Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Thought I'd take the liberty to direct you to a few great articles on photography, since you'll want to get awesome shots of the beggers...

How to photograph a ghost (easy photoshop instructions here.)

Photojojo's Ghoulish Guide to scary pics

20 Tips from BHG (I found these quite informative.)

Shutterfly's Tips for Trick or Treaters

Neat Lighting Tricks here (including turning your camera upside down and using your flash, creating a neat effect with the light reflecting upward--kinda cool!)

Hope you get a few great shots of your favorite little monsters. Trick or Treat!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

White Pumpkins

A trend that I love this halloween is white pumpkins. I love the wood grain black and white one the most! This is going to be my Saturday project, to make one of these.
If you watch the show 'Gossip Girl', you saw these AMAZING pumkins carved like the members of KISS.

These are sooo cute with the ribbons on them.
These were painted and sealed. Very cool for a Thanksgiving dinner.
Have a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have a little story for you.
So, I have been working on a mini album for about a month using the fantastic October kit. As soon as I saw the adorable Sasafrass number cards I knew they would be perfect for a month-by-month mini of my daughter's photos. I figured each month I could include her "official" photo and all the pertinent info (weight, height, etc).

But honestly, since I started it all those days ago...I've been stumped. Just totally stumped. Minis scare me to begin with, and for some reason (perhaps my total lack of sleep) I just can't come up with something that I like. I have about four pages done (she's seven months TODAY so I am *already* behind) and they are kind of hideous, so I'm afraid to share. I am notorious for starting projects and not finishing them, so I am going to ask YOU, the faithful WIP Blog readers, to hold me accountable. First, I want to know what you all do when you are stumped and need inspiration. I would love it if you could link in the comments to some of your favorite blogs, shopping sites, scrappy people, anything that could inspire me (please no competitor kit sites). Second, I VOW to show you the finished product the next time I am the blog host in the next week or so! So...LINK AWAY! I need your help! :)

And finally...I am betting there are some of you out there who have unfinished-itis like myself. I challenge you, in the next two weeks, to find a project that you began and never finished and get it done!!! Take a before photo and an after photo. There might even be a little prize in it the next time I blog! ;)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Workin' like a mad woman...

I've been kitting and creating and crafting a lot here lately. Feels good. I finished up this 6x12 Teresa Collins Friendship album last night, and it is ready to go to the Bertram Inn in a couple of weeks. For those of you attending the second annual crop and get away, I want you to know that I'm really looking forward to it more than you know!! I've received a bunch of emails as of late, and I want to assure all those in attendance that I will be sending out a general information email by the end of this week, just to set up a few reminders and a list of what to bring and what to leave at home.

And for those of you who are kit club subscribers, please note that because of this weekend, the December kits will go on sale on Monday, November 16th this month. If there are any leftover kits from the 10 classes being taught at the Fall Retreat, those will also be made available to the public at this time. I promise to keep you posted!!

Have a super day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Since we're talking about food...

I might as well share a yummy recipe I have for banana bread. I don't know about you - but I love me some bananas - and nothing makes me happier in the Fall than to eat a slice of banana bread added with some butter (of course)!

I actually found this recipe last Fall over at all recipes - when I actually decide to cook - that is my go to site. I could just link you up to the actual recipe and call it good - but don't you love pictures to go with the directions? Yeah - me too!

So here ya go:


2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (or as many as you want)

1/2 cup of buttah!!

*for a bit more flavor I added some cinnamon (a pinch?), and vanilla (umm to taste?) and of course you could add nuts - that would be really yummy!

And although I love me some bananas - they were entirely too ugly to photograph - the dry ingredients were much better - LOL!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pout batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in preheated over for 60-65 (mine took less)minutes/or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cook in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack (or just leave it in the pan like me - heee)

As you can see -- I couldn't wait and had to take a slice for myself right away! I hope you like it and give it a try!


And a real quick tip for those of you that haven't visited the pumpkin patch yet. Being a scrapbooker I have always tried to dress my daughter accordingly. I used to do the orange because we were at the patch, etc. But then I was blog hopping and I happened upon a blog that had photos from their patch trip. They were beautiful - and what really struck me was that they were not wearing orange! So since then I have made an effort to get clothes that pop and "go" rather than "match"

She pops a bit more right? Give it a try ---> oh and some other colors that would look nice are green and blue:)

Enjoy and have a great week!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Informal Senior Portraits

