CrazySexyCrafty: DIY Lightbox

If you’re into product photography, whether you are a crafter selling on Etsy, or taking pictures for a food campaign, you have to have good lighting and a way to control it. Professional light box kits are made just for this, but their not cheap!

There is a way to get professional quality without breaking the bank. In fact, this project cost me nothing!

Here’s my setup:

There several ways to make one of these. Here are a few that I like the best:
From Strobist
From Digital Photography School
From Sellers Assisting Sellers
From Studio Lightning
From Studio 6 or 7 (video)
With PVC pipe (video)

You can use tissue paper to cover the squares, but if you don’t have that, you can cut a white plastic grocery bag!

I also leave the back untaped, so it’s easy to break down for storage. Just pull the side flaps in and it won’t fall. I can also pin a cloth backdrop on the wall and feed it through the back for variety.

Get daylight lightbulbs! They are worth it. You have less work to do when you go into your photo editor. If you still can’t get those, then you must make sure your lights are all the same! Then adjust your white balance on your camera.

This has really helped me take better pictures! There’s still alot of room for my improvement, but I’m pleased with my progress. You can see how it’s going in my Etsy shop.


Never pay for phone calls again?

I’m on a roll!
Free t.v. is new to me, but not free phone calls! Years ago, I got into it when I didn’t have a cell phone, and the friends I wanted to talk to were all out of town. I didn’t want to get a cell phone just to keep in touch, so someone suggested I get a headset and use my computer.

I just recently let go of my cell phone. Nobody was really calling or texting me on it, and paying $40/month didn’t seem right just for ’emergencies’. I’ve been using the land line. I just recently reconnected with a friend who lives out of town, and I would like to be able to makes calls TO that person, without asking them to call me all the time or running up the long distance phone bill on the land line. So now I’m back to using the internet phone.

There are quite a few options. And those don’t even include Skype!

You won’t be able to use these services to call outside the U.S. or Canada (except for Skype!) and you can’t use them to make emergency calls. A land line will do for those.

Cut the cord and still enjoy T.V.!

Ted Sherman ditched the cable and the high monthly fess, and still manages to get the most out of his television experience. He details how he did it in this article.

CrazySexyCrafty: Dyeing Shoes with Paint It Black

Simply Spray was kind enough to let me try another one of their products: Paint It Black. It’s a safe fabric dye in a spray can you can use to put back the black in your favorite clothing. This is obviously what it was made to do. I wanted to push the boundaries a little bit and see how far the product could go, and I had the perfect thing:

These shoes.

I bought these so many years ago at Target. I love them because of the Asian print (I have a love affair with all things Asian. I’ll explain sometime later) and the patent leather (or vinyl!) bow. Apparently, I love them too much, because they are DIR-TY! Luckily, there are no tears or holes and the sole is still in good condition. So this is great to try to paint black!

I wanted to keep the cute color pop of red, so I taped that part up with masking tape, making sure the area was covered well. I covered my work surface (I do alot on this surface!) and put up my paint guards, and got to painting.

When using this, it’s really important to spray lights coats, and let each coat dry before spraying on another one. Try not to saturate the item. The dye will just run off the fabric and make a really messy pool under your item. You’ll be wasting product. I probably could have used just one can to do these shoes, but I ended up using one and a half cans because I had to learn the hard way about light coats.

There was a little paint on the red. It comes off easily if you use rubbing alcohol and some cotton.


Now, I have a practically new pair of cute flats! And if I need to, I can just spray on a little dye if I need to touch them up.

Cures in the Pantry: Honey is good for burns

I found an article in Sunday’s Parade magazine that said that honey is wonderful for healing burns. Apparently, the anti-microbial properties help burns heal more quickly than using commercially made salves. The article does warn that honey is the only thing you could use. You can’t use butter, shortening or any other substance hiding in the fridge.

Another reason to keep honey as a staple in the house.

The New York Times has a blurb about honey on burns too.

Randon Frugal Thoughts

Love this tweet from Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point:

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only an empty head and empty heart can do that.

So so true!

CrazySexyCrafty: DIY Sticker Paper

waterproofed with packing tape

I’ve been experimenting with my own labels and I was using some ink jet label paper I bought years ago and never used it all. When I started to run out, I was thinking about some other alternatives to buying this kind of paper. This stuff doesn’t seem to be a great buy. You don’t get a lot for the money that you spend on it.

I decided to look for other alternatives, and I just love this tute. It’s easy, but it takes some time, so you have to plan ahead. Reading all of the comments will also reveal some different techniques on how to make your stickers waterproof too!

This is for white (or any other color you use) stickers. I don’t think this will work for clear stickers. I’m looking into this too!

waterproofed with decoupage