Budget Furniture Fix UpsWritten by Kathleen Wilson
Faced with my own furniture dilemma recently, I thought what a great opportunity for me to share ideas with you on how to turn around that tired piece of furniture, without having to spend big bucks! So here it is, secrets from The Budget Decorator on transforming your furniture from trash to TFTE! (Treat For The Eyes!)
One of most expensive items in our rooms is our furniture, and we can’t always afford to just replace it when it gets worn, outdated, or just no longer works in your room. The number one concern for those trying to update existing furniture is slipcovers. Now, unless you are an experienced seamstress, sewing fitted slipcovers is no easy task. However, fortunately today’s trends lean towards casual, and that includes furniture. Here are instructions for some simple, casual covers that almost anyone can do. First of all, use sheets instead of pieced fabric, it is MUCH easier and cheaper! Measure your furniture, and buy a sheet size that will cover your furniture piece without it’s cushions, tucked in and around arms.(Don’t forget to check out garage sales for good deals!) Use decorative cording if you like to tie around “skirt” area to give it a more structured look. Simply tuck ends under couch or chair.( You could even tape or staple ends to bottom of piece, if you wanted.) Now take each of your cushions and look at it as if you are wrapping a gift. Cut a piece large enough for your cushion, wrap it like a present, and safety pin it to underside of cushion. (Who’s gonna see it?) Add a few pillows and a throw, and you have changed entire look of your furniture for little money, covers are washable, and you can make one for each season if you want. Sheets, blankets, and quilts can all be used for this project, and can be found at garage sales, thrift stores, and maybe even your own linen closet. Try wrapping cushions with another, different fabric from room. Remember, this is all about casual style, and slipcovers are definitely stylish! Even dining room chairs can be slipcovered. Simply make an open envelope of fabric to fit over back of chair, similar to a pillowcase. If you like, this can be dressed up by tying it with cord or ribbon, sewing on decorative buttons, or adding a little lace. This project can easily be made from leftover curtain fabric and scraps lying around your sewing room.
Digital Photography, Is It Right For You?Written by Jeff Colburn
Lately, people have been asking me same question over and over, "Should I buy a digital camera?" And for everyone that asks, I have perfect answer. Maybe.
There are many factors that go into decision about going digital, not least being whether you are a professional or amateur photographer. You need to ask yourself how you will use your photographs. Will they be for your website, magazine articles, stock agencies, advertising or something else? You then have to do some research and see what each of these markets asks for. Stock agencies love digital, as do many ad agencies, but most magazines want slides.
Do you want to stay with film? Great. Film still gives better image quality than digital. However, in a year or two digital will probably rival film. You also need to consider that film manufacturers are reducing range of film they produce. I was amazed when a few months ago owner of my local camera store told me that Kodak is going to discontinue Kodachrome 25 soon, and within two years discontinue Kodachrome 64 and 200. Film manufacturers know that eventually digital will take over, and they don't want to be caught flatfooted. So they're making fewer types of film, and starting to manufacture digital camera.
You also need to consider costs of going digital. A professional digital camera or camera back, will cost between $5,000 and $15,000. These prices are dropping quickly, but they are still high. There's also need for a computer (like a Mac G4 at $2,500), PhotoShop 7 ($600), high end printer (at least $500), maybe a scanner ($500 and up) and possible external data storage devices. This along with time spent manipulating each image in a computer, after you learn to use computer and software, archiving each image on several sets of CD's so you can store at least one set offsite. An off-site set protects your images from being lost due to flood, fire, theft or some other catastrophe. As you can see, digital will eat up lots of time and money.
One way to get into digital, but save some money, is to go hybrid route. Shoot with film, make some great prints then scan them into a computer using a flatbed or drum scanner. You can also scan negatives and prints directly. Some photo labs can even do scanning for you. Many professional photographers go this route to have best of both worlds. They can use their existing film cameras, while having digital images.