Friday, October 28, 2011


Can you recall, if a Simple Everyday Item has ever changed your life? We've all had those "Single Moments" that changed our lives... our Wedding Day, the Birth of our First Child, the Loss of a Loved One.

But what about an everyday item like a piece of Paper? A Simple, Single sheet of 8.5x11 Paper...

This is Mine. This is what Changed my Life! So Unassuming.

Back in March of this year, Luke's pre-school sent home this Order Form for the upcoming School Pictures. I don't recall how long it sat on my kitchen counter before I actually looked at it, but I do remember the day that I finally did. It was Thursday, March 24th, 2011.

Not really reading it, I filled out the information needed for the order. Then, when I went back to double check everything, I noticed that the person, who would be taking the pictures, had a website. Since I was all about craft and photography blogs at the time, I immediately got my laptop and went to her site. I was Blown away and Very Excited. This photographer's work was Amazing and So Beautiful, AND she was from right here in Central Virginia. I think that was what Excited me the most. Of all the blogs I follow (both Craft and Photography), they all seem to originate from out west. Up to that point, I had yet to find anyone on this side of the country. So when I saw she was right here, in my little town, well I just couldn't contain myself. I immediately sent her an email. Here's an excerpt from that first correspondence...

I don't mean to freak you out, but I can't even begin to express to you how Excited I am to find someone, with your talents, local. Your photography is INCREDIBLE. Most of the photography blogs I follow are located on the west coast. SOO excited to have found you!!

Amazingly, she wasn't Freaked out, and she responded...

You have totally made my day! I am sick in bed right now, but will write you back...

From that point on, and over the last seven months, Denise Feagans has become a Mentor and a Friend. She is just such an Inspiration. Not only is her work Incredible, she is also a Mother of Five (4 boys and 1 girl, ranging in age from 5-17), and her Faith in God is Strong. She has been there to answer every crazy question I've had. She met with me when I first got Photoshop and showed me some basics, and she even allowed me to tag along with her on one of her shoots. I will Never be able to Express or put into words, the amount of Gratitude I have for her Kindness and Support. Through her Help and Guidance, which has been Immeasurable, I have been able to start making a Dream of mine come True. Thank You Denise.

Who would have ever thought, that a Single Sheet of 8.5X11 white paper, could change one's life? That Single Sheet of paper found me a new Friend and started me on a journey that is hopefully leading me down a road to a new career as a Portrait Photographer.

So Unassuming...

Be sure to visit Denise's site, to see for yourself, what I am talking about.


Finally, I used Freezer Paper to make a Stencil. Since I started following craft blogs a little over a year ago, I've been seeing tons of projects using this method. Well, it was about time I tried it.

My husband is from New Orleans and loves NFL Football, so needless to say, he is a HUGE Saints Fan. So every year (since our oldest has been born) he buys each of our boys either a team jersey or a t-shirt for them to wear on Game Day. In our house, during football season (EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND.), we ALL (me included) have to sport Team Colors - Purple and Gold on Saturdays for the LSU Tigers, and Black and Gold on Sundays for the Saints. AND, we have to have Multiple options. Why you ask? Because my husband is a STRONG believer in Gris Gris!! If the outcome of a game is not looking good, the Gris Gris MUST be changed!! Shirts either have to be switched or turned inside out. I've witnessed my husband, during the course of one game, go through three or four shirts. Like during the Super Bowl in 2010, we ALL ended the game with our shirts on inside out... and it worked - the SAINTS WON!!

Yeah I know, that's Crazy... but my husband Truly Believes!!

Anyway, back to the craft. That's why you're here, right? So, since the boys have to have Options, and we haven't gotten around to ordering new shirts this season, I thought I would make them one.

I found some Black long sleeved t-shirts at Walmart for $3, and got Gold fabric paint at Hobby Lobby. For the stencil, I took one of the hubby's shirts with the Fleur-de-lis design on it. I stuck it on the copy machine, made a copy, then enlarged the copy, then cut it out, then traced around it on the Freezer Paper (twice), then cut the shape out of the Freezer Paper (twice), then followed basic instructions for doing the stencil (twice).

Whew, that was a lot of "thens"!!

So Quick, So Easy, So Cheap!!

I was able to make two shirts for way less than the price of just one Official Team shirt.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


As the post title states, I FINALLY got Photoshop... YEAH!!!!! I still have A LOT to learn, but after following a few on-line tutorials at The Pioneer Woman, using my "Photoshop for Dummies" book, and having a little learning session with my photography mentor, Denise Feagans, I felt somewhat confident that I could take on a client. And what better client than my oldest son Luke, who turned 4 last month.

