Amy Schilling Photography Blog

July 29, 2011

she's such a kid

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No doubt Avery will always be my baby, but lately Deran and I find ourselves making the same remark at various times during various activities - "She's such a kid now." And she is, she really is.

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After lunch on Tuesday, Avery asked me to get her out of her chair and put on Diego. Since I didn't let her watch any episodes the day before and I needed to clear the table, I agreed. Sometimes she likes to help me with dishes, but I always end up pulling a baby out of the bottom rack or finding forks long after I've started the load. Diego, it was!

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I watched her scramble up the ottoman to rest on the chair and it struck me once again that she's no longer a little baby. I remember the days when she couldn't even climb on the couch and now she's all over everything and she does it with ease.

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Time seems both a friend and foe. I'm thankful for each new day but a little sad at the passing of one stage into another. My sweet, sweet girl, so much joy she brings to our lives. My sweet girl who loves her some Diego.

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July 28, 2011

new old dolls

After watching Avery play with some old dolls at my in-laws house, I told Deran I really wanted to get some of my dolls out of the attic for her. So last weekend after lunch he promised to get them down if Avery & I picked up the living room. I vacuumed while Avery threw all of her toys in a bin and then we both waited excitedly for D. Avery kept bouncing around saying, "New old dolls!" and it was just about the cutest thing ever.

I really loved this one.

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I thought she was the cutest baby doll I'd ever had and I named her Katie. She's even still wearing her Popples nightgown. Any other ladies out there remember when nightgowns came with a matching one for your doll? I'm pretty sure I had Rainbow Brite & ALF doll gowns too. And speaking of ALF...

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Deran thought Tiny Tim was particularly disgusting because his body used to be pink. I have so many photos from my childhood with this doll. I had two actually, the other is slightly less dirty and still in the garage. I guess my mom got grossed out too after a while and bought me another one. And you guys, these pictures were taken after my attempts at cleaning him. He was well loved, that one.

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I made the comment that they just don't make dolls like they used to and D said, "No they don't. They make them better." And then he went to get one of Avery's dolls to compare. The thing is though, I love the doll he grabbed, I do - but it cost $36 and is a higher quality doll. I'm pretty sure my beloved babies were standard Wal-Mart/Toy R Us fare. Definitely NOT boutique purchases like Avery's Sweet Baby. That's its name, Sweet Baby. She was talking about Baby Katie so Deran asked her what her baby's name is and she said, "Um...Sweet Baby." Um...she's a sweet baby! I love that girl of mine so much and I'm so glad she's enjoying her new old dolls.

Once upon a time Katie was my favorite baby. But look out Katie, there's a new baby in town and she won't be number two.

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July 27, 2011

baby whisperer

Well, that title is a little misleading because her momma and daddy did most of the work. At almost one month old, this sweet girl was very interested in the goings on during our session and preferred not to sleep. No worries, she's awfully cute and if there's one thing that trumps just about all else around me, it's cuteness.

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I love the slight smile and her little baby arms. She weighed over nine pounds at birth, but she looked so tiny to me!

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She spent a good bit of time being soothed by her momma and I have to say, I love the look on her mom's face in the photo below, such love for her baby girl. I truly love watching new parents interact with their newborns. My goodness it makes me love what I do!

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And finally, FINALLY, she slept. Not for long, but long enough. And then I heard from her momma that she slept all the way home. :)

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Every time I went to move her, she startled which in turn startled me! Her daddy was on hand to soothe her back to sleep, thanks so much BJ!

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Thanks so much L and BJ for bringing over Miss A. You guys have a precious baby girl and it was so nice meeting everyone. Enjoy!

July 26, 2011

diy cake stand

If you've read my blog ever, you may know that my daughter's 2nd birthday is, next week. I've been in party planning mode for approximately eleven months and three weeks. I've been actively carrying out said plans for about two weeks. Over the months as I stumble across ideas I like, I bookmark them in various folders, or tear pages out of magazines, or snap a quick picture with my phone. My inspirational obsession extends beyond birthday parties, but let's keep this tutorial quick...ish.

