5 Tips for Better Looking Periscope Videos | Pretty Handy Girl

Are you using Periscope yet? I know my initial thoughts were, “No way! I am not going to sign up for yet another social media platform. This Handy Girl ain’t got time for that nonsense.” This weekend I was bit by the ‘scope bug. Granted, this happened after an initial dive into the Periscope world where I dropped in to watch some random guy driving to work. Seconds after his face appeared on my screen, he said, “Welcome, Pretty Handy Girl.” I was so freaked out that I dropped my phone and was afraid to pick it back up for fear that he could see me. Gahhhhhh! Creepy!

But, this past weekend I gave Periscope another try after learning a little more about it at Haven. This time I realized that random strangers can’t see me. They get a little notification when you drop into their video feed. I saw that many of my fellow blogger friends were on Periscope. I could drop in and see them in their homes, on vacation, or whenever they wanted to share with me.

I’ve begun creating helpful video tutorials and sneak peeks behind the scenes in Pretty Handy World on Periscope. This is raw footage and you may just happen to see a stray stuffed animal in your face or me perched on top of a ladder at the top of the stairs.  That’s life in our home.

My friend Stacy described Periscope best when she said, “It’s like Vine and SnapChat had a baby.” The videos are short lived and only last 24 hours on Periscope, but I can save them to share with you later. Plus, I will be saving future Periscope videos on Katch.me! I definitely think this is going to be a powerful new platform. It will allow us to be teleported across the world and be able to view what’s going on in real time.

If you are just signing up to use Periscope or haven’t yet. Here are my 5 Tips for Better Looking Periscope Videos:

5 Tips for Better Looking Periscope Videos | Pretty Handy Girl

Tip #1 – Clean Your Lens

Yup, sounds stupidly simple, but before you push that broadcast button you’re going to want to grab a lens cloth and clean both the front and back lens on your phone.

5 Tips for Better Looking Periscope Videos | Pretty Handy Girl

Tip #2 – Turn on the Lights

If you are broadcasting from inside or at night, turn on a few lights. Bounce light off the ceiling or use a directional work lamp (aimed at the ceiling.) Make sure the light source isn’t behind your head. You can also set up near a window and face the window while the camera is on you. Basically, dark videos are grainy and hard to watch. Read to the bottom to see some of the lights I recommend.

5 Tips for Better Looking Periscope Videos | Pretty Handy Girl

Tip #3 – Back It Up

If you are sharing your home, back up…way back! Close ups of the counter tops and backsplash in your kitchen are nice for a minute, but not as appealing to view as an entire room view. Also, videos of your face super close will distort your face. Invest in a selfie stick or tripod to get that camera away from you. Read more

Can I tell you about my dream home? Well, it would be in a gorgeous natural location with an amazing view out the back door:

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

And maybe a beautiful body of water nearby to witness jaw dropping sunsets.

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

And the house would be wrapped in windows…

hgtv-dream-home-2014

…so that every room brought the outside in.

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

And there would be a long granite covered island that could seat the entire US ski and snowboard team!

GMC Denali Dream Drive - HGTV Home Tour 2014 | Pretty Handy Girl

And the attention to detail would be unsurpassed. (Love those exposed beams and patterned carriage bolts.) Read more

And now the moment y’all have been waiting for! The end of our journey and the culmination of all our efforts were revealed to Alexcia, Jaydon & Jurnei Moore on Sunday, August 5th 2012. Alexcia thought she was just getting the keys to her empty home. Little did she know, that GMC, OnStar, Habitat for Humanity and 6 bloggers had conspired to fill her home with furniture, beddings, and home decor.

(Alexcia thinking, “You did what to my house?”) Read more

Today you have been invited to take a house tour at my friend Holly’s home. Holly is a good friend of mine, so luckily I didn’t have to beg too much for her to let us into her home. But, before we go in I want to tell you a little more about her. She wears many hats. She is a wife and mother of two boys first and foremost. But, she also runs Storywood Designs, a furniture refinishing business and Framed by Storywood, her Etsy Shop. She has a wonderful eye for color and design (which is evident in her furniture pieces and home décor.) When I first walked into her home, I knew I could live there and not have to change a thing.

Holly and her husband bought their 1980 home a few years ago. There were plenty of touches from previous owners that she worked with or covered in a creative way. I scanned the real estate flyer (sorry about the quality) to give you an idea what their house looked like when they bought it. The changes they made are phenomenal and yet they didn’t break the bank to do it.

Are you ready for the tour? Wipe your feet and come on it. Do you like the initial on her door?

She sells them in her Etsy shop!

Here we are in the living room, but this is what the room looked like a mere 3 yrs. ago:

And here is the living room today!

I know armoires are starting to go out of style, but this one is gorgeous with the cut out panels! If she ever tries to get rid of it, I’m grabbing it!

They painted the fireplace white and it really brightens up the room. See, I can appreciate a painted white fireplace, even though I repainted ours to look like brick.


I love all her fall décor. Especially the lit pumpkins on the hearth.


Beside the fireplace are sweet built-in cupboards and cabinets with wood countertops. It adds charm to the small niche.


Now we make our way into her kitchen  — my favorite room and the most stunning transformation. This was the kitchen before:


Get ready to catch your jaw before it hits the floor.





The pendant light adds lots of warmth and texture to the space.


Adding corbels under the upper cabinets was a genius idea for adding instant charm. I am itching to do the same thing to our kitchen cabinets. When I do, you can be sure I’ll share a tutorial.




Holly and her husband made the kitchen table. The wood was whistling for my attention the entire time I was photographing the kitchen. And with lines like this, how could I help but stare?




By removing many of the upper cabinet doors they made the kitchen feel larger and more airy.




Did you see those little decorative tiles? Would you believe that they had hideous country scenes before. Holly simply painted over the scenes and added a stencil! What a smart idea!



Just in case you wondered (because I definitely wanted to know), the base cabinets got a coat of white sage paint by Olympic. (Holly says that Olympic discontinued the color so Lowe’s had to custom mix it in their kitchen and bath enamel paint.) The top cabinets and walls are painted Benjamin Moore Lancaster White.


Setting out a little lamp adds some warmth to this corner of the kitchen.


The breakfast area has built-in benchs on two sides. The pillows make the space feel cozy.



One of Holly’s frames turned into a chalkboard:


Okay, right this way to the dining room.


I really want to display my blue and white china like she has done on this wall.


Adjacent to the dining room is her sitting room. Here is the before picture of that room:


She and I (well mostly Holly) just repainted the room a very neutral gray. I can’t believe what a big difference it made.



The china cabinet is a recent refinishing project that Holly just completed. The distressing on this piece is perfect!


Check out those layers of paint and glaze. Scrumptious!


And the bowed front and curved glass make this cabinet unique.


Speaking of distressing, here is another one of Holly’s tables that she refinished. This little table would make a perfect breakfast table or just a side table. It is for sale right now!

I’m jealous of her talent. Maybe I can convince her to take me as her understudy.


Thank you Holly and family for letting us tour your home. Your hard work really shows in your beautiful home.