Pinterest Challenge! WARNING: This Post Contains Beer.

What to do with extra beer bottles hanging around? (Not mine- For the record…)

Make vases!

This project took 20 minutes, start to finish, with pictures! Easy peasy… now to find something to stuff in them :)

There was no website I could find as to where they orginated, but here is my original inspiration that I pinned to my DIY board on Pinterest

Here are my own rules:

The cast of characters:

Mod Podge
Thick Yarn I had hanging around
Glue Gun
Beer Bottles
My hands 

Check out that beautiful- work in progress- kitchen back there ;)

Take the Mod Podge and slather in on the bottom half of the bottle

Start twirling.  The very edge didn’t stick at first, but I kept twirling and secured the edge with some hot glue later.  I found that twirling the bottle while holding the yarn tight was the most effective way.

Continue adding Mod Podge to small sections and twirling.  It got tricky as the bottle got thinner at the top, so instead of winding tightly I let up on the slack a bit and more or less let the yarn loosely sit on top of the prior row.

I wound the yarn all that way to the top then secured the top with some hot glue, and then very beginning, at the bottom with hot glue. And like that… I reused, reduced and recycled :-)

Check out some of these other fun projects with bottles!


lights! from More Design Please

pulseiras via seilamuitascoisas

So… whatcha been up to?  Any fun projects you can link us to? Let me know in the comments!

Did You Mean to Cut Your Head Off?

Not cut with a knife… but cutting off with a crop

What is cropping? crop: to remove portions of an image to eliminate unwanted areas or to give it another aspect ratio

When I edit photos, I crop them for the artistic effect of image – I do this based on the individual image (keeping in mind popular client ordering crops).  Sending an order to print can often change these images entirely based on the size you order.

Let me show you what I mean…

Here is the image I put in your gallery:


You decide you want this shot in an 8×10…

This image still works- but there are portions now missing – notice the top of his sweet little head?
So you may receive this image and not realize I needed to come in closer (of course I’m a full disclosure type of person so I would have informed you before sending the image to the printer).


How can you possibly decide which crop works for a picture when you are ordering?  Not all crop size is created equal.  So not only do you have the huge responsibility of ordering your session images, thinking about framing sizes… now you also need to consider how much of an image will be lost.

This picture, of the famous Owen, is cropped at all of my typical sizes.  Which do you think works best?


Need to simplify your ordering process?  Let me help by creating a custom Designed Wall Display for you! I offer this as a free service after your session.  You can send me a picture of your wall, have me take a picture while I am at your home or use a stock photo I already have to create a display that works, to scale.  With a Designed Wall Display – the cropping guess work is removed!

Here is an example of a Designed Wall Display I made for a client this fall using a picture she took of her wall:

More on Designed Wall Display’s next week!

P.S.  Did you get my newsletter?!  My newsletters give you booking updates, session specials, and coupon codes for some of my favorite businesses!  Did you miss January’s?  Sign up today so you don’t miss February’s!

Will You Remember 2012?

I want you to take 1 picture everyday this year. Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Ok, before you start to think I’m crazy –  I promise it will take no more than a simple click of your cell phone… you have one of those, right?   The picture can be of your child, your breakfast, your dogs…   At the end of the year, you will have a beautiful story of your life in 2012.  In 2020 you can look back and see the small details that have changed in your life.  How wonderful (especially if your children are small)!

I started a “365 Project” in 2010- and I made it until July! That was a big accomplishment because I would drag out Mr. Big Camera, upload, edit, etc.  Way too big of a project for a busy mom/biz owner to handle.  However, my iphone has some fantastic picture taking apps.

My three favorite apps?



Snapseed for iPad[6]



I have my cell phone on me all the time.  It’s always in my pocket and if it’s not, I’m searching the house and using Where’s My Cellphone?  In the past, I resisted using cell phones for pictures- but I would rather have a picture that isn’t “perfect” than no memories.  Using these apps has changed the way I see the world- without it I wouldn’t have this shot of my baby boy <3

The best part about this project? You can’t do anything WRONG! You simply document your life.

What’s next?

