Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birth- A sisters perspective

Today I was witness to the birth of my Niece. I fight back the tears when i think how proud i am of my little sister for delivering this baby naturally when all the odds seemed stacked against her. From around 28 weeks this little girl has other ideas about her entrance into the world she happily lay breech and then transverse. After 2 ECV's failed to turn this baby around and the words C-section and heart shaped uterus were thrown around- with no one actually talking to my sister and her husband about what was happening she was "booked" for an elective C-Section without her knowledge. I can proudly say that my new Niece is as stubborn as her mother and with the guidance of her very awesome and experienced  midwife was fully informed and supported to delivery this baby vaginally, breech!

I know in my heart of hearts that if someone had offered me a C-Section for any of my three births  i most likely would have taken that option especially if the baby was breech. I am so proud of my sister for taking this whole process in her stride and letting what will be, be. For giving it her all and wowing all the delivery suite nurses and baby doctors of what can be done with the right guidance and support and intervention when necessary. As i stepped out the door of the birthing room at the hospital  i could hear the nurses down the corridor saying "she delivered the baby breech", Yep i think, that's MY sister- she did it!

So welcome to this crazy world Miss Sadie (6lbs, 11oz). You were adored before you were even here and now that you are I love you like you were my own. Well done to my brilliant baby sister and her husband and thank you for letting me be apart of today!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Well I finally did it! (and i'm a little bit scared)

I cannot repeat over how much I love photography, like I have said before it is my hobby (not for long) and my passion.

I love that you can capture a moment and remember it in the way of a picture forever. I love the story you can tell from a simple shot , I love candid photos that really show the soul and personality of a person. I think, breath and dream photography at the moment and i have been dreaming of a way to take this further.

 But i have to admit i am a little scared about being out there as a photographer, i'm scared of other expectations and that i will let myself down! But i have done it anyway! I have created an official face book page in the name of lisa dorothy photography. Yes i am self taught and yes i am still learning but i have taken enough photos to know what I like and what I love.

So for now I am doing portraits for friends and family at no cost to gain more experience and i hope to attend an outdoor lighting workshop in December to clarify all the techniques and ideas I have whizzing around in my head.

I am constantly taking photo upon photo in different lighting situations, changing settings on my camera here there and everywhere it amazing how much we learn when we "do". So this is me taking a leap, feeling the fear but doing it anyway.

Come on over to Face book and have a look at my work maybe you will "like" what you see :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bubble Gum Bubble Dress Tutorial (seriously cute!)

This dress eventuated when i was trying to get house work done last weekend. So I'm folding washing and i pick up a dress of Miss S's about to fold it when i hold it out and think mmmmmmm this would be a really easy dress to sew and adapt into something fun. So house work it completely out the window until i  finish this because i was in the zone! Kids were all having rests/sleeps, so perfect timing.

As Ive said before I'm not an experienced sewer at all but i like to add fun elements to simple designs. Also i like my girl to be wearing outfits that are sometimes unique. I had this cute stretch knit sitting around and the colours reminded me of bubble gum so hence the name Bubble Gum Bubble dress.

This is my first tutorial so bear with me- i stopped taking photos half way through making it as i decided i was to chicken to post it, but i had a change of heart and decided its to cute not to share! The dress is so simple and easy that i thought i would share it for any other mums out there that are novice sewers and want to make something cute for their daughters :) So here goes, please let me know if something is not clear, ive tried to explain as best as i could :)


1 Metre of Knit fabric
50-80 cm's of 1/4" elastic (depending on how bubbly you want it pays to have more than you think you will need)
Sewing machine

Forgive the gory colours of the cutting line- but you get the general idea

So this is where i stopped taking photos but its pretty simple from here. I did find that once I had sewn the ruffles on that the neck line had stretched out a bit and it hung down lower that I would like so to compensate for this I just did a little tuck in the back on the neck and sewed in place (you cant notice it to much and it just lifts the neck line up a bit).

Once your happy with the neckline and ruffles its time to join the dress at the sides. Now comes the bubble part of the Bubble Gum Bubble Dress- sew your hem  1/2" like your finishing the dress off but leave a gap to thread your elastic through. Use what elastic you have that will suit and thread it all the way through the bottom of the dress. Try it on your daughter if possible and pull the elastic until it makes the dress puff out in a cute bubble kind of way. Secure your elastic and close up the gap. 

Magic! One cute little dress ready for your missy moo to prance, dance and play in!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm in love!

I know its completely crazy to go gaga over fabric, i am recently new to this but when I saw this vintage floral fabric i knew it would be delicious on Miss S.  

I didn't know what i was going to create with it so its just been sitting there taunting me until i found this tutorial i had bookmarked @ Prudent Baby for the Peasant Blouse. i knew it would be perfect! 

The only things that wasn't perfect was adapting the pattern to fit Miss S who is nearly 6. I found adding on about 4" to the pattern seemed to do ok for what I needed. 

I added a tie to the top just under her arms and left out the gathering at the waist! Totally delicious! I love how the colours go so well with Miss S's fair complexion.

I found the tutorial pretty easy to follow considering I am a novice sewer, which wasn't made any easier by the fact that i was trying to measure and pin while she was sleeping ( yip bad mummy), she didn't mind though :)

I am so happy with how this turned out i will definitely be making another but maybe in  a knit material so its not so ridged and maybe making it into a dress for summer, Perfect!!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tips for taking better photos of your kids

 One of my absolute passions is photography, it is my hobby and some times my obsession. Luckily I am blessed with three beautiful children with whom to try out new ideas. It was actually having children that awakened this need to capture every precious moment and also I am to cheap to go to a professional photographer :) I have completed a university paper on creative photography and that really set things going in the right direction for me. People are always asking who takes my children's photos and I am proud to say that yes it is me! These are some of the simple rules I live by when taking picture of my kids, hopefully some of them will work for you.

