Thought for Thursday

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Family: The Tie That Binds

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Well, things have been really hoppin' in the shop lately. Thus, the long blogging absence. It seems folks are starting to get the Christmas itch that comes around this time each year. I am LOVING my early bird Christmas customers!! As of now, I am a one-woman-show....I do it all.....a stay-at-home-mommy by day and once my little ones hit the sack, it's off to my studio to interact with you all via my computer and create keepsakes...all of this in the wee hours of the night. It's for this reason, that I am especially thankful for those early bird customers I mentioned. Because after December 4th, the window will have to close on a guaranteed Christmas delivery date. After the 4th, my time will be be spent filling those orders and spending time with my two sweet boys and husband, making Christmas memories of our own. So, I would encourage you again to try to get your orders in as soon as you can.

A super, super sweet early bird customer contacted me a couple of weeks ago with a photo of her grandparents. Oh, my goodess, I was thrilled when I saw her old, imperfect, slightly fuzzy, black and white photo! To me, all the imperfections were what made it "perfect"! For as long as I can remember, I've loved pouring over old black and white photos, imagining the kinds of people they were or what their life circumstances were. I realize it probably sounds a little off-kilter and silly, but I've always wished I could just jump into that photo for a split second and see what life was like back then and have a conversation with the subject of the photo. Ahhhh.....time travel. When people ask "what's the one superpower you wish you possessed?", for me, it's always been the same. Time travel. And don't even get me started on the movie "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve. youngest boy's name: Reeves.....wonder if there's something psychological going on there with that choice. Perhaps, yes. But I digress.

So, my super sweet customer came to me looking to create a photo block keepsake of her grandparents to bring to her family Christmas gift exchange this year. I really, really thought it was SUCH a wonderful idea and a gift that everyone in her family will appreciate. We decided on a couple of nice family quotes to go along with her grandparents' photo. She and I both loved how it turned out! Thanks so much for allowing me to work with you, Lisa!!

Seeing Lisa's photo gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to dig up some old photos of my own grandparents. I thought I'd share them with you all as they mean SO very much to me. I just love that I have them. Having lost a great deal of my childhood photos to Hurricane Katrina, I cherish them all the more.

This is one of my dad's parents. I love how happy and carefree they both look!....the way my grandma's hand is over her head striking a pose(sassy!) and how handsome and confident my grandpa looked! Brings a tear to my eye just looking at these photos.....I miss my grandparents so. I'm so sad none of my children got the chance to meet them. I have such great memories of them.

This is one of my mom as a baby with my grandmother, Jean. I love the "everyday life" look of it. Just an ordinary day that someone captured in a photo. I also love that someone handwrote their names on the top of the photo. I'm silly like that. Any link to the past, I guess...

A photo of my great-grandfather. I love how stately he looks with his suit, umbrella and pocket watch. Just a great, great photo.

This last one is of my husband's grandparents. Again, I just love these little snapshots of life. I find myself studying everything in the photos to see what I can uncover about that particular place and time.

So, that's what I have for today. A little look into my past for you. Hope you all are having a wonderful week thus far! I'll be back with more soon!

In Memory of...Keepsakes

Monday, September 26, 2011

A while back I had a customer contact me with a request for a memory keepsake for her friend. That friend was losing her longtime four-legged companion to an illness and was having a really hard time with it. So, in memory of her beloved pet, I created a keepsake for her. And as it turned out, a friend of mine had just lost her longtime pet, unexepectedly, as well...he was a beautiful dog that she and her husband had since he was a puppy many years ago. He truly was like their child. They adored and cherished him. So I knew I had to create a keepsake for her as well.


After creating these memory keepsakes for both this sweet customer and my friend as well, I decided to list it in my shop for any of you out there who might like a little keepsake around to remember your beloved furry friends as well.

Growing up, my family and I always had dogs, so I remember very well how terribly sad I was to lose them. Snooky(the original Snooky, folks!) and Gizmo(yes, I grew up in the 80's) were my besties when I was a kid, as you can see below. This photo was taken early one morning after my mom found me relaxing in the "pool" with my favorite little pooch, Snooky. As a child I was an early riser(don't know what happened there) and I would always be the first one up. This, below, was a regular occurance at my house. I'll have to dig up some of those old photos of Snooky dressed in baby clothes and a bonnet laying happily in my doll carriage. I pushed that pooch all around the neighborhood in that thing! So, needless to say, Snooky was a very well loved four-legged friend and I just loved him to pieces.

