Sunday, March 31, 2013

Giveaway--Copy of Sacred Pregnancy and a Handsewn Felt Surprise

Today happens to be my birthday. So what better way to celebrate than with a birthy giveaway? I've teamed up with Facebook page Birth Nerds to send one lucky winner a copy of Sacred Pregnancy by Anni Daulter and a felt surprise hand sewn by yours truly. Use the handy Rafflecopter entry form below for your chance to win! If you have any questions about the giveaway, please email me at The value of the book is $19.95 and the value of the surprise is yet to be determined. Mostly because I don't know what it is yet. 

Happy Winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 25, 2013

A First Foray into Birth Photography

I was so touched and elated when my friend Helen asked my to take photos at the home birth of her son. When she sent me a text message at about 1 am on March 19 telling me to come over, my camera bag was packed and ready by the door. 

When I arrived and got myself together, it was almost two in morning. I learned the midwife (who was also my midwife) was already at another birth, as was her assistant. A doula neither myself nor Helen had ever met was on her way to help out. Helen was already in her bath tub, vocalizing through contractions. 

Helen's husband Lou was the official back rubber and hand holder. 

Around that point, close to 2:30 am, Ashley the doula arrived. I guessed Helen to be in transition by the pace of her contractions and the vocalizations she was making. Ashley let the midwife know the baby was not going to wait for her. 

This was one of my favorite shots. Helen's two year old was awake for almost the entire labor and she did so great. 

Not long after, Helen was feeling pushy and wanted to get out of the tub. We ended up laying down some towels and chux pads on her carpeted bathroom floor. Ashley had never caught a baby on her own before but she did a great job. 

At 3:17 am, baby Nicholas was born. He pinked up and started to breath without any trouble. For a surprise unassisted birth, everything went amazingly smooth. I was so proud of Helen! 

About 10 minutes after the baby was born, the midwife's assistant Celeste arrived. She helped with the placenta delivery. When the cord stopped pulsing, Lou did the honors of separating mother and baby. 

Nicholas nursed like a champ right away. I went downstairs and made my friend her first postpartum meal--a  beef burrito with black beans and corn. 

Celeste and Ashley did the newborn exam. Nicholas was 20 inches long and weighed 8 pounds even.

Getting dressed for the very first time:

The new family, minus their 4 year old Sara, who slept through the entire birth!

So sleepy after filling his tiny belly with colostrum. 

This was such an amazing experience for me and I learned a lot of lessons from Baby Nicholas' birth. It's very fun to be part of the birthy action but not have to do the actual work. It's also very tiring to be up all night without the oxytocin cocktail that comes after you do the actual work. Bathroom lights on a timer may be a birth photographer's worse enemy. My 50 mm lens was far too slow for the low light conditions I was in and I was surprisingly thankful for my kit lens.  All in all, it was an awesome first foray, and I hope I get the chance to do it again. 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Super Mario Quiet Book

An upcoming family vacation has sent me searching for ways to entertain my 3 year old on a plane. Enter the Super Mario Quiet Book. I did not make a pattern for this book because honestly, it disrupts my creative process. Most of this if done free hand or by using clip art or coloring pages as item patterns. There are several Super Mario Bros themed fonts that can be downloaded for free for the lettering. I used more glue than stitches for this particular project. 

For the first page, Mario needs to get dressed before he can set out for an adventure. All these pieces I cut free hand. There are Velcro pieces for the hat, pants, shirt, overalls, shoes and gloves (not shown). The clothing all fit in Mario's hamper on the bottom right of the page. 

 Next, count the coins from the coin box. All ten coins fit inside the box which is a little pocket. 

You can help the mushroom decide which cap to wear with this color recognition game. Each cap Velcros to the blank, cream colored mushroom. 

Yoshi is waiting to hatch out of his egg and join Mario. I made the egg just as it looks, the egg shape first then cutting the zig zag down the center. 

The Yoshi stuffie was designed off of a coloring page I found. The body and face are sewn and the eyes, arms and belly are glued. 

Lastly, help Mario find matching pairs under the red flaps. There is a coin, star, Yoshi egg, and a traveling pipe. This could be made more challenging by using Velcro under the items instead of glue so they can be moved around. 

Don't let the Piranha plant at the very end of the book get you! 

I added light weight pieces of white poster board in between each page as I sewed them together to give the book some shape. The spine is two layers. All of the pages are sewn to the spine first layer and then the edges of the front and back cover are sewn to the second spine layer. 

Overall, I'm really please with how this came out. I hope my little guy likes it and it keeps him entertained!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

A First Foray Into Newborn Photography

My friend Melinda gave birth to a sweet baby girl the day before Valentine's Day. Little Lana arrived 4 minutes before the midwife, caught by her mama with barely enough time to get in the birth tub set up in their bedroom. I came to visit when Lana was two weeks and two days old, bringing lunch and my camera. I had not done any newborn photography before but I was definitely eager to try. Since she was already past the sleepy newborn stage, she was alert and wide eyed most of the time I was there. I'm pretty happy with some  of the moments I caught and this really made me excited to photograph my friend Helen's home birth later this month (hopefully)! 

I made this shamrock headband following this tutorial from Paper&Ink

I also made this heart with her name.

You can almost feel her whisper soft hair.

I love baby feet!

Lana's big sister Kaelyn was a baby when I met her mom at La Leche League 4 years ago. She will probably always be that bald headed baby, just learning to crawl, in my mind.  

I made these matching heart headbands for the girls. 

Despite Melinda's husband Matt being a perennial jokester, the photos of him and Lana were some of my favorites and I happen to think these two look quite a bit alike. 

And lastly, we can't forget Barley, the family dog. The clicking of my camera made him a little nervous but he still kept valiant watch over the newest member of the family.  

Thank you so much to Melinda and Matt for letting me come over and fuel my latest photography obsession!



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