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TheAmy Allender Blog is where you can find all the latest projects, freshest faces, and most current happenings from Amy Allender and The Art of Living Project.  Here, you’ll find inspiration for everyday living, Christian devotionals, awkward moments, design inspiration, and tales of my misadventures as I navigate life in Minot, North Dakota {or, as I call it…Practically Canada.}  I would sincerely love to have you follow along.

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3rd Grade Optical Illusions {Artists in the Schools}

3rd grade op art

I do lots of things here in Practically Canada.  Lots and lots of things.  Lots of varied activities that lend themselves to a never-boring {but sometimes a little too busy} lifestyle.  But–of all the things I do, working with the Minot Area Council of the Arts {MACA}’s Artists in the Schools Program is definitely in my top three.

 

You’ve heard me talk about this before.  I’ve cut snowflakes, learned the color wheel and painted many, many canvases.  Last week I did another class focusing on optical illusion art for kids with an outstanding group of 3rd grade students at Bell Elementary.  This project is a little tricky, so I don’t break it out unless the group is well behaved and able to tune in and follow directions.  This particular class was fantastic on all fronts.

 

I started with the usual discussion on what an optical illusion is.  How sometimes things aren’t always as they first appear {a lesson not only for art, but for many aspects of life.}  The kids always love learning about optical illusions and they are so excited for the chance to make their very own version of op art.

 

This particular project is great because it combines artistic skill with mathematical skills such as use of a ruler, measuring, and pattern creation.  It’s also cool because every kid can turn out a really cool product–even those who don’t see themselves as “artistic.”  I love proving to kids that they can be artists even if they don’t have a natural aptitude for free hand drawing or painting.  I believe it is vital that little ones embrace their creativity–and that adults don’t stifle it by instilling an attitude that “you aren’t artistic.”  Creativity is key to problem solving…so let’s not crush their creativity!  Agreed?

 

Okay.  I’m finished ranting.  I just love art.  And kids.  And kids doing art.

 

So.  Now I’ll explain how we did this one.  It’s pretty simple really.

 

optical illusion art classroom guide

The top is my example.  The bottom is how the grid looks before it’s colored.

 

Start kids off with their paper flat on their desk.  Have everyone trace a circle on their paper.  Anywhere is fine.

 

Have them use a ruler to mark every inch.  Then, without turning the paper…have them slide the ruler to the bottom of the page and mark every inch again.  Have them connect the dots–stopping at the edge of the circle so they don’t draw through it–repeat on the other two sides of their page.

 

Once the grid is done, have them connect the lines that but up to the edge of the circle.  The top two should be connected with a line that looks like a frown–following the arc of the circle.  The bottom two should “smile.”  Then, turn the paper 90˚ and repeat that process.  Then, it’s just a matter of creating a pattern of color.

 

Start with a row that runs through the circle.  Color every other square.  Where the circle intersects with a square it should be the opposite color.  {If the square is uncolored that section of the circle will be colored; if the square is colored that part of the circle will be uncolored.}  Inside the circle every other space will be colored.  Then resume the pattern in the squares.

 

Once that first row is finished, complete the pattern within the circle.  Then finish the pattern in the squares–every other should be colored, with the rows alternating like a checker board.

 

So that’s it.  Hopefully that’s helpful to my teacher friends out there.  It really is a great project for honing in on all kinds of skills.  Just maybe it’ll be something fun for your classes at the end of this school year!

 

Amy

 

 

Peterman Family Maternity {Sneak Peek}

family maternity

Meet the Peterman family.  As you can see they are adorable.  Annnnd….they are expecting a baby!  I can only hope that they had a fraction of the fun during their family maternity session that I had shooting it.  In my opinion, any session that includes singing “Everything is Awesome” from the Lego Movie is top notch.

family maternity

family maternity

I am thrilled for this precious family and the excitement of new life that is coming their way shortly!  Thank you so much for choosing me and trusting me to capture the art of this moment.

