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Friday, March 30, 2012

Birthday Video!

I put together all of her Monday Pictures for her birthday video!

Baby Mine by Allison Kraus
Father and Daughter by Paul Simon

Week 52!!!

Welcome to ONEderland!    I can't believe 
1)  My baby is one year old 
2) How beyond wonderful the past year has been
3) I was able to keep up with the Monday pictures!

The theme for her birthday party was just this, Adeline in ONEderland.  All of these props were decorations for her party, so they served double duty this week.  I found a lot of them at The Christmas Tree Shop.   If you've never been there, you're so missing out.  I think I did several laps over two hours that day just to be sure I didn't miss anything.  The hanging flowers, large flower mugs (actually, they are planters), random pieces of china, and plastic tea set are all from there.  I bought the gerber daisies at Michael's and glued the googly eyes on there.
As usual, Adeline played her role beautifully, hosting a Mad Hatter tea party!
I have loved every second of being her mommy and sharing her growth with a fun picture every Monday :).  My plan is to continue a Monday picture, just on a monthly basis.  
What a fantastic experience it has been.  My baby girl has brought so much to my life, including inspiring a whole new career.  My own little muse <3

Week 51

Bee Mine!  As someone pointed out to me (no names necessary. MELISSA.), this was the last of her 'first' holidays.  Sniffle.  How did one year (a.k.a. 52 Mondays) fly by so quickly?  However, she made such a sweet Valentine bee, you'd think she'd done this before!  I set up in front of the window and stood on an ottoman to get this angle.  She's sitting on the heart pillow from Target that I had stalked for several months, hoping that it would make another appearance in the stores around this holiday.  The tiny hearts scattered are 50% metallic hearts cut from a Valentine garland, 50% photoshop (with the opacity turned down to about 60%).  Her bee ensemble is also from Target and had been sitting in my closet since around Halloween.  I knew I'd need it at some least that's what I told myself as I threw it in the cart.

Week 50

Always the photographed, never the photographer... no more!  Following a dramatic coup d'etat, Adeline gained control of the camera.  And if you look a little closer.... is that mommy in the lens?

Same simple setup here.  Black sheet thrown over the back of the couch and facing the window.  I had a picture of her up on the preview screen of the camera to get her attention.  She always recognizes herself in photos, which is shocking because she is rarely photographed! :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Week 49

Punxsutawney Addy has seen her shadow!  Six more weeks of winter!  (Right?!  I never know which one means more winter.  I have to look it up every year!)  I will admit, this Monday Picture was a doozy.  Sunday morning I still had no clue what I was going to do.  I ended up spending nap time wandering around the craft store for ideas.  Luckily, Groundhog's Day was later in the week and was able to save my Monday Picturing life.  After 45 minutes of walking up and down aisles, this is what I came up with.  I have to wonder what the employees think of me as I roam aimlessly around the store for so long.   Good thing there are a few craft stores in the area so I can change it up, and not make some "weirdo" list they have in the security room!
This lovely patch of grass is a green trifold board that would typically be used for science experiments.  With that in mind, I created my own experiment but finding which tool would make the biggest mess while cutting out the hole.  Three tools later, I had a jagged hole that I found super irritating.  But time was a'wasting!    I propped up the board and scattered fake grass all over it.  Addy was intrigued by it, which helped get the shot.  I plopped a monkey headband on her head (not quite groundhog ear, but a better choice than elephant ears.  This was panic time, people!) and I sat her in the hole.  My lovely assistant stood behind her with a high powered flashlight to create her shadow.  Move over, Phil.  Here comes Addy.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 48

This little end-of-the-rainbow treasure is brought to you by the letter A for Adeline.  I can't think of what to say about this Monday Picture because I just keep staring at it.  My all-time favorite.  Without a doubt.  You'd never know she was feeling like one sassy little lassy and only allowed for a 2 minute shoot.  Ohh I can't get over how natural lighting makes her eyes sparkle.  Who needs gold when you have those baby blues?  I found the rainbow at a party store and the kettle belongs to a friend (Hi, Katie!  You're never getting it back!)  I'm currently searching for another one so if YOU know where I can find it, do tell!  Her headband is a stretchy sequin strip taken right from a roll and tied around her head.  She has been wearing headbands for 48 weeks now, so she doesn't even blink.  The blue shower curtain and attached rainbow are hanging off the back of my couch, facing the window (something new and different).

