Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some reflections on mommyhood

So, I had a baby. I'm really going to try and keep this blog from turning into a mom-blog. But I have to indulge in one post. It's kinda a photography post too, because I took pictures of my baby. I guess I'm a momtographer now!

He's growing so fast!

Anywho, I thought I would share a few reviews about products I've found helpful in the first few months.

osoCozy Prefolds
We are using a combination of cloth and disposable diapers. For cloth, I love the osoCozy prefolds. They are soft and absorbant and a good value.

Flip Diaper covers
They come in lots of colors and even a math related pattern, and they fit Henry very well. I like them better than Thirsties, although Thirsties are quite popular. My advice would be to buy 1 each of several brands of cover, see which you like and then buy more. I think it is just a matter of which cover fits your baby well. 

Little stretchy grippers to use instead of diaper pins. Very easy to use.

*Note: Prefolds and covers are a good basic set up for cloth diapering, and if you get a few covers and a dozen or so prefolds, you can give it a try with minimal investment. You'll also need a diaper pail, aka a trash can with a lid from target, and a liner. I use a PlanetWise diaper pail liner, which comes in lots of fun colors. There are lots of helpful tutorial videos on youtube demonstrating how to change a cloth diaper. 

Baby Washcloths
That "make your own wipes" recipe that floats around Pinterest works just as well with cloth wipes. I got a tupperware box the right size, and I put all the lovely little washcloths in it, and pour the wipes solution over top and let it soak in. Viola! we never have to buy wipes (okay, so we still buy them on occasion, for "out-and-about"). 

Wipes Solution: 1 and 1/4 cup of water, 1 Tbsp baby oil, 1 Tbsp baby "Head to Toe" wash, mix well.

So, i pretty much think you could have only footie pajamas for a baby. That is what Henry wears 90% of the time. Messing with multiple layers and trying to keep socks on his feet is just difficult. 

Dr. Brown's Bottles
These bottles are the best in terms of Henry not drooling half the milk out and onto his clothes. They fit on the medela pump, so I can still pump directly into them. I also like the plain medela bottles that came with my pump okay, but not as well as the Dr. Brown's. I am NOT particularly a fan of the "Calma" bottle that medela makes. Henry ends up losing a significant portion of his meal dribbled down his chin when we use this one. 

A swing
I know they are expensive and huge and it seems unnecessary. So, we didn't get one at first. However, we were blessed to get one for free from a neighbor. And Henry really loves it. It is such a lifesaver when I need to get some schoolwork done, or fix dinner. I can set it up right by where I am working, and he can watch me contentedly. 

Anyways, to make this post slightly crafty, I will mention that I am thinking about graduating to making my own cloth diapers. Henry is about to outgrow the size 1 prefolds, so I might make some larger ones. If you are interested in making your own cloth diapers, here is a spreadsheet with links to many tutorials.

Next time I promise I'll be back to more creative endeavors. I still need to post about the china cabinet I re-finished!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lovely Ladies

Some time ago, I shot my first two Boudoir photo sessions. Both ladies were getting married, and wanted extra special wedding presents for their husbands, which I think is awesome.

Here is a little anonymity-preserving sample. If you are interested in scheduling this type of photo shoot and would like to see further samples, send me an email or give me a call to set up a consultation.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hall

This weekend I had the privilege of photographing my brother's wedding! It was my first time photographing a wedding, so I'm glad it was someone who still has to like me no matter what the pictures look like, but I'm proud of how the pictures came out :)

Ashley worked very hard making beautiful silk flowers and yummy (and pretty) cupcakes. She is so artistic! The guests received sage plants to take home as favors.

She also made her bouquet, which was gorgeous!

My brother was practically giddy before the ceremony!

The ceremony was beautiful, and I learned that it is hard to take pictures when you are getting emotional!

Officially married!

We braved the heat to take some portraits outdoors. I learned that reflectors are useful for more than reflecting light. They also make great fans, and once collapsed, are the perfect size to sit on to avoid getting your clothes dirty.