 

xo

Amy

Mr. & Mrs. Unruh {Wedding Sneak Peek}

Wedding prep collage

It’s wedding day!

 

Okay.  So, technically today isn’t the day.  But it is the day that I’m finally showing off some very special images from an awesome wedding.  Everyone–say HELLO to Mr. & Mrs. Unruh.

first look collage

I love that these two opted for an “anti-first-look.”  A few photos of bride and groom before the ceremony kicked off–but they didn’t see each other, so they still had the big surprise of seeing each other at opposite ends of the aisle.  So sweet!  {And really, it had to have taken some major self control not to peek around the door.  I don’t know if I could have done it.}

 

The ceremony was held at one of my favorite hidden gems of Minot–the Carnegie Center.  It’s a historical, and gorgeous, and the perfect spot for this intimate ceremony.

Carnegie Center Wedding

Carnegie Center Wedding

Now, let me tell you two awesome things about their reception that I personally l-o-v-e-d:  The cake and the dancing.  The bride’s family owns a local cake shop with my favorite cake in all of Practically Canada.  {It’s Lalee Cakes–check them out here.  Her frosting is out of this world.}  And while the fam doesn’t own a dance company…they sure do know how to groove.  {And it was contagious.  I may have set the camera aside to dance to a certain One Direction song…}

Minot wedding reception

This was really such a fun day spent with lots of great people.  I’m so honored to have been included in this very special day.  Here’s wishing the newest Mr. and Mrs. all the happiness that ever after can hold.

 

xo

Amy

Refinishing The Coffee Tables

It’s been a few weeks since I told you I planned on refinishing antique tables I inherited from my grandparents.  If you missed the “before” post, you can read it here.  The original plan was to simply strip off the old finish {the shiny part}, that had been damaged by years of second-hand smoke exposure, multiple moves and age.

 

refinishing antique tables

I started off by using the deglosser that came with the Rustoleum kit I used on the cabinets–when I redid the kitchen.  I thought this might be enough to take off the old finish and allow me to put a new coat of glossy polyurethane on top.

 

The deglosser did it’s job.  I was left with a mostly matte finish on the tables.  This would have been perfect if I had planned to paint the tables.  I have no doubt that paint would have adhered beautifully to the new, dull surface.  However…there was still residual finish on the tables and there was still a good amount of damage left.  {Doesn’t that sound weird?  A good amount of damage?}  Too much damage to proceed with a new top coat.  I’d come this far…and I wanted to do it right…so {a little begrudgingly} I decided that the tables needed to be completely stripped before I could confidently add a new finish.

 

Completely stripping the old finish and stain required a few new tools {hooray!}  I’m not the owner of this brand new orbital sander and a Dremel.  Do any of you have a Dremel?  Do you like it?  It wasn’t nearly as handy as I had hoped.  It’s like a power tool for Polly Pocket!  So tiny!!  But it did help a lot on some of the tricky curves.  My biggest complaint is that I’ve been going through accessories like crazy.  The pieces that work only last a short time.  Okay, I’ll go into the exact pieces I used on another post.  Long story short…I own a Dremel.

refinishing antique tables

I used the orbital sander on all the flat surfaces and took it down to the bare wood.  After losing my mind using just the Dremel on the table legs {and going through loads of tiny accessory sanders}, Derek went out and bought a paint stripper that attaches to the drill.  It works wonders!  This 3M product, lasted a long time, didn’t chew up the wood and worked efficiently.

 

refinishing antique tables

Once everything was naked it was time to stain.  If you’ve been reading the blog for a while now, you might know that I’m a color-commitment-phobic.  {That’s why I didn’t want to paint them.}  I stood in the stain aisle for about 20 minutes…thinking.  I walked out with the perfect color.  Turns out it’s nearly identical to what I started with.  That’s totally fine, I thought they were pretty–they just had a rotten finish on them.  The real bummer is that to you, at home, you probably won’t be able to see much difference in the before and after.  You’ll just have to take my word on it.  The look much better.

