Photography 101

So, my one little word this year is NURTURE and part of that is nurturing myself...my interests, my creative soul, taking time for myself. I have been enjoying Ali's One Little Word Class at Big Picture Scrapbooking and when I saw that they were offering a photography class titled Mastering the Manual Mode, after I hestitated for a minute about spending some money on myself, I decided to go for it! The pre-class assignment is to take a variety of pictures that we will then take again at the end of class to see how our photography has improved. So, I thought I'd share my pre-class photos here and in a few months I'll share my new photos and we'll see how my photography has changed.

Here are the picture assignments:

1. Someone you love - (my oldest son).

2. Two people you love - (my hubby and new baby nephew)

3. Your favorite food. (M&M cookies...YUM! You can find the recipe HERE).

4. A flower, tree, or plant.

5. A landscape. (Obviously not my strong suit.)

6. A person or pet in action - (my youngest son running to come see me).

7. A candid photo (try not to let the subject know you're photographing them).

8. A self-portrait. (Yep, that's me...can't wait to learn how to improve this! :)

9. A favorite object in your home. (The leaves have great sentimental value as we picked them up for a third anniversary gift when we were on vacation in Oregon. However, the red bowl and decorative balls made for a nicer picture I think.)

10. A group portrait. ( Unfortunately I can't share one of my favorite group photos...as it has a whole bunch of kids in it that I don't have specific permission to share here.)

Have any of you taken a great online photography class, visit a fab photography blog, or have any photography tips? I'd love to hear them! Any feedback on these photos is also appreciated! :)

You Light Up My Life - Etsy Inspired Challenge #124

CA-UTE is the word for the challenge this week! From darling items to be inspired by as well as a sponsor whose designs are just the cutest...I am expecting some fun and adorable cards from you all this week! :) Our featured Etsy shop is Too Cute Kawaii which is filled with sweet polymer clay accessories...I think the little rainbow is my personal favorite! I was inspired by the overall feel of the shop: colorful, playful, & cute!

Did you ever think you would say...'What an adorable light bulb?'! Well, when I visited our sponsor's blog, Meljen's Designs, and saw this cute little image I knew I had to use it for my card this week. And if you love this light bulb as much as I do, it is actually one of Meljen's Monday Freebies and you can get it HERE!

For my card, I also used some BoBunny double dot papers, My Mind's Eye trim, My Little Shoebox mini alpha stickers, and a little bit of We R Memory Keepers Be My Valentine Collection.

So, would you like to win 4 digi's from Meljen's Designs or some cute cupcake earrings from Too Cute Kawaii?!

All you have to do is:

- Visit Too Cute Kawaii and find an item that inspires you

- Create a project of your own and post it on your blog or other online gallery

- Link your project up to the Etsy Inspired Blog by noon on Friday for your chance to win!

And for extra inspiration be sure to visit the rest of the ever so talented DT!
So, I just have to say that this school year has been the worst virus year ever for us. My son got the flu bug again on Thursday...fortunately he was already beginning to feel better Friday...now I'm just hoping that no one else in the family gets sick. Yuck! I don't know if it is because I have two kiddos in school now or if it is just a horrible virus year but we seem to have been hit with more stuff that ever before. I practically am at the point where I don't want to even send my youngest to preschool because he just seems to catch a bug every other week! Anyone else feel that way this year?

On a more positive note...we may have found 'the house'! And it is actually brand new and on a decent size lot. I'm super excited but we still have to sell our house and need to do so for the right amount so that we can have enough to put down on the new house, which may be challenging in this market. I'm optimistic but am trying not to get my hopes up too much. I'll keep you all posted!

Hope you have a happy and healthy weekend! :)


True Love Stories...(Etsy Inspired Challenge #123)

Hello and welcome to another Etsy Inspired Challenge! We have a talented artist for you to be inspired by this week...Jeanne Forsyth paints beautiful works of art and creates necklaces out of them too. Her shop is Nanny's Room and I was inspired by her floral paintings, especially this one. I love the softness and the overall romantic feel to this piece.

