Category Archives: Flow of Creativity

Because…

It’s time.  It’s time to focus my lens, to adjust the aperture a little lower to blur the background and focus in on the subject.  On Christmas day I pulled out my big professional camera for the first time since July to capture life.  As I looked through the viewfinder attempting to capture my 16 month-old amusement with the Christmas tree, it hit me.  I miss this.  Much to my surprise, at the sight of my camera the Little Monster immediately raced to the front of the tree, plopped himself down and gave me the cheesiest grin I have ever seen.

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-1 Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-12

While I love living life on the other side of the camera (and appreciate the convenience of my iPhone camera), intentionly capturing the little details that tell our family stories seemed like a thing of the past. Then it really hit me, I’m a hypocrite!  Little-d-Tales {Photography & Design} LLC was created in January 2011 with the tagline “capturing the moments that tell the stories of your life.” I created the business to offer photojournalism specialty to lifestyle photography.  Back then I would combine my appreciation of writing (blogging) with the ability to capture photos to best tell the story.  My passion grew and so did my clientele.  I was capturing real life, little details that weren’t staged or scripted, helping tell the stories of who individuals were, the nuances in families, and amazing things happening in our communities.  Ironically something began to change, it became work.  A wise person once told me, “it’s important to follow your passion, but be careful you don’t kill it.” My passion began to wane and every session felt like more time away from family.

Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-13 Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-16 Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-18

Enjoying Life has not had a post since Spring of 2015.  There is not even a story or record that my youngest was even born on this blog.  The good news is I have still captured these moments.  But what happened in the past 2 years is I began to dread sitting down at the computer after a shoot to edit the photos.  I almost resented it. I took on fewer jobs and began to consider the end of Little-d-Tales {Photography & Design}.  Well Christmas solidified the decision and my last photo shoot for hire was December 26, 2016.

Thank you to my many clients who invited me into your homes, trusted me to capture the most amazing moments of your life both big and small.  For coming back time and time again.  I have stood beside you as you saw your future husband for the first time, holding your baby, watching you drip with sweat as you attempt to get your 1 year old  to sit and smile.  For learning to have a tissues as I capture your child’s senior photos, or M & M’s to entice the little ones.  For having grace to keep the shoot scheduled  to capture your family knowing that one of the chairs would now be empty.  Each shoot helped me grow into a better person, not just a better photographer. Being a natural light lifestyle photographer requires the technical and artistic skills to “make it happen.”  You gave me the confidence to take the helm of rowdy group of over 75 people. The business skills to manage financials and predict profit margins without knowing the depth of the job. As the business developed so did my IT skills, learning code and editing shortcuts and hardware needs to stay competitive in the market.  With each photo shoot you helped me see the world in a little different way.  Thank you. I am grateful for an awesome 5 year run at my own business.  It was exactly what I needed to be able to sit here today and say goodbye and be completely content with the decision.

I will continue to pull out my camera, hone my photography skills and admire amazing lighting.  Except my camera will be focused in this direction. Little-d-Tales: YIR 2016 &emdash; Christmasday16-2

It is my hope that I will sit down and enjoy telling OUR stories again.  As our family closed the books on 2016, we did so with bittersweet hearts.  2016 marked several unforeseen milestones in our home and hearts.  While beautiful girl’s smile reminds us of the good, the “Love You” snowflake made by Little Man in the background was a memorial to our dog who unexpectedly died in November, along with several family members. Little Man placed the love you facing out so our “(loved ones) in heaven could read it.”  Our family is grateful for photos such as these so that in years to come we are still reminded to smile, to remember, and hold tight to the memories that created our 2016 family stories.

2016 closes the chapter on Little-d-Tales {Photography & Design} because…It’s time! Thank you for helping write this chapter of my life.  It has been a meaningful 5 years.

