Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Toe the Line Dress Knock Off

Wow. I cannot believe it has been soooo long since I have posted. What can I say though one packed up house, several good bye parties, one 2 hour flight, one 5 hour flight and one 13 hour flight later we are at our hotel in CA! We found have found the secret to righting your children's body blocks in one day. Just get off the plane at 6:30am and be at Disneyland before 10am! The Crawford's are officially righted ha! This has been soooo much better then on our arrival in Timor where we spent days playing trains and watching cartoons in the wee hours of the morning, ughhhhh. I have some really fun details to share about our last few days in Timor but I wanted to make sure I got this up before we headed off on our Cruise. So here it FINALLY is the Toe the Line Knock Off tutorial.
This is Che Che. She was our amazing housekeeper/ Nanny/ Friend for the entire time we were in Timor. She was so fantastic and was a huge part of No Mans Land. There is not way I could have posted so much if it hadn't been for Che Che working so hard. I wanted to make sure she had something to remember us by and I had talked about doing a giveaway of this dress I made. I decided to go a head with that idea only give it to Che Che instead of a reader. I asked her to measure her under the guise of making the dress for my little sister. When I finished sewing it was on a day that was particularly chaotic and begged her to let me take a picture of her in it claiming I had no time to ask anyone else. She obliged. When I was done taking pictures she asked if she could have the pictures that I had printed out to help me knock off the dress so she could have one made when she went home to the Philippines. I told her I had made it for her so that whenever she wore it she would think of us and she started crying, I then of course started blubbering and it was a mess ha!
If you would like to make your own it is actually a fairly easy and straight forward dress. The neckline is the only tricky part and that will come together easily as long as you take your time and think before you stitch. I do have to say though that the fabric I used was ordered site unseen. I thought I was ordering a nice Chambray and it ended up being a blend and was chambray but pretty stretchy. Next time around I would certainly use a lawn/poplin cotton or a chambray without spandex in it ha! If you would like to learn how to make the dress click tell me more :) If not then I will see you in a week when my feet touch American soil once again!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Go To Lens

I swear I am alive...barely ha! I swear there is a tutorial for how to make the Toe The Line Knock off dress coming. It has been a CRAZY week trying to organize shipments to three different locations, selling and giving tons of never used items away, AND doing a photoshoot every single night of the week! Yup, things have been busy. And since it is my policy to have a 24 hour turn around with clients and their pictures (I ABHORE waiting to get my DVD from photographers) I have been spending my "after the kids go to bed" time preparing DVD's etc. All this photography got me thinking that I haven't done a photography post in a while. Then I thought about the fact that LOTS of photographers just starting out really struggle with what lenses to spend their hard earned money on. Now of course this all depends on the type of photographer you are, your disposable income limit etc. I am basically a family photographer, specializing in children and newborns.
This means my subjects are wiggle, high energy and a good shot sometimes just means no one if picking their nose and everyone is looking at the camera (although I don't consider it a successful session unless I get 25 frame able shots)
Shooting families (often with pups as pictured above) means I don't often have the luxury of switching lenses several times. I have to have a go to lens that stays put until I feel I have gotten enough good shots that I can mix it up, take a break and put something fun on my camera.
This lens for me is the 50mm 1.8.

It is Uh-Mazing.... for the cost. At an average of $110 found HERE on amazon and HERE on B&H Photo for great deals, no beginning photographer should be with out it. All of the above pictures were taken with it. You could go a bit further and get the 1.2 but I find that I rarely go down below 2.8 when shooting children, unless I want that SUPER sharp amazingly clear close up shot.
To be honest I usually save shots like this for the end and snap on the splurge of my photographic career the 85mm 1.2.

This lens is prohibitively expensive and absolutely amazing in its color saturation and clarity. The problem is with family photography the 85mm demands LOTS of space and most of the time you will be shooting at 3.8 or higher so you won't really use the 1.2 soooooooo much.
If you can, go for it but I am TELLING you 8 times out of 10 my favorite pictures from a shoot are with the uber affordable 50mm 1.8. Which come on is 20% of the time worth 10 times the cost? I don't think so.
Now in closing I have to admit that I am a prime lens junky. I think the clarity they provide is stunning. The fact that they make YOU move not just zoom in and out means you get far more interesting angles and never stop moving (sounds exhausting ha!) I also shoot exclusively in manual. If you want the most out of the lenses you are spending your hard earned money on you have GOT to learn to use your camera to it's fullest. Take some courses, read some books, download some online manuals and practice, practice, practice ;) If you love it, this will never seem like work but always an opportunity to stretch your skills and do something you enjoy ha! Now I promise the next post will be the long awaited for Toe the Line Tutorial... just gotta do the photoshoot HA!!!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sewing Remix: Flapper Baby Romper

