iHeartFaces: Bust a Gut

For those of you who don't know him, my son is, well, different.  Of course, as his mother, I can totally appreciate his uniqueness and inability to run with the pack, but it does take some getting used to for outsiders.  One of his biggest quirks is how he plays with things.   More or less, he just organizes his playthings in patterns or designs all over the floor.  To "play" with him simply means to sit on the floor with him, not touching a thing, while he is busily lining things up. 

Here is a timeline of a romp with Pooky:

Step 1:  Get in an extra weird, quirky mood.  Kind of creep out your mom.

 Step 2:  Gather objects with which to "play."  For this example, we'll use hotwheels, but his favorite objet d'art happens to be sharp, spiny seashells.

Step 3:  And this is perhaps the most important step...choose a major thoroughfare of the home, and begin the makings of a gigantic display of aforementioned playthings.  You can randomly scatter them, or as in this case, you may line them up methodically.
Step 4:  Stand back and admire your work.  Also, prepare yourself to totally freak out if someone touches any part of it.

Step 5:  Laugh maniacally when your Mama tickles you with her feet for simply being the cutest thing in the whole world.
This photo will be my entry for iHeartFaces' photo contest this week:  Bust a Gut.

Photo Challenges & Photography Tutorials


Paper Mama: Smiles

This has to be one of my all-time favorite pictures of Pooky.  About two months ago, I bought my nifty-fifty, and as soon as it hit my doorstep, I was ready to play with it, so me and the boy headed outside.  The sun was setting on a beautiful summer day, and the two of us had so much fun just being goofy.  I love how his bushy hair is flying every which way as he runs, and that in his hand is an ever-present hotwheel.  Every time I see his smile, my heart swells with love for him.  

The Paper Mama


Paper Mama: Fall

Oh, how I love fall!  The weather is finally just right for long nature walks with Pooky, and there are so many new things on the ground to find!  Plus, the likelihood of stumbling upon a snake is greatly diminished.  The other day, I decided to play with my new camera, so the two of us headed outside.

In case you don't know me personally and haven't already heard me cry about this, here's the story behind the new camera:  my original camera totally died...right in the middle of a photo session...about two weeks ago.  I was able to sweet talk it into cooperating for the rest of the shoot, though.  I thought it just needed a new battery pack, so that night I ran out to Best Buy and picked up a new one so I'd be good to go for the TWO photo sessions I had the next morning.  Well, wouldn't you know that wasn't the problem.  It completely refused to talk to the lens, so you can only imagine the focus issues I dealt with that day.  The camera needs a serious talkin' to by someone who fixes cameras.  Hence, the new camera.  I totally intended to buy a second body anyway, I just didn't think I'd be doing it a month and a half before Christmas.  It is what it is.

This week over at Paper Mama, the prompt is "fall."  Here are a couple of my favorites of Wyatt.

Peeking through a fence, being all adorable and stuff.

Hiding in a little tree amongst the leaves.  

 I really love this photo because it really captures the essence of my sweet little guy.  We were at the pumpkin patch on the hayride and I looked down to see that Wyatt was carrying a handful of miscellaneous oddball things:  a dandelion, a chunk of bone, and a dried up okra.  He is a collector of all things nature.  These little trinkets litter my house, and each object has sentimental value to my little hoarder-in-training.
I'm picking this one as my unconventional entry.

The Paper Mama

i heart faces: autumn splendor

Fall has long been my favorite season.  What's not to love about scarves, knee-high boots, hot cocoa, and jewel-toned foliage?  One of my recent shoots was with Ashley, a high-school senior.  She specifically requested the autumn leaves for her backdrop, and I was happy to oblige!  As beautiful as she is on the outside, she's even more lovely on the inside.  When I saw the prompt this week over at i heart faces, I couldn't resist sharing my favorite shot from her session.

Photo Challenges & Photography Tutorials


Versatile Blogger Award!

I haven't been blogging much over the past couple of months...in fact, hardly at all...and so it was even more of a surprise to me than normal when I was given the Versatile Blogger Award by my friend Clydia over at Three Mango Seeds.  I am truly flattered, and as a recipient, I've got a couple of rules to follow. 

First, let's all give some love right back to Clydia!  Her DIY blog is exceptional...as is she.  This girl has a passion for making old things, particularly furniture, look astonishingly new again!  Plus, she creates adorable wooden plaques with beautiful sayings on them.  Personally, I'm going to leave anything that requires sanding, staining, priming, or painting to this chick for the rest of my natural life.

