Thanksgiving Weekend and Sewing Pattern Sale!

Happy Thanksgiving week!

I’m thankful for each of you that stop by to use my patterns and tutorials. One small way I can pass my thanks on to you is with a Thanksgiving weekend sewing pattern sale!

From Thanksgiving morning through Tuesday the 29th, you can receive 30% off all patterns using the code GIVETHANKS16. Basically it covers Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and any other sale you feel like shopping this weekend…enjoy!

Thanksgiving and Black Friday Sewing Pattern Sale | Radiant Home Studio

We’ll be enjoying family time this weekend, but if you have any trouble getting your patterns or getting the sale code to work, I’ll be back Monday morning to help. \

Friends from the EU, please use Etsy to checkout. The sale code is also valid at my Etsy shop.


Behind-the-Scenes: Taking Blog Photos

Don’t you love looking at beautiful craft photos? Pinterest, blogs, magazines, books…I love them all for creative inspiration. After starting my own blog and photographing my own projects, I’ve learned to look at these photos from a different perspective. I see the hard work that goes into the styling, the lighting, and the design. I am able to pull back and imagine what’s going on behind-the-scenes.

But… I think it’s easy for the majority of blog readers and Pinterest users to imagine that it’s all so easy! Many of my friends are intimidated by the appearance of perfectly clean and put together homes and magazine-worthy craft projects. They have the impression that one beautiful photo equals a beautiful house with everything in order. While it would be amazing if that were true…it’s just not reality.

Behind-the-Scenes: What My House Really Looks Like When I Take Blog Photos | Radiant Home Studio
(This post includes affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

I thought it would be fun to share a pulled back photo of my setup, so you can see that not everything is as perfect as it appears. Images are styled and edited, just like the words of a good book. It takes dozens of photos to get 3-4 that are right for a blog post. (If you are interested, I shared more about these coasters on Betz White’s blog last month.)

Behind-the-Scenes: What My House Really Looks Like When I Take Blog Photos | Radiant Home Studio

This is my living room on a normal day. There are toys out, pillows aren’t fluffed, and drawing supplies are everywhere. I get great natural light through these big windows so I like to set up my backdrop on the floor there. It’s a light-weight wall that I constructed for this purpose. I also have a disassembled Anthropologie box that I use as a white background and a way to reflect light.

I don’t use any expensive camera equipment like studio lights or external flashes. My camera is a Canon Rebel xTi with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. The camera has been excellent as an entry-level DSLR and the 50mm f/1.8 lens is one of the least expensive lenses you can buy (and a must-have for craft photos!). Though I’m considering a camera upgrade soon, basic equipment is really all you need if you have good natural light.

See the white chair? I stand on that and lean out over the board to take overhead shots.

Behind-the-Scenes: What My House Really Looks Like When I Take Blog Photos | Radiant Home Studio

Sometimes with a 50mm lens, I need to get even higher to include more in the frame. That’s when I stand on my tiptoes and try to balance. Sometimes I balance on the arms of the wicker chairs. Maybe more equipment would make this easier, but after talking to other photographer friends I’m certain that I’m not the only one lying on the ground and standing on chairs to get a good shot!

Behind-the-Scenes: What My House Really Looks Like When I Take Blog Photos | Radiant Home StudioNow imagine a 15 step tutorial… My sewing room is upstairs. I sew a step or two, then run down to take a few photos. Then back up to sew a few more steps, and back down for more photos. My kids have gotten used to seeing me running up and down the stairs with random pieces of fabric and my camera, but I think I would look crazy to anyone that doesn’t have a sewing or DIY blog! But that’s what I do.

It turns out that I’m not the only one though. I find it fascinating to see what other people are doing behind-the-scenes. Lots of bloggers are taking great photos near their windows (standing on chairs in in other crazy positions) using minimal equipment. Here are a few other posts (plus a great class) that will give you some ideas for setting up photo spots around your home:

  • Though I’m not taking photos of food, I find that food bloggers often have a similar setup, so this Behind-the-Scenes With Food Bloggers article is helpful. Food bloggers are photographing similarly sized subjects and tend to take close-ups of details like craft bloggers.
  • There are some great tip in this behind-the-scenes post from Paper & Stitch. Point #5 – It’s going to get messy!
  • A few months ago, I watched “Craft Photography Fundamentals” on CreativeLive. Candice has a ton of great tips for setting up in a small space and styling products for blogs and shops, all using natural light and basic equipment. If you are taking pictures for a craft blog or Etsy shop, you’ll appreciate her specific focus on those types of photos.
  • Here’s another post with food blog photo tips, but look at how she’s standing on the chair in front of the window! It’s a similar setup to mine…

If you aren’t a blogger, is this what you imagined? And if you are, does your setup look similar?

Behind-the-Scenes: What My House Really Looks Like When I Take Blog Photos | Radiant Home Studio



Win a Sewing Pattern…It’s Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to Kristen, Sarah, and Mindy!

