Learning How to Sew and Make Leather Sandals All in One Day

Hannah asked me to teach her how to sew with a “real needle.”

Well.  I’m not exactly an expert on sewing, my skills are definitely in the “beginner” category, so I taught her one of two things I know how to do:

How to sew on buttons.

She loved it!  Her sewing skills almost eclipse mine!  After I teach her how to tie knots and sew a straight line  . . . our skill set will be the same!   Should that concern me?!

Next up:

David made some leather shoes for Hannah and himself.

The kids LOVED helping him.   (Dallin doesn’t want a pair yet, his Lightning McQueen boots fill ALL of his needs and he refuses to take them off, even for bed!)

Look at her cute little toes!

These extra flat sandals that will allow her to run, jump and play all day.

David made himself a pair as well for running and everyday use.  (Sometimes you have to wear shoes you know.)

We are crafting up a storm this week!  I am on spring break, but the weather is still a bit cold for any “spring-like” activities.

I’ll be posting more pics of our trip to Disneyland soon . . . my website has been having technical issues which has made it difficult to upload images . . . so check back!

Commercial Projects I’ve Been Working On . . .

School started this week, and at the beginning of every semester, I find myself trying to find the right balance being a mother, wife, student, and photographer all in the same day.  🙂  On top of the new semester, I’ve had three commercial clients just in the last few days!  In general, commercial work is on a tight deadline, with pictures needing to be done A.S.A.P., so it is rush, rush, rush!  While I can’t share everything yet, I can show a few samples of what I’ve been doing (since I obviously have been neglecting my blog for a few days!).

First, I shot this newborn session a few weeks ago and she was SO EASY.  The entire session lasted about 30 minutes which is really unheard of for newborn sessions. To see the full session, check out my Salt Lake Photography photo blog.

I am really excited to share this shoe with you . . .

This shoe is from Stem Footwear and it will be available in August.  It is a minimalist running shoe with a wide toe box, and zero arch support.  It is extremely light weight at 6.3 oz, and very flexible.

See?  FLEXIBLE!  (I’d like to see you bend this way!)  I will post more from this shoot on my photo blog in the next couple of days.  If you check out Stem Footwear’s site, you will see more images from the shoot and more styles.

On Tuesday, I was in Midway at an all day food shoot for Inn on the Creek Foods.

Yes.  Food.  YUM.

These pre-packaged soups and meals are available at Costco and Walmart ALL OVER THE USA!  (Once, when I was in Texas, I bought this brand at my local Walmart, so this is pretty exciting for me!)

So, my friendly blog friends, you just might be picking up a package of this lovely salad at your local Costco in a few months!  I’ll be sure to photograph the actual product on the shelf when it hits stores!

This was my first commercial job shooting food and I learned several things which I will post on my photo blog soon.  First thing I learned?  You go home VERY full after a food shoot! You taste everything (the chef will insist!) and you come home smelling like food.  🙂

Oh . . . I have one more product shoot I can’t wait to share with you . . . but gosh dang it, it is still in the confidential stage, so I can’t show you anything yet.  This product will also be available at Costco  . . . Looks like I should renew my membership there!

On a very random note . . . Hannah auditioned to act in a commercial last month and I just found out she got the lead part!  She will be starring in a potty training commercial that will air online and on TV!  The commercial shoots next month, so I’ll be sure to post the commercial when it becomes available!

DIY Toy Storage!

I’m nesting.

Not in the “pregnant” or “I just had a baby” sort of way . . . it’s more like “the kids’ toys have taken over our house and I’m pretty sure we don’t meet fire hazard standards.”

I really, really, really, really hate storing toys all over the place.  Did I just say “store?”  Because that is a joke.  We have NO TOY STORAGE.  We really don’t have any way to ORGANIZE toys, so you can only image a neat freak like me, sort of freaking out about now . . . it’s been two weeks since Christmas (which brought an influx of new toys) and I’m at my tolerance max.


I really don’t know how I (or anyone for that matter) could survive without Google.  Let it be known:  I LOVE GOOGLE.  🙂  Thanks to Google, my husband now has several projects on his “honey do list.”  🙂  After doing a few searches for “toy organizers” I came across Ana-White.com and oh my goodness . . . I haven’t left her site yet!  She posts DIY projects with tutorials and let me tell you . . . it is addicting!  It’s super easy for me to pick out lots and lots of DIY projects because I’m not actually the one that will be doing them! It’s like shopping without a budget!

It’s so liberating to shop this way.  🙂

I saw this “Playhouse Room/Bed” and FELL IN LOVE.  Heck, I could sleep in a bed like that!  Think of all the toys that would magically have a home right under the bed!  🙂  I love the plans with the stairs.  Oh my.  Hannah needs this STAT!  To see a detailed project description, check Sherri’s blog at www.luvabargain.com.

You can find the plans for this playroom/bed here.

