Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Little people and TV

These pictures crack me up. Look at those blank stares, slack jaws, motionless's a sight to behold. On the one hand they make me chuckle as they are so enraptured by the Letter Factory. On the other hand, they are a good reminder to me that TV and movies need to be handled with care at this age, well at any age really. I'm not gonna lie, I appreciate the fact that Owen will sit through a show. It comes in handy now and then when Josh isn't home yet and dinner is needing to be made. I'm sure when baby #2 makes it's grand appearance, there will be days Owen will watch more TV than I care to admit simply as a means of survival. But, these pictures remind me that I want TV to be a treat especially while the world around holds so much intrigue and discovery for my growing little man.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Craft

Once again, I have to thank Pottery Barn for yet another fabulous decoration idea.
I scoured the internet for a photo from their catalog but my efforts came up void so my two measly photos will have to suffice. I did alter my banner a bit from Pottery Barn's version, their edges were scalloped and mine are ridged, theirs was adorned with just leaves and I added berries to mine.

So here is my second attempt at a DIY project -

Christmas banner

Felt - I purchased one in cranberry and one in cream plus
green for leaves

Letters - Merry Christmas in Times New Romans font size 215

Scissors - I used pinking shears to achieve the ridged look, you'll also need regular sharp scissors
Single Hole Punch
Sharpie Pen
Tacky Glue

1. Rectangles - Lay your felt out flat and cut out 14 rectangles 4x3 inches . Don't worry about the rectangles having perfectly straight edges as the pinking shears will cover a multitude of crooked edged sins. Trim the edges using the pinking shears.

2. Letters - Lay your letters on the rectangles face down (i.e. the white back side of the letter should be what is facing up at you) leaving a wider margin of space at the top, trace around the letters. The purpose of lying the letters face down is so they aren't backwards from the other side. Plus your tracing lines will be on the back side of the rectangle so you don't have to worry about making sure there is no black pen residue. After all the letters are traced cut them out. Once the letters are cut out, punch two holes at the top and center of each rectangle. Thread the rectangles on to the twine in the correct Merry Christmas order.

3. Leaves and Berries - The berries I purchased were from Joanne fabrics sold for $0.50 a bunch and each berry had a thin wire stem. To make the leaves, cut out a small eye shaped oval from the green felt. Place a dot of glue on one end of the oval and pinch the sides of that end together. After the glue has dried thread the "stem end" of two leaves on to the berry wire pushing it up to kiss the base of the berry. Twist the leaves so there is one on each side of the berry. (I made 7 of these by the way = 7 berries and 14 leaves.) Thread the stem of the berry through the two holes of the rectangles, wrapping the stem through the holes a couple of times to anchor to the twine.

Random notes:
- If some of your letters flop you could try starching/ironing the rectangles. I used some clear thread to tack the floppy centers of a few letters to the sides. However my font size was a lot larger and I think the smaller number will help eliminate the flop factor.

- In the pictures I used berries on some squares and leaves on others. After making a few more banners, I decided I liked just having berries on every other rectangle as the twine showing through on the "off" rectangles was a nice contrast.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stroh family photo shoot

My sweet Strohs - a family composed of my fabulous and amazing sister-in-law Casey, her handsome and studly husband Micah, and my most precious nephews and niece Jude, Levi, and Naomi.

I have the pleasure, and great challenge, of taking their family pictures every year. I'm sure at some point they will realize there are far better photographers out there than me. But till they decide to shell out the bucks, my trusty ol' camera and I manage to do the trick. (My not-so-secret wish this year for Christmas is a photo editing program that would make my pictures better than they really are.)

Anyway, for whatever reason I meet this responsibility with a certain amount of fear and trepidation every year. Part of it's feeling like there's some one better. The other part is knowing that taking good pictures that are in focus, with the right lighting, and nicely posed (or not) while trying to keep little people happy and clean and looking remotely in your direction is quite a feat.

Thankfully they are family. Thankfully my nephews have irresistible dimples. Thankfully they aren't paying me. All those things together with a gorgeous setting and my photography worries fade away and we come up with some pretty awesome shots...each and every year.

So till you decide to move on to greener pastures Stroh family, I sure do love you.
Thanks for letting me take part in documenting your ever growing
and awesome family and for giving me the opportunity
to do something I truly enjoy.

P.S. My fabulous mother-in-law was a wonderful asset to this year's photo shoot. Nothing like an extra set of hands to corral little boys or someone to say a silly smile inducing saying.
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For some reason or another I'm feeling rather uninspired by this post. I don't know if it's the lack of pictures or what, but it's probably because I'm over Halloween, and am really excited about the holidays I actually find worth celebrating-Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But for memory's sake, this was Owen's first experience at Northshore's Harvest Carnival. A community event that fills the halls of the church with copious amounts of costumed children, giant inflatable toys, candy and carnival like games. For the most part Owen was overwhelmed; however, once we found the games that required throwing a ball into various holes and targets the happy little man we know and love emerged.

The other portion of Halloween was fairly undocumented thanks to forgetting my camera at my sister-in-laws coupled with my long-standing hatred for our wretched point and shoot. But, the beginnings of a new tradition were born involving two dear families that live close by - the Regans and Izzards. Our children happily screeched their way from house to house down our street fully enjoying the thrill of knocking on the door more than the candy they received. And that's all I have to say about Halloween.

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