About Me

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Columbus, Ohio, United States
I'm a stay at home mom and wife with a passion for family, creating and photography. I'm a little bit quirky and a little bit odd, but that's what makes me...well me. I'm a jack of all trades. So check back often because, to paraphrase Forest Gump's mom "I'm like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get.

Monday, December 17, 2012

We need to listen

I was on the road to Chicago for the weekend to meet with friends when I heard of the Newton, CT shooting on Friday. My husband and I were devastated by the events. How could anyone target innocence in that way! Although we live hundreds of miles away, and know no one directly affected by the horrific event it definitely hit home with us. Five days a weeks I put my five year old son on a bus and send him off to kindergarten without a care in the world, but on December 14 that changed forever. For the weekend though, we limited our media exposure of the shootings, and with little man safe, and strict instructions given to limit his exposure to media coverage of the event also, we carried on with our weekend.

Today as I put my little man on the bus to school, the reality of it sunk in. For the first time, I felt a pang of dread seeing him go. Then I felt a since of relief when I think back on all the security measures, that my son's school takes to ensure his safety. I remember not to long ago scoffing about the gate to the classrooms that is locked during school hours and the background check that I had to go through to be able to volunteer. Today I am extremely grateful for these cautious measures. Although, this will not stop a murderous man on a mission, it will give the teachers and staff time to take measures to protect my child.

With the funerals of the babes that were lost on Friday beginning today, I have been asking myself how I, as a parent, can help prevent something like this from happening at my  son's school. So finally I lifted my ban on the media, and that wave of emotion that I suppressed on Friday came back. What kind of person does this and how can this be prevented in the future? These were the questions that came to my mind. Then I found this great article about a study done at previous school shootings that was quite enlightening.

In School shooting, patterns and warning signs.

Often the warning signs are there. I am by no means any kind of expert, but in my opinion I think the most important thing we can do is listen to our children actively look for warning signs. Not just about what is going on in the classroom, but more importantly what is happening in the hallways and playgrounds. Start an open dialog with your children and their friends early. Often times, if you make yourself open and available to your kids friends they will tell you things that they would never tell their parents. If you hear something suspicious don't be afraid to act upon it. Start listening to them early, children love to talk and will generally give you "too much" information. I hope that the openness I have begun to build with little man now, will continue as he grows. But believe me when I say, that when my son reaches his teen years I plan on being a master at eavesdropping. As a parent you can never know too much about what is going on in their lives.

Having said all of that, live goes on, and hopefully there is something to be learned from this fateful event. So hug your little ones tight and be sure to tell them every chance you get how much you love them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pickling Perfection

I remember growing up every year my grandmother would make several batches of Bread and Butter pickles and dill pickles from cucumbers she had grown in her garden. So feeing a bit nostalgic, I decided this year I would tried my hand at growing pickling cucumbers.   We're not big fans of cucumbers, but pickles are a different thing. We love them on burgers and in salads.  I'm glad I did, these little gems so far are amazing. I say so far, because I've only tried them pre-canning, but my husband loved them also, and he's a bit picky about his pickles. So I'm excited to open and use them in a few weeks. If you know the basics of canning, these are simple to make and definately worth taking the time to make. So much so these little pickling cucumbers have definately earned their place in my garden from here on out.

Hamburger dill pickles


4 pounds pickling cucumbers
2 tablespoons canning salt or kosher salt
2 1/2 quarts water
3 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
fresh pickling dill
3 teaspoons mustard seeds
6 bay leaves
18 to 24 black peppercorns

Slice ends off cucumbers then slice in 1/4-inch rounds. Put the cucumber slices in a large nonreactive bowl or pot and cover with the 2 1/2 quarts of water. Add 3 tablespoons salt, and a few pieces of fresh dill and stir until salt is dissolved. Cover and let stand for at least 12 hours.
Drain cucumber slices.

Prepare jars. Fill a boiling water canner half-full with water; add jars and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low to keep jars hot.

In a nonreactive pot, combine the 3 cups vinegar and 3 cups water. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons of salt until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Into each of 6 pint jars, 1 or 2 fresh dill flower heads, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 bay leaf, 3 or 4 peppercorns, and about 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic. Pack with cucumbers.

