Archive for August, 2011

my first toddler photo shoot….

So I’ve only done one photo shoot (my niece’s senior pics) before and ever since I’ve been jonesing to do another…especially jonesing to do a baby or a younger child. I just love love love all the great baby/infant/toddler shots I see online and so so wish I could’ve had pictures like them of my kids…but sigh…weep…sigh…I don’t…oh if only digital cameras were around 18 years ago…sigh. Anyways since mine are far beyond the toddling stage I had to find a willing subject (ahem…victim) to allow me to chase after them with camera in hand. Luckily for me my neighbor agreed to let her son be my guinea pig so after weeks and weeks of back and forth with my neighbor trying to pick a date that would work for 2 busy working moms we finally decided last night would be the big night for my very first toddler shoot! I was super excited and super nervous …after all my camera skills are still pretty weak and toddlers well…well they toddle…so having a moving object for a photo subject was definitely going to be a challenge. I prepared best of could…made sure battery had full charge, had multiple empty memory cards and then after careful consideration pre-selected the site that would work best for a one year old on full speed ahead mode. Packed the few props and accessories I had…camera remote, tripod (not that I thought I would need either but just in case), packed my not-so-trusty ladder for those shots where I need to be way taller than my usual 5’7, a tiny chair borrowed (ahem…stolen) from my daughters room), a larger painted green chair that I love (salvaged from my neighbors garage), a blanket (since I’d be at ground level alot) and a couple of white boards to use as reflectors. I also packed my one and only prop…a giant letter J…since my subject’s name is Jake (Jacob). Super funny story about that J…I knew I wanted a J for the shoot so the plan was to cut one out of white matboard…because I was kind of rushing the first two I cut were backwards…which both times my son thought was hugely amusing…finally on the 3rd try I got it just right…cut exactly the way I wanted…spent a couple minutes sanding down the rough curves and corners with my handy dandy Basic Grey file set and voila…done! 5 minutes later I realized I already owned a giant J and it had been 2 feet above my head the whole time while I cursed at the one I was working on…see as it turns out J also stands for Jennifer…laugh..laugh big…I did…it’s funny. So anyways after my major duh moment I checked and rechecked everything was packed. All I needed now was an assistant…plan was to enlist my daughter but she had taken off to Six Flags so that left my son…since he had no plans I amped up my best momma guilt skills and asked (AKA begged) him to help me…of course he said yes. So with car pack and assistant in tow we were off.

Got to our location and was immediately a little concerned…the lighting was not going to be as good as I would have liked because the sun was just too bright in the spot I planned to work so we had to change things up a bit…no biggie. I explained to mom and dad where I’d like to shoot specifically and what kind of poses/shots I was going to try…once we were all on the same page I got set up for my first shots and they let the little toddler loose! For such tiny feet that little boy sure could hustle! Since the whole place was new for this little guy he really just wanted to explore so I worked with that as much as possible…which meant I had to be quicker than him…totally not an easy feat. Unfortunately he had very little interest in me, my camera, mom or dad so getting to look towards the camera was not an easy task and getting him to look and smile at the same time was darn near impossible. But after lots of ups and downs, adjusting, readjusting, bouncing from here and there I finally got some decent shots. I probably would’ve tried to re-do a few shots but mom and dad had their fill of excitement for the evening and called it a day.

Naturally as soon as I got home I couldn’t wait to look through all the pics and get to some editing…unfortunately there were not as many good shots as I had hoped which bummed me out but I found a handful of favorites and worked on editing them. My computer was being uber-difficult last night and I was totally fighting an uphill battle trying to get them edited but after a few hours I finally had them done …although a few I think I will re-edit…what looked really good late last night did not look so good with fresh eyes this morning.

So here’s my faves from the shoot….would really really love to hear from fellow photogs what they think of the shots and/or editing.

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August 23, 2011 at 10:15 am 5 comments

A quick tip to share and a bonus video…

Got 2 videos to share with you today…one is a quick tip on how to cut small objects that I just filmed for y’all. Nothing spectacular just a tip that might make your scrapping a little less frustrating.