Yesterday's post on formal senior portraits was geared toward studio portraits (or yearbook photos). Today's post refers to a more relaxed, informal session for seniors...
*Note--many of the suggestions in yesterday's post still apply--hair, tanning, make-up, nails, etc. The changes in hints occur with the formality in clothing and setting (generally outdoors.)
*Wear an outfit that is typical of something you'd wear on a daily basis. Be comfortable. Do you have a favorite pair of shoes that you just love? Wear them. Is green your favorite color? Wear it. Bring you and everything that means. Mostly, SHINE and show your personality...
Are you carefree and lighthearted? Are you playful and fun? Do you participate in sports, or dance on the drill team? Feel free to bring along props and/or uniforms and balls. Wear your school jacket if you have one.
Do you have a love of vintage cars? See if you can get pictures in one. Do you work at a movie theatre? Take a few shots there with the marquee. Were you raised on a farm in Idaho? Sit down in the fields and have your picture taken. Are you in the top 10% of your class? Stand on a pile of books and be photographed. Make a statement and have the session tell a story of who you are--and don't be afraid to look trendy or bold. Just be YOU.
Do you have a best friend since grade school? Bring her along for a few photos together. Is there a special pet in your life? Take a few shots with them. Are you torn between 2 collage choices? Do a split collage, wearing a sweatshirt from each school, pondering...
Don't be afraid to push the envelope or be creative. If you don't find a photographer that is willing to work with your ideas or suggestions, keep looking until you find one. I had one friend call a local newspaper and hire a photographer for a session because they liked their work--and he ended up being very affordable, too!
Feel free to list questions, comments or suggestions. I'll do my best to help out, or direct you to someone who can. Enjoy your Monday!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Formal Senior Portraits

I've been taking a lot of pictures lately, and wanted to share a few tips for moms out there who have high school Seniors. These tips have been snagged from various online articles and websites, and I've found them useful to pass on.

That being said, please note that most of the pictures I take of seniors DO NOT adhere strictly to these guidelines. These tips are geared more toward studio portrait sessions. Most of the stuff I do is outside and informal--and I'll share those guidelines with you tomorrow.

Senior Picture Photo Tips--Formal Studio Sessions
Hair--bring along a hair brush or a comb to the photo shoot. Avoid using too much product beforehand, as you'll want to look natural. If you're outside and the wind blows, you don't want helmet head. Avoid getting a last minute hair cut, trim or color. Usually 1-2 weeks after is best. If you use ponytail holders, don't hold them around your wrists.

Fingernails--Be sure your fingernails are clean and trimmed. Avoid wearing black, dark blue or neon, as they draw attention in the photograph, and come off as too trendy. You want to go for a classic look that will still look good in 20 years.
Tanning--Be careful to not tan the week of your photo shoot. Spray tans or tanning beds sometimes result in uneven skin tones, and those are extremely difficult to edit out. Natural skin tone is best. Avoid sunburn and tan lines, as they are extremely difficult to correct when editing photographs.

Make-up--Oily skin is your enemy, usually creating glare in a photograph. Be sure to bring along translucent powder or blotters to the photo shoot to touch up and avoid make up with spf protection in them (as they usually are oil based). Using a fresh tube of mascara will help you avoid clumps, and since many head shots are taken in a senior portrait session, you'll want to look good. Avoid wearing any frosted or glittered eye shadow in senior portraits, as they also result in shine. They also have the tendency to flake off and leave residue on your face, creating other shine spots. Chapped lips are going to show, so be sure you moisturize them the night before and/or before the photo shoot. Guys need to be sure they are cleanly shaven.

Jewelry--Ask for a close up of your class ring or wear it to the session. If you're wearing a pendant, be mindful of the fact that it will sometimes get displaced during sessions, and that may bother you. Jewelry is often difficult to edit. If you do elect to wear it, have it organized with your clothing in a baggie with the outfits you select.

Clothing--Your face should be prominate, not your clothing. Never wear a lighter colored pant with a darker top--it will accent your bottom half instead of your top. Avoid wearing a solid white shirt if possible, as white can be draining and doesn't look right in a lot of photographs. For the same reason, avoid new bright white tennis shoes. Since you'll be moving and posing a lot, girls may want to consider not wearing skirts or dresses because they can be difficult to adjust during the session. Busy patterns are not flattering and draw attention, and the attention should be on YOU. Experiment with varied necklines and colors at least a week before the photo shoot. Jackets are great as an accessory and give you an entirely different look, so those are great. Sweaters and textures also read well generally. Be sure your clothing is clean and ironed the night before. Wrinkles and dirty necklines will show up in photographs. Girls need to try on their clothing beforehand and be sure they're wearing the proper undergarments. Long sleeves or three quarter sleeves usually photograph best. Be sure the clothing fits and isn't too clingy.

