Monday, September 29, 2014

Thoughts on Photography and Click Away 2014

This post is all about pictures!

Why?  Just because I love pictures.  I love taking pictures, I love looking at pictures, and I love creating with pictures.

Mostly, I love the idea of loving a moment or an idea or a concept or a color scheme or a creation so much . . . that you want to freeze it forever.  

In fact, I love pictures so much, that when my dear sweet friend said she was going to this photography conference with or without me . . . I knew it had to be with me.

This sweet friend of mine, she is an AMAZING photographer!  As for me, I am a total wannabe photographer.

And I am okay with that!  We still had a blast.  Taking pictures, for me, is an outlet for my creativity on all sides.  I love that there are companies like Shutterfly, that see that creative need in so many of us and offer great products to help our pictures come alive!

I went to this Click Away conference hoping to improve my photography skills a bit, and meet some new friends.  Little did I know, I would come home from this conference with much more than that. 

 And I have been dying to share it with you!  

With the permission from the girls of whom I formed sweet friendships with on this trip, I would like to share our pictures of each other and our perspective of the conference, along with tidbits of the life changing things I learned along the way.

From the Left:
Ann, Megan (our new Texas friend), Trisha, Me, Sandy (dear old pal)
Image from Sandy
Location:  Salt Lake City, Utah.  Salt Lake LDS Temple
I learned that there can be girls that live in the same small city as you, and all it takes is a trip to the big city (without kids) to discover that you were all meant to be.

Image from Sandy

I learned that some people are incredibly brave and amazing to be able to leave all their comforts and tackle an adventure all by themselves, just because they know it will be good for them.  I hope to be like those people some day.  I hope I can be brave enough.

Image from Sandy
I grew to understand that true friendship, is so much more than having so much in common . . . though that helps.  It is being able to see the incredible strengths in each other and understanding their fears and weaknesses.  It is about knowing their joys and their sorrows.  It is about listening, and sharing and laughing and eating.  And all this is forged together for a lifetime by 3 days of exhaustion and sleep deprivation topped off with a glimpse into each others regrets of the past.

Image by Me
I learned that the Cheescake Factory needs to come to my hometown, because they have the biggest menu I've ever seen.
Image by Ann

Even if my husband would choke at the prices.

I'll go with the girls.  :)

Image by Ann
I learned that perspective is everything in life.

You might be at an all time low.  Just look up.  Someone will be there.

Image by Ann

Or you might be flying high!

Don't forget to look down.  Someone might need a hand.

Image by Sandy

I learned I really hate to be the one in front of the camera.  Especially when I know I still have 12.5 pounds to loose, left over from baby number 4.

Image by Sandy

Blast you insecurities. 

Why are you even still here in my 30's? 

Wouldn't it be nice to let you go forever?

But I haven't.  That's what I learned.

Image by Ann

But then we actually met a person who says they openly talk with fear and insecurity on a daily basis and tell them they are welcome to come along for every bit of the ride.  WHAT!!

This is what Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love" told us.

Image by Ann

 But then she tells fear and insecurity, it can't make any decisions for her.  She gets to do all that.

How does she do that?

I'm still soaking this one in.  Might take awhile.

But I was so inspired from her at this conference!

Image by Sandy

Elizabeth Gilbert explained to us, that if we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.  She made me wonder, why would I ever fight to keep my weaknesses?  She helped me see that creativity and fear and insecurity will always exist together.  She made me question if I have the courage to make the creative work that is inside of me.

Image by Sandy

She opened my eyes to the fact that I was created by a creator, and therefore have the right and ability to create.

Image by Ann

And that I should always support my creativity and not expect it to support me.

She was so inspiring.  I've never been much of a reader (besides reading blogs - does that count) but I think I need to read one of her books.

Image by Trisha
 There was another speaker at this event who changed my perspective - forever.

Image by Trisha

Her name is Joy Prouty.  Magnificant photographer!  And an adorable girl.  She and her husband took an adventurous leap for almost a year and lived in a trailer with their 4 kids and traveled and let go of worldly things.  She was an inspiration.

Image by Sandy

I learned from her that often times, the hardest stuff is the messiest stuff - and the most rewarding.  That is just how it is.  I have most certainly seen that in my own life.

Image by Ann

She spoke of everything as being a gift.  I've always known this.  But somehow, I had missed it.  I came home from that conference truly looking at each day and each child of mine as the most precious gift.

Image by Me

Thank you Joy, for helping me see that!

Image by Sandy

One of my favorite classes was from Courtney from "Click it up a Notch".  I came away from this class with the most applicable knowledge for me as a mother trying to capture my children in their pure and un-staged childhood.

