i heart faces - photography challenge

Now that I am pursuing my interests in photography more, I've found a fun website that offers weekly photo challenges... i heart faces. This week's theme is "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," so the focus of the picture is supposed to be a part of the body besides the face. I love how this picture focuses on my son's sweet little hands, while still capturing his face in the background, as he plays with his marble tower and experiments with putting lots of marbles in at once. To see more of the pictures I took of him learning through play, you can check out my blog post HERE.

To see lots of other photographers take on the iheartfaces challenge, click HERE.


E is for Elephant - Etsy Inspired Challenge #128 (and a few photos too!)

For this week's Etsy Inspired Challenge, we have a great photography shop for you to be inspired by...The Hidden Alphabet. With lovely black and white, architectural, and unique photographs of letters, they offer all kinds of custom pieces that make for great gifts. I was inspired to search my house for hidden letters to spell the word 'love' but I'm still looking for an 'E' so I think I will save my letter pictures for another day. :)

However, I was able to find an E in my fun playing cards by My Mind's Eye and was inspired to create this card.

Here are some of the great E's you can choose from at The Hidden Alphabet.

Our sponsor this week is another Etsy shop, Paper and Roses, which offers lovely digital prints and vintage style embellishments.

Check out the Etsy Inspired Blog for all the details on how to play along in the challenge for your chance to win a great prize from The Hidden Alphabet or Paper and Roses!

And the rest of the DT has some great projects to inspire you as well!
I also wanted to share with you all the progress I think I am making in my photography! I am so loving Elisha Snow's class over at Big Picture and if you are interested in improving your photography, I highly recommend her class...in fact she has a new one coming up soon. Even though it is different than the one I am currently taking I have no doubt it will be fabulous (in fact, I'm considering taking it too!) as Elisha is a great teacher and photographer!

We are just halfway through the class but I still decided to try retaking my self portrait from the pre-class assignment to compare my photos and see if I'm really figuring out this whole manual mode, aperture, ISO, shutter speed thing! :) So, here is the picture I took before the class started:
I do NOT love this picture and this was the best out of many. Prior to this class I was experimenting with non-auto mode...I even adjusted my white balance for this photo but still it absolutely does not compare to the photo I was able to take yesterday, in full manual mode!

I am so proud to say that I created this picture...positioning myself in front of a mirror with the right natural lighting and adjusting all my settings to create a nice self portrait. I still had to take several photos to get this one but just about all of them were better than my pre-class photo. I love that I was able to capture some catch light in my eyes to help make their blue/green color stand out.

I'll be sharing more of my photography soon!

(If you decide to sign up for any of the Big Picture classes, this code: 2680469F will give you (and me) 10% off a future class.)


One Little Word - In Photos

So, I have had a challenging time with my One Little Word assignment this month. Ali encouraged us to take photographs of things that represent our word, literally and figuratively. I have kind of been waiting to have certain things speak to me but am having a difficult time seeing my word NURTURE in pictures. I know what it means to me but I just can't seem to capture it with my camera. However, today while working on my photography assignment for Elisha's class I was inspired to capture two images that I think represent 'nurture'.

I was reading a book recently with an image of hands holding a heart on the front and so I recreated that idea on my own and love how it turned out.

Also, I think these Willow Tree figures are a beautiful representation of love, nurture, and motherhood. I have about 10 of these figures but specifically picked these three for the photo shoot to represent nurturing myself, my relationship with my husband, and my kids.

I made sure to nurture my creative self today! I think I took at least 50 photographs and created two cards. And yesterday I created 4 cards...trying to see if I can get a few picked up for publication!

It was a snow day for us here today so I enjoyed a fun day at home with my boys...we'll see what tomorrow brings!


Curious Boys Layout - Etsy Inspired Challenge #127

Hello all! Welcome to another Etsy Inspired Challenge! This week we have a lovely pottery shop for you to be inspired by, Claylicious. I love her little plates but was actually inspired by the colors in this piece and the natural/outdoor photo.

So, I got out some photos that I've been meaning to scrap for awhile, along with My Mind's Eye products, and created this layout.

I completed this layout in under 2 hours (which is good for me) and took a bold leap by writing my journaling directly on my cardstock thanks to Karen Grunberg's free class at Big Picture, Embrace Imperfection. I am learning a lot about capturing what's most important in my layouts...the story. And even though I didn't feel it was a spectacular, 'magazine worthy' layout, I still really love it and now my boys will always be able to look at this page and know the story behind the photos.

Our sponsor this week is Your Next Stamp...they have tons of fun and whimsical stamps and are offering up a $10 gift voucher for one winner this week!

So, now it's your turn to get inspired and get crafting for your chance to win a prize! Check out the Etsy Inspired Blog for all the details!

And visit the rest of the DT to see how they were inspired this week!Have a great weekend!


