DIY: Fascinator

Chapter 3: The Raven

In which Karen's headpiece inspires a new scene

As I mentioned in our earlier post on the globe terrarium ring for my character, Karen and I had to rethink the scenes we were using for the photo shoot once we came to terms with our space limitations.  We'll explain further when we reveal the whole party on Friday but suffice it to say that Karen's vision took a slightly different direction and the fascinator she made as part of her costume was the inspiration.  Karen planned on wearing something that referenced a raven.  Not literally, but in an abstract way.  

For the fascinator, she knew she wanted black feathers to give height to her headpiece.  Turns out, a black silk dahlia did the trick, which was much more substantial to sew onto the base than single feathers.  My favorite part of the whole headpiece is definitely the dotted Russian netting she used to cover her face, the kind you'd see on an elegant widow at a funeral.   But she needed one other element to bring it all together, giving her character a focus.  She found small silk butterflies to come out of the "feathers" from the dahlia, juxtaposing the dark glamour of a raven with the fragility of white butterflies.  You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the final effect!

For now, let's talk about this headpiece.   

When shopping around for materials, we found Lush Lapel, a great source for unique millinery supplies.  Check them out for everything you need to get started:

Lush Lapel Shop
Lush Lapel on Facebook



  1. First you will need to decide how far down on your face you would like your netting to hang.  Try pinning your teardrop base to your hair with bobby pins to get an idea of placement and then drape your netting to judge length.  Then cut your netting lengthwise to the desired width. 
  2. Starting at the back of the teardrop, sew your netting to the sinamay base.  Slowly sew your netting to the base gathering gently as you go around the perimeter.  I added more gathers to the front of the base and left the back fairly taught as I wanted the fullness of my netting to be in front.
  3. Next, apply hot glue to the top of the base and quickly lay the flower pressing down the petals.  
  4. Cut the butterfly wires to the desired length (we staggered ours).
  5. Add a dab of tacky craft glue to the base of the wires and place in the dahlia petals.  Hold in place until set. 
  6. Your fascinator can be worn using bobby pins or feel free to sew a hair comb to the underside of the base.

Step by Step Theatrical Make-Up

A Photo Shoot Party 

Chapter 3: Ready for My Close-Up

In which the party guests are given special treatment


One of the things we definitely did right for our photo shoot was to have my brother, a theatrical make-up genius, get us ready for our close-ups.  In case you don't have an experienced person such as this to call upon, Greg has provided a tutorial.  We can't wait for you to see how he has transformed all of us (big reveal on Friday!) but for now, Greg's taking you step-by-step as he prepares Betty's make-up.  She'll be channeling the spirit of a peacock for her scene.  

Greg:  Betty starts with a clean face and applies moisturizer before we get started with the makeup.


Applying false eyelashes takes some getting used to.  First you squeeze a small amount of glue along the false lash line.  Then, starting with the inner corner of your eye, gently place the false lash on top of your lid, above your real lashes.  You can use tweezers if it helps.  Then you press the rest of the lashes to your lid, moving outward.  Give it a few seconds to set before opening your eye.  Deciding when to apply the lashes during the make-up process is a matter of personal preference.  Some people save them for last so the lashes don’t get in the way when applying the rest of the eye makeup. Betty prefers to put them on early so they adhere better. Either way requires patience!



Next I apply a coat of liquid foundation with a makeup wedge, and even it out with a dry powder brush. For this dramatic look, I'm using a base color that’s lighter than Betty’s natural coloring. If you wish to use concealer, now’s the time to do it.



I’ve chosen three colors of eye shadow for this look, which I apply with a small brush: first a metallic slate blue on the inner corners of the eyelids, then a deeper blue-violet hue on the outside corners. Finally I brush on a more vibrant teal under the brow line, and extend it back towards the temple for an avian look.



I’ll use the same vibrant teal in a narrow swath under the eyes, and taper it up to the corners in a wing-like shape.  Generally, I would use a dark color in the inner corners of the eye, following the crease up and out.  Then I would use a very light, almost white color under the brow and on the lower lid.  This makes the eyes look extra large on stage.  But that would assume you're doing make-up for a human, not a bird-like creature!  



