely not! Your senior portraits are one of your biggest photo opportunities you’ll have. Therefore, there’s no reason neutral has to be boring! Here are a few neutral styles I LOVE for senior portraits:

 

SMOKEY EYE

The “smokey eye” look is a classic and dramatic eye shadow that can never be wrong. It’s a subtle, darker look that can really accentuate your eyes, no matter what their color. Many choose to do this technique in either brown OR black shades, depending upon how bold they’d like to be. Adding a neutral “sparkle” can help highlight, and give dimension to this look, as well.

Image samples found on Pinterest.com.

Smokey eye with neutral sparkle | Image sample found on Pinterest.com.

 

“HOW TO” FROM YOURS TRULY:

Smokey Eye Tutorial

Smokey Eye Tutorial

Applying a basic smokey eye can be pretty easy, and typically requires a minimum of 2-3 colors: Light and Dark OR Light, Medium and Dark. This particular tutorial includes three colors. As for tools, I use two soft “blending brushes” for the whole process. Keeping one brush for light colors and a second for dark colors. So here we go:

1. & 2. The first two steps blur together because you want to do a lot of blending with your first two colors. Apply a medium neutral color across the whole lid, then a lighter highlighting color under the brow and in the inner corner of your eye. Blend, blend, blend! (Image 1 of 4)

3. Using a dark brown or black, smudge the dark shadow into the crease of your lid. Blend the edges. (Image 2 of 4)

4. After all your shadows are well blended, apply liner to the upper and lower, inner ledges of your eye. Crayon is easiest, but I occasionally use both crayon and liquid liner for this look. Liquid makes it last longer, has sharper lines, and won’t smear as easy. (Image 3 of 4)

{Careful, it does take some practice applying liquid liner to the ledge of your eye!}

5. If desired, curl your eyelashes, but be sure to apply your mascara on the upper and lower lashes. Done!

6. Practice makes perfect.

 

WING EYELINER\SHADOW

This is my particular favorite for a neutral eye! There’s two ways a “wing” can be accomplished: Shadow or eyeliner. It’s very important to choose your method wisely based on your personal characteristics. Shadows make this look more subtle, while still getting the awesome definition of a winged technique. Liners are going to create a bold, harsh line for those looking for a dramatic wing.

Shadow Wing | Image sample from Pinterest.com

Shadow Wing | Image sample from Pinterest.com

 

Eyeliner Wing | Image sample from Pinterest.com

Eyeliner Wing | Image sample from Pinterest.com

 

HOW TO FROM YOURS TRULY:

The last step of this tutorial is actually the most important. The “eyeliner” wing in particular can be very difficult to master. Practice getting both eyes even, and how to fix them without starting your make up process from scratch (which I will also cover in this tutorial.) On top of this being a difficult technique, there are SO MANY variations: small wing, large wing, thick, thin, curved or straight! Play around with what works best for your eye shape. The tutorial I have posted here is showing a thicker line, with a more straight or flat top, compared to the image sample just above. So let’s jump in:

Eyeliner Wing Tutorial

Eyeliner Wing Tutorial

1. Similar to the smokey eye, apply a light all-over color across your lid. Followed by a medium, neutral color to ever-so-slightly accent your crease. (Image 1 of 6)

2. Choose a neutral, dark color like brown, black or navy. Liquid liners with tapered, firm ends work best.  I am using “Revlon Colorstay SKINNY in the color BLACK OUT.” Start with a thin baseline across your lashes. You can build thicker if desired later, however, starting thin also allows room for error. (Image 2 of 6)

3. Using your tapered liner tip, add a diagonal line at the outer corner of your eye, at an angle you desire. I usually recommend a wider angle to create a sleek, elongated look. Consider using the end of your eyebrow as a reference point.  (Image 3 of 6)

{TIP: Do NOT tilt your head to the side, or pull on your eye to make your creases flat when making the angled line. Doing either of these can make a distorted line, or make it difficult to evenly apply the second wing. Instead, keep your head straight towards the mirror and slightly tip your head back allowing your eyes to close slightly to flatten your lid surface.}

4. Now, starting at the tip of the angled line, draw another line in toward your first base line. How you make this line is what defines whether it’s flat like mine, or more curved like the image sample above mine. You can then fill in the “triangle” you’ve just created and anywhere that was missed near the lash line. (Image 4 of 6)

5. Almost done… Let’s bridge the gap between wing and lashes! To fill in more of the lashes and make everything more solid, add crayon liner to the upper ledge of your eye, just beneath the lashes. (Image 5 of 6)

6. Curl your lashes if desired, but complete your look by adding mascara. WAA-LA!

7. Practice, Practice, Practice!

 

{FIXING A WING}

Oh crap! Your wings aren’t even… Don’t run to the sink to wash your face just yet. Choose which side you like better!

