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My name is Gillian and I love craft

My name is Gillian and I love craft. I don’t know how it happened. My mother doesn’t quite know how it happened, but I’ve a thing for craft. She often says she’s never been into craft (nobody in my family is) and has no idea where I got this “craft thing” from. Having said that though, a few years ago she started beading, doll making, creating wire art, card making…the list goes on. So perhaps this IS in the genes! Even Dad has gotten on the bandwagon since his retirement and made hats and socks with a loom! =)

At any rate, this Father’s Day (it’s the first Sunday in September here in Australia) I had a few ideas up my sleeve. I found a few things on my Pinterest travels, so Simon was going to be bombarded with some homemade crafty goodness for Father’s Day. I found a template for a little booklet I could print, cut out and assemble and had the boys complete one each.I love the idea of looking back in a few years and reading their words and feelings. It’s the same reason I print (and scrapbook) all the little sayings they’ve had over the years (which reminds me, check out the Little Hoots app for iPhone and Android…) The books were finished and assembled rather hastily and not completely neatly (what can I say? I ran out of TIME!!!) and ended up looking like this:

My name is Gillian and I love craft | Father's Day Craft

The finished books

I know you’re probably wondering about the braided wool bookmarks, but more about that in a bit. Artisan State had a great deal for flush mount books. I’ve been looking around for new album suppliers for my photography business, so this was an ideal time to take advantage of their great special and have a sample done. I was not disappointed and their turnaround was super fast. I think I ordered it on a Thursday and had it by the Monday – the Monday before Father’s Day. How good is that? There were various album options you could pick from. I opted for a flush mount with printed cover in 6×8″. Check it out:

My name is Gillian and I love craft | Father's Day Craft

The front cover. I used images of the boys taken throughout the year.

My name is Gillian and I love craft | Father's Day Craft

There were some great page layouts to pick from. You could create your own too.

My name is Gillian and I love craft | Father's Day Craft

Another page layout.

And then. Some bookmarks. But not just any bookmarks. These:

My name is Gillian and I love craft | Father's Day Craft

My boys are just hanging around. >D

How awesome are they?? I found them ages ago on Pinterest and thought these would be PERFECT as gifts. They turned out so well I’m making some for Grandma, Ma and Pa too! Here they are again, separately:

My name is Gillian and I love craft | Father's Day Craft

Jason. Just LOVE the expression on his face LOL

My name is Gillian and I love craft | Father's Day Craft

Matt. Another classic face LOL

They were pretty easy to make. Easy – if you don’t count the grumbling I had from the boys when I needed their pics taken! i got a couple photos of them each, telling them to pretend they were hanging from a cliff LOL Edited them slightly and then extracted them from the background. I created a duplicate mirror image of the best image of each boy. That way I could glue them back to back and it wouldn’t matter which side showed. Nifty, eh? Cut them out, stick them together, keeping the hands unglued before looping the braided wool through and then finishing off gluing the hands and voilá! Simon absolutely loved them and the rest of his gifts. =D

If you enjoyed this post and you created some of your own Father’s Day masterpieces, please share them in the comments section! I’d love to see what you came up with. Halloween is upon is. I’ll have to start checking Pinterest for craft ideas for Halloween soon!

Happy crafting ~ Gill

Morrison Girls

I’ve photographed the Morrison Girls a few times over the years and it’s been lovely watching them grow into the young ladies they are today! I think Bronte was about 8 months old the first time I got some photographs of her at a kindy concert/party. Both Matthew (my eldest) and Bethany (her older sister) were at the same kindy in 2009.

Wow, how time flies! I’ve been scouring my website to find the few posts I had of them when they were younger (I love looking back and seeing then and now images), but alas, I can’t find the older posts. What I did find in my computer archives were pics I’d taken of them in April/May 2009:

Morrison Girls | Gillian Foley Photography

Bronte (April 2009)

Morrison Girls | Gillian Foley Photography

Beth (May 2009 – at her birthday party)

Cute eh? Look at them now!

