First Communion Photo Shoot

There are so many reasons why I love this post and these photos.

There is something very special about capturing the beauty of a child, especially during a special time for them. A time when they are learning about God and religion. I know her parents are proud of this time and it shows.

This particular beauty really brought that out in her photos. She is a very athletic little girl who wasn’t too excited about getting dressed up and I had to work with her a little to get her into the shoot.

But once she settled in, she was a dream.

I photographed the rest of her family for their Christmas card the next weekend and decided I wanted a couple more of her out at my new location. I am so happy I did because these are my 2 favorite pictures!

A special thank you to my friends for letting me capture this special occasion.


End of Bed Bag: Sewing Tutorial

I made these end of the bed bags for my girls for their new room. The girls use them all the time.

My idea was to use it for storing their pj’s after they change out of them in the morning.

But the girls also use it as a place for the babies to sleep or just to collect and gather things in.

So I thought I would share with you how I did it.  My first tutorial!

It’s kind of exciting and kind of scary. Scary why?  Because I am an amateur sewist (is that a word?) at best.  I come from 2 generations of great sewers but I didn’t find the love or motivation until much later. I have always been in love with the idea of sewing.  But it always seemed so intimidating.  So complicated. And patterns?  They make me nervous.


But I keep practicing and practicing.  I also took a class with this amazing woman. And she really changed the way I view sewing. I totally sucked at her class (my dress is still not done) but she made me realize that free-spirited sewing and just looking at things from a simpler perspective is so much clearer and easier.  I am not saying that you (me) shouldn’t learn technical sewing and be meticulous because it’s very important.  I am just saying that it’s okay to jump in and go for it. Stop staring at the patterns. Just think about what it is you want to achieve and go for it. And that’s what I did!  Oh and the fact that I couldn’t find a pattern or tutorial for what I wanted anywhere.

So feel free to point out any and every technical imperfections because I am sure they are there!  I don’t mind.

Now dust off the sewing machine and get er’ done!

Step 1–Materials:

  • Two–12 x 10 inch squares of fabric for outside of bag
  • Two–12 x 10 inch squares of coordinating fabric for inside of bag
  • Four–2 x 10 inch strips of coordinating fabric for ties
  • Cotton thread to match your fabric
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Cutting Pad
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine

Step 2–Make Bag:

With right sides together sew 1/4″ seam around 3 sides.

Repeat for inside lining of bag.

Step 3:  Box Corners of Bag

This part can be a bit tricky. Hold the corner of the bag and pull until both seams are touching each other.

Pin at the place you pinched and mark.

Sew a straight stitch across.

Repeat for the other corner making sure that the corners are pinched and sewn in same direction.

Repeat for lining of bag.

To avoid bulk, clip the corner of the bags.

Step 4–Put the Bags Together

Turn the outside of the bag right side out and keep the lining of the bag right side in.  Place your lining of the bag inside the outer bag. Tuck in so the corners line up.

Fold over the inside lining over the top of the outside of bag a 1/4″ and press.

Fold over another 1/4 ” and press again.

Pin the bag in place. FYI–you generally pin perpendicular to your seam line (not parallel like I did). It makes for easier removing of pins while sewing. Sometimes I forget. 🙂

Stitch down as close to the edge of the bottom of the fold.

Step 5–Make Ties

Take your strips and fold in one side 1/4″ and press.

Fold the other side in 1/4″ until they meet in the middle and press.

Fold in half and press.

Stitch down the ties as close to the edge as possible, reinforcing both ends.

Mark the bag where you want to attach your ties.

Pin in place and box stitch (a big X) down.

Tie bag down to the end of your bed and enjoy!


Practice, Practice, Practice

My nephew–a CUTIE PIE–was out for visit with me this Summer. He helped me lots with the girls and around the house but he was really helpful in letting me take his picture. We were out scouting a new location.

I still have so much to learn behind the camera and in my workflow at home. But I love learning everyday!

I am finding that the best way to learn is just to get out there and shoot. I also find tons of helpful tutorials online. There are so many amazing photographers who are happy to share their insight and expertise.  My 2011 goal is to attend workshops.

How can I not get a good picture of him?   He makes it so easy with that face.

It helps that he is old enough to sit still. Sometimes practicing on my always-moving toddlers is tough.

I love this new location. I have used it once since this shoot. I need to try and catch it though at first light and last light.

This was pretty early in the day but still a bit too sunny.

Haha, love the camera shyness!

Thanks my little C-man. I enjoyed having you here and you were awesome to photograph.


Adventures in Gardening–Weeks 19 -21

Inadvertent Farmer

Our Summer is winding down and our garden is too. I am sad to see it go but I will say it was a rough year.

I think I need to be more technical with my soil observations…I really just rely on putting in good dirt, planting, watering, and then I hope for the best. It worked last year but this year…..not so much.

Not only are the girls learning so much but this mama is still learning too.

We also had external problems this year that we didn’t have last year. A mean VOLE (which we are going to war with in the Fall) and even the cute little chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits were guilty of partaking in our loot.

Critter control is next year’s highest priority.

I think it’s important to companion plant as well.

I was super obsessed about it last year but this year I was way more free-spirited.  I guess that’s not the way it works.

Nonetheless, I still have tomatoes going strong, eggplant, basil, peppers, new round of Fall beans, and some mint.  The weather forecast looks warm for the next week.  I hope it continues through most of Sept. We will enjoy it till the end.

The chickens are celebrating their 10 week birthday this week. They are getting so big!  We love them.  Over the weekend their coop was scrubbed down and each bird was inspected and sprayed down. The girls loved helping….by chasing them around.

I know not everyone has the ability to grow a garden (whether it be due to space, time, or money) but there are still other ways to get children involved in learning where your food comes from. We also participate in taking our kids to “pick your own” farms. They are abundant here and it’s great because you can pretty much take this trip as much as you need. Three times a year is ideal. Early Summer for strawberries and rhubarb, late Summer for veggies, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, and soon in the Fall for apples and pumpkins!  It’s so much fun to bring home the bounty and then can jam, bake, and enjoy local fresh fruit.

This was our 2nd year taking our girls peach & berry picking (it will be the 3rd year for apples this Fall).

I will admit that they don’t entirely “get it” yet.  Our day started out like this.  She had no desire to walk up that hill.

I wish I could say that they love running through the peach orchard…..but they don’t.

I wish I could say that they love grabbing a fleshy peach off the tree and eating it right away …..but they don’t.

I wish I could say that they love bearing the heat and humidity….but they don’t. (Who does?)

I wish I could say they thought that fresh berries were the best thing since “apple juice”….but they don’t.

Sigh.  I am okay with it all.

We will keep going and hopefully one day they will “get it”.

Or one day when they are older, we will all sit around and they will tell stories and say….”Remember when mom and dad used to drag us to that hot a** field and make us pick berries and peaches?  That was NOT fun.”

Geez, I hope that’s not how they remember it.

Instead, I hope they have fond memories of these warm and fuzzy moments.

And that our time spent on the “farm” will be remembered a little less like this……..

………………….and more like this.

There are a few weeks left in the Kinder Garden’s Challenge. Go check out what everyone is up to!