Get Down to their level

My youngest. I lay on the ground with a camera right down almost touching the floor to get this shot

Get down on the floor/grass what ever it may be. With older children sitting/crouching will usually be fine but when it comes to babies lie down! Sure it can be uncomfortable and you might get dirty from the grass/dirt or what ever but who cares? Getting down to a child's level gives more natural perspective! Chase them around, play!  i find my kids never do what i want in front of the camera so its better to follow them around taking  shot after shot and many times i have gotten a cool action shot!

Use natural light where possible

This photo was taken on my bed after a morning cuddle, he looked so cute so I stripped off his clothes and opened all my curtains to let in the morning light

My second eldest, very hard to photograph this boy as he is constantly on the go

This is one rule I absolutely live by no matter what I'm photographing! I quickly learnt that flashes are a big no no! They cause red eye and can make colours look all out of whack, as well as washing the subject out. On most cameras you can turn the flash off some how, on my digital slr i can stop my flash from firing automatically by switching to manual mode, or on my point and shoot there is a flash button that you press so it switches off. Check your manual if your not sure.

So get outside on a sunny day (though over cast days are better as they don't cast harsh shadows), position yourself near windows or move to a lighter room. This will give a more natural look and truer colours to your photos. 

Cut out the background and get up close

This makes your child the sole focus of the photo. Who wants to be distracted by the pile of washing in the corner and the house work that needs doing, or a park full of other peoples children? Sure sometimes you want more background to put things into context, but i find filling up my frame with my child generally always gets a great shot provided i have been able to achieve all of the other tips as well.

Take lots of photos (you can never have to many)

Its the digital age! we are lucky to be able to delete what we don't like or want, so what's the harm in taking picture after picture. When i look through my folders lots of the photos look the same, but at least having lots gives me the chance to choose the perfect shot that i am looking for. I might have taken 20-30 shots but chances are there will be something there I can use!

If all else fails
Post editing in a programme like Photoshop or Picassa (which is free, and there are plenty of others) can be the way to go. You can straighten, crop and sometimes fix dark or bright photos. My favourite (if you could not tell already) are black and white portraits of my children. Black and white photography is very forgiving and can sometimes make the photo by giving it that little bit of something else it was lacking. To me Black and White is very timeless and gives a professional feel.

I will continue to post any other tips i think are relevant as i go along my photography journey 


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I wish I could knit!

My mum is so clever!

For no want of trying I cannot knit to save myself. So when I got pregnant for the third time and found out we were having a winter baby I knew I had to get my mum on board to knit some woollen goodies for our little bundle.

I love seeing babies in handmade woollen cardi's hats and booties, it is too cute! Even though I haven't succeeded in knitting anything other than a scarf I have been book marking gorgeous baby knit patterns in the hope that I would gain the patience to knit some day so i thought I would share some of my linkys Mary Jane booties more baby bootiesStella Pixie hat ,A Pixie coat, Lace baby cloche

I fell in love when I saw these booties and the pattern looks easy too!

Maybe i will be brave and give them a go!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sweet Baby Blanket

I have wanted to make a blanket for the new babies bed for a while now.  I have had many many ideas swirling around in my head, fabrics, appliques, the possibilities were endless. I wanted to make something that was practical, within my sewing capabilities and something special just for him. I wanted to use good quality fabrics so i would last and be something that can stay with him as he grows.

 I scoured my favorite blogs and crafting sites to find a tutorial that was easy to follow but still challenged me enough so i would learn something new when i found the Beginners Baby Blanket @ Prudent Baby.  Looks like something i could do but while I'm not a total novice at sewing i have stuck to quick, safe and simple projects up till now.  

I spent many hours sifting through suitable fabrics at Spotlight trying not to be to safe and predictable when i found this gorgeous dotted fabric with lovely not quite pastel tones. Having never made a blanket before I'm still learning about the different batting that can go in the middle but decided not to bother since it was a) coming into summer here in New Zealand and b) i was using a lovely fleecy knit fabric for the backing.

Turned out to be a big learning curve for me but i think for my first go its not to bad. I had a really hard time with the binding, if  i was to do it again i would have practiced first so i knew what i was in for. It wasn't hard, just fiddly and i think it says alot to have a lovely finish to something you make, and ill admit i like to take the easy way most of this time and lose my patience frequently with my sewing machine.

Turns out good things really do take time! After  spending what seemed like hours unpicking and unpicking after my shocking attempt at the bias binding and then nearly giving up and just "leaving as it was" it was all worth it when i was able to snuggle him up in bed with something i made with my own hands. 

It is definitely not perfect by any means- but close enough for me:)


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bare room, Busy Mum!

I have been frantically trying to make the new babies room less bare. Unfortunately I wasn't very organised before he was born, not to mention he was two weeks early, so while this left me in a fluster it also got my creative juices running thinking about what i could create.

I don't really fancy generic baby rooms, girls in pink and boys in blue. Id rather see something unique and fun, I love miss matched colours and textures and something that suits a baby but they can also grown into.

So my first project was to get some thing in his room that will serve a purpose as well as looking nice, a mobile. I'm pretty happy with the result, the contrast of solid red wooden beads against the black and white book text.

I couldn't wait to hang it up in Blake's room, and he seems to like it too, staring at it contently as it spins above his head.

Next the baby blanket!

- Lisa