Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lesson Learned!

I started a new blog. Here's the story. You know how I got a new camera for Mother's Day? Well, since then I have learned a lot of things. In my eyes, I feel like I learned the hard way. I was an idiot, and posted some of my pictures on facebook. Pictures I thought were beautiful and I did a great job with. I think ignorance is bliss, and although I like it that way because it hurts less, I'll never learn and grow. Anyways, what I wasn't expecting were photography friends and family who honestly felt they were helping me by critiquing my pictures. Oh boy. It hurt! I was taken completely by surprise and cried pretty much all day. I even contemplated listing my camera on ebay. I realized I wasn't a good photographer. So sad. But...after some good friends who knew how to comfort me I have decided NOT to throw in the towel and keep trying. I'll get better. I did learn some useful things though.

1. If you put a watermark, it is like...coming out of the closet and declaring, "I am a professional photographer and I want you to pay me to take your pictures. I am awesome." Oops! I thought it was to keep people from stealing your pictures. So...I'm sorry if I offended anyone by watermarking my pictures, I am NOT competition and I will not charge anyone for taking their pictures. That being said, I will continue to put atleast my name on my pictures so nobody steals them.

2. Photographers are feisty. They don't like other photographers. They don't like competition. It's brutal out there! They will try to tear you down and make you feel worthless and talentless and humiliated. Seriously...they could make a reality TV show about it. This will be hard for me because I'm really sensitive. I'll try to use it as a good thing...gotta toughen up this skin, ya know?

3. If you tell one person you'd love advice or input on your pictures, you are inadvertently opening it up to the entire photography world, and they will speak their mind. So...lesson learned, prepare for a flood, or don't ask for help where people can see it.

Anyway...I learned a lot. If you are interested in the new blog, it's

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pinata Instructions

(Before you read this...put your brain in Martha Stewart voice mode! It makes it much funner!)

Hello and welcome to the second part of cheap birthday party decorations! I'm going to try to show you how to make a cheap and SUPER EASY pinata! (Wait...Martha wouldn't say "super easy"...) No paper mache mess or balloons or letting it dry for days. I made this entire pinata in about an hour! You will need:

A large bowl (If you want yours to be a circle. Mine was about 14" wide)
A smaller bowl about half the size of the large bowl
Cardboard- I just cut up an old cardboard box.
Crepe paper- It looks better with several colors. I got a roll of pink, yellow, red, and orange.
Glue gun- Have it heating up when you start.
Glue stick or a scrapbooking tape dispenser
Candy-I just went and got some bags from Dollar Tree for cheap!
Gift ribbon- You know....the kind you wrap around gifts and make the ends all curly?
A box cutter
A ruler
2 pieces of 12 x 12 cardstock or scrapbook paper.

Okay. First step. Take your bowl and trace it to make 2 separate circles.

Then, you take your box cutter and CAREFULLY cut out the circles. Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to erase all of the blood from my accident! Just kidding, just kidding. It didn't bleed.

Cut out 4 inch wide strips to glue around the edge of the circle. Make sure they're even and straight.

Glue the strip around the edge of one of the circles with the glue gun. Make sure if there is any sort of print on the cardboard that it goes on the inside.

Then, glue the other circle to the piece you just made.

With your box cutter, CAREFULLY cut out a 3 sided opening to put the candy into. Mine was about 2 1/2 inches wide by 3 inches long.

Now comes the fun part. take your glue stick or scrapbooking glue, and run it along the side. Take your crepe paper and stick it to the glue, and trim the ends so it doesn't hang over the edge. Then, snip the edge of the crepe paper to make it nice and frilly. Do this all the way around the edge of the pinata. Ole!

You will do pretty much the same thing to the front, and back... just in a circle. Do this until you fill it about half way to the middle. Then, you'll take your 12x12 piece of paper and trace the smaller bowl. Cut out the circle.

Glue the circle you just cut out to the top of the pinata. Do the same for the back of the pinata.

Then, you can decorate it however you want! I just printed out a big number 1 and stuck it to the front with mounting foam tape to make it stand out. I also did the frill thing around the back of the 1.
At the top of the pinata, poke 2 holes about 3 inches apart. Thread a really long piece of gift ribbon through the holes until both ends come out of the trap door. Tie the ends together in a knot, that way your pinata has a handle to hold it by.

Then, fill it with candy. Make sure you eat all the good stuff before you put it in. The kids will never know. :) When you're done filling it, poke a hole in the middle of the "trap door". Sorry, I kind of forgot to take a picture of this part, but it's not hard. You will cut out about twice as many strips of gift ribbon as there will be kids. I did mine about 2 feet long. Thread them all through the hole.

