Monday, October 11, 2010

New Obsessions & Crafts & Decorating & More!


If you know me, I don't just stick my toes in the water and test it out.  I like to jump in head first and figure it all out at once.  I have gotten more and more interested in photography since Bradley has been born.  I have always love taking pictures throughout college of friends and events.  But since having him my love of photography has grown ten fold.  I find myself setting up different photo shoots around the house.  Or trying to think of fun places to take the kids and do a photo shoot outside.

 Then I talked to Megan from Oldfields Photography the other day, and she forced me to push myself to the next level.  I was telling her that I have had some people on facebook ask me who is taking my pictures of the kids, and asking if they were done professionally. And when I said it was me they were surprised.  A few moms have started asking me to take pictures of their families, but I am nervous about that!  Last week I started to explore more on my camera.  I have never shot in anything but automatic, so I went for it!  I joined clickin moms per Megan's advice and started reading and reading.  Here are some of my first few shots completely manual... 


They aren't perfect by any means, but they are taken in the house just using natural light from the window.  I spent Ellie's entire nap on Friday taking 100s of pictures of pumpkins and plants inside of my house.  It was fun and probably hilarious to watch!  I would study the histogram and the settings and try to figure out what I was doing wrong.  If I have a lot of time to think through the picture then I can get them to turn out pretty good.  We went to the pumpkin patch this weekend, and I took all of my shots in apterture priority so that I wouldn't have to think about all of the settings.  Unfortuneately some of the pictures aren't great...too yellow or under exposed.  But, I guess that is part of the learning curve...

I found 12 weeks of lessons that I am slowly reading through and trying to do the homework assignments.  I will let you know how it goes, but hopefully this is the beginning of a whole new world for me!!

Another new obsession is decorating!!  I have always loved decorating the house for Christmas, but this year I am really excited about fall.  Our neighborhood has so many fun fall activities planned, I can't wait!  Bradley is over the moon excited for Halloween so I did some shopping and crafting.  My first project was the mantle.  I found the idea to make a banner for the mantle, and then I found some coordinating decorations at Pier One Imports.



I actually made the banner with all of my old Stampin' Up supplies.  I must have loved this color scheme, because I had lots of coordinating ribbons and papers to match.  It just took me an hour to glitter all of the chipboard and cut out the triangles.  It was so great to get something made for the house that was fun and festive!  Then I found the fall berry garland at Pier One, along with the shiny orange pumpkins and glitter gourds. 


I found the green glass pumpkin at Marshalls for $12, awesome!!  I also found this adorable Halloween countdown calendar at Marshalls for $15.  Bradley gets so pumped up to move the candy corn each day!



This is my Halloween spider village!!  Bradley helped me make a bunch of spiders and i was trying to figure out what I was going to do with them.  So, we made a spider village on the piano.  I am actually not to crazy about Halloween decorations, I prefer fall items.  But, it makes him so excited, so I had to have a few truly Halloween decorations around.



My sister Lindsay gave me these adorable Halloween placemats last year.  I found the table runner at Pier One, along with the glass container.  I adding some fun candy corn and a decorative pumpkin to top it off!


My cute fall pumpkins were super easy to make.  I just put a metallic glaze on the outside of the cheap fake pumpkins from Michaels.  Then I added some bows to jazz them up, and viola!!  

I wanted to do something really fun outside, so I had this leaf and berry garland from last year that I hung around the door.  Then I found the berry wreath at Marshalls for $20.  They had the exact same type at Pier One for $45, quite a find!!  I just wrapped around the potted trees some of the fall ribbon, and now a decorated door front!!


I also found this adorable pumpkin sign at Marshalls (for $ can't beat their prices)!  Chris brought home some bales of hay, and now we have our own little pumpkin display that we put together this weekend.  Love it!!




The most recent home project we have been working on has been the basement.  I have been itching to get some artwork and things on the wall now that we are finally settled.  I had all of these gorgeous ABC cards from The Land of Nod that I wanted to frame and hang up.  I realized that would be way too expensive.  Chris came up with the idea to clothespin them up along the wall, and we worked on it a few weeks ago.  I added some of my most favorite preschool projects in between some of the letters.  I really love the way it turned out!

Chris and I also hung up the chalkboards and magnetic boards from the last house.  Bradley has really used them even more than his last playroom.  He did a pretty detailed family picture last night.  I was impressed!  My next project is the other side of the playroom where we have our built-in shelving.  I want to hang up some recent pictures we got of the kids together over there, along with a fun kite or something hanging from the ceiling. 



I have a list a mile long of projects I want to work on in the upcoming months.  The first one is sewing superhero capes for all of Bradley's friends for his birthday party in December.  I am going to set some crafting goals for myself and see what I can accomplish in the next few months!


Jenny said...

Clare...You are totally getting intothe holiday crafting spirit! Love them all!

Way to go on the do take amazing pics!

Jodee Leader said...

Everything looks fabulous! I especially love the banner and artwork display!

Ang Blanchette said...

I'm glad you're pursuing the photography -you definitely have the photographer's eye! And I LOVE all the fall decorations. I'm sure the new house has been inspiring you. :)

Krystyn said...

Your decorations look fabulous!

I try to change to aperture priority and usually end of failing miserably (or hubby picks of the camera and gets even more confused). Congrats and good luck.

amanda said...

love all the fall fun friend!!

and tj max & marshalls? almost worse than target!!

Lindsay said...

ohhh my word you are amazing! Want to come decorate your little sisters house? Maybe someday soon we could take some pictures at Mint Springs when Sammy isn't grumpy and I will help you with the capes if you want to! Also lets schedule Cali to teach us how to knit.. that sounds like a good plan for the rest of the year ;-) hehe! Love you! Ellie looks like you in that first picture!

laura said...

welcome fall!

you are inspiring me to really work at making my photography better! i've debated taking a class or something like that for months...there is just never enough time. maybe clickin' moms is the way to go?!

the house is looking fabulous! love those land of nod abc cards!!

aimee said...

You're so crafty! Your house looks fabulous! Love the play's like your own mini-classroom! I've been obsessed with sewing for the past few years. Justin's parents gave me a sewing machine for Christmas three years ago and I've gone to town on that thing - curtains, pillows, purses, cards, t-shirt quilts. I'm certain your capes will be super-cute!

Colleen said...

Hi, New follower here! Cute blog and I love what you did in the playroom. We have a playroom too and the cards idea is very cute!