a special little doll.

my friend talia’s little boy, griffin turned 3 this weekend!

i made him a special little doll.

talia found the hippo fabric at new mom designs on etsy

little converse all-stars!

griffin after a his big day of celebrating turning 3!

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friends of opposite of far.

i have some new friends to share with you all!

this is virginia. she is the very talented daughter of 2 very talented parents! candice is a genius artist, and brandon is a genius graphic designer! and lucky everyone- we’re friends with a genius photographer, michelle spitz!

isn’t virginia just lovely in her raccoon mask?

this is bridger. he’s a SUPER brother! i just photographed him & his new brother recently!

this is matt. he lives in los angeles. he wears his fox mask to work. that makes me smile!

and look at this! sweet little adelaide baby with her new adelaide doll by opposite of far! what a perfect match!

baby adelaide has a very sweet aunt who also happens to be a fantastic artist too! check out kristin’s work!

showering a little sister.

saturday couldn’t have been a more perfect day. it (finally!) rained on friday, so by the time saturday rolled around the sky was clear, the clouds were puffy, the breeze was soft and temperature was cool (meaning 80, rather than 100!) when leslie came up the stairs to see our mom’s porch decorated for her shower, she was all smiles! we had a small group join us to celebrate, but it was just perfect!

happily ever after, made by me

the decorations came from a variety of inspiration that started with leslie saying she liked the idea of having a garden party-themed shower. i knew right away there should be fresh flowers in jars (that has become my signature at all parties i plan!), tissue paper flowers, and white lanterns. i also used my collection of vintage sheets as table covers and found special straws! i originally planned this decor for an outdoor tent, but our mom’s front porch worked out even better- it was shaded, close to the food and drinks and we had music!

invitations + extras by rosie day design

playing love song bingo takes a lot of concentration!

we played 3 games (that i mostly made up). game 1 was love song bingo– i made a playlist of love songs to have in the background while everyone was eating & visiting. the bingo card had words commonly heard in love songs (love, breath, want, need…). winners received a scratch off ticket to determine whether they were truly a winner! game 2 was movie couple match-up. leslie loves love…and she especially loves romantic movies, so this game was perfect! game 3 was 20 questions– i asked bo (leslie’s fiance) to answer 20 questions about leslie. the guests had to guess whether he got the answer right or wrong, without knowing his answer. then i asked leslie to answer the questions and and i shared bo’s answers. it was really fun to see how well he knows my little sis (sometimes better than she knows herself!)

the food was all garden party finger food. lovely little appetizers for a bunch of lovely ladies- cheese puffs, cheesy rice balls,  mini pigs in a blanket, homemade pesto + french bread slices, spinach dip + pita chips, fresh veggie crudites, and so much more!! my favorite part was the make your own fruit salad. we had 9 different types of fruit and 3 dipping choices: homemade whipped cream, homemade whipped lemon cream cheese frosting, and strawberry greek yogurt! in addition to the fruit, i made mini lemon polenta cakes with the whipped lemon cream cheese frosting and a blueberry on top. for drinks i served some of leslie’s favorites: pink lemonade and sweet tea, plus my favorite white wine! (honeymoon wine from trader joes- go buy some!)

for favors, i asked leslie to choose her favorite love songs and i made a cd for each guest. i looked into buying pretty cd sleeves but wow, they are pricey! i decided to make them myself, and love the way they turned out! (the next day, at shower #2 with bo’s family, they played the cd on repeat and we passed out the leftover cd’s all the ladies!)

elliana decided she would also be marrying bo, and so she insisted on helping leslie open all the gifts!

overall the day was a complete success. that success was measured by the beautiful smile on leslie’s face all day long and all the hugs of gratitude i received from her! our guests were also very sweet and gracious!

**thank you to everyone who took part in this special day…even if you couldn’t be there in person!**

mustache mike: iPhotos.

i took this picture last summer at our county fair (with my dslr camera)s. we were headed to the car derby. (you know, where they purposely crash cars into each other until there is only one car left running?) mike shaved his beard, but kept the mustache for this special occasion. i think he looks spectacular.

and since this picture is so fabulous, i have been using it to experiment with some new photo apps on my iTouch. vsco cam and snapseed are my new favorites. i also like pixlr-o-matic for interesting texture and finishes. what are your favorite iPhone/android photo apps?

(the vsco journal is an amazing source of inspiration featuring artisits from around the world sharing their day via vsco!)

follow me on instagram!! (oppositeoffar)

*****

i’m headed to cincinnati today to throw my baby sister a bridal shower! i’ll be back next week to share all the details!

scenes from the district of columbia.

brunch at founding fathers:

just down the hill from allison’s house, before you enter the free national zoo:

 

hot, hot afternoon in georgetown that consisted of getting our nails done, buying treats to enjoy later, and a little (unsuccessful) shopping:

 

and…because i’m just so cool:

 

i just get silly when i’m surrounded by tourists taking “nice pictures”

sunny the little yellow neon.

