Monday, February 28, 2011

Before and after....

It's late at my house, so forgive me for keeping this short tonight.

We have had a pretty big week around here, though.

Aside from the fact that my children had yet ANOTHER short school week!
Monday was a holiday and Friday the school was closed because they had no electricity.....

Seriously, people. What is going on this year? It has been so strange, they just can't seem to keep the kids at school.

Who would have thought, after all the snow days we have had, the flood this past May, that we would have another day out for electricity?? I know it isn't weird to have the power go out. It happens a lot with spring storms, but usually it comes back on within a few minutes or hours.
This time is was more like 36 hours. Since the storm was Thursday night, that meant the school was forced to close on Friday.

I guess they can't have class in the dark.


Well, anyway! The rest of our week involved the following little guy.

Yep, that is Christian. He is doing his best to give me a smile that shows all his teeth.
It looks a little unnatural... it isn't his normal smile.
But, the point was not to get a perfect portrait, it was to show his sweet smile (almost) with all those baby teeth.


He lost his first tooth.
Obviously, this is the After.

See the little red dot? That is where his tooth used to be. You can probably even see the big tooth that had already popped through behind it.

He was so proud he could hardly contain himself.

I was ready to cry.
My baby.

My last baby, is not a baby anymore.

The End.

What else can I say after that? Sniff...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A new sort of creative....

I think it probably goes without saying that I love all things creative. I always have.

From childhood that has been my outlet.
I was never the softball throwing, soccer-playing sort of girl (despite how hard my poor dad tried). I wanted to color, paint, take pictures, sew...(wait! I never said I was good at all the things I tried....a seamstress I am definitely NOT!)

My sis was the same way (She DOES sew). Her talents manifested early and it was clear what she was meant to do. Mine built a little more slowly, took longer to show through. Better late than never, right?

I love what I do! I am so blessed to have the perfect job for me. It honestly just gets better and better. Look at this sweet baby I photographed this past week.

So sweet! Love her.
(rambling, sorry...)

Anyway! Do I real
ly have time to venture out in other directions with all that I have going on?

Not really.

Has that mattered up until now?


Well, regardless I am jumping in with both feet!!

e......... here goes.

For about a year now I have been working on a new hobby/trade/passion/love.... you get the idea.

In ADDITION to my life as a photographer.


Now, I am hooked. I mean totally hooked. I LOVE IT!! Even when I spend hours in the kitchen and wash endless dishes I just can't seem to get enough.

I started small, making some cupcakes for a baby shower my sister had for a friend and getting rave reviews. Then came Christian's birthday, when he asked specifically for a "spooky Scooby Doo" cake (how could I say no??), and then mother's day.

Then, one weekend we went to our f
riend's farm, see my post about it here, for the weekend. I made a cake to take, since we all contribute food. It was a hit. In fact, it didn't last long enough to get a picture.

Who knew!!? I had so much fun with it and people actually like it!? Wow.

Shortly after, a friend who was there that
weekend asked me to make a cake for a mutual friend's baby shower.

Then she ordered another for a bridal shower.

Before I knew it, it was November and I was delivering my first wedding cake and groom's cake.

Now THAT was fun!

I think this is what people talk about when they say an opportunity "fell in their lap."
Honestly, I think God places those opportunities and talents there and I would be crazy not to do what I can with it. Plus, I enjoy it. (did I mention that??)

Here is my latest. I did this one for a baby shower this past weekend. They gave me the invitation for inspiration and let me have creative freedom from there (those are the BEST!) It was for a y
oung lady who does not know whether she is having a boy or a girl and wanted a cake that was neutral, yet represented the possibility of either. I think it turned out lovely.

Am I crazy?


Need a cake? Cupcakes?
Chocolate covered strawberries?


Call me, we'll talk!

Now, be on the lookout. I have had lots of people ask to see pictures of the cakes I have done.

Therefore, I am starting a Facebook page to show my cakes, in case you too might want to take a gander...

"Dixie Belle's cake and cupcakes" coming soon....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Life and times with Buster

This is Buster.

He is the class pet in Christian's kindergarten class.

Cute, huh?

This past week it was our turn to have Buster for the weekend. We tried to keep him entertained.
(I think he had a good time. )

I know Christian enjoyed him. Of course, Christian has a thing about stuffed animals.... I can't tell you how many currently live on his bed. It's a scary nu
mber. They could take over if they wanted, we are seriously outnumbered!

So, basically everywhere Christian went, Buster went.

They watched movies... I think this was d
uring "Daddy Day Care."

They went to a friend's birthday slumber party.
I didn't get pictures of that, it wasn't my party. (A
bunch of kindergartners full of pizza and cake... NOT sticking around for that!)

We took them to my late grandparent's farm where my hu
sband keeps his bees.
We tried hard to keep Buster out of the honey. He likes honey.

He is a bear, after all...

Then, we went up in the barn to feed the cows. Christian always loves going to see the cows and figured Buster would, too.

I think he was a little intimidated....

Then, we took him to the duck pond. We threw them stale bread and watched them chase after it. That was fun, up until the part where Dixie (the fat pup) chased all the ducks away.....

Overall, it was a good time! We enjoyed having Buster around, and now he has now gone home to the DCA classroom where he spends his days, at least until next weekend when he will go somewhere new.

So long, Buster!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Prep..

Ok, is it just me or does Valentine's Day become more about the kids and their parties once you're a parent?

Not that I ever really got into the holiday that much before I had k
ids (in my adult life at least, I did as a child), but now it seems to be all about them.

Seriously folks, if you love someone you shou
ld show them how much you love them every day. You don't need one day set aside, only to go out and buy WAY OVERPRICED flowers, etc. I would be pretty ticked off if my husband came home with roses and I found out he paid $40 or $50 for them! Next week you could buy those same flowers for me for about $10!!! It's just a racket, but hey that is just my opinion!

Anyway! Back to the kids... There are the school parties, the nasty little hearts that
taste like chalk, the valentine cards (and what character will grace their cover this year - heaven forbid we repeat a year past), and the chocolate kisses.
(Ok, I admit I like the chocolate and will readily raid my kids' treats when they come home...)

It's a lot of work! This year Cameron was given homework to build his own box in order to receive his valentines at their party on Monday. Since we were out yesterday for yet ANOTHER snow day (I won't even go there.. been there, blogged that already) I figured we would spend the day doing all the prep work involved in getting them ready for the chocolate-covered holiday.

So, Cameron set to work on his box. I must say when he returned an hour or so later I was really impressed with what he came up with! Obviously, gift-wrapping a shoe box was not going to do it for him, it had to be unique.
He found a piece of cardboard in the basement, cut it into the appropriate sizes and formed it together to make a mailbox! (You can see here that LOTS of tape was involved in this process....) It is complete with the flag on the side, our address, and a door that opens with a latch to receive his mail! I know, I'm the mom and I will be biased, but I thought that was very creative!!

Next, we set out to do the cards. Christian chose Scooby Doo (big surprise - yeah, right.)

Cameron asked for a superhero theme. Since Target did not have any superheroes he had not previously handed out we decided on dinosaurs. NOT just any dinosaurs, mind you.

These little darlins have a hologram!

First you see the dinosaur, then you see the skeleton. Cool, huh!?
I kn
ow not very romantic, but he's only 9 romance isn't the point quite yet. He wants cool. We achieved that.

Naturally, since we were home all day they asked for a snack that I normally would not have time to make. So, I figured I would make it fun and festive! They have
been begging for rice krispie treats.
I don't h
ave any rice krispies...
but I DO
have Fruity Pebbles! They were super cheap at Publix yesterday, so I made them fruity pebble treats. You know, I think I like them better! They are fun and colorful and they taste much better! The kids thought they were just the best thing ever, and they sort of went with the whole Valentine theme so it worked!

So, the best part now is that we are all set for the kids' Valentine's Day parties at school Monday!
The prep work is done. At least until the next holiday.

I hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day. Whether you celebrate it big or not at all, be sure to tell those close to you how much you love and appreciate them!

With love,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Love these frames!

First of all let me just scream for a minute.....

"Triple Yay, Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!!!!"
My kids actually had a FULL week of school this week!
That hasn't happened since early December.
Now it is almost Valentine's Day.


So, I have actually been able to get some work done this week! Last night I had a customer come to my house to pick up some prints she ordered. I had photographed her family during my fall promotion. They are such a cute family, their portraits turned out really great!

I knew she was waiting on some frames, which she had ordered from Littlebits, so I kept them and put them in the frames for her.

Let me tell you, AWESOME is all I can say! I sell portraits regularly, and I am always happy to sell you a frame. I have tons and tons of styles to choose from.

HOWEVER! I will tell you now that these are the BEST looking frames that have ever walked out of my front door!

Notice that they are NOT all exactly alike. But they do compliment each other.

You may also notice that these frames are unlike anything you can buy in a frame shop. They are hand made, painted, distressed, etc. They have that extra touch that most places will also charge you extra for.

This was the largest of the bunch. The photo here does not do it justice. This is a 16x20 portrait! It is obviously going on a large wall, where it will definitely stand out and become her new conversation piece.

See the chunky texture? You can see that the frame is old, made from some really old wood, but it is not falling apart by any means.
(Seriously, this sucker was solid..... I hope she anchors it to a few studs.)
I really love it's character. It's stuff like this that makes a house turn into a home.

These were the only two matching pieces out of the 4, they turned out beautiful.
Having 2 beautiful kids to put in them helps, too.

Last, but certainly not least. I LOVE THIS ONE! Ok, I actually loved all of them or I wouldn't be writing this, but I think this one was just so cool.

Bottom line is, if you have something you want framed you need to call Kim at Littlebits. I have seen her do this in a soft baby pink and a sweet robin's egg blue, too. Nothing is ever really alike, they are very unique. Who doesn't love that?

Finally, you don't have to spend a lot to give your wall a makeover, or freshen up your fireplace with a new look! I have seen frames like these in a few of the designer booths at Christmas Village, they are always a big hit. (They also come with a very big price tag at most of them.) Kim will make you a deal like you wouldn't believe!

Seriously, you need to call her.

Then you can call me for a great portrait to go in them. :)