1 Dip a q-tip in make up remover or water. (Choose this based on what kind of liner you’re using…ie. waterproof or water based. I like using the natural astringent, Witch Hazel.)

2 Starting at the outer tip of the wing, press firmly and roll your q-tip in toward your lash line, removing the wing. You may need to repeat this process to get all of the wing removed. However, avoid using the same q-tip end twice, as to not smear around the liner already on the q-tip that you just removed.

3. Touch up the shadows you had as a base and in your crease. Don’t worry if some of the new shadow gets on the eyeliner still at your lash line.

4. Retry! Now you’re ready to try the wing again.

5. Assuming you’ve master it the second time, don’t forget to touch up the baseline with some fresh eyeliner. This will cover any touch up eye shadow that fell on it.

6. Repeat as needed. 🙂

 

UNDER EYE SMUDGE

I love this look, but it’s definitely one to be careful with! The “under eye smudge” can give a dramatic twist on the classic smokey eye or winged look. However, if overly or incorrectly done, this style can overtake your facial features and make subjects appear tired. With that in mind here are some tips for this look:

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

Image sample found on Pinterest.com

 

TIP 1: Keep the smudge line thin and just under your lower lashes. Doing so will keep those dark colors from getting into the under eye circle area, which is where this style can make you look tired.

TIP 2: Use sparkly neutrals alone or with a darker color for a brighter effect. Using a medium shade may also be a better alternative to dark as well.

TIP 3: While it’s best to keep everything neutral, doing a single, light color for the under eye can be stunning! If you do decide to venture into color, pick one that is a compliment to your eye color, or a color that is featured in more than one of your outfits.

Alright friends, there you have it, my top favorite neutral eye make up styles. Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me here on WordPress by blog or email, and hit the LIKE button on Facebook.

Happy Creating!

Noel

 

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Old School Desk Refurbish : Lifestyle of a Creative

March 10, 2016

Once again, I have strayed from the graphic design and photography loop, just a little. For those who have seen previous tutorial posts, I have a special category just for them called “Lifestyle of a Creative.” I decided this was fitting, because as a creative, I can rarely contain the craftiness.

That being said, several months ago I found this FANTASTIC old school desk. My intent was to not only use it for “the personal,” but also to use it as an adorable photo prop. I just couldn’t resist. So now, if you will step with me outside the box, let’s get this thing from rusty to rustic perfection!

Desk Refurbish | © Noel

Desk Refurbish | © Noel

 

PREPARATIONS

Frankly, because of the “dinged up” rustic look I wanted to keep, there really wasn’t much prep on this item! In fact, there’s only two steps for prep, or three if you’d like to go above and beyond.

1. Despite that it’s wood, scrub and wash that baby down! This desk in particular had mud soaked into the wood. I’m guessing it was sitting in an old, abandoned school house for quite some time. (Which makes this piece even cooler!) So with a hose, no soap and a plain ol’ rag – wipe and spray it down. Let it dry for several hours or over night is best.

{TIP: Washing down wood not only cleans the surface, but in the case of staining, it helps to open up the grain. Allowing the wood to receive the stain better and look richer.}

2. Unlike mine, if you’re wanting the desk to be smooth, have less dings and more “fresh” wood to paint on, then you’ll need to do some sanding. (As with any older item, masks are recommended during sanding.)

3. For those who want to go a step further, these old desks can be taken apart and reconstructed with wood glue and new bolts. Some may even choose to replace the old wood. (However, I shall not be doing that in this tutorial, as I want all the original parts.)

