Five Amazing Things About This Picture


(1)  It is amazing that it only took me 23 shots.

To realize that my head was in the mirror in each…and…every….one….of…them.


And while I was having a really good hair day and my red lipstick was visible from space….my intent was not to draw attention to myself with random fuzzy mirror shots.

You see, I guess I forgot to tell myself that I was scheduling the random fuzzy mirror shot tutorial for next week.  Where I planned to discuss in great detail how to photograph yourself in a mirror and not end up looking like a cross between Annie Leibovitz and Flo from the Progressive insurance commercial.



(2)  Amazing…these peonies are.

Cut fresh from the garden.

They are the most beautiful shade of pink.


(3)  Even more amazing?

If you add a penny and aspirin to the water, it makes these flowers stay fresh so much longer.

And that my first tutorial I ever posted on the blog was for this burlap vase.

Back in the day.

Before the whole step-by-step tutorial fiasco of 2012.



(4)  These Union Jack Pillows are amazing.

And I had to buck the anti-freshy trend and have them.

There was no way I was saying no to drop cloth with an English accent.



(5)  But the most amazing thing about this photograph is:           I took it.

I know.

I am stating the obvious.

But that simple statement takes on epic proportions when you understand that I just got a new camera for my birthday and I am a little scared of it.  It arrived in the mail and sat in the box for two weeks….staring at me.

Judging me.


I think it might even have mocked me a few times.

And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the camera laughed the first time I tried to use it and I couldn’t even get it to take a picture.  And I know it kept giggling as I frantically spent 45 minutes googling “problems with your camera” and trying to call camera-support people on-line and pacing and wringing my hands and second guessing my decision to ever leave the point and shoot world behind.

And I am sure the camera elbowed the tripod and they both guffawed when I realized…..

…..that the lens wasn’t even attached.


Thank you.  Thank you.  No need for applause.  I’ll be here all week 🙂

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  1. Image for Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    LOL! You sound like me when I set up my new sewing machine last week, Karianne! I've had the same Singer for almost 27 years and just got a new sewing/embroidery machine. It's much more advanced than that old Singer, but it took me 15 minutes to figure out where the bobbin goes and open the holder for it. I'm happy I just got the basic sewing down on it. I haven't even begun to examine the embroidery portion!

  2. Image for Laura Laura

    I am laughing so hard. What is it about us Kentuckians that we love to tell on ourselves. I do the most ridiculous things and then broadcast them to the world. I love the fact that your lens wasn't attached to your camera. I still have my point and shoot so I don't have that problem. Anyway, all your tries were worth it, because your photo and room are beautiful. Hugs, Laura

  3. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    OK....I thought I was bad!....I had my camera in the box for 2 months...intimidated by all the buttons...afraid that I when I took that first shot, the camera would speak back (well if the camera has all those buttons and gears, you know it has to talk too)..."hey girl, that was a really lame shot....." But I got brave, I handed the box to my hubby and he read the instructions!!...Then drove over to the camera shop and signed up for lessons!! You did good Kari!!!...once you attached the lens to the camera that is!....You make me laugh...everyday!

  4. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    P.S. Your peonies are gorgeous...What a tremendous pop of color in that beautiful bedroom with the Union Jack pillows so beautifully made my Linda! Not to mention the cute burlap "monogrammed" vase from your first "toot".... Have a wonderful weekend with your family!

  5. Image for Diane Diane

    Your bedroom is gorgeous, looks so restful yet luxurious. Your new camera takes beautiful photos too, you did a great job with all of them. I will have to pop in and snag that recipe for Derby pie, my dd's bf brought us some at Christmas.

  6. Image for Anita Anita

    That is so funny!! The room is gorgeous and well-photographed, so excellent job. It looks so beautiful, and I am excited to see a four poster bed painted, since I am thinking of painting a highboy. Seems like treason, but I might. BTW, is that your gorgeous room? And how do you get your blog to redirect from a blogspot address without giving that horrid blogger warning that the site might be unsafe? Love your photography!!

  7. Image for Karah @ thespacebetweenblog Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

    Those peonies are awesome! My wedding bouquet was just three beautiful hydrangeas of the same color that I cut from out yard. The perfect shade for sure! And I am totally chuckling at you after you realized you were in the mirror, I have totally done that before...not sure it took me 23 takes to realize it, but let's just say it did. :) Karah

  8. Image for Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh my goodness your pictures are wonderful and those flowers are just gorgeous!! I got a new Nikon a few years ago and I still haven't learned what all that camera will do!! I have had to research several times the term "what am I doing wrong" It looks like you sure are doing a lot right because your pictures look great!

