Photographing a family of strong women

Yesterday, I had the chance to stray from taking Senior Portraits (like here, here, and here), and instead photographing a  family of strong young women and their strong Mom.

Holiday Family Photos and getting to know your subjects through a lens

It was so much fun.

Holiday Family Photos and getting to know your subjects through a lens

I have said it before, but I really do enjoy uncovering each person’s unique personality and beauty. I give very little direction, and if I do, it is for silly poses to loosen everyone up. Sometimes I use them, but more often than not, they are a tool. It is hard work to be in front of the camera.

Holiday Family Photos and getting to know your subjects through a lens

We only spend a very short amount of time together, but it is enough to get a glimpse into who they are. During one session, I can clearly see who is comfortable in the spotlight, and who would rather not be noticed. Who needs to move around, and who can hold the same face for 30 minutes. And you know what? They are all beautiful in very different ways. Even if they happen to be related to each other.

Holiday Family Photos and getting to know your subjects through a lens

Thank you, strong ladies. It was truly a pleasure.

*****

How do you photograph other people?

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

In my last post, I told you we know three different couples that are expecting (and one has just delivered) babies. I love making little baby gifts to welcome all the new life.

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

I know that getting stuff can be overwhelming for new parents. People love to give baby gifts. So I like to keep it small and simple. The project needs to be quick and easy for me too.

  Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

For the baby booties, I used the FREE pattern by Stardust Shoes.  This patterns fits all of my requirements, and has a high “squeeeee” factor. AND it is FREE. Perfect.

***EDITED TO ADD- the link to the shoe pattern is not working, and I cannot get in touch with the author of the blog. Sorry about that!!******

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

The pants were made using Made by Rae’s FREE Basic Newborn Pant pattern. I have used this pattern many times in the past. The Bee has even made some for her teacher a few years ago. Simple and easy. I always add a few inches, though to the top and bottom, so I can turn under more generously. I just like a wider casing and hem.

Quick and Easy Sew: Baby Gift with Free patterns

Another baby gift down, and it may be my favorite so far. I love that fabric. A friend gave it to me for my birthday, and I was saving it for something special. I can’t think of a more perfect use for it.

What do YOU make for babies?

Baby gift idea

All of a sudden, we know three different people that are either expecting or just gave birth. What is in the water, people?! I have to say, I absolutely adore making baby things, though. I haven’t done it in a while, so I really had to look through my patterns and came up with a great baby gift idea that is quick and fun to make:

Baby Gift idea: Sew Baby Booties with a FREE pattern

Squeeeeeeee!

I have had this pattern for quite some time now, and made a few pairs of these adorable teeny shoes. It is from Stardust Shoes and it is FREE!

***EDITED TO ADD- the link to the shoe pattern is not working, and I cannot get in touch with the author of the blog. Sorry about that!!******

Baby Gift idea: Sew Baby Booties with a FREE pattern

I don’t know if you can tell, but these are tiny newborn shoes and are stinkin’ cute.

Baby Gift idea: Sew Baby Booties with a FREE pattern

The insides aren’t finished, just used pinking shears to clip the edges, but you really don’t see them.

Baby Gift idea: Sew Baby Booties with a FREE pattern

I have had that fabric in my stash forever, and have no idea where it originally came from, but I adore it! I actually used it  on the first pair I made in 2010. This pair are lined with super soft gray flannel.

Baby Gift idea: Sew Baby Booties with a FREE pattern

Quick, easy , and fun!

What is your go-to gift to make for babies?

Marbella dress made with Birch Organics Swallows Dusk Fabric

Marbella pattern made with Birch Organics Tall Tales collection Swallows Dusk Fabric

I made The Bee a new dress to start her Junior year off right. She requested another Marbella. This pattern is so flattering, and comfortable, yet stylish.

Marbella pattern made with Birch Organics Tall Tales collection Swallows Dusk Fabric

She chose this beautiful fabric from the Birch Organics Tall Tales collection called “Swallows Dusk“.

Marbella pattern made with Birch Organics Tall Tales collection Swallows Dusk Fabric

It has great drape and weight. And being one sided, it makes it easy to keep track of what is the right side  and the wrong side.

Marbella pattern made with Birch Organics Tall Tales collection Swallows Dusk Fabric

I lined the pockets with some cotton crab fabric I had in my stash. Because, well, it made me laugh (and it was the only fabric I could find to coordinate with the outer fabric).

Marbella pattern made with Birch Organics Tall Tales collection Swallows Dusk Fabric

The one thing I really love about this pattern is the extra deep pockets. I know I stick tons of things in my pockets and appreciate how large these are. The Bee loves to put her hands in them. Either way, these pockets can hold them.

Marbella pattern made with Birch Organics Tall Tales collection Swallows Dusk Fabric

A big thank you to Fabricworm for providing the fabric. All opinions are my own.

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

*this post contains an affiliate link*

On our shelves this week is:

hades

The House of Hades

by Rick Riordan

This is book 4 in the Heroes of Olympus series. Our Falafel read all of the original Percy Jackson series, and now is devouring this one. Rick Riordan combines Roman and Greek Mythology for these books. It adds a little educational component to these action packed fantasy adventure books.

In this installment, the two camps combine and enter the underworld to defeat Gaea’s army.

How exciting!

I am even reading this series (although I am only on the first book so far, and cannot keep up with my fast reading daughter).

What is on YOUR shelves this week?