Cleaning it all up! | © Noel

Cleaning it all up! | © Noel

CAST IRON BASE

Like with many old, industrial designs the base of the desk is very heavy cast iron. As a fail on my part, the only shot I took of the base before starting was while it was wet. However, as you can see toward the bottom – it’s pretty rusted. Basically, both legs were covered. The good news? You can actually REMOVE rust. WHAAAAT!!?? Crazy, I know…

Rusted Base | © Noel

Rusted Base | © Noel

 

So, as some may know, you can remove rust from metal using a steel wool pad. It’s actually quite effective, but very time consuming. Again, I didn’t want to lose the original little quirks of the desk. In fact, I kind of liked the rust, I just wanted less of it…

My goals for the base were to: 1) Keep some original charm 2) Make it contrasted from the wood, and 3) Have it still look really nice and clean….Talk about wanting it all, right? Well this is how I achieved that:

1. Using a steel wool pad and a wet cloth I started rubbing away. Scrubbing the rust, then wiping it away with the rag. Silly me should have realized even after I started doing this, the metal was still pretty beat up. It wasn’t going to be the clean, consistent look I wanted after the rust was controlled. This was frustrating, because while I wanted the metal to look older, I didn’t want it to be AS beat up as the wood. It would just be too much going on for this piece. (Especially as a photo prop.)

2. After removing a lot (but not all) of the rust, I decide to cheat and add some consistent color back in with spray paint. The wood was still raw and unpainted, so I just taped off the edges like so:

Tape off the wood. | © Noel

Painter’s tape works wonders. | © Noel

3. Using a combination of RUST-OLEUM Metallic Black and DESIGN MASTER Glossy black, I lightly and inconsistently began painting. Take turns painting and then rubbing with the steel wool to keep some of the rust and damage showing. Avoid an excessive amount of the metallic finish vs the glossy, because it almost has a “sparkle” to it, which is not a classic look for metal. What was achieved was this:

© Noel

Painted and Distressed Base | © Noel

 

WOOD TOP AND SEAT

For the wood, I was originally going to paint it shanty chic – like distressed ivory. That was until my “other half” kindly reminded me how gorgeous keeping it classic wood would be. He was right – therefore it would have to be stained. Before we jump into this, let me warn: Staining is NOT for the faint of heart! It is definitely an art all its own and I am still mastering this skill myself. The tricky part is keeping the color even, because remember, it’s already soaking in and drying as you go. Any place that dries and is then rewetted will start to look richer, creating streaky lines on the surface.

{TIP: For amateurs like me, keep just a couple paper towel sheets with you and continually wipe as you go. This will simultaneously smooth out excess stain that can get tacky if left on the surface AND keep your stain consistent and even. Oh – and wear gloves! 😉 } 

Wear gloves and keep that stain smooth! | © Noel

Wear gloves and keep that stain smooth! | © Noel

As for the product I used a two-in-one: stain (the color) and polyurethane (the seal). I wanted a classic stained look, but I needed some color. To contrast the dark metal and give the desk a “rich” feature, I chose MINWAX PolyShade in Bombay Mahogany. What an awesome difference! Plus, it matches the rust. 😉

MINWAX PolyShade Bombay Mahogany. | © Noel

MINWAX PolyShade in Bombay Mahogany. | © Noel

 

THE FINISHED PRODUCT

Finished Product |© Noel

Finished Product |© Noel

and a few accents and finishing touches……

Accents and Finishing Touches. | © Noel

TA DA!!!! | © Noel

 

There you have it! Simple and sweet right? I think the whole process from prep to finishing touches took about two days. For now this lovely piece will hold it’s place on my porch, but I am [impatiently] waiting to find the right client’s kiddos to use it as a photo prop. Maybe YOU!?!?

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For more updates from yours truly, follow me here on WordPress by blog or email, and hit that LIKE button on Facebook! Until next time 🙂 —

Happy Creating!

Noel

 

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Lifestyle of a Creative : Dresser Refurbish

August 14, 2015

Every now and then my creative juices get off track from my usual graphic design and photography. To accommodate for that, I have a special category called “Lifestyle of a Creative” for followers to find these projects. In this case, I finally decided to refurbish my old dressers. In today’s post, I will run you through the process of this renovation.

© Noel 2015

© Noel 2015

 

On this particular dresser, it was a mix of real wood and laminate pieces. Therefore, I opted not to do much sanding, and use quality, interior paint, in an eggshell finish with paint & primer in one. First, make sure all surfaces are wiped clean. Then I removed the all the metal pieces I could. For the hardware, RUST-OLEUM Hammered grey spray paint covered nicely, and gave the handles an awesome texture!

