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SLR vs. iPhone

A few weeks ago we took a Sunday drive up to the Mirror Lake in the Uinta mountains. We hadn’t been there for a few years and I’d been really wanting to go back.

I’d taken both my dSLR camera and my iPhone. I’d never planned to take a panorama photo using both my dSLR and my iPhone 5, but just so happened to have done both. As a result, I found this the perfect opportunity to show a comparison.

With a dSLR, you need to take three photos (or so) to create a panorama photo later on in Photoshop using the Photo Merge feature. With an iPhone, you can just do a ‘flip of the switch’, so to speak, to change modes to a Panorama feature.

Here’s my results.

The dSLR Version

mirror lake panorama lg

I did enhance this photo a little in Photoshop. Brightening it slightly, adding a little contrast, and enriching the blue sky a little. Overall, not much. But just made it look a little better.

Because I could take three photos, I could get more into my panorama than the iPhone. I was afraid to go too far from side to side with my iPhone in the event it would ‘warp’ the photo.

An SLR will always produce better quality, especially if you increase the size but I was fascinated by the color difference.

The iPhone 5 Version

mirror lake panorama iphone lg

An interesting observation. When my son saw me post the iPhone version on Instagram, he’d automatically assumed that I’d used HDR–a feature also in the iPhone that enhances all aspects of a photo to provide the best representation of the colors in a photo.

I had not.

I was amazed at how blue the sky had turned out.

I can’t decide which one I like better. I really like the blue and white of the clouds and sky in the iPhone version. But I think the quality is better in the SLR. I also think that the coloring in the SLR version is probably a more accurate representation.

What’s your two cents?

Christine - October 7, 2014 - 7:12 am

Love the composition of both, and I’m jealous that you live so close to the mountains! I just don’t have the same opportunity here in the midwest. My 2 cents – I like the richer, warmer colors of the dSLR. Compare the mountainside and grass in the foreground. And the clouds in the dSLR are not overexposed – you’re not losing details in the brightest parts. The iphone is a nice shot for a small panorama, but the dSLR is the clear winner.

Jeannie L - October 7, 2014 - 7:55 am

I agree with Christine. iPhone color looks way cooler and I’ll definitely stick to my DSLR. I stayed in Idaho previously for 3 years and I enjoyed visiting Utah. Missing the different places so much.

Audrey V - October 7, 2014 - 8:08 am

I just discovered the pano. feature on my iphone 5 and I’m loving it. I’m impressed with the photos that my phone takes, they just keep getting better. I would have never thought I would scrapbook with phone photos, but I do. And I leave the d-slr home more often.
I like both of your photos. If you were going to enlarge and frame a photo, then d-slr for sure. But for snapshots, fb and instagrams and even small enlargements, photo photos rock!

Charlene - October 7, 2014 - 10:09 am

At first glance the sky color in the iPhone version pulled me in, but if you look at the detail in the trees, grass and water, I think the DSLR is the winner.

Karen S - October 7, 2014 - 10:22 am

What a neat experiment! I like the color of the grassland in the foreground of the dSLR image better, but prefer the definition of the pine trees in the iphone photo. How’s that for a non-answer?

Tiffany - October 7, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Oh how I love these side-by-side comparisons! At first glance I love the bright vivid colors of the iPhone photo but when you look at the details the DSLR wins hands down. It’s really amazing how far camera phones have come! It’s definitely a good photo if that’s all you had with you but the “big” camera still takes better quality photos.

Ana Balcarcel - October 7, 2014 - 6:44 pm

My opinion: dSLR definitely. I think the iphone took a great picture and would will be handy when you forget or don’t take your camera along but when I was looking closely, the iphone pic had more noise in the sky area. Not as crisp as the dSLR. Great picture!