 

I put three coats of oil based polyurethane–I chose Varathane–on each table.  Since the weather turned chilly again and I’m still cat sitting {any my guests tend to be on the ornery side} we had to do some of the finishing in our tiny front room…the only space that can comfortably be blocked off from all furry footprints.  I could just imagine a perfect glossy finish with cat hair and paw prints embedded in it.  But, the crisis was avoided and the nearly-finished products are looking stellar–if not much different.

refinishing antique tables

Once these are all done, we’ll be starting on the coffee table.  It’s been a lot of work–lots more than I had imagined from the get-go–but I’ve learned a lot and this is by far the most professional furniture redo I’ve ever done.  Color me pleased.

How We Memorized Colossians

Open Bible

Thanks to everyone who gave positive feedback about our latest adventure:  Memorizing the entire book of Colossians.  I’ve had several inquiries about how we actually did it…what it looked like day-to-day.  So instead of emailing each of you individually I thought I’d tell you about my experience and pull together a few resources for you as well.  {Call me lazy if you must…}

 

If you look around online, you’ll find that most “big chunk” memorization techniques are pretty much the same.  Memorize one verse on the first day.  The next day review the first verse and add one more.  This is basically what we did, but realistically there were a few changes.  As much as I wanted to stick with a rigid plan, this is actually a more accurate picture of how we memorized the whole book.

 

Day One–Memorize Colossians 1:1.  Read the verse aloud 10 times.  Say it 10 times from memory.  {Easy peasy.  Took about 5 minutes.}

 

Day Two–Memorize Colossians 1:2, review 1:1.  Review 1:1 by reciting it several times {this changed from time to time but usually about 5-10 times.}  Read 1:2 aloud 10 times.  Recite 1:2 from memory 10 times.  Say both verses once.

 

Day Three–Memorize Colossians 1:3, review previous verses.  Review 1:2 by saying it several times, read 1:3 ten times aloud, recite it 10 times from memory, say the whole thing once.

 

Okay.  You get the picture.  Keep doing this day after day–adding only one verse at a time.

 

Now–When that passage of Scripture started to get lengthy the plan changed a bit.  A lot of times, we only reviewed the previous verse by reciting it once or twice, just to save time since reciting the whole thing started to take up more and more time.  Once we crossed over the half way mark, there were some days we didn’t even review everything we knew up to that point every day.  By the time you are to Chapter 3, verse 1, 1:1 will be almost second nature to you.  In fact, the whole first chapter will seem so easy to recite you could do it in your sleep.  So…sometimes we would only recite the chapter we were working on, or a chunk of verses surrounding our new verse.

 

We saw memorizing as a team sport.  I highly recommend working with your spouse–if you have one.  It’s fun.  For real.  We did a lot of memorizing while we road tripped.  In this case, it wasn’t safe for Derek to take his eyes off the road to read the verse 10 times, so I did it for us.  I’d read the verse 10 times aloud.  He’d repeat it back.  Then I’d recite it from memory.  When we recited all that we knew we would alternate verses.  When we weren’t together–we just did our memorization individually and checked in with each other…making sure neither of us fell behind.

 

Verse numbers?  Most resources you find online will tell you to memorize the verse numbers.  Lots of resources suggest that when you recite a verse you say it like this:

 

Colossians 1:1 I, Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God and our brother Timothy.  Colossians 1:2  To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse:  Grace and peace to you from God the father.  Colossians 1:3  We always thank God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you, Colossians 1:4…..

 

Maybe that will work for you, but it didn’t work for me.  Breaking up the text with the verse numbers ever time I recited it just broke up the meaning and caused me to lose my train of thought.  Instead, I found that I could keep track of each verse in my head.  About every five verses I made a point to remember which verse number I was on so I couldn’t get too far off track.  And since we did recitation together {alternating verses} usually Derek would catch my mistakes and I’d catch his.