Bring along a water bottle and be hydrated. Get a good night's sleep the night before. You don't want dark circles under your eyes, or any puffyness. Make sure your teen eats well in the days before their session - Teens looking to slim down for their senior pictures may take an unhealthy route towards losing a few pounds, such as fasting or taking diet pills. Make sure they're eating well and focusing on feeling good over looking good. Not getting enough nutrients can cause skin problems and sickness during the shoot. Eating fruits and veggies and drinking plenty of water will actually help the complexion. If your teen is worried about their size, help them choose slimming outfits and remind them that there are many poses that will show off their best look, no matter what size they are.

Take as many poses as are allowed - The key to taking good senior pictures is to take a bunch of them and then weed out the ones that didn't come out so well. A studio will allow you a good number of poses and an amateur photographer may offer you even more. Take advantage of this and let your teen work with the photographer to pick poses he or she is comfortable doing. This is the parent's turn to sit back and watch while the teen has fun playing model for their senior pictures.

Compromise with your teen on the final choices - When the proofs come in, there's undoubtedly going to be some senior pictures you really like and some that your teen really likes. There's also a good chance they won't be the same ones. Depending on how many your budget will allow you to choose, work out a compromise with your son or daughter to get some they like and some you like as well. Keep in mind that these are reflections of them, and that image is extremely important for most high schoolers. Let them take an active part in the choosing process and respect their decisions for which photos they want to give their friends. Taking steps to make the whole senior picture process easier on your teenager will undoubtedly make things less stressful for you as well. Give them room to express themselves while setting certain limits (e.g. financial boundaries, type of dress) and things will go smoothly, giving you both a good collection of photos to celebrate your teen's last year in high school.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

pumpkin patch

one of my favorite fall time activities.
taking the kids to the pumpkin patch
and just seeing all the excitement all
over their faces while they search
for that perfect pumpkin. we dont
really get 'fall time' around these parts
so these will be our 'fall photos' for the
year. have you made a visit to the patch yet?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Yummy Pumpkin Cookies

Oh. My. Goodness.

Run to your cupboards, rip out the ingredients, and make these.

I promise you, you won't be sorry.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do me a favor...

Have you ever seen these adorable purses?
They are so fun and easy to make, and I should know, I just made 70 of them for a sorority! Hi everyone Tina here and thought I'd share how I spent any free time I had over the weekend making these adorable favors.
First pick out your paper and cut it to 4 x6. So out of one 12 x 12 sheet of paper you will get 6 purses.
Score at 1/2" on both sides (length wise) and score at 2", 2 1/2", 4 1/2" and 5" on width
cut out upper section of box to form flap and trim in sides to form base of purse
corner round top flap of purse and add adhesive for ribbon handle
add adhesive to upper flaps and form into box shape
punch a hole in the flap and add a brad to the purse for the closure
and fill with treats. The Ghiradelli chocolates fit perfectly!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Pictures

Grab your camera and pose.
Then go here and start playing. The Halloween Effects that are available are really quite cool.
He thought he looked scary before I started editing! :)
They all got into the act...

The ghostly feature is kinda creepy, wouldn't you say?
Give it a shot!! Now all I have to do is finish up our cards. More later!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

pumpkin bread

this is one of the best pumpkin breads ever. when my husband compliments the taste, you know it's good. he is not the fan of pumpkin bread usually. (although he hails the praises of starbucks pumpkin muffin, go figure). so i take this as further confirmation that this is good stuff. and mind you, it can be consumed for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. it is so versatile (smile)...who can resist it? hopefully you can't either.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 shortening
1 cup chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350.
combine 1 cup of the flour, the brown sugar, the baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and the baking soda. to this add pumpkin, milk, eggs and the shortening.
beat the above on low speed till blended, then for 2 more minutes on high speed. at this time add remaining flour and beat well. stir in the chocolate chips.
pour batter into a greased loaf pan (i prefer a stoneware pan). bake for 60-65 minutes. check it at the 55 minute time frame, and if necessary, place a sheet of foil over the top while the bread continues to bake. a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean when the baking is complete. cool in pan for 10 minutes and remove from pan to cool.
tip::wrap the bread in plastic wrap after it has cooled. this makes for easier slicing and better taste.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Here's Looking at You.

