You have probably noticed that I am not longer active on this blog. There are a couple reasons. The main one is that when I set up this site, I had a vision based on other blogs I had seen. I wanted to emulate them in terms of content and tone. But that is not really what I want this to be. So the blog will remain up. But I am officially no longer using it.

Oh, Shoot!|Long Exposures of Cars

Today’s post is going to be the 3rd installment of my ‘Oh, Shoot!’ series. In this series I share small tips for shooting or editing photos that I use myself. Of course, photography is subjective, so an aspect in my images that I really like may not be something you like, or it is not what you’re aiming for in a particular shot.

For this post, I will be talking about taking long exposures of cars. It is super simple and you can get some interesting images.



To take a long exposure, you need a camera whose settings can be adjusted manually and a tripod. I use a typical tripod, but you can use a stack of books if that’s what you have — you might just have to do the photos through the window if you use something like a stack of books.



For settings, you want to have a long shutter speed so you can capture the car for a long time; I put mine at about 6-8 seconds long. To compensate for this, you want to have the rest of your settings set as if it were brighter outside. My ISO was set in the 100-200 range and my aperture was around 13. I played around with the settings of course, so my photos all look a little different. One key thing is to have it very dark outside! When I did this for the first time, it was pitch black, but some of my photos looked like it was 3 in the afternoon.



For setup, I had my camera set up so it was looking down the road a bit; this allowed the car to be in the frame for a longer. I also had my camera in a place where I could see the main road and a side road. That way I got some photos with cars going straight, and some where they are turning. Play around with perspective and angles!



I think it would be really cool to crop images like these as a skinny horizontal rectangle to highlight the lines created by the light of the cars. I chose not to for these photos because I liked the colors in the sky; but I think I may try it in the future!

Like I mentioned before, photography is completely subjective, but here are some of the photos I really like from when I shot long exposures of cars:




A couple years ago, I got a calligraphy set with a pen and calligraphy ink. I love using it, but it can be a bit of a hassle since you have to rinse the pen when you are done, and you need thick paper so the ink doesn’t bleed. Then I started doing ‘fauxligraphy’ with just black pens and sharpies. I do it when I doodle, and it can look really pretty. So I am going to show you how I do my fauxligraphy.

Things You Need:


Pens/Markers (I like regular black pens, fine sharpies and regular sharpies and paper mate flairs)


Write out the word in cursive. Practicing your cursive is really important so you get the right ‘look’ that you want. one


Where ever you are doing a down stroke, make that line double. That’s how it works with typical calligraphy: up strokes are regular, down strokes are thicker. Make sure there are smooth transitions between the single and double strokes.



Then fill in the double lines and smooth out any bumps.



You can write your words like normal, or you can space them out. I personally love the look of the letters slightly spaced out, but I’m not so great at it, yet… 🙂


How To: Knitting | Part 1 Casting on and the Knit Stitch

HI! I realize it has been months and months since I last posted. I really needed a long break so I could figure out what direction I want to take this blog in. I haven’t quite decided but I am going to try to post things I truly care about and like. That leads me to a series I am going to start about… knitting (yes, I know you already know because of the title, but I like the suspense the ellipsis give). I am going to break it into different sections so if you are a first time knitter, you aren’t to overwhelmed with info.

Now some background about me as a knitter. The first time I knit was at camp with 2 pens and some yarn. A lot of knitting patterns have specifics about needle size, but I personally ignore them. Even though it may not be exactly like the pictures in the pattern, you still knit something! So, keep in mind that even though I use knitting needles in the photos, you can just as easily use pens or borrow a pair of random knitting needles.If you end up doing really fancy projects in the future, you may decide to pay more attention to the details.

In this post, you will learn 3 things: casting on, the knit stitch and casting off. At the end you will have a square of knitting! You can make it bigger to make a wash cloth or a pot holder (but you need yarn that is safe for hot dishes). Your square will be in garter stitch, which means it’s made of only knit stitches, not a combination of knit and purl stitches. The next post will be on purling.

You will need….

Knitting Needles (or pens/pencils)





Now let’s get started! The first thing you are going to learn is how to cast on. This is basically how you get the yarn on the needle in the first place.

Step 1: You first need to tie a slip knot that has a tail that is about 3-4 inches and put it on one of your needles.


Step 2: Then tighten it around the needle so it is as small as possible while still being able to move easily up and down the needle. That is your first stitch! Only the first stitch is a slip knot.

Step 3: To make the next stitch, hold the needle that has the slip knot in your left hand. Pinch the yarn (not the tail of the slip knot, but the yarn directly connected to the ball) in your right hand between your thumb and index finger. Your thumb should be on top.


Step 4: Rotate your fingers so they are now pointing down. You should have created a “P” shape with the yarn. The horizontal piece should be on top.


Step 5: Next, move the P over the needle, keeping the horizontal piece of yarn on top. This is a bit awkward to explain, but look at the pictures to see how to do it.