 

With the method outlined above it’s plausible to memorize Colossians in 95 days, as there are 95 verse in the book.  It took me much longer than that.  I started in July.  I finished at the beginning of February.  That’s about six months–nearly twice as long as the estimate.  But that’s okay.  Life happens.  We get sick and unmotivated and family comes to town and Christmas festivities take over our brains.  That’s fine.  At first when my deadline came and went I was a little disappointed, but in the end I realized that it’s not how fast we were doing it, but that we were doing it at all.  That we’d stayed committed and were willing to see it through to the very last verse.

 

So that’s my story.  Here are some resources for you as you set out on your very own Scripture memorizing journey.  Find a technique that works for you and go for it!

 

Here’s a post from someone who grew up participating in Bible Quiz.  He explains how he memorized more than 500 verses in a single year.

 

This is an amazing PDF that explains the technique I described above as well as information about retaining memorized Scripture, how to choose the book you want to work on, and why it’s such an enriching experience.

 

And this is a blog post with 10 good reasons to memorize a big chunk.  You can totally do this!

Colossians Complete

Colossians

To me, there really isn’t anything sweeter than an accomplished goal.  Dreaming big is fun.  But imaginings are much sweeter when they come to fruition.  I’ve got some far out goals that are a loooong way from being reached, so in the mean time, I’ll savor every mini-goal that comes up along the way.

 

Last month Derek and I officially reached a goal.  We finished memorizing Colossians.  A whole book of the Bible now lives in my head.  I know it’s a short book, but now I know the whole thing by heart.  Yes, there were hard days.  There were days when I didn’t memorize anything at all.  There were days when the spiritual warfare that comes along with an undertaking like this was hard–so hard I wanted to throw in the towel.  But by the grace of God, we did it.

 

I’ve done a lot of really cool stuff in my life.  Like, really cool.  But I’ll admit this is one of the coolest, and best ways I’ve ever spent my time.  So tonight I thought I’d lay out some of the things I’ve learned any why I enjoyed this process so much.

 

Dwelling on the right stuff.  Philippians 4:8 tells us to let our minds dwell on the right stuff.  I’m constantly surrounded by people, TV, books, and talk radio.  I try my hardest to be intentional about what I let my mind consume.  I’m incredibly prone to dwell on worries and woes–but while we memorized Colossians I spent a lot of time dwelling on the right stuff.  In an attempt to keep it all in my brain, I’d go over the verses–sometimes multiple times a day.  This calmed me, refocused my thoughts and allowed me to meditate on His word all day long.

 

Filling up dead space.  In my day there are chunks of time where I’m alone with my thoughts.  Whether that’s while I’m out on a walk, going on my weekly ice skating excursion, or while I’m driving–there are times when it’s just me and whatever is in my head.  Instead of using this time to stress or worry, I go over all four chapters of Colossians.  It takes about 30 minutes and I always feel refreshed.

 

A better understanding.  Because we were going over the same verses day after day, only adding one new verse every day {sometimes every few days toward the end}, it gave me a chance to really think about every word in every verse.  The big picture context came into focus as more verses were added–but this process allowed me to zero in on the importance of every verse.

 

Quotable quotations.  Since I was dwelling on the words and thinking deeply about their meaning, verses were on the tip of my brain–just begging to be quoted in everyday conversation.  I can’t even begin to count the number of times a Colossians verse has come in handy in the past few months.  The verses come to mind easily and I’ve found that the context {as well and individual verses} have been very useful as I’ve prayed for people, prayed aloud, encouraged, and fielded questions about my faith.

 

In the past, sometimes when addressing a tough question or situation my mind would go blank for Scripture–even though I knew it was in there somewhere.  With four chapters fresh in my mind, I am finding these moments less intimidating and my mind drawing fewer blanks.

 

BFF.  This process stretched Derek and me both mentally and spiritually in a new way that moved us closer to God and closer to each other.  It was a great time of holding each other accountable and encouraging each other on days when we didn’t “feel” like memorizing.  {It’s really cool that there was never a day when we both felt that way.  When one was slacking off, the other was quick to insist that we at least go over everything we had learned so far.}  It’s really cool to have shared this process and victory with someone.

