Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday STEALS!!!

So if you are like me and completely frugal in your sewing (or not, but just like a good deal!)  You HAVE to go check out the awesome sales list on Pattern Revolution!
It is a great list of independent designers putting their awesome patterns on sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.  Take a look and start making your list!!!

In the mean time, I will be sewing a second FooFoo Threads Four Season Dress for Baby Girl to wear on Thanksgiving and making my FLIP of the Number 9 Trousers by Shwin&Shwin for the December Flip This Pattern Series over at FrancesSuzanne.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guest Posting with Welcome To The Mouse House: Handcrafted Holidays

The Holidays are upon us!!!!  (Which translates to: You are already BEHIND for Christmas!)

Today I am sharing an awesome tutorial for how to add pockets to your Christmas Stockings!!!!
Head over to Welcome to the Mouse House to read all about it!!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Catching Up!

I feel like I am constantly going through fast forwards and lulls in my blogging - but it is mainly because I am in fast forward mode though most of my life.  When I make concrete blogging commitments I do a good job sticking with them (overall), but when the rest of life gets a little TOO crazy... the blog is the first thing I let go of to get things back on track.
But don't for a second think that means I'm not still sewing!!!  Taking a little time here or there to sew keeps me calm and makes me feel like I am doing something for me ;o)

So here is what I have been up to!

Well, I am currently teaching a sew along with Whimsical Fabric for the Oliver&S Field Trip Outfit.  There are awesome prizes along the way, so if you have the pattern and have been wanting to sew it up, join it on the fun!

I also made up the Foo Foo Threads Four Seasons Flat Front Peasant Dress (wow, a mouthful of a name) for baby girl.  This is such an adorable pattern and has tons of variations built in.  I added in the center panel of contrast fabric for the bib to match the sash.  Next time I am going to do the gathered sleeves!!!

These little cuties are heading out to a shower tomorrow.  They are made from the free Birtch Pattern for Henry&Helga.

The last thing I made recently was for ME!!!!  I made myself the Swoon Scarf Neck Cardi - OMG, I love it... and I have no pictures of me in it,  But you can read a great review HERE.  My mom saw it on my and immediately asked for one for Christmas!  WOOT!!!

This week I'll get to share over at Mouse House Creations as part of the Homemade Holiday Series, and you'll see me over at FrancesSuzanne in December for my second try at the FLIP series - Shwin&Shwin's  Number 9 Trousers.

What have you been up to?  Any big plans on the horizons for the Holidays?


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pattern Anthology Winter Collection: How to create the most AMAZING photographs of your children!!!

I was so excited to be asked to participate in the Pattern Anthology Winter Collection Blog Tour!!!!
(you can check out all the amazing other bloggers on the tour HERE)

So excited in fact, that I signed up to do a sibling set of clothing from the patterns (three items sewn in less than a week, no problem) .  So excited that I was blinded into gleefully saying - and I'll to a holiday PHOTO blog post.  Ummmm... in theory this makes sense, I am a professional photographer after all - I have the creds to write this post.  But the reality is that I am a 100 gazillion times better at taking photos of OTHER people's children.  The reality is that I have three toddlers under three and none of them have developed into a photo ham yet.  The reality is that taking photos of children is HARD!!!!  But never fear... I am going to give you some awesome tips to help you STILL get some amazing photos to use for your Holiday Cards this year!
....unlike these..... (sigh)

First I want to talk a little about Clothing (SAY WHAT!?!?!?)
  • When it comes to clothing for pictures, I have one rule - Coordinate, don't Match!!! (now rules are meant to be broken, so occasionally matching can be gorgeous - but overall just don't do it, you will thank me latter when your photos do not show up on akwardfamilyphoto.com!)
  • Pick a color scheme - you can easily work with anywhere from 2-5 colors, I think 3 colors is the easiest.  Pick two Base Colors (these are the colors you want the most of. I recommend that my clients stick to a color family - Warms or Cools, or prick neutrals).  Then pick one POP color - you are going to use this color more sparingly.

I went with 3 colors for this shoot.  Grey and Navy are my Base, and Yellow is my Pop.  I picked the Berkshire Blazer and the Juliet Capelet for this shoot.  I love outdoor photo shoots, so outer wear was the way to go for me!  I knew that both boys would get a blazer, but of course I didn't want them to 'match'.  I decided to keep A's more Classic and do a solid navy - his jacket has a yellow striped linen lining and matching elbow patches.  I added diagonal top stitching and did all the top stitching in grey to make it a littel more Mod. For B's I wanted to create a different feeling, so I made a contrasting lapel and pockets and went with a cool navy and white striped lining.  These Blazers are amazing - a tailored fit that just looks stylish and expensive!  Baby girl donned the capelet made in a gorgeous Silver Grey fabric I picked up in India and lined with yellow linen.  Capelets are so easy to make, and even easier to wear.  The amount of material and hood really keeps them warm too!!! I'm seeing an upcycled sweater capelet in my future!

  • Accessorize!!!!  Make the whole look come together with great accessories.  I added a Navy hat with yellow bow for baby girl, a soft yellow infinity scarf for B and a grey and navy scarf for A.  Little touches that just pull everything together.

Next, lets talk about the photo shoot!
  • LOCATION:  Pick a place that is going to look cool - you want to pick something that fits your style and that is easy enough to not have unwanted things in the background.  I love fields, parks and trails.  I could have given this look a more urban feel and taken my kids downtown - but I was slightly afraid they would be squished by cars and pedestrians alike.  Don't forget about safety!
  • Props:  Give your kids something to do.  You might have hams that love to stand beautifully and smile for the camera - most of us don't!  By giving your child something to interact with you create the opportunity to get a great candid in the midst of chaos.
  • When everything goes wrong - don't give up, but do REGROUP!

yucky grass, hmmm a ball, dude what am I supposed to do with this??

You will notice I have very few pictures with my 'Holiday Set'... this was a day that nothing was in my favor.  Baby girl was running a fever, the grass was wet and cold, the boys just wanted to chase imaginary squirrels.  It led to CHAOS and my doubting whether I would ever pick up my camera again!  Luckily, I have the most amazing husband who gently encouraged me and wouldn't let me completely give up on myself or my children.  We took a break - we went to a park where there happens to be a great walking path.  We let them play for a half hour then asked if they wanted to walk on the path - they were all excited... so I threw their 'shoot clothes' back on them , and onto the path we went.  Within the first 3 minutes I captured these shots (along with the one at the top of the post).

 We brought only one prop with us, and most of the pictures don't include it.  On a different day my original set up would have been perfect - this just wasn't that day.  Sometimes the most important tip is that you just have to let go of your expectations and accept what comes.

Thanks for joining me and don't forget to get your own Pattern Anthology Collection to use for your holiday photo-shoots!!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy November!!!!

I love Halloween - I love dressing up, I love candy, I love the fact that when I take my kids trick or treating or sit at the door and hand out candy, I am actively making the choice to meet my neighbors.  I live in an adorable and very friendly neighborhood, but we are all so busy and I rarely see any of my neighbors.  Last night I realized how many kids are in our little community - how many young families... I hope we get to see them again, and I hope it doesn't take until NEXT Halloween.

B: 'I NEEDS Candy'
Baby Girl: 'Please Mama'
A: I wonder what machines were use to make this genius box...

But on to November - I love November! The weather starts getting cold, it is a month of giving THANKS, it contains my birthday and Thanksgiving, and honestly it is the prelude month to Christmas - the month where you start making plans and seeing decorations but don't have to stress or worry that is is right around the corner.

I hope this is the start of a great month for you!!!!

Huge Hugs, 
The Winter Crew