there was a time i would only buy white shirts. white shirt + jeans (or overalls) was my uniform. then i moved on to black (cause i kept spilling food on all my whites, probably!) but a slight shift in clothing choices turned to an all-encompassing shift in me (or, most likely, a shift in me turned to a shift in clothing choices….). eventually everything i owned was black, brown, or grey…basically i lacked color in a big, big way. i didn’t realized it then, but my lack of color was a little more profound than simple wardrobe choices. i had lost my color in other facets of my life too. maybe i smiled & laughed less frequently, less easily. people who were close to me noticed this shift, but i, of course, did not. apparently my clothing choices were mirroring my overall mood. choosing non-colors was easier than standing out, being bright, feeling cheerful when i was very much in a dark place.

in high school my nicknames included “smiley” and “goofy”. 10 years later, those words seemed far from my list of personality traits. my mom used to nag (yes, nag!) me all the time to wear color. she was convinced this would elevate my mood, change my outlook. at one point i was searching for a car and she showed up in california in a bright yellow dodge neon. (she bought it, drove it from ohio to santa cruz, changed the tags/ title/bank info to my name and…i had my new car, just like that) i was actually pretty annoyed. yellow? i didn’t choose this car! i didn’t want yellow! it was so loud & bright….so cheery!

flash forward 6+ years later…that little yellow neon is sitting in my driveway, smiling at me (it now belongs to my mom, but i’m borrowing it for a few months.). not only do i now appreciate the gesture of my mom forcing a bright-ass yellow car on me years ago (because in some weird way, she just knew it would help), but i appreciate the pop of color everyday. yellow is now my favorite color. color is a part of my daily wardrobe. “smiley” and “goofy” have made it back onto my list of personality traits. sure, a car didn’t cure me in any way, but i am positive that getting into a bight yellow car everyday for years has altered something in my brain (how can it not!?). by forcing color on me, my mom shifted my focus from the dark to the bright, light, cheerful colors of life.

*obviously, there are and were many, many other supports and factors that aided my “shift” in outlook/mood/emotional well-being. i am not recommending yellow cars as a cure for depression, though, really it couldn’t hurt!*

roar.

i received very unique request recently: “Can you make dinosaur masks?” a smile spread across my face when i read that. can i? well, sure i can! i am always happy to take on a good creative challenge! this request came from a bride in california. i was so curious about a couple wanting dino masks for their wedding day, i knew there had to be a story there….so, here’s the story:

“We decided on the dinosaur theme because my fiance and I both love them. He’s a science journalist and often writes about them, also he proposed to me in a museum filled with dinosaur fossils. 🙂 Its hard to find dinosaur items that are fun, classy and not tacky, and obviously i’m using your masks as props for the photos – and I think our guests would absolutely love them cuz they are so unique and made from felt too!”

very sweet! and here are the masks i made for tina & her soon-to-be husband: (in their wedding colors, of course!)

i’ll be posting more custom/unique animal masks soon…do you have an animal challenge for me? i’d love to hear your ideas!

there & back.

last week i flew to dc. i enjoy going to the airport, reading while waiting for my flight then getting on a plane with people raveling for all different reasons. what i don’t like so much is the motion sickness i get when flying…when did this come about? i’m getting old, i guess. i never used to get the least bit sick/uncomfortable on planes. i try to enjoy as much as possible about the traveling part while still excited to get where i’m going!

indianapolis airport.

taxi ridin’.

lincoln memorial from the taxi’s back window

washington monument

waiting in the security line from dc to indiana. i had to be frisked.

up

up

and away.

*****

alley art: district of columbia.

one of my favorite things about cities is graffiti- the grittiness, the precision, the often overlooked paint that becomes part of the landscape. DC is filled with beautiful and artistic graffiti. but i’m i big a sucker for the beautiful-ugly cover-up graffiti too. ugly things sometimes move me more than beautiful things. for years i documented/photographed deserted shopping carts. it was an obsession, i loved them dearly and felt giddy every time i found a new cart full of found items & objects of improtance. to someone, that cart once carried very precious items, and maybe was even considered “home”. the carts were often wrecked, or at least dirty and had been left behind for one reason or another. most people overlook them because they end up blending in, becoming part of the drive or walk home. and if they disappeared no one noticed. except me. those carts were a lot like the graffiti i saw last week in DC. left behind, marks of something + someone that has passed through. overlooked and under appreciated. the gravity of it lost on the passers-by. the expression + meaning misunderstood, ignored, or simply unnoticed. i looked, i noticed. i found beauty in it.

remember my post a couple weeks ago, wandering around cincinnati, finding beauty in the city!

photo a day july- first half.

day 1. self portrait.

day 2. frankie is so busy all the time.

day 3. best part of my day was finding bright treasures.

day 4. fun. mike surprised me with the morning showing of moonrise kingdom. i squealed. it was amazing.

day 5. on the floor.

day 6. my favorite new *FREE* chairs.

day 7. my garden brings me endless joy.

day 8. lunch. bloody mary in dc.

day 9. big museums & buildings in DC. this is the portrait gallery.

day 1o. favorite color- city edition.

day 11. letter + frankie.

day 12. texture.

day 13. enjoying open windows after weeks of oppressive heat.

day 14. building.

day 15. big brother + little brother fingers.

(i was honored when a friend asked me to take photos of their new little guy! you can see more here!)

and here’s the list for photo-a-day july, in case you missed it :

come find me on instagram, i’m oppositeoffar