The other video is not quite as recent LOL…actually its months old. When I was shooting my tips video I started scanning through to see what was on my camera so I could delete some files and stumbled across an old video I shot after the loot I ordered from Frugalities came in…was going to just delete it but decided what the heck…might as well post it…after all it’s just too fascinating not to share with the world LOL.  So without lots more yapping on my part here’s 2 videos for your enjoyment…

Video numero uno…

y Video numero dos

August 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm 2 comments

An apology, winners and a layout…

First the apology…a big one…for my total lack of ability to manage my time and a calendar! I made the ultimate oops…hosted a giveaway and then forgot about it…genius right? I totally forgot about the Un-Du giveaway and should’ve posted winners a week ago!! It was just monumental stupidity on my part that I forgot about it. I should’ve known not to end the giveaway the same weekend as my son’s birthday and in the middle of my vacation…obviously it was way more than than my brain could manage in a week! And even though I was back from vacation on Friday I didn’t even think of the giveaway until last night when I finished a layout and thought about posting the layout on the blog that I realized my last post was a giveaway…monumental mega duh, smacking forehead moment!

Anyways…now that I have my head on straight again and I now remember the giveaway…let’s get on with some winners!! And the winners are….Everyone!!! Yep…all 7 of you that commented on my blog and on facebook are winners!! Just need your addies and I will send each of you some wonderfully marvelous Un-Du!!! Hooray for y’all!!

And now for the layout…which I gots to say I am monumentally happy with…I just love when something I am working on comes out the way I hoped it would and this layout did not disappoint! Isn’t it awesome!!

I had the idea for this layout months ago when I first found and edited this awesome pic of my daughter. I just love this picture..it so captures her. Originally the pic wasn’t that great … I took it in front of a window and while her face looked amazing the window frame did not …so through the magic of PSE I took out all of the window frame and replaced the background with a soft white with just the hint of blue.. then to add to the dreamy effect I wanted I used a darker blue to create a vignette around the pic…love how it came out! Knew when I printed the pic that this layout would be all about my daughter’s constant day dreaming and had tons of ideas for it but I didn’t start it until 2 weeks ago. Right off I found the perfect background paper…Romanji from Basic Grey…such a beautiful color. Then I dug through my stash for all the awesome embellies…lots and lots of embellies. After I had all my stuff to play with I worked on the layout for a bit but no matter what I did I hated it….what I was coming up with was just not at all what I had in my head so I deserted it and ignored it for 2 weeks until last night. See last night I was feeling super motivated to be super creative so I pulled out season 5 of That 70’s Show (love that show!)…popped a disc in my laptop and sat down to scrap and in no time the creative juices were flowing! After all that time away from it I was able to look at the layout with a fresh perspective and immediately got ideas on how to fix what was bugging me last time.

First thing I fixed…the background…I absolutely loved the paper and the soft color but it was lacking so out came the glimmer mist…2 shades… a blue and a purple…as usual it was a heart pounding experience to apply…hoping I didn’t wreck the only sheet of the beautiful paper I had …but after a few oh $#&% moments (got glimmer on my woodwork! yikes!) I got the background the way I wanted. So it was onto the embellies…lots and lots of embellies…most of which I either made or tweeked in some way.  The embelly I had the biggest issue with from the beginning was the rainbow…I used my Ranger Alcohol Inks to create it on a piece of transparency…it was way to bright so I put a piece of vellum over it which then made it too opaque…grrr…so needed a happy medium between ultra bright and mega dull …took me a while but finally figured out that lightly rubbing it with white pigment ink toned it down just enough.

On to the clouds…these were actually cheap vellum stickers from the dollar store…I mounted them on transparency and cut around them…a trick I use for stickers so I can move them around the layout without them…well …sticking. To bling them out a bit I stickled them (not sure if bling or stickle are actual verbs but that’s what i’m rolling with) :).

