October 15, 2009

N&A- Engagement

October 12, 2009

Easy Holiday Burlap Table Runner

I've seen these around the internet and had to try it myself. My mom was cleaning out her fabric cupboard and had an extra piece of burlap so I snapped it up.

Cut it to the size you want. Sew on ribbon. Seriously, it was that easy.

A couple things:
1) sewing ribbon on was easier than I thought.
2) cutting burlap is more difficult than I thought. I used a rotary cutter but I think if I did it again I would use scissors and cut along the lines.
3) I left the edges raw but I would consider somehow hemming it.

September 28, 2009

Let there be light!!

I moved from an apartment whose only windows faced north into the forest. Not the best natural light. In our new house the front room has huge windows facing south and east. The morning light is spectacular! I'm such a dork that before we even really moved in I checked to see how fast I could shoot indoors. Just for the record: 1/160 at F4. It's heaven. Here's a shot of my daughter on the kitchen table.

September 26, 2009


A photoshoot with my cute and energetic nieces.

September 24, 2009

I'm Back!

Since April we have been in transition mode at our house. My husband graduated from school, we moved across the country, he was gone all day studying for the Bar Exam, we were living at my parents, we looked for a house, and finally we moved in. It's been a few weeks since we have been in our new house so I'm ready to start getting creative again. It's been way too long.

The fun thing with moving into a new place is that there are a lot of little jobs to make the place comfortable and livable. This set of shelves used to be a doorway so the shelves are shallow and slightly unusable. It is right outside the bathroom so I use it to store lotion, etc., but our grooming supplies need not be in plain sight for everyone. A $2 curtain rod and a piece of fabric fixed it right up. I'm going to use the extra fabric to make a valence for the bathroom. I'm still looking for a valence pattern that I like, but stay tuned...

The curtain isn't as full as I wanted so if you attempt this, use more fabric than you would think you need to. I got the curtain rod at Shopko, it's just a tension rod so it doesn't need to be screwed in anywhere, it's perfect for this little project.

July 5, 2009

Slow-Sync Flash

Over at shuttersisters.com they highlighted the technique of using a slow-sync flash. It is one of my favorite ways to use my flash. It works great to highlight movement while maintaining a little detail. google it. It's a lot of fun to use.

This is a picture of my husband and son, who graciously wrestled and played for my while I was learning how to use the flash this way.

June 30, 2009

Bridal/Baby Shower centerpiece

My cousin is moving to the East Coast after her wedding so she wanted gift cards and/or money instead of large gifts. I made this centerpiece for the table and the guests simply clipped their monetary gifts onto the empty clips. It worked perfectly. I printed ten pictures of the happy couple (luckily I took their engagement photos, so I had a lot to work with), adhered them to paper, attached some ribbon, and clipped them to the tree. The only tip is to put the ribbon between the photo and the paper so that you don't see it from the back. Super easy and incredibly cheap. Especially since I already had the picture holder/tree thing.

Bridal/Baby Shower Favors

I was put in charge of favors for my cousin's wedding shower. I wanted to move past Hershey Kisses wrapped in tulle but I didn't want to break the bank. I looked online and found some cute personalized candy bar wrappers and figured I could make my own. I got some white scrapbook paper for 17 cents, some ribbon for a couple bucks and printed their initials on some green paper. Easy.
I found these Dove bars at the grocery store and saw that they had three individually wrapped bars in each package. Perfect. They were about 2" by 3", a great favor size. And I was able to get a few different varieties.
Because I had a few varieties and wanted to differentiate between them, I used return address labels with the variety printed on them to attach the paper in the back.
I used permanent adhesive to attach the ribbon
Then attached the initialed paper on top of the ribbon.

And we're finished! A nice big stack of pretty favors.

June 5, 2009

Indian Food, Anyone?

Red Kidney Bean Curry with Naan Bread

I try to cook on a budget so I'm always looking for ways to use beans. I found this fabulous recipe from one of my favorite sites, The Smitten Kitchen. I love it because it uses beans and all the other ingredients I generally have on hand. I made a few changes- first, I substituted bottled jalepenos for the fresh chilies (about four jalepeno slices). I also used powdered ginger (2tsps) instead of fresh. Top it with some plain yogurt (necessary, in my opinion) and serve with naan bread and you have an incredible homemade Indian meal.

And here's a recipe for Naan bread. It has become a staple at our house. If you cook up the naan then freeze it, just pop it in the toaster for a bit and it tastes fresh.

2¼ t yeast
1 C water
¼ C sugar
3 T milk
1 beaten egg
2 t salt
4½ C flour
Garlic & Butter Mix

Mix yeast and water. Let it bubble. Add other ingredients and form a soft dough. Let rise as time permits (we usually don’t let it rise at all, but it is better when it does). Pull dough into ¼ inch thick patties (about 5 or 6 inches in diameter). Fry in a little olive oil until cooked through.

April 30, 2009

Fabulous Banana Bread

I woke up to three slimy bananas on my counter. Which means only one thing. Banana bread. My kids and I had a great time (read: a very messy and somewhat chaotic time) baking it and my husband gave rave reviews. He swears that I make the best banana bread ever- and I am choosing to believe him.

Here's the trick to fantastic looking bread: A tablespoon or two of white sugar sprinkled on top of the batter before you put it in the oven. Makes it crispy and sparkly- and sugary.


2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ C butter
¾ C brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 ⅓ C bananas,

Combine flour, soda and salt. Cream butter, sugar and stir in eggs and banana to moisten. Put in 1 loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees 60-65 minutes. Until toothpick comes out clean.

February 23, 2009

Artist in Residence

I love how all the paints are mixed. He must be two.

February 9, 2009

Hemming Jeans

I have a few pairs of jeans that are too long but I don't love the look of homemade hems so I just kept them long and walked all over them. Classy, I know. Then my husband came and asked me to hem some of his jeans so I did a little research and found this awesome tutorial. You can't even tell your pants are hemmed. It's almost magical. Okay, maybe not magical, but I feel like a whole world of possibilities (involving buying jeans on sale, even if they have a super-model 34" inseam) has been opened to me. This will change your life.

Here is a picture of my husband's jeans after I took about two inches off the bottom. Not too shabby, eh?

January 31, 2009

Fabric Baby Blocks

My sister-in-law is having a baby but since it's her fourth they are pretty set with cute clothes and baby blankets. So I opted for these little blocks as a gift. Every baby can use more toys- especially if they are soft and pretty.

I used this great tutorial. The only changes: I added letters using heat n'bond then I sewed (sloppily) around each of them. I also added a little bell in each block for a little added interest.

January 24, 2009

This is a terrible shot technically, but captures my nephew's energy perfectly.