 I am so happy to have Ashley as a part of our family!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Anthropologie Knock-Off w/ Simplicity 2560

Ever since I saw Suzannah's post about Simplicity 2560 over at Adventures in Dressmaking, I've been anxious to try out the pattern. I'm quite certain I could own a shawl-necked cardi in every color of the rainbow and never get tired of them. 

I feel like many might pass up this pattern because the outfit on the model looks a little dated. But if you can get past that, it is a great little pattern. 

First, I tried out the pattern in a straight forward manner. I made a grey cardigan with View D, and followed the directions exactly. I cut a size 14 so that all the drape of the shawl neck would be in the center. I could probably stand a little smaller if I wanted to wear it more open. In any case, the result was a comfy cardigan that can be dressed up or down:

I particularly love the way the sleeves on this pattern fit me, so I'm guessing I'll be using it as the base for many shrugs, cardigans and tops. 

Next, as I was searching the internet for DIY Maternity clothing, I happened upon Miriam's tutorial for a maternity dress inspired by an Anthropologie top. I like tops more than dresses, and I tend to wear them more, so I headed on over to Anthro's website to check out the inspiration piece:

Super cute, and could be maternity friendly. As a bonus, the low neck makes it nursing friendly later on! My shawl neck cardigan pattern was just waiting to be adapted. Here's a mock up of what I intended to make, complete with my fabric:

Here are my altered instructions:

My Materials:

about 2(ish?) yards of semi-sheer yellow striped jersey knit
Some 3/8" elastic
Sewing machine with stretch stitch
Simplicity 2560 Pattern
Blank newsprint
Yellow thread

1. My pattern has an empire waist all the way around, and I wanted to remove the gathers in the back. So, I converted the back bodice/sleeve and back pieces into one piece:

2. Since step 1 removes the need for a seam, thus lengthening the pattern a bit, I added a seam allowance to the front bodice/sleeve and front pieces, as well as the neck band:

3. I cut the pattern pieces for View D - front bodice, front, back (my altered version),  and neck band - as well as 2 rectangles that were about 7.25" x 20" to make the twist pieces. I actually made these narrower at first, but didn't like them so I went back and cut new ones.

4. Gather lower front pieces between notches (I used 3/8" elastic to do this rather than a gathering stitch). 

I cut the elastic longer than necessary to give me something to hold
onto while I stretch the elastic and zig-zag it to the fabric.

5. Pin lower front to front bodice/sleeve, matching notches, and stitch. 


6. Pin front to back at shoulder seams only (not side seams), and stitch. Press seam open.

7. Pin two neck band pieces together along short side and stitch. Press seam open.

8. Pin neck band to shirt: Start in the center back of the back bodice, matching small and large dots to shoulder seams and empire waist seam. Here is what it should look like once this step is done. The neck band is the part I'm holding out with my left hand.

9. Sew front center seam along edge of neck band to desired length. I made mine stop about even with the empire waist seam, so the shirt is very low necked. I will wear a camisole underneath, but I wanted it to be usable as a nursing shirt later. 

10. Press remaining edge of neck opening under, and hem if desired (I just pressed, we'll see how it does after washing)

11. Add elastic to the seam at the nape of your neck, if desired (makes it gather more naturally, with less fiddling). 

12. Using the two small rectangular pieces, fold in half and sew to make a tube. Turn right side out and press flat. These will be your two waist band pieces.

13. Intertwining the two, pin waist bands to shirt front, matching edges with empire waist seam. 

14. Pin front to back, making sure to catch your waist bands in the seam, and stitch. Stop the seam at large dot to leave sleeve opening.

15. If desired, add elastic across middle front portion of the shirt. I find this decreases the amount of fiddling I have to do to get the shawl neck to lay right. 

16. Hem sleeves, and hem the bottom, and you're done!

Anyways, here's the finished product:

Overall I am very happy with the result. I think it would be slightly better made out of sturdier knit. The front twist pulls at the back a bit, and I think the addition of some elastic across the back to act as a countering force would help, but with my semi-sheer fabric I didn't think it would look good. 

I plan to make another version with a narrower neck band, made out of woven fabric rather than knit, so that all the fullness is in the front lower piece. I think this will give it a bit of a kimono-like look. We'll see how it goes!