After the clouds it was onto the trees and bush and flowers…more stuff I created and/or tweeked. The tree and bush were created with transparency, glimmer mist and vellum….first I sprayed green glimmer mist on transparency and let that dry…then I sprayed the vellum with some spray adhesive and adhered that to the sprayed side of the vellum…I liked the mottled shiny look I got from this technique…then I just cut out the shapes and used my slick writer to add some depth and detail around the edges of the tree. I decked out the bush and bottom of the layout with some white rubon flowers from American Crafts. Some of the flowers didn’t rubon fully so I used my fave sakura white pen to touch them up…love the ultra super white detail I get with that pen. To give even more detail to the flowers I used my glaze pens (more pens I just love) to color the centers. Added some super mega adorable bird stickers from Sandylion and even more rubons…stars from AC and the pretty flourishes from Making Memories…the Making Memories rubons didn’t show up quite the way I wanted them too so I traced the design with my white pen again to get that super crisp white detail. Added more details…star stickers from ADT and Miss Elizabeth…a rubon sun from Miss Elizabeth…a some purdy butterflies from ADT …and a hot air balloon I created with a scrap of BoBunny paper and a glaze pen…this was too bright as well so I rubbed a layer of pigment ink over that too.

Lastly I used some adorable alphas from Websters Pages and Basic Grey to create my title and detailed the bottom with some borders from Doodlebug, Making Memories and Reminisce. Took 5 hours to complete but Kelso and Hyde were keeping me company…and making me laugh out loud… the whole time so it was all good.


August 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm 4 comments

Terrific Thursday Trifecta

You know how when you find something really awesome you just want to show it to the whole world?  or how about when someone does something so super duper nice that you want to tell everyone that will listen and thank them in a big way? or how about those times when you get a bunch of really great stuff so you just have to share it? Well today I want to do all three! Yep get excited people because first I’m going to do some big time bragging on a great company and the very awesome donation they made and then I’m going to share a quick how-to video featuring one of my all time fave products….and lastly…and this is the part I’m sure some of you will like the best… I’m going to share…giveaway if you will…. some of the afore mentioned awesome product! How’s that for a totally Terrific Thursday Trifecta!

So first on with the braggin and the mega thank you…so as I posted before I hosted a fundraiser crop last month for Tornado Relief and it was a huge success and that success was greatly in part to all the awesome companies that donated including a mega awesome donation from the great people at Un-Du!!! When I contacted them about a donation, the president of the company himself responded lightning quick and said they’d love to help out!! How awesome is that!! I personally was beyond stoked because I love love love love Un-Du…seriously …hearts fluttering love this stuff.  So right before the crop they sent me a big ol’ box of the cutest little bottles of Un-Du …one for everyone in attendance! Like I said super generous!!! So even though it’s almost a month since the crop I wanted to make sure I gave them the huge mega THANK YOU they deserve for their huge mega donation! So Un-Du…THANK YOU!!!

So now that the braggin and thanking is done…it’s on to the video. So of course anyone at the crop who has ever heard of or used Un-Du was super stoked to get that cute little bottle of fabulouslessness in their goody bag…but there were people at the crop who have either never heard of or used Un-Du before…I know right…mega gasp! Well in talking to people at the crop it turns out that those who hadn’t used it before were a tad hesitant about using a mystery liquid on their precious photos without a little proof it wasn’t going to eat through them like battery acid…go figure!. So being that Un-Du is one of my favorite products and it’s just so darn amazing I was more than happy to show anyone who asked that Un-Du was easy to use and was super duper safe to use on photos and let me tell ya by the end of the crop there were a lot more fans of Un-Du in the room than when the day started! I mean seriously once you see this stuff in action it’s hard not to love it. Well anyways I realized after the crop this is like the 3rd time I’ve demo’d Un-Du at a crop (don’t leave home without it) so I figured what the heck…I’ll do a video demo because maybe just maybe their were even more people out there that haven’t tried it…so here it is..my attempt to educate ya on the wonders of Un-Du..oh and by the way even if you know how to use Un-Du you should watch this video purely for the entertainment value of it. (note to self…you don’t know sign language so stop moving your hands everytime you talk 🙂 )

