Haven Low Down: Day 2 (+ 13 paint and photography tips)

Before I dive into Day 2… Candice shared a picture of us and YHL. John and Sherry are real life blogging superheroes. They just need some capes :)

haven conference

Moving on to haven Day 2, I attended 3 more classes:

  • Ryobi Power Tools
  • Advanced Painting (I should have checked out beginners painting!)
  • Basic Photography

We got a run down of some awesome new tools from Ryobi. Here I’m modeling the cordless Ryobi sprayer, ha! It’s surprisingly light weight.


haven conference

Evidence that I’m a doodler.

haven conference

Advanced painting with The Ms. Mustard Seed basically blew my mind. It’s no joke that I use spray paint often, even on furniture (my blogging desk!)

haven conference


I learned about and even won some chalk paint! I’m sure you’ve heard of chalk paint in blog world. I’d heard of the stuff, but I had obviously not read too much about it… I actually thought chalk paint was chalkboard paint. Not true at all. I learned that chalk paint by Annie Sloan

  • Doesn’t smell! That pretty much sold me. Living in a high rise apartment building with no backyard and a small balcony, makes painting in our house a super smelly endeavor.
  • You can paint it over anything. Yep, anything. Including oil paint and concrete.
  • No sanding or priming needed. Again greatness for the no backyard thing.

haven conference

Have you ever heard of milk paint? Me either. Milk paint…

  • Is all natural.
  • Is bought in powder form and is mixed with water.
  • Chips on it’s own. It gives a piece of furniture the authentic look of wear and tear.

Check out Miss Mustard Seed’s post on the milk paint vs. chalk paint. (She loves both!) Two of my new favorite bloggers Becky and Karah even entered the worst paint clothes contest!

haven  conference


Next up photography 101 by none other than Layla and Kevin at The Lettered Cottage. I have a dslr camera (and I’ve never used it on manual!) Andy bought it while we lived in China. Kevin gave us a super simple way to think about embracing the M (manual)! He laid it out plain and simple. The best way to learn is teach right :) Here are the 3 ways your camera catches light:

  • iso- the lower the iso the better the quality of the picture, higher iso results in grainier pictures (but makes images brighter).
  • aperture- is the opening in your lens (aperture= f stop) The bigger the whole in the lens , the more light you are allowing in the picture. Aperture controls depth of field.
  • shutter- opens and closes based on amount of time you set (quick shutter speed freezes action and needs lots of light)

The 3 step system for taking manual pictures:

  • set the iso at 100, assuming you are outside or in a super well lit room.
  • set your aperture and forget about it. Do you want to focus on one thing (f/2.8) or do you want to shoot a whole room (f/16)?
  • dial in your shutter speed to make the image darker or brighter. This is the one thing you need to worry about while taking the picture.

Seems easy enough, right? I’m going to whip that sucker out and give it a try. I’ll keep you updated :) And if you’re in the market for a new camera, Kevin claims keh.com is the best place to find awesome deals on all things camera.
Layla talked about photo styling… I thought the best tip was to add real life to your photos. Either with people, pets, and plants or even a non perfect towel, stack of ruffled magazines, or a used, burning candle.
Speaking of real life, here’s my Haven suitcase jam packed with swag. Do you think my toes add to the picture? It’s real life :)

haven conference

I had to wear these home because they wouldn’t fit in the suitcase. Cute, but not practical for travel!

haven conference


Are you a doodler? Do you have a go to doodle? Mine used to be trees! Have you ever used chalk paint? Do you use wax on top pf your chalk paint? I don’t think I’m going too only because I don’t have any! Have you ever heard of milk paint? Do you use a manual camera? What do you think about the people, pets, and plants photo tip? I’d love to hear…


  1. It was a great to meet you at Haven (even briefly)! What color Annie Sloan did you win. I won a kind of grey/purple, so i’m not sure where I’ll be using that but I’m excited about it!

    • Sounds like you got Paris Grey? My all time favorite AS color! Shake it up really good and the purplish tint will go away. Go to my before & afters to see a bunch of pieces done in Paris Grey. You will be dying to find a piece of furniture to paint!!

  2. Jamie
    It was great meeting you at Haven! Funny I almost took that sprayer! I got the compound saw and stand instead. Such a fun giveaway!!

  3. Nice shot of me hanging my head in shame in the paint clothes contest!! Anything for a couple of paint brushes. lol

    I’m suffering cool blogger friend withdrawal. :)

  4. Hi Jamie! So glad to meet you at that advertising session – amazing info right?

    Tell me all about the photo styling part! I had to go to the airport :-(

    Glad you had fun, I have a really long blog to do list… ha!

  5. So glad you recapped the photo session…can’t seem to find the little piece of paper I scribbled my notes on! Thanks!!


  1. […] These are not fancy, in fact I had all of them already on hand. I won the chalk paint at Haven (read more here). So, even that was free! The Dremel is not necessary, but helpful for cutting and sanding the […]

  2. […] These are not fancy, in fact I had all of them already on hand. I won the chalk paint at Haven (read more here). So, even that was free! The Dremel is not necessary, but helpful for cutting and sanding the […]

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