Here's my photo session with him. We started at the Town Hall building, because of the stone and the red doors, and then went to my husband's Hunt Camp for a beautiful nature backdrop.
This next one has been a favorite of everyone who's seen it on FB, and I think it's one of my favs too. Just love the red door with his shirt.

I think this next one is my all time Favorite. I just LOVE his eyes. And don't you just love the band-aid? We had a little argument about it before we left because I wanted him to take it off - I didn't want it in the shots. But he insisted he still needed it for a week old Boo-Boo. I eventually gave in, figuring I could eliminate it during editing. But once I started the editing process, I decided to leave it alone because that's what he is all about at this age.
Luke did really well!! He's a great little Model. However, he is a REAL stinker when it comes to getting him to actually "Look" at the camera. Out of the approximately 150 shots I took, the 8 or 9 above shots were the only ones where he "Looked" at the camera.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Last month, my oldest turned 4. To help him Celebrate, we decided we would go Camping. But as the Birthday weekend approached, the weather wasn't looking too promising. So we had to come up with Plan "B"... a Birthday Camp "In"!!

Here's our Indoor Camp Site.
The CampGround Sign
Just in case us campers weren't sure where the tent was located.
HoBo Goody Bags for the Birthday Boy and his brother

The Mini S'mores Station
A Mini S'more is compiled of a Graham Cereal Square, a Mini Marshmallow, and a Chocolate Chip

Also had to have Trail Mix
Seating for around the Camp Fire
The Indoor Camp "Fire"

Made out of rolled Brown Craft Paper and Tissue Paper.
I even added battery operated tea lights so that it glowed when it was dark out.

Twinkling Starlight

The Camp Site

The Birthday Boy
Happy 4th Birthday, Luke!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


This past Saturday, October 8th, I had the day to myself. I love my boys and my hubby to death, but there are just days when I need to be away from them. I'm sure ya'll know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, this particular Saturday was an Extra Special day. I was going to have lunch with a group ladies I had never met before. They, like me, are Bloggers. Most have Craft Blogs, but there was also a DIY Blogger, a true Writer who Blogs, a Painter/Photographer who Blogs, and one who has the inside scoop to all things Frugal. Needless to say, a great group and mix of wonderful girls.

Allison of A Glimpse Inside and Michelle of Dream Home DIY were the two ladies who were responsible for organizing the... "Sweet Tea Social".

We all met for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory in Richmond at Short Pump.
Most of us were pretty local, but Jennifer form An Apple for the Crafter drove down from the DC area, and Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous drove in from the Norfolk area. I'm sure they thought that by the end of the afternoon, all the horrible traffic they endured getting there, was totally worth it.

Like the total Dork that I am, I made sure to print out my "Ticket" to be presented upon my arrival. No one actually ever asked for it, but I did ask if they needed to collect it - that got a few chuckles. Allison made the cutest Name Tags for everyone.
It was even cuter before I lost it's little Lemon slice... BOO :(

Michelle had put together these Adorable Party Favors... a nice drinking glass with tea-bags and a recipe for Sweet Tea.
The Too Cute Pin Wheels were stolen from the Centerpieces that Allison had made for the table.

After a wonderful 3 hour lunch, where we ate delicious food and enjoyed great conversation, five of us headed off to the Greatest Craft store EVER... Hobby Lobby!

Now I'm sure most of you know, Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous. In my mind, she is one of the Rock Stars of the Crafting Blog World. Well this was a HUGE day for her. She had NEVER. BEEN. to Hobby Lobby. I made sure to document her arrival for her Virgin Voyage on the Mother Ship.
I think we were there for about 90 minutes, which in Hobby Lobby time is short, but we all had to get back to our real lives. Jennifer's husband was kind enough to come in and take a photo of the five of us.

L to R: Jennifer (An Apple for the Crafter), Me, Allison (A Glimpse Inside), Michelle (Dream Home DIY) and Linda (Craftaholics Anonymous)

We are ALL looking forward to getting together again real soon. But sadly, it will have to be without Allison. She and her husband will be leaving Virginia at the end of this month and heading for the mountains of Colorado. She will be missed, but we will all always be Grateful to her and Michelle for bringing us all together and allowing us to meet each other in person and make new friends.

Thanks Guys!!

Here is a list of all the Attendees:
Michelle - Dream Home DIY
Patty and Cheryl - Friends of of Becky's
Brandee - Smooth Stones
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