DIY Ombre Tissue Paper Photobooth Backdrop

I. Am. Pumped. And I will tell you why. A few weeks ago I showed you this awesome studio, and today we get to unveil the video that we shot…

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I. Am. Pumped. And I will tell you why. A few weeks ago I showed you this awesome studio, and today we get to unveil the video that we shot there! My pal Chris at 25th Hour Films is an absolute genius of a doll of a human. And he’s to thank for this, Lovely Indeed’s first ever fancy professional film.

Whenever we’ve had videos in the past, it’s been me and Mr. Lovely, trading being behind the camera and figuring things out ourselves. But this was a whole different story, dudes. Chris knows what he’s doing (check out some of his other videos for mad proof, yo).

And now, for all you DIY fiends out there, check out the video DIY! It’s a super simple project but packs quite a punch.

A few details for you, if you like to read.

Materials

  • tissue paper in varying shades
  • scissors
  • chicken wire
  • wire cutters
  • zip ties
  • photo backdrop framework

Make Time: 3 Hours

Cut a bunch of tissue paper into large squares or rectangles, at least 9″x9″. Set up your photo backdrop so that it’s at least 8 feet tall and 7 feet wide. Cut your chicken wire to your desired size (our backdrop was 7 feet by 5 feet). Attach the chicken wire to the frame with zip ties. Stuff tissue paper into the chicken wire in your desired color arrangement. We found it easiest to grab the tissue in the middle of the piece, pinch/twist in the middle, and stuff that into the chicken wire. Then fluff it up a little.

When you’re done, step back and make sure you didn’t miss any spots! Then get out your camera and have a ball. Big props to 25th Hour Films for helping us make this awesome video! xoxo

P.S. For more of Lovely Indeed’s DIY photobooth series, head right over here.

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Paris // Things To Do

Okay. This is nearly impossible. But I’m going to do my best to not gush about every single thing, and just give you the lowdown of our very faves from…

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Okay. This is nearly impossible. But I’m going to do my best to not gush about every single thing, and just give you the lowdown of our very faves from Paris. We were there for a little over two weeks and staying in an apartment, so if you’re just there for a quick trip, choose a few things that sound up your alley. These are all things I would do again and again. (Also, specific posts about eating and shopping are coming soon!)

This post is majestically long — click here for all the details and more photos!

Ten Things: Being a Kid

There have been so many moments lately where I’ll see a kid on the street or out and about and I can’t help but remember how much fun it is…

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There have been so many moments lately where I’ll see a kid on the street or out and about and I can’t help but remember how much fun it is to be little. I have no idea why it keeps happening right now! Maybe I feel like too much of a grownup.

In any case, I loved being a little kid, and here’s why.

Otter Pops after swimming.
Jelly sandals.
Having a big sister to simultaneously torture you and take care of you.
Cursive homework.
After school baseball practice.
Tetherball.
Swingsets, sandboxes, my Cabbage Patch Doll tricycle.
Tunnel tag.
Lunchboxes.
Piggyback rides.

Come on, this is fun you guys! What were some of your favorite things about being a kid? In all honesty, by the time I finished making that list I was grinning to myself. Telll me your faves, and have a beautiful weekend! xoxo

DIY Leather Shape Keychains

It’s time for another leather keychain DIY! This time, we’re getting fancy and stitching together leather shapes to carry our keys around in style. I recently went to my favorite…

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It’s time for another leather keychain DIY! This time, we’re getting fancy and stitching together leather shapes to carry our keys around in style. I recently went to my favorite leather shop and picked up some new goodies, so I couldn’t resist trying some of it out on these little beauties.

Materials

  • leather or faux leather
  • key ring
  • scissors
  • needle and thread
  • batting
  • pen
  • computer and printer
  • downloadable template

Make Time: 40 Minutes

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Print out the downloadable template. Decide which shape you’d like to make, and cut the shape from the paper. Trace the shape twice on the back of your leather. Cut out the shapes, along with a strip of leather approximately 1/4″ x 2″.

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With wrong sides facing, begin sewing the two shapes together. Enter the needle through one wrong side so that the knot in the thread will be hidden. From there, begin making tiny, neat stitches along the edges of the two pieces. At the halfway point, fold the extra strip of leather in half to form a loop, sandwich it between the two shapes, and sew it down across the edge.

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Continue sewing until you’ve almost reached your starting point. Stuff the leather with a bit of batting, until it’s sufficiently puffy.

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Continue sewing to meet your first stitch. Tie a hidden knot on the wrong side of the leather piece, in the same place the first hidden knot is. Snip the ends of the thread.

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Insert the leather loop through a keyring.