So, I was inspired to create a layout of my aunt and uncle from their wedding day.

I love this picture of them...my dad actually took the picture from up in a tree...I think it has a very fairy tale/happily ever after quality to it. Unfortunately, one of the reasons that I am creating this album for my aunt is because my uncle passed away last year. I thought the sentiment 'true love stories never have endings' was beyond perfect for this picture and the situation.

All the patterned papers and rhinestones are from My Mind's Eye. The lovely rose ribbon and silver brads are American Crafts and the silver mini library clips are Stampin' Up.

So, I bet you would like to know what you could win this week if you play along in the challenge! Well...how about a beautiful necklace from Nanny's Room or some fabulous twine from our sponsor this week, The Twinery!!! They have some great colors! I especially love the lemondrop and caribbean...but why not just try it all with their sampler pack! :)

Challenge Details:

- Visit Nanny's Room and find an item that inspires you

- Create a project of your own and post it on your blog or other online gallery

- Link your project up to the Etsy Inspired Blog by noon on Friday for your chance to win!

And for extra inspiration be sure to visit the rest of the ever so talented DT!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We seem to have come down with a bad cold but hopefully a restful weekend at home will cure that. I'm hoping to have the energy to work on a few more layouts too!


Sending Hugs & Happy Days - My Mind's Eye Card Challenge

Happy Tuesday everyone! So, who bought those fun Alphabet Soup playing cards from My Mind's Eye? I just couldn't resist picking up both the boy and girl packs! I thought they would be fun to use on layouts and cards and have been thinking that an alphabet themed mini album would be super cute too. And I've found that while I love the cards as a whole, they are fun to cut up and use the pictures and words seperately too!

So, when I saw that My Mind's Eye was having a card challenge I whipped out those playing cards and got to work!
Isn't this monster adorable?! I thought that his big open arms were just asking for a hug, so I turned this card into a fun Valentine. I think it will bring a great big smile to someone! :) I also used some of the So Sophie, Abbey Road, and Lush (ribbon) collections. This is definitely my favorite card that I created with this sketch but I did share another one Saturday HERE and the following card was also inspired by the sketch.

Doesn't this make you want to smile?! :) I love these cheery papers (mostly from the Quite Contrary collection I believe) and of course that great smiley face!

Have a Happy Day! We are off to look at a few houses...yes, we are still looking for 'the one'.


A Little Bird Told Me... (Etsy Inspired Challenge #122)

Oh what a 'tweet' little shop we have for you to be inspired by this week! :) Modern bird is a lovely jewelry shop on Etsy that combines beautiful craftsmanship with modern designs. I have admired Laura's work for awhile now and so I was quite excited to create my card for this week!
I immediately went searching through my stash of My Mind's Eye goodies because I knew I had the perfect sentiment tag to represent this shop.

I was inspired by this Love Bird necklace. Don't you just love the shape and design of it?! And I absolutely adore this fun and colorful 'Life is Good' line from My Mind's Eye (Quite Contrary - Jack & Jill collection).

This card was also based off of the current My Mind's Eye card sketch challenge. I just switched it around a bit.

Want to know who are sponsor is this week?! Well, if you like adding felt embellishments to your projects then you are going to LOVE our sponsor this week! KUTZ has tons of felt goodies for all your card making and scrapbooking needs!

To play along in the Etsy Inspired Challenge, simply visit Modern Bird and find an item that inspires you, then create a project of your own based off of that item. Post your creation on your blog or online gallery, then link it up to the Etsy Inspired Blog by Friday @ noon, for your chance to win a great prize!

And for some extra inspiration, be sure to visit these lovely ladies!
Have a wonderful weekend! We are heading to the library today to get lots of new books and I am hoping to find some time to finish up a special album that I have been working on for my aunt.