I have actually been sitting on this project for WEEKS and it has been KILLING me! I am so excited to share it today and be part of Jessica from Me Sew Crazy's amazing Sewing Remix series! Me Sew Crazy is one of my fav sewing blogs and one of the few I check very regularly for inspiration, a good laugh and some fun eye candy. My little contribution is the Flapper Baby Romper:
When Jess asked me to be part of Sewing Remix I was pretty excited to follow a pattern. But then I kept seeing little outfits like this everywhere:
Source: Simplicity Photography
Or this adorable retro version:
I thought, Evie HAS to have one!!! I wanted to stick to the rules though and remix a pattern. For the perfect place to start I headed over to Made to Dana's free down loadable perfect diaper cover pattern. This gave me a good jumping off point to create The Flapper Baby Romper:
After asking Dana for her permission I morphed the perfect diaper cover pattern into my own Flapper Baby Romper pattern which you can download HERE on my Scribd shelf.  My first attempt was supposed to be Evie sized about 2T... but ended up Carmen sized or about 3-4T
I tweaked it a bit and then shrunk the pattern you can print out by 80% to get my Evie sized Flapper Baby Romper:
I dunno what it is but these little rompers make their little bums look so adorable ha!
It is probably how great Dana's original pattern is! Carmen's was a little roomy so in the final tutorial I added an extra step to put some elastic around the waist and cinch it up a bit.
I also added elastic to the back shoulder blade portion to keep it nice and snug
If you would like to sew a long and make your own Flapper Baby Romper
click learn more for all the instructions!! Jessica thanks so much for having me and I hope you are getting some much needed R&R before this little blue bundle of joy comes!
So funny story, we did this photoshoot right before everyone in our family got super sick. I don't think she was feeling the best this particular day so as a "thank you" for cooperating after pictures we took the kids for milkshakes. None of us were able to finish our entire shake, except for Evie.
Who not only finished her own shake but then proceeded to go down the line and polish off everyone else's
That night when Finn started getting sick I thought FOR SURE all those milkshakes were going to come back up
But Evie was the only cutie who DIDN'T get sick! Maybe all that calcium staved it off ha!
ANYWAYS on to the tutorial!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Scrap Your Stash: BHLDN Knock Off

I am really excited to be part of Susan's at "Living with Punks" scrap your stash series! Everyone knows a huge part of my sewing is using what you have and saving every piece so this was right up my alley! My actual problem was narrowing down what scrap project I wanted to make! (There are a few I will be doing this summer but they have to wait until I can get specific supplies). With my little sister getting married this summer I have been pouring over wedding sites and of course a personal favorite is Anthropologies BHLDN. I was looking at their table decor and saw THESE fabulous fabric napkin rings:

 Lightening struck and the internet stood still (literally our power went out) and I knew it was PERFECT!! Pretty sure $5 a napkin ring was about $5 to much ha! I grabbed some of my scraps and went to town.
How cute could these be for any family picnic, sunday dinner, classing up a birthday or if you have a TON of scraps a wedding?
So if you would like to learn how to make my BHLDN knock off napkin rings hop on over to Living With Punks or click learn more. And if the thought of rolling paper or fabric napkins makes your tummy turn you can always use them as cut little wrist cuffs ha!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wild Thing

Evie has never had a haircut. Yeah. She will be two next month and we have never cut her hair. When we moved here to Timor she was only 4 months old.
The only trip we have taken off the island to a place that had a salon was in Italy and at that point she didn't have enough hair to cut :)
I have been asked how I get her hair in braids, or piggy tails etc. and it is honestly because if I do not put her hair in some sort of "tie" she goes around looking like the shaggy dog (in a super cute little girl way)
Picnik collage
With going on our big family vacation in two weeks I thought it was high time she get a hair cut (that, and her dad asking pretty much everyday when I will cut her hair and Che Che actually jumping and clapping when I mentioned it ha!).
Now the problem is, how in the world do you cut little girls hair? I don't mean myself by any means, we are taking her to the one Australian who cuts hair even though I must admit I will be paying more then I will EVER pay for a child's hair cut ughhh.
What I mean is she has such thin, uneven hair with a cow lick that comes all the way from the back of her head. Do any of you have any advice? Fun websites with cute suggestions on it?
I am so nervous about it I feel kinda silly. But as cute as she is:
This hair has got to be tamed! Because when you see this wild thing coming at you from behind the cozy coupe,
you get a little scared ha! Thanks for any suggestions, oh and Evie would thank you too, that is when she is done running me over with the coupe.

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