Jun 29, 2011

Noors Jewels Giveaway Winner

Congrats to:

Justine said... 72 tweeted the giveaway 3


You won the Noors Jewels Giveaway!  Please contact me via email at jessicahills22 at gmail dot com to claim your prize! 
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Jun 28, 2011

Kids' Fashion

I wish I was better at dressing Allie cuter...
I love all of these outfits for kids, especially the boys:

via J.Crew

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Jun 27, 2011

Monday Funny

 via The Daybook

images via Pinterest

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Jun 23, 2011

Clara Nilles Canvas Print Giveaway!

You are going to be amazed at this artist and her beautiful work.  Clara is an animal artist from Maryland with so much talent.  This is straight from her bio on her website:

"Art is my passion.

Primarily self taught, I have been drawing and painting since I can remember.   After a long career in finance, I finally decided to pursue my biggest dream . . . . of becoming an artist.   My long-standing medium of choice has been acrylic and pastels, because of their extensive layering capabilities and intense vivid colors. 

Most of my paintings employ many layers in brilliant pure color.  I believe color is the universal language that brings a positive energy to people and communicates strong emotions and mood.   I also think that animals bring out the goodness and feelings of being with the earth.   It’s a combination that has timeless appeal for children and adults alike.

In my paintings, I strive to capture the engaging look or the lively spirit of the animal......something that we often overlook.   I make a conscious effort to create paintings with their own voice, emotion, and mood.   My paintings are frequently imaginative, slightly whimsical, but mostly fun.  I want people to feel positive, charmed, and connected, when viewing my works. "

She definitely does all of that in her work as you can see for yourselves:

 Jelly Bean Giraffes on Pineapple (8.25 x 10.5)

 Leopard Lovers on Lime (12 x 12)

Polar Bear Blush on Slate (12 x 12)

Clara has generously offered one of the three giclee prints pictured here to one lucky winner.  They are printed on high quality canvas and she will sign it herself.  How awesome is that?!

To enter the giveaway please visit her blog or website and tell me what other piece you love.

For extra entries:
Follow her blog (2 entries)
Share this giveaway on facebook/twitter/your blog (5 entries each)

Thanks so much Clara!
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Jun 21, 2011

How to Take Better Pictures: Guest Post

 I wanted to share a guest post I did a while ago on my friend's blog...

Why and how did you get started in photography?

I got started with photography about 7 years ago.  My first digital camera was a Canon Powershot and I have always loved those for point and shoot cameras.  I still use a Canon Powershot when I don't want to lug around a big DSLR in my purse.

After owning my first digital camera I realized how much fun photography was and decided to slowly get into it.  I bought a $200 camera (Kodak) that looked a little more professional and started doing free photo sessions that I would advertise on Craigslist.  After getting more practice I started charging a very minimal amount to save up for a DSLR.  Then I bought my Nikon D100 for $500, Nikor 50mm lens, then eventually my Nikon D90 that I am currently using.

For someone just starting out (whether for a professional reason or just for family pictures) I would definitely suggest saving up for a D90.  It is definitely worth it.  or, buy a used D100, D70, D80, D90 etc. on craigslist or KSL.com.  For a starter lens, I would definitely go with a 50mm 1.8f.  And never buy the cheaper lenses.  They aren't worth it.

Are there classes you would recommend for beginners, or did you learn more from other means?

The first class I took was a beginner's course at Utah Valley University (after hours and not just for UVU students)  It was taught by Rex Allen (owner of Allen's Camera) and it was on $35 for a 6 week course.  It was definitely a good starting class for me.  However, the classes that I would recommend for all starting and intermediate photographers is Nicole Hill's classes.  She has a few different ones and they are all AMAZING.  You will learn SO much and it is worth EVERY SINGLE penny.  Here is the website with more info about those.

Do you have a favorite photo shoot? 
 My favorite shoots are always the ones that I have fun with, can relax while I'm there, have good lighting, and the pictures turn out really good.  I have had a lot of favorite shoots, but the one that I can think of last is this one I did last November.  The weather was a perfect 72 degrees, I had a gorgeous couple to work with, who I knew and could relax with, and the pictures turned out great. The second part of the shoot here.

My second favorite shoot recently was this one I did.  I just love photographing couples and bridal/groom sessions are really fun.  It was another gorgeous day and a gorgeous location in the foothills of the mountains.  Plus, I had my MIL there helping out, which is always a lot less stressful and makes the shoot MUCH easier.

