Tuesday, March 30, 2010

black and white Wednesday

'See things from the boys point of view.' ~ Robert Baden - Powell

(Will told me he was drawing a picture of a race track)

Last Friday I spent the afternoon with my favorite 4 year old in the whole world, my son Will. He doesn't have preschool on Fridays, so I let him pick something that he'd like to do. Just him and me. This time it was going to one of his favorite parks. I took many snapshots...and yes, I do take snapshots. :) In fact I take pictures of my kids almost every day.

Will is ALL boy and it's not hard to see that I think. And being a busy 4 year old, he loves water of any kind and throwing rocks, and the bigger the splash in the water the better. If you look closely you can see he got a couple of leaves in with this rock. He's got a pretty good arm on him...you never know, maybe he'll play baseball someday.

After many trips down the slide, drawing pictures in the sand, swinging, playing on the see-saw and all that rock throwing, he took a little rest. And he smiled sweetly for me. In the last few months I've seen him change from a toddler to a little boy. My funny, smart and loving son ...William is always a bit of sunshine in my day.

(He loves his blue rain boots and wears them pretty much every single day.)

You know I loved these images very much in color, and I wasn't too sure how they'd turn out in black and white and now I'm thinking I like them this way also. :)
Please hop over to Lisa's blog for more black and whites and Happy Wednesday!

the long road

Sunday, March 28, 2010

~ a mother's art photography ~

A little over a year ago I received a DSLR camera for Christmas from my husband. I got it because I wanted to take better pictures of my children, little did I know at that time that I'd fall madly in love with photography.

As a child and teenager I loved art, and was frequently painting, drawing, sewing or creating. I remember getting frustrated because I sewed many of my own clothes and I couldn't find fabric that I liked. I'd design fabric in my head. I come from a very creative family. But instead of majoring in art in college, I became a nurse because I also loved science and I wanted to help people. I specialized in peds and NICU(neonatal ICU) nursing and did so because I loved caring for children and their families. As a nurse I made a difference and though I don't work as a nurse now, I'll always be one.

I became a full time mommy to Grace when we adopted her in 2003...I never thought I'd be a mother again with all my infertility issues. It was a life long dream come true for me to be a mother to a daughter. It is Grace and Will that inspire me to take pictures...all kinds of pictures.
And it is my love of children and art that led me to photography.
And now I can share my love of photography with others. The greatest compliment I've been given is that when I take pictures, I 'shoot from the heart.'
A Mother's Art Photography

Please check out my web site


You can read a little more about me and see my work. If you live in southern Wisconsin or will be traveling in the area and would like your pictures taken, send me an email.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday's Finds ~ let's party!

Well I haven't done a Friday's Finds in a while and thought it was about time.

My theme for this one is birthday parties, and I'll share a few of my favorite finds. BTW the above pic is not my own but I sure love those festive lanterns. I didn't think I could find them anywhere, but you can find them here. Thank you Karen for the tip. :)

I also found these adorable cupcake plates by Tag. You can find them here. I'm thinking they wouldn't have to be just for birthday parties, you could use them anytime you wanted to use something fun and whimsical. I love anything with polka dots, that's probably why they appeal to me so much.

Then to match those plates, you must have these...the cupcake candle holders, found here too. They are the Tag party mini cupcake candle holders. Adorable with a capital A if I may say so...and we have them so can attest to that. See below pic of Grace and Will blowing out the candles on her bday cake last Summer.

Now to go along nicely with these new party pretties, you must check out one of my very favorite blogs....Bakerella....to bake something yummy for the party!

Have a great Friday and weekend! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

black and white Wednesday ~ Spring

To see more black and whites, click here.

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds
of weather inside of four and twenty hours. ~Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

black and white Wednesday ~ finding my own style

For this black and white Wednesday I went back
about 11 months ago for these 3.
I shot many images that day and these were a few of my favorites.
They were taken in the botanical gardens in the city near us,
it was mid April and Grace and I went out on an overcast, drizzly day. Originally I processed them in color. As I look at these now with a different eye, I can see the mood lent extremely well to contrasty black and whites.

By the way my daughter Grace was also in a bit of a 'mood' that day as you can see by her expression. I actually kind of like the look on her face.

I have only been shooting with a DSLR for a little over a year and
and I'm still finding my way as far as my own style...what is essentially 'me' and my signature. I believe style is determined by time and what I focus on in my pictures. I obviously love children and people, but I also love still life, nature and architecture. But probably my favorite part of photography is composing a shot and being able to express myself artistically. And you know... I've just realized that as I write this post, I think I've described my own personal style. I think it evolves just like we all do...growing and changing constantly.

(I used Jessica's Lightroom preset called Caramel Creme to convert these to black and white. You can find Jessica here at One Willow Studios. Her presets are amazing and I use them frequently.)

Please go over to Lisa's blog, The Long Road to China to see many more black and whites.

And Happy Wednesday and St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

{silly billy}

'The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.' ~ e.e. cummings

(Will was using his big brother's old high school hockey mask for a 'Batman mask,' he's a pretty creative little guy.)

On Friday mr. Will and I went out for the afternoon to play...finally all of the snow is gone (for good we hope.) He was in the silliest, happiest mood I've seen in a very LONG time....he'd even fall off his 'batman motorcycle' and laugh and laugh. Everything was funny to him.