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You’re all set! I love these — the geometric shapes are so fun (and there’s a heart and a circle on the template sheet as well). They’d make great little party favors, or just fun everyday gifts. Can’t wait to use mine! xoxo

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Married Life // Traveling Together

Mr. Lovely and I literally met on a bus. I was joining the cast of a national theatrical tour that he was already a part of, and I joined the…

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Mr. Lovely and I literally met on a bus. I was joining the cast of a national theatrical tour that he was already a part of, and I joined the company on a bus in Wausaw, Wisconsin. So you could say that traveling together was part of our story from the very beginning.

I think all of the touring we’ve done (we’ve both been on three U.S. nationals, he’s been on an international, and we’ve worked in China together) has made us pretty hardy travelers. And it’s lucky for us that we met on the road, because it’s kind of a high-pressure situation – like trial by fire. So we knew from the start that we both liked traveling and having adventures, and that our travel styles jive.

I totally know that I’m lucky, though, and that may not be the case. Do you like to travel with your spouse or partner? I feel like travel is something that really tests a relationship, and the way that you each deal with the little (or massive) situations that come up really come to light and get magnified. Like how do you both react if a flight gets cancelled? Or what’s the general disposition when you’ve been standing in line forever with a heavy backpack in a place with no air conditioning? That’s when stuff gets real. I know there have certainly been a few tense moments between the two of us while we travel. There are bound to be – everybody’s human!

Then there are the roles that you each take when you travel. Mr. Lovely and I have fallen into a routine that I really love. I do the research and all of the planning; I know the places we want to go and the things we want to do, and I plan out our days. Then he makes them happen. He’s so great at navigation, public transportation, money, and all of the logistical stuff. So it works out pretty great.

I think there’s also the matter of your travel styles. Do you both like luxury? Or are you into roughing it? If one of you is cool with sandwiches in the park and the other one really wants caviar at the Ritz, there might be some compromising to do there.

What about you? Do you have certain roles that you fall into when you travel? Do you travel well with your honey? Does it bring out the best or the worst in you? I’d love to know. xoxo

Blogging // What Didn’t Work

You might remember this post about the things I’ve done on my blogging path that have really helped to up my game and grow Lovely Indeed. Well, there are also…

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You might remember this post about the things I’ve done on my blogging path that have really helped to up my game and grow Lovely Indeed. Well, there are also a few things that I’ve tried along the way that were dismal failures. Things that I was really excited about, or thought would get a great response, or bring lots of traffic, and that just… didn’t.

Well, it’s just as important to learn from our failures as it is from our successes, right? So in that spirit, here’s a (totally incomplete) lists of things I’ve tried that were barely even blips on the radar.

Blogging More. There was a long span (I think close to a year!) where I was trying to blog more than once a day. The second post was usually a photo I liked, or a color palette, or something similar. But really, I didn’t have enough time to do it and so it wasn’t quality. I couldn’t keep up with it. Not to mention, the numbers didn’t lie — my readership stayed the same whether I posted the extra blog or not. And when I stopped double posts, my numbers didn’t suffer at all. In fact, they slowly and steadily increased.

More Social Media. I used to go on these frenzies where I would tweet or post to Facebook bunches of times every day, thinking that I needed to be more present there to reach my readers. Again, looking back at that practice, I now realize that quantity does not equal quality. It wasn’t gaining me any followers or readers, and truthfully I find overposting on social media somewhat offputting now. Each person finds their own sweet spot and I totally respect that. But now I go by a simple rule: Do I have something interesting to say? If so, then I say it. Maybe I have two interesting things to say one day and twenty the next. So be it.

Giveaways. My first year, around the holidays I organized a month of giveaways of some pretty cool swag. I loved doing it, but it didn’t change a thing. Readers did not come from far and wide to enter my giveaways. The people entering were the small number of readers that I already had on my blog. Granted, if I had been giving away a car or a trip or something crazy, it could have been a different story. But for me, giveaways are not and have never been a traffic driver. They’re just something fun that I enjoy doing for readers.

Guest Posts (with a caveat). Last time, I mentioned becoming a contributor as something that really paved the way for Lovely Indeed to become what it is today. And I stand by that. But what it didn’t do was bring much traffic to my blog. I remember being kind of bummed about that — I wanted a magical answer to getting more readers and I thought that would be it. People would see that I wrote a post and BOOM they’d come hang out on my blog. I hate to break it to ya, but that’s not how it goes. Guest posting and contributing is awesome, and I love to do it. I still contribute to a few places because I enjoy it and because it can be a source of income as well. It’s also how I made some great connections and got to know some of my best blogger buds. But a magical flowing river of traffic it ain’t.

Being Complacent. Not reaching out and grabbing what I wanted was maybe my biggest mistake. Because if you don’t reach for that big shiny thing in your path, someone else will! And there are a million ways to reach out and grab it — by being present for your readers in the form of comments and prompt emails, by sticking your neck out for a project that seems scary, by trying new things (and maybe failing), and on and on. If something’s not working, try something new. Eventually, one of them will work.

