Collections: Vintage Cameras

My camera collection

So this weekend I finally ordered a new camera! I've researched and researched for months and although I thought I had narrowed it down to a Canon EOS Rebel XSi or the T2i I ended up getting the Canon EOS Rebel T1i. A lot of the reviews said the T1i actually performs better overall then the T2i and for the difference in price (about $65-70 on Amazon) it wasn't really worth it just to get a few extra mega pixels when I'm not a professional photographer. Yes, I admit it, I'm just an amateur but one who loves taking pictures! I love my little Panasonic Lumix and its actually been a really good camera for the last five years, but it's about time I had something with a faster shutter speed and better light sensitivity, especially with a new baby running around the house. :) My Panasonic will still make regular appearances where a more compact camera is necessary but in the mean time it will retire to my collection.

Which gets me to today's blog. Since I'm currently addicted to Pinterest I wanted to start sharing some of my favorite things. Some things I myself collect, such as cameras and vintage luggage, and others I just find lovely, such as umbrellas and retro kitchenware. Since we're on the topic I thought I'd start with vintage cameras. I really didn't start collecting cameras as much as I did inherit them until recently when they started popping up at flea markets and yard sales. My first camera was an Olympus 35mm that I got in junior high. I still own that camera today. Here are a few favorites from Pinterest I hope to add to my collection someday. You can click on any of the pictures to see more of my collections or follow me. Happy Monday! 


Source: via Tara on Pinterest
Source: via Tara on Pinterest
Source: via Tara on Pinterest

Product Feature: Custom Bottle Caps

best keychain

NEW to lost little things this week! Custom bottle cap products! You send us your custom image and we'll make it into something fun and unique. Custom images can include photos, logos, artwork...pretty much anything you can fit in a bottle cap! These custom products are great for marketing, showing your school/team pride, awards and of course gifts; birthday, wedding, baby, graduation, family reunions, holidays, the list goes on.

I currently have 7 different products to choose from:
Bottle Cap Pendants
Key Chains
Magnets (set of 3)
Initial(s) Charm Necklaces
Wine Charms (set of 4)

Here are some fun samples I made to give you an idea of what you can create with a little imagination. :)

best photo

best color

Family, babies, friends, couples, pets, name it and I can capture the memory it in a bottle cap making a perfect gift. Colored photos or black and white, they both make for beautiful portraits. Some pictures can be tricky because of the size and or composition so please use the ones I've shown as samples. Single clearly defined objects or contrasting, clear images are best.

best wine

Up to four pictures of your choice!
 best family


best artwork

Sports teams, logos, school mascots, artwork, images of any kind!

best magnets


best necklace


best charms

Click HERE to see pricing and/or purchase any of these custom products!

I also have an everyday, all day SPECIAL DEAL!
Buy 5 or more custom bottle cap items and receive 10% off*. Buy 10 or more and receive 20% off* your entire order. You can mix and match any of the custom items listed to receive this discount. I can also fulfill wholesale orders** for a great price!

*excludes bottle cap pendants
**minimum order of 20 per item. please email in advance for pricing and availability. 
Original designs, products, and photos
© 2009-2012 R+R Design. All Rights Reserved

Upcycled T-Shirt Episode 1: Sewing Machine Cover

T-shirt Sewing Machine Cover
photo courtesy of my lovely sister Molly

I am currently obsessed with making fun stuff out of old t-shirts. So, when my sister sent me photos of her new sewing machine cover I just had to make one of my own and share it with you!

What you need: 
Used t-shirt (just make sure its big enough to cover your machine properly)
Sewing machine
matching cotton thread
Scissors or fabric rotary cutter and cutting mat

When picking your shirt may I suggest something fun from your closet you no longer wear but can't bear to give away.  Mine is a fairly brand new shirt my sister gave me from Idaho that is way to big for me. I like it but don't really wear it so I thought it would be nice to put it on display where I can at least enjoy it.

So here it is, real simple...cut both arms off at a slight angle then cut the top off straight across as shown below.  

upcycled t-shirt sewing cover

Turn your shirt inside out and sew up the edges where you just cut off the neck and sleeves.  I eyeballed and rounded my corners so it made a nice clean profile.

That's it! Turn it right side out and start using it. If you have a really long shirt you can cut off the bottom and remove the extra bulk. I just tucked the fabric inside itself. I also had a shirt that was a little tight on my machine but I actually like it that way because I can tuck my cords up inside the machine and they won't fall out.  If you want to take this project one step further you can hem in an opening at the top for your handle to make for easy carrying. You can make covers like this for almost anything with the right size t-shirt; computer monitors, toasters, tools, etc. Flip them upside down and they make a great basic bags* for storing or carrying supplies.
(*see below for actual bag tutorials)

upcycled t-shirt sewing cover

 Other upcycled T-shirt crafts we've done include these colorful t-shirt necklaces we made with my mom for a Beta Sigma Phi charity auction. I think my favorite part was shopping, finding and matching all the fun colored shirts we found at thrift stores (and my closet).

T-shirt Necklaces

The tutorial for these necklaces actually came from The Wondercraft here in Austin. My sisters and I started our t-shirt craft craze there when they visited last fall.


When I made my sewing cover I also made some fun drawstring bags out of baby clothes and I've started making yarn to crochet/braid a rag rug, table runner and pillow decorations. But I'll save those to share with you on a rainy day. :)  For now, here are some other DIY T-Shirt projects I've collected on my "to do someday" bucket list you might like...