It’s time for Sew Mama Sew giveaway day! It feels like a party this week…all my patterns are on sale and I’m giving away a free copy of On the Go Bags too! (It’s in a different post, just to clear up any confusion!) It’s so much fun to give gifts to people that will love them. Thanks for stopping by!

If this is the first time you’ve visited, let me tell you a few things about myself and my patterns! I’m a homeschooling mother of 6. I love to sew, but I’m constantly trying new creative projects.

Since the last giveaway I have released a pattern for the Highland Avenue House.

Highland Avenue House Pillow Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

My two most popular patterns, the Retro Rucksack and the Water Bottle Tote have been completely updated and reformatted. I’ve added more technical illustrations, updated zipper installation for a more professional finish, and updated the pattern tiling so that it is more user-friendly. The Retro Rucksack also has new tips on how to created a roll-top bag in addition to the original recessed zipper option.

Retro Rucksack and Water Bottle Tote | Radiant Home Studio

If you have never visited before, take a look at my tutorials and things I’ve made pages to see what I like to sew. This year, I’ve written a series of posts called “Tote Bag Upgrade” with monthly tutorials for turning plain canvas bags into modern accessories. I’m part of the Betz White Sewing Collective as a regular contributor. And this week, one of my patterns was released in a new book called On the Go Bags!

Radiant Home Studio | Projects from Fall 2015

I write a monthly newsletter to share more personal updates and sneak peeks of upcoming projects and patterns with my subscriber friends. I also include a recap of my posts for the month and a list of the my favorite sewing, craft, and mothering articles I have collected to share with you! It’s the kind of letter that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea while you browse through the inspiring projects and encouraging articles. New subscribers will receive a FREE Mini Highland House pattern. I’d love it if you would sign up!

Mini Highland House Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

So now for the fun!

Would you like to win a sewing pattern? I’m giving away sewing patterns to 3 winners. Each winner will be allowed to choose one pattern they would like from my shop.

To Enter the Giveaway:

• leave a comment for 1 free entry (please include your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win)

• each person may submit two total entries (one comment answering the question, and another comment telling me that you are a newsletter subscriber or follow on instagramfacebook, or bloglovin)


• this giveaway is open to international entries (but please keep in mind that you are responsible for following contest laws in your country)

• giveaway starts Dec. 9th at 9am EST and ends Dec. 13th, 8pm EST

• winners will be chosen from comment numbers using a

• PDF pattern will be e-mailed to the winners within 2 days

• chances of winning vary depending on the number of entries, but is estimated at 1/200

• if you buy a pattern now and win, your payment will be refunded!

Please leave a comment answering the question:

Do you buy patterns for home decor items—pillows, quilts, organizers, gift items? Anything in particular you would love to find, but haven’t seen? Are you a beginner or experienced?

Patterns, Shop

2nd Birthday Celebration & Blog Tour {Day 6}

It’s the final day of my 2nd Birthday Celebration & Blog Tour! My patterns are still on sale—all 20% off—through next week. Today I have 2 new friends sharing the bags they made from my patterns. Both bags are quick and easy—perfect for gift giving!

Radiant Home Studio Birthday Celebration | Radiant Home Studio

Courtney blogs at The Wholesome Mama. Courtney and I are part of the same creative blogging group. She sews clothes for her children and for herself, among other things. Her recent outfit posts are my favorite! She perfectly combines practicality and style, putting together outfits that are great for moms of littles.

Courtney sewed a Fairport Pouch with a zipper closure to use as a make-up bag. It’s just the right size to toss into a bigger tote bag to keep the small things organized. Check out her post and her lovely photos!

Fairport Pouch with Zipper | The Wholesome Mama | Radiant Home Studio Blog Tour

Melissa, from Rebel & Malice, has an eclectic modern style. She’s a mom to 5, full of creative ideas, and a regular participant in blog tours. She has a great collection of kids clothing ideas and pattern reviews in her archives. You’ll find some neat kid project ideas on her tutorials page.

Melissa made a fun Fold Over Tote Bag from one of my Tote Bag upgrade tutorials. She used an old promotional tote bag to make this cute bag that she can actually use. Check out her post for more details and her review of the tutorial!

Rebel & Malice | Fold Over Tote Bag | Radiant Home Studio Blog Tour

Thank you to all of my blogging friends that joined in my celebration! And to my readers for supporting and encouraging the creative work I share here. I do appreciate all of you!

Radiant Home Studio 2nd Birthday Celebration:

Monday, Nov. 30th Radiant Home Studio || Skirt Fixation || Felt With Love Designs

Tuesday, Dec. 1st A Happy Stitch || Sew Happily Ever After

Wednesday, Dec. 2nd Sew Very || Swoodson Says || Vicky Myers Creations || Call Ajaire

Thursday, Dec. 3rd Happy Okapi || House of Estrela || Molly and Mama

Friday, Dec. 4th Hugs Are Fun || Sew DIY || Made By Sara

Saturday, Dec. 5th Rebel and Malice || The Wholesome Mama

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for On the Go Bags (through 12/15) and watch for another giveaway beginning next Wed! Patterns are still on sale through Friday 12/11.