Won't You Bee Mine? - MME challenge

We've had a great weekend, including a family sleepover last night filled with games and laughter. Today we took it easy and I enjoyed a lot of crafting time. I completed a layout and dug into my My Mind's Eye stash to create a card for their current challenge. With a love theme in mind I looked through my Alphabet Soup Girl Playing Cards and found this adorable little bee that was just waiting to bee someone's Valentine! :)

I love this sweet little heart paper from My Mind's Eye Alphabet Soup collection and paired it with some other patterned papers from their Quite Contrary line, some trim from the Lush and Lost & Found collections, and decorative rhinestone brads from the Lush collection. The pink letters are American Crafts pearl thickers.

Here is the My Mind's Eye sketch that Anam created. As you can see, I stuck pretty close to the sketch...just separating my circle brads a bit. And obviously I put the playing card in the place of the heart. I popped the playing card, heart, and letter 'm' up on foam squares for some dimension.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to part with this card...I really love how it all came together! And I'm pretty proud of my photo too...taken completely in manual mode! I adjusted my ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to get everything just right so all I had to do was crop a little before posting it.

Yes, I am loving Elisha's class over at Big Picture (she has a new one coming up in April). And I think you'll be seeing some layouts from me soon because the free class over at Big Picture by Karen Grunberg, Embrace Imperfection, is inspiring me to forget about my layout being 'perfect' (whatever that is) and focus on the memory and story that I want to tell/remember many years from now...because isn't that why I'm scrapbooking in the first place! :) Also, through that class I discovered another one called Layout a Day (LOAD) which sounds like a great way to get a bunch of layouts completed, discover your style, and let go of some of the need for creating a 'perfect' layout. Even if I don't end up doing that class, I think I will challenge myself to create a layout a day for a month sometime this year.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day and get to spend time with the ones you love!


Dad - Etsy Inspired Challenge #126

Hello all! I hope you've been having a great week. I found out that I am going to have a card published in an upcoming CARDS magazine! And we have extended my oldest son's birthday fun to this weekend too...bowling anyone?! :)

Our featured Etsy shop this week is Glow Girl, which offers fabulous coupon organizers for all your shopping needs. And by playing along in the challenge this week, you could win one! I was inspired by the colors of THIS organizer and the graphic design of THIS one to create a card for my dad.

Even though this card was a magazine reject, it is one of my favorite masculine cards that I've ever created and at least my dad really loved it! :) All of the products are My Mind's Eye and American Crafts.

Our sponsor this week is The Stamping Boutique...you have to check out their adorable images, especially since you could win 5 digis of your choice by playing along. Personally, I think this cute bunny is a must have!

To participate in the Etsy Inspired Challenge this week:

- Visit Glow Girl 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 visit these lovely ladies for extra inspiration!


Just had to share...

that my Bee Mine card is featured on the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog along with some other great Valentine inspiration!

Have a great day! I'll be back on Saturday with my Etsy Inspired project!


More Photography Fun!

So, it's week 1 of Elisha Snow's Mastering the Manual Mode photography class and already I am enjoying it and realizing that I still have A LOT to learn! Our assignment this week has been to shoot the same subject in a variety of settings with the same ISO. Here are a few of my favorites from my photo shoot today:

Outside in the shade and in direct sunlight

I loved how this inside photo turned out...the lighting was good but also I think I love it because of the colorful marble tower that also tells more of a story about my little guy right now. So, I was inspired to do a little photo shoot of him playing. Here are a few more of my favorites from that.

I love the close ups that show his sweet little hands and how is learning and discovering while playing.
* Right now you love playing with this marble tower. I think you have played with it every day this past week. You are not so interested in building it...you call on Mommy or Daddy to create a new tower for you each day. But then you can literally spend hours throughout the day playing with it. You like to experiment with different marbles, putting them all down at once or just watching one or two go down at a time. You are learning probably more than I even realize as you drop the marbles down the tube and enjoy manipulating how fast or slow they go down by stopping them or helping them along the way. You make up little games while you're playing...I hear you talking about how the marbles are chasing one another. I watch as you look at the tower from different angles and often catch you smiling as you watch the marbles traveling through this colorful maze. It's wonderful to watch you grow and explore and you often invite us to join you in this newly discovered treasure!

I am definitely going to be scrapbooking this in the near future!


Celebrate! - Etsy Inspired Challenge #125

Hello! Welcome to another Etsy Inspired Challenge! This week I have a feeling you'll be getting out your flowers and bling to create. Our featured shop, Daisy Petal Designs, offers vintage glamour earrings and lots of pretty accessories! I was inspired by all the floral pieces and these colorful earrings to create a fun layout.

I just love this paper from My Mind's Eye and the sticker accents are from Echo Park's Summertime collection. I was inspired to create my own layered flower using a few different types from my stash.

This picture is from my oldest son's first birthday...we made everyone put on Tigger party hats and take pictures with him! :) I love that my aunt and uncle were more than happy to oblige! I can't believe my little guy is turning 8 this weekend...such a big kid now!

Our sponsor this week is Shannon's Sentiments. Some of you may remember Shannon from our Design Team awhile back. Now, along with creating beautiful cards, she is creating lots of great digital images and sentiments too!

Check out the Etsy Inspired Blog for all the details on how to play along in the challenge and what you could win!!!

And visit these lovely ladies for extra inspiration!
Have a wonderful weekend! We will be having lots of fun celebrating my son's birthday with friends and family!