Add hot vinegar mixture to each jar, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace.

Wipe rims and threads of jars with a damp paper towel. Fit with lids and screw on jar rings tightly. Put the jars in a rack and lower into the hot water. If necessary, add more boiling of near-boiling water so the water level is 1 to 2 inches above the jars. Bring to a boil. Cover and boil gently for 10 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely. Check for seals about 24 hours later. Store in a cool dark place for a few weeks before using.
Makes 6 pints.

Friday, April 13, 2012


OMG!!!! The day has finally arrived! I now have Instagram for my Droid phone. I've been doing a happy dance all week. Beside client work, I haven't even picked up my DSLR this week. I have a shiny new toy.  I love the emotion Instagram effects give to the image. It's effects that I would spend hours otherwise trying to figure out. Perfect for just wanting to freeze random moments in time. You can freeze it, record it's significance and store it for later. I know they are only cellphone photos, but the moment was important enough to pull out your camera, why not record it in the best possible light. Instagram allows you to do this quick and easy.

Case in point......

This is a quick snapshot of some flowers I bought for the neighborhood entrance flower bed. For once it actually took more time to shoot the photo than to edit it. Yippee!!!! 

I am a photographer, and my DSLR camera is my life and wouldn't trade it for the world.  I am by no means a camera snob though. I believe that the best camera is always the one you have with you. Make the most with you have. More times than not that is my cellphone. I've had times in my live that the only camera I had was my cellphone, so I just learned how to use it to the best of it's ability. I think that has made a huge difference on my work professionally.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Developing a Creative space

I've been doing a lot of juggling these days. Especially since I'm transitioning from a stay at home mom to a work at home mom. Being a photographer, artist, blogger, karaoke diva, domestic goddess, budding master chef/baker, super mom and wonder wife is a little difficult to balance. Lately I've been working on my office/creative space. I always have something going on and can never find what I need to complete it. I know I have it, I just don't know where it's at. My current use of space just isn't working. Since this is going to be my command central for pretty much everything involving the family, business and my passion for art, this space is going to be key to keep everything together.

The previous space I was using was a crawl space in the playroom. This photo was before I moved  my stuff in. Trust it was full in no time. It has plenty of shelves and storage, but not head room. You always had to move the couch and furniture to get in to it, so I simply would put things off. Another pitfall was it's lack of lighting and electrical outlets. Don't get me wrong. It's a great space, it's just not convenient or inspiring. I want something I can easily go into everyday and be inspired. This will remain storage, but most of my supplies are going to be moved into my Shangri La aka the laundry/dressing area.

It's not a huge space, but the actually laundry is in a small room off the side and two of the walls are wall to wall closets. I was going to use both for closet space, but I don't need that much space for clothes. I do need a great work and artist space that I walk through everyday and get inspired.

I'm still in the planning stages. I can't afford to buy a bunch of stuff so I'm using what I have. Today I took stock.  I have say I have accumulated a great collection of cool containers, but I never seem to use the constructively. I'm hoping with the help of pintrest I can organize my thoughts into a complete design finally. I'm thinking rustic, shabby chic, fantastical, steampunk, antique, distressed......you get the idea. And chalk paint, basic black chalk paint. Everywhere!!!! This is a taste of cool storage items I already have. I think I've got a good plan to start with. Now I guess I need to explore pintrest to figure out how to pull it together.

There's wooden wine creates, galvanized metal buckets, and baskets

Vintage and dying to look vintage photo boxes

Antique Mason & Bell Jars

...and plenty of other containers just waiting to be altered. Well an idea is planted, and now I need to let it sprout into a plan. Until then I best get back to work.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vintage Type

Monday's are always blah days. The Sunday evening release of the past week's frustration behind the karaoke mic always leaves the soul cleansed, but the body drained. There has been a lot of frustration to banish the past few months. Finances have been tight and emotions have been high. So thrifting hasn't been a luxury as of late. April is the first month since before Thanksgiving that the purse strings have really been loosened.  This weekend the hubs was complaining about the lack of dishes (Most didn't survive the last move). So today in my haze I decided to stop at the Goodwill I pass everyday on the way to take little man to preschool. I shop there periodically. It has set prices and doesn't run many sales, so I don't  shop there as often as other stores. I do call it my boutique store because they carry higher end items. As usual I found some great designer clothes and purses, but my find of the day was an antique typewriter.

