This Lovin’ It edition is all about your little artists and their masterpieces! Check out some of these rad ideas…

Mini Masterpiece Photobooks

This one is for the artwork…the masterpieces that cover your fridge and eventually get placed in boxes because you can’t dream of throwing away the first grade portrait with two bigs eyes and a huge smiley.

Liz over at Paislee Press designed a beautiful photobook for Shutterfly called Mini Masterpieces that showcases your child’s artwork. “The style includes 20+ idea pages, with predesigned photo layouts, title placement and even journaling prompts. ” You can simply upload photographs of their work and insert or use the customize mode to make it all your own.

(images Copyright © Liz Tamanaha/Paislee Press)

Oh and if you love all things scrapbooking, visit her site : Paislee Press her album designs are B E A utiful!

 

Makedo : How to make anything out of a Cardboard Box

Sometimes the best part of the gift is the enormous box it came in!  But turning that box into a fort, astronaut costume, or airplane is sometimes difficult for your little one. Masking tape doesn’t hold on the airplane wing, unless you mummify the plane, and duck tape is well…so sticky it rarely gets to its proper place before sticking to them, their fingers, or itself.

Introducing Makedo, ” a connector system that enables materials including cardboard, plastic and fabric to easily join together to form new objects or structures.” Way cool right?!  It’s so simple yet genius! You can make cars, robots, costumes, forts, etc.

Check it out…


 

Art on the Walls

Enormous chalk board and coloring book walls! Love love LOVE.

You can find coloring wall paper over at Bodie and Fou.  I am still on the hung though for the jungle wall paper above :(

 

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It’s going to go by so fast.  One moment your baby will be giving you their first toothless smile.. and the next they will be furniture-walking towards the dog. Since everyday brings new beginnings, how do you know when to have your baby professionally photographed? This is my answer to expecting parents…

Yes, you read that correctly. If you want newborn pictures, the best  time to photograph your newborn baby boy or girl is before they are two weeks old.  The sweet spot is 5-7 days old.

Why so early?

Sometimes us baby photographers joke that we will follow you home from the hospital. Because before two weeks old your newborn is very sleepy and still likes being curled up like they were in your womb. Their skin is silky smooth and usually clear of “baby acne” and their reflexes are not stirring them yet in their sleep.

After two weeks, your little one will begin to sleep less as they explore the world around them.  They will also “stiffen” and sleep with their arms like a helicopter and with their legs out-streched making curled up and sleepy photos less possible.

So you will want to book a newborn session during your pregnancy which will reserve a time slot for whenever your little one arrives.

Giggles, coos of joy, and belly laughs are filling your home at this time. Your baby is intrigued by all of the details around them and they choose to experience the world by stuffing whatever they can get their hands on in their mouth. They are beginning to twist, turn, and roll onto their belly to find their favorite toy.  And it won’t be long before they scoot across the floor.  It is a season of firsts as they eat their first crackers and touch everything within your home.

I always recommend capturing your baby at 6 months or if your baby can’t sit up then, waiting until they can. This is a season when your baby will love giving smiles and giggles.  They will be rolling, eating their first solids, and really starting to show their personality as they interact with you and the world around them. They can also sit up on their own…which means photographers can begin to capture them in settings besides the bed, floor, and in your arms.

 

The months are going to fly by…and before you can believe it your baby will be turning 1! This day should be celebrated with sprinkles and a cherry on top.

Some families like to simply capture their now walking toddler, others choose to get messy with a cupcake smash or a baby painting on canvas. Whatever you choose…your now toddler will provide the photographer with adorable and sometimes funny expressions.

I recently started offering to expecting parents a baby plan package that makes it easy to capture these milestones that take place during your baby’s first year. You can find more information about the baby plan package right here.

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Dear Matt

I am sure you will remember…

we were halfway across the Tapanzee Bridge when traffic came to a dead stop.  We sat and sat watching the minutes pass and the clock strike midnight.  And then Andrea Bocelli happened on shuffle.

The orchestra began to play that familiar melody and you…you began to sway and prep your voice, just like you did when we were in high school.  The parking lot of cars on the Tapanzee, the road workers…it all began to fade away as a huge smile came across my face anticipating your first Italian words.