 

Being vulnerable.  Memorizing Colossians wasn’t all rainbows and ponies and fun times.  It was hard.  Not just mentally hard.  It was also spiritually taxing.  God loves it when we study His word, spend time with Him and hide His wisdom in our hearts…but Satan hates it.  The spiritual attack I encountered while memorizing Colossians was one of the biggest I’ve ever faced.  BUT–I wouldn’t change it for the world.  As cruel as the attack felt–God’s grace is greater, He is mightier.  We made it through and God has blessed us for persevering. Better Praying.  Paul is an expert on prayer.  Within the book of Colossians {and the other books he wrote too} there are great examples of how to pray, what to pray for, how to word your prayers, and how to pray with expectation.  Ever since I started memorizing, my prayers have changed.  Paul leads by example and he is a great example to follow.It’s left me wanting more.  Until we set this goal, I didn’t see myself as much of a Scripture memorizer.  I have verses committed to memory.  I like memorizing, but it wasn’t my favorite Bible-related activity…and I didn’t prioritize it like I should have.  Now, I see that I can memorize big chunks of Scripture as long as I attack it with a plan.  We haven’t started in on another book and I’m not sure we’ll do another one in the near future…but I’m wanting more.  I’m anxious to select another passage or chapter to begin memorizing.I know I can do it.  As we move forward I’m confident in my ability to memorize Scripture, but I’m also confident in your ability.  Really, if we can do it–so can you.  I started memorizing when a friend told me her 12 year old cousin memorized a whole book of the Bible.  I thought, “If a 12 year old can do it, so can I.”  I want you to have that same mentality.  Memorizing a big chunk of Scripture {or even a small bit} is so worth your time!  Most days it didn’t even take more than 15 minutes {the longest it ever took was 30}.  It’s doable and I challenge you to give it a try.Amy

 

 

Jordan | Class of 2015

senior photos library

In January I was contacted by a very sweet “senior mom.”  You know, a mom of a high school senior.  She had a request that was unique for me–unique for January in Practically Canada.  Her son, Jordan needed senior portraits.  He will be graduating in 2015.  He’d like his photos outdoors.  He’d like them in the snow.  And so I started on a quest to create the perfect winter senior portrait session, just for him.

 

In other parts of the country, this request might not have been such a tall order.  But here, where the wind howls with temps that could make a penguin shiver {okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit}, where the wind blows hard and strong, where snow can blow away over night, and snow might not even be in the forecast despite the cold air–it was a tricky request.  But you know me.  I like a challenge.

 

So I agreed.  I explained that we may need to schedule and reschedule.  And they were okay with that.  And that’s just what we did.  Take #1–unseasonably warm {40˚ F} weather melted our snow leaving brown, muddy terrain.  Take #2–winds of 30 mph, and a windchill advisory kept us inside.  Take #3–the high was -8˚, again, we cancelled.  Take #4–27˚, snow on the ground, snow in the forecast, no wind–jackpot.

winter senior photosWe were still pretty chilly–but it really was a magical afternoon and I love the effect.  I’m simply smitten with the images in this first group–especially the one on the left where you can see the snow falling!

winter senior photoswinter senior photosI’d say the scheduling and rescheduling was worth it.  Eeek!!  I just love these!

winter senior photosJordan loves reading, so at the end of our chilly session we headed to one of my very favorite places in town–the library.  The staff at the Minot Public Library are amazing.  They’ve let me shoot inside several times now, and I am so grateful.  I think these images stuffed with books are just the coolest.  This was my favorite part of the session because I learned that Jordan and I have similar taste in books–and similar pet peeves when book and movie don’t line up like we think they should.

library senior portraitslibrary senior portraits

Congratulations on your senior year!  I had an amazing time working with you–and meeting your amazing mom.  I’m so grateful that you let me share this special snowy afternoon with you.