It is an Underwood standard No. 5. Put out between 1900 -1920 (I think). Steam-punk at it's very core. Inspiration struck, and for $15 it couldn't be left behind. This is just a quick cellphone shot. An idea has been germinating for awhile and this prop will be an ideal center for a character to develop. 

But for now the energy is drained, and must be recharged. This story will be continued on a later day.

BTW I did pick up a few stoneware dishes so I still did what I set out to do......

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter

Happy Easter everyone. March was a busy month for OriginalPsyn Photography and April even more so. That is a great thing, but I got so wrapped up in business that I almost forgot to plan out something special for my son to take to preschool for Easter. It's not that we have to, but he enjoys taking little present for his friends and I enjoy making them. So I found myself the night before scrambling to find something quick and easy to put together for him. So I turned to my favorite source of inspiration Pintrest.

First can I must sing the praises of Pintrest. It is quickly eking out Facebook as my favorite social media, but that is another story. There were lots of different Easter crafts I could've done but considering I was starting this at 11pm so I was extremely limited on time. Another constraint I had was his school strict food policies. I'm the mom that always brings the snacks for parties so luckily I had a list of approved foods. BTW goldfish are safe for those with nut allergies. So browsing through my board of Easter inspiration I found these. Voila!!!! I have my game plan.

These little carrot snack bags are a snap to make. All you need is:

--Disposible icing bags (found in the cake decorating department)
--twist ties (I actually used paper ties that I save from my son's toy packaging)
--Goldfish (you could also use orange jelly beans, cheese puffs etc.)
--Something green (It could be ribbon or cut construction paper be creative. I used a paper basket filler)

They are as easy to make as filling the bag twist the top, place the green on top and secure with tie. Couldn't get easier than that. For the tag I just used some of my scrap paper and Tim Holz distressing inks, and did some basic distressing. Project from beginning to end took about two hours, and since I used supplies that I already had on had the only cost was the price of a giant container of Goldfish. It was well worth the time, effort and cost to see how proud my son was to take them to school, and to see the delight on his classmates and teachers faces. 

On a side note I just had to share these from Easter last year. These Dino Eggs were totally adorable. I tried to find them this year, because dinosaurs rule our house. Alas, they were no where to be found. At least we have the photos to remember them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--That Allie Girl

Not much to say today, I just wanted to share a few photos from a shoot I did Monday for an up and coming Country singer from Put-n-bay. She was so beautiful and a delight to work with. Luckily I'll get to work with her again next Monday to shoot her edgier photos. I can't wait.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For the love of bacon

After 22 years of vegetarianism for me and 16 years for my husband, we started eating meat again. Our son refused to eat a vegetarian diet and we had grown bored of the diet. We started with fish, what I like to call the gateway meat, and after a year we gave in to the rest. Now that I'm eating meat again I'm finding a whole new world of culinary fun. Bacon has been one of my favorite things to cook with and eat. If fish is the gateway meat, then Bacon in the hook that keeps you. 

I recently join the Pinterest world. While searching around for cool ideas to fix for my family for Valentines brunch I found instructions for bacon roses at http://www.instructables.com/id/Bacon-Roses/?ALLSTEPS  I thought Genius!!!! What a perfect gift for a man who returns everything I buy him. I had to give it a try.

What you will need:

--mini muffin pan 
--cookie sheet
--cook rack
--silk roses

Before you start, you will need to poke holes in the bottom of the muffin pan. I know this seems wasteful, but it was a great excuse for me to replace my old pan that only holds 12 with one that holds 24. You can still use it again just use mini muffin liners. The hole allows the grease to drip out onto a liner pan.

Lay the bacon flat. Decide which side you want to be the base and which side you what to be the petals.  Roll the bacon keeping it tighter at the base and looser at the top. 

Place bacon base down in muffin cups. To give the bacon a bit more detail I flared the top by running my finger along the top edge causing it to flare out. 

Place the muffin tin on the cookie sheet and rack to catch the grease. That is a mess no one wants to clean up. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool on a paper towel.