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Filed under Deep thoughts, Flow of Creativity, scarpbooking

1,055 days of Motherhood

I have been a mother for 1055 days.  There are days when I pause amidst the chaos and reflect on “what did  8 hours of sleep really felt like,” or “when was the last time I had 10 minutes completely to myself (showering doesn’t count).”  Today was one of those days. Little Miss Mae was up every 3 hours for almost an hour each time.  In her defense she’s cutting 4 teeth and is completely uncomfortable.  Little man coughed his way through the night, then all morning had snot streamers every time I turned around.  The dog is dire need of attention, this means he follows me and paces endlessly around the house, which would instigate anxiety from any relaxed person.  I shot their morning routine to hell, and realized at 10 AM we needed breakfast, I couldn’t even make pancakes right.  Might have something to do with having 2 blow outs and several snot streamers from both kids during that time.  Who knows what ingredients I missed. I was feeling sorry for myself and wanting a glimmer of hope.

Then I grabbed my camera.

I’m overdue in recognizing all that I have to be thankful for.  Check out what 3 AM looked like for me…

She has been title by many different people “the happiest baby on earth.” 99% of the time it’s true.

I need to do a bit of narrating for a bit.  I have my own photography & design company (Little-d-Tales) whose slogan is to capture the moments that tell the story of your life.  What you will not see is my lack of sleep or short fuse, instead you will see all the miraculous things that mold and shape who my daughter is at 7 1/2 months.  See how many little details (get it) you can notice in the next few photos.

Okay quiz time:

  • How many creases or rolls does Miss Mae have on her left leg?  5 is the correct number in the picture.  Trust me there are a few more under the diaper.  Did you notice the ankle roll?  I love her adorable little chubbs!  I took this picture to help me remember all the fun little rolls in the most peculiar places (wrists and ankles?!)
  • Do the length of her toes go in chronological order?  Nope, her 3rd toe is slightly longer than her 2nd toe.  She has funky toe nails too.  Why does this matter.  A little blemish of mine is the disgustingness of my feet.  My husband jokes all the time about how he hopes the kids end up with his feet!
  • Which pictures show her teeth coming in?  Actually 2 of them do.  The smiling and crying one expose different teeth.  She actually has her front 2 top teeth and front 2 bottom teeth coming in all at once.  One is more prominent on top so you only see 1 in the happy photo.  I try not to compare to my little man, but occasionally it’s interesting to me how different they are, despite how similar they look.  My little man had 4 teeth at 6 months, her’s are just starting to push through at 7 1/2, in fact the first one broke through last Thursday.
  • Based on her fabulous bed head, what do you presume her hairstyle was earlier in the day?  If you said pony tail sticking straight up on her head you would be correct.  With all that baby hair and new growth, there is hair of all different lengths.  Clips come out in .2 seconds.  Despite her longer hair, she HATES hair pretties and either pulls the out the second they go in or she fights you to the death while you attempt to put them in.  The pony tail on top of the head (think Bam-Bam) is our best option at this point, so it’s the fall back hairstyle.

These are all little pieces that we overlook in our everyday life, and yet at this age things change, develop and disappear before you have the chance to notice and appreciate it.  I have always LOVED her cry.  She puts every ounce of expression into it. Although I just noticed the bottom lip isn’t curled.  Either she was far enough into the cry or she has outgrown that too.  Gee, I hope not. Okay that was 3-4AM.

Here’s 11 AM….Bath time.  I am falling into the 2nd child trap (not having as many picture of the 2nd) as soon as EllaMae was wrapped in the towel and grinning from ear-to-ear, I realized I had a moment in front of me that I wanted to capture and share.  I should mention my husband is away for the week and misses these bambinos, so I thought of him as I sped to my camera before the moment passed. No quiz this time, just me narrating as needed.

True story, she is smiling all the time.  She smiled because she saw me with the camera.  She’s had some practice with a mom like me.  Either way I think she’s amazing.

Obviously she doesn’t sit for long now that she is moving around.  She quickly rolled to a sit an attempted to take her towel off.  Proved to be more difficult that she anticipated, so she went back to smiling for the camera.

And of course, big brother (little man) has to do whatever his sister does.  He was in the bath with all but 2 toys, which means 82 were in the tub… he noticed a few  toys on the floor.  From Miss Mae’s perspective, “thanks for pointing that out.”  Just goes to show she doesn’t let much slow her down, including a towel.

