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Friday Photoshare – Constrained

Wow, it’s Friday already?! Weeks always feel extra short whenever my husband has a long weekend, like he did for the MLK Day holiday. However short the past week felt, it is Friday again, which means time for a photo! Today I’m sharing a behind the scenes look at the self portrait I’m calling “Constrained.”

At first glance it might look a little weird and creepy! I’m going to explain in a moment, but first let me drop off a video link. I created a really quick behind the scenes video for you – it’s about half as long as last week’s – and at the end I show the various shots that went into the final image.

Before I start explaining things, can you take a moment to think about the image and what it means to you? I’m always interested to hear what folks say before they hear my explanation. 

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When I was a kid, my mom and I would set up a special night to hand make Valentines. We’d use red, pink, and white cardstock, glue sticks, and paper doilies to create handmade Valentines instead of buying them at the store. I definitely came by my penchant for homemade gifts and favors honestly! Today I’m sharing DIY spiced cinnamon honey favors that would be really cute as Valentines or favors at a DIY wedding, shower, or other party. The honey is super tasty and the project is simple, so I hope you enjoy.

The spiced cinnamon honey does not, of course, have to be divided up and given away! You can totally make a jar just for yourself! Either way, the basic process is the same. The easiest way takes at least two weeks of lead time, but you can also make this spiced honey a ‘quick’ way.

DIY spiced cinnamon honey favors [click to continue…]


Wellbeing Wednesday – Stop Wishing Start Doing

Welcome to yet another Wellbeing Wednesday free printable!

Today I want to emphasize the importance of taking steps towards your dreams. Simply dreaming isn’t enough – you have to actively work to make your dreams a reality. {{However, I don’t believe endlessly “efforting” will get you the desired results, either!}} I believe we create our own largest obstacles. We believe that we’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not young enough, not old enough, not polished enough, not fun enough, not outgoing enough, or not smart enough to reach our goals, so we keep on wishing our lives away.

Here’s the fact of the matter: YOU ARE ENOUGH! Yep, you, and you, and you over there thinking “no I’m not! She doesn’t know me!” You are enough.

This week, I hope that you stop wishing and start doing. Realize that even small steps towards your dreams will put you closer than you were before and that you absolutely are enough.

stop wishing free printable

Natasha - The Artisan Life


Photo Fails

So apparently some folks believe I am a naturally photogenic unicorn! Wow, that would be amazing and thank you, anyone who’s under that impression!

I recently deleted a bunch of really “good” (for this post) shots, but a few slipped under the radar. Here are ten unflattering photos of me for your viewing enjoyment!

photo fail 1

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Friday Photoshare – Reading Takes you Places

I am super excited (and a little bit nervous) to share my first ever Friday Photoshare vlog today! So many people have asked how I take photos of myself, so I created a BTS video demonstrating the process for Reading Takes you Places.

Reading Takes you Places - fine art self portrait

Reading is so much more than entertainment – it’s an amazing journey in your mind. Each book is another lifetime you can live, a world, time, or place you can visit. Research shows that reading about something activates your brain in very similar ways to actually experiencing what’s being described! Additionally, evidence suggests reading makes you more empathetic and compassionate towards others. Obviously, reading increases your vocabulary, writing skills, and concentration, but it also reduces stress as effectively as music. See – reading is awesome! If you feel like you don’t have enough time to read or aren’t sure where to start, I recommend checking out Rose’s post on her 2016 reading list and tips for reading more. It will help you!

Alright – let’s get to the video! I explain my set up, the equipment I use, and some of my decisions about props and wardrobe. I really hope you enjoy and find the video useful!

If you want to take photos of yourself, the technique of focusing on a stand-in and then either using a remote or timer shutter function works really well. If you want to use a wireless remote, there are many different options available depending on your camera and needs. I used to use a very simple wireless shutter trigger, but it doesn’t work with my current camera. If you’re just starting to get into taking photos of yourself and don’t want to run back and forth with the self timer, something like this is an affordable choice (Nikon version is linked). Now I use a wireless intervalometer/remote. Remotes tend to be pretty brand and model specific, so if you’re looking for one, please make sure it will work with your camera before you purchase! The intervalometer that worked with my D7100 does not work with my D810, and peripherals are very rarely compatible across brands.

