Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Zebra stripe cake

In mid December my hubby's cousin contacted me and asked me if I could help her out and make a cake for her mom's big birthday coming up. (she was turning 39 with 11 years experience. ;)) So after the holidays we got together for a little consult to discuss what she had in mind. The theme of the party was 39 again. It was a surprise party. Her mom loves animal print, particularly zebra print, so I was asked if I could do a cake with zebra print.

The inside of the cake was alternating layers of white and devils food chocolate. I did a strawberry filling in between each layer and covered it in buttercream frosting. Then I covered it with white fondant and did zebra stripes out of black fondant. I finished it off with purple ribbon and a sign on top (made with dowels, and SU cardstock) that said 39 again! Here is the finished product. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. Not bad for my first fondant cake in a couple of years.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas card 2010

I know this is way late, but here is this years Christmas card. I made it before Christmas so I didn't have an updated family photo to go with it. So I will include this years Christmas Eve photo as well for those who want to see it.

Anyhow, for the Christmas card I used My Digital Studio from SU.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What a good flash can do for a photo

O.k. Don't fall over dead k? Yes, I'm still alive, and yes, I'm actually posting! I know, shocking right? These past several months have been crazy! Emily is now 5 months old. We're only a month away from being able to finalize her adoption! I can't wait!!! For those that have asked about Em's birthmom, she is doing fabulous! She actually spent Christmas morning with us so that was great to have her here. :D For more on our lives, and our adoption, you can check out our adoption/family blog here. For now, I wanted to share a few things with you. I'll be doing separate posts for each.

The first is all about my new camera flash that I got for Christmas! In September I took a fabulous and fun photography workshop hosted by a couple of fantastic Pro Photographers I know. During this workshop they covered just about everything you'd ever want to know about photography. Including flashes. They mentioned a type of off camera flash where you can bounce the light off of various things because it has a rotation and tilt to the flash. This happened to be one of the things I mentioned to my husband I would like for Christmas.

I have a fairly decent camera, a Canon Rebel xsi. It's a 12.2 mp. For my needs I don't need any more. I would like to get a couple of newer and nicer lenses, but for now, like I said, what I have works. But I didn't have a good flash. All I had was the on camera flash and a really cheapo flash that would blind everyone who I took pics of so I never used it. So my hubby decided he would get me a new flash for Christmas. What I wanted was a flash that had a 360 degree rotation with a 90 degree tilt. He probably got a nicer one then what I needed, but I'm really happy with it so I'm not complaining. He got this one, a Speedlite 580EX II.

Here is an example of what a good flash can do for your photos. Now, I'm not a pro by any means, just a hobbyist, so keep that in mind, these are just snap shots that I did.

For this first pic, I didn't use a flash at all. This is just the seriously bad lighting in my kitchen, not to mention that my incredibly adorable Em was moving when I took it:

This next one is an example of the on camera flash, do you see how Em looks kind of blue:

Now here is a picture using the speedlite, much better:

Now, one the things I mentioned is that with the flash having a rotation and tilt you can bounce your flash off various things. So here is an example of my flash bouncing off my living room walls (which are a goldy beige color) and an example of the flash bouncing off my white ceiling. Bouncing your flash means that you can point the flash towards something, in this case the wall and the ceiling, and it will give the photo the glow of whatever it is you're bouncing the flash off of. Did that make sense? Here, let me show you.
For this first example I took a pic of a card box I made for my mom for Christmas. In this photo I pointed my flash toward my wall. Remember, it has a golden tone to it. So it gave the box a golden glow:

Now, I took a photo of the same box, same angle, but this time I bounced the flash off the white ceiling. Here are the results:

See the difference? Cool huh? Yup, I'm pretty pleased with my new flash. :D Stay tuned for more projects. I have this card box, and another one to tell you about. And I have a few other projects to include some quilts and our Christmas cards to show you. :o)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Baby Announcements

Emily has been having some tummy and reflux issues. So I haven't had much time for anything other then holding her and trying to make her feel better. I did some research on the internet and found some suggestions that I tried tonight and so far she has been an angel and sleeping well. We also have an appt. with the dr. tomorrow so we will see what she says.

Anyhow, since Emily has been sleeping peacefully for the first time in days it seems like, I decided to see if I could come up with an idea for her baby announcement. Here it is!
I used Pink Pirouette and Whisper White cardstocks. I also used the dots embossing folder with the big shot. I used the punch from the SAB catty (not sure what it's called but it is in the main catty, and I can't find that right now). Then I used the retired set, "I'm Here" and a sentiment set call Small Sayings (also retired). I also used ribbon from the new SU catty. The only thing on here that is not SU, is the little hands in the corner. Not sure what those are from, I borrowed them from my sister-in-law.
Sorry that the inside is wonky. I couldn't get it to load right on blogger. Anyhow, I got the idea to do the little hand print behind the words on the inside from this card on Splitcoast. I got a little help on the wording of the last part from another adoptive couple who's blog I read (the words "lovingly placed in our arms") But the inside says:
Jacob, Sharon & Tamara
are proud to present
the newest addition
to their family
Emily Rose Crown
July 26, 2010 @ 5:26 a.m.
9 lbs. 5 oz. 21 inches
Lovingly placed
in our arms through
the gift of adoption
August 2, 2010

I also did the photo for the inside. Our Photographer has been booked and we haven't been able to mesh our schedule with hers yet. And hubby is leaving on Thurday for his annual 2 week training for the Reserves. So rather then delay the announcments till after we can get the pictures done when hubby gets back, I decided to try to see what kind of pic I could do myself. I think I did a fairly good job. ;o)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Home Sweet Home!!!

