This fall, Brittni Rhodes from Gigglethis Studios asked if I would be able to take some pictures of her Holidaycation 2016 at the Craft Weekend House... Of course I said YES! I had always wanted to go to see the Craft Weekend house and this was my chance! To read more about Craft Weekend, click here. It is a house that Meg Duerksen used to live in with her family and now rents it out to others and also hosts Craft Weekends at herself with guest teachers.
Brittni rented the house out for her Holidaycation 2016 which I have to say turned out AWESOME! She is a former teacher who now stays at home with her adorable kiddos and hosts craft classes, sewing classes and hosts birthday parties like the one I blogged about here for Kaia's birthday a few years back! She is great with kids and has so much fun with with everyone she meets. I actually met her when I went to one of her craft classes at her old studio... She recently moved into a new studio which I can't wait to see!
The crafters got to spend the night in these ginormous bedrooms upstairs although I am pretty sure they stayed up most of the night crafting... :) You had to go up these lovely rainbow stairs to get to the bedrooms... I so want to paint my stairs like this now! ;)
I loved all of the bedrooms, but my favorite was the one with the gorgeous yellow fireplace!
These two bedrooms had sliding doors between them that opened and made it into one big room. So awesome!
The turquoise bed in this picture used to be an ugly brown but I painted it turquoise but didn't have space for it and so I sold it to Meg a few years back. Doesn't it look lovely next to her big sunflower canvas? It's fun to see it pop up on her blog and instagram from time to time. :)
This is another view of the room with the fireplace. I love all how light and airy it feels!
I think the master bathroom was as big as some of the bedrooms and my favorite color for a bathroom... WHITE... and a chandelier, yes please! There are two or three bathrooms upstairs and one downstairs... So many bathrooms!
I took all of the pictures of the upstairs the day before and took some product pictures of the surprise gifts the crafters recieved from the sponsors. What fun gifts! Each one was wrapped and each crafter picked a gift at random to take home.
The next day the girls got to work on a few more projects! The pegboard below was such a great idea and could serve so many different functions! I love the way it is used as a wrapping station here.
The other one was some framed paintings. The ones below were inspiration examples. Aren't they cute?!
Brittni helped them through some of the steps and guided them with the process of making the frames.
The Organic Bloom donated these adorable little frames to use on their projects! You should look her up on instagram and like her facebook page! Love her frames!
The ladies got to work on painting and it was fun to watch everybody... Everyone's projects were all different!
There was so much room to spread out on the tables even with so many people.
They even got to use nail guns!
While everyone was hard at work, Kaitlen was in charge of all of the food prep, and it was all so delicious!
I'm sure Brittni is super grateful to these two ladies for helping her all weekend! While Kaitlen prepared and served all of the food, while Greta helped with the crafts~
As is tradition at the craft house I think, the ladies all took a group picture. This one they featured their beautiful frame art! Love it! I had so much fun hanging out with this group of gals and I am sure they had an awesome getaway weekend and left home feeling refreshed and inspired to do more crafting! Thanks so much Brittni for letting me be a part of your fun weekend!
This weekend my husband and I got to go on a little getaway without the kids to see one of our favorite bands... He suggested the next day we go shopping at ikea and the outlet mall there to do some Christmas shopping... I had been eyeing this ikea tree for a while, and even though we prefer real trees over fake ones, we decided to give it a try.
When I got it home however, it just didn't seem to fit in with our white walls and bright colored decor... so I had an idea... Who said it had to be green? I had spray painted things before so I was pretty sure it was worth a try... I got I think, 4 cans of this paint... Ocean Mist by Rust-oleum. I could have picked a different color, but as most people know, I have a weakness for turquoise! I do like to mix it with other colors though, so the decorations will be different colors. I bought a can of pink and plan to do a smaller pink tree sometime. Really, you could do any color.
I also did this white tree that I had, which works much better than the green! It was dingy and yellowing, so I wasn't sad to freshen it up a bit. It turned out really cute! I think a bright pink or metallic gold, or coral or yellow could be fun too. The possibilities are endless! You could also do a wreath or garland too, it would work just the same.
This is what it looks like at night, all lit up. I took this picture with my phone so it doesn't do it justice. I painted the light strand to match the tree too.
I left it standing and put an old plastic table cloth underneath and went at it... The dark color made it take a few coats, and I had to go around and move the branches and make sure I got the underneath coated well too. I came back after it dried and brought it inside, and discovered a few spots that could use some touch up, but they ran out of that color of paint at the store and nobody else in town carried it!
It looks mostly done now, I forgot to take a picture of it before I took it inside, but I plan on re-touching it this weekend, when hopefully my sister brings some more paint for me from the store in her town. I think it turned out pretty well, but I do miss the smell of a fresh tree in the house... We may still make a trip to the tree farm and let the kids pick a small one that we can cut down ourselves and put in another room. It is still a fun tradition for us. I will let the kids decorate that tree, but this one is for me to decorate, and I can't wait! I will post another picture when it is decorated, hopefully later this week! I don't think I will ever decorate with red or green again! It just doesn't match our house... But these trees fit right in!
Last spring, I went to Minnesota with my Mom, my sister and Nora to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday!
It was fun to see her having so much fun at her party. The cards and flowers and friends and family meant the world to her!