Who else out there has some knowledge for us about what didn’t work? Let’s talk shop — and make some lemons into lemonade. xoxo

Headed Home

No matter how much I love to travel, it’s always a nice feeling to be headed back home. We’re flying from London to LA today, so sorry for the meager…

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No matter how much I love to travel, it’s always a nice feeling to be headed back home. We’re flying from London to LA today, so sorry for the meager post. We’ll have lots of juicy stuff coming up this week, though, and full recaps and our favorite recommendations from all of our travels. Thanks so much for following along. It’s been beautiful and I almost need a little time to process the wonderful things that we saw and experienced! I’m feeling calm and refreshed but so energized and inspired, and I am pumped to make things happen. xoxo

Image: Sunrise over Reykjavik, from my Instagram feed.

Lovely September Sponsors

Hey gang! Just wanted to shout out our sweet September sponsors. Give them a look for some delicious weekend web browsing. So grateful for each and every one of them!…

SPONSORS

Hey gang! Just wanted to shout out our sweet September sponsors. Give them a look for some delicious weekend web browsing. So grateful for each and every one of them! xoxo

Crumple + Toss

Tech Love Design

This Heart of Mine

Calypte Collection

The Folding Chair

Lynn + Lou

Ten Things: Destinations

All of this boppin’ all over the place has my wanderlust in full gear. The more I travel, the more I love to travel. And I think I’m pretty decent…

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All of this boppin’ all over the place has my wanderlust in full gear. The more I travel, the more I love to travel. And I think I’m pretty decent at it — it makes me brave and it makes me smarter, and I feel like it makes me a better version of myself. So if I could pick ten places I’ve never been to for travel adventures, these would top my list.

Egypt. I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids in real life.

Italy. Because duh.

Morocco. I just picture so much color.

Spain — and I’d actually know the language! (Mostly.)

Portugal. The homeland.

Iceland. We had a layover on the way to Paris and I wanted to stay!

The Maldives, for a beachy paradise.

Madagascar, because it sounds like a total adventure.

Ireland. In the rain.

Australia. Mr. Lovely studied abroad there and swears he’ll show me a good time.

I would love to hear your dream destinations, and would love to know if you’ve ever been to any of mine! Any good stories? xoxo

London

Well my dears, we left our little Parisian apartment for good this morning. Le sigh. Our time in Paris was so special and got all kinds of wheels turning and…

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Well my dears, we left our little Parisian apartment for good this morning. Le sigh. Our time in Paris was so special and got all kinds of wheels turning and there’s no place in the world like it.

We’re lessening the blow of leaving France with a few days in the UK, so I’d love to know if you have any off-the-beaten-path London recommendations. We’ll hit a few of the big, must-see touristy things, but I love to live like a local when I travel, so if you know of any awesome local spots, do tell. xoxo

DIY Printable Watercolor Anniversary Card

You know what’s difficult? Making your husband surprise gifts when you also want to blog about them. Sheesh! This time around, I was painting this thing in plain sight of…

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You know what’s difficult? Making your husband surprise gifts when you also want to blog about them. Sheesh! This time around, I was painting this thing in plain sight of Mr. Lovely and I just told him not to look. And to his credit, I don’t think he did. That sugar.

In any case, you know we’re traveling right now to celebrate our anniversary (here’s his gift), and I thought I’d get you guys in on the celebration by offering a freebie printable of the card I made Mr. Lovely! It takes a little DIYing, but it’s a pretty cool one nonetheless. If you want to make a watercolor anniversary (or just I Love You!) card, here’s what you’ll need.

Materials

  • watercolor paper
  • scissors
  • computer and printer
  • watercolor paints
  • clean water
  • tiny paintbrushes (I used a size 0 short liner)
  • paper towels
  • printable download

Make Time: 2 Hours

Begin by printing out this downloadable template on watercolor paper. (Trim the watercolor paper to 8.5″ x 11″ and insert into your home printer.) Trim the excess edges, and score on the faint line down the center. (Yes, the lines are very faint on the download. You don’t want to use anything too dark with watercolors.)

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Set out your paints, clean water, and paper towels. Mix up some colors that go well together in a gradient, if you want an ombre effect like I made.

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Start by painting a very light, faint wash on all of the letters — this will mean using lots of water and just a little paint. I used lighter colors toward the upper left of the card and let them get darker toward the bottom right. However, for this coat, all of the painting should have a light touch.

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Let the paint dry thoroughly and go back over with another coat. This time, experiment with more saturated colors. But be careful — you can always add color but you can’t take it away. Get the colors to mix together in an ombre effect, add a little water to your brush and gently push the colors around.

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Let the card dry thoroughly. Add a few droplets of color here and there if you like. You could also use the template to make a framed art piece instead of a card. I gave this one to Mr. Lovely in Paris on our anniversary — it traveled with me all the way there! xoxo

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