In related news, there is a free shipping special going on this week in the shop for all Facebook fans. "Like" us if you haven't already and enjoy this special going on now thru sunday!

Enjoy your week and I'll be back with more soon!

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Christmas designs for 2011 are now available in the shop! There's something for everyone....from new babies, to new couples to a family option as well. I hope you like what's new for this holiday season!

Ordering deadlines for Christmas delivery will be posted in the coming days. Please plan to order your keepsakes early this year. The ordering deadline will be very early in December so that I may have time to really enjoy the holidays with my husband and our little ones. Christmastime is a special one, and I really want to enjoy spending time with them this year.
That being said, I'm really looking forward to seeing all of those wonderful photos come through my inbox and creating some special keepsakes for you all this coming holiday season!

Geaux Tigers! Birthday Party

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This past weekend our family celebrated my nephew's birthday. He officially turned a decade old (a milestone that he wanted to be sure everyone knew!). Gabe is an avid soccer and LSU fan. I think the past couple of birthdays for him have been either soccer or LSU themed. This year we put the two together for one colossal waterslide party!
I threw together an invitation for him to pass out to his classmates and friends. Oh, the pressure of making a "really cool" invitation for a ten year old boy! I'm certainly no pro at creating invitations, but it passed the "cool" test according to the birthday kid. Whew.

As a graduate of LSU, I have a little bit of a soft spot for the purple and gold, myself. My sister, on the other hand, is ALL about the purple and gold, especially during the football months. So, there was no shortage of LSU decorations everywhere.
With the help of this recipe(sans the peanut butter) I made some delicious chocolate cupcakes along with some coordinating cupcake toppers. I love a cupcake dressed up for a party!

I had the added challenge of creating a GLUTEN-FREE soccer cake as well this year. It's a new lifestyle for my sister and her kids, so I had to wing it and hope for the best with the recipe I chose. It was a cute cake, but I'll be honest. I was a little leary about the taste as I brought it over to the party. I've discovered that gluten-free cooking and baking can be a bit intimidating, what with all the special flours and things to remember NOT to include when putting them together. But, fortunately, I came across a great
"cheater" recipe book. As a beginner gluten-free baker, I definitely appreciate and am down with a baking cheat sheet of sorts. It's from none other than the Cake Mix Doctor, herself, Anne Byrn. She has a gluten-free baking book now!

I opted for the white almond flavored wedding cake along with a traditional white and chocolate buttercream frosting. I'm happy to report that everyone said it was a great tasting cake! So, I have a good feeling that this will now become the traditional birthday cake for my sister's household. It's a great recipe, so if you are living a gluten-free lifestyle or know someone who is, pass along the book title to them.

Here's Gabe, the birthday kid, along with a photo of a soccer collage print I made for him last year sometime. He's definitely the little athlete in our family. A really sweet and sensitive young man with a big heart.

Reeves, my youngest, adores him. Regardless of the eight years age difference, they are the best of friends. The very mention of his name makes Reeves' face light up....actually, the same can be said for my oldest, as well.

As I mentioned, my sister is a big LSU fan, so last year I made this photo block for her. And wouldn't you know it, I was pleasantly suprised to wake up this morning and find the item featured in an etsy treasure as well! Nice! You can see that here. Geaux, Tigers!

This waterslide was HUGE, ya'll!! Very impressive and the kids had a great time in it!

Yes, this "face in the cake" idea was completely the doings of the birthday boy. He inspired his other two siblings to follow suit. A new "decade birthday" tradition, perhaps?

Looking through these photos of my boys having a blast with their cousins reminds me of my own childhood. So many of my very best memories come from simple times spent with my own cousins. Childhood is so fleeting, and it's such a comfort to me to look back and remember those fun times. I hope my boys carry the memories with them always of times like these spent with family.

Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.
Anthony Brandt

Here's wishing you a very relaxing Labor Day weekend spent with those you love most.


Thought for Thursday

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Travel Theme Wedding

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A few months ago, a bride living in London contacted me about creating some photo blocks for her upcoming wedding. She and her fiance' have done a great deal of traveling and decided on a travel theme for their big day. Her idea was to have the blocks on each of the eleven reception tables that coincided with each table name(each is a country she and her fiance' had visited during their years together).

Together, we decided on the large blocks and utilized as much space as we could with their photos and trip descriptions on each one. I think these will make really great conversation pieces among the guests' tables. What a fun way to share these great memories with friends and family!

The colors for the wedding are lavender, eggplant and metallic silver. She opted for a very clean look with a subtle honeycomb pattern and a light damask print.