Now, you have two options. This can either be a "beat the crud out of it pinata", or a pull string pinata. With a pull string pinata, there is no violence or crying because one kid hit the other kid with the stick while he was blindfolded. With a pull string pinata, instead of taping all the ribbons inside the pinata, you will only tape ONE string inside of the trap door. If you want, you can tie some knots in that ribbon, will make it harder to pull it out. Then, you close the trap door. You can tape it closed with a piece of tape if you want, I didn't even bother taping mine. It just depends how heavy your candy is, I guess.

Now for the fun! We did it inside, and my Dad just held the pinata by the handle and stood on a chair. It was so fun to see the kids disappointed faces as their string pulled right out of the pinata...mwahahaha! It was even MORE fun to see the trap door open when the right string was pulled and candy spill out everywhere. The kids went crazy! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!

And that, my friends, is how to do a cheap, easy pinata! I got the crepe paper, ribbon and candy all at the Dollar Tree. GRAND TOTAL: $7! Not bad, eh?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tissue Paper Flowers

Here is the first edition of the birthday party decoration series! Okay...there will only be 2. But the first one is really easy. They are all made out of tissue paper. I think I only ended up spending about $25total for the entire party. That's feeding 16 people, too. Maybe $7 for the decorations total?

These are HUGE TISSUE PAPER FLOWERS that are super easy to make. You can make them all one color, or change it up with several colors. We did red, orange, yellow and hot pink as our color theme. Like...a cute fiesta! Thanks to Martha Stewart for the great idea and easy instructions!

*I should note that for the center of my flower, I just made a smaller version of the flower using only one color of tissue paper and glued it to the middle. And I didn't puff the whole thing into a circle, it was flat on the back so I could hang it on the wall. *

Also, a cheap meal idea when you're feeding lots of people, a nacho buffet! (Joke time...what do you call a buffet that isn't yours? A nacho buffet. Get it? Not yo buffet? Har har harrrr) I bought a big thing of nacho cheese (like you'd find in a #10 can at Sam's Club. I got mine at Walmart), a few bags of tortilla chips, and then in smaller bowls I had toppings like olives, jalapenos, taco meat, sour cream, and green onions. It was a huge hit! I put the cheese in the crock pot to keep it warm, and the chips in a huge yellow plastic bucket and let them at it. It was a huge hit! Even the kids loved it. :)

As for drinks, a fun drink is BRAZILIAN LIMEADE. Sooooo good!

Monday, May 10, 2010

First Run

For Mothers Day, Michael got me a new Canon Rebel! Seriously, BEST Mother's Day EVER! I have been drooling over cameras for a long time now, all I have is a point and shoot. I seriously started crying when I saw what he got for me! I am still in shock. Just looking over the manual that came with it is overwhelming, there is so much to learn and remember when it comes to "real" photography. I think it's going to take lots and lots of practice to get it right! Ethan came over to play today, and he was so patient with me...bless his heart. He was a great subject, though! Here are a few from my first run with the Rebel!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

birthday girl

My sweet little Kate turned 1 yesterday! We had a birthday party for her on Monday, and I threw a little fiesta since she was born on Cinco de Mayo. It was a lot of fun! We had a nacho buffet, (Which reminds me of a joke...what do you call a buffet that's not yours??? Nacho buffet! Get it? Not yo' buffet) Anyway, My family, Michael's parents and my sister-in-law and her family came so we had a full house! I made a pinata for the kids, (which I'll do an entry about soon, they are SO easy to make! Not the messy paper mache kind.) And I made the cutest fiesta decorations out of tissue paper. thank you, Martha Stewart. Again...another entry about that later!

Kate is such a cute and spunky little kid, we just love her! She walks around now, like she owns the place. She still seems too small to be walking, maybe because she's still wearing 6-9 month clothes! But such a little package brings such big joy! She says a few words, "Da" which is "Dad", "bay-tee" which is "blankie", "uh-oh", and "ttttttt" which is "eat". I still haven't gotten her to say "Mom"...*sniff sniff* but, I know she loves me by the way she starts jumping in her crib first thing in the morning and the look in her eyes. She adores big brother and sister and think they are the funniest people in the world. Her favorite toys are my keys and my cell phone, and her favorite food is graham crackers. Ahhhhh, I love this little girl!!!

Sorry, I totally forgot that I was supposed to post a picture of Whitney's room! I should have taken the picture during the day...but it kept turning out funky because all you could see was the light blaring through the window. She picked the wall colors and everything and then we put up molding on the walls. I love the way it turned out! So, there you go!