Week 47

If you have ever spoken to me, you would know how this Monday Picture epitomizes the sleeping habits of my daughter.  My little night owl.  Actually, I could have also dressed her up as a little partying sorority girl because of the hours she keeps, but that seemed far less appropriate.  I shot this photo at night (there are 24 usable hours in a day- especially here) and used a flash.  Her nest is made from two undecorated wreaths from the craft store and her hat is from Target.  Animal hats were huge this winter but I had a hard time finding a cute owl that fit her!  To keep the wreath from poking my little owl, I lined it with towels.  It never touched her skin.  She is sitting on a coffee table, being spotted by my lovely assistant, and I am lying on the floor in front of her.  Looking down at me with her "Show Me Serious" look created the supermodel pout.  Watch out, Tyra.  There's someone here whoooooo wants your job.

Week 46

Who wants the last cupcake?  This little goodie is extra sweet.  Addy proved her professionalism this week when she struck her own pose on the cake stand!  I had not expected this at all!  The first few shots she sat on the stand, looking cute, but also resembling a  person watching a basketball game at the arena... legs apart, hands on her knees, leaning forward with a focused stare.  She must have suddenly channeled a baked good and curled right up into this pose.  Perfection.  The background is a brown blanket thrown over the back of my couch, facing a window.   This hat was made by a friend, the owner of Bare Hearts Creations.  Check her out :) Bare Hearts Creations

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Week 45

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  Though 2011 had been the best year of my life so far, I knew 2012 would be even better.  Addy would certainly be the biggest reason for a splendid time, so how else could I display her importance in the new year?!  I bought gigantic numbers and she stood between them.  They were $200 each.  Just kidding, although I'm sure if you've added up all the crazy props I'd purchased thus far, you probably believed me for a second!  The numbers are actually die-cut numbers and are about 3 inches tall.  I dressed her like a little jewel thief and added the Happy New Year headband from the Christmas Tree Shop.  I took a picture of the numbers, then of Addy, and put them together for the final product.

Did I mention I ditched the paper numbers?  I started adding the numbers with Photoshop. Wayyy easier.  And no little chipmunks chewing on them.

Week 44

Sooooo wait... we leave cookies and he leaves presents?  Yeah I have to see this one.

He IS real!!

Week 42 fell on the Monday right after Christmas, so I was able to post a picture of her discovery under the pretense of a Monday Picture.  Santa. Is. Real.   True discovery learning caught here, people.  No description necessary.

Week 43

There's a sweet little Christmas Pixie frolicking in my poinsettias!  And, had you seen her, you'd know she frolicked for about 30 seconds and took off.  I love this toothless little mouth that allows her gums to mash together and create a straight-lined grin.  She's wearing a tutu and headband set that I found at Marshall's, then saw at a local baby store chain for double the price.   Gotta love a bargain!  (This one's for you, Christie, Queen of the Bargains!) I smushed my poinsettias together and left a spot for the Pixie.   She sat it in the clearing for an instant then POOF! With a burst of sparkles, she was gone (crawling under the dining room table).

Week 42

"I'm an Addy-in-the-Box!"  While technically she's a misfit, I'd take 65 more of these toys!  If they promise to sleep at night.  Anyway, Christmas season is not complete without Rudolph and the Misfit Toys.  I searched for these toys and paid far too much for them on Amazon.  And it would figure that 1 week after I took this, I found another misfit toy doll in the grocery store for half the price.  Imagine my temper tantrum in the clearance holiday aisle.  A role model I was not.  She's sitting in a diaper box wrapped in paper and wearing the same elfin collar from Week 40.  See, I reuse props!  The backdrop is a shower curtain and the mountains were cut from the top of a white cardboard box.  The snowy ground is the underside of a very cozy blanket perfect for watching Lifetime movies on rainy days.  Not that I'd done that in 42 weeks.

