Category Archives: GUEST BLOGGER

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Energy Delights of LED Lighting

The majority of people will always buy traditional lighting as it’s what they know to be safe and

trying something new makes them uncomfortable; but there are so many benefits to choosing LED

lighting over traditional lighting. When we think of saving money and cutting costs we tend to leave

lights on for shorter periods of time, reduce the amount of heat within our houses and try to use

only as much electricity as we really need; but when do we take into account the type of lighting

that we are using and whether or not it’s cost effective?

 


Why Choose LEDs?

Efficiency

LED lighting is much cost effective and energy efficient when compared with contemporary and

traditional lighting; an LED bulb will use approximately 80%-90% of the electricity that it is provided

with and transform it into light energy. This high efficiency means that only 20% or less of the

electricity is being used to create heat and kinetic energy, due to this efficiency LED bulbs cost a lot

less to light a room that traditional bulbs.

Intensity

Due to the efficiency of the LED they produce a great deal more light that that of the traditional light

bulb; this means that they can light a room effectively even in the earliest hours of the morning. The

more energy that is being used to light the room rather than heat it also makes LED lights much safer

than traditional bulbs as don’t heat up to the same degree that traditional bulbs do.


Endurance

Led lights can endure up to 11 years of constant use without breaking, and LEDS do not break in the

same manner as other light bulbs. Traditional light bulbs will simply blink out when they have met

their end, LED lights will gradually dim over a period of years until the filament can no longer create

light energy. Due to this, LED lights are considered better as you experience a period of warning

whereas with a traditional bulb there is no warning at all; you could be without light in an instant.

Where Are LEDs Used?

Outdoors

Led lights are suitable for a number of different areas within the household, and outside of the

household. As evening approaches the garden can become an eerie place; in this respect an LED

placed over the veranda or outdoor porch can make sitting outdoors at dusk much more relaxing

and even pleasant.

LED lights are also used within most outdoor lighting features, such as solar lights and water

features; so LEDs are suitable to light the path from your garden to your house so that you may cross

your garden in the dark without incident.

Indoors

There are many different places within the interior of your house where Led lights can be used,

kitchens and bathrooms are ideal host for LED lights as it makes these often cramped areas feel

spacious and relaxing, as a lot of light gives the impression of a larger space.

LED lights can also be used to comfort children that still require a light, they can be used in the form

of fairy lights and wrapped around a bed frame, taped to a ceiling or placed around a door frame;

these are all methods of making subtle changes within your household whilst integrating the use of

LEDs.

Author: Simon Calvin is part of the team at UK Christmas World where he spends the majority of his

time playing with all sorts of different LED lights and Christmas accessories.

 
 
Thank you for Simon for stopping by and giving us an insight into LED’s
 
Stay Crafty everyone,
Loren 
 
 
**This is a compensation post**
 
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Tips for Creating a Modern and Sleek Kitchen


Tips for Creating a Modern and Sleek Kitchen

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home; a place to refuel, relax and socialize. It’s no wonder then that homeowners are willing to spend thousands of pounds on their kitchen interior. If modern and sleek kitchen is the object of your design affection, here are a few simple tips on how to achieve the look of class and simplicity:

Clean lines

Modern kitchen interiors focus on clean, crisp lines with vast granite or quartz worktops and minimalist cupboard units. Ornate details are out – finishing touches like drawer handles and sink fittings are contemporary and uncomplicated, usually finished in Chrome or brushed steel. Plenty of storage space is essential to a modern kitchen design, so clutter can be kept to a minimum. If you want the ultimate in sleek kitchen units, choose handle-less cupboards.

Fresh colors

White kitchens have increased in popularity over recent years, but fresh, bright colors are an ongoing favorite – often contrasted with black kitchen worktops. Pick a kitchen design that offers plenty of contrast between wall color, unit color and flooring, to create the illusion of space.

Modern tiling

The use of tiling will not only provide a practical splash back, but can add a sleek and modern decorative feature. Glass tiles are a modern choice, whilst traditional square mosaic tiles can complement any kitchen interior. If you want to add a pop of color, make your tiling a focal point by picking a bright shade.

