Monday, January 12, 2015

The Cake

So...the cake. Basically, it fell apart when I tried getting it out of the pan. I was able to piece it together to make a short stack, but it was very very rough looking. A couple hour stay in the freezer made it secure enough to accept frosting without it falling to pieces again.

If only the frosting worked out! Grr. For some reason, the frosting tasted HORRIBLE! I followed the directions but I'm not sure what happened. So, I dumped that and was going to make a grocery run first thing the next morning for the nasty pre-made, full-of-junk frosting tub.

Now, I have nothing against store bought frosting. It actually is pretty tasty sometimes and I am not one to say no to anything sweet. Plus, trying to get the color right myself was a bit tricky. Yes, I did use food coloring, although I did buy some berries and such to try it out naturally. I just didn't get the time to try with all the hassles with the first batch tasting horrible. But mostly I wanted to make my own frosting because I haven't given the kid much junky foods. He had a dairy insensitivity for most of his infant life - which meant I've been dairy-free for most of his infant life - and I've been hesitant to add much of that in, especially all at once. Plus, who wants a serious allergic reaction right before his birthday party?! So anyway, think about that if you are planning a cake smash session with me or with your photographer. Safety first!

Back to the cake...

It was bothering me so bad that night that I didn't have the cake ready for my morning cake smash session that instead of going to bed like a normal person, I made another batch of frosting using whatever ingredients I could find in my fridge and cupboards. :) This time it tasted pretty good and actually was a good enough consistency to use.

I had meant to do one large circle eye in white and black frosting on the front, but with all the frosting issues and my lack of time since it was now 11:30 at night, I figured out some different eyes to use. Thanks to sister's craft project pom pom balls and cake pop sticks. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Maddox - 1 yr Smash Cake

This kid cracks me up! He is extreme on both his giggles and his stubbornness. So I knew I had to do something fun for his 1st birthday.

Enter: theme - Monsters

It never turns out as good as it is in your head... or am I the only one with this problem? It definitely was more grand in thought than it was in reality, but I think it turned out pretty good overall. If only the kid cooperated. Lol. It seems that no matter what, it takes a little bit of coaxing to get them to get into the action. It's like they know it's a one-time-shot and they do everything in their power to fight the urge to make everyone happy. Especially when it's one of your own. :P

We found these super cute fuzzy balls at Walmart that went perfect with the monster theme, which was good because as I previously said, my idea was more grandiose in my head than it was turning out to be. A few streamers, a funky cake that is a story in itself, some heavy-duty wrapping paper and a variety of balls and we're good to go!

He wasn't much into it. It took quite a bit of coaxing to get his fingers dirty. And he didn't like the taste at all, which I was totally fine with. :) All in all it was a fun time and the pictures were so worth it! It's a lot of work, but these are such fun sessions to do overall.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Annual Report - Global Connection International

The staff at Global Connection International were so pleased with our last project (the Xtreme Truth Mailer) that they contacted me again for help designing their Annual Report! I was happy to oblige of course.

I love doing Annual Reports! They are a mixture of creativity, stories, facts and financials all combined into one large, or small, piece. It takes a lot of thought and structure to get all this into one booklet and keep it all looking cohesive. And on top of that, the company's branding needs to be maintained.

Maybe it's because life in general tends to be complicated. There's always so many parts and pieces in our lives - work, home, social, kids, friends, church, etc. I think this allows me to take a bit of that complicated mess and make it seem so beautifully simplistic. :)

We got the report put together and finalized, then came back a few weeks later and created individual pages that GCI could email out through a series of enewsletters.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Xtreme Truth - Global Connection International

Global Connection International is an organization working all over the world to help bring the gospel to some of the darkest and hardest reached places. One of its big areas is human trafficking. GCI staff were putting together an event here in Colorado for high school girls to bring awareness to this horrible offense within our own communities. Yes, this is a problem even here in the United States. I heard the stories of local young girls being bribed and threatened and trapped in sexual slavery, all while still living a 'normal' teenage life, unsuspecting of their parents and friends. It's disgusting and horrendous, but this knowledge needs to be out there to prevent our own daughters, sisters and friends from becoming ensnared in the same situations.

They had been working with a local print shop to design a mailer for this event and just couldn't connect their thoughts and ideas with that shop's designer. So they contacted me! We met up and discussed what they were looking for. They sent me some samples of images they thought would work for the mailer. And since the deadline was fast approaching for when they needed this in the mail, I got right to work on setting up the piece.

We had quite a bit of back and forth for changes and new image ideas and finally met up for an afternoon of designing/collaborating ideas with the images we could find to purchase. It was a long day and a wee bit stressful since we couldn't find the exact image to fit the size and specs and feeling of the project, but we found some that were close seconds. A few more changes and drafts later and this is the finished project:
It's pretty nice if I do say so myself. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Life of a Mommy Creative

Late nights, long nights, even longer's the life I live now. Don't feel bad for me though. I bring it on myself. That's because I love what I do...all of it!