Now, onto the second part of my responsibility as a versatile blogger...I'm to share 7 random things about myself with you.  Here goes.

1.  I love our Lord and my Savior, Jesus, with all of my heart.  I feel His presence with me most of the time.  I talk to Him constantly...He's a pretty great listener...and I know His voice.  Nothing I have and nothing I've done would be possible without Him.

2.  I hate socks.   And t-shirts.   And tennis shoes.  And sweats.  With a passion.  Therefore, I am always adorable.
3.  I am ambidextrous.  I write with my right hand, but I shoot guns with my left, and I bead with both.  My Wyatt hasn't picked a dominant hand yet, so at five years old, I'm fairly positive he's ambi, too. 
4.  I am beyond cheap.  I can't stand money.  I never have any of it, and everything I think I'd like to have costs a lot of it.  I scour garage sales, thrift stores, and clearance aisles for my goodies.  I NEVER pay full price for anything.  EVER. 

5.  I rarely wash my hair.  Like once every two weeks.  Please don't tell my OCD hubby.  I do thoroughly scrub my scalp under scalding water every day, but I like my hair with it's natural oils...and it behaves better dirty.
6.  I'm a grammar nut.  I cringe when I hear or read infractions.  I am correcting them in my head.  Spelling errors, too.  I was a 4th grade spelling bee champion.  Went to regionals and everything.  Hope I didn't make any ironic mistakes while writing this post.  

7.  I am super confident in my craftiness.  I have a knack for being able to mentally disassemble other people's crafts in my head so that I can recreate them.  I have NEVER bought anything at a craft fair because if I love something, I'll just go home and make it for myself.  True story.


Finally, I need to give some blog love to a couple of my favorite gals!  I'm passing this honor along to:
Piper over at The Barefoot Indian.
Casey from One Day at a Time.


Simplicity Photo Challenge: Bloopers

Admittedly, I totally set up Wyatt for this series of photos, so I don't know if they technically qualify as "bloopers," but it's hilarious nonetheless.  Whoa.  Nonetheless.  That is a funny looking word.  Is that a real word?  Yup, just googled it.  Anyhoo.

So, Wyatt isn't a big candy eater.  Actually, he's not a big anything eater.  In fact, I often joke that he is a filter feeder:  he gets all of the nutrients he needs from the air he breathes.  Amongst all of the newly acquired Halloween candy were several warheads...you know, those uber sour, sure-to-make-your-mouth-water candies.  How could I pass up on this photo op? 
(I apologize ahead of time for the lack of editing...getting kind of tired of editing lately)
Here's Wyatt's suspicious, impatient face.  He wanted to eat the candy, but wasn't sure why I wanted to document it with my camera.

 Oh yeah.  That first taste of sickeningly sour candy. 

I think this is the moment he realized he'd been duped.

Being the incredible mom that I am, I told him he couldn't spit it out until I told him to.  Pretty sure that fight-or-flight reflex is about to kick in during this photo.

 Let's everyone welcome his facial muscles to the party!

 Okay, spit it out.  Weenie. 
This is his, "people call this candy?" face. 
Entering this one over at Simplicity for the "bloopers" photo challenge this week.

No permanent damage.  Unless you count the fact that he will probably never trust me again while I have a camera pointed at him.

3MS Link Up Party: DIY Simple Earrings

Today I thought I'd share a very simple, yet totally elegant earring design that anyone can make!  No fancy wire-wrapping skills or complicated tools necessary! 

Here's what you'll need, plus at least one pair of needle nose or chain nose pliers (I like using a pair in each hand for better grip, but you can totally pull this off with one pair):
OH, and you'll need two of each item below, unless you only have one ear.

Using your pliers, open your jump ring slightly.  The end result should look like this:

It is pretty important NOT to pull the ends outwards...it distorts the round shape of the jump ring!  It makes getting those ends pinched back together nearly impossible, too!

Once your ring is open, place your earwire onto the ring...like so.

Next, thread your bead onto the jump ring.  Use caution not to break your bead...the ring will likely not completely thread through the hole.  You may only be able to get it about half-way through due to the curvature of the ring.  This is fine.
This is the step that I like having a second pair of pliers for: 
Gently bend the ring back to its original shape, placing the free end into the open hole of the bead.  Wiggle the bead so that the open joint of the ring is inside of the hole, centered if possible.  Gently squeeze the ring from both sides to close it as much as possible.

Voila!  You've got some sweet little classy earrings! 
And I've got some cuticles to oil.  ;P

Three Mango Seeds