Adventures in Gardening: kinderGardens Finale

Inadvertent Farmer

It’s the final week of the kinderGardens Challenge!  We want to say thank you, thank you to Kim for a great challenge. And although we would have planted our garden either way, we were challenged to get the kids involved even more because of this wonderful event. We were inspired by others who were doing the same and we were motivated to capture it all on camera and share that inspiration with others.

Our Summer has come to an end and Fall is upon us. We are now slowly pulling out the last of our garden and hoping that we still can push a few tomatoes & eggplant a wee bit longer.

It was a great year for the girls & I and our little garden.  And although we made many, many mistakes along with way.  We learned so much in return.

We are already looking ahead to next Spring. We have ambitious plans for expansion. We want to add more fruit trees and berry bushes.  We look forward to a time when we will be eating the majority of our fruits and vegetables from our own back yard.  We look forward to fresh eggs from our new hens.

We are also taking a look back and remembering the great season we had and all the fun that came with it.

So THANK YOU Kim for getting us out there and challenging us.

We appreciate your time, wittiness, funny recaps, and motivation.

Now everybody else..go check out the other gardens and all of their recaps! I know who I am voting for!


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.