Monday, August 29, 2016

As We Are, With You

For my 34th birthday I gave myself a gift, 34 self portraits and portraits with my boys. These are a few of my favorite... Sprinkler running, wagon pulling, everyday fun with my boys. I kind of love this idea, and may just make it new tradition.

Monday, May 16, 2016

As We Are, With You

I know, I know. It's been far too long. In some ways Instagram has became my new blog... Life got turned upside down about 6 months ago and I took to posting photos and thoughts there because it was faster, easier, and somehow less threatening. Oddly, I wasn't ready to write about it all here. I haven't printed a picture or scrapbooked at all this year. It's all been very out of the ordinary for me. I haven't stopped taking pictures though. I've found solace and light through the lens.

The short version goes like this... preterm labor. bed-rest. sudden and unexpected death of my father. grief. premature delivery. postpartum anxiety. baby with ongoing infection that led to bacteria in bloodstream. adjusting to being a mama to two. completely in love with this sweet new baby and more in love everyday with his big brother and their daddy. missing my dad like crazy. looking for light and joy and finding it. 

My sweet friend Rhonda who I came to know on the Project Life Creative team invited me to join she and a group of talented photographers in a photo project to include myself in the photo at least once a month with my children, as I am with them, now. Getting in the picture with my boys is something I'm passionate about, so this was right up my alley.

I can't help but smile when I'm soaking up the sunshine and fresh air on these warm spring afternoons with my sweet boys and beloved, albeit overly anxious pup. This is us. right now. Max insisting on being outside as much of the day as possible, completely in love with his little brother, though sometimes (understandably) frustrated with my diverted attention. Ford nestled down in the softness of a blanket, grasping my fingers with his little hands, in wonder at the vibrant colors of the trees and sky, the sound of birds in the trees, and the feeling of sunshine on his skin. Dolly at attention, concerned at the possible threat of the camera's beeping self timer. Me, smiling. In awe of these beautiful little boys who call me mama. There is sadness in loss and sweetness in new life. These little ones are my little sparks, filling my days with so much light and joy.

Thanks for stopping by. Now go take a look at Rhonda and my new photography friends as they get in front of the camera too.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Memory Keeping// Project Life

Just popping in with a few more recent Project Life spreads. We're over half way through the year and I'm loving flipping through my 2015 album and seeing our year documented with so many happy photos and stories.

When I first started Project Life I was still stuck in the style of a traditional professional scrapbooker. At my former job as a studio artist for CTMH I was taught to layer on the embellishments, stamps, ribbons, and buttons. A page was not complete until every scrap had been brushed with ink and stitched with a sewing machine. Hours of work went into every single page I created. I still enjoy this approach now and then for special projects, but it just isn't realistic for keeping up with our everyday photo and stories.

My style has evolved and now I am much more pleased with a clean and simple approach. I like the photos to do the talking. I surround my photos with a lot of white space to keep things visually appealing and cohesive. It's easier, takes less time, costs less, and I like the overall look much better. You can't argue with that!

Thank goodness for the simplicity and ease of Project Life!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Life Through The Lens// I Was There Too

I've taken thousands of photographs this year already. Yes. Thousands. Absurd, perhaps but it's my passion. The majority of these images are of family, mostly a certain curly haired little man that holds my heart. Many of these photographs highlight beautiful nature and landscapes. I've even taken a good amount of photos of... well, photos-- Project Life and other scrapbooking projects and products featuring printed photographs of our day to day adventures.

Sometimes in the midst of seeing all that life happening through the lens I remember to turn the camera around. To see myself too. I remember that my part of the story is also important. Not just my view of everyone and everything else. It takes a little more work and practice, but I assure you it is worth it.

Let's be honest... Generally, when I look at these photos on the back of the camera I don't like them--I can find every imperfection in my expression, face, or body. It can be tempting to erase them right then and there. But I force myself to upload edit, and save them--just the way I would with photos of anyone else. Like the rest of my edited photos, I tuck them away in a folder on my desktop for a few days and come back to them when I'm ready to order prints for my Project Life album. I tend to see these self portraits with more forgiving eyes after a day or so. I try to see the real me and look past the silly imperfections that I am sure no one else is concerned about. It's a good exercise in self-love.

Each of the photos above is a self portrait except the second to last one. Danny took that one and I just had to include it... because I love it.

As you might have noticed, only a few of these photos are a typical, "look at the camera and smile" style. Perhaps I just feel more awkward in photos like that, but I also just prefer a more lifestyle, real deal look to my photos in general. I like that these images show a real glimpse into my everyday life. Nurturing, loving, tired, fatigued, playful, thoughtful, etc. They show the real me, and I like that.

My advice, turn the camera around. You are there too and your story is important. Try to get over the self-criticism and see the good in yourself, the same way you do when photographing your family, children, and the world around you.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Memory Keeping // Project Life

 Another look at our story this year so far... April is our big month with Easter, our anniversary, and the boy's birthdays. And... Max and I were sick the entire month! Boo. Nevertheless I love that I was still able to capture so many of our fun moments and I can look back and smile at all the fun we had. The baby animals on the farm, the darling airplane teeter totter we gave Max for his birthday, and the little moments enjoying dandilions and spring blossoms.

May started off with a fun visit from Aunt Steph! More pages of our weekend adventures with the whole family together still to come. Max also inherited a new (to him) race car big boy bed. He enjoys naps and playing pretend on it, though we are still working on completely transitioning him to it from the crib.

I just love the ease of Project Life.

Thanks for looking!

Memory Keeping // Project Life// Moments Like These

The amazing Liz Tamanaha (designer of the beloved Midnight Edition Project Life Core Kit) has done it again! She teamed up with Stampin Up to design this beautiful new kit "Moments Like These" and I must say it totally lives up to the Midnight Edition in style and ease of use! I loved getting a chance to work with this new kit! Black and white with little pops of sage and red... just so good! You can purchase the kit and all the pretty extras from Stampin up, or enjoy the digital version via the Project Life ap. I'm sold. Go get your hands on it and you will be too!

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memory Keeping// Project Life

I can't believe how behind I am at posting here on this sad little neglected blog. It's been a long month and a half of sickness, chronic fatigue, launching my Love A Flair button business, and most importantly, living life and being Max's mom... Needless to say, blogging wasn't at the top of the list, but here I am and hopefully I can catch up quickly!

Thought I'd jump back into things with some of my favorite recent Project Life spreads. I'm seriously such a fan of Project Life. It has become my main source of memory keeping and my favorite creative way to share our stories. I love my past as a traditional 12x12 professional scrapbooker, but it's getting harder to keep up with scrapbooking our day to day life in that format. At least for now. Project Life works for my lifestyle and just really appeals to my style. I'm so glad it allows me the creative ability to share our pictures and stories in a pretty way, without the guilt of getting behind! I'm also really leaning to more of a simple clean style-- less embellishing, lots of white space, and more focus on the photos and journaling.

Also... those black, white, and gold spreads are totally my jam and I'm pretty sure you'll be seeing more of that here in the coming weeks.

Thanks for looking!!