While bacon is cooking remove the entire flower-heads off the stem be sure to save the green bud part at the bottom. I saved the peddles  for later also. I'm sure they will come in handy sometime. Replace the green bud part. When bacon roses are cool enough to touch slide them on the stems about 1 inch and rest them on the green. 

I doubt I do this very often, but this was a fun little surprise for my husband. I had them sitting on the table when he woke up. He had to take a second look. I totally impressed him and he was flattered at the effort I put in making these for him. Score one for mommy.  Definitely worth trying.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Salt Dough & Shenanigans

I was surfing through Pintrest a few weeks ago and found a blog called The Artist Woman. She is a homeschooling mom who uses art to enrich her children's learning experience. In this entry they made Jurassic landscapes in salt dough for one of their projects for the section on Dinosaurs. They look like giant old coins.  Now I'm not a homeschooling mom much to my husband and best friend's dismay, but it inspired me to make a piece of art work that little man and I can create together.

 I want to redo his room, like a turn of the century paleontology site. The base of my plan is to create a wall hanging to look like it is a framed coin collection in Dinotopia. Very rustic, maybe a touch of Steampunk. I will discuss the completed vision as it comes into focus, but let's focus on one thing at a time for now. Just so you know, I don't do anything easy. So there are multiple steps to this project and I'm trying for us to make all the components ourselves.  I was going to write about it all in one blog, but nothing would ever get written if I did that. All my information would pile up and eventually I would get overwhelmed and abandon the project all together. So I've decided to do it in installments.

This is the first time little man and I are trying our hand at making an instructional blog. Luckily the coins are made of Salt dough which is easy enough for a 4 1/2 year to do with direction, so I thought I would seize this moment do a So easy a preschool can do it" style segment. I was shock a how much he really enjoyed doing this, making salt dough and creating the instructional photos. He loves to be the teacher, so when I explained his photos would be instructing other kids how to make the salt dough, he was all in. LOL!!! I love my little alpha male. He really took to this format. I would show him a step then he would repeat the step for the camera. We will definitely be doing this style of entry more often. He wants to do video, and have his own you-tube channel. I'm not ready for that yet. Plus he still needs some work with his words.

Well enough of my rambling! On with the instructions. This is a basic salt-dough recipe. If you wanted it colored just add some food coloring, but since we are going to be painting our dough to look like coins it was unnecessary here.

What you need:

1 cup of Salt
4 cups of  All-purpose flour
1-2 cups of  Water

In a large bowl combine the salt and the flour.

Gradually stir in water until the dough begins to clump. Try not to add to much water, or your dough will be sticky. If that does happen, add a little more flour to get it to a workable consistency.

On a well floured* surface knead dough until is smooth and pliable. They usually compare it to having a feel similar to that of your ear lobe. Dough can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator indefinitely.

Something to remember, even though my son did help with each step he was supervised and helped with the stirring and kneading of the dough. Let them do some of the work, but remember especially if your working with young kids, you will need to make sure each step is properly completed for the project to be successful.

I couldn't believe how much he enjoyed doing this. In fact he was ready to move on the next step when we were done making the dough. Unfortunately for him, I wasn't prepared, because I had no intention on going on to the next step. I have learned to only do one section of the craft at a time, even if he wants to move on to the next step. That way he is excited about it. So instead of my having to struggle with him to keep his focus on the task at hand, he is eager and asking to do it. Since we've started doing these projects his attention span has gotten better. He is beginning to slow down and listen.  Hopefully this will travel over to school.

*When kneading dough of any kind it is important to do it on a well floured surface and with floured hands. Otherwise the dough will stick to your hand and counter top. If this happens it is easily remedied by adding  flour, but save your self the hassle by not skipping this step.

Wordless Wednesday---Losing My Marbles

The Daily Mental States of the Stay at Home Mommy 

I hope I'm not to late....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You Color My World--Valentine project

Crayon Kids
This was my son's first year in pre-school. I wanted to do something special with him for Valentine's day that he could do most of the work and be proud of what HE did. Plus I hadn't done much for Halloween and did nothing for Christmas. I was feeling like a bad domestic goddess. Since he is only 4 getting him to focus on craft projects can be a challenge, so I usually  throw up my arms in frustration. I promised myself and him that I would work on my patience this year and we'd do more projects together.

