If I could dub anyone as the original “Martha Stewart” or “Pinterester,” I would nominate my grandmother (my dad’s mom) and my mommy. Since I could remember (and even before that, through photos), I witnessed their craftiness and ideas come to life. My mom, bless her heart, can’t sew a thing because she was never taught how. Yet, she was the one who inspired my love for crafting and creating. When my sister Vanessa and I were little, our mom would walk to the local library and scrounge for all sorts of DIY inspired books and we would come home with a kid activity, craft, origami, and cook books. I love my mom for these wonderful hands-on memories because these books took us on adventures right in our very own living room.

Now, although my grandmother and I had a language barrier, it didn’t stop her from teaching nor did it keep me from learning. I began to take interest in sewing in junior high as I would very robotically gaze at the needle bob up and down while listing to the monotone hum of the motor as she pressed against the foot. I was astonished each time she so proudly held up a new outfit for me to approve of with my smile and broken-up spanish compliments. As the years passed, I learned to sew by observing and I tried my best to translate the name of each item she would hold up. These garments would later get shipped off to the local department stores. Funny thing is that when I started high school and took Spanish, the only challenging words I knew were those that were related to sewing. Ha! I may not know how to use a pattern or sew the proper way, but I get the job done. And I’m lucky enough that if I need any extra sewing support or a full-on outfit, my grandma is still here to help.

So how does Halloween fit into all of this? Well, as soon as I met my husband, which was a little over twelve years ago, I decided I needed to start making my own Halloween costumes. You see my grandmother made mine… and my sisters’ Halloween costumes (year-after-year) since we were born. I thought it was time to give her a break. LOL! No but really, it was! My mother was always the mastermind behind each costume of course, so she needed some time off too. I also wanted to continue both my grandmother’s and mom’s tradition of making Halloween costumes from scratch for my family. It hasn’t been easy but so worth it!

However, this year I ran into a road block….my son wanted to BE SPIDERMAN!!! Ahhh! My Halloween dream world almost crumbled and I nearly slapped myself silly until I realized there were several options for me to survive my craft itch and keep our tradition going. First, I was going to give in to his little boy dreams and mine by creating two sets of costumes. One for him and one costume for the family theme…still a secret. Secondly, I would STILL make the costumes by hand. Call me crazy, but there weren’t any options in my Joanne’s fabric side of the brain. I did both!!! I just couldn’t bear not to see my son in exactly the costume him and probably all his little school friends wanted to be. So, I created his costume the best way I knew how, with some store bought items, fabric, felt, and puffy paint. Oh and I couldn’t forget about Ms. Ellie-Dear. She was the Itsy Bitsy Spider (girl version). It was a perfect match. They wore these costume for our friends’ annual pumpkin carving party and they were a hit! As soon as my son jumped into his bright blue tights and pulled the red mask over his eyes, he was in heaven. Bad guys didn’t stand a chance! I couldn’t imagine not letting him choose, but at the same time I couldn’t imagine  not creating something that was made by me, with extra sweat and love. I’m not saying store bought costumes don’t come with love either, I’m just trying to keep the tradition my mommy created going on. Also, although I can buy my childrens’ costumes, I want them to know that a little fabric and creativity can go a long way. And you guys…it was the cutest thing when he would see me work on the costumes and he’d ask a million and one questions with the biggest cheese smile on his face. Then, when he finally put it on, he sang, “Spider Man, Spider Man! Spins the web. Spins the web…Here comes Spider Man” This has definitely got to be one of the best parts about being a mommy-their happiness. My heart is melting over here! Oh and I know it doesn’t look exactly like Spider Man, with the muscles and all, but I tried so please don’t be too hard on these hand-made costumes.

Although these aren’t their “real” Halloween costumes because we are wearing the family ones on Friday, don’t be surprised if half-way through trick-or-treating you see spider man pop out of a Disney character! Hey…they should make a Marvel-Disney Movie….you heard it hear first! Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!2014-10-29_00012014-10-29_00022014-10-30_00012014-10-29_00042014-10-29_00052014-10-29_00062014-10-29_00072014-10-29_00082014-10-29_00092014-10-29_0010

 

    

Sometimes I want to just squeeze my clients to pieces. I tend to become a little overwhelmed with happiness and get all mushy inside when I look at my inbox and see a request for another session from one of my previous clients. This my friends, I think, is the ultimate compliment. It’s when you know they like your work and maybe you (just a little bit). So here we are. I am photographing Arlene, Anthony and now one-year old baby Jacob. Time just keeps marching on and I love to watch my families grow. Take a looksies at Jacob’s adorable big bright blue eyes and his blondie hair. I remember he was such a tough guy during his newborn session and really tested my limits, but the aftermath was all worth it! And now, he’s an even more adorable toddler just full of smiles and the funniest faces you ever did see! Arlene and Anthony I’m so ready for you guys to have another one so I can keep photographing your beautiful family (oh did I type that hee he)!

Oh and also check out the latest first birthday item that Arlene ordered from Etsy. They are super cool chalkboard-like poster boards with all the neat things Jacob can do and what he likes. Also, I love balloons, thanks Arlene for being so cute and bringing them along.2014-10-21_00012014-10-21_00022014-10-21_00032014-10-21_00042014-10-21_00052014-10-21_00062014-10-21_00072014-10-21_00082014-10-21_00092014-10-21_00102014-10-21_00112014-10-21_00122014-10-21_00132014-10-21_00142014-10-21_00152014-10-21_00162014-10-21_00172014-10-21_00182014-10-21_00192014-10-21_00202014-10-21_00212014-10-21_00222014-10-21_00232014-10-21_00242014-10-21_00252014-10-21_00262014-10-21_00272014-10-21_00282014-10-21_00292014-10-21_00302014-10-21_00312014-10-21_00322014-10-21_00332014-10-21_00342014-10-21_00352014-10-21_00362014-10-21_0037

    

This Babe will be given lots and lots of love. Carmen and Allen are thrilled to create their very own party of five. Nathan and Jared are also ready to welcome a little brother into their lives. The warm hugs and tender kisses Nathan and Jared pressed against Carmen’s belly was a true indication of how ready they are to handle a new babe and introduce him as the newest addition of their family. Throughout the session, Allen was a sweet and affectionate as his two boys, which made every image seem effortless. And Carmen….gahhh! She was just as beautiful as could be with her long flowing white dress and natural charm. Congratulations to your whole family! Oh yeah, good luck on choosing the perfect name! That’s always the toughest part. 2014-10-19_00012014-10-19_00022014-10-19_00032014-10-19_00042014-10-19_00052014-10-19_00062014-10-19_00072014-10-19_00082014-10-19_00092014-10-19_00102014-10-19_00112014-10-19_00122014-10-19_00132014-10-19_00142014-10-19_00152014-10-19_00162014-10-19_00172014-10-19_00182014-10-19_00192014-10-19_00202014-10-19_00212014-10-19_00222014-10-19_00232014-10-19_00242014-10-19_00252014-10-19_00262014-10-19_00272014-10-19_00282014-10-19_00292014-10-19_00302014-10-19_00312014-10-19_00322014-10-19_00332014-10-19_00342014-10-19_00352014-10-19_00362014-10-19_00372014-10-19_00382014-10-19_0039