With the shadow in place, it’s time to use a pencil for greater control. I darken, define, and extend the brows with a black pencil, and lightly define the lower lid as well. With a teal pencil, I begin adding “feather” lines at the temples. I use a violet pencil for just a few contrast lines, but we want the overall direction of movement to be diagonally up toward the hairline.  We want deep blacks for contrast with the bright colors, so I use liquid liner above and below the eyes before applying mascara. The mascara helps extend the natural lashes into the curve of the falsies, as well as defining and plumping the lashes. Afterward, I use a soft black pencil to touch up any uneven spots.



Now for the fun part!  To add sparkle to this look, you could adhere small jewels directly to the face using spirit gum (an adhesive you can find through a theatrical make-up supplier).  Here, I've achieved a similar affect by dipping the tip of a round brush into cold water and then into an iridescent metallic powder eye shadow and then pressing it to the skin in a dotted pattern.  


I’m pleased with how the metallic powder looked above the eyes, so I conduct an experiment. Will the same trick work for the lips? The answer is yes – for a photo shoot. If you want to wear a similar look for a dinner party, invest in a lipstick/gloss combination that will withstand food and beverages!



We’ve got a lot of blues and greens going on now, so I brush on some pink for contrast – blush on the cheeks, sweeping up and back along the cheekbone, and an accent color in the shape of a widow’s peak. Define that accent color with a violet pencil, and maybe we should call it a widow’s “beak” instead?



Makeup applied, we complete the somewhat wild look by teasing Betty’s hair with a comb and a lot of hairspray. The teal you see in the hair is the same powder I used earlier under the brows and on the lips. A little glitter goes a long way!

Good luck and have fun!

--Greg (Zandra's I-got-roped-into-this brother)



Here's a sneak peak of what Greg's fantastic make-up looks like under the lights!  Be sure to follow the rest of the story as we put together this crazy photo-shoot party!  You can see our invite and our first DIY, a ring made from a globe terrarium.  Tomorrow we'll show you our second DIY and on Friday, you'll see all of the final portraits.  Stay tuned!

xoxo Zandra

Globe Ring DIY

A Photo Shoot Party

Chapter 2: The Ring
In which Zandra develops a character for her portrait

Inspired by the scenes created by some of our favorite photographers, we wanted our portraits to capture a moment in the life of a fictional character.  I had a fractured fairytale type thing all lined up in my mind (which didn't end up working, which I'll explain later this week).  But Karen had already got me all excited about making a particular ring for my character.  And sometimes, you just have to stick with one part of an idea that you love, even if you're not sure how the other components will play out.  

I didn't know what the new scene was going to be but I knew I desperately wanted to be wearing this ring!  As you can see, it's like wearing a miniature terrarium.  I'm sure you can immediately understand why I didn't want to give this up.  I mean, who wouldn't want to wear a moss-filled glass globe on their finger, under which a butterfly has been captured???  That's right.  No one.  

So Karen went ahead and made this stunning, one-of-a-kind ring for me and we figured we'd come up with the rest of the story later.  And now, it doesn't have to be one-of-a-kind!  You, too, can impress your friends with this brilliant DIY!  (Or you can buy ours.  We've made a commitment to sell the DIYs from our photo shoots to you, our dear readers, and that is what we're going to do.  Plus, Karen has promised she'd make me another).  


Glass Terrarium Bottle Ring via Ingredients for Lovely
Natural Dried Moss
Jewelry Glue
Fast Drying Craft Glue 
Jewelry Plier Cutters
Glue Stick
Butterfly Printable*
Book Page Printable*
X-Acto Knife

*Butterfly and Book Page printables are taken from a vintage biology book.  We recommend printing the butterfly on card stock for sturdiness and the book page on regular printer paper.  


  • Loosely cut out the butterfly and glue directly to the larger swatch of book page at any placement or angle that you like.  Then proceed to cut out the book page and butterfly details together.   
  • Put a small score in the center of the colorful side of your butterfly and fold slightly.
  • Add a dab of tacky glue to the end of your small piece of wire (wire should be a tad more than 1/2" in length).  Using your pliers, hold wire in place on the back of the butterfly until set.  
  • Add a second dab of tacky glue to the other end of the wire and set into the moss on the ring base.  Hold in place until set.  
  • Add a ring of jewelry glue to the outer edge of your ring base and set globe in place.  Allow to dry overnight.  