© Noel 2015

© Noel 2015

After taking the hardware off and painting them, tape off edges for clean lines on both the dressers’ base and drawers.

© Noel 2015

© Noel 2015

Lastly, I wanted to compliment the hammered grey handles with a modern and textured top. The original top was made of a laminate piece, so to avoid paint chipping from items sliding across it I needed something more durable. The solution is these cool backsplash adhesive tiles from Home Depot. They are originally meant for something like a kitchen backsplash wall, so the adhesive is very strong, the tiles are durable, and stainless steel textured.

© Noel 2015

© Noel 2015

Before sticking the tiles down, lay them out across the top to make sure they are arranged properly and fit well. The tiles can be cut into smaller sizes with a very durable blade. However, in my case everything fit perfectly without having to trim any of the pieces. The final results were awesome!!

© Noel 2015

© Noel 2015

To keep track of what Noel Photography and Design is up to, follow me here on WordPress and on Facebook.

Happy Creating!

Noel

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Frame Up-Cycling: Repainting and Backing (2 of 2)

July 8, 2014

I hope everyone enjoyed the first section of this tutorial Frame Up-Cycling: Repainting and Backing (1 of 2). So, now that we have the frame painted, its time to go through the steps of fast and simple backing. On this particular piece, I am framing a chalkboard, but I will insert specific changes for framing photography\artwork.

 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1. Your frame & the item you’ll be framing (Remember to take accurate measurements of the size of the frame.)

2a. IF YOU ARE FRAMING ART WORK- You’ll need a piece of glass cut to the proper size. I suggest a regular piece of glass from Lowes, Home Depot or Menards. Non-glare glass is really the best which can be found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. A cheaper option is clear acrylic.

2b. The chalkboard I will be using is glass spray painted with chalkboard paint.

3. Two to three ACID FREE foam core boards. You can find these at Michaels\Hobby Lobby. The size depends on your frame, but it should fit as close as possible.

4. White\black Poster board

5. Staple gun

What you'll need.

What you’ll need.

 

GLASS & ARTWORK

Artwork Related Steps:

1. Clean glass with either rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or hot water and mild soap.

2. Make sure the glass has dried well, then insert your photograph\artwork. If you are using a matte on the picture, again be sure its acid free.

3. In this tutorial, I am simply inserting my chalkboard.

Insert artwork or item to frame.

Insert artwork or item into frame.

 

FILLER

Next, using the acid free foam core boards, stack 2-3 boards behind the artwork\subject matter. Most average frames will only require 2 boards. The over all goal here is to make sure that the boards fill at least to the top edge or slightly above the frame opening. This will hold everything tightly for the final cover.

Stack boards behind artwork.

Stack boards behind artwork.

 

FINAL COVER & STAPLING

Using the poster board, you will now cover the filler boards. The poster board must be cut large enough to sit on the frame edges. By having the poster board sitting on the frame edges, and then stapling the poster board to the edges you will hold the glass, artwork and filler boards tight and secure in the frame.

Poster Board Placement

Poster Board Placement

Staple Poster Board to the Frame Edge

Staple Poster Board to the Frame Edge

 

FINAL PRODUCT

After you are finished stapling, YOU’RE DONE BACKING! The last thing to do is to add the hanging hook of your choice. Here is my finished project!

Finished!

Finished!

 

Chalkboard

Chalkboard

 

Good luck on step two of up-cycling a frame. Please share and comment with any questions. Remember to follow Noel Photography & Design here on WordPress and click here to find me on Facebook!

Noel

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Frame Up-Cycling: Repainting and Backing (1 of 2)

April 23, 2014

There are so many ways to be creative in photography- including when it comes to framing. If you’re like me, you enjoy having creative projects, and you know that framing can be expensive. Therefore, in this [two part] tutorial, I will first be giving instruction on how to antique a flea market frame. In a later post, I will follow this with a tutorial on how to easily back an older frame. So let’s get started!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1. Two-Three paint colors of your choice. (This particular frame works well with 3 colors because of its layered look. Most other frames will only need 2 colors, the base and antiquing color. Not pictured is the antiquing color: Martha Stewart, Black nickel in metallic.)