What's your favorite thing about doing photography?

My favorite thing ever is when I can show someone how beautiful they really are.  When I see them look at their pictures and they are surprised at how good they look.  I love to see the confidence that a good picture can give someone.  My favorite part of a shoot is when I come home and put all the pictures on the computer.  It's like opening a present to see all the pictures on the big screen and adjust them just how I want them; especially when they turn out even better than I thought they would, and when I captured it just how I wanted to.

What's your least favorite thing about doing photography?

Bad weather, difficult children, and stressful shoots that don't go as well as I was hoping.

What are some tips you'd give us amateurs who'd just like to know how to take better pictures?

Hmmm. There are so many tips I don't know where to start.  First of all, try to keep your backgrounds as simple as possible.  Try to shoot in the best lighting available (no direct sunlight, 1 hour around sunrise or before sunset, and in shade)  Make sure the eyes of your subject are in focus.  Use the white balance settings on your camera so the coloring looks good.  You can read more about some of these tips here.

I hope that this helps and please feel free to email me any specific questions about photography!  You can see more of my work on my photoblog.
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Jun 20, 2011

Cap Creations Giveaway Winner!

Melissa said... 20 I like you on Facebook! (#2)

Congrats Melissa!  Please email me at jessicahills22 at gmail dot com to claim your prize!
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Art Week & Foxglove Tree Print Giveaway!

I have declared this week art week on the blog, and I have some fun posts and giveaways for you.

I am really excited about this first art giveaway today because it is one from my very talented sister.  She is an amazing artist, who graduated from BYU last year with a Bachelors in Art Education.  She has been drawing since I can remember and painting is one of her newer passions in art since going to BYU.  She just started an Etsy shop to sell some of her prints and called it The Foxglove Tree.  Here are some examples of what you can find in her shop:

Jamie has offered one lucky reader a print of choice from her shop!

To enter to win, visit her shop and tell me what your favorite print is.

For extra entries(leave a comment for each:)

Add her shop to your favorites on Etsy
Share this giveaway on facebook/twitter/your blog (5 entries each)

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Jun 15, 2011

Excuse Me...

...while I spend some time with these people the next week and a half:

I haven't seen my family since Christmas and I am SOOO excited to spend time with them I can hardly stand it. :)

So, I may be a little distant from my blog for a week or so...but I'll be back :)

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Jun 14, 2011

Bright, Bold and Beautiful

Just in case you missed it, I thought I would share the guest post from the blog Bright, Bold, and Beautiful from a couple weeks back. 
Laura asked me to share what is bright, bold and beautiful to me.  Since I started blogging this has been defined and redefined as I see so many bright, bold, and beautiful things out there!

Lately, though, here are what they mean to me:

Bright: Neons!
I am loving everything neon right now.
 image via coastal living

I am SO not fashionable, so every fashion blog I read inspires me to think outside the box and not be so worried about what other people think about what I'm wearing.

Beautiful: Life
My daughter has taught me that every simple thing in life is beautiful, even with messy hair and dirty hands.

I hope you enjoyed my idea of bright, bold, and beautiful! 

I would love to hear what is bright, bold, and beautiful to you right now too!
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Jun 13, 2011

Novica Pillowcase Winner!

The winner of the Novica Pillowcase also happens to be my favorite number:

mel said... 22 Luke, I am your follower! :) Cheesy????\

Email me at jessicahills22 at gmail dot com to claim your prize!  
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The Rest of Allie's Party

I was so lucky to win a party package from Moo Moo's and Tutus last year so that I could use it for Allie's birthday party this year.  Last year I was wishing I had done a bigger birthday party for her where she could have all of her friends, so when I won the party package in April after her birthday, I decided to use it for her 3rd birthday.

I also have a VERY talented cousin who was so sweet and made a cake for Allie's party.  I couldn't believe how perfect it was.  Hopefully I will have a link to her website soon when she is famous :)

cupcake toppers: Moo Moo's and Tutus

Sugar cookies made by my mom-in-law and cupcakes frosted by her too:

Banner done by Moo Moo's and Tutus and strung with pink lace

I also won a smaller party package from Party Box Design.  She made these cute stickers that I put on the favor bags and these tags I put on the sugar cookie favors.

Napkin Rings done by Moo Moo's and Tutus

Melinda went above and beyond with this cake.  She even made an ombre inside:

I want to say thanks again to all of the help I had for Allie's birthday party!  I could not have done it without all of you!

I am linking this HERE.
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