Favorite Products and Services (Crafts, Lettering, Photography)

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Photography Classes and Editing:

BluPrint  is a hidden gem for photography classes. (Bluprint was formerly known as Craftsy, so you may be familiar with their great craft and art classes.)  At Bluprint, you can purchase individual classes or you can subscribe by the month or year.  I have taken several classes, and they have helped me dramatically improve my photography.  

Here are just a few of the classes:

Portraits with an On-Camera Speedlight (This is how I learned to get better at bouncing my flash.)

Lightroom Essentials - The Develop Module (Learn how to use Lightroom to edit and enhance your photos.)

Dog Photography (This helps me take pics of my Sunny!)

Another great photography resource is Clickinmoms.  Clickinmoms is a dedicated photography community, with  tutorials and member perks.  I've been a member for years. It does require a subscription. There are several membership options, including a lifetime membership that is a great value. So much information in one place about every aspect of photography. 

Picmonkey - Super easy photo editing, graphics, and lots of fun features. I love Picmonkey!  If you don't want to purchase a software program like Lightroom, (my favorite), for photo editing, then Picmonkey is the place to edit your photos.  You can also create photo collages, use their graphic design tools for social media images, and have all kinds of creative fun.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Cameras and Lenses:

The Nikon D3500 is a perfect entry level DSLR.  Beautiful images, great resolution. 

The Nikon D5600 is a step up from the 3500 and is the current model of my Nikon D5100.  Although I have a couple of bigger, more complex DSLRs, I use my 5100 the most. It's small, light, basic, and, most importantly, takes wonderful, clear images. I highly recommend this 5600, as it has even better resolution and more features than my 5100.  (This particular set comes with 2 lenses, but it can also be purchased with only one.)

I also  love Adorama for cameras and, especially used photography equipment in general. They have both new and used cameras and equipment, with a 30 day return policy. I have bought both new and used cameras and lenses from them, and have always been thrilled with my purchases.  Adorama is trustworthy (and so much fun.)  

Brush Lettering

I like the Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens  for smaller brush marker lettering.  They come in a pack with one hard-tip and one soft-tip pen.   Now they come in colors too!  The colors, pictured below, have the hard tip.

For larger brush lettering, the Zig Brushables are a great choice.  They can be purchased individually or in sets. They have a slightly firmer brush tip that many people (including myself) find easier to control than some of the other larger brush markers.  BONUS -- The ink is archival, pigment ink, so they are waterproof, lightfast, acid-free, and fade-proof. (They're non-bleeding, so they aren't as good for blending techniques as the Tombow Dual Brush pens.) There are two brush tips on each Zig Brushable. One end is a 50% tint of the other end. 

The Tombow Dual Brush Pens are wonderful for large brush lettering, blending, and watercolor techniques.  The brush tips on the Tombows are a bit less firm than the Zig Brushables, so they can be a little harder for beginners to control.  They have a fine point bullet tip at the other end, which adds versatility.  They come in many colors. 

Crafts and Lettering Classes

Bluprint (formerly Craftsy) is one of my favorite places for learning techniques and skills. Papercrafts, drawing, sewing, gardening, cake decorating, cooking, knitting, photography, and more.  LOTS of classes under each category and some are free. I've taken several classes and return to review them often. Highly recommended! Here are some classes to consider:

Paper Arts and Crafts Classes at Bluprint:

Gorgeous Greeting Cards: Stamping and Beyond

Inventive Ink: Colorful Mixed Media Effects 

Simply Stunning Art Journals

Radiant Stamping Techniques

There are many, many more classes, specific to individual crafts.

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