Baby Clothes Tutorials Round-up

Bkellie1Meet my tiny new muse: Barbara Kellie. She’s just 15 months and is already fierce! I can’t wait to sew something to match that little personality of hers. 


Barbara Kellie came for a visit last weekend and since then I’ve been on a pinning spree! She’s an utter delight: more interested in doing than talking. We rolled pie dough — apparently she’s an old hand at that. And we played piano together; her first lesson, she’s already figured out hammer mechanisms. (We have an old player piano that has a sliding glass window into the piano–lots of fun to press keys and see what happens!)  And she tore down block buildings faster than cousin Geo could make them! Busy!!

So, I’m looking to make something that will let her be busy and express her personality. She’s a pretty serious toddler — play is her business. Which means I have my work cut out for me. 

Pinterest to the rescue, eh? I’m leaning toward a simple skirt with a hand painted top –but who knows where my tiny little muse will lead me.  There are so many amazing tutorials and kids’ fashion ideas to be found. It’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few of my favorites. (for more ideas, you can follow me on Pinterest) Continue reading →

A Whale of a Good Time



Stunning print by Michele Maule. You can find it here.


I have thing for whales. Big Fish. I’m not sure why, though I do think immersing myself for months in the text of Jonah during graduate school probably played a role. The whole Jonah metaphor figures big in my life. . . but that is a different story.

And while I don’t actually collect “whale” things in real life. . . (Pretty sure that would trigger a hoarding impulse in me —  “Oh, so you really like whales!”) I find myself pinning and hearting whale things often. It’s not exactly an addiction or anything.  Just a minor obsession. 


whaleadatineHow amazing is this whale? I need this, right? Fabulously created by Adatine. You can find it here. 


And at the risk of provoking the ire of all my literarily minded friends: this is EXACTLY what you should be doing with Melville. . .



The House of Ismay rocking all things literary.



And sometimes, I buy tiny little jumpers in tiny little whale prints and send them to tiny little babies.  ♥

Mother and Daughter

Mother and Daughter (our niece and grand-niece) 

Baby Photos

Beautiful. . . photography by Maria Gvedashvili. (note: the site will load with music, so mute your speakers. But the images are amazing!) 

It’s been ages since I took photos of a baby. My “baby” is 16 and taking photos of him typically requires negotiation and pleading on my part. And then we have that awkward dance where I try to get him to smile and he refuses and then I recommit to stalking him when he’s not looking, because that’s probably the only way I’m getting the shot I want. In the world of social media and a life lived online, my child is quick to duck the camera. Like his mother.

But, the opportunity to take pictures of tiny ones, little ones, is in my  near future. I’m now an Auntie with a camera. And I desperately need to brush up on my skills. Babies are easier to photograph than surly teens, but only by a smidgen. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have ideas ahead of time. So, of course, I’m digging around Pinterest for ideas. 

I’ll confess, I’m not a huge fan of the classic studio work for children’s photos. Babies and toddlers (or adults for that matter) don’t sit around in front of blue canvas backdrops, so why we insist on photographing them like that is beyond me. Fortunately, though traditional studio photographers are still abundant if that’s your thing, the trend has shifted. People are taking a more candid approach to photographing children, even if those photographs are still shot in a studio. (as the above photo most certainly was) 

But, but, you say: Sears and the local photographer are so inexpensive. True. But so is grabbing your camera, heading outside on a nice day (overcast is best!) and telling the kids, “Hey, let’s play!” Or asking a friend who is handy with a camera. Or talking to a local photographer and giving them examples of what you’re looking for. Most people who take photos of children professionally (unless it’s in the mall!) are artists themselves and would probably welcome the chance to use that particular muscle! 

Here’s the thing: while I’m not a fan of the classic studio posed photo (we don’t have any of those of our child!) I understand some people love them. What I’m advocating for the future, is that you capture a MOMENT in time. What makes a great photo worth keeping is the memory it evokes. The story attached to it.  And this is what the studio photo lacks, at least for me. I didn’t want to remember wrestling a fussy toddler into formal wear and coaxing him to sit up and smile while some stranger cooed and dangled stuffed toys in front of him to keep his attention.

I wanted to remember the dirty hands from making mud pies. A cheesy grin and a messy ice cream cone. The sheer delight and laughter after sliding down the big slide. Running through sprinklers. Holding hands. Blowing bubbles. Laughing. Laughing. Laughing. 

My bias is showing, but I’m convinced the moments of life worth keeping cannot be found in front of a blue canvas backdrop.

Looking for great ideas on how to photograph your adorable child? Come follow my Hey Baby board on Pinterest.