For a few years now she has been in a nursing home after having several falls, and a heart attack episode. She was sad at first to move out because she just moved into an independent living facility. My Grandma is a very independent person and I see it is a struggle to let other people take care of her all of the time and not have a house to call her own anymore, but it is for the best and I think she realizes that and now actually enjoys the social aspect of being there. She was always a social butterfly and now she could go right out of her room and there were people to talk to all of the time! They have fun social events too, like prom (last year she took my sister and this year she took my Mom.) Halloween they hand out candy to the trick or treating kids and every Friday they have happy hour where they can enjoy a cold beverage (first time I ever had a wine cooler with my Grandma!) and snacks are available for their guests that come to see them. Both of my Aunt's that live nearby often come by to play cards with her and sometimes my cousin comes by with her little baby boy.
I am grateful she has family nearby to keep her company and visit often, although I wish she lived closer so I could see her more often. Nora talks about and asks about Great Grandma all of the time! She knows her the best because she is often the one I take with me on my trips there. It is a long trip for the other kids and they don't always want to come and to be honest, it's just more peaceful with one kid... :)
She was delighted to see her neighbor from when she was a young Mom with 5 young kids living at "Pedersen's Corner." (A gas station she and my late Grandpa ran and lived on the same lot that was later torn down and had a road built through it.)
I was glad we took the picture of her and her living siblings, (except for one that couldn't make the trip) especially because her brother Virgil, pictured to her left passed away recently.
We also got her up out of her wheelchair for this picture with her daughters... (She also had a son named Jimmy who died in a house fire about 10 years or more ago.)
This picture to me will be the most special though. It is the last time I saw her that she was able to see me back. About a month ago, her eyes started to deteriorate badly and now she can hardly see the person next to her. She gets shots that are supposed to help slow down the process but they most likely won't get better.
Yesterday morning she had surgery after falling out of bed and hurting her hip. It was a risky surgery, but she chose to do it so she wouldn't be in pain the rest of her life. Soon after her surgery she had several seizure episodes and the last one stopped breathing and responding and the seizure lasted over 4 minutes. When she came around, she didn't recognize her own daughters. They gave her medicine to stop the seizures and she is doing better but not out of the boat yet. If you are the praying type, please say a prayer for my Grandma.
I am so glad I made the trip, even if it was a long drive to get there and hope I get to make another one to see her soon. I love this lady and am so glad I got to share this special day with her!
Every Halloween is very busy for us, especially since most of the kids are all in school now...
We usually go trick or treating in Wichita, after I rush home from work, get the kids ready, and rush them up to my husband's workplace where they have their annual office trick or treating where you go from desk to desk and get candy from all of the people that work in the company. It is a fun tradition and something I look forward to every year. Sadly, I don't have many pictures from past Halloweens because we get so busy I didn't take the time to do it. I do have some from my phone, but I would have to search a while to find them all.
The picture above is from last year... Click here to see more of those pictures and the story of my adventure this last year to begin my health journey.
Last year Halloween happened to fall on a weekend... SO I finally took the time to take some good pictures of the kids in their costumes, which will now be a yearly tradition! Although, I sadly fear Ethan will think he is too grown up to wear a costume soon now that he started middle school this year, which makes these last few photo shoots even more special to me.
This year everyone decided to go trick or treating in our home town... so I decided to surprise my parents and take the kids to see them first. They haven't been able to see the kids in their costumes since Ethan started going to school in Kindergarten because there just wasn't enough time in the day. I saw these beautiful trees in my parent's front yard the day before and knew it would be the perfect place to take a few quick pics of the kids. I don't have many of Ethan because he was too interested in riding his new rip stik he got for his birthday and wasn't interested in taking pictures but knew it was important to me so he cooperated for a few. Then he was off!
Kaia is always willing to pose for a few good pictures, that is why I always have more of her... I found the 2 scarves and the belt last year for $1 a piece on clearance in January and thought it would make the perfect Rae costume from the new Star Wars movie! I had bought some short sweatpants and cloth to wrap around her arms, and originally she had a short sleeve shirt, but since I was sick earlier in the week, and they already had a different costume thing to go to, I didn't get the laundry done in time... Oh well. I still think it turned out pretty good! (I am not the most creative when it comes to home made costumes)
Nora decided she wanted to be Kilo Ren this year and would hear of being nothing else! She is obsessed with the character, which is a little strange, but totally her. It matched the theme so we went with it. I was excited when I found her mask for $3 in the Target dollar section! She then used a ninja costume one of the other kids had used from a different year to finish it off. Cheap costumes are a bonus when you have four kids!
My original idea for Kien because I didn't want to spend $30 or more on a costume for a Finn costume was to use his Clone Trooper costume from last year and paint blood on the mask like the scene in the movie but he was quick to point out the day before Halloween that it wasn't a FIRST ORDER mask like the one in the movie... apparently there are different types of Clone Trooper masks? Who knew? So I looked on Amazon and found one with free shipping for $6 and used Amazon Prime to get it here on Halloween day! I painted the blood on with fake blood paint right before we left. I think it turned out really good! I uses the main costume suit from last year and Voila! He was the Clone Trooper Finn! So for a total of around $30, (I had to buy Ethan's new because he outgrew his costume from last year and didn't want to be the same thing again) I came up with all of the costumes! Not bad for four kids! Usually they are around $30 each!
They were excited when I finished taking pictures so they could go trick or treating!
Needless to say, my parents were excited to see the kids this year since it had been over four years since they had them come to their house on Halloween! It took a little more effort but I am so happy I took the time to capture these memories again this year! Next year I will have to pick a different theme for costumes, and I already have a few in mind! Now that Halloween is over, it's time to move onto Christmas- OBVIOUSLY! Ha! When you are a photographer, you always have to be thinking a season or holiday ahead... :)