Invitation: A Photo Shoot Party

Chapter 1: Enchanted Portraiture
In which the hostesses create an invitation that is lovely but goes undelivered.

So by now, you might have caught on that our theme this month, "Through The Lens," is all about photography.  And you might also know that we usually throw some kind of party or event that reflects the theme and share it with you toward the end of the month.  For April, we decided on doing a photo-shoot-party type thing, thinking it would be kind of like having a photo booth in one of our houses.  And since we've already had practice setting up make-shift photo booths, we figured, "how hard could it be?"


Throughout this week, we'll continue to divulge our stumbles as we put together our portrait party.  Or our photo shoot party.  (See?  The first stumbling block was that we didn't know what to call it.  A photo shoot?  A photo party?  An Enchanted Portrait Party?)

Anyway.  Our initial vision for the setting was a black and white woodland scene, complete with 200 white dragonflies that would hang from the ceiling, swarming together, in and around the subject of the shot.   Each person would be able to create a character that interested them and then play out a scene that took place within the forest.  

For the invite, we wanted to reference both photography (by using a frame) and the woodland scene (by using a dragonfly).  The dragonfly was attached just in the middle so that it's wings were free and able to contain the wording of the invite itself.  

It read: "You are invited to have your portrait taken in an enchanted scene staged by Little Yellow Couch.  Cocktails, dessert and frivolity."  We also included the place and time.  

Alas, these were never actually delivered to our guests because we had so much trouble figuring out who would be willing to come up with a costume, spend hours away from their families, and feel comfortable enough to act foolish in front of other people.  By the time we sorted it all out, there wasn't enough time to actually mail the invites.  Sigh.  

But, we still think they look pretty cool so you might want to make some of your own.  Below is a template for the dragonfly.  We bought the unpainted laser cut plaques at Michael's and painted them black.  

Keep reading all through the week to see how our party unfolds...

Photo Figures: The New Family Portrait

Are you tired of the same old, same old when it comes to displaying your family photos? Do you scatter random, uninspired frames around your house that no one really looks at?  Or even worse, you do you have a bunch of mediocre shots that you stick in a frame because you don't have anything better?  And why, oh WHY does your three year old always have his hands in his pants?  Every.  Single.  Time???

Well, you're not alone and there's a simple solution.  Why not simply cut out only the parts of the image you actually like?  The people who are smiling?  The part that's in focus?  Yes, you can!  Pick up a bunch of simple frames (we got ours from Ikea).  Create a mat with some snazzy, on-trend paper, (ours was provided by our creative friends at Smock), and paste those adorable figures right on top!  You now have the beginnings of an honest-to-goodness photography collection.  Just say NO to badly lit, unfocused, poorly composed family photos.  You've got the power.  Now go forth and use those scissors.  

xoxo Zandra 

Cocktail: Black & White Martini

I have to admit, I was stumped when I got to this month's signature cocktail.  A photography inspired cocktail .... hmmm.  Of course Zandra immediately suggested a Black and White theme as a nod to B&W photography.   Brilliant!  Of course!  Hmmmm... how are we going to do that?  So, I presented the theme and idea to my mixologist husband Jason and before I could have another moment of worry, he was off to concoct a Blackberry and White Chocolate Martini.  He's a cocktail genius!  Oh and yes, I totally noticed that its pink. Shoosh and drink up.  


Karen June & Jason

Blackberry Liqueur Ingredients

  • 16 oz Blackberries
  • 4 oz Raspberries
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1  1/2 cups apple jack brandy
  • 1 cup Vodka


  1. Heat water and sugar in a pan on stovetop until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  2. Put Blackberries and Raspberries into a mason jars or other air tight containers.
  3. Muddle the berries
  4. Add cooled sugar/water mixture, brandy and vodka. 
  5. Store in a cool dark place for one to three weeks. Agitate at least weekly. 
  6. After the aging, strain through mesh filter and bottle. 