I really hope we are functioning in a judgement free zone.  I promise you that the stuff on the floor was the product of my sanity.  When both kids decided to explode out the back, douse themselves in syrup from breakfast, and the never ending snot streamers tying us all together, I opted for the least restrictive path to the bath, which meant clothes of all shapes and sizes were dropped to the floor. Getting Miss Mae dressed I decided I NEEDED this shot.  Again- no judging me or this shot.

And then there is little man! Fresh and clean.  After each bath I always snuggle him up and pretend he’s my “little papoose.” He was a bit disappointed he didn’t get a hooded towel.  We’ve been trying to transition him into big boy mode.

I had pulled out his clothes, but he was determined to dress himself.  Clearly I underestimated him.

He was so proud of putting his own socks on.  We really should celebrate our little successes more frequently.  He has taught me that.

While I was finishing up with Miss Mae, little man continued his adventures in the tub.  I was so impressed after his bath to see him in his bedroom getting dressed.  No word quite capture his determine to dress himself.

To make this story even more enlightenting ( at least to me as a mom) is not just recognizing them as individuals with unique traits and characteristics, but also as siblings.  After bath time was an attempt to have nap time.  As I tucked little man in, miss mae kept trying to get on his bed.  When I set her down they broke into squeels of excitement.  As you can see they LOVE each other!

So this Thanksgiving day I’m grateful for chaos, chubby cheeks, curiosity and independence; Siblings and parenthood.  Cleanliness and messes, infants and toddlers.  May I not lose sight of the amazingness taking shape before my eyes and enjoy the beauty that I have created despite it’s imperfections. May I learn to recognize and appreciate the moments of silence when they do exist so I am prepared to embrace the chaos later! I am grateful for the opportunity to notice and capture the little details that will add to the chapters of our life story. In the past 1055 days I have learned how to be a better person, my husband and children inspire me everyday, and I am eager to continue to learn and grow together.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.  May you notice the little things that make your life grand 🙂

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Filed under Bundle of Joy, Exploring, Flow of Creativity

Handmade Gift Exchange

Thanks to the online hospitality of Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous.  I was able to participate in the Handmade Gift Exchange. Every person gets matched up with a partner and has 1 month to make a gift and send it to their partner.  There are no real rules…the door is wide open to create whatever you wish.  With that I bring you my homemade creation.

My Partner was Debbie from Ohio, who described her self as a 60-year-old who refuses to grow up.  In getting to know her she really enjoys her time with the grandkids.  So I decide to make “Grandma’s Boredom Buster.”  You may have seen ideas like this before, a jar full of ideas to fight the summer boredom blues while the kids are home from school.  I created a document (2 columns) with all sorts of arts & crafts ideas, free activities (like having a picnic in the living room), and research her local chamber of commerce for ideas of places to visit as a tourist.  I printed them all out on colored cardstock, leaving a few blank for a free-choice or to allow her grandkids to come up with a few more.

The container was an old christmas cookie tin that I rescued from the trash.  I spray painted the outside with Heritage White Rustoleum paint.  Then lined the outside with some funky ribbon and added the title to the cover.  I found that tacky glue with a dab of E-6000 worked the best to keep the ribbon on the tin.

The title was created in word with a circle shape, add a text box, print, cut out, and adhere.  I used scrapbook adhesive so it wouldn’t seep through the paper.

I also added a few homemade stamped note cards inside.  In return I received a mini-decorated-board book and bottle cap magnets, adorably wrapped in white tissue paper with a pink rosette ribbon and lime green stretchy bow

Thanks to Linda for hosting this fun little party.  I believe the next one will be in November for a fun homemade Christmas exchange!  To see all of the gifts, head to homemade gift exchange linky party to see what was sent and received!

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40,000 views {Announcement & Giveaway}

I snuck on tonight to update with a fun little post about my latest creation and noticed I hit the 40,000 viewers mark.  Considering this is completely a hobby and creative outlet, I was pretty impressed.  Throughout the life of this blog, things have ebbed and flowed.  Wedding planning kicked this blog into high gear a few years ago, then a vacation, pregnancy, and now life with little man.  I have occasionally let my creativity show with scrapbooking, photography, decorating, crafting, other various DIY projects.