  9. Image for Linda @ it all started with paint Linda @ it all started with paint

    1. My apologies to your husband for adding more freshy to your home ;) 2. Your photos are amazing. Seriously. Truly. 3. I tried so hard to grow my own peonies, but I've told you I'm plant challenged. Since I do love the peony so very much, I dug them up and gave them to my neighbor next door. Now they are thriving ... 4. Stop underestimating the power of your tutorials. They are fab. And fun. 5. Thank you thank you thank you fives times over -- and more -- for the pillow shout out, link, and love ... :) Linda

  10. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Too funny! I have taken so many pictures of myself in a glass window, door or mirror! You did much better than I did! The peonies are gorgeous and I'm on my way to Linda's Etsy shop. Thanks for making me smile! What a gift to know you put a smile in someone's day! I hope your weekend is full of smiles and laughter!

  11. Image for Anne Anne

    Love Linda's Union Jack cushions, no I adore them! So your camera and tripod mutinied... You obviously have them back under your control because your photos are awesome. I'm so glad you got 23 practice shots, but you could have just used Picasa's touch up tool and blotted out the image in the mirror. Oh well, next time. (It would have been cute to see your face in the mirror.) xox

  12. Image for Bliss Bliss

    If your camera laughed at you like the borrowed sewing machine laughed at me, then soon that bad boy will bow down when it sees you coming. ~Bliss~

  13. Image for judi judi

    if i may, i'd like to share five amazing things about your picture and then some. 1- the bed, the style, color and bedding 2- the two chairs, the distressing, fabric and position in room 3- the union jack pilows, they rock. 4- the color pallet, subtle yet wow factor the the nth degree 5- the details, plates, mirror, side table and vase with fresh flowers (now going directly to pin on my boards...such inspiration) and to top it all off, you add wit and humor...flo from the progressive commercial LOL! thanks for making me smile, laugh, giggle and even guffaw (but not like the camera & tripod). i know what you mean about new cameras, it took me quite a while to transition from my point & shoot to my big girl camera. i still have lots to learn and remember from my high school photography classes! judi

  14. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Good Morning Karianne, Your photos are gorgeous. I love the close up of the peonies. The color looks amazing in the field of white. Great bedroom too! Good job on that no mirror reflection, I really wouldn't mind catching a glimpse of you. : ' ) I think I'm going to try to find your tutorial on the burlap vase. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  15. Image for Vanessa Vanessa

    LOL!!! That is exactly how I felt when I got my camera!! But, seriously girl, who's laughing now huh??? (Well, technically I was laughing as I was reading this post) Those photos are unreal!!! They truly look like they belong in a magazine and now I'm thinking my camera is probably still mocking me since I can't seem to get pics quite like that...maybe if I had those pillows...and the peonies...and a white room.. ;-) The photos captured perfectly what a stunning room that is! Vanessa

  16. Image for Michele Michele

    You are SO FUNNY! What a fun post, I keep giggling. And, of course, it is picture perfect, In every way. But especially enjoyed the giggles. Tell that tripod to control itself. Adorable. Have a wonderful weekend!

  17. Image for Diana Kotecki Diana Kotecki

    What a gorgeous post today! Your bedroom looks absolutely beautiful and your picture taking is awesome! Rock on sistah! I love that we can just practice and practice since our cameras are digital. It wasn't always that way! I also loved your art house over at Cassie's blog! I love the way you decorated it.

  18. Image for sharon sharon

    You crack me up! This room is soooo soothing. And I can't wait to see the tutorial on taking pictures with a mirror. Have a great weekend! Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  19. Image for Katie @ Wildwood Creek Katie @ Wildwood Creek

    Beautiful photo! Love the soothing neutrals and the pop of color from the peonies! I have a photography tip for you: Go to and sign up for their Photography 101 course. It is worth it's weight in gold and then some. I had my camera for a year and kept reading photo tips and tutorials; however, it wasn't until I took Photography 101 that I saw the light. Save yourself from a year of frustration and take this course now! PS: You know that little ol blog The Lettered Cottage by Kevin and Layla Palmer? Well, Kevin is one of the instructors on Shoot Fly Shoot.