Step 6: Then tighten. You now have 2 stitches on your needle.


Step 7: Continue adding more using the “P” method until you have cast on 10 total.



Now, I am going to explain how to do a knit stitch. There are 2 types of stitches: knitting and purling. I am going to explain purling in the next post in this series. Using different patterns of these stitches (ribbing) are going to create a different texture of your project.

Step 1: Insert the empty needle (I’ll refer to this needle as the right needle) into the top stitch and behind the needle with the stitches (I’ll call this the left needle). The right and left needle should make an X.


Step 2: Take the yarn and put it in-between the two needles from left to right. It should be sandwiched between the needles


Step 3: Back out the right needle so the yarn is a little over a centimeter (roughly) away from the tip. I didn’t do this in the photo, but I usually keep a finger tip on the tip of the right needle so the yarn doesn’t accidentally fall off.


Step 4: This is the trickiest part. At this point the top stitch is a basically a circle of yarn on two needles with a piece of yarn dividing it in two. Take the right needle and put it over the dividing piece of yarn in into the ‘left part’ of the circle. If you are confused, look at the pictures or leave a comment!



Step 5: Now just lift the stitch off the left needle and you have knit your first stitch!!


Step 6: Keep going until you finish the row – all of the stitches are on the other needle. Now the needles with the yarn is the left needle and the empty one is the right needle.


Step 7: Keep knitting until you make a square (or a rectangle if you want)




Now, to finish off your project, you have to cast off.

Step 1: Knit 2 stitches


Step 2: Pull the bottom stitch – aka the first stitch you knit in that row – over the top stitch and off the needle




Step 3: You now have 1 stitch on the right needle, so knit another and then lift the bottom one over again.


Step 4: Continue until you only have 1 stitch left total (it will be on the right needle). Now cut your project from the yarn ball, leaving a 4 ish inch tail.


Step 5: Take the lone stitch off the needle, but make sure it stays intact as a stitch/circle.


Step 6: Take the tail and put it through the stitch through the bottom.


Step 7: Tighten!



Step 8: You have now made a square of knitting! I didn’t take any photos of this, but if you want to use your square for something, just take a darning needle and sew the tails (1 from the beginning and 1 from the end) into your square.






Favorites| April 2016

April in Boston this year has been fairly cold, but hopefully spring should be here soon. This month I have been feeling very sick which is why I did not post at all this month but I am going to try to get back to a regular schedule very soon! Read on for this months favorites!

  1. Soapboxing. This series on Refinery29’s youtube channel is simply awesome. The videos are funny but cover important topics with great presentation. Highly recommend!
  2. Flexible Cold Wraps. I have been having lots of headaches recently and regular hard ice back aren’t that great for wrapping around your head. Flexible icepacks are great for head and neck (or for wrapping around a leg or arm injury) and the ones I have can also be heated up in the microwave for heat relief.
  3. Mask of Magnaminty. This face mask from LUSH is amazing. I used to use it a lot but I hadn’t bought it in a while. I was at LUSH a few weeks ago and decided to pick it up. It’s super refreshing on my skin and makes me feel like my skin is SUPER clean. It also gives a light exfoliation which is always appreciated. I bought the smaller size since LUSH products do expire. And applying it with a brush also helps me use less at a time so the pot lasts longer and I can apply it much more neatly.
  4. Salt Water Toner. I ran out of my salt water toner and switched to another one that I had because I didn’t feel like making more. The other toner works great for controlling my oily/combination skin, but the salt water toner rescues my skin from breakouts. My skin is looking and feeling great thanks to this salt water/and Mask of Magnaminty combo.
  5. Music.
    • Death of a Bachelor by Panic! At the Disco
    • Victorious by Panic! At the Disco
    • Hallelujah by Panic! At the Disco
    • House of Memories by Panic! At the Disco
    • I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You by Black Kids

That’s it for this month. I will do my best to get some more posts up but you can always subscribe by email (check out the sidebar) to get email notifications whenever I post!


Above the Clouds

I don’t get super excited whenever I go on a plane. But I don’t dread it either. I always make my self comfortable with snacks and a book or two to read and some quality headphones. I have even figured out a way I can peacefully sleep on a long flight when the sky has gone dark and the cabin lights have been switched off. But there is one thing about flying that I love.

It doesn’t have to be sunset or sunrise, just cloudy. Being in an airplane, with not only the clouds above you, but you above the clouds, is simply crazy to me. Seeing puffy white clouds, the kind that you draw in the sky for a cartoon, or the lazy streaky clouds that just barely obscure the sun below you is… beautiful? astonishing? weird? I don’t really know how to say it.