 

Amy

Skill Collecting | Accordion

IMG_2030

I don’t know if I can remember a winter that has ever been as busy and fun as the one I’m living right now.  I’ve had what feels like a blue million sessions for the Artists in the Schools program.  I’ve had a few seniors request snowy portraits.  A few babies have made their debut at the end of my lens.  I became an aunt for the first time ever when my sis gave birth to the prettiest ginger baby you’ve ever seen.  I’m in the midst of saying “good bye for now…” to one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had as she prepares to move to England.  I’ve road tripped.  I’ve been cat sitting.  I’ve been ice skating and practicing my Tara Lipinski  impression.

 

I’ve been busy with a thousand things.  Which is why you haven’t seen too much writing here on the blog.  I simply just haven’t been able to make time to sit and catch up.

 

But perhaps the best thing of all is my latest {maybe greatest} quirky skill.  After years of searching, I’m finally learning to play the accordion.  Yes.  You heard me right.

accordionAdmittedly pretty much every ounce of free time I’ve had since bringing this bad boy home a week and a half ago has been tied up in practicing.  It’s all pretty basic right now, scales, simple tunes, easy rhythms.  I owe my friend Mary big time, because it was she that hooked me up with this beauty.  She was kind enough to loan this accordion to me.  To let me learn and decide if I want to buy my own.

 

As you can see, it’s gorgeous.  Which is only part of its appeal.  Inside the case there was a stack of accordion lessons that are copyrighted 1950.  Adorably, they are called the “Modern Piano Accordion Course.”  The colors are lovely and the graphics are so vintagey-cool I could squeal.  Really, I think they are cute enough to frame.  The lessons inside are sufficient for me–who had never touched an accordion before.  I’m now working on lesson 7.  I’m shifting between chords and working on treble clef fingering that “crosses under.”

 

I’m really thrilled.  I really love it.  {Can you tell?}  As a collector of odd talents this will look quite nice on my proverbial shelf.

 

I’m eager to play for anyone who’ll listen.  My neighbor kids just dropped by to see if we could play a board game.  Before I let them bust out the Farkle I forced them to listen to a few songs.  I’m still trying to make a Skype date work with my parents so they can hear the wonder that is me getting my polka on.  {Do you think the fact that it hasn’t worked out yet is their way of telling me something?  Nah.}

 

Anyway…on the blog next week, I’ll be telling you tales of cat sitting, tales of classroom art projects, and showing off a few photo sessions.  I hope you’ll forgive the absence.  I hope you’ll come and hang out and do life with me.  It sure is fun.

Water & Wax | Artists in the Schools

water and wax

Over the next week I’ll be teaching six Artists in the Schools session at elementary schools across town.  Today, I kicked off the marathon with a Water and Wax session with a group of first grade students.

 

The idea behind this session is to teach students a little science in with the art project–and to make something cool.  We discussed the absorption property of water–how it sometimes soaks in to things, and other times rolls off a surface.  Then I covered the fact that crayons, made of wax, repel water and led in to the project.

 

As you may imagine–if you’ve ever worked with elementary school kids–that getting the instructions out to a group of first graders was much more challenging in person than typing the words here on the blog.  There was a lot of restlessness while the teacher and I tag-teamed to get papers taped to desks.  Once they were down there was peeling of tape…and retaping…and a few threats of revoked participation rights.

 

Once the paper was out I heard this:

“Once we have a paper can we start?”

I hadn’t even shown them the example.

 

I explained our first step–find a light colored crayon.  Not white–because we need to see our lines.  Any other light color:  yellow, light green, peach, light pink.  Little did I know this would be such a hard step to follow.  There were about four students sharing a table and caddy of crayons, so they needed to share their table’s supply amongst themselves.  Once I told them to find their crayon, this is what I heard.

 

“Um, we don’t have a white crayon.”

“Okay.  You don’t need one right now.”

“My favorite color is purple, so I’m using that.”

“Is purple a light color–something closer to white than black?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Okay.  Pick another color…yellow, light green, peach, or light pink.”

“What about dark blue?”

“What about it?”

“Aaaammmmyyy!  Our table doesn’t have light green!”

“Okay.  Do you have one of the other colors?”