I’ve been wanting to buy Hannah a beautiful timeless kitchen set.  (Also read as: a kitchen set that doesn’t look cheap and plastic . . . a kitchen set that looks like furniture, and something you’d be happy to have displayed in any room in your house.)  I’ve seen some beautiful kitchen sets, but they are all like a million dollars, so this DIY kitchen not only fits the bill aesthetically, but it’s cheap to make!  (I don’t pay my husband for labor, so yes, it really is cheap!)

Plans to make this kitchen are here.

The above images are from Cat at Constant in Chaos.  Her husband made this kitchen.  You must check out her post to see more photos.  WOW.  You are going to want to make this kitchen too!

I really liked this bed too . . . the plans for this simple bed are here.

OK, WE NEED THIS BOOKSHELF.  No question.  Plans for this bookshelf are here.

I love this idea!  Hannah needs a place to store, and play with her Barbies, Poly Pockets, and all of her other trinkets.  This doll house will be perfect!  The plans for this doll house are here.

Not to leave Dallin out, he has his share of small toys– lots of trains and cars to be exact– that need a home.

I’m very excited for my newly organized playroom!  Dang!  I can hardly wait!

Ballerinas Among Us

These girls attend Hannah’s ballet school, and I photographed them last week for my project entitled, “Ballerinas Among Us.”

Hannah will be performing with these girls this weekend at the Scera.

Come see the production of “Coppelia” at the Scera either Saturday night (May 22nd) or Monday night (May 24th).  Shows start at 7:30 PM.  Tickets $8 each.  Hannah is in act one, so be there on time!

On Pointe Part Deux

Let’s not beat around the bush: these girls are BEAUTIFUL and they weigh like TWO POUNDS.

To top if off, they are also fun to be around!  They are Hannah’s ballet teachers, so of course, they are celebrities around our house. She saw them star in the Nutcracker in December, so she’s been star struck by them for months.

I’m working on a final project for one of my classes and I knew I wanted to incorporate a theme around these girls (and a few more ballerinas. . . the project is still in progress . . .) so here are several images from our shoot.

I sketched out what I wanted them to do in this frame, and since my stick figure drawings were practically chicken scratches, I had do demonstrate what I had in mind.

Ahem.  Me.  The NON-BALLERINA.

I’m pretty sure they wanted to invite me to take Hannah’s ballet class since that would be about my skill level.  They obviously posed much more gracefully and beautifully than I did.  🙂

They are both so photogenic, and beautiful, I think every frame could have been posted.  🙂

See this one?  I told her to spot into the lens so I could capture her head still but the movement of her body.  Get this, I totally demonstrated a pirouette to her (please don’t ask me why since she is the professional!)  in my FIVE FINGER shoes and guess what?  It was the best pirouette I’ve done since I quit ballet in the eight grade.

And one more just for fun:

I love outtakes.  🙂

Oh my.  It was so much fun!  There will be more images added to this shoot (as soon as I shoot them!) and I’m super excited!

The Camera LOVES Her

This is my friend Annette.

It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, she’s VERY photogenic.

Photogenic people make great images.  🙂  Not only that, but my time with her flew by and before we knew it we were starving!  (Which led to going out to lunch and chatting way too much!)

She showed up totally prepared.  We had one short conversation on the phone about what I envisioned and what I wanted her to wear, and she brought an entire wardrobe complete with tons of accessories to coordinate.

She was a dream to photograph I tell you.

She looked great in every image.  I could have edited EVERY STINKIN’ image from her shoot.  Honestly.

These are my favorites:

This reminds me of a movie still . . . I wonder who she’s looking for over there  . . .

This is image is just so soft and beautiful.

It’s equally beautiful in B&W.  I got this angle by sitting on top of the truck (see below) while she sat on the bumper.

I love this.  It’s like, “I’m cool, and I’m casual, and you wanna go for ride in my junker truck?”  Also, take note of her yellow shirt against the blue truck.  Do you like it?  (How happy was I that she brought so many clothing options!)  To make a color image really stand out, the colors should work together.  Yellow and blue are complimentary colors and anytime you use complimentary colors you will have visually dynamic color images.  To reproduce this on your own images, check out a color wheel to see which colors are complimentary. (They are directly across from each other on the color wheel.)

I love this head shot too.

And I like it in color.  🙂

I love her facial expression here and her body language.

Take note of this image, I used my speed light (aka external flash unit) to properly expose this image.

The B&W is a beauty too.

Now, this is the point where I talk about using flash during the day.  Remember how I tried to explain that in a post earlier this week?  Well, I have better examples now.  🙂

I shot this image WITHOUT a flash.  It’s OK, but do you see how dark her face is and how harsh the shadow is across her neck?

I used my flash for this image (it was the next frame) and look at the difference!  Her face isn’t dark!  The light is very smooth on her face and the shadow on her neck is soft and diffused.

I like this image so much, I wanted to share it with you in B&W as well.

I hope this post inspires some of you to go out and shoot someone!

In Cahoots With My Siblings

What can I say?

It’s possible that I have one too many projects on my plate right now.

But I’m having fun.