When ever you think about the ‘layers’ of the earth, it goes ground, then houses/buildings/plants/people, then air and sky that goes on and on. And in this never ending abyss that is the sky, are clouds. Clouds that are above your head. And the ground beneath your feet. But up in a plane, there is no solid earth beneath your feet (besides the hunk of metal which keeps you from plummeting down back to solid earth). Instead, there are clouds beneath your feet. Clouds, which are supposed to be above your head, are beneath your feet.

You are above the clouds. Odd isn’t it?

Favorites| March 2016

This month I went to Italy with my school for a week and a half over spring break. It was such an amazing trip and it was great to have a break from all the school work. But I am back at school next Monday, but there is only 2 months left of classes thankfully! Despite my busy traveling, I have found some new favorites for this month!

  1.  EOS. Over my trip I didn’t want to take my overnight lip balm since it is so thick it comes out white-ish, so I just brought my EOS and it kept my lips from being super chapped while I was away!
  2. Backpacks. I brought my denim backpack from American Apparel with me on my trip which I think is a great size for traveling and is also a bit cuter than my regular school backpack. While I was on my trip I bought a mini black leather backpack which I am in love with. It is more purse sized so if I am going out shopping or for lunch with friends I can fit everything I need with out a huge bag.
  3. Video. I have become obsessed with this video of Matthew Healy of the 1975 singing acoustic versions of 2 of my favorite songs. I only really listen to the first 2 songs he plays in the video (Sex and Chocolate), but he plays another song at the end. The first song is especially beautiful acoustic.
  4. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. I read this book while I was away. It was a cute book and I really enjoyed the narrator, Simon. It was a quick and light read that wasn’t completely mindless, which I really liked.
  5. Music
    • Never Be Like You (feat. Kai) by Flume
    • 1901 by Phoenix
    • The Big Bang by Rock Mafia
    • Emperor’s New Clothes by Panic! At the Disco
    • She Way Out by the 1975


Paint + Tape Silhouette Canvas

Everyone has seen the project where you put tape on a canvas, paint over and then peel off the tape. While that is a fun project which makes cool geometric pieces, I decided to take that method and make a silhouette! Read on for the instructions.

-Painters/Masking Tape


-Black (and White) Paint

-Large Paintbrush or Sponge

-Small Detail Paint Brush

I am reusing an old canvas I have, so I spray painted it white, but if you have a new canvas, you can ignore this step. The first real step is to apply the tape. Start with longer pieces to get the basic shape of the face. If you need to use a pencil to trace the shape. Add smaller pieces to add nicer curves. Smaller pieces will give a more precise shape.


Start putting the black paint next to the tape (Filling in the face shape). Start blending it out. Make sure the paint next to the tape is not puddly so when you peel the tape off it doesn’t run.

After Peeling off Tape

Peel the tape of when it is still wet. If you wait until it is dry, it could peel off some of the paint. I had to go back in with a paint brush to clean up the edges. I used an small angled brush that came in a set of kids paint brushes from Crayola.



That’s it! Thanks for reading and come back next week for another post!


Favorites| February 2016

February has not been all that exciting for me, but I have busy with sports, school and NITASA. I finished up managing the JV basketball team at my school which I did with a friend which was actually kind of fun. I also went to my first hockey game with some friends and I found out I am a fan of the sport (who knew?). Now that you’re all caught up, read on for this months favorites!

  1. Naked Juices. I love the ‘Green Machine’ juice. It’s sweet but still makes me feel like I’m being healthy.
  2. Madam Secretary. I found this show on Netflix and I finished the season in roughly 2 weeks. Very interesting and I recognized some of the actors which is always very excited.
  3. Adobe Draw. This is the app version of Illustratr from what I have seen. A friend of mine showed me this app you can make some cool images on it. I have been adding a photo layer and then coloring on top. Here is the first one that I have actually finished
    • FullSizeRender
  4.  MUSIC.
    • Scream from High School Musical 3
    • Come As You Are by Nirvana
    • Different Colors by Walk the Moon
    • Gives You Hell by The All-American Rejects

Also a heads up that March may not have as many posts because I will be in Italy for 2 weeks! I will do my best to pre-write and schedule posts during the time I will be away!

DIY Rubber Stamps

A long time ago I got a set of Speedball linoleum carvers which you can also use on rubber. So I started carving stamps! Read on for a tutorial.


-Carvers (Here is a newer version of the set I have)

-Rubber (I happened to have a left over block, but cheap erasers from the dollar store work just as good. That’s what I usually use!)


-Ink Pad



First step is to pick out your design. Words can be tricky because you have to carve them out backwards, so be warned!


Trace your design onto the rubber.


Now it’s time to carve. What ever you carve will be white (or whatever color the paper is) and the rest will be ink. I like to carve out the lines I drew of the design so the design turns out white and the negative space is colored. If you want to positive space to be colored, carve around the lines you drew.

Be careful when you carve! The carver is sharp so carve away from your body if you can and keep your fingers out of the way. Even if you think you are being careful, the carver can slip.

Final Print

Now dip your new handmade stamp in ink and go to town!