So with this post I’d like to say thank you to my many readers, of whom many I’ve never met, for “hanging out” with me.  So first the announcement.  I have decided that my creative life needs a place and while I do sneak it in here from now and then it seems a bit too random.  This blog was created and always intended for me.  It’s been an ever-growing journal of life that I can reflect come back to remind myself later how it once was.  I’ve used my blog to help track things in our life that eventually make their way into a scrapbook.  Starting July 18, 2011 most of my creative juices will be featured at Fostering a Creative Life (fosteringacreativelife.com)

So quick, jump over to my new site for my very first giveaway! It’s hip, it’s beachy and totally functional 🙂

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Filed under DIY, Flow of Creativity

Simply Satisfying Desk {Garage Sale Makeover}

Ever find something that just catches your eye for no apparent reason? It wasn’t something you were looking for, not your typical style,  but there it is staring you in the face with puppy dog eyes begging you to take her home and love her.  Such is the story of the beginning of a relationship between “Simply Satisfying Desk” and myself.

She wasn’t anything fancy but her simplicity reminded me of a HUGE doll clothes closest that my grandpa made for me as a little girl…too bad I wasn’t a doll kind of girl.  I’d turn it around in my room and pretend it into a checkout at a “store”…I digress.  Either way there was just something about this desk that appealed to me.  In fact she wasn’t even really for sale.  She was stuck back in a corner of a storage shed of a rummage sale.  In great shape with just a few paint chips coming off the chair.  I rescued her by offering $10 without the faintest idea of what I was going to use her for…which I needed to come up with real quick in order for this to go over well with the husband. By the time I arrived home I conjured up a response, “a sewing desk” I blurted before he could mutter the question.

She had to wait her turn on the list of re-dos and makeovers, but eventually she got naked and I gave her a bath (by way of sander to remove a few layers of painted, air compressor to blow away the dust and a tack cloth to get any remaining remnants particles.  I highly recommend a tack cloth if you are doing any sanding!)

I had the heavy duty sprayer out to prime the armoire with KILZ, so I used that.  I started by painting it Sesame Seed by Krylon (I found 2 cans on sale at Michael’s for .54 cents in the clearance section) but I ran out before she was complete.  In dire need for touch ups, I headed to several stores scouring shelves for the random and apparently discontinued color.   This ended up being bittersweet,  why? While I wasn’t a huge fan of starting over,  I liked my new color SO much better- it just SCREAMs my name whenever I see her.  What color is it?  London Grey by Rustoleum (new favorite).  Better yet I found that Menard’s had on sale for $1.99 plus a $1 off per can rebate, making each can .99 cents.

I should mention that I removed the drawers and pulls as I had other plans for them.  I sprayed the body of the desk (2 cans) and after much deliberation decided to paint the drawer pulls the same color.  I wanted to use some fancy fabric to cover the drawers. I found this home interior fabric (1/2 yard at 50% off at Jo-Ann Fabrics). In order to cut my fabric to size I laid out the fabric, wrong side up on the table to find the best way to make use of the fabric.  While holding the fabric to the drawer I flipped it over to see the fabric design.  I made minor adjustments to get the best fabric design for each drawer.  For example,  on the lower drawers I wanted to make sure I had a big pretty bloom covering most of the drawer front.  I laid the fabric and drawer back down on the table with my new adjustments, marked around the drawer front with a pencil and cut about a 1/4-1/2 ” beyond (it doesn’t have to be perfect and I’ll explain why in the next step below) so I had a little extra fabric around the edges than I needed.  Sorry for the lack of pictures during these middle steps. It appears SOMEONE deleted them on the camera not realizing what they were for, but I’m not holding a grudge- really.