I was looking through Pintrest and ran across several blogs about making shaped crayons to give for Valentine's day tokens.  I thought this could be something I  could get him interested in doing from start to end. The first step was showing him what I wanted to do, explain the process(with the help of some great photo tutorials) and made sure what we would have as an end product. He thought it was cool. So he was in. 

 What you need:

-Silicon mold
-Old cutting board
-Cookie sheet

It takes quite a few crayons to make these, so you may need to think about this part before hand. Especially if your trying to do this as an up-cycling project. I recruited my best friend's kids and their supply of broken crayons. This is a great play-date activity for all ages and if you start it when they first arrive it can be done before your guest go home. One thing though, make sure to give yourself time to peel the paper off the crayons. This might be silly to think about, but this is a tedious and time consuming task. Try to have wrappers removed before hand or you will lose the kids interest before you even start.

Coarsely chop the crayons (an adult should of course to this part). Be sure to use a cutting board designated for crafts, because the crayon is difficult to get out. Especially if you have a lot of crappy restaurant crayons. The first tray we made, the kids made on their own. I simply chopped the crayons and the kids stuffed the mold. My son had so much fun that his best friend couldn't distract him from the task at hand. An adult should place the pan on a cookie sheet and cook for.....

20 minutes at 215 degrees

We chilled ours in the fridge, to hurry the hardening process along. They simply pop right out of the silicon mold. It didn't take long for them to harden, perhaps an hour or so. The kids were so excited to see their creations. My son even came back to make more when I pulled everything back out to make some myself. He continued to ask to do it everyday for three days after. 

This is one of those projects that you are only limited by your imagination. You can be more deliberate with you colors, add glitters and sparkle, and experiment with molds. At Little sprout Creations they melted the wax first then poured them in candy molds to make these really cute dinosaur crayons. I though about doing it this way, but my son isn't ready for pouring hot wax, and I like to use my candy molds for candy. Let your imagination run wild. 

As for the cards. I did most the work. He's too young for the cutting part and although I tried to show him antiquing and inking he really wasn't very interested. So those tasks fell mostly on me. Which was fine with me, I need something to do. The color was his choice (purple is his favorite color) and he was allowed to pick the papers from a collection of papers I had already put together. The one part that he did part in was adhering the papers together.

Several years ago when I got into scrapbooking I bought a 5" Xyron sticker maker. It is one of my prized craft tools. He knows touching it will bring severe consequences.  I've been know to snap at him for just looking funny at it. The sticker paper for it is expensive so I use it sparingly and I get really irked when it is wasted. For this project, since there was a lot of piece work, I pulled it out and let him use it with me. He was so excited to turn the crank and cut the stickers off. I did center the circles but he placed all hearts. He also picked out gingerbread folks for each card  and told me exactly where to hot glue them.  He was so proud of what he had created and couldn't wait to share them with his friends. We had so much fun doing this and the kids loved them at school.  We've already began plotting out next collaboration........

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Stitch in time

Part of my new resolution is to at least post one blog a week about something I do. This week has been a bit insane. I had my marathon boudoir mini sessions last week and only gave myself a week turn around on them. Not the brightest of ideas, but I needed to hustle some cash so I did what I had to do. I'm not going to talk about that though. I'm trying to let my mind settle off that for a while.

Something I like to do to change gears in my mind is cross stitching. I love to stitch it's a great escape with all that counting I can get lost for hours in the repeation of making the little squares. I would love to knit, but I need something I can literally throw down and easily come back.

This was the first major project I finished. I think I pick one of the hardest designs I could find, but every year when I pull this out I can't help being proud of it. It was something I bought on a whim. It spoke to me. I can't tell you how long it took to finish it. Probably 2 years. I would get frustrated with it and put it away, but when I got pregnant I finally got serious about it and finished it by my son's second Christmas.

The next big project I completed was a stocking for my son. This one was a lot easier that the first, but just as amazing. I'm still in the progress of finding the right one for my husband.

I've done several other small projects, but I haven't completed them. The stitching is done, but they are just hanging waiting to become completed projects.

Recently I finished a project for a friend. I actually started this to teach another friend how to stitch. She's a huge a Dr. Who fan so the pattern was her choice. I like Dr. Who but I would've never have done this one otherwise.

Well until next time......