So convinced yet? Wondering how you ever lived without it? Wishing you had some? Betcha do…convenient then this is where the whole giveaway part comes in then right! Because we didn’t have quite as many people at the crop as we were planning for we ended up with some extras of those adorable bottles filled with awesomeness so rather than hoard them all to myself I figured it would be best to spread the wealth. So here’s all ya have to do to have a chance to win…head on over to facebook and like Un-Du’s page and leave them a comment under my Thank You post on their wall. Not on the facebook? Leave a comment on my blog about your love for Un-Du or about my video and you can also qualify to win. You have until Sunday night .. August 7th …8:00 p.m. eastern…to post your comment. I will be picking multiple winners for this so good luck to all and happy Un-Du-ing!!!

August 4, 2011 at 10:30 am 6 comments

awesome with a splash of cute

So a while back I did some online shopping…something I rarely do cause I am a hands on touchy feely kind of shopper but one day I was browsing online and there was a bunch of stuff that looked so so cute online so I placed an order. Well one of the super cute things I ordered was a box of  K&Co. chipboard animals called Actopus to Zelephant (whatever those are LOL) and they even came in their very own cute box…

Cute right? Adorable even. 35 pieces of adorable cuteness in an adorably cute box to be exact. Here’s the thing though…when my order arrived a week later and I opened all my “cute” things I had a sudden realization that I don’t do cute…cute is not my thing…never has been…neither is anything theme-y and I would say animals are definitely both theme-y and cute.  Odd right…ordering something not your style. ..I thought it was…seriously as I took inventory of the menagerie that lived inside Mr. Frog …that’s what I call him now… I couldn’t fathom why I ordered them. Trying to rationalize my purchase I tried to remember what I was doing the night I ordered…was I drinking heavily? had I spent time that night with puppies and babies and I was riding a cute high when I ordered? was I held captive that night by Elmo and forced to order cute things? …there all of them plausible reasons…especially the first one but the reality is it didn’t really matter why I ordered them cause order them I did and since it was so not worth the greenbacks to send them back I just decided to keep the box of cuteness. So then for whatever reason I decided not to put Mr. Frog away…instead I set him on a shelf next to my scrap table and there he sat…for weeks…those little froggy eyes just staring at me. Periodically I would take Mr. Frog off the shelf look at all the marvelous creatures that resided inside his belly and wonder what the heck I was going to do with 35 little critters…but alas I would always return the critters to their home and Mr. Frog back to his shelf and he would go back to staring at me and I would go back to ignoring him until one day it happened. I had a need for an animal! But not just any animal…a cute animal…a cute little chipboard animal…so I opened Mr. Frog and took out Mr. Giraffe and made a layout and even though it was cute…gasp…I liked it! Probably because the super awesomeness of the other scrappy stuff I used toned down the cuteness to an acceptable level.  So only a short while later I had need yet again for another animal so I sprung Mr. Rabbit from his box of cuteness and plunked him on a  layout filled with awesome scrappy goodness and then just a few months later I had a third layout in need of animal cuteness so down came Mr. Frog from his shelf and out came Mr. Sheep to live among more awesome scrappiness.  Amazing right…3 layouts with 3 cute little critters…who da thunk it…surely not me. I personally was astonished after I used the 1st one…by the time I got to the 3rd one I was downright befuddled and flabbergasted by all the super cuteness I was using. So imagine my surprise when believe it or not…it happened again! Yep just this week I did yet another layout with another cute little critter …bringing my cuteness total up to a whopping 4…amazing right…hard to believe even…well here it is …

Adorable right? Super ridiculously cute right? I know right! I mean that little itty bitty froggy is just so stinkin cute! I love him. I love him and everything else on this layout…that paper…awesome…those thickers…mega awesome…those adorable Jilli Bean journal spots that double as lily pads…mega super awesome. So I guess this layout is a lot of awesome with a splash of cute…guess that’s my new style!

Of course now I still have to use the other 31 critters in the box…

I’m thinking the lion, cat and monkey have a chance of making it to a layout but I’m having doubts about the yak, squid and clam. LOL

August 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm 2 comments


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