I had an idea in mind for the drawers to spruce them up, and thanks to Amy from Modge Podge Rocks and her nice tutorial for modge podge with fabric I found the assistance I needed. I didn’t use any fancy modge podge- just what I already had.  I started with all pieces right side down on the table (cover the table with with wax paper to protect it).  I spread a generous amount of modge podge on with a foam brush to the wrong/back side of each fabric piece.  I let each piece dry over night (partially because I do most of my work after 9 PM).  This stiffness is important, it prevents the fabric from fraying and helps ensure the fabric sticks to whatever material you are looking to use.  The next day I made sure each piece was dry.  I took the drawer front and applied a liberal amount of Modge Podge onto the front of the drawer, making sure to get the edges well.  Then I placed the fabric (wrong side down) on top of the drawer with wet modge podge.  Starting in the center I smoothed the fabric out toward the edges.  I applied the fabric around the slight curve on the corner all the way to the flat portion of the drawer (the side of the drawer that touches the desk).  I made a slit in the fabric along the corners and overlapped the fabric on one-side then cut the remaining fabric flush with the corner, adding a little modge podge to help convince it to stay put.  Once the farbic seemed dry ( a couple hours) I cut the excess fabric from around the edged to be flush with the back of the drawer.  Because I had modged podged the fabric I didn’t have to worry about fraying, and  because I waited for it to dry thouroughly I didn’t have any problems  with the fabric pulling away or peeling back.  I will say this process is a little bit tedious for my taste, as I have the patience of a over-tired 2-year-old (well maybe not THAT bad, but patience is not my best quality)

The last step was to put on the drawer pulls, place her in my messy unorganized craft room to get her out of the way add some of my craft supplies in her drawers and adorn her with a sewing machine to make her feel a little more welcome in my craft area.  She looks so pretty, it inspires me to keep her cleaned off and unhidden to admire her beauty.  For $10 and a little love, she was well worth the simple satisfaction that I was looking for in my craft room.  Welcome pretty desk!

Anyone ever attempt any modge podge + fabric recipes?  Any suggestions?  Do share!

Linking up to:
Visit thecsiproject.comSomewhat Simple  Lovely Crafty Home

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Filed under Before/After, DIY, Flow of Creativity

Want to get a handmade gift?

I signed up! I’m participating in Craftaholics anonymous handmade gift exchange. {Squeal} Who doesn’t love gifts in the mail? I think you should sign up too. Hurry up the deadline to register is June 6th. For more information go here (or just click on the button below). Happy crafting, and thanks to Linda for hosting such a neat exchange!

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Filed under DIY, Flow of Creativity, Random thoughts

Fresh {Summer Mantel}

In my pre-surgery list  I put a huge emphasis on changing out all the decor, for several reasons.
1.  I was already bored with the Spring decor, 6 more months would be painful for me.
2.  I needed to be a good patient.  Knowing my physical limitations after surgery, this could not be accomplished by me during recovery.  and…
3.  I love my husband dearly, but he build things and I decorate.  Asking him to decorate would require him to turn in his man card.  Plus I’m not the best at communicating my ideas to him…we just think differently.

With all that said, I wanted something fresh, relaxing, and simple.  I also give myself rules that I cannot spend more than $10. I gathered an assortment of things I had: Mason jars (both blue and clear), shells, vases, wooden crates, fabric remnants, wood, candles, even left over projects from a summer school class I taught years ago.  This project usually creates a huge mess as I work through my creativity.

The result:

I began with my larger focal pieces (crate, apothecary jars) filling in with different heights, and textures while maintaining a sense of balance. All of the items used were things I’ve accumulated mostly from thrift stores or garage sales.


(I made the sign with a scrap of wood, white acrylic paint and a laser cutter- this was a project at a summer camp I taught several years ago.  You could easily do something similar with a stencil or vinyl die cuts)


The white sand and various candles were left over from our wedding. The shells were a find at an estate sale a few months ago- HUGE bag for maybe $2. The shell looking thing inside the apothecary jar is actually dried fungus from a potpourri mix I picked up at a recent rummage sale for .25 cents (remainder of the mix is in the other apothecary jar on left side)

Fill in with jars and vases of various sizes, spread the shells out so they look scattered and you have yourself a summer mantel. 🙂 little cost, huge satisfaction!

I plan to pick some fresh blooms from the garden to put on either side in the galvanized buckets, but that would require it to stop raining.  The blooms needs some love from the sun!ll.

I’m linking up to these blogs: Someday Crafts
Photobucket/ Visit thecsiproject.com

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Filed under Flow of Creativity