Image by Ann

With just a bit of preparation, and knowledge of the light in my house, I learned how I can do that better.  And I was pleased to learn that I am not the only one that buys stuff for my house for the sole purpose of knowing that it will look good on camera (and nothing to do with practicality).

Image by Ann

And then I met and took a class from Me Ra Koh, an adventurous, artistic woman who has taken her family along for the ride.

Image by Ann

Which I learned, is not always a bad thing.  Kids can learn a lot from seeing their mother chase their own dreams and work hard.

Image by Ann

Her lessons to me were many, but the one that struck the hardest was that, I can only move one limb at a time if I expect to climb a mountain, without falling.  For someone who tries to have too many hobbies . . . that is a hard lesson to learn.  But one I can certainly see the importance in.

Image by Ann

I tend to take multi-tasking to ridiculous levels. 

Image by Me

She also taught me that if I am not uncomfortable, then I am not creating.

Good food for thought.

Image by Me

Reminds me of the friend we made who came all the way from Texas by herself.  She wouldn't have created any friendships had she not left her comfort zone.  And we are so glad she did!

Image by Me

So that we could all learn together that no matter our faith or beliefs, we share far more in common then this world would want us to realize.

Image by Trisha

And I learned how healthy it can be for a Mama to escape her babies every now and again. 

Makes her love them even more.

Image by Ann

Finally, I learned that we would probably all be lost without our phones these days.
Profound.  I know.

They not only help us communicate with loved ones all over the world, but help us easily capture beautiful moments without skipping a beat.  How cool is technology?

I love my "fancy" camera (as my kids call it) but it sure is handy to snap pics with an iphone that fits in your pocket, to capture those moments on the go.

Phone Image by Me

In case any of you are on the prowl for one, I recently saw that Shutterfly has new iPhone 6 cases that you can customize with any picture or design.  They carry everything from custom photo books to fun pillows!

And for someone who loves pictures - that's one of the best thing I've learned yet ;) Ha!!

I'll be getting a custom pillow C/O of Shutterfly!!!.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pumpkin Stamp - From a Toilet Paper Roll (For Make it and Love it)

Every now and again, you just feel the urge to do something more with that empty toilet paper roll then just throwing it in the trash.

Because there are so many brilliant people on pinterest that do, right?  

Head on over to Make it and Love it, to see my attempts at joining the elite group of toilet paper roll recycling genius's.

I am one step closer. 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Fishy Fishy Toy (For Make it and Love it)

I just about forgot to tell you about my latest post at "Make it and Love it".

The post went up over there last week, but the kids have been playing with the toy for quite some time.

I say "kids", but there is one really big kid in there as well.  I call him my husband.  

Who needs real water and real fish when a toy can "reel" it up just the same!  The fun is in the catch right?  Not the stinky, slimy mess . . . in my opinion.

Head on over there for the tutorial, and of course - MORE PICTURES!!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Marble Fabric - With Shaving Cream! for Make it and Love it

If ever I had so much fun on a post for my blog, this one is it!!

Find the details on Make it and Love it.

And now I want to marble everything in my path.

I better warn the grocery store to order more shaving cream ;)

See you over there! - at

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lil' Blue Dress

I have been itching to make some clothes for my kids!  It has really been too long.  I have been a bit distracted with home renovations and other hobbies, sewing clothes for my kiddos has kind of taken the back burner.

After making this dress, I truly realized how much I missed it.

Once Dana from MADE put out this simple dress pattern, I knew I was going to need to get my hands on it and try it out.  Her patterns are so easy to follow, and so well done (just my personal opinion).

I loved how the pattern showed so many versatile ways to change the pattern to your liking.

I opted for the A-line dress with cap sleeves and added small loops on the sides to hold a ribbon around the waist.

I also added some lace to the hem.

It looks absolutely lovely on my little angel.

The fabric is a very soft pale blue, in linen fabric.

Which just so happens to be my favorite of all types of fabric, and color choices (found at Wal-Mart of all places).

It is so strangely rewarding to me to see my children wearing something I made for them.  

It is possibly my favorite choice of hobbies.  If only I could stay focused on just one ;)

This little sweetie is almost 8 years old and has a whole list of hobbies of her own that she wants to keep up on, and of course needs my help with.  To name a few - Violin, piano, sewing (so proud), art, jump rope (yes, that is a hobby at her school), and redecorating her room (this secretly drives me crazy!).

If only time would stand still and make her stop growing, I might be able to catch up on it all.

But, does not.  And she grows more and more beautiful each day.  So I suppose me and my sewing machine will have to try our hardest to keep up with the growing pains.