Saturday, December 31, 2011

My TOP 10 Favorite Photographs of 2011

My Top Ten Favorite Photographs of 2011 And Why

As I close out 2012, I wanted to take a moment to look back and review my year.  Many bloggers are reviewing their Top Ten Projects. Since I already kinda did that yesterday in my guest post over at Primitive and Proper,  I wanted to change it up a bit. 

Learning how to take images for a blog has been an amazing journey and a process that involves taking thousands of images.  Below are a collection my top ten images for the year.  If you have been following The Homeless Finch for a while, some of them might be familiar or resonate.  Some may seem obscure.  But they were not obscure to me. They also might not be my best, most technically prefect images either.  But they represent things that have mattered and I want to share. 

This images is in the first 20 images that I took during the week I started
The Homeless Finch.  It captures me well.  I have used it on the side bar for
the majority of the year. 

Woodsy's Debut. What started out as a yard sale find,
turned into a mascot of sorts for the studio. Woodsy
traveled from room to room handing out in many
vignettes this year.

Why this photo? Well, it was the first one I ever took of the first
ever tutorial that I wrote! I was so excited. I enjoyed showing the process.
This was a discovery for me. This is from a blog post in which
I describe how to make decor for a chandy.
This image was taken after a yard sale morning. I ended up using
a portion of this image (the basket front) as the background for my
blog logo. I cannot tell you how many times I have worked with this image.
The Homeless Finch
See the basket in the background?  It's from the image above.

Image taken when a friend brought me a few mangoes.  The Frangipani flower
is from my backyard. I use this image in my header in order to highlight the fact
that I live in a tropical location. It's a big deal to me because most of the
 blogging world is not about tropical things. Being from South Florida
makes me an outsider of sorts.   It was a huge personal step for me to 
step out and embrace it.
This was the moment that I crossed over from average photographs
of rooms to ooh la la! I still struggle getting decent shots inside my home,
which has a tendency to be kinda dark.   After setting this up and snapping it,
I actually got teary from the excitement of the results.
Love this pic of Tux, one of the birds in my studio aviary. I can't tell
you how much these little creatures mean to me. Tux is always starring me down!
First time I thought I might someday be capable
of magazine quality images.
First painting I revealed from my studio. I have a tendency to
really beat myself up on my work. It was a big deal for me to show this
on my blog. My sister's encouragement had a lot to do with it.
A photo of Tux and Seedo that I slightly altered. Seedo passed just days after this
image was taken. Tux has a new Seedo now, but there was something
special about this pair.

I ended the year with the most EPIC challenge of the year...25 Days of
craziness. The behind the scenes bloopers were incredible. From the day my
project kept blowing away in the wind, to the one I staged and during
 the moments I went for my camera a bird flew by
and pooped all over it!! It's been a run!
Thanks for being there for me this year.  I sincerely appreciate it and have enjoyed sharing the journey.

-The End-

Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm A Guest at Primitive and Proper Today

Just checking in today to let you guys know that I am a Guest Blogger over at Primitive and Proper!!  I write about my most popular furniture transformations of 2011, so head on over to Cassie's to check it out!  She found my little ole Woodsy the Owl and showed him off too!!  He will be hooting up a storm when I tell him. (wink)
Click on the button to go see!
Thanks so much Cassie for the opportunity to strut my stuff over at your place!! 

Here is a pic of her lovely, adorable, funny family.  Her kids are always getting their hands into helping her with projects.  They're celebrities!  Oh and that hubby of hers...He is also always helping her out on bloggy things. Pretty cool guy. 

Happy New Year everyone!!!

-The End-

Sunday, December 25, 2011

25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Series: Day 25

Merry Christmas!

Here is my tip for you today...make sure you relish every moment, even the not so great ones.  Be thankful for whatever it is you have now. Hope for even better days ahead.  Most importantly, remember to love yourself.  You are deserving....

The studio of The Homeless Finch

Have the Happiest of days today.  I am going to to be taking off a few days to enjoy my family and recuperate from the last 25 days and all the zaniness that has gone on here behind the scenes at The Homeless Finch.  I have one guest post at the end of the week. Besides that, I will see you guys again in 2012! 

Thank you to all my wonderful followers, especially all the new followers who found their way to my blog this past month.  I am so very grateful today for all of you.  Thanks for the support, the comments and the encouragement.  With you, I would have never made it to the end of this crazy crazy journey over the last 25 days. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did presenting it!!

When I get let out of the straight jacket I'm putting together some new and exciting things to show you after the first, so come back and check it out! 

 Hugs. Lesley

Goodbye for now hope you enjoyed my 
25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Ideas and Gifts Series!!

-The End-

Saturday, December 24, 2011

25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Series: Day 24

Last Minute Gift Bags from Re-cycled Shopping Bags

Do you need a gift bag in a pinch?!!  Did you miss calculate how many bags you would need and came up short?  Do you really want to recycle an old gift bag, but think it's too ugly to put that well thought out gift into for that someone special??  We all have piles of these.....

If you don't have a pile of these, start keeping them for next year.

Are you in a pinch and need a nice gift bag? come to the right place.  I am going to show you how to throw together a quick solution by recycling the shopping bags from the gifts that you bought.  Here's how....