Integrated appliances

The integration of kitchen appliances is one of the most costly yet important features of any sleek and modern kitchen. Integrated appliances are those that are hidden behind kitchen unit doors or built sleekly into your worktops. Common kitchen appliances such as your fridge-freezer and ovens can all be fitted, whilst those who want the latest in high tech gadgets can opt for in-built coffee systems and warming drawers.

Strategic layout

The placing of the three most important kitchen features is vital to the workings of a sleek kitchen. Consider the ‘work triangle’ in your design, which places the fridge, sink and cooker at three equal points. If you have the luxury of a large kitchen, consider kitchen work zones to ease the way you use your kitchen space – areas for storage, food preparation, drinks and casual dining can all be beneficial.

Modern lighting

Lighting should not be an afterthought. Ill-considered kitchen lighting can be frustrating and even dangerous. Make sure that you have plenty of light for food preparation and the option of dimmed lighting for atmospheric dining. Natural lighting is another highlight of modern kitchen, use minimal blinds and reflective surfaces to make the most of this.
There’s a lot to consider when creating a sleek and modern kitchen interior. If you aren’t sure how to go about fitting a sophisticated contemporary design yourself, browse the ready-made designs of professional kitchen fitters.
James Rooney is a home and garden blogger with a particular interest in great kitchen design. He has a love of high-tech ovens and any kitchen tech that makes cooking more enjoyable.

This is a paid post *

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Restoring a Dresser


Please help me welcome David who is guest posting! Come and take a look at what would do on restoring a dresser. 

Author Bio:  David Morrison has been a husband for fifteen years and a home maker for even longer.  A self-proclaimed DIY enthusiast, David has had to learn the ropes of the renovation industry through the spillages and breakages of his two young children.  He is far more comfortable with a power drill in his hand than a guitar or a paintbrush, and currently works for UK Tool Centre in Jersey.


Restoring an Old Dresser

Restoring an old dresser to working order can be done if you want to refinish the surface. A
dresser may have many drawers, a series of shelves, and even doors. Updating the look of the
dresser is a task that you can do by first preparing the furniture before you begin the project.
The first step is to examine the piece of furniture to see if there are any protruding nails or
screws. Your dresser may also have joints that are secured with glue. Pull out the drawers and
see if there is any type of hardware used to secure the wood or if glue was used. Open the
doors and see if the hinges are loose or are missing hardware.
Hinges that are loose will need to be rehung on the dresser. Open the door and check to see if
you need to use a special screwdriver. You may need a flat head screwdriver or a Phillips
head. Match the tip end of the screwdriver with the head of the screw to ensure the right size.
You need to press the tip end of a screwdriver into the screw and turn to the left. This should
break the screw free.
Clean the hinge to remove any dirt and grime to prepare it to be set back in place. You may
find that the screw holes are too big for the screws. One way to fix this is to use toothpicks.
Dip a toothpick in wood glue and insert them into the hole. Trim the ends flush and then
reattach the hinges. Tighten any screws securing the shelving supports for the dresser. If any
screws are stripped, then remove and replace with brass screws.
Shelving that has begun to sag means that there is a lack of suitable support. This can easily
be fixed if you add a batten to the back. This is a small strip of wood that is used to would up
the shelf. You need to measure the width of the cabinet and then cut a one-half inch wide
strip of wood. Drill a series of holes in the wood for pins. Apply wood glue to the wood
before you add the pins.
Old knobs on your dresser can easily be replaced with updated cream porcelain or even black
metal. You may need to add a hole to the door to secure a new knob with a screw. Tighten
screws with a screwdriver. Handles on your furniture can also be replaced with porcelain
knobs for a uniform look to the piece.
If you decide to refinish your dresser, then the original paint needs to be removed. You can
also remove old layers of paint to display the original color of the wood. This is done by
using a chemical stripper to peel off the paint. Wipe the surface with a cloth to remove any
residue. Once the natural wood color has been restored, you then need to apply a coat of
beeswax to create a new finish.