Black and White Martini

2oz Double Chocolate Vodka
2oz Blackberry Liqueur
2oz Godiva White 

Combine over ice in shaker, shake and strain into Martini glass.  Garnish with fresh blackberries. 

Pinterest: Through the Lens

On Pinterest this month, we are finding a lot of great photography on the subject of...well, photography.  Check out our "Through The Lens" board for April and see the breadth of craftsmanship out there, from uber creative photographers to hobbyists of the medium creating camera-related jewelry, housewares and paper products.  

Favorite Photographers

We've been really taken in by a particular genre of photography this month.  I'm not sure what to call it, (or even if someone who knows what they're talking about would call it a "genre"), but I'd describe it as photography that is elaborately staged, rather than capturing candid moments as they happen.  The photographers who create fantastical, amusing or disturbing settings for their shots have a specific vision they want to see realized.  This kind of creativity is incredibly appealing to us.  Below we share the work of three of our favorite photographers.  We'd love to hear which particular photos you like best in the comments below!

xoxo Zandra

Kisa Kavass

Photography Courtesy of Kisa Kavass


Karen's Favorite: "Moments de curiosite" - Girl with Fox and Clock

Zandra's Favorite: "Down the Rabbit Hole" - Girl Holding a Mirror in Front of Her Face


Aaron Ruell

Photography Courtesy of Aaron Ruell

Karen's Favorite: Boy on Christmas Morning

Zandra's Favorite: Two Men with Painted Horse



Jennifer Thoreson

(formally Jennifer Hudson)

Photography Courtesy of Jennifer Thoreson

Karen's Favorite: "Flora" Girl with Mechanical Leg

Zandra's Favorite; "Experimental Work" Man Resting His Forehead Against the Wall

DIY: Photo Booth Film Strips

This DIY came from a short brainstorming session Karen and I had regarding how to use the photo booth film strips she collects.  Whenever her family spies the opportunity to duck behind the curtain of a little boxed room, they jump in and make funny faces at the camera.  And I know she's not alone!  Who can resist the silliness of a photo booth?  But what to do with the pictures?  At best, they end up on our refrigerators for a few months. At worst, we forget about them completely.  Here's a sweet way to get a little mileage out of those memories.  

xoxo Zandra



  • Photo Booth Film Strip
  • White Card Stock
  • Film Strip Washi Tape
  • Wooden Spool (2" width between ends)
  • Paint
  • Foam Brush
  • Packing Tape
  • Glue
  • Bakers Twine
  • Glue Dot
  • Button


  1. Paint your spool any color you like.  We chose a mustard-y yellow in subtle reference to the Kodak logo color.
  2. Trim your film strip on either side until it fits within the width of the spool.  We actually copied and printed ours onto photo paper to preserve the original.  But this is optional.
  3. Tape one strip of Washi tape onto white card stock from top to bottom and then cut out around the outline of the tape.   It will be longer than your film strip.  
  4. Glue your film strip onto the Washi taped card stock from the bottom of the strip up.  You want the bottom of your film strip to match the bottom of your strip of Washi tape with some left over at the top.  
  5. Use your packing tape to tape the top of your completed Washi taped film strip to your spool.  Because your card stock is thick, the tape helps hold the strip in place as you complete the next step.  
  6. Start gluing your strip around the spool until you get to the photos, which you will leave unrolled.  We used Weldbond glue but any strong adhesive will work.  You'll have to work slowly as you will only be able to glue a little at a time, holding your strip in place while it adheres.  
  7. Thread your bakers twine through the spool (we used black and white to compliment the black and white photos).  
  8. Use a Glue Dot on the back of a button to stick the finished product to the wall or anywhere you'd like!  

Shopping List: Camera Decor

We are excited to be spending the month of April at Little Yellow Couch, looking "Through The Lens".  We are downright OBSESSED with all things camera related and felt inspired to curate a collection of items perfect for the home.  Of course, we want every last piece!  Even better, all of the goods in our shopping list are handmade by artisans as inspired by cameras as we are!  Check out their inventive shops below and snap up some of these finds.  