Week 41

Nutcrackers can be intimidating little Christmas figures, especially the tall ones.  Have you found the sweetest Nutcracker ever?  When I posted this picture originally, many people didn't even know she was in there!  Addy had some confused fans.  I was so determined to take this picture that it took several tries.  The background is the same red curtain from the apple bushel.  She is wearing a military pea coat from Old Navy (she already had this, I didn't buy it just for this photo... surprisingly!), a pair of leggings, my belt, and my socks pulled up to look like boots.  I made her hat from a top hat I had and stuck stickers on it to mimic the other Nutcrackers' hats.  PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN.  You know, the man you can't see because I blocked his arms.  Addy couldn't stand up on her own and my lovely assistant is behind the fancy backdrop holding her up.  His arms are blocked by the taller nutcrackers and I used a little Photoshop cloning to hide any other visible part.  The red cheeks are also done with Photoshop because she isn't allowed to wear makeup yet.  I told her to give me the Nutcracker look and she played the part perfectly.  Isn't she a genius?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Week 40

You better not cry, you better not pout (but you can giggle because this is beyond cute).  Christmas season is here and this little elf is watching you!  I wanted The Elf on the Shelf to be a family tradition since I heard about it a few years ago, and YAY look at the one that came in my set!  She's so lifelike!  :)  My elf is wearing red feety pjs with a makeshift elfin collar and a hat from the Target dollar bin.  I moved the shelf away from the wall so my lovely assistant could fit behind it.  He's holding her up there VERY securely and I edited out his arms and hands.  I used a flash that created a shadow, so that helped hide his arms.   I am even more sure of her safety in this way... the kid wakes me up so often during the night that I KNOW she isn't traveling solo to the North Pole every night to report to Santa!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week 39

HA!  This chubby little entree makes me laugh every time!  Special thanks to Target for coming through on the fabulous hat and holiday sign!  Dollar Bins strike again!  Addy is sitting on our dining room table flanked by several large potatoes and our wedding china (I think this is the most usage its ever had).  I had originally placed the sign in front of her but being the ham (ahem.. turkey) that we adore, she picked it up and started waving it around.  I think she was auditioning for the Grand Marshall position of the Macy's Parade.  I can't understand how she didn't get it.
I forgot to mention a few pictures back that I had started doing the numbers differently.  They had become so big and annoying (and Addy had taken a bite out of a few of them) that I had to find a way around them.  I started taking a picture of just the number and (poorly) pasting it into the portrait.  See it here magically floating in the corner... with the chunks missing? :)

Week 38

My cornucopia of cuteness!  It was the beginning of November and time to roll in the Thanksgiving theme.  Frankly, I think this is one of my least favorite Monday Pictures.  I love the idea and the chubby cheeks, but the coloring is way off.  I would love to go back and do it again, but I deleted my original (don't do that!!).  I took this on a Monday afternoon as close to the window as possible.  The lighting wasn't great so I used my flash, which is the root of all the problems here!  Good thing the main subject remains precious!  I set everything up and slipped her in.  She was so sound asleep she probably could have spent her entire nap here.  Who knew a cornucopia was so cozy?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Week 37

Anyone who knows me knows how I treasure my wedding dress.  They also know it isn't unusual to stop by my house and find me wearing it while watching tv.  For Week 37, I put my two treasures together to make one of my favorite pictures.  Because my dress has a gigantic train and a full skirt that swishes and sparkles and stands out as the most glorious dress...ahhh I digress. I didn't need a backdrop because my dress is so big and I chose an angle that didn't allow for a background.  I spread the dress out first (and talked to her, promising that someday soon these baby-bearing hips would once again fit in there and we could go back to vacuuming and watching tv together) then sat Addy right in the middle.  Maybe she'll wear this dress again someday when she meets her own Prince Charming!  Hopefully he's patient because she isn't allowed to date until she's 30.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Week 36

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Little Monsters... Baby Gaga.  We're big Lady Gaga fans around here and Addy really wanted to show her some love by sporting her own version of the Bubble Dress.  I searched through the Gaga outfits to find one that I would be able to recreate and the Meat Dress was a close second.  I made the Bubble Dress with acrylic Christmas ornaments and a white t-shirt.  I sewed (and I use that phrase loosely) the ornaments on with a few quick stitches around each loop.  Lady Gaga wore fishnets with this dress but would you believe they don't come in size 6 months?  Geez.  If you look closely, you can see our backyard reflected in her sunglasses, so you know she was sitting on the black shower curtain by the window.  I found her sunglasses at Babies R Us and this was one of the three seconds that she kept them on.  She didn't want them on her P-P-P-Poker Face. 

How Do I Come Up With These?