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Video Blog interview with DIY Inspired!

I decided to do a video interview with Dinah from DIY Inspired and I asked her a few questions about blogging. Dinah and I will be doing regular blog videos interviewing different blogger and maybe tutorials. We hope to help others with blogging advice and help answer question we all have but don’t have the courage to ask anyone. 
Enjoy!! 

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Bath Salts Singles with Kayla **Guest Post**

Hey everyone, I’m Kayla from SayNotSweetAnne.com. I’m super happy to meet you all and do this guest post! I’m a graphic designer by day who loves crafting, creating, and just having fun. Stop by my site for free printables, more tutorials and lots of other crazy stuff!!

Remember that conference I went to a while back? Well, one of the coolest things about it was that at breakfast we were served toast with mini jams. Oh no, not those plastic squares of jam you get in a diner. These were in teeny tiny glass jars! Needless to say I stuffed a bunch in my purse and came home with a little collection.

I knew that I had to do SOMETHING awesome with these. But I didn’t know what. They’re a bit too big for lipgloss, and too small for most other things. Then, I saw this post on Renewed Upon a Dream. Oooh, bath salts! I love bath products. Its actually pretty painful because in our current home we only have a shower. You’re going to think I’m nuts but more than once I’ve sat in a 30 gallon tote on the shower floor just to relax a little. =P
More than just the salts, I loved the idea of different colors/jars! But, it would take me years to go through three jars of bath salt, and one jar doesn’t get the mixed color/scent. Enter those adorable little jam jars! These buggers are just the right size for one bath. So, I can give them away in a 3 pack sampler that allows my dear ones to get all of the colors/scents!!

What You Need:

  • Epsom salts. Check the sore muscle aisle. DO NOT use rock or table salt. Its not the same chemical make up.
  • Essential oils / soap scents. I got mine online and at craft stores ~$3.
  • Soap colors.
  • Jars!
  • Paint (To paint lids)

How To Make It:

  1. This is just too easy. It could be SO CUTE for a little one to make bath salts for mommy! Pour the salt into a bowl.
  2. Add a few drops of the scent. Use a whisk to mix it around. Make it a little stronger than you’d think. The smell will dissapate in the water. I used Cucumber Melon and Angel Food Cake.
  3. Add a few drops of color. I made green for the Melon and brown for the Angel Food Cake. Use the whisk to mix it. If needed, add more.
  4. Clean your glass bottles with warm water, a razor blade to scrape off the goo from the labels, and nail polish remover to remove the sticky residue.
  5. Paint the lids of the jars. I used spraypaint because it was faster. =P
  6. Once the bottles/lids are ready, spoon your mixture into the jars. Add the lids.
  7. I went ahead and printed teeny little labels for the jars. You could easily just leave them bar, or tie a pretty tag to the top.
  8. DONE! Now there is a cute sampler of bath salts!
Thank you Kayla for her guest post, I had so much making my own bath salts!! I hope you all enjoyed the tutorial!
Till Next Time!
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Guest Post: Dinah from Inspired and a great DIY craft

I hope everyone could help me welcome Dinah from DIY Inspired. She is a wonderful mama and blogger. She has a growing blog where she features other bloggers with their craft about DIY recycled items. Dinah also does wonderful crafts. But first lets find out a little about Dinah and what inspires her. 
I’m not a designer, decorator, editor, photographer, or even a writer. I’m a stay at home mom that loves to craft, decorate, re-purpose and create.  I get my inspiration from several people from Nate Berkus to Martha Stewart, or even from my daughter and my extremely talented older brother.  I spend hours getting ideas from television shows, swap meets and flea markets, other blogs, thrift stores (even though some of them are smelly), and books and magazines.
Deciding to be a stay at home mom was not easy for me because I had spent the last ten years working my butt off and prior to that, I spent several years in college getting degrees and even teaching a little.  Working hard was in my blood. Everything changed when my amazing husband and I had a beautiful little girl, Mia. Becoming a parent, as many of you can attest (that is, if anyone ever reads this), flipped my world upside down, and there was no way I was going to miss the first laugh, the first word, the first step, or any milestone in between.  Staying at home not only meant quality time with my daughter, but also allowed more time to do what I love… get DIY crafty on the cheap.
With the support of my family and friends, I started this blog to simply test and challenge myself to start new projects, share my inspirations, and hopefully inspire a few others along the way.


