Party hat template

I am coming out the the crafty closet. Yes, I’m crafty. You got a problem with that?

So,  it’s end-of-the- school-year party time and I got my craft on with some party hats for my son’s class.
I have included the template and directions below.

The hats were a great success, but I could kick myself for not getting a class picture with them on. Too bad.
Enjoy what I do have.

Click the image below to go to the download site.

Party hat template

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Random video for today.


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Holton Rower Pour Painting

Fun inspiration for messy artists. My boys loved this.

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hooting my own horn {sic}

So, I’d prefer to be more humble, but sometimes I am just so excited about what I did that I have to share.

I hope that you appreciate the fact that I am not a cake decorator and that I am not meticulous when I cook or bake.  So this large confectionery/baking endeavor was a labor of true love from me to my 5 year old son.  {And I employed the much over-exploited loyalty of my best cheese-arranging* friend, Stephanie, to keep me on task and finish the d@$^able thing before dinnertime.}

*Cheese-arranging, you ask.  (adj.) Yes.  It’s an adjective of endearment that I have used to describe the wonderfully OCD quality that would make someone artfully arrange the cheese on a grilled cheese sandwich so as to have no cheese overlap nor overflow.  It’s opposite would describe me.  I have no desire nor skill to prevent the cheese from either overlapping nor overflowing.  Dare I say that I prefer overlap AND overflow.  But, I love everything about Stephanie.  So, I will raise a glass now (even though it may be 10am) to her “disorder” (yes, pun is intended)!

Enjoy, Hedwig!

{to also be noted, the Harry Potter craze has taken over my children since our trip to Universal in March.)

Here is a detail of the finished work.  Mon chef d’oeuvre!

Assembly of the pieces.  I made a chocolate cake and a butter pecan one.  Both moist and yummy combined with the homemade butter cream frosting.

Crumb coating.

Doodles from

Almost done.

They can’t wait.

Ahhh.  The candles.  Happy Birthday, C-note!

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happy spring cards

Did you miss getting cards out this winter…  Have the grandparents been laying on the guilt trip about not getting any photos or news about their grandchildren?

Well, if so, help is here.

GHD Happy Spring Cards.

Book a photo shoot and order your cards

that say “bring on the warmer weather” today!

10% off your sitting fee

if you mention this post with your order between now and April 30th.



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You’re spectacular

Since I snap photos of people for hire, I have run into many people who don’t believe they are beautiful.  I’ve written before about laugh lines and fat bulges that are evidence of character and experience not just something to “take care of.”

We don’t listen to our friends or loved ones, who tell us of our beauty; we believe what we see in magazines and on television and on the big screen.  And since I know a thing or two about Photoshop, I’d like to tell you that it’s all a lie!  But believe me, I can make a 40-year old woman look 25 with some good lighting and a clone tool.

I have recently found this uplifting blog called Kind-Over-Matter.  They posted this wonderful video from a Speak Out Spoken Word Competition.

Let  PrufRock tell you the truth.

I hope you listen.   SPL

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No-school photos

I think in my twelve years of school pictures, I liked maybe one or two of them. Actually, my first grade one is the best.

I was a little cuter back then than now.

Anywho, that whole school photo thing was  such a blur of a yearly experience.

I remember every year being lined up in a random school hallway,  given a little black comb, and told to wait patiently for what seemed like the next three hours.  We usually flicked each other’s head or shoulders with the combs before they broke.    And then we would get scolded by one of the teachers assigned to herd us in the hallway, who would say something gentle like, “I don’t get paid enough for this” or “I really could be using this time to teach more about fractions.”    Well, you know it’s bad when I’d rather be enduring a refresher on fractions than standing in that hallway trying not to wrinkle my clothes.

Invariably, about ten seconds before I got to the door I remembered the cheap comb and its real purpose, to fix my hair.  But where was the mirror?  Nowhere to be found.  In the twelve years I had school photos snapped of me, I never remember a mirror.  And,  to top it off, I had hair nearly halfway down my back – this little piece of black plastic was no match for my tangle-prone locks.  Furthermore, what’s the use of trying to fix my own hair without a mirror.  I had to trust that the frazzled photography assistant was telling me the truth when she said I looked “fine.”  {Oh, that’s a four-letter word in my house.  My husband knows not to tell me I look “fine.”  But, I digress.}    And then, before i knew it I had been called into the creepily lit room with the funny umbrellas, muddy backdrop and the brilliant lights; shoved onto a stool; told to say “cheese;” snapped twice; told the purple dots would go away; and sent back to my fractions lesson.  Yup, every year.

Well, that doesn’t happen if you’re homeschooled.  Or, maybe it does, but not if I can help it.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to take some non-school photos for a local homeschool co-op the other day.   And they didn’t get the cattle-call line-up in the hallway treatment from me though.  Each family got about fifteen minutes to pose and just act a bit silly.  We captured more personality than you’d see in most yearbook photos and no one was hurt by cheap combs.

Enjoy.  SPL

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Slimming Valentine’s gifts

It’s the SECOND most wonderful time of the year…  Well, sort of.

I feel like I just finished my gift giving holidays and now I am expected to give something for Valentines!

My husband and I have stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day in the traditional cards and candy sense.  Neither of us wants those things.  I am not a particular fan of heart-shaped things, flowers always die and candy {well, it makes me fat, right?.}  So, we invest in each other for Valentine’s Day.  During that week sometime, we turn off our cellphones, TV, iPads, etc. and spend quality time together.  If you know my husband, you know that that is a better gift and a harder one for him to give than a box of chocolates.

SO IF YOU’RE WATCHING YOUR WAISTLINE this year and looking to  give that special someone a thoughtful low-calorie  gift, consider a child or family photo session or silhouette session as a GREAT way to show them that you care.

Book your session between now and FEBRUARY 14th and I’ll give you 25% off session fees and prints!

Like me on facebook and I’ll give you another 5% off {you’re up to 30% off now}

Signup for the newsletter and I’ll give you another extra 5% off.  {That’s 35% off!}

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FIF #84

I almost didn’t do this one, but I couldn’t resist the challenge.  The women at iheartfaces have come up with a real editing challenge for this week’s Fix It Friday.  Check out all the entries at their site

Here is the original SOOC (straight out of the camera) version.

Here’s what I did.

I played with the saturation, the levels, and added touches of light and dark to even out the shading.  I sharpened her face a bit and cloned out the spit.   And then I ran Pioneer Woman’s 70s action on it (but changed the groups opacity to 75%).  I also needed to crop out the feet, while leaving a hint of the cute little piggies below.

Here ‘s a bonus black and white version.

Let me know how I did.  Enjoy.  SPL

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innocent wonder photo challenge

i heart faces is having a photo challenge, “Innocent Wonder” and I immediately thought about this photo that I captured this weekend.  It was a preview shoot for my Valentine’s mini sessions.

Check out the other entries at  I always appreciate your comments and critiques.

Enjoy.  SPL

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