2. Medium size paint brush

3. Light-Medium weight sanding block

4. Paper towels & Newspaper\cardboard

Americana Acrylic Paint (Colors: Sea Glass & Lt. Buttermilk)

Americana Acrylic Paint
(Colors: Sea Glass & Lt. Buttermilk)

 

PREP WORK

As previously mentioned in Trash or Treasure?: Flea Markets & Up-cycling, its important to make sure the frame you choose can handle any work you will be doing to it. (Unless you’re prepared to fix it!) The frame should be structurally sound to take stapling for re-backing, and strong enough to hold for wall hanging. (No rotting wood, nails falling out, or old glue likely to come apart.)

In addition, the wood\texture should be strong enough to with stand some light sanding. Occasionally, older frames have soft wood, which is fine. In fact, it can often add character to your project. However, avoid overly soft wood that crumbles to the touch or brush. Here is the frame I have chosen:

Flea Market Frame

Now that you’ve found the right frame, it’s time to prepare it for paint. As I mentioned, older frames are fragile overall because of just that- they’re old! Therefore, you will want to use a fine to medium weight sand paper. All you’re really trying to do is mildly “rough up” the surface so the paint can grab hold. Do NOT use powered sanders. Most sanders are so powerful they will sand any designs right off or ruin the older frame!

After you’ve finished sanding, using a wet paper towel wipe down all surfaces of the frame. This will allow your paint to apply and stick easier by removing dirt from sanding and being in storage.

Light Sanding & Wipe clean

Light Sanding & Wipe clean

 

PAINTING

First apply the base coats. Since this frame is actually consistent of two frames layered, I chose to paint the inner frame with the Sea Glass and the outer frame with the Buttermilk (ivory) color. Be sure to use two coats to eliminate streaking and inconsistent color.

1 Coat vs. 2 Coats

1 Coat vs. 2 Coats

 

ANTIQUING

Next, using the black metallic color, we will do the antiquing. The easiest way to get an antiqued look is to use  a “dry brushing” technique. That means using minimal paint (or a basically dry brush) and a light hand movement over the surface. This technique tends to be easier on textured surfaces, but it can be done on either textured or flat. Here is what both may look like:

Flat Frame vs. Textured Frame

Flat Frame vs. Textured Frame

 

FINISHED PRODUCT

TA DA! Here is it looks like after everything’s done!

Finish1 Finish2

 

 

Good luck and please ask any questions you may have! This is a two part tutorial, so get started on your frame painting project and be ready for the follow up of how to back an old frame. Remember to find me on Facebook and follow me here on WordPress. Until next time!

Noel

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Tips for Getting Your Holiday Photos Organized!

December 4, 2013

Hello once again!

The holidays can be stressful. Between finding the presents and planning the holiday feast, there isn’t much room left for error. So here are some friendly photographer tips to make your holiday portraits fun, easy and stress free!

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1. PLAN AHEAD

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule appointments with your photographer of choice. There’s nothing worse than finding out that you have to choose your fourth or fifth option of where you’d like to get your portraits done.

On top of making sure you can get in to a professional photographer, it’s important to plan ahead for your family. As the children get older, it becomes next to impossible to work around everyone’s schedule. However, if you are choosing a day far enough in advance, it leaves time for each person to work around your appointment!

2. PICK YOUR STYLE.

Every family has a style that they prefer, whether it be casual, formal or somewhere in between. While you want your family looking their best, you also want your pictures to be natural. Not like everyone is out of their “comfort zone.”

In addition to picking your style, it typically looks best when families coordinate with one another. This is not to say that everyone including the dog needs to be wearing the same Christmas sweater. Instead, just find ways to make everyone included look cohesive. Here are some general examples:

Example 1: (Everyone in jeans\dress pants and “color of choice” shirts.)

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Image by SUNDBERG PHOTOGRAPHY

Example 2: (Long sleeve shirts or sweaters with jeans\dress pants in a particular color scheme.)

Example 3: (Girls matching, boys matching.)

Image by DAYS GO BY PHOTOGRAPHY

Image by DAYS GO BY PHOTOGRAPHY

Example 4: (Boys in black suits and girls in red dresses.)

Example 5: (Parents in solids and kids in patterns.)

PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

Example 6: (One general color scheme. You don’t even HAVE to all be wearing the same type of pant or shirt. Just pick a color scheme and let everyone choose what they’d like to wear in the color scheme. In this example they chose brown and blue.)

