Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little Loves- Expressions

If you remember, I started this little series (which has evolved a bit) to challenge myself to get back to thinking more seriously about my photography. Some takeaways from recent blog reading have reminded me to refocus on the details and little moments with more intention. I never stopped taking pictures, I stopped thinking about what I was taking. I'm starting to feel a bit back on track again. (Oh, and did I mention that I no longer have a "camera grabber" on my hands?)

I'm not going to give any explanations for these photos. I think the expressions speak for themselves. The absolute splendor and wonder of the world must be incredible at two.

Trip to the Train Museum

Picking Pumpkins

Posting has been a bit slow while I've been taking my Illustrator class. It's been absorbing a lot of my creative time and energy. Working on a new blog header, so keep an eye out for that!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Boy, His Glue Stick, and Shape Practice

I bought a little glue-together Turkey craft from Target for $1 yesterday. As soon as Ethan saw it come home in the shopping bag he wanted to make the turkey. It ended up being a great project for Ethan and his Daddy to make together! (Love that!) But of course, the project was over quickly and Ethan was not done practicing his mad glue sticking skills.

Quick thinking Daddy got out some construction paper and cut shapes for Ethan to paste. He'd ask him what color and shape he wanted--a great way to sneak in some toddler color and shape practice! Ethan had such a great time selecting his shapes, using the glue stick, and slapping the shapes onto paper. 

Sometimes the basic tried and true projects really are the best. Not to mention, check out how cool this finished product looks! :)

I have to remind myself- Shapes are FUN when you're two.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Make Your Own Infant Oompa Loompa Costume

A blast from the past! 
This costume I created for 2 month old Ethan three Halloweens ago, but had yet to share here. This particular year some wonderful friends of mine were throwing a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed Halloween party and I couldn't resist the opportunity for our little dude to be our little Oompa Loompa. (I went with an Oompa Loompa from the original movie--my personal favorite) The costume was super easy to make--no sew (also my favorite)!

So- How how do you make this Halloween favorite?

What you need:
Long sleeve brown shirt or onesie
White pants 
1" white ribbon
Button stickers
Green knit cap 
Green knit booties 
Self-Adhesive velcro dots

Start by gathering a suitable long sleeve shirt or onesie and some white (khaki would probably be ok too) pants. Carters basic long-sleeve onesies are a delicious color of brown, but obviously any brown shirt will do! 

I used 1" white ribbon to make the straps of the overalls, but I wanted to be able to attach them at the party so that they were not a danger in the car. I also wanted to be able to deconstruct the costume after the party without damaging the original cloths items. This is where the self-adhesive velcro comes in. Attach velcro to the ends of the ribbon and inside the waistband of the pants. Ta-da! Instant overalls.

I was lucky and for the buttons, I happened upon some button stickers! They were great because as in infant Ethan didn't mess with them, and they did not pose a choking hazard. You could create your own button stickers by finding a printable button (like from MS Office here) and printing on sticker paper.

The green knit hat and booties are a bit trickier. They were a lucky score on my part. I was going to actually consider the costume complete without them, but the green "hair" really does make the costume. Before I found this set, I had considered dying a white Gerber set, or even using one of their light green caps. You could do the same for the booties, or maybe even try folding some out of a green paper napkin?

So that's it! Easy squeezy and oh-so-cute! (Sorry there aren't more detailed photos- this was pre-blogging days!)

I wore one of my husband's blue shirts and a red belt and went as Veruca. My husband's name is Charlie, so he was "Charlie." (yea, I know, not very original). This shot of the three of us isn't the greatest, but you can see the full Oompa Loompa in all his glory!

PS- The green hat also makes for a great pumpkin stem! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Inspiring My Own Creativity

Inspiring My Own Creativity = Creative Time for ME!

I'm so excited to share about the Typography class I just finished up at Nicole's Classes. So excited.

For quite some time now I've been really wanting to get myself a bit of a design refresher course, but I've been quite nervous about the time investment (as I quietly whisper something about that daunting financial one). I've been holding off by trying to absorb information on my own, but let's face it--it's really hard to be creative in a silo. That constructive feedback loop is just oh-so-important. Ridiculously important. Plus, there's that whole being held accountable thing! I'd like to say that none of the above apply to me, but the hard fact is that all of the above apply directly to me! So it's been easy to make excuses.

Nicole's Classes

I don't remember how, but I stumbled on Nicole's Classes a few weeks ago and started following their blog. I was always excited to see their posts pop up in my reader. The content just felt so relevant to me and fun. I decided to start with the Typography because it's one of the mini two-week classes. Low commitment, very affordable, and a topic I was excited about (Typography was one of my favorite classes in undergrad). I wasn't disappointed...the class followed through on all counts.I learned (and re-learned) a lot in just two weeks. Definitely the creative boost that I was looking for.

The practical homework and feedback I got from Melanie was incredibly helpful. I completed the class with two pieces that I am pretty excited about and became Featured Student Work (Yay! No really, go look, there's a great student collection on their blog). If you're like me and your creative juices need a pick-me-up, Nicole's Classes is a great resource. I really suggest checking them out. (I'm taking the Illustrator 101 class now- same experience- good stuff!) Hoping to take a Photography class soon too! Even if you aren't interested in a class, they have a lot of great free resources, tutorials, and printables on their blogfacebook, or twitter!

Need a little extra inspiration?

I love this message from Ira Glass (video by David Shiyang Liu). Creativity not living up to your potential? "The most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work." Love that. Really is about practice, practice.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

How do you stay creative? How do you sharpen your skills and continue growing?

PS- No worries, more kid stuff coming your way soon!  (Just gotta get my "after" photos done and I'll get those up here too!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Little Loves

I knew when I began that my "Happiness is..." photo series would need to adapt and change. I also knew that if I didn't just get started that I never would--a bigger bummer.

Little Loves is my new project title. It's a bit more organic. It's about remembering to pick up my camera (preferably my SLR- although not always), and capturing everyday details. Because frankly, that's exactly what I love about photography.

The Secret Formula

The Secret Formula to our recent successful tooth brushing is TWO special toddler selected toothbrushes. Toddler must sit on the counter (we have a very large vanity) and be in full control of the water. Wash and repeat must take place many times. Now the fight isn't the tooth brushing so much as when to stop the tooth brushing. We pick our battles. Of course, the formula will most likely change somewhere in the near future, but for now we celebrate the small victory.

New Shoes

I am in love with these Keen toddler shoes. The canvas and shoe construction is very sturdy, and let's face it, they're super cute. I look hard to find clothing that fits Ethan's personality. These are a good fun fit. 


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