Gather up your shopping bags, leftover wrapping paper, decorative papers and old greeting cards.  Like the ones we talked about yesterday in my blog post Very Last Minute Gift Tags From Recycled Holiday Cards.  Grab a glue stick, maybe some rubber cement and a pair of scissors.  I also used my hot glue gun.  We are going to transform those ugly shopping bags into something pretty and usable! 

Here we go....

I covered the logo with a glittery piece of white paper and topped it off with the front of
an old Christmas card that I had in my stash. 
I don't shop at Bloomies. Can't remember why
I have this.  But it is a great brown paper bag.

Covered the Bloomies logo with a piece of
red paper, added the front of an old
Christmas card and cut little strips of burlap
for the frame.  Added a little piece of burlap tied
off for the bow.
Just bought killer eyeshadow for myself.

Simply cut out this little piece of paper with my pinking shears
 from a flyer I got in the mail. 
Had to buy the Peppermint Bark!!  The holidays aren't the same for us
without it!

Larger bags are better suited using decorative paper or wrapping paper.
Something yummy came home from this
delish restaurant here in town.
A piece of glittery black paper, followed by
another black and white patterned paper.
Then topped off with a matching gift tag made
from cutting out a motif from a corresponding
page.  Add an elegant bow.
Don't shop here either.  I call this place
"Needless Mark up."  But hubby bought
a Prindables Apple for his assistant and
I gobbled up the awesome bag!

The base is a piece from the back of a card, added
a cutting from the inside of another card and got
lucky with this neat glittery dove that was on
the front of yet another card.  Added the red ribbon
to tie into the red typeface on the message.

Wine bag I had on hand.  Ugly. Needs
help. Besides, I don't want to give
wine in this to anyone!
I know you guys haven't had enough of this
decorative advent paper.  But had to use it
because it changes the entire look of this bag. 
Now I can put something other than wine in the bag.
Hubby bought something at a golf event.
Piece of burlap topped with the front of a card.  The ribbon was added to hide
a few surface tears in the bag!!
From a collectibles mall near my house. I do shop here. (wink)

Simply glued down a piece of wrapping paper and added a note card
made from some of that decorative advent paper.  Topped off with a
nice bow.
Hope this gives you some ideas.  You don't have to buy bags to create a pretty place to put your gifts.  Just save the ones you have and spruce them up a little bit.  Both people and the environment will thank you.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for my
Day 25...Last Day!
25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Ideas and Gifts Series!!

-The End-

Friday, December 23, 2011

25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Series: Day 23

Very Last Minute Gift Tags From Recycled Holiday Cards

Christmas is almost here!  The excitement is building. You have just a few more gifts to complete.  But, UGG! need a gift tag!  Well, you could always walk in and give you gift, hoping the recipient remembers you brought such a lovely, thoughtful gift, or you can take two minutes to throw together this charming little Gift Tags from Recycled Holiday Cards.  Here's how...

Gather up some of those old Christmas cards that you have been saving, or some of the ones you received from people, well lets be honest, whom you hardly remember knowing! (wink)  Here is a basic supply list....
Old Holiday Cards
Spare Wrapping Paper (optional, I didn't use but you can)
Holiday Themed Scrapbook Paper (optional)
Glue stick, rubber cement
Scissors...standard or decorative edged
Hole Punch
Here is an example of a pile of cards that I have saved from years past.  Notice as you look at them, how little gift cards, when cut out of the card, seem to leap to your eye! 

Don't get what I talking about??  Read on....

Grab a card and take a look at what is on the card zeroing in on the pretty parts of the card.  These are your new gift cards. 
This card is pretty obvious.  The tags
are basically already there waiting to
be cut out!

Look at the "Merry Christmas."
It creams gift tag! Even the top red
printed part would make a neat tag.
Don't forget the flap on envelops.  Often times they have a
motif that is usable.

Another good source is holiday scrapbook paper. 
Pretty obvious where to cut.
Even the inside of cards are great!  Don't forget to cut
out the message.  They make great gift tags too!
Here is a motif that I got off the back of a card.

Sometimes you get this...the other side of the motif you want
has something on it like type.  Just cut out a piece of white
or decorative paper in the same size and glue stick them
Here it is glued together.
Add a thin red ribbon and you have
yourself sweet little tag!
The back of this is from an envelop flap.  The little red
motif is from the top part of that photo card that I showed you.
and the top little birdie motif is cut our of a decorative paper.
They all came from different places, but come together nicely.
Don't forget The Graphics Fairy!!  If
you don't have any cards, you can always
get your graphics from her. 
A ton of Christmas graphics for free.
Sometimes a card gives you an easy gift card.  This glittery
dove adorned a card and now will be a neat gift tag.
This card in the background had a neat french style
script on it.  Don't be afraid of the logo though.  This neat
little cut out from some decorative paper will cover that up!
Using a glue stick, I covered the logo. 
Cut out the card for a nice border.
My little collection of tags.  They took no time at all.

In the end, you will get some super neat custom tags in a split second without spending your hard earned dollars.  Remember to save those card from this year, for next year.  If you need a quick tag and don't have any cards, don't forget The Graphic Fairy! Click HERE to get to her Christmas Collection of free graphics.  It's a busy day... the fat man arrives tonight!  Hope all of you are having a wonderful season.  Hugs.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for my
Day 24 
25 Days of Christmas and Holiday Ideas and Gifts Series!!

-The End-