August 25, 2011

I just got back from Vacation and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I have many new freckles, I'm so relaxed and my kids are so happy. Coming back this time was easy, I felt sad leaving, and I can't wait to go again. Just wait till you see photos, you will understand!

Get yourselves ready for an awesome giveaway. Coming VERY SOON!!!!

Today, however, I'm going to show you something I love! TEXTURE MAGIC. What is it you ask? Simply put, it's a shrinking fabric you use to sew on to another fabric and create an awesome bubble effect. Superior Threads makes this really cool fabric, and the first time I saw it I knew I had to try it. So home I came with a package of Texture Magic.

Superior Threads Texture Magic 47"x18" 

I decided to start with a simple project, so I grabbed some fabric left-over from a project and set to making a Hot Snapz cover.

I started by laying the Texture Magic fabric on the back of my fabric. I cut it to the size of the fabric. Then I decided on the pattern I would sew. I chose a diamond criss-cross pattern.

Texture Magic After Sewing

Texture Magic After Sewing

After I was finished sewing the entire piece I took it to the ironing board. Texture Magic side up, I turned the iron to full-steam. Then I got it just above the fabric and allowed the heat and steam to shrink the fabric. You don't actually want to touch the fabric. Also, you need to be careful because as it shrinks it lifts up, so you need to watch that it doesn't pull up to touch the iron. Slowly go over the entire piece of fabric until it stops shrinking.

Texture Magic Finished

Allow it to cool and then flip it over. It's so easy and looks so cute. My favorite part is that perfection in the sewing step is not required for it to look adorable.

Texture Magic Finished

Texture Magic Finished

After I got the fabric made I cut out a piece for the top of the Hot Snapz cover. Simple sewing was required for this and a self-adhesive Velcro closure was used. The perfect gift for someone who always needs a hot pack.

Hot Snapz Cover using Texture Magic

Hot Snapz Cover using Texture Magic

I'm determined to try Texture Magic in all sorts of things. A quilt, a bag, there are so many ways to use it!

*This was not a sponsored post and is completely my own opinion.

*This fabric is Flock in Ocean from the Arcadia collection by Sanae for Moda.

August 19, 2011

Every time I do a photo shoot I look at the photos and make tweaks to them. Unfortunately what would be perfect in print, does not always turn out perfect for my blog. For example, the photo that I posted just the other day is print ready, but then when I saw it published here, I died. It's darker and more muted than the actual photo. The effect is just not the same.

I almost always edit my photos before I post them. But it seemed so perfect I didn't touch that one. I was actually going to go on my last post and change the photo for a better quality one, but then I decided against it. Instead, I'm going to tell you what I did to improve it and show you why it's worth editing for the blog.

First I sharpened the image to add more detail. Then I ran 3 different actions from Totally Rad Actions. It was the easy way of boosting the color, contrast, and lighting in the photo. Basically for the web I made my photos sharper and more vibrant than I would for print. You can see the difference though, and why it's important to do when you look at the before and after!




Motherhood Edited for the Web

Amazing the difference right?! OK, maybe this isn't new for some of you but I had to show you the difference. What I saw originally was not what you saw in the last post. Editing your photos for your blog is totally worth it! It can be a lot of work though. Photoshop Actions like I use from Totally Rad Actions are available for many different programs and make editing go a lot faster. You can find tons of free ones all over the internet, or even download "test" ones from different companies, to get an idea for how to use them and what companies you like best. I started out using free Photoshop Actions from The Pioneer Woman and I still use them along with many others!

August 15, 2011

I had the most delightful opportunity of photographing a friend of mine and her husband last week. They are expecting their first. They are excited, nervous, overwhelmed, and scared. Do you remember those feelings? Motherhood is such a glorious thing!

This beautiful girl was 38 weeks when we did her photos. She's so cute it kills me. She was in the hospital just days before in labor and realized she had few photos of her belly. The baby didn't come that day so she acted quickly and two days later we met for a photo shoot. Now she has plenty of photos! I've been busy with life, but last night I started editing the photos. I have more editing to do but I just had to give you a sneak peak at one of my favorite photos from the shoot.


August 7, 2011

Just a few short weeks ago I was happily packing up after church and collecting the kids. I found my husband in the hallway and was ready at that point to head out the door. Only to discover the Bishop wanted to talk to us. Not a flicker of nervousness flashed through me. Not one. I had only been teaching my primary class for 3 short months. Of course, I should have notice the sly grin on my husbands face, I should have been paying more attention to the winds of change. But honestly, when I listened to our Bishop ask if I would be a counselor in Relief Society I was floored. I was not expecting this at such a busy time in our lives. But here I am participating more fully in this wonderful organization once again. Each month a member of the presidency gives a message to the sisters. This month was my turn. I wanted to share what I wrote with all of you.

Recently I seem to have read, heard, and even conversed often about the topic of how to take time for yourself as a busy Mom. One blog I read even compared the subject to flying. When you fly with children the flight attendants direct you to put on your own oxygen masks before attending  your child. Her analogy was simple: if you are not taken care of, then how can you care for others? While the message was directed at young moms, I believe it to be a very important message for each of us as members of the church.

Every one of us is surrounded by our own whirlwinds of life. We have school to get ready for, children and grandchildren to worry about, careers to work at, and finances and homes to maintain. I am in constant awe as I watch the women around me maneuver their way through their whirlwinds. And sometimes I wonder how they do it. Recently my husband, children and I were in Sacramento where he spent almost the entire time there arranging for the care of his elderly grandmother. He was overwhelmed with responsibility and I was exhausted from dealing with the kids. We stopped to get lunch and the two boys were in the back seat asleep so my awesome husband ran in to grab sandwiches while I stayed with them. My mind was racing and I could not calm down. I remember carefully bowing my head and just saying "Heavenly Father, how can I do it all?" I felt as if to say "Master, the tempest is raging..." I raised my head and stared across the street, only then to notice an LDS chapel that I had not previously seen. His answer was so obvious to me. "Peace. Be still." The only thing holding me together at that moment was the knowledge and testimony I have of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Rock of Our Redeemer

Our huge trials might seem insignificant when compared to those of others, but they are real and they are our own personal challenges. I want to tell you that while it is important to take care of your health and well being in order to be able to care for others, it is even more important to take care of your spiritual well being in order to provide yourself with the peace and happiness you need to make it through your storms. Helaman 5:12, in the Book of Mormon, is one of my favorite scriptures:

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Most of us would never forget to brush our teeth, rarely ever forget antiperspirant, and manage to feed ourselves and our families on a regular basis. Our spiritual care should be just as common, just as important for us as our other daily tasks. That foundation of faith and spiritual strength which we can easily build each day should already be there before the trials begin so that they can carry us through the difficult times. Please remember to take "spiritual" time for yourselves.

Download the "Rock of Our Redeemer" Silhouette File above HERE. You can see a fantastic idea for how to use the file here.