If you make a purchase from one of our favorite artists, make sure to let us know.  We want to send some love back your way!

xoxo Karen June


  1. Upcycled Vintage Suitcase via Stacey Creek Designs
  2. Vintage Camera Lamp with Picture Slide Lampshade via Refunked Junkies
  3. The Flapper Lamp via Speakeasy Lamps
  4. Capture Life Wall Clock via Monochrome Studio
  5. Tower of Cameras Wall Art via Lola's Room
  6. Retro Camera Tea Towel via Natalie Laura Ellen
  7. Six Camera Photo Coasters via Sarah Galasko Photography
  8. Vintage Video Camera Cork Trivet via Lisa Marie Style
  9. Kodak Instamatic Nightlight via Light and Time Art
  10. Vintage Camera Applique Wall Hanging via Hello Camellia
  11. KESS Original Camera Pattern Duvet via Kess In House
  12. Kodak Lens & Antique Kitchen Canister Lamp via Secondhand Shiner
  13. Vintage Rolleiflex Camera Printed Pillow via In The Seam

Arranging Flowers: Vintage Camera Edition

For our "Through The Lens" theme I thought it might be interesting to incorporate a vintage camera into a flower arrangement.  With this Twin Lens Reflex camera, you look down into the viewer.  We were able to cut some floral foam to set on top of the viewer, held up by the metal flaps.  Secured with floral tape, the foam stays put when you poke your stems into it, creating a pretty display ... if I don't say so myself.  

Flowers used: Bells of Ireland (the green one); Ranunculus (the white ones)

This post is our first in a new column we'll do each month on flower arrangements.  Neither of us has any training in this area, but, well, what has that got to do with anything? The important thing is that we both believe that regularly treating yourself to fresh flowers is like buying chocolate.  You don't need it, but wait...actually, you do.   So, from now on, we're going to share our attempts at flower arrangements based on our theme for the month.  And if you are diggin' our theme (get it?  flowers?  digging?  gardening?)...anyway, if you are inspired by any of our themes and have arranged flowers accordingly, we'd LOVE to share your photos with other LYC readers!  (Just let us know in the comments section below). 

xoxo Zandra

Vignette: Through the Lens

For our vignette this month, we wanted to incorporate a few of our vintage cameras into the scene.  Old cameras are fun to collect and the prices range from fairly inexpensive ($12 or so) to highly valued (upwards of $1200), depending on their condition and rarity.  Take a wild guess as to which kind we own.


I also pulled out some old film rolls and collected them in a cloche.  I mean, what else are we going to do with them now that we're all using iPhones all the time?  


Mixed in with the old equipment are a few of Karen's tin types, the forerunners to modern photographs.  You can sometimes find these at antiques fairs and flea markets, or, you could showcase a few old black and white postcards, which are easier to find.  

Finally, I've used a couple of larger black and white shots of my family, which makes the vignette feel personal to me, rather than an attempt to mimic a museum display.  And of course, we believe no vignette is complete without a natural element, which a few stems of flowers take care of beautifully.  

Send us a picture of your photography-inspired vignette and we'll share it with all of our readers!  

xoxo Zandra

Quick Idea: Polaroid Installation

We love the nostalgia of Polaroid snapshots.  I remember when I was young and amazed at the instantaneous development of the film, right before your eyes as you held one corner and gently fanned the photo back and forth.  Seemed so futuristic back then!  

Polaroids have an iconic look, with their white frames, a little bit bigger along the bottom where you could write a date, place or names of the subjects in the shot.  For this project, we decided to create one big polaroid frame out of 26 regular sized ones.  We didn't actually own any old Polaroids so we made the frames out of card stock and edited the photos to give them a vintage-y look.  

To recreate our installation, cut your frames so that the outer dimensions are 3.5" x 4.25" and the inner square that's cut out for the image is 3" x 3".  You'll want to trim your photos to 3.5" x 3.5" so you can glue the frame right on top.  We also cut out a plain 3.5" x 4.25" rectangle to paste to the back, giving it extra sturdiness.   I happen to have a grey walls in my house which ended up being the perfect backdrop to use for the interior of the large polaroid.  If you don't have a grey wall, you could paste all of your photos onto grey poster board.   

All in all, this was a quick project that only required card stock and a color printer, yielding very happy results!  We hope you have fun with it!

xoxo Zandra


Mixed Media Photo Artists


We not only love photography, we love the ways in which some artists incorporate photography into a vision that includes other media as well.  Here are three of our favorite artists who have deeply influenced our theme this month.  "Through The Lens" refers not only to the act of looking through a camera, it's also about what happens when you look through a variety of viewpoints and see something wholly new.   That's how we feel when we look at the work below.  

Deborah Noyes

Deborah Noyes of Storied Eye 

Shop Deb's work here.

I love how Deb describes her work as her "little cabinet of curiosities."  Her collages are often reminiscent of that dark Victorian style where people collected oddities found within the animal kingdom.  Deb is also an author and she seems to use that expertise to create multi-layered stories for her visual creations.  Many of her collages seem to reference archetypal characters which she recasts as narratives from made-up, modern fairytales. Her artwork leaves me feeling both haunted and delighted.  It's that fine line she walks that really resonates with me because I don't necessarily want to be spooked by an image but I do want to feel pulled in.  In my view, Deb is really brilliant at this!  

Deb has kindly offered a special discount to Little Yellow Couch readers!  Use coupon code "LITTLE YELLOW" in the Storied Eye Shop to RECEIVE 20% OFF your purchase.  Valid between now and May 15th.


Miranda van Dijk

Miranda van Dijk of Purr Anders

Shop Miranda's work here.

Miranda's work is truly breathtaking, especially once you realize what it is you're looking at. She transposes vintage photography onto flowers and leaves she's made from cotton or cheesecloth.  The printed images have an ephemeral quality to them, reflective of our fragile of memories, which she is preserving through her work.  Since she takes commissions and uses photos provided by her customers, she describes these pieces as keepsakes, but I think they are much more than that...they are works of art in their own right . In the slideshow above, there's one example where she's transposed a painting, rather than a photograph, onto one of her flowers.  It's part of a really fantastic project she's doing with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam called A Woman's Herbarium (and so we had to include it, even though we're supposed to be talking photography!). You must check it out!  


Muriel McDonald

Muriel McDonald, Watchful Crow Arts

Shop Muriel's work here.

There's something so charming and disarming about Muriel's photo collages.  She is a self-proclaimed "outsider artist," which means she is self-taught and working outside the constraints of the established cultural art scene.  If, like us, you have an inexplicable love affair with animals dressed up in clothing, you'll be sucked right into Muriel's work!  I love how she uses a very formal portrait style from another era to situate her animals.  They look like they really belong in long gowns and sporting bowler hats.  But there's something else besides humor in these pieces.  I think the absurdity of seeing the animals in human settings helps us laugh at the absurdity of our own man-made cultural norms.  


Hope you enjoy these artists as much as we do!  Let us know what you think or if you have any of your own favorite artists working in mixed media photography, please do share!

xoxo Zandra

DIY: Felt Camera Pin

Last month, we found a vintage brass pin that read "Library Club," perfectly fitting for our "Bookish" theme.  We thought it was pretty sweet and decided to create one out of felt that you could make using our template or buy one, ready-made from us.  We love wearing quirky little feels like you've got a private joke going on between you and yourself all day long.  

Our library pin gave us the idea that we'd get a kick out of making a few more "club" badges.  Because let's face it, as an adult, it's collecting those iron-on patches that's the best part about being a Girl Scout.  This one doesn't actually say "Photography Club" but when you sport this little camera, we think it'll be clear you'll have earned your membership as an LYC Shutterbug.  

DIY or BIY Here!

DIY Camera Pin Directions


  • Felt (4 Contrasting Colors)
  • Printable Pattern
  • Scissors
  • Small Hole Punch
  • Craft Glue
  • Thread & Needle
  • Pin Back


  1. Gather your materials.
  2. Cut out felt pieces using pattern.
  3. Glue felt pieces together except for Piece A. 
  4. Whip stitch around pieces A, D, and G using contrasting thread.
  5. Stitch piece A to back using a whip stitch around entire piece.
  6. Sew pin to back.


Off The Shelf: How-To Books on Photography

We thought it might be helpful if we reviewed our how-to faves at the beginning of our month long excursion into photography.  We really want you to feel inspired, compelled and empowered to take the kind of photos of your daily life that you love seeing whenever you are home.  Here are four of the best we've found.