  20. Image for Andrea Andrea

    I've had my fancy dancy big girl camera for a year now, and my photos aren't even close to as nice as yours. Maybe it's your glorious subject matter? Maybe it's because I'm too busy desperately trying not to get myself on any reflection what so ever? (you not only need to think of mirrors, but also watch for those pesky shiny decorative objects that will stealthily reflect your image in the most unkind of, when I am facing said shiney object, can it seem to reflect my rather large tooshie??) I'm now off the automatic setting (wonders never cease), and am using my tripod, but my photographic skills stop there. Oh, and in other important matters, I really must buy some peonies for my garden. Glorious!

  21. Image for Kathy@ Pearls in Paradise Kathy@ Pearls in Paradise

    The photos are beautiful and thanks for the tip about the penny in the peonies. I knew about aspirin, but hadn't heard of adding a penny too. My husband has a fancy pants camera but I am scared of it too and prefer to use my little Canon point and shoot. I should learn to use his camera though because I am sure by blog photos would be so much better. Love Linda's freshy pillow!

  22. Image for Shannon Fox Shannon Fox

    ... and it's lovely. We knew there was a picture taking gal in you Karianne. Linda's pillows are the perfect compliment to your space! Have a wonderful weekend.

  23. Image for Shari @ Turnstyle Vogue Shari @ Turnstyle Vogue

    I walk in your shoes when it comes to photography! However, I demand a recount...I think you are way off base with your numbers. There are many more amazing things about that picture than just five. Uh...the chairs? !! And that tease of natural wood that your mirror is giving us? Gorgeous!

  24. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Okay I am not going to lie... I have not read all of your post today but I just had to comment right this very moment . In fact all I mostly did was look at the pictures (little time crunched at the moment) and I must say I am in LOVE! Your bedroom is simply stunning and your peonies, oh I don't even know where to begin... luscious, divine, heaven scent... And the pillows.... lets just say I am now running off to drag out my sewing machine and dig out the drop cloth I've been dragging around forever! A new camera?? Really! And here I thought you already had a super duper nice camera because of the quality of the photos you take! My oh my but you are talented! Well my dear I am off now! I am so tickled!!! I finally found exactly what I was looking for to finish our family room... the perfect rug... at TARGET! on sale!!! I could just squeal... (okay I did gasp in the store but that will be our little well as the college age clerk who just gave me that knowing little smile!) Well have a wonderful weekend, my dear! I can hardly wait to sit back and read your last couple of posts later on tonight!!! Toodles, Peggy

  25. Image for everton terrace everton terrace

    This is exactly how I like a room, almost no color, just gentle tones and a pop of (quite gorgeous) flowers. I want to marry this room, or at least take it out to an expensive dinner. I'm going to go over and check out those pillows because my mother is from England and decorating her new little beach cottage (or condo that is near the beach if you want to get technical about it). I got my fancy camera a few years ago and I can still only do the few things I figured out when it arrived. This wouldn't be so sad if I didn't have a degree in photography, but I do. My only excuse is that way back when I was in school, the camera was manual, no digital smigital.

  26. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Peonies (along with hydrangeas) are one of my favorite flowers of all time - and these fuscia gals are fantabulous! They bring back memories of my high school prom dress! You are a photographer extraordinaire! These photos will teach your camera and tripod to gang up against you - they are probably trying to get back in your good graces by doing dishes, picking up after the kids, walking the dogs ... Take it while you can - those camera equipment is fickle! Kelly

  27. Image for GinaE GinaE

    I think your photos always look great. I had planned to write and ask what kind of camera you use. So what is the old one and the new one? Your new pillows are great, as is the rest of the room. So glad you are off the anti-freshy decor phase. Mr. Thistlewood just doesn't have to sit there if it's too freshy! Hugs.

  28. Image for Jane Jane

    Hi there! I'm visiting from Cassie's blog and wanted to tell you I loved your sweet post and that incredible art house you have for the kidlets! It's wonderful! This post made me laugh, especially about the camera. I just got my new monster a few months ago and I did the same thing. I was afraid to hold was like a newborn baby! I'm still getting used to it...the guide book is worn thin! Love the the whole room! Have a great weekend and I look forward to following your blog! XO, Janie

  29. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    Amazing. I cannot stop looking at those peonies. Breathtaking. I am so SICK of my point and shoot camera... something nice, much, much nicer - is on my birthday list.

  30. Image for Rita@thissortaoldlife Rita@thissortaoldlife

    It is so nice to live with a guy who teaches photography. He always lets me know when the lens isn't attached! :-) He's got a post up on editing images--good, easy stuff. Makes even my photos look acceptable!