Carol - October 7, 2014 - 7:51 pm

I like them both, but the iPhone pic is “flatter” than the richer dSLR one

Brenda - October 7, 2014 - 10:00 pm

I like both photos but I prefer the coloring in the dslr photo – just seems to be a bit more depth of color in it but that’s just my 2 cents. :)

Marilyn - October 8, 2014 - 6:45 am

I am a huge fan of the DSLR, however I think the iphone did a great job. I still think far better detail, more capabilities when using a camera vs iphone. Love the picture!

Last Friday Fun

Last Friday was quite a treat. Lisa Bearnson texted me early in the a.m. asking if she could come by to visit with a friend…and to bring me a surprise. Because I had to go up that direction to get my ‘mono-vision’ set of contacts, I told her I’d come meet her at her house instead.

The lovely New Zealander, Mandy Blake, was in town visiting Lisa for a few days while on her U.S. vacation.


This girl is truly as genuine as they come. She’s the real deal. I’ve come to know Mandy through my side of life too and I always love hearing from her. So when Lisa said she was coming to town, I sooo wanted to meet her! I was thrilled that I got the opportunity to do just that. If you follow Lisa, you’ll know that Mandy has been such an amazing friend to her and her son Collin while he is in New Zealand for his LDS mission.

I could have sat and listened to her talk all day. Love the New Zealand/Australian accent. Seeing NZ is definitely on my bucket list. Some day… Maybe I’ll come visit you Mandy! :)

And part two of the treat included a literal ‘treat’…or rather…’trick or treat’ as well as a haunted house. 


(FYI, the haunted house front slipped in transit, but the background just looked like a shadow. Still looks cool though. :) )

This comes from the talented Michael Lazorchak. You have probably seen his work when Lisa is on HSN. He’s done many projects for her and I’ve been privi to see them first hand when I’ve been helping her with the show.

Well, this time he sent me a little somethin’-somethin’ in addition to a little somethin’ for Lisa. Check out the lighting that he added to Lisa’s haunted house. Holy cow! That’s incredible! I love that idea!


Love the twist on the Jingle All The Way frame from last year. And before you freak out, that is a rubbery bug on the window. It’s movable. It’s awesome. :)

Thank you, Michael, for the Trick or Treat frame! I love it and it has been added to my Halloween motif at home. :)

What a great day, eh?


Sue Alg - October 6, 2014 - 12:50 pm

Of course, you know we must have directions for creating these fabulous shadow boxes

mandyb - October 7, 2014 - 11:04 pm

hee hee love this post… nice to meet you too
and yes come visit NZ anytime xxxxx

The Domino


I have this thing with numbers. I love incorporating numbers in different ways and more importantly, making them have significance.

Several years ago I used a tiny domino in a frame sequence for my family. And it then translated to a diecut domino for the This+That: Love kit.

One thing my kids remember about their Grandma Maxwell, who passed away ten years ago, is playing dominos with her.

So is it any wonder that I would have a desire to make a large domino…one that represents the number of our family?

I also thought it would be a wonderful idea to do with our women’s group at church because really, it’s kind of an easy thing to do. And it’s not exactly something you see…except…well…now…you’ll probably see it in a few homes in our neighborhood. ;)

Wanna make one?  It’d make an awesome–and fairly inexpensive–Christmas gift. So unique and so fun. And you could make these as big or as small as you’d like. How awesome would this be on a big board and put in a game room? Or the family room?

Here’s how:



Gather your supplies: acrylic paint, sand paper, foam brush, narrow paint brush and wood. This particular piece of wood is 7″ wide, so you want to double the width and cut a board that’s 14″ long. If you have the ability to groove it in the center, do that. Home Depot can cut a piece of lumber into various widths, but they won’t groove the center. My niece has wood cutting tools, so she’s done this for me. Ain’t she awesome? :) Use the sand paper to smooth the edges and groove.



Using the foam brush, paint white over either the whole board or where you know there’ll be a dot, if you want to save paint. I kind of liked the idea of painting the whole board so that when you sand it, white or wood may appear. I like layers. :) Let this dry before moving on.




