Crafty Thursday

It’s a cloudy, dreary day out today. I have the itch to do something crafty. I don’t know if I’ll actually find the time to do something crafty today, but I figure blogging about something crafty might help that a bit—kind of like when I have a craving for ice cream from Cold Stone and instead opt for the fat-free fudge bar. It’s not completely satisfying my craving, but placating it enough where I can survive. ;)

On Monday I scrapped a layout with those photos of Madison that I’ve been dying to use. I’m hosting the technique challenge at PGD this month, so it was the perfect time to grab one of those and get to work. :)

You Are <--click for credits

I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. Vast expanses of white space and the color white itself punctuated by pops of bright color has really been appealing to me lately.

The other crafty thing that I want to share with you today are epoxy scrabble tile pendants. I made several of these at Christmas for the PGD creative team and 2 for” the Lisas” (my sisters-in-law). Amazingly enough, I didn’t photograph the pendants before giving them. Yes, I’ve been kicking myself for it every since! But here’s an example made by Anne Howes, who is also the author of the tutorial I will be linking you up to:

Bee-lieve it or not (get it? bee-lieve? heh. corny wordplay is my specialty. :p ) these little beauties are not that difficult to make. It can be a little scary working with the epoxy at first—especially if you read online because some of the tutorials make it seem like either the fumes going to knock you out cold or that you have to be really fast at working the epoxy or you’ll have a ruined project. I used Envirotex Lite epoxy (got it at Michael’s) and found it both relatively “non-stinky” (and it was winter, so the ventilation was minimal because I live in a very cold state) and easy to work with.

I’m not going to recount the steps because Anne does that so beautifully in her tutorial HERE, but I will say that it was a fairly quick project that I really enjoyed. I plan on making more in the future—maybe even one for myself, this time around! You should give it a try!

Photo Woes & Cute Straps

Today is Nicholas’s first day of summer vacation. He seems to be quite happy about this and woke up all smiles this morning. I tried to get a few shots of these smiles, but I encountered a problem that is becoming a common occurrence with him when I try to snap a picture.

His fingers in his ears. :(

The older he gets the more sensitive he is to certain sounds (though some sounds that drive me bonkers seem to have no impact on him what-so-ever—go figure), and now he’s in the habit of plugging his ears. He does this when he knows I’m saying something he won’t like too—so I know some of this ear plugging is not simply a sensory issue. :p  But now we’re at the point where apparently my camera shutter makes a sound that he finds very unpleasant, because when I pull the camera out—before I can even get the lens cap off—his fingers are planted firmly in his ears and there they stay. It’s very frustrating. I have to figure out a way to break this habit so I can get my cute photo ops back.

And speaking of cameras, photography and all that jazz—I’ve discovered a whole little retail market that I never knew existed: cute camera straps. I guess I never realized that some people desire a strap for their camera that isn’t so---utilitarian in look.

I found a couple sellers on Etsy who make them. How cute are these? (These photos happen to be of ones sold by Shabby Straps)

Shabby Straps also sells wrist straps which are great for point & shoot cameras if you don’t need a strap for an SLR or dSLR.

A couple other stylin’ strap crafters on Etsy:
Cotton Candy by Natalie (she’ll make custom straps in fabric you choose too!)
Phat Straps (lots of straps here, including guitar straps, wristlets and even lens huggies if you want cute bags for your lenses!)

I haven’t girly-fied my camera with one of these yet, but I just may some day. :)

Isn’t She Lovely?

I’ve had that Stevie Wonder song running through my head ever since I reviewed the photos I shot of Madison earlier this evening….

Isn’t she lovely?
Isn’t she wonderful?
Isn’t she precious?
Less than one minute old.
I never thought through love we’d be
Making one as lovely as she.
But isn’t she lovely made from love?

I set out to just get a simple head shot of her for Nicholas’s book at school. They’re trying to help him with recognizing and naming people he’s familiar with, so they asked for photos of me, Scott & Madison. The light was good and her smiles were coming easy (no fakey stuff). I ended up with more than I bargained for—quite happily, I must say. :D  Can’t wait to scrap these, but that will have to wait for another evening.

From Memphis With Love

Ok—haven’t blogged in forever. I suck at blogging. I admit it and am now totally over it. At least I Twitter a little bit better than a I blog—a very little bit better. LOL

Scott and I got back from a trip to TN on Saturday. We went because PGD is a sponsor of CKU-Nashville and CKU-Provo and we had a sponsor table at the event. We also managed to sneak down to Memphis on Thursday. We were supposed to meet up with our pal Whit and her hubby, but that didn’t happen (*cry*)—so we took in the city on our own. Here are some of the pics from the day.

These two statues stand in the visitors center in Memphis. Very cool.

A miniature replica of the Mississippi River on Mud Island. They have a really cool little museum there too.

Scott always likes to take a picture of me walking ahead of him just about everywhere we go. Not quite sure why…

We paused by this fountain to sit on a bench and enjoy some ice cream.

We walked down to the older, “not as nice” part of the downtown area—I found it incredibly beautiful. There is something about old, forgotten buildings that capture my imagination. This one was taken at a trolley stop

One street over from the pic from the trolley stop was the Lorraine Motel. We kind of stumbled on it. It had completely slipped my mind that it was in Memphis. I didn’t even need to enter the Civil Rights Museum—(which the Lorraine is part of)—standing down at the corner even I felt the weight of the significance of the place. That feeling is still lingering with me even though I’m far away from that eerily quiet corner now.

We took a trolley back over by the river from down by the Lorraine. We wanted to grab our car and park it up by Beale St. where we planned on having dinner and spending the evening.

We had dinner at BB King’s. I had a BBQ pulled pork sandwich. I had been waiting to eat bbq that I was told (by Whit and Scott) was the best that could be found anywhere—and let me tell you—I was not disappointed! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And now I want to buy a smoker and make my own. ;)

We had to get pictures of the Blues Hall Juke Joint. Why? Because we both found it hilarious that this place—according to their signs—was a juke joint, licensed & bonded pawn broker and also sold drinks to go. ROFL

Scott and I managed to get in a shot together. Shocking and rare. :D

And this last one is not the best picture—and may have you wondering what it even is—but Scott and I are both pleased that we got it. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Firm, there is a little kid doing flips down Beale St. and Tom Cruise flips with him. The last time Scott was on Beale St., he met that “kid” who was about 18 by then and was teaching his little brother how to flip (the little brother was about 8). The guy flipping in this picture was the kid being taught that Scott met many years ago and he’s now teaching other kids to flip too. We had a great time watching these guys flip for tips, and it’s neat that Scott got to see this little kid grown up. The original boy from the Firm holds the Guinness Book World Record for the longest string of flips in a row and has a music note on Beale St. Neat stuff—neat culture down there. We listened to a lot of good music too. The weather was great. We’ll be back. I enjoyed Memphis too much not to go back. ;)

And if you’re interested in seeing some of the photos from CKU, buzz on over to the PGD blog where they’re posted.