Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

This week I was going to have all kinds of fun things to share...I really was. Unfortunately at 2:00 am CST on Wednesday,  February 19th my eldest son woke up and tossed his cookies. That started the downhill slide into stomach virus oblivion. I've bleach, washed, and disinfected everything in site. So much, in fact that my kids think I have a new fragrance called "Ode to Lysol".

This week, on Wednesday as a matter of fact, was my youngest son's 5th birthday. So this week we had all kinds of things planned. I was going to make fun birthday treats for his school. We were also supposed to have our first ever Lego Club meeting on Thursday, which isn't happening. In fact, I'm not going to make it into the salon at all this week, which is a total bummer. A couple other fun things didn't happen either, so now I'm just holding out hope that we still have a birthday party on Saturday.

On the upside, my house is pretty darn clean and you should be able to eat off the bathroom floor by now considering how much I've bleached it. Not that you should. ..It's just that if you wanted to, you could. .....But you shouldn't.

So hopefully I have some fun birthday party pics to share this weekend, so keep your fingers crossed. ..and your toes...and your legs. Cross everything humanly possible to send us your luck!

Happy Thursday.
Love,
Val

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sleigh Ride

In my last post, I promised I would share what we did last weekend and about how we had fun in the snow. I had so many pictures, thanks to my friend Linda, that I decided to just make a little slide show to showcase all the fun in one place. I think I’ll just let it speak for itself! I hope you enjoy it.

 

Happy Friday.

And Happy Valentine’s Day.

Love,
Val

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Silver

My Hubby, boys and I all went to a friend’s/family member’s house yesterday for some fun in the snow (which I will tell you about very soon) and after our outdoor fun, we all went in to warm up a bit with cookies and hot chocolate. After we had enjoyed our yummy snacks, my friend took my boys into her living room and they were all huddled around the computer. I went in to see what they were doing and she was showing them Lego movies that she had made with her Grandsons. I was very impressed as were my boys who immediately wanted to go home and make their own movie. So after a short tutorial from her on how to do it, I promised them that Sunday afternoon would be reserved for movie making. My son, Benjamin, was so into coming up with a script that he almost didn’t realize that he was using some of his Language Arts skills that we have been working on for the last few weeks. So here is the very first movie attempt we have ever made. In other words…please be kind…we aren’t professionals.

 

 

We definitely have some work to do for the next movie, but one thing is for sure, we had a blast doing it.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Thanks so much for my friend/cousin Linda Mills for giving us this great idea!!

Happy Sunday.

Love,

Val

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lavender K, Felt Flowers and Purple Tutus

A friend of mine asked me to take photos of her newborn (who isn’t here quite yet) in about 10 days. As you can imagine I’ve been watching every video and reading every article about photographing newborns that I could find. One thing I really want to do is take a photo with the baby’s initial in it (the baby’s name will be Kenslee, as long as the sonograms are all correct!) So this week I’ve been making a wall hanging with the nursery colors in it so that after we use it in the photos, Momma can take it home and hang it up as a keepsake. So here is how I did it..

I bought a letter from Hobby Lobby that I estimate is about 16 inches tall and 8 inches wide.

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I also bought 3 pieces of scrapbook paper that had the colors of the nursery in them and then proceeded to tear them up in to several pieces. I then coated the letter in a liberal amount of Mod Podge and laid the paper all over it so it completely covered the whole letter and let it dry. Once it was dry, I trimmed the excess paper that was hanging off the edges and coated the whole thing with another coat of Mod Podge.

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Once that layer dried, I sponged white paint around the edges so no brown would show and then I sponged a little white all over the letter and then wiped it off quickly to give it a “white-washed” effect. Once the white paint dried, I then gave it a light coat of glitter because… well, it’s me we’re talking about here. You know it’s gotta have sparkle.

While I was at Hobby Lobby, I picked up a couple sheets of felt..

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…and I cut them into strips along the “long” side that was 1/2 inch wide. I then began rolling each strip to make a flower.

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Try not to get too perfect while you roll the felt. The more uneven you roll it, the more it looks like a flower. I secured the free end with a straight pin. I proceeded to make about 20 to 25 of these in different sizes and set aside.

Then I cut about 15,  2 inch sections of ribbon.

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I dabbed a dot of hot glue on the letter and placed the piece of ribbon it and let it dry. Then I carefully folded down the edges toward the middle and secured with more hot glue.

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This will be the “leaf” of the flower.

Just start building the leaves and flowers until you get something like this..

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After I had placed all my flowers I decided I needed more bling. I ran and got my beads and found some pretty faux pearls, self stick rhinestones, and sparkly beads that would go well with the colors and proceeded to fill in the gaps by hot gluing them onto the letter.

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So here is the final result of my crafty efforts..

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I think it’s going to look great with a purple tutu!! I can’t wait.

Happy Tuesday.

Love,

Val

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Next Level

I have a friend who is a wreath making genius. Her name is Lori and she owns a little shop here in my hometown, which I have mentioned on this blog before, called Rustic Charm. She makes these wonderful wreaths and sells them in her shop (along with a million other adorable things) and has sold them on Etsy in the past. This week she made a beautiful wreath for another friend of mine. This friend, Lisa, has been showing horses her whole life and wanted a wreath to display some of her bounty. I was so impressed with this I just had to share it with you..
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Isn’t is amazing? Here is what Lisa said about it on Facebook: “In it are several memories of some great horses I have been blessed with over the years. I have a trophy plague, belt buckles, a head stall, my Miss APHA queen banner, my childhood spurs and a picture of my last show horse. There are a lifetime of memories here. Something I'll treasure for a long time.”
I never thought of a wreath as a canvas for displaying such wonderful memories. It really changes the way you look at making a wreath, doesn’t it? I just think it’s genius.
Just to reinforce how talented Lori is, here are a few more wreaths she’s made..
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If you are a wreath maker, I hope this has inspired you to take your talents to the next level. If you’re not, here is a link to Lori’s Facebook page…
I’m sure she would be happy to make one for you! (I know she ships)
Happy Friday.
Love,
Val

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bayou Babies

Oh Illinois. I’d like to say I’ve missed you while I’ve been away, but somehow I just can’t quite make myself say the words. I mean who would miss negative wind chills and subzero temps? Not me. Not even a little bit.

I had the joy of spending a week in Monroe, LA with my Sister and my nieces and nephew while enjoying much warmer temps. I made the trek for my Sister’s twins first birthday party…and to help unpack 4,238,345 boxes after their move into their new home. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little bit on the boxes, but after box 10 it all becomes cardboard oblivion anyway. I fully intended to blog while I was there but it was kind of impossible so I decided to save all the photos and info for this one post.

The drive took 12 hours, but it was all worth it when I saw these little faces..

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Now I must bombard you with a plethora of cuteness..

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They have an older sister..

and she’s 2..

I think that should probably explain it all but just in case, these are the best pictures I could manage when she wasn’t running around like 2 year olds do..

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This might be my favorite though..

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Ya know, just chillin in a duck, playing the ipad. All the cool kids do it.

 

My boys also went with me on this trip and begged and pleaded until we took the drive to Duck Commander..

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So we did. …and I bought them duck calls…which I promptly regretted.

We also took a carousel ride at the mall…

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The birthday party was a typical 1st birthday party..The babies wrecked a cake and had no idea why all these weirdoes were singing to them…

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The Best Cake Destroyer Award goes to Hattie …

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You can tell she’s my niece because we eat cake the same way.

My Mother made their beautiful cakes..she amazes me…

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The trip wasn’t all about birthdays though.

As I drove through my Sister’s neighborhood a few times, I noticed that people in Louisiana go all out with the Mardi Gras décor. Then I noticed that my Sis had no Mardi Gras décor. This was a direct challenge to my creative nature so soon I was off to Hobby Lobby to correct this horrendous error. I made a wreath for her door so these new Yankee neighbors would fit in a little better..

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On the last day we were there, we took a boat ride down the bayou and the boys got the thrill of riding a jet ski..

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I was thrilled with the fact that we didn’t see any alligators.

They were thrilled despite the fact that we didn’t see any alligators.

It was a win-win.

Yesterday, I made the 12 hour journey home. It started out 50 degrees at 6 am in Louisiana and by the time I pulled in my drive way, the outdoor temp in my car said 4 degrees. I contemplated sitting my car and not getting out, but the need for my own bed won out and I ran screaming “Why?!?! Why?!?!” from the car to the house. I’m sure my neighbors all think I am in need of medication now. 

So that was the quick run down of my first trip to Louisiana. I’m going through baby withdrawal today, but I am actually happy to be home despite this ridiculous weather.

Happy Tuesday.

Love,

Val

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So I Made This Wreath…

I was cruising through Pinterest the other day and found a great wreath idea. It seemed easy enough, if not a little tedious so I decided to give it a try. So here is how I made the..
 
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First, I bought 2 yards of red felt and then went about the task of cutting it into 3 inch squares.
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The original wreath plan said to cut the felt into circles.
Hehehe… I don’t think so.
I’d already committed myself to cutting out 3,534,432 squares, ….there is no way I am cutting them into circles.
Anyhoo…keep cutting the squares..and cutting the squares..and…
You get the idea.
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Then take a square and just fold it in half and roll it up so it looks like this..
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Then take a straight pin
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and pin it into the heart foam wreath form. Keep rolling and pinning and rolling and pinning and…
You get the idea.
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The closer together you pin, the fuller the wreath.
Just keep going until you have the whole wreath covered. I did not do the back though because I wanted it to lay flat against the door.
Once I was done, I pinned some ribbon onto the back for a hanger.
I also hot glued some flowers that I had found at Hobby Lobby..and voila..
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The wreath is complete. I’d say the whole project took about 3 to 4 hours from start to finish and was relatively easy but, like I said, tedious. You also may want to wear a thimble or you will have a VERY sore thumb the next day.
Trust me.
Happy Tuesday.
Love,
Val

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What I’ve been up to..

If you follow me on Facebook this is probably a repeat for you and I am sorry for that, but for my readers that do not follow me; I wanted to share with you some of the photo shoots that I photographed while I was on hiatus. I did kids, families and boudoir and had the time of my life. For obvious reason I will not be sharing the boudoir pics until I have talked to the models.  Here are a few samples of the kids and family photos I took:

First up, my friend Shannon and her adorable kiddos. I’ve honestly never ran across a kid who can pose at such a young age as her son. It was one of the easiest shoots I’ve ever done.

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Next up is the Gardner family. This is actually my step-brother and his wife and their two boys. This was taken the same day as the shoot above which worked out great since the wind was very soft and not causing a problem. The leaves were a beautiful color and the weather wasn’t too cool. Perfect conditions!

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Here is a photo shoot I did of 5 sisters. Yes, I said 5. It was so much fun that I couldn’t quit laughing long enough to hold the camera still. It kinda made me wish I had more sisters!!

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This cutie patootie was a delight! I had a lot of fun..

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Finally, my best friend’s son. We had to call in reinforcement to get the smiles (my two boys) , but it all worked out!..

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So now you know what I was up to during November and December. I had 3 more shoots but like I said before, I’m not at liberty to share those. Right now I’m waiting on a certain young lady to make an appearance on February 10th so I can take her very first photos..and I can’t wait!! It’ll be my very first newborn shoot and I am super excited! 

Hope you enjoyed these photos.

Happy Thursday.

Love,

Val