“Yeah.”

“So….the problem is….?”

“We don’t have any of the colors you told us to use.  Can I use green instead?”

I look in the caddy.  All the colors are there.  I pass one to each child.

 

Once the color situation was mostly resolved we moved on.  I told them to draw the first letter of their first name on their paper.  Then I explained how they could add the “dragon scales” to one side of the letter to make it look a little more fancy.  “If you understand what to do, you may begin.”  Then things took an awkward turn.

 

“Uh, Amy…I did mine this way.”  Dark purple crayon is on the paper.  The teacher swoops in, asking why she used that crayon when only moments before, we’d given her a peach color to use.  Paper is flipped, crisis averted.

 

While half the students are still working, the other half has finished and are now leaving their seats one by one and coming to my side {as I’m trying to help someone with a legit question} to tell me they’ve finished.  Meanwhile, one little guy comes up and says,

 

“Well…I did an A.”

“Okay.  That’s good.  We’ll move on in just a second.”

“My name doesn’t start with an A.  I did it because that’s what you said you were doing.”

 

A whole table–who was pretty chatty during instruction time–all drew the letter A, as in Amy, instead of their own letters.  Untape, flip, retape.

 

Next direction.  Trace your letter using that same color, or a white crayon.  Go over it at least eight times.  Make your marks nice and heavy, we want lots of wax on the paper.

 

This part went pretty smoothly…with the exception of a few who finished in about 60 seconds and immediately came to tell me that they were done.  I just told them to keep tracing.  When everyone seemed to have their letter traced enough times–one kid told me he traced his 38 times–we moved on to the paint portion of the class.

 

Paint is always scary to me, but these guys did great.  Even the one who used so much that it was as much on the table as on the paper {see top middle photo above…}  My very favorite part was hearing them gasp and get excited when their letter appeared after repelling the water color.  “Its. Working!”  I love when they think they’ve made something really cool.  I love it when they are proud of their work.

 

All in all a good class, all in all, great work.  I really love doing these sessions in the schools.  Despite the weird questions and the faulty listening and the short attention spans, I really do think they try their best.  And…Boy, oh, boy do they make me laugh.

Isabella | Newborn Sneak Peek

lace collageIt’s been a bit since I wrote something new…and I cannot think of anything better to share with you after being away than this precious newborn session.  You may remember the Burnsides from their winter maternity session taken before Christmas.  This is their daughter, Isabella.  She is beautiful and perfect.  I had a great time taking her very first portraits last week.  There are lots of things I love about shooting newborns, but in this case my absolute favorite part was listening to her parents pin point whose eyes, nose, fingers and spine {yes, spine} she has.  I think she’s a fabulous blend of both mommy and daddy and I am just so very happy for this new family.

 

I hope you enjoy this little peek of her session.  All the photos are sweet, but I especially adore the series of lace newborn photos above!  What’s your favorite?

newborn photos minot, ND

newborn crocheted crown

newborn crocheted crownThe Burnsides have some very craft friends…who created some adorable pieces for her to wear during her session.  I especially love this crocheted crown.  I’m a fan of headbands, bows and flowers…but this headpiece takes the cake in my opinion.  So cute!

 

minnie mouse newborn

The same crafty friend also created this fabulous Minnie Mouse set for her.  Eek!!  I think I let out an audible squeal of delight when they showed it to me.  Her head is still too small for her custom Minnie Mouse ears, but I don’t think that makes this any less amazing.  I like that she is a Disney fan right from the start!

 

Burnside, family–I had an awesome time with you.  Thank you so much for choosing me to capture these precious first portraits of your precious little girl!  Your photos are almost done and your flash drive will be in the mail on Friday.

 

For the rest of you–I’ll be starting a new project tomorrow…so be sure to come back.  It sure has been a while since I did a furniture redo {hint hint}.

 

Well, hello there!

Hi. I'm Amy. Thanks for coming by. I'm in to trying new things and learning to live better. I hope you'll hang around...together we can come closer to mastering the Art of Living.

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