Wood Plank Feather Paintings

Wood Plank Feather paintings using acrylic paint and a thin marker

I was going through my “bookmarks” last night, and saw that I saved something from Remodelaholic. One click led to another, and discovered their feather printables that you can mount on wood boards. That sparked my creative interest, so of course, I wanted to try my own. Only I didn’t print the feathers out. I, instead, referenced them to make my own wood plank feather paintings.

Wood Plank Feather paintings using acrylic paint and a thin marker

I dug through our wood scraps and found this nice sized 1×8. I cut it into 4 pieces, 10″ long each. Then I painted them white with some acrylic paint.

Wood Plank Feather paintings using acrylic paint and a thin marker

After they were dry, I grabbed my thin black sharpie marker and sketched the different feathers, using the printables (on my computer screen) as my reference.

Wood Plank Feather paintings using acrylic paint and a thin marker

I then took black acrylic paint and painted thicker lines. After that dried, I went over with some diluted colors.

Wood Plank Feather paintings using acrylic paint and a thin marker

I went over them lightly with a sheet of sandpaper to distress them.

Wood Plank Feather paintings using acrylic paint and a thin marker

Because they are meant to be a little wild looking, I free-handed all of them. Really fun project, and quick too! the longest part about these was waiting for the paint to dry.

Wood Plank Feather paintings using acrylic paint and a thin marker

I love how they turned out!

Wood Plank Feather paintings using acrylic paint and a thin marker

I just have to figure out where to hang them, now!

What have YOU made today?

Senior Photos: Uncovering Personalities

I had the privilege of taking the senior photos for another one of our friends who we have known since she was 2.

Cheese Louise, people! Where does the time go?!

Senior Photo Session

When I take senior photos, I like to chat. A lot. I am goofy, and ask them questions, and it always seems to work at putting everyone at ease. It totally works for adults, too. It is awkward, for most people, to be the main focus of attention. I think it may be especially true when you are a teen. This helps them to relax, and act as natural as they can for the camera.

  Senior Photo Session

We had a great time chatting and laughing.

Senior Photo Session

I still get glimpses of that toddler from so long ago, through this delightful young lady. She is as strong and confident and good natured, as she always was.

Senior Photo Session

It is fun to see what each person comes up with, and what poses they are most comfortable with.

Senior Photo Session

Every single one of the people I photograph is different from one another, and they are all beautiful. It is my pleasure to uncover their unique personalities and help them shine. That is my favorite part.

Recycled Jeans turned Denim Jacket

My friend Audrey over at Skirt Fixation made an incredible denim quilt that she posted the other day, out of upcycled jeans. When I read she made it for a refashioners challenge (which is right up my alley), I knew I couldn’t resist making something to enter myself (although that quilt is pretty hard to top)! The contest is over on Makery.uk.  After taking all of the jeans out of my upcycle pile (doesn’t everyone have one of those?!), I decided to make a Denim Jacket for my Falafel girl.

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I have always wanted to make one of these! Of course, when I started looking, I could not find a pattern to use. So, my next thought was “what pattern do I own, that is close enough so I can adapt it into a jean jacket?”.

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I fell back on one of my favorite patterns, the Bookworm Button Up (affiliate link). You can see other Bookworm Button Ups I have made here and here and here.

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I used it as a base, and then made some obvious changes. I shortened it, and extended each of the front pieces instead of adding plackets, and I broke the back up into sections (and took out the pleat).

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

The most fun I had was in embellishing it! For the back, I used the same method I used here with water soluble fabric (affiliate link). I think it adds a little whimsy, at the same time it uses up a bunch of scraps.

  Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

A friend had made me those wool felt feathers, a few years ago, and I have been holding on to them to use on the right project. I think they are perfect for this!

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

For the hem, I unpicked a wasitband on one of the old jeans I had, and used it, as is (just upside down).

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I left the distressed spots that were part of the jeans. For some pieces, I actually turned them inside out for some color variation.

Upcycled Jeans turned into a Denim Jacket

I had so much fun with this one, and the best part is, it used up some jeans (and scraps) that were taking up space!

Upcycled Jeans turned into Jean jacket

AND my girl now has a snazzy new jean jacket to go with her sassy new haircut!

jeanjacket7m

What have YOU upcycled today?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

This week, I am shaking it up a little by sharing what my 16 year old is reading. The Bee tends to gravitate toward Young Adult dramas/lovestories/tragedies. This one is more of a love story:

seasonyoume_finalcomp

The Season of You & Me

by Robin Constantine

*affiliate link*

Essentially, a teen and her boyfriend have a non-amicable breakup, and she goes to work for her Dad. There she meets someone wheelchair bound, and they fall in love. That is a simplified version. Not my genre, clearly, but my girl loves it.

She also highly recommends this book.

What is your favorite type of reading?

Day of the Dead Recovered Office Chair

This weekend, my husband brought his office chair from work, home. It was badly stained and was a dirty mustard color. As he comes in, he says, “We can recover this, right?“. I love that he thinks we can do anything. And of course we could. I had another recovered office chair here.

Day of the Dead recovered office chair

I regret not taking a before photo. Here is the after, though. Sometimes I get way too excited to begin that I actually forget to take a photo.

Day of the Dead recovered office chair

We wanted to do this quick, using only what fabric I have in my stash. Luckily, my friend Kirsten had gifted me yards of Day of the Dead fabric. It is perfect for his already quirky office.

Day of the Dead recovered office chair

To make things go fast, Jim took the chair apart, and removed the staples. I, then, seam ripped the cushion covers, and made patterns from them. I sewed each one, and then Jim reassembled. It was fun to tag team this project, and it was time efficient.

Day of the Dead recovered office chair

We both really like how it turned out. Fast projects like this are so satisfying.

What did you make today?