Morrison Girls | Gillian Foley Photography

Bronte (August 2015)

Morrison Girls | Gillian Foley Photography

Beth (August 2015)

I love seeing how clients I’ve photographed over the years (newborns/toddlers especially!) have grown! And with repeat clients, you get to go on a journey together. Shooting a wedding, then their first baby, then their next baby, anniversaries, etc. It’s just a wonderful thing being part of a family’s tapestry of memories.

As a mother I know only too well the feelings of proud and love I have when I look at my family albums and photos I’ve taken of the boys (on this very blog) over the years. I’m proud of how they’ve grown and what lovely young men they’re becoming. I cherish the memories, the fun and tough lessons we learned when they were younger. I guess having those photos and looking at them now is one great way of saying “Wow. Look at us now. We made it to here.” For me it’s this sense that we’ve done okay, that I haven’t broken them (like I thought I would when I brought them home from the hospital! lol) and that we’ve actually done a pretty darned good job raising them. <3

Do you agree? Do you regularly have pictures of you family taken? How often are YOU in the picture too?? (This is something I need to work on as I’m always behind the lens!!!)

Until next time ~ Gill

Make a fringe blanket prop

Continuing the DIY photography prop theme, and as I mentioned it in my previous post, I thought I’d share with you how I made my fringe blanket photography prop. It’s pretty straightforward and looking around on Pinterest or elsewhere will yield a good few ideas on how to make this easily and quickly. For those who have no idea what a fringe blanket is, take a look – it’s a photography prop used for newborn/baby sessions:

Make a fringe blanket prop | Gillian Foley Photography

He was the first newborn to use my fringe blanket! =D

I balked at the prices for the ones I saw on Etsy ($50 – $150!!). I hate paying a fortune for something I know I can make myself with great results (who doesn’t??) so I set about to find an easy way to make one. There are several ways:

  • some people just lay the strips of wool across each other and then sew it up the middle
  • some use a long, single crocheted strip of wool and then weave the strips of wool through that
  • some use a ready-made tea towel/square fabric as the middle (that’s the bit usually pushed into the basket/bowl) and then weave the wool through the edges

I opted to crochet my own square with wool I had lying around the house. I’d already bought the wool that would make up the fringes of my blanket. I went with multi-coloured chunky wool, which would make the process so much simpler as the colour ranges are already there to use, in a ball of wool. Of course, you could also buy several balls of wool in different colours and arrange the colours of the fringes as you like. You want the wool to be chunky or textured. I don’t think plain 4ply works unless it’s used to add to other textures.

Make a newborn cocoon photography prop

When I was sorting through my props and supplies in preparation for the last newborn session I had and looking through the Pinterest mood boards my client and I had set up, I felt I wanted a few new props. It’s always nice to add new things every session and since it had been so long since my last newborn, I felt it would be especially nice to have items especially for the gorgeous little man I was to photograph.

I was seriously short on time though. As is usual in this household, there are always 300 projects on the go at any given time and so anything I added would have to be made by myself. I really wanted a newborn fringe blanket and a cocoon nest, but I had no time to await delivery for anything I found online. I did some googling for easy patterns that wouldn’t take too long to finish and found a few ideas. There are heaps of ideas on how to make the fringe blanket quickly. I’ll share my method with you a bit later…

A few years ago, I used a loom to create a newborn sock LOL It didn’t work out (or so I thought???) and I ended up with a…yep, you guessed it – a newborn cocoon! I was about to have a newborn session for a baby girl, so made a pink one. Of course, soon after I had a session for a baby boy and could NOT replicate the error I’d made and ended up with a sock (which is what I was aiming for the first time round!) How funny that in 2010 newborn socks were in and cocoons not so much? Quite the reverse in 2015 I feel.

Make a newborn cocoon photography prop | Gillian Foley Photography

Newborn girlie cocoon nest. Looks at those tootsies!!

Fast forward to now and I found this pattern online. Awesome, eh? So it began…I hauled out my crochet hooks and found suitable chunky wool and set about creating this nest.

Make a newborn cocoon photography prop | Gillian Foley Photography

Divine little human – perfectly modelling my newborn cocoon nest!

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