We're home!!!! We got a call Sunday morning from the dr. asking us if we wanted to bring the baby home. She was well enough to leave the hospital! The heart murmur wasn't detected, the rapid heartbeat is gone, the infection is gone, blood sugar levels are normal and the jaundice is gone! We were, needless to say, thrilled!! So after Emily's last round of antibiotics at 3 and then a couple of hours of bathing, changing, taking her newborn pics from the hospital and feeding her one last time (cause she was a hungry girl and couldn't wait) it was time to go!
After leaving the hospital we went to Emily's birth mom's house to visit. Such a wonderful visit.

Then we went back to the hotel

Monday afternoon (my dad's birthday, and Emily's 1 week birthday) was court where K signed relinquishment and consent forms and since there is no agency involved in our adoption, the judge signed legal guardianship of Emily to us.

Then it was time to come home!
What a wonderful few days it has been. K is never far from our thoughts. We owe her so much!

And finally, 9 years ago today, I married the most amazing man! Happy Anniversary Jacob!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Prayers for Emily and K

Dear Family and Friends,
As you all know our little Emily was born early Monday morning and has been in the NICU since shortly after birth. She is improving, and if all continues to go well, we should be able to take Emily home next Tuesday (which how cool would that be! That is our 9th wedding anniversary). This Sunday is Fast Sunday. We would like to ask that you and your individual families remember Emily and her birth mom K in your fasting and prayers on Sunday. If you are unable to fast, will you please say a special prayer. Please bless that Emily will continue to improve and that we will be able to take her home soon. Also, K is going to court on Monday to relinquish her rights which will allow us to bring Emily home when the time comes, and allow us to proceed with the adoption. K is doing well and is very much at peace with her decision. Please bless her, that she will continue to feel strength, peace and comfort in her decision. That she will always know of the love that we all have for her. Thank you for your continued prayers and love.
With Love, Sharon, Jacob, Tammy, & Emily

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And NICU Mommy

An NICU Mommy..... That's what they call me. The nurses...... When we imagined this time, never did we imagine that we would be NICU Parents, but we are. Our little Emily was born with a low blood sugar which isn't unusual with babies of a high birth weight. After her first feeding her blood sugar actually went lower. So the dr. ordered an IV drip of Sugar water to try to get her blood sugar to go higher. It was working great! Until she started eatting less and less. She went from eatting 2+ oz. in a sitting, to not even an oz. sometimes half an oz. And even getting her to eat that much took work. She was getting fussier and fussier. So the dr. ordered some tests. Turns out baby girl has an infection. Not surprising since K's water broke and it wasn't until almost 23 hours later that Emily was born. The dr. detected a heart murmur yesterday, it was still there today, so an Echocardiogram was ordered. The cardiologist at the hospital reviewed the tests. we are still waiting on the official report from Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake, but according to the cardiologist here, he says that the holes in the chambers in Emily's heart haven't closed up yet, but he says because she has been sick, that isn't surprising. So according to him, it isn't cause for concern right now, but if at her first well baby check up there is still a murmur, the pediatrician will need to keep an eye on it. We'll see if the PCMC dr. agrees with his assesment. Emily's oxygen levels have been dropping off and on, and her breathing goes a little fast at times, but that is probably due to the stress of being sick the dr. says. So they continue to monitor her. We continue to spend every second we can with her, and pray for her. We aren't sure how long we will be in the NICU. K signed a release with the hospital social worker allowing us to go home with the baby when she is released since K herself will be released before Emily. The nurse said to not be surprised if we are there through the weekend. We hope she is wrong. But, we will stay as long as it takes for Emily to get healthy.

Speaking of K, she is doing well. She was having some heart trouble as well, but an EKG showed nothing wrong according to the nurse. Haven't talked to the dr. yet though. But she is doing well. Walking around like a champ. So much so that I had to tell her to take it easy. I worry about her. But I know she is in good hands. K is a trooper. Very strong, very amazing. Emily comes from her, so I have no doubt she will be o.k. K should be released tomorrow (Wednesday) so court should be Thursday. We'll know more in the morning.

No, none of the last few days is like I imagined it would be. The experiences we have had, the tears we have shed, every last bit of it, has been worth it. Why? Because of this precious little one right here:

1 hour old. After her first bath.

1 day old. Hanging out in the NICU with mommy and daddy. She is always so content in Daddy's arms. :D You can see some of the lines that are hooked to her, and her IV in this picture. The IV is in her head so it won't be easy for her to pull or kick out.