I honestly don't know.  So many people have asked me this and I really don't have have an answer for them.  When the pictures moved past a simple portrait, I started keeping a list of idea.  Whenever I thought of something I made sure I wrote it down.  On Mondays (and eventually Sundays) I would go through the list and choose the one that was possible that day.  I love craft stores and I'm lucky to have several close by.  I could spend hours wondering through them!  Whenever I go, I cruise the aisles looking for possible props.  I've come up with many pictures that way (i.e. I saw rubber ducks and came up with Week 30).  All the props that I've said came from a party store were all purchased on the same day.  I was picking up paper plates for a little soiree and found all these goodies!  I couldn't help myself so I bought them all and stored them for future photos.  I've also searched the Target dollar bins each time I've been there and have been super successful.  At this point (I'm currently on Week 50) I've used most of them!  My goal was to get to 52 and this method has carried me through!

Week 35

You gotta know when to hold 'em, know, when to fold 'em, know when to eat the card because it's more fun.  Addy decided to have a few friends over for a game of poker and Lamby really cleaned up.  My lovely assistant had a hard time seeing his poker cards get slobbered on but he decided it was for a good cause. :)  I bought the hat in a party store and my assistant happened to have a tie that matched well.  By now you can probably tell when I used natural lighting as her eyes practically glow.  The black shower curtain made a strong comeback this week, draped over the back of the couch.  I used Photoshop to make it a little cleaner behind the baby.  When you try this, make sure your stuffed animals sit up well on their own.  See that giraffe hanging its head on the left?  It's because he almost got tossed from the game for lousy posture that made me stop mid-shoot several times..

Week 34

This Cabbage Patch baby is certainly one of a kind, but there is not an Xavier Roberts autograph on her heinie.  I had started taking her picture on Sundays and posting them on Mondays because coming home from work and scrambling to get her photo done was too much.  This Monday Picture was taken on a strangely hot Sunday afternoon and the picture was posted the following day, which was no less than 40 degrees cooler.  I had to post a disclaimer so people knew I hadn't risked pneumonia for a picture.  Anyway, over the summer we had one of those pop-up pools which left a lovely dirt ring in the backyard.  I took that lemon and made lemonade!  In other words, I threw some cabbages out there, made a cabbage patch, and grew the sweetest cabbage patch baby ever!  Also, she didn't sprout that much hair over the previous 7 days.  Those pigtails are part of a headband made by Bebe Doos (  Isn't it adorable??  She has tons of headbands, but this one is my favorite!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 33

My wittle pumpkin!  In a pumpkin!  I cannot take credit for this idea as I saw it online.  I'm not sure who to give the credit to, but Addy is taking all the credit for pulling it off!  This was probably one of the fastest shot Monday Pictures.  She. Hated. It.  As soon as that smile turned upside down (probably about 45 seconds into the shoot), we pulled her out.  I cut the pumpkin just as you would a jack-o-lantern, by drawing my lines first.  I cut off the top, cleaned it out, and cut the leg holes.  The back is cut very low so she had room to wiggle and could make an easy exit.  Which we required.  I put a thin blanket down inside the pumpkin and you can see it peeking out of one leg hole.  She may have been young, but she knew she didn't want pumpkin sliming up her belly.

Week 32

Ahh sweet angel.  Sigh. I have nothing more to say about this one.

Except that I bought the wings at a party store and she brought her own birthday suit.  The background is a brown blanket with a lot of texture.  She is sitting on the sheet and it's bunched up under her (my attempt at a cloud).  I sat her down facing the blanket and waited for her to turn on her own.  I played with Photoshop to give her the ethereal glow that she deserved. :)

Week 31

Now that's a bushel of CuTe!  Those little toes peeking over the edge are almost too much!  The Saturday before this Monday picture was Addy's first trip to the apple orchard and, though she prefers her apples pureed, she sank her gums into several!  The weather was warm on this September afternoon and we ventured out onto the deck for her photo shoot.  The background is one curtain panel from my living room and the red cloth sticking up behind her is the blanket used to keep her from rubbing against the basket.  I bought this basket at Michael's where I have definitely earned frequent flyer miles.  Most of the basket is filled with towels  and there are only a few apples around the rim.  It was her idea to pick up the apple and, I must say, she made the shot a gazillion times more fabulous.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 30

This one is so quackin' cute, I can barely stand it.  No ugly ducklings around here!  I had these props for so long, I couldn't wait to use them!!!  I had to wait until she was sitting well on her own because I wanted her to be on the wood floor.  This was taken up in her room because the lighting was much better up there on this particular day.  The white sheet made it all the way to her room and draped itself over her crib (in a messy way.  aargh.).  I found the duck diaper cover on Amazon and these duckies were on clearance in a drug store.  I was using my DSLR for this camera and, while some photographers would share their settings, I was still kinda clueless so that type of information most likely won't help you anyway.  This info will help though- put the duckies down AFTER you sit the baby down!  She had no idea they were there!  Once she turned far enough around and caught a glimpse, it was all over.  Those duckies were toast.

