Sunday, September 26, 2010

I love my little boy...

Today my son celebrated his first birthday with his loving family and friends.  One year ago I could not have imagined the happiness and truly unconditional love I would feel toward this little person.  He makes me so proud.  Proud of him for his warmth, curiosity, kindness and silliness.  Proud of my husband and myself for nurturing him and teaching him to be his happy self.  I love my little boy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Alphabet soup

I mentioned in my profile that I come from a long line of creative people.  My sister, known now as Auntie in our house, does not disappoint.  One of her latest creations is this wonderful play on the old school plastic letters.  She crafted these beautifully stitched fabric letters from old jeans and scraps of bold quilting fabric (like from this AMAZING quilt she made for Kieran's first birthday).  

Backed in jean with contrast stitching.
These letters are so much fun.  I've been coming up with games to play as the little guy grows up.  Obviously they will be good for learning the alphabet and spelling.  What I'm looking forward to is crossword puzzles and "scrabble like" games.  Yes, I am getting excited about spelling games.  I'm sure they will turn into spelling bees and spelling wars as Kieran gets bigger and our competitive nature rubs off on him.  My mom, sister and I were able to make a crossword puzzle using all of the letters except for two, pretty good right?  Especially because we only had one set of vowels to use! 

The texture and colors of these fabric letters inspire creativity.  There is no way a set of plastic letters would get me excited enough to stay up late "playing".  That's why it is so important for us to take the time to show our children that not everything comes from a store looking one way, made of one material, only having one use.  A pretty good lesson to learn as a little one.  

What are your favorite handmade inspirations?

My Amazing Sister, the quilter.

by Auntie Louisa
by Auntie Louisa

Kieran received this bright and cheery quilt from his Auntie for his birthday (which we celebrated earlier this month with my family in Northern New York).  I am blown away by her talent, eye and creativity.  She has an incredible ability to pick up on what the hubby and I like. Her color choice and design aesthetic is always exactly what we love (yet what we somehow can't come up with ourselves, let alone execute).  I know Kieran is going to love this quilt for many years to come.  His mama is going to smile every time she sees him snuggled up in it, that is for sure!  Thank you Auntie!

Are your most treasured gifts the handmade ones?  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Picture perfect...

Recently I have been getting some nice compliments on the photographs I've been taking.  I'm no photographer but I do have a trick that seems to be working.  Want to know the secret?  Well, I'll tell you...PORTRAIT SETTING!  We have a Canon PowerShot A630, a great, but basic digital camera.  The photos I seem to gravitate to are the ones where the images in the foreground are clear and crisp and the backgrounds are slightly fuzzy.  This is typical of a portrait.  Here is an example of a beautiful professional portrait: 
by Rebecca Smith

Notice how this cutie and the flowers are in focus but the grass is fuzzy.  Looks nice, right?  Well, you can get this same effect with your digital camera!  Check out the top of your you see an image of a profile?  I bet you do.  Switch the dial over from AUTO to the little profile image.  Come on, go for it!  Go crazy and let loose, no more auto for you!  But be careful!  You are now entering the world of camera obsession.  I'm telling you, as soon as I figured out (thanks Mom!) that I could get this look, I have not put down the camera.  Here are a few good examples of what you can get with a regular digital camera set using the portrait setting:

I know, I know, I'm "that Mom" who takes way too many pics of her kid!  But come on, he's so cute, how could I not?!

Some tips while using the portrait setting:
1. Turn off your flash and make sure you have plenty of natural light.
2. Step back so you can zoom your lens in as much as possible.
3. Use a tripod (be very still if you don't have a tripod). 

Have you already discovered this setting?  What is your inspiration?  Nature, your home, your pet...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Love this rug!

Isn't this the coolest rug?!  I saw it on Design*Sponge and fell in love instantly.  It would look so great Kieran's room.  The question is:  White rug with orange numbers or white rug with chocolate brown numbers?  It looks like the trick is to take the time to prime the rug before painting so the paint sticks properly to the rug.  Hopefully I will get to Ikea soon to pick up a rug to try this with.  

Have you tried to paint a rug or something else out of the ordinary? 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Say cheese!

Are you wanting something creative to do with your photos but lacking a fancy photo editing program like photoshop?  I was too!  My genius sister filled me in about a great website:  Have you heard of it? It is an easy to use site that lets you do all sorts of fun things with your photos such as:
Mosaic maker
Pop art poster
Photo cube
Photo booth
Pocket album
CD cover
Magazine cover
Badge maker
and much more!

All you have to do is register (no cost) and upload your photos.  You can even grab photos from your Facebook albums!  After you create your image, click on the "save" icon.  You can then do as you wish.  Print it out, email it, upload to Facebook, the world is your oyster.  So here are a few examples of what you can do in 15 minutes...
This is a series of photos I took when KJ was just 6 months old.
Cool photo cube, just print on cardstock!
So angry yet so cute!
Check it out!