(Is he not stinkin' cute or what?)

I'm thinking it's a little early Spring fever. And it is definitely contagious!

Happy Monday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

a little reminder

If anyone would like to order from my Matilda Jane online show(it closes Monday afternoon), shoot me an email. It's the cutest collection they have ever done in my opinion!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Matilda Jane Clothing ~ Spring 2010

If you aren't familiar with Matilda Jane clothing, you have most likely seen it on Grace many times in the pictures I've posted for about the past year. I'd describe the line as 'funky, fun, eclectic, and feminine.' I love the mix of pattern and color and the designer always adds something a bit unexpected with details like buttons or trim. Grace adores all of her MJ things and wears them frequently to school and to play in.
The line offers sizes 12 months - 12 years and also offers a selection for women. MJ can only be ordered through a trunk keeper, not online or through a catalog.

I am hosting a Matilda Jane online catalog show that starts today and will close promptly on Monday, March 15 at 5:00 PM CST(6:00 PM EST).

The above pictures are of Grace in a few pieces from the newest line, the Spring 2010 Hammond Bay Collection.
If you are interested, please check out the web site here. Go to 'the goods' and then click on 'Hammond Bay Collection.' New pieces will be added on Thursday so keep checking back for them if they aren't there yet. I want to add that I find the clothing to be sized generously, constructed very well and should fit your child for a good 2 plus years. Grace is 7 years old and can fit in a size 6 or 8 now. I'm buying the 8 for her for the length as I want her to wear these new clothes for a while. Anyway, I'm a nut about Matilda Jane! It's more than adorable.

If you'd like to place an order email me at
Gailby123 @aol.com and we can talk. I can also refer you to my trunk keeper if you have questions.

I'll be doing another little reminder post on Sunday or Monday about my show.

You can also click here to see the entire Spring 2010 line.
***I did find out that Matilda Jane does direct ship to Canada, so if any of my Canadian friends would like to place an order, let me know! Thank you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

black and white Wednesday ~ are we there yet?

the long road
"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."
~Charles Dickens

Last weekend, Grace and I went for a little walk in our neighborhood. The snow is finally starting to melt. It wasn't quite a heat wave, but it felt awfully good after this long Winter and seemingly endless snow and cold.

There is something so wonderful about being outside in the sunlight in late Winter/early Spring. Shooting in direct sun is usually not my favorite but I didn't mind this time.

11 more days until the official first day of Spring!

(By the way, Grace's adorable outfit is from the Matilda Jane new Spring Hammond Bay collection, I'm hosting an online trunk show that starts tomorrow. Look for my post about it for more info.)

And of course no walk with a child with melting snow nearby, could happen without playing in the water...a must!
Happy Wednesday!
And to see more black and white images, go to The Long Road to China.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


'If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk in my garden forever.'

~Claudia Ghandi

(Textures by my friend Colleen at Chasing Dreams Photography)

Grief is one of those things that can sneak up on you and comes and goes like waves in the ocean I think. I've tried to suppress it with household tasks, taking care of children and the day to day things we all do but it is still there. I know it's inevitable and in someways I welcome it. This week has been a difficult one for Dan and I with his mother's passing a little over a week ago. Being well familiar with the grief process from my nursing career, and my own personal losses with divorce and infertility, it's different when the loss is a parent or in my case my mother in law. I have no regrets about our relationship, just sad. Sad for
many reasons. I do get great comfort she is not in pain anymore.

I'll be back to blogging in about a week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

black and white Wednesday

the long road
Hey, it's already Black and White Wednesday again. Please hop over to Lisa's blog, The Long Road to China to see what she's posted and more wonderful photos.

This is a little series I shot this week, I was attempting to get some of the 2 of them together.

'Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet.' ~ Vietnamese Proverb

He eagerly waits for 'Jie Jie' to get off the afternoon school bus every single week day. Oh...he still calls her Jie Jie, rarely her name which is Grace. And miss Grace being the big sister that she is, is sometimes a 'little mommy' to him, and directs him as far as what she thinks he should be doing. She makes up many of the games they play together. Some popular ones right now are, 'school'-she's the teacher and he's the student (obviously). 'Family' -Will is the Daddy and Grace is the cat or dog, and they also have many tea parties together. He plays dolls and dress up with her and she plays Super heroes with him. They both have incredible imaginations, (just like their mommy did when she was little). As much as she is all girl, he is all boy and they complement each other perfectly with their personalities.

They know how to push each other's buttons but are quick to say they're sorry and forgive each other when they argue. They hug and kiss good night...every night and never miss it. Their relationship is very sweet and I love to hear them laugh together, it's definitely my most favorite sound in the world.

I recently read a quote that basically stated, 'Sibling relationships outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, and resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship. They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust.'

I am forever grateful that they have each other.

Monday, March 1, 2010


No Winter lasts forever; no Spring skips it's turn. ~

Yesterday we were outside because we had cabin fever awfully bad. We still have about 18 inches of frozen solid snow on most of the yard. I took a little walk around the side of our house and look what I found! My little green garden sign is finally showing itself after being buried for so long, and signs that the snow is melting. The first pussy willows are finally opening. Spring will be arriving soon!
© Aging with Grace and strong Will
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