Beep! Beep! - My Mind's Eye Layout Challenge #19

Hello all! I hope you are having a wonderful week! As many of you know, I am a huge My Mind's Eye fan and I was excited to be able to find the time to participate in their challenge this month. It was a great opportunity to get a layout completed (something I have not done much of lately) and use up some of my MME goodies. And in addition to a layout challenge, they now have added a card challenge...yeah! So I found a great picture of my youngest son on his first official ride this past summer and created this layout.

Everything on this layout (except for the pictures and white pen) are My Mind's Eye, mostly from the Abbey Road collection.
Here's a close up and a look at the MME sketch. There's still time to participate in the challenge!

ETA: Apparently I missed the sentence on the MME blog that stated that there is also a theme for this challenge...WINTER. Whoops! At least I still completed a layout! :)
Oh, and have you seen the new releases MME is introducing at CHA?! LOVE them! :) So far my favorite is the Stella and Rose - Hattie line. You can check out the MME blog for the sneak peeks!
Okay, I'm off to create some cards...have a great weekend!


Love - Etsy Inspired Challenge #121

Hello! Welcome to another Etsy Inspired Challenge! This week we have a unique shop to inspire you...La Pomme. Filled with lovely vintage and home decor items, I'm excited to see how you all will translate that into your projects. I love the vintage look but am not that good at it when it comes to creating vintage style cards. So, I chose this item as my inspiration and decided to create a 'love' card.

Using a super adorable image from our sponsor this week, Stamp Fairy, and some My Mind's Eye be loved collection I created this card.

Isn't that little girl the sweetest?! If you play along in the challenge this week you could win 3 adorable digis from the Stamp Fairy or some goodies from La Pomme!

So, pay a visit to La Pomme and find an item that inspires you, then create a project of your own based off of that item. Post your creation on your blog or online gallery, then link it up to the Etsy Inspired Blog by Friday @ noon, for your chance to win!

And for some extra inspiration, be sure to visit these lovely ladies!
Hope you all are starting the New Year off right! It was a bit of an adjustment getting back into the school routine for us...we so love our family time! :) But we are back in the swing of things now and have a busy weekend planned with all the friends we didn't get to see over break since we were sick.


Happy New Year! - Etsy Inspired Challenge #120

A New Year is here...what are some of your goals for this year? Maybe to craft more? :) The Etsy Inspired Challenge is here to help you with that. Every Saturday we have a new Etsy shop for you to be inspired by and there are always great prizes to be won too! This week our featured Etsy shop is MUFFA, which is filled with the cutest little crocheted miniatures...perfect for a dollhouse!

Since winter is in full swing here in the PNW, I was inspired by this adorable little snowman. I immediately took out my Crate Paper Snow Day stash to create this card.

I cannot get enough of this fun collection! And speaking of fun, our sponsor this week, Dude Time Doodles, has some hilarious and masculine images that are perfect for all those Dad, brother, husband, etc. cards.

We'd love to see how MUFFA inspires you! So, stop by her shop and find an item you like then create a project of your own based off of that item. Post your creation on your blog or online gallery, then link it up to the Etsy Inspired Blog by Friday @ noon, for your chance to win a prize!

And to start off the New Year, we also have a brand new Design Team to help inspire you!

Wishing you all the best in 2011! I'd personally love to hear if any of you are participating in Ali Edwards One Little Word project. I chose the word nurture and have decided to nurture myself by actually taking her One Little Word class! I'm super excited to see how this word plays out in my life this year and am glad I made the decision to commit to the class. What's your word for 2011? You can read more about my word HERE. And if you are interested in joining Ali's online class (it's only $36 for a year long class) be sure to email me (see under my photo in the right sidebar) because I have a code that I can give you and that code will give both of us a 10% discount for a future class at Big Picture (and they have some great classes taught by several top names in the industry). I'm already thinking about signing up for a photography class too this year! Have a great weekend!