Many months ago I foolishly assumed we'd be having a Sesame Street bash because Melmo totally rocked our house. Then winter turned to spring and if the TV was on then Linny, Tuck, and Ming Ming were saving a baby animal. As any good mother would, I abandoned Elmo and embraced the Wonder Pets. Fortunately, many of my plans went unchanged since primary colors are rampant in both themes.

Last year Avery's party was very girly and pink, something I really loved. Because I knew we'd be going with a gender neutral theme, I've always known that I wanted to add ruffles and girly touches wherever possible. I can't help it, I love having a girl and all things girly! This is going somewhere, I promise.

Late last year I came across this cake, which led me to this cake, and I knew Avery had to have this for her 2nd birthday. And duh, Martha Stewart is awesome, and when trying to figure out what kind of cake I should bake, I found another cake that led me to this tutorial, and I knew that Avery had to have a rainbow ruffled cake.

So here's the thing, such a cute cake needs an equally adorable cake stand. Thanks to the ruffled cake, I searched her shop and found the perfect one! Unfortunately, it wasn't the perfect price. More recently, I found this one - would be totally adorable in red and much more within my price range. But then...then I thought, why not just make it myself! So I did.

Supplies: glue gun, glass candle holder thrifted for $.50, 3 bags of small wooden balls, red glossy spray paint, and a piece of rounded wood with a 6 in. base. I scored the wood products at a 40% discount and the spray paint was 25% off!


First, glue all of those balls around the edge of the round base. And no worries, the cake plate will be safe to eat off of with a cardboard cake board!


Then go outside and spray paint your candle holder and round wood plate. And please leave the price tag on the bottom. FYI, price tags add a touch of class to any project. Read and follow directions on the paint can. I used about four coats.


While those are drying, go in and find some heavy books. Just take the ones that have been on your entertainment center for the last month flattening out tubes for another fun project. You'll need the weight to help keep the wood and glass together while the adhesive dries.

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I've read about a million crafty sites and many of them use E6000 for projects such as these, so that's what I bought. Be sure to read the directions and warnings before using. I guess my question is, why just California? At any rate, make sure you store this out of the reach of children and pets. I even wore gloves when handling it. Not that gloves matter because I used my un-gloved hand to move the paper it was on. Three hand washings and a nail clipping later, I'm E6000 free!


Glue it on upside down, weigh down with heavy books, and let it set overnight. Tada! A very cheap and fairly easy cake stand! With a pretend paper cake!


Overall I'm happy with this project, it was certainly a lot less money and a fun diy. There are a few things I wish were different, like the thickness of the wooden plate, but I used what was available to me and I think it's going to look great with her rainbow ruffled cake sitting atop it!

July 25, 2011

candy coated cuteness

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These two sweet siblings happen to both have August birthdays and this year they'll be having a joint party. Planning one birthday party can be stressful and costly, much less two within a couple of weeks of each other. I think one big party is an excellent idea!!

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They're having a candyland/sweets themed bash and we met up a couple of weeks ago to get pictures for their invitations. And man, are they cute invitations! I'm not just saying that because I designed them...well, maybe a little...but they are really cute. Of course, so are the subjects. :)

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I love this picture of the two of them, he tries to do whatever his big sister does and his momm asked him to put his hands under his chin. So cute! And by that time his big sister was about done with photos.

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Two cute kiddos and I can't wait to see their birthday cake, it's a treat not to be missed. I'll be sure to take pictures!

July 21, 2011

broken, and now broke

So yesterday I met up with my sister and a friend for lunch at a new-to-us restaurant. The place was empty which was great for our three girls under three. The server was really nice but after I left I had to walk back in and inform him that Avery had locked the door and a key would be required so other customers could come in, and that's when he looked up and smiled at me. The most insincere, omgosh-please-get-out-of-here-before-I-lose-it, kind of smile. And I thought about being offended, I really did, but at least he was still smiling. Plus, I waitressed for a summer before my senior year of high school so I kind of get it.

After lunch my sister wanted to check out a new shop and I ended up getting Avery a new piggy bank.


Because I had to.