Cut THIS template the same width as your wood using something like Silhouette Cameo. With this template you can use any arrangement of dots. I kept mine within the 1-6 values. I know there are double-twelves dominos, but I kind of like the standard simple domino look. I also made my circles on the template just slightly larger than the vinyl dots that I eventually use so that the pencil marks get covered with paint.


Cut vinyl dots using the same circles in the template file. Make them just a fraction smaller than the template circles so that when you place they vinyl dot in the center, the outer pencil circle will get covered by paint. Make sure you get all parts of the vinyl down or it will get paint underneath. As you can see in this photo, I didn’t get it all the way down and yes, I got a ‘hickey’ (printing term) of paint. Silly me.


Paint black over everything, including the vinyl dots. Make sure you go with the grain of the wood (do the same with the white too). In retrospect, I should have painted the groove using a narrow paint brush before painting the rest of the board because it makes it much easier to just paint full across the board and not have to worry about cleaning up paint ‘overage’ from painting the groove. Paint the sides of the board too. I didn’t worry about painting the back.


After the paint has mostly dried, use something like a paper piercer to carefully catch the edge of the vinyl and peel it up so that you can get enough of it up to catch with your fingers and remove. Once it’s all truly dry, use some sandpaper to expose some of the white and wood underneath around the edges, including the center groove.  And you’re done!

FYI, when I first made this, I did it late on a Saturday night and couldn’t run to get some black acrylic paint. Zach had some from an art class and let me borrow it. It’s definitely a higher quality and doesn’t dry near as fast as the typical .99 acrylic paints, like the white that I used. I used what I had at home, which was Oyster White–a slight ivory color. I thought I would have wanted white-white, but I think that slight ivory color gave the domino a more vintage feel.

I’m totally loving this new home decor item in my home!

domino-set1(p.s. this is a sample domino i made for our church group. i haven’t decided where I want my ‘five spot’ dominoto go yet. :) )

Michele - October 3, 2014 - 12:46 pm

Hi Kerri,

I always love the things you do, so creative and fun. I am in LOVE with the framed saying in the back…….I assume that is in your store, but I’m wondering how you made it look so dang awesome…I love the weathered look on the background and in the writing!


Kerri - October 3, 2014 - 12:54 pm

Hey Michelle! Yep, the phrase is in the store. And I found some free chalkboard PSD file that I used with the saying to make it. Gosh…I don’t know that I can even remember where I found it now. Maybe do a search and see what you can find. I’ve seen stuff like that out there. It’s just been a few months since I made it and I can’t remember what happened five minutes ago. lol Seems like I may have added some other distressing to it too. Not much help. ;)

Katie - October 3, 2014 - 12:59 pm

This domino just so happens to be perfect for my family…two parents, five kids. I made the connection when I saw the picture on FB, and now *need* to make one! Thanks for the tutorial!

Barbara - October 3, 2014 - 6:03 pm

LOVE The Domino idea!! Sooo Cool!

Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeofus - October 4, 2014 - 8:05 am

Found your “Jingle all the Way” craft from last year via Pinterest this morning. Pinned it and pinning this! Love it.

Kerri - October 4, 2014 - 9:02 am

Welcome to my neck of the woods Ashley! :)

Traci - October 4, 2014 - 9:31 pm

Love the domino idea! What a great decor item and thank you so much for the tutorial!!!

Hello October

Just three months left in the year.

I know I say this all the time, but seriously…flying by.

That’s all I’ll say.

So in honor of October making its first appearance in our lives this 2014, here’s a brand new handwritten kit for all your fall splendiferous projects…and then some. Several of those words can be used for many other projects.


And at the risk of sounding cheesy…

happy fall y’all. :)

Tag! You’re It!

I’ve been a tag and clip collector for years.


I have quite the pile…or rather, baggie full of assorted bits of paper and piles of various clips. I’ve collected all shapes and sizes and they’ve been sitting there-mostly collecting dust–as a constant inspiration to my little creative world over time. A few have come to fruition here and there and some have been waiting for this day.