I just love the photo of the two of them jumping in the fields! So much life and energy in that shot!

Here are all the keepsakes packaged up and ready for the big day.
I have little doubt it will be one spectactular wedding for the happy couple!

In other shop news, the new Christmas 2011 designs are coming along great and I'm excited to get them in the shop later this week. I can hardly believe how fast Christmas is coming. The shop has been really busy the past couple of weeks with customers thinking ahead for the holidays. Loving my early birds!!

We've been featured in a couple of cute etsy treasurys this past week as well. It's always nice to see that others enjoy what you create. You can see those treasurys here and here and here.

Well, we are in the last days of summer as preschool starts in just a couple of weeks for us. We are battling the scorching hot and sticky weather conditions, but still trying to enjoy what's left of these less structured summer days. Hope you all are enjoying what's left of your summer as well.

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it
  ~Russel Baker

Vintage Carnival Birthday Party

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Things have been superbusy around here the past week with shop orders, but I thought I'd pop in really quick tonight and share a few friends and family photos from Reeves' 2nd birthday party. As for all of the photos of the party details, those can be found in the feature post over at Hostess Blog.

Here we go...
These are from the photoshoot we did for the photo invitation. I dragged my hubby, children and props down the road early one week day morning to get these photos. Now, I could be on my own here, but I sure thought it was fun! Ha!

...some party-goers enjoying some conversation and carnival games.

 Ok, I can honestly say that I didn't see the duck pond game turning into a swimming pool when I decided to include this one at the party. I know, not very smart on my part. The little ones immediately went straight for the water. So, it didn't exactly go over as planned, but it did keep the kiddos cool.

Bucket Toss followed a similar fate, I'm afraid. All the birthday boy wanted to do with it was collect all the balls and use the buckets for scooping out the duck pond water. Ha!

 As the party was winding down, the ticket booth made for a great hiding spot to load up the water guns and take fire! Anything that involved water on this steamy day was a hit with the kids. The game prize water guns definitely made the top of the list.

 My sweet little birthday boy blowing out his candles...

 ...some fun shots from a day or two after the party.

 It was a crazy hot day here in south Louisiana, but the kids had a fun time and that always makes all the effort worth it for me. I'd do it all over again for my spunky, sweet little boy. Love him to pieces.

Thought for Thursday

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hostess {With the Mostess} Blog Party Feature

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yep, it's true! A feature! Yay! Ok, so I plan to share some family and friends photos from the party, but head over to the Hostess Blog in the meantime to see some of the details of Reeves' 1940's Inspired Coney Island birthday party! I'm still giddy at the thought of being in the company of so many gorgeous parties!

To the ladies over at the Hostess {With the Mostess} Blog, thank you so much for the wonderful feature!

Sunshine in a Box...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So going out in tomorrow's mail is a little "pick me up" care package for a very special little girl. Her mom and I are both a part of the MOPS group in our area. I've mentioned before how much MOPS has helped me connect with other moms and what a great outreach it is for us all. Love my MOPS group!

Anyway, this family got the devastating call several weeks ago....the call that their sweet little girl had leukemia. They were immediately rushed to St. Jude and she is now undergoing chemotherapy treatments. I think and pray for this little girl and her family daily now. I can't imagine being in my friend's shoes and getting that call. It greatly reminds me of how often I take good health for granted.... good health not only for my children but for my husband and I as well.

So I thought it might be nice to send some "Sunshine in a Box" to this family while they are undergoing all the necessary treatments and so on. It's not much...a few little packs of treats to tuck in a purse or pocket that might come in handy at the hospital, a little bucket of crafts for Annabelle, some little musical instruments(I thought maybe mom or dad could play a few tunes to lift her spirits during the difficult moments), and a few other little things for mom and dad.
(My apologies for the less than stellar photos here. Unfortunately, while I was sending some sunshine, it was quite dreary-looking here with less than optimal lighting for photos.)

Egg shaker maracas, a little harmonica, punchballs, bubbles, a disney princess pez dispenser, some banana chips... 

They had to leave so quickly that I didn't figure they had the time to grab any of Annabelle's bath toys, so I thought a few little rubber duckies might make be kinda nice to have around as well.

I'm thinking and praying for you daily, sweet Annabelle! I look forward to the day when your mom sends the message that the treatments are complete and you're headed back home well!

Headed to curl up with my little boy and be thankful for everyday of good health we have and see it for the blessing it truly is.

UPDATE: If you enjoy this post, you might also like the Teacher Appreciation version as well.

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