That girl of ours is a little wild these days. I'll go ahead and say she's in the Terrific Two's, but it's all good. She's still super cute!

July 19, 2011

the face painting fiasco

Deran had to work late last night and rather than hang out at home, Avery & I met up with friends at Chick-fil-A for a circus themed family night. There were a couple of games outside and inside there was a face painting clown, a cow clown, and an entertainer that was not painted but most definitely a clown. Lots of clown talk. Clown. Cloooowwwwn. Clown, clown, clown, clown clown. Now it sounds weird and looks strange to type.

I had 18 other paragraphs typed out but I was sounding really grumpy and honestly, we had a good time so I feel like the negative would've overshadowed that. The short story is that the face painter, while a great artist, wasn't washing brushes in between kids and I saw her paint on a little girl's lips and that grossed me out but whatevs, I get grossed out easily. One child had his face painted like Frankenstein and he terrified Avery & her friend. On purpose. After I removed them from the play place, he sought them out at our table, more than once, finally prompting my friend to take action and seek out his mom. And why don't parents watch their kids in public places?! The end.

I haven't been taking many photos during our adventures lately because I haven't wanted to lug my camera around. The same was true for our visit last night but I did snap two pictures with my iPhone early into the evening. The first picture makes me laugh so much. Roly was a pretty funny entertainer, I think I like clowns without painted faces better than clowns with fake smiles. I sent the picture to Deran because I couldn't believe he could actually ride that tiny bike, and D was all, "What is that?" I didn't really look because the photo was dark on my phone and things were hectic, but when I opened on my computer I busted out laughing. I clearly caught Roly at a bad moment and though he was really cheerful and smiled the whole time he was there, it looks as if he's had a few drinks and also a little like he's got a few screws loose. And the second picture makes me smile because it's Avery with a clown nose that would barely stay on her little nose.


Lots going on this week. I have a few sessions and next week is going to be a week of crafts and tutorials! Fun, right?! There will be pictures so I think it still classifies as a photography blog...mostly.

July 15, 2011

the makings of a mini session

Like, mini mini. So once upon a time I posted pictures of Avery and I was all, "I'll be back!" Almost two months later is soon-ish, right? Right! So I was really doing some product photography and taking pictures of the headband, but I wanted a cute model. Enter Avery. Who was not at all cooperative at first and just gave me blank stares and strange faces.


To try and get her to look at me and sit still, I pulled out the M&M bag. Only once I started to bribe her with candy, she wouldn't do anything unless she was actually holding the bag herself.


So this is what I'm working with. I knew my time was short and didn't want to deal with the hassle of setting up a backdrop and stand and all that goes with it, so instead I wrapped a piece of poster board with some $1 printed paper I picked up at a local chain store. I knew that if I sat Avery far enough in front of the board and lowered my aperture, the background would be nice and blurry and wouldn't matter too much anyway.



There were the strange faces as she ate a couple of "emmies."


Then she decided to play with a small basket of plastic apples that were lying on the floor.


Followed by pulling off the headband because she was done...or she thought she was anyway.


After I put it back on her and had her daddy try to hold her in one spot, the waterworks started.


But I danced and sang totally crazy in order to get a couple of photos I really really love. And finally our session ended much the way it began, with strange faces and blank stares.


So poster board, wrapping paper, and small chocolate candies - it's how I do it.

July 14, 2011

the whole h family

I introduced part of the H Family on Monday, but there are many other members! When I showed up to the session I was also greeted by L's in-laws and we were able to get the whole family together for several photos!

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And seriously, it's such a small world! The youngest brother (on the left) was in middle school when I was teaching a few years ago. When we realized we knew each other, I said, "I knew your name was familiar! You were a lot shorter then." I have a way with words, yes? It's just that he's so much taller and mature now, I remember a little kid and he's turned into a young man!

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I love this picture. Getting those brothers to smile was no easy task, but I seriously laughed out loud when I saw that I captured one goofy grin!

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And of course, a momma and her son.

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Thanks for everything H Family. I'm so glad you were all able to get together and thanks D for your service to our country!!
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