Image by LIZ LABIANCA PHOTOGRAPHY

Image by LIZ LABIANCA PHOTOGRAPHY

The list goes on and on, the point is, wear something that will make everyone look their best and the family looking unified!

3. FIT THE SEASON.

Nothing’s cuter than those adorable spring dresses. However, wearing a cute spring dress for your fall holiday pictures could leave you feeling a little out of season. Make sure whatever time of year you choose to plan your photos for that everyone is dressed for the season!

4. MAKE ‘EM UNIQUE.

Classic family portraits are always a must. Nevertheless, don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your portraits! Not every shot needs to be picture perfect (especially if your one of those families who are lucky to get ONE perfect one.) Discuss with your photographer if they have any special ideas for your family. Coordinate any props or changes of clothes that you can bring along to personalize your pictures.

You could even plan to get down and dirty! Let your photographer know ahead of time if you have something in mind like rolling in the snow to make your holiday photos “tis the season!”  Or an early fall paint balloon fight that you’d like to capture for your cards and letters to family. Many photographers will be more than happy to make your ideas come to life and really look great. All you have to do is ask!

Image by BREANNE ASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Image by BREANNE ASH PHOTOGRAPHY

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I hope this will make your holiday portraits run much smoother and a lot more fun! If you think of any questions feel free to ask and I will be glad to do my best to steer you in the right direction. Remember to find me on Facebook [Which is super easy to do because you just need to click that ‘LIKE” button to your left. 🙂 ]  Happy Holidays!

Noel

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Trash or Treasure? Flea Markets and Up-cycling.

August 5, 2013

Hello friends and Bloggers!

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for a new artsy project or cool decor, while saving a little green.  My way of doing that is heading out to local flea markets and antique shops to search for awesome finds! But if you’ve ever been to a second hand store, you know that there is a lot of just plain junk. So here are some helpful ways to find useful items and things you can refurbish for your own home, without becoming a hoarder or having an up-cycle project blow up in your face!

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1. HAVE SOMETHING IN MIND BEFORE YOU GO. Before even leaving your house have things in mind that you are looking for. Maybe you need a cool old frame, an interesting vase or a new dresser to repaint. Whatever it may be, remember what you’re going for and don’t pick up random stuff.  Many people look at stuff and say ‘I’ll think of something to use this for later.” That’s when hoarding starts! 🙂 So remember what you need and stick to it.

2. ASK YOURSELF THREE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. Where will I put it? What will I use it for? Can I buy it new for the same price? If you don’t have useful answers for the first two questions, and you can buy it new for the same cost, this is a bad purchase. When we find interesting things we don’t have a plan for, once again it’s hoarding. This would be my only exception to rule #1. If you find something not on your list, but you REALLY DO have a plan or idea for it, then buy it for “someday,” otherwise leave it on the shelf.  Your, “I’ll think of something later,” box is full enough. We can’t always plan for what we find, but we can ALWAYS know what we’ll do with them before we buy.

3. MAKE SURE ITS DURABLE. This is an important rule to follow when you are buying items or furniture with plans to refurbish. NEVER buy an item without making sure its stable, durable and can handle whatever beating it will be taking when you are redoing it. If an item’s foundation isn’t strong, its a BAD purchase. You’ll end up putting more into remodeling it, then if you would just go to the store and buy exactly what you want. Not to mention, your project will quickly turn from fun to a terrible disaster.

4. THINK ABOUT IT. If you come across something you like but you can’t answer those three questions correctly, LEAVE AND THINK ABOUT IT. The nice thing about flea markets and antique stores is you can walk away from something and it will be there a couple days later. If you are unsure about your purchase, go home, do some research. If you decide it’s a useful, good buy then go get it later. Nine times out of ten, it will still be there or another booth has the exact same thing.

5. SHOP FOR YOURSELF ONLY. Remember not everyone enjoys second hand finds. Don’t buy things for people unless you know they really will take it and use it. Otherwise you just end up with more stuff you don’t need, or force your friends to keep stuff they don’t need!

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I hope this will help you keep your junk to a minimum and help make the most out of your treasures. I always love a good craft project, and cool finds. But when our creativity outruns reality, we need these simple rules to keep us in check. Happy hunting! 🙂

Noel

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