I love being a mommy.

I love being behind the camera.

I love creating new things and working with amazing people.

I love the challenge that some of these projects bring.

I love the late nights (just not so much the early mornings and nap-less days).

I love the little bit of extra income it provides for my family and business.

I love the connection with adults (there is too much toddler-level talk around the house these days!).

I love the reprieve from this insane life I live. :)

So see, I bring it on myself. I just love it all too much. And so far I've been able to continue doing what I love. I'm not sure what the future holds for us - we're constantly in prayer over that. But I do know that my love of design and photography, of the creative lines involved in these fields and of the focus and knowledge that these fields require will always be a part of me. It's just who I am!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Catching up... and a graduation.

It's been a long summer... and yet, this summer has gone very quickly! Can you believe it's August already?? We've had family vacations (most being simply a long weekend away), weddings, parties, playdates, camping, family celebrations. Then we've had flu bugs and colds, temper tantrums and talking back, time outs and spankings,

The latest and greatest event was this graduation that we attended about halfway through the summer. I should've brought my Nikon to capture this event, but at the time juggling two kids and a DSLR didn't sound like much fun. So the camera on my phone had to suffice.

So now that summer is over and the weather is just starting to get unbearably hot (ha!), I need to get back into posting and creative exercising. We'll see how that goes... these two kiddos of mine are always on the go. And lately they've both decided that they want to stay up all night...and not take naps during the day (Bubbi has been surviving on 10 minute snoozes! No idea how!). This has been hard on me and sweet Hubs! But here is to being hopeful I can carve out some more time for the 'paperwork' and social side of my business. :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hudson's 6-month Session

These babies are growing up way too fast! I remember when this little guy was born...seems like yesterday! He just passed his 6 month mark and his mama wanted to get some pictures of him and the family before he's 16! Lol!

Aren't they a great lookin' family?

Big sister was a normal 2 year old. Luckily, she's only a couple months difference in age from my 2 year old, so I was able to use my new found knowledge of how to work with said age throughout the session. We were able to get a few glances and smiles out of her. :)

And a couple more from the session:


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My new 'little' man

Our baby is finally here! He must like to be fashionably late...he kept us waiting and guessing for almost 2 weeks beyond his due date. Either that, or he was just too comfortable where he was and didn't want to leave. Silly boy!

But this is the face of our new love!

Big sister loves him...maybe a little too much.

I'm still working on photos and design, however it might take me a little longer to respond to emails and get projects done. I have this new little needy thing in my life and we'll be busy figuring each other out in these next couple of weeks. :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Education is Continual

I am one that loves my Adobe programs. I use them for practically everything I do! However, I'm not a fan of how they created the Creative Cloud and only have a month-to-month subscription now... so I am currently loving on my CS 5.5 version of the software, which in all reality suits my needs just fine. On another note, I do need a new computer and that's currently what I am pursuing. Any suggestions out there?

I'm debating building one (with help from my tech-savvy brother) or buying one from a bricks and mortar store. Or I might reformat and rebuild some of my desktop to improve its functions and then look at buying a new laptop for portability purposes. Hm... the choices!

But on to the 'education' reason for this post...

 I've been enjoying CreativeLive and it's many wonderful (and FREE) videos and trainings. Currently they are running "30 Days of Photoshop" and while I haven't been able to catch all the videos, I have watched a few of them and am learning some new things here and there. (It's tough with a toddler running around to find a big block of time to watch these live - which is how/when they are free. But sometimes they'll do replays and I can catch bits here and there.)

There have also been trainings from real estate photographers, newborn and maternity photographers, editing of images and portrait styles, selling your products online, etc etc etc. And there are many many more videos for purchase if you missed the LIVE showing and would like all-time access to watch a specific class, artist, etc. I think it's such a neat idea and a great asset to people out there who want to learn more in their craft...or learn about a completely new craft. :)

**I have not been paid or solicited for my comments on any of the companies discussed above. Although if they ever see this post or come across my blog, I would be happy to test out products for them and give an honest opinion about them if they need another 'real life' tester. ;) *wink wink*

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Utah Valley University

The Lord has really been blessing me lately. I received a message awhile back from an old coworker, who now works for a university in Utah in their business school. She was wondering if I was still designing and if I would be interested in being their freelancer for the business school, since the university marketing department didn't have much time for the other schools within the university.

Of course I was ecstatic! I loved working with her back at our old stomping grounds and the thought of partnering together again was too much to say no to. :) So we've been working these last few weeks on some new materials and overall designs for the business school. It's been a real pleasure and so far everyone has been very easy to please (Patti says it's because of the way her and I communicate and I do agree with her).

Here are a few of the many pieces we've worked on lately: