Family Travels | Indianapolis Children’s Museum

Ok you guys.  If you are making your way through Indianapolis with the family, you have GOT to put this museum on the list!  It is ranked #1 in the country and was so much fun!  We could have gone several days in a row if we were there for longer.  We just visited my hubby while he was doing his internship there over the summer so while he was working we went to go play.  Anyway, there is so much here!  We were there for half the day but barely made it though 1/2 of it if that.

Bumblebee from Transformers


Every once in a while when we are at a museum, there will be that occasional exhibit that brings out the “kid” in me.  You know what I mean?  I just am so passionate about miniature things.  I love the art of it. So when I saw these dollhouse miniatures at the Children’s museum my heart skipped a beat.  This would be a hobby I wouldn’t mind perusing one day.  In a way we are already doing so on our own with our miniature dollhouse creations and fairy house building.  But note, I do have the help of toddlers.  They love it though.  We have built one for each season for our family room table of decor. Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_2Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_3Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_4

Would you have the patience and delicate hand required to pursue such an art?  Tell me in the comments below!Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_5Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_6

I love this little colonial setup.  One of these days we might try to my our way to Colonial Williamsburg before leaving the east coast.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_7Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_8Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_9

When I was about 11, a best friend of mine had a full dollhouse like this one.  It was complete with electricity… the works.  I remember her telling me about how her grandparents has started making it for the oldest sister, but it didn’t get completed until the last sister was about 8 or 9.  Such a time consuming art I guess, but I think there is certainly a reason why!Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_10Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_11Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_12

When we were in Seattle, we got a chance to go to the Chihuly glass museum featuring amazing work like this one displayed in the center of the winding stairs at the childrens museum and it was stunning.  The artist was is so devoted to his art, that even when he lost one eye in glass making and now wears an eye patch, he continues on.  If I lost an eye as a photographer… well I guess that would work out ok as I close one eye anyway to look through the shutter.

Chihuly glass art exhibit

Mister Milo was sooo focused on being the racecar driver, I really couldn’t get his attention 😉 Pretty much he is at, “Whatever mom!  I am busy drivin a car here!”Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_17

In Salt Lake City at the Gateway Children’s museum there, The Discovery Gateway they have an amazing room devoted to balls where you can pop them in the tubes and send them about.  They has a similar setup here with balls and scarfs and other fun floating things you could send up flying.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_18

And .. the splash pad!  They do have splash protection gear but my kids are too cool for that:) JK.  Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_19

Madeline ready with her goggles to play in the wind tunnel and send scarves and papers flying up.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_20

This was part of the creatures in the forest area.  As a mom, I couldn’t stop thinking… how often do these furry guys get washed?  And that is what good hand sanitize is for.  It is when your 3 year old tries to come at you and give you snuggly kisses with the shared furry friend that you kindly pass.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_21Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_22Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_23

And this was one of our favorites!  Art corner! They started out this little class with a teacher giving a short lesson on expression and art talking about butterfly wings, then we got to make one out of coffee filters and watercolor paint.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_24

The kids used eye droppers to put their paint on their picture.  It was beautiful and proud mama art.  But unfortunately only lasted a few days with our upcoming travels.


Next we explored the archaeological digs where kids could reconstruct duplicates of the Emperor’s Silent Army and similar figures.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_26Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_27Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_28Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_29Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_30Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_31Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_32

And a fun under the sea “treasure hunters” exhibitIndianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_33Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_34Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_35Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_36Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_37Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_38

A giant plastic mummy kids could reconstruct.  This was of course too old for my kids but perfect for all those school groups coming in learning about mummies.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_39

It felt a bit like we were in Universal Studios or something.  With all the lights and effects.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_40Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_41

How Egyptian Priests prepared mummies for the tomb


Egyptian Amulet


The train exhibit was Milo’s FAVORITE!  Though he was pretty tired by this point.  They loved the tunnels that you could crawl under and see trains down there and the trains that went above.

Train Exhibit

I had a hard time peeling him away from this one.  Fortunately one distraction sits next to another which makes the transitions easier.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_51

For another career, I don’t think I would mind perusing miniature building.  How cute is this boho/ hobbit styled train station?  Reminds me of Harry Potter.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_52

A completely amazing full stream locomotive. Milo was ecstatic.

Steam Locomotive

An assortment of metal vintage trains.  Love these!  Reminds me of the grandparents fun tradition of a train going around the Christmas tree.  Smaller versions though.  These ones were pretty big!

Collection of Vintage Train models

Outside this windows were rolling tape of the countryside and such as you went on a pretend journey.

Inside the staged steamed locomotive for a ride

More vintage trains!  And me… Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_56

Loved this train table and how you could stand in the middle of it if you wanted to.  I think that only other place I had seen this before was at the Raleigh Children’s museum.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_57Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_58

In the basement of the Museum was an assortment of plastic Chihuly art pieces that the children could poke into the holes and make a masterpiece.  Also, there was a pretty legit rotating chair that leaned back so you could observe the art on the ceiling.  I would have loved to linger longer on it but somehow Milo still had a LOT of energy and was running about.  I will post a video here shortly. Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_59

Getting to know our Asian neighbors! Madeline played house inside as setup of a Chinese home. Play food, the works.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_60

We could go to a play market place, learn calligraphy, watch a show (which we missed) and Madeline has fun dressing up in traditional Opera attire.Indianpolis_Childrens_Museum-001_61

Traditional Chinese Opera Attire


And last but not least, shadow puppets!  Can I just say that this is a developing passion of mine!  We have pursed that as a Christmas holiday tradition telling the Nativity story and make puppets each year for it.  I will make a separate post all about that shortly!

What was you favorite exhibit?  What was your favorite to visit and why?  Tell me in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!

Photography by:

Carnival Themed Birthday Party

We had so much fun putting together this fun birthday party for my little Sister in Law.

It was a carnival themed with lots of color and vintage vibes.

We had a lot of colorful triangle flags hanging across the room most of which were made with colored paper cut into a even isosceles triangles and folded over the yarn with a little glue.  The extra ends needed folded in.  Other string can be used but I recommend using only ribbon or yarn that does not fray easily.  To keep it from fraying, try putting a little piece of tape over the end.  These are a fairly versatile decoration that can be used for years to come.


A lily pad pond (above).  I just cut out colored yellow and green foam into circles or lily pad shapes.  Then the children could attempt to throw coins to land on them.

Decorative Party hats. My sis in law Megan prepared this one.  We had the kids decorate their own hats to wear.  This is a great activity to do as you wait for everyone to arrive. puff balls, glitter glue, stickers, paint etc.


This triangle flag banner has been used a lot.  As props for engagement photos, party decor etc.  But as you can see it is starting to fray which is why I recommend taping the ends and picking a ribbon that is sturdy, like cotton.  Then it can be used again and again.emma-birthday-2013_3

(Below) the Happy Birthday banner was printed out on card stock.  Get your FREE PRINTABLE for this Happy Birthday Banner here. (And please subscribe!)  Then we just hole punched them and attached them together.

We had access to some great little TV dinner tables that were the perfect size for stacking cups.  The little red and white checkered print went perfectly with our cute vintage theme. The cups were semi study plastic cups. Then you will also see here, is a bowling set that we found in the toys.

To make the booths feel a bit more like booths since this was all inside, we used colorful plastic table clothes (the cheap disposable kind) This really dressed up the room and was easy to tape up.


The stairs made for a perfect Prize zone.  We could layer them up based on number of tokens required.  Each child received tickets upon arrival but was able to win tokens, which were just wooden chips about 2.5 inches big and painted.emma-birthday-2013_5

The sisters and mom put together this fun personalized poster.  We put it near the entrance where the bags for their prizes were. They basically could make their own goodie bags to take home based on the prizes them won.  Gumballs in a mason jar made for a fun centerpiece.  I loved the pinwheels sticking out.  But beware, if you are doing your party outside, be sure to consider sticky heat that could melt them!emma-birthday-2013_6

This is a chalk board that I have used for countless activities and carnival themed parties.  We just found a vintage design online to style after with chalk.  BTW, if you do not want your chalk to get smudged than chalk pens will help with that!  Or to create smooth chalk lines, try soaking your chalk for a few minutes in water.  (that was a trick we used when I use to work at a restaurant as a hostess) My sister in law drew up this cute board to welcome the guests.emma-birthday-2013_7

The ticket booth was fun fun! We again used a TV food table as it was the perfect size and then I had a piece of stretchy red and white striped fabric that I just clamped to the back.  The ticket sign was a tag board yellow piece painted and hung with yarn.  The red roll of tickets has lasted through about 6 carnival parties so far and was very worth the purchase.  I just found those as a Party City store.emma-birthday-2013_8

You can tell that some of my decorative pieces have already seen their share of parties!  I think when redoing this piece it will use red and white study cotton and take the time to sew it together for prolonged use.  This has lasted about 4 parties.  It is red and white tag board and cut and glued together with the bottom rounded.emma-birthday-2013_9emma-birthday-2013_10emma-birthday-2013_11emma-birthday-2013_12emma-birthday-2013_13

The birthday girl!  And her sisters love her to pieces to put together such a fun party:)emma-birthday-2013_14emma-birthday-2013_15

We did very “professional” face painting:)  For the props I used Femo clay for molding to the slick into fun shapes like lips and mustaches, then baked it and once cooled glued it to the stick.


Megan with her awesome party hat!emma-birthday-2013_20

Our fishing pond was made with:

– Colorful draw fish, cut out and lamented. (I have found that lamenting something like this is well worth it!  I have used these for dozens of things, like lessons at church, preschool and parties with relevant themes)

– Tape to tape on the sign and fish

– I created a fish setting on a piece of tag board with paint.  In the future I might buy a cheap blue sheet and then get some fabric paints to decorate a background)

-A 1.5 inch rod

-About 3 feet of string taped at the end

-A clothes pin tied to the other end of the stick for clamping the prizes to

To operate the fishing booth, we folded up a ping pong table which needed to happen anyway to make space for the party, but you can tie a rope to two sturdy anchor points or use a long stick or light weight wood beam to rest over two semi high surfaces such as two ladders.emma-birthday-2013_23

Part of what makes a party fun was to make it feel just condensed enough that it feels lively and fun.  This same principle is used for city planning in effective city lay outs where the parking is put at the back to the store fronts can come right up to the street.  So anyway, we were condensed as is in our space, but you want to find that even ground of spreading out enough for the games but having everything close enough that there is a fun energy present that they can all share.

For the other side of the room I used my photo backdrop stand with clamps to hang backdrops and plastic tables clothes.  Back porch poles with ropes tied in between or two ladders with wood safely clamped across in place are another route.  Also in the picture, another game that was fun was cups for tossing little balls into.

You can’t full see it in this picture, so I will hunt for a better one, but behind all this we had a theater area, where while the kids ate pizza and cake they watched a movie that we had actually made.  They had to of course pay with a ‘ticket’ to get into the movie.

All in all this party was a huge success!emma-birthday-2013_25

carnival party ideas

What party themes have you tried?  Share your party adventures in a comment below! What worked or didn’t work for your little crew?

Don’t forget to subscribe for many more of our fun and festive adventures in travel, parties, parenting, crafting and more!


Vintage Hair Styles

Lately I have been into trying out vintage hair styles!  So here is one of my recent attempts at a 1940’s look.  I definitely could have used more poof in the bottom portion.

Recently I was watching the 1945 State Fair which I love.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if people still dressed and acted that way.  Last time we were at the North Carolina State Fair  it was fun colorful and loud, but how fun I think it would be to have a vintage themed State Fair.  Dressing up would be part of the fun.  I once visited Mackinac Island in Michigan.  They do not allow cars on the island so you really do step back into the time period in a way.


Here (below) is a fun little video I put together from our visit to the North Carolina State fair last fall.

My mother in law and I joked about how we could feel our faces breaking out just walking through the food section of deep fried everything… Bacon Wrapped Chocolate double deep fried Reese’s… no joke.  I can feel me arteries clogging just talking about it lol.

I was ecstatic to see that they had a fairy house contest section along with the carved pumpkins, and by that I mean legit carved pumpkins with serious sculpting art.  Anyway regarding the fairy houses, that is another passion of mine that is attempted from year to year with the kids help and they slowly become tousled and dismantled but we love making miniature setups of all kinds around here.

I did get a chance to capture some fun engagement pictures at the fair which I loved.  But can I say, the North Carolina State fair is HUGE… I mean about 6 of each ride at least.  6 carousels, 6 Ferris wheels etc.  I felt a bit stuck in a huge maze of craziness so as a mother of little ones, we did not attempt coming during the opening or closing weekends but during the week in the day it was a lot of fun and not too crowded.

North Carolina State Fair from Rebecca Mabey on Vimeo.

Planning an Engagement Photo Session

Today I am sharing a really fun shoot that I got to do with my brother and his wife.  One of the things about being a wedding and portrait photographer is you typically bring your work to your family and they are ready to hire you because they are so familiar with your work!  As I already know my brother pretty well haha, I had a starter idea of what to look for.

Earlier that week, I started to keep my eye out for locations.  While pursuing Old town in Fort Collins, CO, I came across some really fun locations for their shoot.

Their is such a fun hippie vibe in Fort Collins and a handful of retro places to go with it.  And when I saw these pianos, I just KNEW we had do something with them.  Cameron is an amazing piano player, so I thought it would be fun to implement that into their session.


When planning an engagement session, it is important to get to know the couples personal style preferences.  When they come to you, they are likely coming with a certain expectation of what they will get given your photography portfolio and current style, but you do also want to create something that is custom to them and their personal vibe, within that box…

One of the first things that helps in planning a proper location and vibe of an engagement session, is to work with the couple on what they are planning to wear.  In this process, it will also give you a better idea of what exactly their vibe is and it will give you an idea of the kind of location that would look good.  You can always choose the location first and then buy or select your outfits that work for that location, but in this case they had a handful of outfits ready to go and I helped limit them down and offer suggestions for ribbon and things like that.

Maurina’s black silk dress with the sweater she chose to go with it just had a downtown feel to it, so from there I started to put together my thoughts of ideas to shoot. She had a vintage themed wedding, so the lace vintage needed something to match it in vintage style with a mix of a formal educated look and a more fun flirty setting just like the hem of her dress.  Cameron’s maroon pants were also a touch hipster retro but the bow tie he wore also went with the semi formal look I talked about.


This is one set of outfits these guys picked out.  If we were to do it again, I would have had him wear darker shirts and a medium shade shirt!  We had a good laugh when we quickly went through proofs. AHH!  It looks like he doesn’t have pants on and his skin is a bit fair to wear white.  I would have gone down a few shades darker on the pants and maybe a medium blue polo or button up shirt (un-tucked) on him.  I just ended up editing the photo to have that darker shade of shorts for him instead.

The other thing that I want to bring up with this photo is 1. the green color in the trees in the background (we had to hunt for those early trees coming in) 2. The colonial styled house has that semi formal hometown feel to it (a look of distinguished tradition) and the fact that it is white goes with her dress.  If, however, there was no green tree and green grass, then there would be too much white!  Especially since the day was white overcast we would have a harder time finding that color. The light against the dark helps center the attention on them… I will get more into that later.


Here are a few more of my location scouting photos.  We didn’t use this piano here, as I didn’t love the brick wall behind it, but I LOVE this piano!  It is so wild and fun.  Tell me in the comments if you would dare paint a piano all out like this for your home, or maybe at a school or community center.  How fun.


Here is a list of things to consider when scouting for a location for a photo session:

What will the lighting be like.

You will want to arrange to shoot at a location that has ideal lighting.  As for the time of the day, aim for the magic hour but be cautious of when your location goes into shadow too.  An example of this is finding a perfect location, such as a beautiful grove.  Realize that magic hour outside of that grove may be different from inside the shadows of that grove, meaning you will have less flattering light faster

Fees and/or Reservations

Not all gardens allow photography without a prearranged reservation and fee. This may required at least a week in advance or more.  Always be sure to research the regulations prior to arranging a session there. The last thing you want it for security to show up and request you leave.

Some locations require insurance

Shooting inside a cool upscale hotel lobby? Awesome.  Not only will they want a large fee and reservation, but you will need to have a x amount on your photography insurance.

Are there events in the area that will interfere with your location? 

Are you planning your shoot downtown and there will be a local fair going on that weekend?  How convenient will parking be? Where will you park?

Do you want there to be more people or fewer people?  

What day is better for that? Are you capturing the session on a college campus that will be swarming with people?

Will there be a place for your couple to change clothing should they have more than one outfit. If not, what is your backup plan.

My backup backup plan… I store a large quilt in my trunk that we can through over any car for an instant changing room… or we make a three wall tent for changing in by each holding up the quilt/ sheets…

Will the cafe or store owner be cool with you taking pictures?

There are really two ways to approach this, the first is to call or stop by in advance and make an arrangement with them, or 2nd, come by with the couple the day of and ask whoever is working if you could take a few pictures with your couple inside the store.  If you will only be a few minutes and you are doing all natural light in a less obtrusive way then they may just fine with it.  If however, they don’t allow photography at all or state that they do but only allow it on _ days etc, then you obviously are up a creek…  But if this is the way you want to go be prepared with a laxed plan B.

Are pets allowed?

If your couple wishes to do pictures with their dogs on leashes, this may limit the location you choose or recommend to them as some will ban pets

Consider back up plans if it starts to rain.  

Are there trees or a nearby shelter you can chill at while a short rain shower comes in and out.  Since springtime is a popular time for engagement photos, this is a common risk.

Take one look or thought to the terrain so that you can recommend what shoes to wear and recommend

ie High Heels in a field with holes and rocks and dirt are not a good combo.  Also, if there is a LOT of walking, such as a large garden, then recommend a second pair of slip on’s for comfort and saving time.

Look for shaded areas

Sun is great for those beautiful sun kissed moments, but there will be times when you really just want your subjects in the shade with nearby lift bouncing in from the side to bring light into their eyes.  For example, the alleyway pictured below had a warm light bouncing across into the shade because the sun hit the rich color of teh stucco wall and that warm moved into the shadows.  This would be a perfect spot to have a soft natural fill light without heavy light taking over the subjects hair.  And it is perfect for closeups too.

Look for those high contrast areas

We talked briefly about shooting in the grove and about the shadows.  If I were shooting down in that grove I would want to look for shadows across the way while my subject is in sun in the foreground.  This will create a higher contrast of the two and put even more focus on my subject.

Look for color

Are there landscapes filled with rich greens or are they a dull brown? In this case we were shooting early enough in the season the green had not come out yet, so we looked for those early blossoms and colorful surroundings downtown like you see here.

IMG_5652IMG_5653When location scouting, I loved the light and warmth especially this time of day (early evening) and also the patio lights hanging above!  Why is it that back alleyways have so much character to them.  Do you have a back alleyway you like to shoot at?IMG_5655

Here is their video that shows you a look around Fort Collins and a glimpse of them as a couple.  Save the date fun!  Also, you can check out their engagement photography session here.

Cameron and Maurina’s 1950’s vintage Save the Date video from Rebecca Mabey on Vimeo.

Are you engaged?  Or do you photograph engagement photography?  Share your work below.  Would you ever want a video like this one made for your own Save the date or everyday lifestyle.  Email to find out more.

Easy DIY Valentine Cards

Valentine’s season in one of our favorite crafting seasons!  We just love all the cute colors and hearts and gifts that we make for giving friends and family.

Here are some super easy and beautiful Valentine cards we made this year that include two current art trends, watercolor and glitter.  The simplicity of this craft is perfect for a pro yet personal touch.

Here is what I used:

To start I used the 6 x 9 water color paper, because I don’t care for a lot of cutting and I could simply cut it straight from the pad binding.  Once I had the number I wanted I folder them on a flat surface and used the handles of my scissors to make a clean folded crease.

From there I starting mixing my paint a touch with about a teaspoon or tablespoon of water. I like to not mix it completely together as a variety of tones make a prettier heart.

I loosely painted my hearts and for fun on a few I flecked so paint speckles on my flicking my brush against my hand a few inches away from the card.

Last I laid the cards flat.  To help reduce chances of the paint running, I go creative in how they were laid to make sure they were flat.  The paper does tend to warp temporarily with the water color paint but when it dries it will go back to normal.

Let the cards all dry, for about an hour or too.  Make sure they are completely dry as you will not want the glitter to cling to the wet parts and if you try to move them while they are still drying you are more likely to have the paint bleed.

When they are dry use a bottle of Elmers glue and put your calligraphy skills to use.  Make sure your glue is all down in the end of the bottle and test on another piece of paper to get use to the speed it comes out for writing.  I recommend sticking to short words like: Love, or abbreviations like: u r a q t (you are a cutie) Which will make them smile mouthing it out and trying to figure it out.

Other ideas are: Hello Beautiful, Hey There, Happy Valentines, Sweet, Cutie, xoxo… Simply consider the receiver of the card and what would put a smile on their face.

Valentine Card DIY ideas _5
Photography by Effervescent Media Works

Sprinkle your glitter on all over your glue, gently shake it off of the plate and set aside, face up to dry.

What my kids loved: Helping sprinkle the glitter and also painting the cards.  My toddler is quite proud every time she completes her masterpiece and I love that.  It is half the reason doing crafts like this is worth it.  Instilling pride, self esteem and patience etc.

And there you have it!  Have fun!

Comment below if you have made a craft like this or one like it!  How did it turn out?



Valentine Photo Backdrop Ideas

valentine-childrens-portrait-photographer-slc-Madeline-001 copy
Photography by Effervescent Media Works

This was shot inside my basement home studio a few years ago.  A temporary setting for many shoots that I did but it worked just great for what I needed.

For the backdrop I used the following:

  • Silver Linings Backdrop Shoppe :
  • A large old branch I found in my neighborhood (twice a year there are clean up weeks where people leave piles of yard waste and junk they want to get rid of)  Score! Trash to treasure
  • 2 deep red felt sheets for cutting out hearts ranging from 3 in – 5 inches in length
  • Light brown yarn or string
  • Scissors for cutting string, hears and cutting small holes to tie it altogether
  • 1 MDF base moulding (baseboard) from Home Depot
  • Floor backdrop:

valentine-childrens-portrait-photographer-slc-Madeline-001_9 copy

I found this cute vintage bike from here.  I love this prop for photo shoots when photographing children as it is something they are generally excited about and love to be proudly sitting on it and that usually captures a smile in and of itself.  Radio Flyer bikes are not gone!  They are still around. For other cute props ideas that will help make kids smile in a photo shoot check out this page.

valentine-childrens-portrait-photographer-slc-Madeline-001_17 copy

valentine-childrens-portrait-photographer-slc-Madeline-001_21 copy
Photo Credit: Diana Clements

I love the ivory and red rose barrette on her head!  I got it from Lulu’s boutique at Gardner Village.valentine-childrens-portrait-photographer-slc-Madeline-001_33 copy

Pearls and hearts, love and kisses… Girls just wanna have fun!  The wood heart I made by hand using:

  • 1x12x12 sawdust wood board
  • small hand saw
  • sandpaper
  • deep red acrylic paint

If I were to do it again I would have used a table saw.  I do like to cut through wood but this was like filling a bucket with a eyedropper.  It taught me a little patience…

valentine-childrens-portrait-photographer-slc-Madeline-001_67 copy

Beautiful headband accessory with lace, lilac satin ribbon and pink satin flowers with jeweled embellishments found here.  Ruby blue inc has some adorable work!

Me (below of course) about 61/2 months preggers.

valentine-childrens-portrait-photographer-slc-Madeline-001_75 copy
Photo Credit : Diana Clements

Do you like to photograph your children for Valentines?  I find that ALL the time stuck indoors with the yucky weather, it is a perfect indoor winter activity, especially for kiddos that love dressing up.

If you or someone you know has cute headbands, barrettes and accessories for babies and toddlers comment below and link on to them or message and we can chat about promoting your work!  I am happy to feature other artists work.


Gingerbread House Ideas

There is a LOT of pressure in our society to live the perfect life.  A serious “Keeping up with the Jones’s” obsession, as they call it. I do not claim to be a super mom crafting professional, but rather, just an artist giving it my best or sometimes just my experimental attempt at projects!

Years ago when we were living in our small 1950’s basement apartment we made gingerbread houses… tried to… from scratch.  It was an experiment to say the least.  As artists it is important not to kick yourself every time you got something wrong but rather, learn from whatever you did wrong, figure out how you will change it the next time and move on!

That is why I have kept this picture of my fairly pathetic attempt of a gingerbread house.  At least we had a good time laughing about how bad it was. As we started to ice the gingerbread house is would droop more and more. Classic Pinterest Failure (and pinterest wasn’t even around yet!)


These pictures (below) are from our visit to the Festival of Trees in Sandy, UT.  It is a benefit for a local children’s hospital.  This is what true professional gingerbread building skill looks like.festival of trees_1

I love the cozy log cabin look.  What better combination for the frosted icing snow.festival of trees_2festival of trees_3

An adorable street of the Minions house from Despicable Mefestival of trees_5

The log cabin look (below) was made with stick pretzels and I loved the colorful candy cane sticks use for the porch poles. Blueberry and blue raspberry are my favorite!festival of trees_6

Chex cereal was used for this gingerbread house roof.  I also like the dollops of melting snow piles made from icing.  Has a more realistic flair.

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An out of the box Hawaiian styled gingerbread house.festival of trees_8

Flat sticks of gum for the gingerbread roof was a cute idea.  And the rock candy chimney. Yogurt dipped pretzels for an ornate styled fence.festival of trees_11

Giving a thumbs up on the job well done to my cousin in law Sarah! Gingerbread house building is a strong holiday tradition with their house.festival of trees_12

And last but not least, a gingerbread tree house!  So fun.  I love the artistry of this one.

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Why I love the art of gingerbread house making: When I was a child, my neighbor across the street invited me over to make a gingerbread house.  I looked forward to it all week. When that Saturday came, I was invited in and saw the crazy effort it can take to create gingerbread houses from scratch.  She had spent the entire day preparing the many walls and roofs and chimney parts for us to assemble and put together.  I remember feeling very special that she would take the time to prepare this activity for me to be a part of.  The holiday craft is one that is socially fun and a wonderful tradition as families gather around the table decorating their individual or group gingerbread house, sharing the bowls of candy and snitching a few tastes along the way.  And they are a fun little treat to last throughout the season as my cousin in law and his wife know as my 1 and 3 year old kept sneaking snitches off their gingerbread houses:)

Have you had pinterest failures? AKA craft attempts that turned out less than impressive!  Please share them in a comment below!  On the other hand have you created a Gingerbread house that you are proud of? Share your results!