DIY Photo Decor.

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I am not big on paintings.  I prefer photographs and while I can look at pictures of my family, especially my children, all day, I do like to have landscape and architectural photos hanging around my home.  But since, as you know, my first rule is to budget, I can’t go around buying  Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz photographs.  The solution…use my own work.  And while I may be someone who is into photography and have a few decent shots behind under my belt, I would still say I am closer to a beginner than a professional.  That is the beauty of DIY, you can take 100 photos of the same area and one or two are bound to be good enough to be placed into a frame and mounted onto your wall.  Aside from the obvious money saving bonus, you can set the look you are going for in a particular room and go out and capture the image you want to create the perfect photograph for your wall.  The next step is to buy a frame on sale and wait for one of my favorite go-to places(Costco or Walgreens) to have a sale on prints.  Note, Costco is known to have one of the best print qualities for a cheaper printer.  There is nothing like walking into a room and admiring the photos on the wall and know that you took them.  Even more so to have the answer to “where did you get that picture” be “I took it”.

The first image was taken from the balcony of my old apartment with my zoom lens.  The second image, above was taken on a hike and of course I saturated the image color with Picasa.  The third picture from the top is, again, from my hike.  In case, you are thinking this is something you cannot achieve, check out the photos below taken back in 2007 or 2008 with a basic budget digital camera.  I printed them in 2010 from Costco when I decided I wanted my guest bedroom to be like a Cape Cod cottage.  The best part is, I love that theme for a guest bedroom (although now I am calling it beachy cottage getaway) so I repeated the look and hung up the same photos.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know I wanted to try my luck photography at the time the photos were taken.  But fortunately, I took them for some reason and several years later they helped me create a look for my dream guest bedroom.

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Converting photos to black and white adds a dramatic look to any picture so go out and capture your wall decor today.

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Molasses Molasses

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That sticky icky goo is not just for your grandma’s gingerbread.  Turns out, it can help you in a bind.  Yesterday I had a craving for sweets as usual and, since I had some delicious Ghirardelli chocolate chips in the pantry, I knew chocolate chip cookies were going to have to be my poison (ooh bad analogy for food).  When I was finally able to start baking, I realized I was out of brown sugar.  I literally screamed out loud since my taste buds had already began preparation for the scrumptious cookies and there was nearly melted butter sitting  at room temperature on my countertop.  I scanned my brain for ideas until I realized there was no need to waste time since there is the internet (I know, sad).  Well what popped up immediately as a response to my “replacement for brown sugar” query…molasses!  I didn’t even have to open a link.  It was right there on the search page; just replace the exact volume with regular granulated sugar and for every cup replaced by granulated sugar you then add 2 Tablespoons of molasses.  To put it plainly, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of brown sugar, you use 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 T of molasses.  I must insert credit to myself as I considered molasses before headed to the internet.  I apologize for gloating but I was just so proud.  It’s one of those moments where you are like, hey maybe I am really a baker.

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I baked the cookies and they turned out delicious.  What’s more is that you don’t even taste the molasses and the cookies were so soft and moist (I used the recipe on the chip bag).  I am now debating if I should even buy brown sugar before my molasses runs out.  I mean I have lots of sugar, why spend money if there is no true need.  It is good to know that my “use what you have” motto can apply to baking.  Yum

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