When it takes me a while to create a certain subject, I ask myself, ‘Why didn’t I get this done before?’

I guess it’s just a matter of priorities and that sweet little baggie is out of sight, out of mind much of the time.

I have been playing with this fun little kit over the past month while it sat on the back burner yet once again, waiting for me to wrap it up, while I was preparing the Getting To Know You class. You may have seen these sneak peeks on social media though.


I love these ‘take a number’ pull tabs! Use it with or without stripes. Color it. Add your own text to document the event, including using the month as the letter and the date as your number. That S14 tab is getting stapled on a page about our trip to Mirror Lake on September 14.



I think some of my very favorite shapes are the personalizable (yeah, it’s a word) paperclips and tags. You can use them plain, add typed words, or better yet, cut the words like for this On The Way page. FYI, we learn how to make that kind of paperclip in the Here There Everywhere class, if’n you’re interested in knowing how to make you’re own styles. :)

And don’t even get me started on the bread tag! That particular one is reserved for my birthday page. :)

A great tip on these paperclips and tags like the bread tag is to cut them from a glossy photo paper vs. a cardstock. The glossy gives the illusion of plastic and when you double it up with a second layer? Then it looks even cooler!

And then you may remember this hexagon tag during our Brown Paper Packages week.



This tag folds in on itself at the top to keep the full shape of the hexagon, keeping everything as one piece. Love that!

And then the sock tag (top left)? One of my all-time faves…created years ago for another project. Waiting for this very day. Hey, it was out of sight, out of mind. But now it’s here.

So many things to point out. Did you notice the paperclips that say ‘fill in the blanks’? These are awesome for adding your own words! A customizable paperclip. Sweet!  I included a couple of words, but now you can make your own. Add a child’s name, your location, an exclamation…the sky’s the limit!

This little bundle of joy has so many stinkin’ possibilities, I can hardly stand it. Cut up a bunch and make yourself some print+cuts just to have on hand.

And it’s on sale right for 20% off through Friday only.
So now is an awesome time to pick it up!

heidig - September 30, 2014 - 11:38 am

Very cool! Working on your Silhouette classes now. I’m not sure I’ll ever be as proficient at making things as you are but I can definitely take advantage of what you make! Thanks Kerri!

Ruth G - September 30, 2014 - 4:10 pm

So many possibilities! Thanks for sharing them!

Flash Friday • Handwritten Words

Friday is upon us and that means it’s a great day for handwritten words!

Save 30% on orders of $10 or more on all handwritten goodies.
Use code WRITE at checkout.

flash friday squre 35

This is our last Friday in September. 
I can’t even believe it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Lois - September 26, 2014 - 10:30 pm

Hi Kerri, I’m trying to purchase “A Dog’s Life” and “Click” with the coupon WRITE, but for some reason I’m unable to do so tonight? I found both of these during a search of “handwritten” in the store category section. I’d still love to be able to buy them if possible? Thank you – Have a wonderful wknd!

Kerri - September 27, 2014 - 8:51 am

Hey Lois!
If you click on the Flash Friday image or click on the Category for Handwritten Words it’ll come up with the items that are on sale. A Dog’s Life doesn’t have any handwritten words, but Click does. The coupon is still valid for a little bit this morning, if there’s some other combo you’d like. :)

Lois - September 27, 2014 - 6:38 pm

Thanks Kerri. Sorry about my mistake thinking “A Dog’s Life” was listed under the Handwritten category – that’s what I get for shopping late at night! I’m guessing that is why the sale wasn’t working for me. Thanks for the quick reply! :)

Birthday Moment #38

Last week I had many great birthday moments.

Like this one.

Flowers from a friend, that still look like this even almost a week later…as I was so admiring this morning.

That’s happiness in a bunch.