 It’s been just over one year since I started blogging. When I first started, my initial focus was always crafting and DIY projects. After a few weeks, I noticed that most of my posts had a similar emphasis on repurposed and upcycled projects and inspirations. So naturally, I had to share a recyling project. I have always wanted to try making something out of recycled magazine pages so I finally sat down and made this frame. I have to say, although slightly tedious, it was quite fun, especially when I looked at the results. My only regret is that I wished I didn’t use such a cheap wooden frame mainly because of the cardboard back. I should have shelled out a few more bucks for a nicer one. Even a thrift store one would have been better. Oh well. Anyway, here is how I made a recycled magazine frame.

           Materials:

  • Any frame (again, I regret using the crappy one from IKEA)
  • Old Magazine
  • Tape
  • Paper Cutter
  • Decoupage medium
  • Small Paint brush

Gather a few magazines that you’ve already read and no longer want. I say a few, because for this project I used four different Rolling Stones magazines to get the colored pages I wanted.

 

 I chose to cut my strips to the width of the frame. For example, the frame pictured here is for a 3X5 photo and the frame is a one inch wide, 4X7 frame. I ended up cutting 1”X7” stripes (approximately eight pages). Next, start rolling your strips. The toughest part is the beginning; however it’s easy to get used to! I used a small narrow piece of tape to secure each roll. It was cleaner than attempting to glue each roll; and the tape can be easily hidden when attached to the frame.

 

 For each roll, I laid it onto the frame so I knew when to stop. It helps to do this while you’re watching your favorite shows on TV.

 

 After rolling all the strips, I glued each piece with a paint brush and decoupage medium one by one.

 

 When you are finished adhering each roll, allow it to dry completely (about 15 minutes). Then, I used 2 coats of decoupage medium on top. Allow it to dry between coats.

 

 Insert your picture, and there you have it! The perfect handmade gift!

 

 By the way, I had to show my little plug to recycle. If you look closely on the top left side of this picture, you will see what I mean!

 

 Dinah is a full time Mother and Blogger and has a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from California State University Fullerton. Her blog, DIY Inspired, is a one stop resource containing tips and ideas for parties, home decorating, upcycling, and includes step-by-step photo tutorials for craft and do-it-yourself projects. Also, if you have a project you’d like to share or have any questions, please email her at dwulf@diyinspired.com.  
Thank you all for stopping by. 
Till Later,
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Craft-O-Maniac Interview

Today is the last day of blogger interviews. I want to thank everyone who participated and for sharing wonderful stories and advice with us. Last but not least we have Jennie from Craft-O-Maniac!
1. The one question that you all might get asked the most is, What got you in to blogging? 
I started my craft blog, because on  my family blog I would from time to time share Home Decor ideas and crafts, and those posts got lots of comments. I didn’t want my family blog to be about those things, so CraftOManiac was born.

2. What made you decide to blog about crafting? 

I grew up with a very crafty talented mother. Years of watching her toll paint/paint wood, make dresses, sew, do floral arrangements, etc. I guess I just had it in my blood.

3. What other talents do you have that your bloggers might not know about? 

I can dance. I was on the Drill Team and in Dance 3 in HS and was told I was great at it. I love to dance and had dreams of being a dancer and pursing a dance team for the NBA at one time. HA! I can still move but I jiggle more now. HA again.

4. Do you have any advice to new bloggers?

 If you love blogging keep at it, be patient, leave comments, don’t ask people to follow you, they will follow you if they love you. Be Original, and link link link to parties.