And one would think that after 9 years you would have picked up some of the Italian lyrics besides Vivere…but honestly, I am glad you haven’t.  Because the made up babble and face reddening belts of Vivere bring me to hysterical laughter and tears every single time.

I never want to forget these moments with you…when you sing so hard your voice turns hoarse… and our voices join with Bocelli’s to drown out the car-filled streets.

And for those of you that have never  heard “Vivere”…..enjoy (this one has English too, but I prefer it just in Italian)

 

 

 

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Boston mom’s are in love with Sophie the Giraffe.  It honestly looks just like your dog’s squeaky toy, but there is something special about it that teething toddlers drool over. I have heard moms call Sophie time and time again their toddler lifesaver and a must-have product as it somehow soothes and helps their baby stop crying.

 

This video tells the story of Sophie the Giraffe.  Starting first with her yummy tasting roots from the tree’s of Malaysia and finishing with her hand painted and constructed form made in Paris that all together make her a huge hit with toddlers. Check it out…it really is very interesting.

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I received a text image of frames scattered across her carpeted floors.  These words followed, ” Can you help me?”

She wanted to hang a collage of photographs on her wall, but had no idea where to begin.  Maybe you are in the same boat and have been “pinning” to an inspiration board collage options for the past 3 months, but are stumped on how to re-create them within your home.

 

Here are 4 basic design principles I use when creating a Wall Photo Collage.  Let’s start with the easiest one…

1.Repetition– when in doubt choose the same size frame and repeat.  The results will be clean and simple.  Make a statement with 2-3 large framed prints, or make it bold in numbers with 6 or more framed images. Here are some examples:

2.It’s all about Balance- our eyes like things to be balanced. Because it is comfortable and organized instead of chaotic. There are two ways to balance your collage:

  • Symmetrically (Formal Balance): If you have a first grader, ask them to list off some examples of symmetry.  They may say a butterfly, our bodies, a leaf, or maybe  crab.  Things that are the same on both sides when divided down the middle (vertically or horizontally).  So as you lay out your collage, you can use symmetry to bring balance.  Here are some examples:
  • Asymmetrically (Informal Balance): this form of balance is when both sides of your collage are not identical when divided, but they are still similar.  An apple and an orange placed side by side is 1 example of asymmetrical balance.  To our eye they are about the same size and same “weight” yet not identical.  Discover another example by laying a pencil on a table and then directly parallel lining up 5 mini marshmallows.  The 5 mini marshmallow all together are similar in size and shape to the pencil.  Now let’s see some examples with wall art:

3.Uniform Spacing– keep the same amount of space between each frame. Just as we created balance with the frames we also need to do that with the space in between the frames. Because our eyes like balance and unity.  I recommend consistently placing 1-4 inches between the edge of one frame and the next.

4.The Shape of your Collage- choose a shape for your collage before beginning. Think about what you would like the overall shape of the collage to be so that if you were to connect the dots from frame to frame and trace all the way around, you would see a square, a rectangle, a diamond, or anything else you can create. Then use uniform spacing and balance within the shape of your entire collage.

 

Tip:  Lay it Out

It’s hard to envision in your head how everything will look.  So grab your frames, slide your furniture to the edge of the room, and start playing with the pieces of your collage.  Move frames around, try different arrangements, and take a picture of each design. In the end, you’ll compare the pictures of each design to choose and create your favorite.  And if you really want to envision your collage in it’s exact location on the wall, cut out pieces of paper in the size of your frames and tape them to your wall with masking tape (scotch sometimes takes paint off).

And if you are stumped on what sizes to buy, a great place to play is Michaels (even if you have frames from another store picked out…sshhhh).  Bring with you the size of the space to fill on your wall and a ruler, open up these design tricks on your mobile device, and play with frames.  Don’t worry, they most likely won’t mind…I speak from experience.

 

Of course, rules of design can be broken…but they do provide us with guidelines to create something beautiful, balanced, and eye-grabbing…and that’s what you want when you showcase your photographs within your home.

And if you are one of my clients, this is one part of your At Home Design Session. We will take a look together at the wall space  and style of your home. Creating collage options that highlight your family and your home. So that your photographs become a part fo your everyday life and on-going story.

 

 

 

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