Cynthia B. - September 23, 2014 - 12:54 pm

Beautiful! Happiness indeed. :) So glad you had many wonderful Bday moments.

Marilyn - September 24, 2014 - 5:55 am

Beautiful flowers! Hope you’ve enjoyed your birthday!

Alison - September 30, 2014 - 3:19 am

Lovely fresh flowers. Hope you have enjoyed alot and made this birthday memorable.

Baby, It’s A Brand New Day • Color Theory Coupon • Winners

Well, it’s official.

Getting To Know You Silhouette Version 3 class has begun!

Not only is it a freshly updated class, but the classroom has a fresh new look. Goin’ clean and simple and trying to streamline.

Take a look.


The first section is a little introduction. The second section is what you need to know before you get started. The third section are links to lessons or videos. If you select the lesson heading–like Lesson 1–it will take you to the full content for that day’s lesson. If you click on the links listed below, it will take you directly to that video. And because much of what we do builds off the task before, going in order is highly recommended. :)

You know when you do a bit of cleaning and organizing and you just go ahhhhhh? Yeah, that’s what I’m feeling like with the new classroom. :)

Today is the last day to get this on sale!
You can find it in the Store.

If you purchased the class over the past 2 1/2 years–including from–you have access to this update. The classes will be available on Jessica’s site some time after this week.


And now, if you aren’t the Studio Calico Color Theory winner below, never fear, because I have got some savings just for KBS fans!


Oooooh yeah. Mama likes!


And now, let’s pick some winners!

Cathy Zielske’s class: Me, The Abridge Version
Heidi Gauvin

Bella Blvd Goodies
Melitta Ball

Simple Stories Birthday Package
Madison Broeker

Heidi Swapp September Skies
Angela Keene

KBS $25 Gift Cards
Karen S
Linda Johnson
MzErika Smith

Studio Calico Color Theory Inks
Karen (with an email that’s something like kaaareennn–give or take. lol)

All winners will be contacted via email.

And I said this on my social media this weekend, but I also wanted to say it here…


Thank you to all the fantastic companies and friends that made last week so wonderful. I loved reading all your comments and the giveaways we had were just so amazing.

So blessed to be in this industry surrounded by great, great people.

Jocelan Perry - September 22, 2014 - 12:23 pm

Where do I find the price of the class? I couldn’t find the price on Jessica blog.Thanks for your help.
Blessings Jocelan

Kerri - September 22, 2014 - 12:29 pm

Hey Jocelan! It’s not available to purchase on anymore. I moved them to my site a year ago. So you can find them in the store:


donna c - September 22, 2014 - 1:19 pm

Hey Kerri! Exciting news! I purchased via jessica quite a while ago, and wanted to say THANK YOU so much for allowing us access to the update! Very generous of you (you always are!)
happy dance!

Debbie S - September 22, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Thanks for all the Birthday Week surprises! It was really fun to check in everyday and see what you had up your sleeve. Congratulations to the winners! Thanks Kerri for all the inspiration I get from you and your website every day! Hope you had a GREAT birthday!

Melinda - September 24, 2014 - 10:01 am

You noted that if previously purchased on Jessica Sprague’s site it would be available in about a week. How will I be able to tell its the updated version? Will there be some sort of notation in the description or a whole new link?

Kerri - September 24, 2014 - 11:23 am

Hmm. I’m not sure on that one yet.
I will post about it though, so keep an eye out. :)

Melitta Ball - September 26, 2014 - 12:50 pm

Kerri I can’t thank you enough for your generous spirit & excellent teaching skills! I have completed both Getting to know you (old version but staring over with new ;)) and the 2nd one places you’ll go! I have purchased the 3rd & 4th ones as well and enjoy every single minuet in your class! And now I won a prize?!!? What ?!?! how did that happen ?!?! Thank you & Many Blessings!


Gina Nathan - October 12, 2014 - 11:50 am

Hi Kerri. Is the update up on Jessica’s site yet? What do we need to look for please.