Simple Scarf from Ette Studios
Knotted Scarf from Shwin&Shwin
Braided Scarf from Ninth & Bird
Designer Scarf from Joy Beadworks
Braided Scarf from I Still Love You
Wrapped Bracelets from Family Chic
Braided Bracelets from V and Co.
Shopping Bag from Etsy
Produce Bag from Delia Creates
Knitting Yarn from Polka Dot Pineapple
Tea Roses and Ruffles from Tea Rose Home 
Some great Etsy T-shirt products featured by Cosa Verde

JACK POT! I just found an amazing collection of DIY t-shirt crafts. I don't think you'll find a better collection all in one place then you can HERE.

Enjoy. :)

Marketing Sneak Peek...

Here's a little sneak peak at the postcards and tags I've made for the new shop. I'm very excited about the new look and feel like its finally pulling together! After doing a lot of research I went with a kind of vintage postage theme. I say vintage but I believe the front of the postcards are very modern in style. I went with these two images because last summer it took me a very long time to stage those photos and get the lighting just right with my current camera. However, I am pricing out a Cannon Rebel as we speak and can't wait to take new marketing photos!  It may be a while before you see them on my postcards but I'll definitely share them here.  I imagine I'll be having lots of fun with my new camera considering I have an adorable 6 month baby at home with me all day. :) I still have handmade stamps from Inked Fingers on the way with my custom logo/font to make business cards on tags and stamp packaging. I can't wait!

Thrifty Luggage Light Box



A couple weeks ago I found THIS awesome DIY thrifty luggage light box on Instructables and it gave me an idea. I have been wanting to make a light box to burn screen prints and my handy father-in-law was coming for the holidays so I recruited his help.

First we went shopping! We found a florescent light panel (the piece that holds the light bulbs) and flush toggle switch for a couple bucks at the Habitat for Humanity store.  We got a new electronic ballast from Lowes (between $10-15 depending on whether you get a 2 bulb or 4 but we'll get to that).  We had an old computer power cord but needed something to plug it into so we found a computer repair store and scored a scrap part for FREE!  Last but not least, I ordered a piece of square 1/4" acrylic from the glass shop and two (white) black fluorescent light bulbs online. In doing research (white) black fluorescent bulbs are ideal for burning screen prints. However, you can use regular fluorescent or halogen light bulbs (I do not recommend halogen because they contain hazardous chemicals) they just take longer to burn your screen.  I got my bulbs from for a reasonable price and they were here in 2-3 days.

Recap. So, here is your shopping list: 
  • luggage in desired size (recommend no smaller then 15-16" long to fit 12" bulbs)
  • light panel from a flourescent light fixture (2-4 bulbs; wires intact)
  • electronic ballast (2 or 4 bulbs)
  • toggle switch (or any switch really)
  • old computer power cord and receiving outlet
  • 1/4" acrylic cut to size
  • fluorescent bulbs or (white) black bulbs
  • 4 angle brackets and bolts to hold the acrylic in place
  • white semi or gloss paint
If your super thrifty this should cost you around $50-60 (for a 2 bulb box) and no more then $100.  To complete this project you'll also need a drill, sharp box knife or Dremel, some miscellaneous screws/bolts, wire nuts, wire clippers, pliers, paint brush and E6000 glue. You will also need some short of saw and sander to round the edges of your acrylic if you cannot get it cut the exact shape at the store. We cut the acrylic corners ourselves with a scroll saw and sanded the edges to save a few bucks.


First thing we did was gut out the fabric and everything from the bottom of the luggage.  At this point I would recommend painting the bottom first but we got excited and fit all our light components to make sure they would work then painted. The paint simply help reflects the light as well as conceal the unattractive mess you made by pulling out all the fabric (which we did because some older fabrics are not fire retardant and we didn't want to take a chance with exposed wires).

Before you paint you will actually want to cut the holes for your toggle switch and power outlet. We had a Dremel but most luggage can be cut with a sharp box knife and some patience. There is no real logic to placement. We just placed them were we thought most convenient and/or attractive. In the tutorial he placed them both along the side of the luggage, which is a bit easier to wire.


Once you've cut your openings and painted the bottom then you want to install your light components and wire everything together. I had help but its pretty easy and you can find lots of basic wiring information online for ballasts and switches. Just make sure all your exposed wire ends are connected properly or enclosed in a wire nut.


Next we installed four angle brackets along each side of the luggage about 1/4" from the top and simply bolted the acrylic in. How did you secure your nut through 1/4" glass you ask? I took four nuts and secured them to the bottom of the bolt openings with E6000 glue in advance. Just make sure you don't get glue in the threads or it won't work!


Plug it in and your done!


I love that the cord is removable and can be concealed inside the luggage when not in use. I am going to go a step future and add pockets to the upper lid so I can store my screens and screen making supplies in the luggage as well.


Then it will all be hidden in this attractive vintage luggage in my office. :)


But first I had to test it out and make my first screen print ever! I'm sure there will be lots more to come as I keep finding fun vintage images and new ideas for the shop.


TIPS: I used a two bulb fixture hoping the white paint would help reflect the light a bit. If you are simply using this as a light box for drawing then two bulbs is more then enough. However, for screen printing you must be directly above the light source for it to properly burn the image. Unless you are only doing small screens (which I mostly am) then two bulbs is fine but I highly recommend going with a four bulb fixture.  Also, if you just want a simple light box for drawing as shown in the original tutorial then you can frost your acrylic by taking a medium then light sand paper to the bottom.  Just make sure the smooth side is facing up when installing it into the luggage.

Valentines Day Sale!

In honor of this years Valentines Day I'm having a sale on everything in my new shop! From today until next Sunday, January 22nd you can get 20% off your entire order by using the coupon code VAL2012.  Orders will ship out no later then January 24th so you'll receive them in plenty of time to plan that special day. So shop away! By clicking the shop link above or going HERE.