A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book
by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman

"A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book" will inspire you to take photos like someone who has fallen desperately in love with their camera!  The book is reflective of the vibrant blog that it comes from, also called "A Beautiful Mess," brought to you by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.   Your copy will quickly have little stickies coming out all over the place because it's jam packed with idea after idea that you'll be itching to try.  It offers ideas ranging from creating backgrounds and props, to displaying your masterpieces beyond that ugly frame you bought at your local drugstore.  What's really interesting is how these ladies present the more technical stuff like lighting and depth of field.  Instead of just explaining those terms, they talk about them in the context of particular projects you might want to tackle.  Their photos alone are enough to get you snapping away but the writing makes the book truly accessible to anyone.  You'll come away with a do-able list of ideas that you can try right away, probably making you break out into Broadway show tunes with all of the success you're going to have.  This book makes me that giddy!  

Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera off "Auto" and Photograph Your Life Like a Pro
by Rachel Devine and Peta Mazey

For an easy-to-use, pleasure-to-read guide to all of the technical stuff, I really like this book, "Beyond Snapshots." Rachel and Peta are passionate about convincing you that you can master ISO, shutter speed and aperture, even if you've tried before and given up.  The way they break down the lingo makes you want to look in the mirror and proclaim, "Yes!  I CAN do this!"  (Seriously.  I need this sort of pep talk).  Part One focuses (get it?) entirely on getting comfortable with all of the variables that go into taking great photos.  There are plenty of example shots to visually explain differences in setting, light, choice of lens, etc.  This section is wrapped up with a chapter on photo editing and organizational software.  Part Two shows the kinds of camera skills you might use for a variety of different settings and events.  It's both a great reference guide where you can dip in and out and look something up quickly as well as a step-by-step DIY course on getting the most out of your camera.  It's a gotta-have-it kind of book, people.  

Sixty Tips for Creative iPhone Photography
by Martina Holmberg

I love this little book!  In "Sixty Tips," all of the ideas, tips and tricks are presented in a no-fuss style that you can quickly absorb and get on with whatever it is you're supposed to be doing (rather than messing around with your iPhone).  Flip through the book, choose a photo that you like, read about how it was taken and then go take one yourself.  It's really encouraging to see something come out the way you intended it to!  You can slip this baby in your bag and read one tip in 5 minutes while you're waiting in line for something.  The book shows some terrific examples of artistic shots by professional photographers, too, and you'll be surprised that they were taken with a camera phone.  

The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos
by Heidi Adnum

Ok, this one probably seems geared only to the handcrafted business crowd...well, I guess it is mostly that...but if you're interested in any kind of still-life photography, "The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos" is for you.  (But truthfully, I'm including it in this round-up because there are a lot of people out there trying to sell the wares they've painstakingly made, only to not sell them because the photo of the thing doesn't come close to representing the product).  Now, back to how this is a super helpful book for both crafters and still-lifers.  What I like about it is that the author focuses (no pun intended this time) on how to develop your unique visual point of view.  It's this kind of purposeful photography that make some photos look like they could be in a magazine, rather than pasted into your grandmother's photo album.  The point of a product shot is to tell the story behind it.  Conjuring up a feeling in a potential customer is the first step toward helping her connect with your piece so that she ultimately becomes a buyer.  Yes, photography is that important if you care about making any money from your labors.  Another awesome feature of the book is that it's broken down by craft medium (jewelry, pottery, stationery) so you can really see what the author means by "point of view" for your particular needs. This one definitely gets our seal of approval.  (As if we had an actual seal.  Wait.  I would LOVE to have my own seal.  Hmmm....I feel a DIY coming on).  Anyway, go buy this book.  