5. Do you feel competition from other bloggers? 

I do, I would so be lieing if I didn’t say I can “feel” competitive. However, the moment you feel that way, STEP AWAY. leave the computer. Come back after you have cleared your mind…. and keep truckin, just BE YOU!

6. What’s your favorite craft project?

 My favorite project was doing my craft nook, and doing it on a cheap budget.

7. What blogger do you admire the most or what blog do you visit the most?

 Jen- from Tatertots and jello. She was the first crafty blog I started following and she has inspired me as well as thousands more.

8. Where do you see your blogging career taking you?

 Hopefully to Magazines and TV. A girl can dream big. winks.

9. Where do you see your blog in five years? 

Bigger, Better, Funner. and with a .com

10. How many hours a week do you spend blogging? 

WOW- um, “daily” probably an hr. a day. However, I spend more hours reading blogs. winks again.

11. If you are a new blogger do you seek help from others?

 No, but there was a time or two when I would email other bloggers a question or two. However, I still do that now depending on what it is.

12. How many post do you typically put up on a week? 

I like to post at least five times a week.

Anything else you would like to add?

Blogging is a tremendously fun outlet for me. If you are a crafty creative blogger then even more so. Its wonderful to be inspire, and to also inspire others. The community is huge too. I have come across wonderfully creative woman out there. I can’t wait to attend my first bloggy conference “SNAP” this year, and meet so many awesome woman, moms, bloggers. Blog because you love it, no matter anything else. 
Happy V-day everyone!!
Till Next time.
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Babblings and More Interview

Today we are joined by Briana from Babbling and more.

Babbling and more is a group of sisters that blog together. I just love all the creativity that they share. 

1. The one question that you all might get asked the most is, What got you in to blogging?  We decided to start a blog as a way for us sisters to stay connected.  We all live hours from each other and thought it would be fun to see what the other sisters are up to.

2. What made you decide to blog about crafting?  We all like to make things and cook, so we decided that every time we did a project, we would take pictures and post it on the blog.  Since we aren’t able to visit each other very often, this is a great way to “visit” long distance.

3. What other talents do you have that your bloggers might not know about?  Hmmm.  This is a very interesting question.  Growing up, all of us siblings played in a family band.  We all play fiddle and then a few of us play guitar, bass, mandolin, drums and sing.  We would travel around Arizona and play for various groups and organizations.  We even took our show on the road and traveled to a few other states.  And believe it or not, we made a CD of some of the songs we would play and sing in our show.  We don’t play as much now because we live so far from each other, but when we do get together,  we love to jam!

4. Do you have any advice to new bloggers?  Just have fun and do what you love!

5. Do you feel competition from other bloggers?  Not really.  Everyone seems more like family.  We get ideas from what they do and we share our ideas with others.

6. What’s your favorite craft project?  We love taking something and turning it into something else or making it better.  Since there are four of us, we have a lot of favorites!

7. What blogger do you admire the most or what blog do you visit the most?  We love blogs that have sisters running it, probably because it’s what we do too!  Our favorites would be The Letter 4 and Six Sister’s Stuff.

8. Where do you see your blogging career taking you?  We love what we do and hope to continue to inspire and help others with projects.

9. Where do you see your blog in five years?  In five years, we hope that we don’t run out of projects to do.  🙂  No really, we are just excited to see what our first year brings us.

10. How many hours a week do you spend blogging?  Each one of us spends a different amount of time.  We take turns posting and answering emails and doing link parties.  If you don’t count the time making projects, then between the 4 of us, we probably spend an hour or two a day.  It’s nice sharing the load with others.  We are all busy and do what we can.

11. If you are a new blogger do you seek help from others? The biggest help that we received was being featured on different blogs.  Word of mouth is the best way.  Doing a blog swap also helps.

12. How many post do you typically put up on a week?  We post 5 days a week: Monday thru Friday.  We like taking the weekends off.