Week 29

Meet Lucy, our furry first born.  She was the baby before Addy came along and she begrudgingly moved into the Big Sister role.  Note to the Addy fans from the past year: you are in for a surprise.  If you don't like surprises, look away.... Ready?   This picture is a total fake.  This is actually a composite of 2 pictures.  Those with a trained Photoshop eye probably already spotted it because it was my first attempt.  But I know many were fooled.  So YAY!  As much as I love my pup, she is a dog and animals are unpredictable.  Plus, Lucy had shown a bit of jealousy and I wasn't risking anything.  Sooo...  I took Lucy's picture first.  I had her sit on the sheet and bribed her with a treat to stay there.  Then I took Addy's picture in the same place.  My lovely assistant held a toy up in the left corner so Addy would look up that way.  Finally, using Photoshop, I put the 2 pictures together. Ta-Da!  Our two girls <3

Week 28

Mirror, mirror on the wall... I know who's the fairest so I won't even bother to ask! :)  Not long before this, Addy had discovered herself in the mirror and watching her watch herself left everyone in hysterics.    This was the most difficult setup thus far because I needed the background to be all black.  I created a U-shape with black sheets and the couch.  I hung one sheet from the wall and leaned the mirror up against it.  I pulled the sheet along the right side and spread it along the back of the couch, then hung another sheet on the baby swing behind her.  This created the U, and the opening was toward the window.  Hope I didn't confuse you with that description!  You can actually just do this in Photoshop but I didn't know anything about editing yet and had to go the difficult route. I set up my tripod and focused on a vase before she was in the shot so I would be ready for her immediate reaction.  I covered the mirror and sat her down in front of it.  My plan was to whip off the blanket and start snapping as soon as she saw herself, but the little monkey peeked behind the blanket.  I have a cute picture of that, too :).  I just pulled off the blanket and let her babble to the pretty girl in the mirror.  I ended up with several great shots!  If you try this one- which I totally recommend- make sure your mirror is secure.  As you can see,  her hands all over it.  You don't want the mirror to tip over onto your little one, no matter how light it is.

Week 27

Baby bum is always cute.  No matter what.  She had just started sitting up on her own so I wanted to showcase her new skill.  So not only did I have an adorable picture, I also had photo documentation of a milestone.  She was still wobbly, so I had a total of 3 blankets under her for padding and my lovely assistant (a.k.a. Addy's Daddy) was right outside the frame ready to catch her if she toppled over.  The background is the back of my couch, minus the sheet.  She was becoming more active so to keep her busy I have a toy sitting right in front of her.  That worked for about 10 seconds.  Glad I got one shot!  AND guess who got a new camera?  I finally got my hands on a DSLR for this Monday Picture.  Even at Week 49, I'm still learning how to use it.  

Week 26

I'm not a fan of seafood, but this crustacean is sooo appealing!  I searched high and low for a hat like this.  My search went on for months (I swear I'm only half the dork I appear to be).  Finally, my parents' friends found it while on vacation in Maine.  Oh yes, I recruit.  She's sitting in a pot that has seen decades of baby playtimes by the lake, as well as decades of family pasta dinners.  It's a multipurpose pot!  They are on the floor behind the couch and the white sheet is tucked under for a neater look.   I know one person was disturbed by this setup (Hi, Kristin!) but I honestly had no intention of making surf and turf for dinner.

Week 25

Peace, Love, and Addy.  It's all the world needs!  This setup is quite the smorgasbord.  The daisy headband is a strip I found at the fabric store,  glued together to fit her head.  I had actually made it for her to wear as a regular headband but I overestimated the size of her noggin...but it fit this way!  The glasses came from the party store, the onesie came from a street festival months before, and the flower is from the GROCERY STORE!  HAHA!  I seriously pick up anything that could be of future use.  Not good for the budget, but great for Mondays!  If it had been between a meal and a prop, I think you know what I would have done.  Baby Flower Child is sitting on the couch, turned toward the window.  The Mommy-Photographer is doing something ridiculous to elicit this smile.  But let's keep that a secret so I can keep some dignity.