I brought home a wedding center piece about 3 weeks ago and I've been creating new arrangements out of it as flowers wilt. This is the last one! These lilies have lasted for such a long time. I have cut them down and I do change out the water and clean the vase. This simple arrangement is pretty and inexpensive! Hopefully this inspires you to keep your wedding flowers going as long as you can!
Fish bowl vase, Hobby Lobby $5.99
Center tall vase, Dollar Tree $1.00
Lilies, $7.99 (at the florist nearby - I checked) ;)
Champagne corks, FREE (I've been collecting for awhile) Sometimes my hoard of oddities goes into something good!
My favorite season is fall, for lots of reasons! But the main reason is my favorite holiday, Halloween. The one night of the year I can really dress up and be something else. What's not to love about that? Haunted houses are romantic... and decorating the house can be fun and amusing. Here's what I'm putting together for this year's Halloween decor, PUNKins!
Here's what you need to start making your very own Punkins.
1) Gourds or small pumpkins
2) Studs of your liking that have the pointed tabs to secure them to your punkin
3) ribbon or string
I bought my gourds a the farmers market and picked up the pictured string/ribbon in the clearance section of Michaels. The studs I bought a long time ago from Aliexpress.com which is like a wholesale eBay type site where you can purchase items in bulk at cost. Everything comes direct from China however so you will wait 6-8 weeks for delivery. Worth it if you have the time I think I only paid $2.00 with shipping for 1,000 studs.
4) Imagination and a design that is simple to follow.
Once you've mapped out your design go ahead and start assembling your Punkin. It should be easy to push the studs into the gourde to secure ribbon or just to embellish the gourde. I'd love to see your creations!
Easy Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting...
I just thought I would share one of my favorite recipes for fall baking. Super easy and delicious! The frosting in the center is sinful and will be a crowd pleaser for sure!
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
What you need:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter NOT natural
8oz softened cream cheese (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tbs of heavy whipping cream
Use an electric mixer to blend together peanut butter and cream cheese
Add vanilla, and 1 cup of powdered sugar, mix together
Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, blend add 3 tbs of cream
Add final cup of powdered sugar and blend until you have a smooth spreadable frosting
COOL! I know you're tempted but throw that frosting in the fridge for awhile and allow for it to firm up a bit before you spread it.
If you end up making this let me know how it turned out! I'd love to hear of any variations or changes you make to the recipe. Enjoy!
Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis
The photo below is of one of the areas of the park with benches to sit or photograph. The "fountain" is a really fun backdrop with either trees or skyline to choose depending on the direction you're shooting. I like to hit up this spot as the sun is setting for maximum impact.
Jim's Apple Orchard, Jordan
Besides offering you orchards to pick your favorite variety of Apple, Jim's also boasts the World's largest soda selection inside of Minnesota's largest candy store. So, if apples don't fully appease your sweet tooth... Jim's offers you candy, pie, soda and more. The grounds are really fun to shoot in and the kids will surely be motivated to cooperate with a promised trip inside the shop once you're done with your photo session!
Irvine Park, St. Paul
Irvine Park was the space that I hung out in during High School and still seems to be a choice spot for just taking a break. There are inspirational places throughout the park for photographing or enjoying the afternoon. The leaves are just starting to change color and the light is really beautiful here this time of year between 4:30 and 6pm. When you're done have a treat at Mickey's Dining Car just a few blocks away. Gotta love Saint Paul!
Fashion On The Cheap
Select an image above for clothing info and costs
Thrifting is fun. I much prefer it to shopping because you NEVER know what you're going to find. There can be great vintage pieces or bizarre off the rack clothing and sometimes one of a kind items that will really set off an image or emotion you're looking to convey in your final composition. The key however to successful thrifting is time, and objectivity. You need to really go often and be diligent, don't pick up an item with the intent to "fix or repair" it. I've left so many great things behind because I knew that I am not a seamstress and the idea of repairing that zipper in that dress was going to never actually happen. Unless you're savvy at that sort of thing, move on to the next item that catches your eye and is in great condition. There are a few exceptions to the rule if the deal is too great to pass on, as was the case with the mink coat I purchased last year. Covered in spray paint at the bottom I cleaned the coat with brush cleaner meant to remove paint from natural hair. It was time consuming but the effort was well worth it. I now own a beautiful vintage black mink coat that's unique and for only $35.
You really need to be a scavenger at heart and have the time to dig for wonderful stylish things, but that's the best part - digging for treasure. My current thrifting schedule is Tuesday and Thursday. I spend about 3 hours a week looking for beautiful (mostly vintage) items that I can photograph on models for clients and personal work. This time of year is the best for Vintage shopping as some of the charity and thrift shops tuck away vintage items and wait to put them out for sale until the Halloween season. This usually means a mark up for items, however the pricing should still be very reasonable. Smaller sizes will be more abundant so keep in mind what size your model is when purchasing.
Professional cleaning is a must for some items as well. If you've not taken anything in to be professionally cleaned I recommend calling and checking pricing. Some items can be very expensive to send out to be cleaned while you may be able to clean them at home for a fraction of the cost. Here are some quick tips for cleaning items at home:
Vintage whites and lace can be cleaned in luke warm water and Ivory Dish soap. Soak the item overnight if serious yellowing has occurred. Use a small amount of the soap, while applying directly to heavily soiled areas. Rinse and line dry, repeat as necessary.
Vintage colors should be washed in cold water and Woolite. The same for silks. Line dry and steam for wrinkle removal. Never put vintage in the dryer! If you don't have a yard to line dry, use the curtain rod over your tub.
Stains can be removed out of delicates with Fels Naptha (read the warning label and wear gloves) and baking soda. Both items are found in the laundry section of your grocery store.
Thrifting can be fun and inspiring. Bring a friend and wear comfortable shoes. Remember, the best part about Thrifting for photo shoots is you're helping out the community you live in. Don't forget to donate and receive coupons for your favorite shops. Happy hunting!
Saint Paul based photographer offering Headshot and creative portraiture focusing on Commercial needs.