Anything else you would like to add?  We are in no way experts in this field.  We just love what we do and love learning along the wayThere is so much to learn and so many ways to do things.  One thing may work for one person, but not another.  Just remember the real reason why you are doing this.  🙂

Thank you for joining me and Briana from Babbling and more.
See you all tomorrow.
 
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Sweet C’s Interview

I am joined by Courtney from Sweet C’s Designs. I so glad she took the time out to do this interview. She is just so sweet and adorable! I hope you all enjoy the interview as much as I did.

1. The one question that you all might get asked the most is, What got you in to blogging?

I originally started blogging as a way to help promote my Etsy shop, Sweet C’s. It ended up being a much bigger part of my life than I originally intended and is a huge blessing! 
2. What made you decide to blog about crafting?

Growing up, my mom was always really crafty with us- I always enjoyed making fun crafts. I kind of fell out of it through high school and college, and after the birth of my son, I decided to become a stay at home mom. A smaller budget and more time at home got me interested in what I could make for myself!
3. What other talents do you have that your bloggers might not know about?

I am a skier  
4. Do you have any advice to new bloggers?

Seek out advice. Ask anyone whose blog you follow for tips, ask to be a guest poster, ask for blog critiques. Don’t get too hung up on the specifics- focus on putting out great posts and connecting with other bloggers! 
5. Do you feel competition from other bloggers?

Of course I feel some competition- it’s human nature! However, it’s really important to just let that feeling go. Sometimes I get jealous of another opportunity someone gets, or that they have more advertisers, etc.- and then I realize they got there for a reason. I realize if I set out specific goals, I can get to where I want to go- but if I just sit and stew, I won’t get anything done. 
6. What’s your favorite craft project?

Anything I make for my family! A lot of my small, uninteresting crafts don’t make my blog, but they mean the most to me because I made them for the people I love the most. 
7. What blogger do you admire the most or what blog do you visit the most?

My blog “hero” has always been Alison of Oopsey Daisy (www.oopseydaisybog.com). I went to hs with Alison, and when we reconnected through Facebook later in life, I loved watching her blog grow and actually became inspired to start my own blog because of Alison! She has always been so helpful and fun to work with! I also adore Heather and Amy from Crafterminds, and don’t know where I would be without that fabulous resource. It is amazing that they spend so much time helping to nurture other bloggers and help us grow! 
8. Where do you see your blogging career taking you?

I’d love to work with more companies in the future, and I would love to tackle more DIY projects once baby #2 arrives! I have couches I am slipsovering, and a bunch of furniture I want to recover when I don’t have a big baby belly in the way! 
9. Where do you see your blog in five years?

I’d love to get one million hits per month. That is a huge number, but I’d love to be there! You have to set high goals, right?

10. How many hours a week do you spend blogging?

Oh gosh- if you count commenting on other blogs, fb, g+, pinterest- a lot of time. Probably 3-5 hours per day, especially if it is a day I am taking photos. I spend about 1 hour per post, and some of my photography posts can take a couple hours to write.   
11. If you are a new blogger do you seek help from others?

I am almost a year into my blog, and I think even the most experienced blogger should always seek help and advice! When I reach out to others, I find my blogs grows by leaps and bounds!  
12. How many post do you typically put up on a week?

I put out three original posts a week, and 2 networking posts- one photograpy post, 2 craft or recipe posts by me, and then a “friday finds” and blog crush feature. I sometimes post Etsy Weekend Spotlights on Saturdays.  
Anything else you would like to add?

Here is my blog bio: 
i am courtney.
i have 2 c’s in my initials.
i love to make things special and sweet for people i love.
i am addicted to baby cuddles.
and caffiene.
i don’t like to have to capitalize letters.
i am discovering my inner computer nerd.
i love my camera.
i am a recovering political operative.
i watch cspan and cspan2 entirely too much.
i cannot iron.
i also cannot do laundry in a timely manner.
i love to cook.
i have a black lab named angus.
i have an adorable, curious, hyper and spoiled little baby boy.
i have the best husband in the world. 

Thank you Courtney for joining me today! It was great having you. See you tomorrow for my last blogger interview!