Happy Snapping!

xoxo Zandra

Shopping List: Photography Inspired Jewelry

This month at Little Yellow Couch we are being inspired by all things "Through The Lens". We are out and about snapping our own pictures, scouting out vintage photographs and equipment and immersing ourselves in the works of professional photographers.  We are loving and experiencing the accessibility of this artistic form of expression.  And, what better way to express oneself than through photography inspired jewelry.  We've rounded up a shopping list of a few of our favs ... make sure to snap (ha!) these up before they are gone ...

xoxo Karen June

  1. Wood and Leather Camera Necklace via Strangely Yours
  2. Retro TV Brooch via VectorCloud
  3. Route 66 Resin Instagram Bangle via Buy My Crap
  4. Camera Shutter Pendant Necklace via Michael Stephens' Art
  5. Tintype Assemblage Necklace via Age Before Beauty
  6. Tintype Assemblage Medal via Salvage Art Sweetheart
  7. Beauty Bar Doors Polaroid Necklace via Vivi Dot
  8. Vintage Camera Lens Pendant via Expressions Jewellery
  9. Polaroid Camera Collar Clips via Ladybird Likes
  10. Holga Camera Illustration Brooch via Helena Carrington
  11. C'mon Get Happy Photo Locket via Dearest Mine
  12. Steampunk Camera Ring via Bella Mantra

Enter April


(We couldn't resist a little April Fools Day photo humor).  



4/1/14...Let's get to it!  It's (finally!) Spring and we are ready to soak up all that is picturesque around us. Our theme for the month is "Through the Lens" and we are using photography to remind us that it's time to wake up and unshutter our eyes.  Our favorite artists in this medium will be our inspiration, not just for taking photos but for encouraging you to use photography as an extension of yourself.  This April, as we shed our winter skin, we'll be waiting for little moments of serendipity when we happen to catch the light coming through our lens at just the right angle, sharing our impressions of life as it returns all around us.  

Happy Spring!  Happy Snapping!  


Bookish Wrap Up at Faneuil Hall, Boston

One of the things we love about running Little Yellow Couch is that we pretty much have to go on interesting excursions.  We're forced to dress up, try new things, talk with strangers and photograph it all.  It really is worth it to actually do (most of) the activities we take on and we highly recommend taking that last step between "oh, that would be so much fun," and "wow, I'm so glad I came here!"  That's how we felt when we took this shot in historic Faneuil Hall in Boston.  We're history geeks at heart and so it was pretty cool to be sitting in a chamber where Samuel Adams spoke about the revolution.  

To close out our celebration of bibliophilia, we loved the idea of releasing a book into the world, not knowing who would find it but hoping it would travel into many new hands.  We have to admit we didn't come up with this on our own...we stumbled upon the idea at and knew it would be the perfect ending to our month-long story.  

Simply put, go to, register and tag it and leave it somewhere you think someone will find it.  Then whomever finds it will see your tag and hopefully go to their site to say they've "caught" it.  So far, there are over 1 million people registered across the globe and over 10 million books making their way around it.  

Here's the tag we created for our books.  You can create your own or borrow ours!  

Book Tag Printable

Happy Reading and we'll see you in April!

xoxo Zandra & Karen June

Vintage Librarian Social

You may know that we host some kind of event almost every month at Little Yellow Couch and we had a blast with this one!  For our "Bookish" theme we decided to make up a party that we hadn't heard of before....and here it is: our Vintage Librarian Social. "What the heck is a vintage librarian?" (I could hear our guests muttering when they received our invite).  Well, we knew she'd be smart, classy, and have a great sense of humor when she's with her other librarian friends.  Oh, and she'd be wearing a perfectly suited ensemble including sweater clips, to any social she was attending! 

We simply wanted to have fun, which to us means creating an excuse for dressing up in fab vintage clothing, sporting our retro glasses and talking books, books, books while sipping on tea (with a nip of brandy of course).   

We created a library reading room for our gathering.  Here are a few shots of how we set it up, complete with library posters: 

We each brought five books to share, giving each of them a short review and then trading amongst ourselves.  

A group of librarians, vintage or otherwise, can get a bit rowdy so we had to do a little shushing whenever we got overly excited about a particular storyline. 

All of our guests went home with a Library Kit, featuring due date cards and their envelopes we created with Smock paper, a date stamp, stamp pad and perfectly sharpened #2 pencil.  Oh, and a stack of new books to read, which was definitely the best part of all. 

We loved channelling our inner vintage librarian and we highly recommend you do so, too.  It's a great way to infuse a little humor into your next book club!  

xoxo Zandra & Karen June