  31. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    I have heard of mint juleps but not sure what they are is it some kind of drink????????????? Love the flowers yes that colour pink is just so striking Lastly your bedroom is so cool makes one think it will be a shame to sleep in the bed and mess it Ok this will be the last thing you take awesome photos even if it does take 23 shots to get it right at least you didn't give up and say what the

  32. Image for Kristel Kristel

    You had me laughing, because that was me when I fist started with DSLR...too funny. But really, you, and amateur? No one would know, with such lovely pictures. Good job, and just imagine, how much better your picture taking skill will get. Hope you have a great weekend!

  33. Image for Jen Jen

    I am sure that the neighbours could hear my snorting laughter across the street, not at you, although that is a wonderful last line.....badda bing, badda bang. I actually took my camera back when I first got it, because I couldn't get a clear photo. All I could think was, I can take pictures, I know I It's a learning curve... Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  34. Image for Tammie Gee Tammie Gee

    Love all the white with a splash of color :) You always have great jealous. Need some good photo tips please.

  35. Image for Jen (Arriving) Jen (Arriving)

    Yay! And all of those shots are fantastic :-) That's the beauty of digital my friend, you can take photos until you get it right :-) Real photographers take LOADS of photos so you are on the right track! Can't wait to hear all about what you got. -ps Strawberry season? Ha! Not even close... this is the Pacific Northwest. Strawberries are at the end of June. xo -Jen

  36. Image for anne anne

    We I should say my husband is still researching camera's.Eventually soon I hope to have a new camera.I am using my daughters very temperamental camera UGH. LOVE your photos.Those flowers are amazing.And I have done the same of me taking a photo are not the look I want LOL. Anne

  37. Image for Mary Mary

    your room looks fab and i am so proud of you! great pictures! and of course, you made me laugh out loud and almost swallow my gum. ;) Love the freshy pillows, too. GREAT choice!

  38. Image for Fresh Fresh

    I'm applauding! Love it all! You're a natural. In fact I don't think there's anything you can't do. I'm glad you'll be here all week!

  39. Image for Stacey@ A Sort Of Fairytale Stacey@ A Sort Of Fairytale

    you for forgot to mention that the light and composition in these photos is excellent! really, you did an awesome job on these Karianne!!! don't you love the photo quality of a DSLR...the pictures have so much less "noise" (the grainy speckly stuff point and shoot produce on indoor shots)!?! looking forward to many more beautiful photos from you!

  40. Image for Kelly Kelly

    Your bedroom is so pretty in that picture!!!! I love those union jack pillows. In fact, I saw her Etsy site linked to Debra @ Common Ground's party and saw those cute pillows. I like your pics of the pillows because I can get a better look at them. They look even better now!

  41. Image for Ricki Jill Treleaven Ricki Jill Treleaven

    What a stunning room, and the photos are stunning, too! Love the Union Jack pillows....but I really think that I have peony envy....(ummmm....that *really* did not sound right....) Seriously, I love peonies, and I want some for our garden. I have a sweet neighbor who said she would share this fall when she divides hers...Yay!!! xo, RJ

  42. Image for Kate Kate

    That is gorgeous! I would love for you to share this (and any other house projects) at my "May House Par-tay" at!

  43. Image for Nancy Mueller Nancy Mueller

    I love the white with touch of gray...then that wonderful pop of color! You did a great job! Nancy

  44. Image for Maury @ Life on Mars Maury @ Life on Mars

    Can I just mention that I'm so glad I found your blog? You make me smile every time I read a post (smile = guffaw out load). Thank you! And that picture is amazing! (1) It's beautifully styled (2) I still dont know how to take a decent picture with my camera (3) i can't believe you have peonies that pretty in your yard.

  45. Image for Claudine Claudine

    LOL! You are too funny not to follow!!! I guess you don't need more fan, but this is my first time here and I LOVED your bedroom and you sense of humour so I will be back for more! Cheers,

  46. Image for Patty Wilkerson Patty Wilkerson

    Just found your blog! You are hilarious, which I am so glad because I love to laugh and smile. You are a wonderful decorator. Your home is beautiful. I have looked at several of your projects. I want to search till I see all of them and of course read your funny stories. Thank you for posting your wonderful ideas and great tutorials. Wished you lived here in Lakeland ,Fl would love to meet you in person and see your beautiful home in person. I bet we could be great friends. We seem to like the same things. Keep up the excellent blogging!!!

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