Especially since I’m working on some exciting things with my brothers.

Ben (left) is a business mastermind who knows everyone. Brian (my twin on the right) is an artist and a master at product design and patent drawings. They are both well connected and brilliant, so I’m in good company. 🙂 Check out Brian’s site here.

I’m only invited to this “all boys” project because I take pictures. Hopefully good ones.

They’re working on something really cool and hopefully you will see it (and be able to buy it for yourself!) in a Costco near you in 2011.

I’ll post more details later. 🙂


I feel a bit disconnected.

Wait, what?  Did you say something?  Because there are 400 other thoughts racing through my head right now and I do not have the capability to listen like a normal person.

The end of this week wraps up one crazy semester for me at AAU.  (Just for the crazy record, I started out the fall semester living in New York, then we moved back to Kansas City, and then we moved to Utah.   TWO OF THE MOVES WERE UNEXPECTED.  Nice, huh?)  And can I just say, that after all my final projects are turned in I will be able to breath a bit easier?

I have some fun projects in the works as well and I’m excited to focus more attention on them as soon as this week is over.

Deep breath . . .

To top off this craziness, David has been in and out, and back again, over and over to the point that it’s even confusing me.  Just last night I ran into some of my cousins (who happen to be deaf) at a concert, (which sounds bizarre after reading the aforementioned bit of info about them) and they were like, “Hey!  Where’s Dave?”

And you know, I was frantically signing apologizing for my sloppy and forgetful speech, while trying to remember State signs and grasping for words. I was like, at this moment, he is in Utah, but he’s only been here for 24 hours because he just got back from Denver, and Cheyenne, and tomorrow he will be in New York, but then he’ll be back, and he should be here for a few weeks, but then I don’t know where he will be and did I mention we’ve had FOUR major moves this year?

And it all comes out like a big run-on sentence like that.  With no breaths.

It is a bit embarrassing to tell our story because we really are gypsy’s.

He is constantly on the move and it is no wonder why this little guy’s favorite word is “GO!”


What do you call a car?  GO.  What do you call a ball?  GO.  What do you call Grandpa?  GO.  What do you call mommy?  GO.

GO.  GO.  GO.

He has YET to say mommy.

He’s working on it.

I think.

Wish my husband luck at his interview in New York!  This is Hannah’s location pick for residency.  She asked TWICE this week when we were moving back to New York.  Along with the rest of his interviews, I REALLY hope they fall in love with my husband!

Well, not fall in love with him because that would be weird . . . but you know . . . I hope they really, really like him and decide they HAVE TO HAVE him for their program.

The Shortlist

We have many adventures to share and many pictures to post.  (I know some of you are thinking, “How is that possible?  MORE Pictures?”  Well, it’s true.)

I have been anxiously engaged with school, being a mom, wife, dog lover, chef, and maid.  On top of all this, I am working on my website.

In just a few short days (or longer, who knows . . . I’m waiting on my logo) I will launch my photography website and business.

I will be offering my skills to photograph families.  I will have prints for purchase.

The fun part of putting my site together is complete (the good stuff like picture galleries) but I’m still working out some details which means: The very, very, boring, nitty gritty needs to be done.

This is the short list:

  • The LDS Bookstore in town here expressed interest in selling some of my images as prints in their store.  Go ahead and re-read that sentence, digest that, and then if you have to ask me if I’m excited, you should probably get to know me better.  🙂
  • I’ve been busy looking for the right printing company to print these images as postcards and larger format prints for the right price and resolution.  Maybe when you visit this quaint little town, you’ll end up buying one of my prints?  PLEASE DO!
  • This weekend, we are going to Niagara Falls.  Again, ask me if I’m excited!
  • Hannah and David have a date tomorrow morning.  They are going to the Lowe’s Build and Grow Workshop.
  • We love this area.  I might even be able to deal with the harsh winters if we lived here.  I’m just sayin’.
  • Christmas arrived for our family yesterday when we got a huge box of clothes for David and Dallin from David’s brother.  Thank you for hand-me-downs that fit.
  • This weekend is the Lumber Jack Festival and next weekend is Canal Town Days.  We live in the middle of it all.  We’ll be attending all the festivities with bells on.  🙂

I have no pictures for this post.



But, I’m happy to share a couple of unrelated random images with you:


This very public bathroom is in the vacant Masonic Temple upstairs in our building.  I’m sure it had walls around it once.  I mean, I hope it did.  I wake up from nightmares like this . . . needing to use the bathroom and every bathroom I find is very public toilet.

Trust me, it’s a nightmare.

And this:


This alley is adjacent to a small patch of grass where I take Paris to the bathroom.  During daylight hours, this alley is friendly.  After the sun goes down, it’s a completely different story.  I try to avoid this spot and use another patch of grass in the parking lot, but sometimes I forget.

It freaks me out.

I’m not into Sci-Fi, and I certainly hated watching the X-Files, and this alley looks like something straight out of that show.

Go ahead and shiver.  I just did.

Have an exciting weekend!