What does October mean to you? To means being silly and wearing funky glasses. Luckily I work in a high school where we get to participate in spirit week once a year and I can wear my collection of glasses. Last fall I did this page about it...and my collection will be in my fall project book this year for WIP. Maybe you don't wear silly glasses, but I bet you've worn some silly costumes in your time. Make a page about YOUR costumes, not just your child's this year!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More Halloween Finds

I made these for last week's crop. They're mini popcorn bags that are simply wrapped. The tag reads, "Just poppin' by with a Halloween "Hi!"'...
I made this out of a paint can, using items from the Work in Progress Halloween kit. It is going in the teacher's lounge at my son's school. Details on how I made it will be up at Get it Scrapped, in honor of Sweet Treats for Fall this week...

Three words...
Homemade. Candy. Corn.

Cakespy, you've outdone yourself.

Saw Jana's Halloween Countdown Calendar that she made for her children, and LOVED this idea!! You can see her tutorial here. Love you, Jana!!

Love this idea, using tons of Hershey's products. Neat website with free downloadable projects, too!

Looking for anything related to Halloween? Check HalloweenRecipes101. Wow. Awesome stuff!

Anything you EVER wanted to know or ask about pumpkin carving can be found here. Did you know spraying the inside of your pumpkin with WD-40 will prolong the decay of it before the holiday?

Awesome Halloween stencils here for carving that perfect pumpkin...
And anything related to Halloween cupcakes has to be seen here. WOW.
Have a great weekend!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tis the Season for Soup!

Fall is my favorite season! There are so many reasons that Fall is better than all the other seasons! Leaves changing, pumpkins, apple crisp, football season, and of course cooler temperatures. And with cooler temperatures, comes the need for some good fall food. My favorite is soup! I love soup. I think I could probably eat it every day!! I have a goal this year to try to make homemade soup one time each week. I admit, I haven't actually started working towards this goal yet...maybe next week! ;)

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite soup cookbooks. It is called "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" by Paulette Mitchell. I happen to be an ova-lacto vegetarian, so this book, which is filled with vegetarian recipes, is perfect for me. My husband also happens to be allergic to dairy, so I appreciate that the recipes are often offered with "vegan option" which omits certain ingredients. And if you are a meat-eater, well, I'm sure it would be super easy to add some chicken or beef broth and meat to your soup! I have tried about eight different soups in this book so far, and each one has been better than the next!

Here is an easy recipe that I have tried and enjoyed. I would LOVE to hear any of your sources of great soup recipes! Feel free to leave some links!! ;)

Arborio Rice Soup

1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 celery stalk with leaves, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2.5 coups (6 ounces) sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1 tsp mince fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed)
4 cups vegetable stock
1 16 ounce acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
1 tsp thin strips lemon zest
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Very thin slices of pecorino Romano cheese for garnish

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and leaves and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms; continue to cook stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and rosemary; stir until coated with oil. Add the vegetable stock, squash, and lemon zest strips. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice and squash are tender, about 12 minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste. Serve topped with cheese.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

November 2009 WIP Kits...

The Main Kit...
Contents of this kit includes: 10 patterned papers (6 Cosmo Cricket Nutmeg, 1 Doodlebug, 1 SIS and 2 Crate Paper), Cosmo Cricket Nutmeg Chipboard alphas, Cosmo Cricket Chipboard Elements--Nutmeg, Scenic Route chipboard alphas--Redmond Stencil in white, Cosmo Cricket Be Happy white rub ons, 18" green jute, a variety of brown paper flowers, and two journaling stamps from Darcie.

The Add-On Kit (TWO mini books...)
Contents of this kit includes: 5 Patterned papers (2 Graphic 45 Domestic Goddess, 1 SEI, 2 Scenic Route), Cosmo Cricket Nutmeg Strip sheet, 1 Cosmo Cricket tag sheet, 1 Cosmo Cricket cardstock stickers--Nutmeg, 1 Darice journaling stamp, 1 set of chipboard houses from Scenic Route, 1 kraft box with acetate window, leaf chipboard mini book in white, 2 yards of fibers (orange and brown), and 1 Magistical Memories mixed media mini book.

And last but not least...the Project Kit...

Contents of this kit include: 6 Patterned Papers (1 each--Kaiser, Basic Grey, 7Gypsies, Karen Foster, Crate Paper and Scenic Route), 1 sheet Luxe journaling tags, 1 set of calendar tags from Jillibean Soup, 4 Jenni Bowlin Studio mini ledger papers, 9 label stickers, 1 sheet royal blue Jenni Bowlin mini alphas, 1 white paper bag, 36 gold foil crowns, 25 patterned paper acorns, 1 full sheet black stitches from Doodlebug, 1 yard linen ribbon and 1 metal decorative piece.

*Please see projects below to get an idea of what I created with this kit so far. Please note, 8x8 frame was not included with the acorn project.

You can order your own right here!! Have a great day!!