You can do a multitude of fun things with your pictures… make a photo book, use small frames to cover a large wall with each picture (or favorites), a free blog with 1 picture per day, NOTHING… It’s all up to you…

Still can’t commit? What about a 52 week project? Just once a week?

So000… what are you waiting for? GO TAKE A PICTURE!

P.S. My newsletter goes out this WEDNESDAY- with a FREEBIE inside!!  Have you joined the list yet?

Exclusive Discounts Just for You!

I’m always on the look-out for products that my clients, reader, and mommies would love.  The following fab vendors have been gracious enough to provide me with EXCLUSIVE coupon codes for their wonderful products!! I’m super excited to offer these coupon codes to my readers… sooo how do you get them?!  SIGN ON UP! Start getting my newsletter (the first Wednesday of every month) and you too will get access to my VIP discounts on fab products – that I handpicked!

Buddha Bellies Month Stickers

The Newest Rage is taking monthly pictures of your new baby to see how they have changed… (I have been doing this and will be sharing my Owen shots soon…).  Buddha Bellies sells themed monthly stickers – so now you can just use a white/red/blue onesie and stick one of these awesome “1 MONTH” stickers right on there to keep track of the month!

Best of all?? They are offering a 15% discount off of their already LOW prices while they are starting out.  How do you get the discount? Sign up!

il_170x135.284475715 il_170x135.284472483 il_170x135.285134231


This Etsy company, ImBlessed offers beautiful handmade and stamped jewelry – and it is so simple and delicate.

This shop is kindly offering a 10% discount off of their fantastic products when you sign up for the newsletter!


The silhouettes?! OMG.


So are you joining the FUN and signing up to the party?

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Digital Photo Purchase: New Years 2012 Edition!

I sell digital images.  I do.  Everything in our lives are digital.  Are they my favorite to sell? No.  Why you ask?  I want you to look at these pictures of your family and children every day and most of the time, when digitals are purchased, they sit on your disk, sit on your disk, and then sit on your disk some more.  So Melissa, what’s your point?  I’m here to help, again!

Make the most of your digital purchase New Year’s 2012 Edition!

First – let’s discuss what you CAN do with your digitals and what my copyrighted images may not be used for:

You may:

  • Print, print, and print in the original photo state.
  • Prints, canvases, cards, whatever else you would like.
  • Use for social sharing (i.e. Facebook…).  You do not have to put my name on them, but I sure would appreciate that gesture!

You may not:

  • Use the picture for advertising (nor can any other company that enjoys the picture)
  • Enter the picture in contests
  • Alter the image
  • Pass the image off as your own

Now that we understand usage, know that I include, on the disk, preferred printing places as well as a 5×7 print from my professional print company.  This image is a great reference to show you just how great the image can and SHOULD look.  I will HIGHLY discourage you from printing from in-store type printers (think Target, Walmart…).  These printers do not print the images well.

So now let’s get rolling with some of my FAVORITE PRODUCTS and IDEAS from around the web for average consumers- these are all products that I do not offer.

1.  What’s better to start 2012 off right but with a photo calendar to stare at your little munchkins face all year long?!  Kodak’s website offers some really great photo calendar options – with background changes, multiple images, and it is all quite user friendly!  The even offer magnet calendars, mousepad calendars, and poster calendars.

calendars2from Kodak Picture Kiosk

2. Photo Jewelry.  There are some simply stunning items around the web, but beware, you want them to know how to deal with an image and make sturdy jewelry.  I am head over heels for this beautiful charm necklace.

from Kimbra Studios

3. A growth chart!  See how much your little ones grows throughout 2012 – and beyond…


from Snapfish

4. A Zazzle iPhone case – I’m embarrassed to admit what I’m going to tell you… I resisted upgrading my iPhone because I was enamored with my previous case with Abby’s adorable little face on it…  I knew that the case wouldn’t fit the new iPhone and I fought it to the end… and then gave in to a new phone.  I still shed a tear for that case that is sitting in my drawer – it’s like your first car that you never want to give up, right?  So- start the year fresh with a new ‘lookin’ phone and look at those baby faces!


from zazzle

Have you purchased one of these products?  What did ya think?!  Give me a comment and let me know!!