Several of you have either left comments or sent e-mails with questions about my camera and/or sewing machine, so instead of writing the same e-mail to several different people, I thought it would be easiest to combine them in one post for anyone who is interested.
What camera do you have?
A Nikon D80. Will surprised me with it last year for Christmas and I. LOVE. IT. I'm talking a total shock, never even mentioned that I wanted one to a soul, don't know what made him think to get it for me, totally caught off guard surprise. I'm way to frugal to have ever considered actually buying one myself, but I'm so so glad he did! He purchased the kit lens with it which is what we have been using this past year. I've been squirreling my doll money away saving up for a new lens and just purchased a 50mm f/1.8D lens on Amazon that I'm anxiously waiting to be delivered.
What resources have you used to help you learn how to use your camera?
Let me just preface this answer by saying that I am not the type of person who can sit down and read a manual. I get too confused trying to make sense of what a book is saying and I learn best when somebody can use practical examples to teach me something new. I've found a couple of blogs that do a great job explaining the ins and outs for those who are interested in learning how to take better pictures.
The first one is this post by Darby at Fly Through Our Window. She invited a professional photographer to answer her reader's questions and it gives you a great basic overview if you're like me and have no experience what-so-ever with the study of photography.
The other blog that I've found very helpful is Ashley Ann Photography. She is a spunky mother of four who also teaches photography classes. Her blog is really helpful because she shares all kinds of great tips on how to take better photos, from how to adjust your manuals settings, to the use of good lighting, and how to scout out great locations for a photo shoot.
**Anybody else have any great sources for learning how to use your DSLR? Please share because I'd love to know more!**
What program do you use to edit your photos with?
I use iPhoto that came with our Mac computer, but I also use the free editing software available with Flickr and Picnik.
Still with me? Ok great, now onto the sewing questions...
I'm asking for a sewing machine for Christmas, do you mind sharing with me what kind you use?
Ha! Do you really want me to answer that question? It is the Singer Simple from Wal-mart. I kid you not. I can't find my exact machine online, but this one is very close. I know Wal-mart still has mine in the stores and have seen it recently for $89.00.
I know Singers aren't top of the line, but when my grandmother's machine died on me several years ago, I needed something asap and didn't have any money saved up for a nice one. I used some of my Christmas money to get a "temporary" machine and here we are three years later and she's still singing away! I also wanted something that I could let Anna Cate learn to sew on when she is old enough without worrying that she would break my expensive machine. I think I would have sewed more as a young girl if I wasn't always nervous about breaking my mom's nice sewing machine.
I will say this, if you are just learning in to sew and aren't sure if it is a hobby you will stick with, I would HIGHLY SUGGEST buying something like the Singer Simple. It is well made and very easy to use. It has all of the stitches and functions that you could need as a beginner sewer and even sews button holes for you. It not only comes with an easy-to-follow manual (with pictures!) but also a dvd that you can pop into your computer and it will demonstrate for you how to thread the machine, sew button holes, etc. I've made countless numbers of dolls, pillows, curtains, clothes for Anna Cate, all with this machine and I have no complaints. I know I'll get something nicer one day, but until she gives me a problem, I'm perfectly happy using my little Singer Simple. :)
Did you take sewing lessons and/or who would you recommend?
No, I have never taken lessons, other than from my mom. I'm more of a "learn as you go" kinda gal and I get flustered following directions and patterns. I'd rather just make mine up as I go. That being said, I think it would be totally worth it to invest in lessons if you don't have someone who already knows what they are doing to help you out.
However, that can get really expensive. I'm actually considering putting together some kind of sewing basics class for those who are interested (and local!) More on this to come, but I'm thinking they will start in January after the holidays are over.
Are you going to have another craft day and can I come to the next one?
YES and YES! I'm hoping to make it a monthly deal and anybody is welcome to join us! I've added those of you who have already sent me e-mails inquiring if/when we will have another craft day to my e-mail list, but the next one will most likely be the first Thursday in December so if you are interested, please let me know. We'd love you have you join us! :)
I hope that answers all of your questions. If there is something I left out, please don't hesitate to ask!