I know I don’t need it, strictly speaking, but I want a CamRanger (incidentally, I believe it is compatible across brands). It allows you to control absolutely everything from your phone or tablet in a way the company’s apps are totally incapable of. It also lets you do awesome things like ISO bracketing, which is a technique I’d love to use for capturing sunrise/sunset shots. I absolutely don’t have to have it, which is why I don’t, but it’s on my wish list!

I really hope you enjoyed today’s Friday Photoshare and that you have an enjoyable holiday weekend if you’re in the US!

Natasha - The Artisan Life


Upcycled Spice Jar Bud Vase Tutorial

As we’ve discussed before, I have a problem throwing away glass containers. I just can’t do it! Jars and bottles accumulate in the laundry closet, which annoys my husband. I insist that I have a plan for them and keep them, anyway. I was so excited to show him these little creations the other day and demonstrate I really do have a plan for the jars I collect! I really hope you enjoy this upcycled spice jar bud vase tutorial and that you’re able to repurpose some jars into virtually free creations, too.

Upcycled Spice Jar Bud Vase Tutorial

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Wellbeing Wednesday – Bear Hug

There are so many people around the world I wish I could give a hug to right now. Some of them need hugs of support – an “I’m with you” kind of hug. Other people deserve hugs of celebration and joy. I can’t actually travel the world handing out hugs (at least not this week! Wouldn’t that be a fun undertaking?), so this week’s Wellbeing Wednesday free printable will have to do the job for me:

Bear Hug free printable

I hope everyone who needs it enjoys this “bear hug” today. 🙂

As always, this image is available as a free printable in the “printables for members” tab. Please leave a message if you’ve mislaid the password!

Natasha - The Artisan Life


Free Grunge Texture Photo Overlay Pack

I had so much fun using and sharing last week’s grunge paper texture overlays that I decided to make more this week! More textures, that is – this week they aren’t papery. They’re more cement-y.

Free grunge texture overlay pack

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Homemade Honey Almond Lip Sugar Scrub

Friday afternoon we had a beautiful opportunity to practice our lifestyle portrait photography. A friend of my husband’s owns a sailboat (he’s also a certified captain and licensed to do charters, so let me know if you’re looking for a charter sail on Oahu or Kauai and I can put you in touch!) and other friends of ours have the world’s most adorable, well behaved children. The combination of sunny afternoon sail + lovely family was absolutely perfect for practicing photography! However, being out in the sun and wind made me realize just how badly my lips needed a loving exfoliation, so I decided to create a homemade honey almond lip sugar scrub and share it with y’all!

Homemade Honey Almond Lip Sugar Scrub Recipe

This lip sugar scrub tastes amazing and doesn’t have any icky petroleum ingredients or funny chemicals. In fact, you could eat it! The gentle exfoliation combined with lasting moisture is absolutely perfect for your lips, but it would be nice for a gentle hand scrub, too. Before I get to the recipe, though, I have to share a couple of our lifestyle family portraits from Friday:

lifestyle family photos on Oahu

Oahu lifestyle family photography


Okay – I don’t want to post any more photos from the shoot yet because we’re doing an in-person “reveal” in a few days with all their photos! Time to move on to the lip sugar scrub. =)

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Friday Photoshare – Cherish your Dreams

Welcome back to the Friday Photoshare series! It’s been really difficult for me not to share the stories behind my self portraits here on my blog for the last month! Today I’m sharing one from early December, Cherish your Dreams.

Cherish your dreams - self portrait

This image is one of my current favorites, and it is the result of allowing my ideas to be flexible. When I first had the idea for the image, I thought I wanted to be facing the camera and kind of hugging the cloud, representing dreams, close. I wanted my face at least somewhat covered by my hair and for it to to see a bit more…grasping? Clingy? I took several shots and I didn’t like them at all. I realized that the photo wanted to be more hopeful and uplifting, so I re-shot. That sounds a little strange, doesn’t it? Personifying the image and saying “the photo wanted…” as if it has agency. Maybe it is strange, but that’s exactly how I felt about this image! [click to continue…]

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