Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 26...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "Z"

One of my favorite places to go to take nature photography is the local zoo.  I visit different zoos every chance I get because they are all unique and have aspects that make them stand out from other zoos.  I hope to visit many more zoos in the coming years.  To honor the close of the April A to Z Challenge and 26 entries starting with each letter of the alphabet, I am going to share 26 of my favorite photos I have taken in various zoos.  I hope you will subscribe and become a fan because even though the A to Z challenge is over, the fun here is only beginning!  Enjoy!

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 25...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "Y"

My obsession prior to crochet was nail polish because I loved the bright, vibrant colors and all the special bottles that were scented or glow in the dark or color change or crackle, etc.  Is it any wonder, then, that after I started crocheting that my obsession turned to yarn???

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 24...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "X"

Xena, Warrior Princess
by Robin Davidson

Life and circumstances knock her on her knees
They tower above her, leering:
Unexpected news
Impossible decisions
All snarling and snapping at her heels like hungry dogs
And sometimes she thinks
This time may be too much
This one might break her
This might kill her
She gives herself time to mourn
Then she slowly rises back up
Raises her head
stares the mongrels down
Sets her chin
And plunges ahead, strong and sure
Not because she IS strong and sure
But because she belongs to The One Who Is
And that's what makes her a princess.
What makes her a warrior
is not in her strength or victory
But in the getting back up.

~ Robin ~

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 21...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "U"

When I was contemplating what to write for "U", what kept going through my head was the Minions singing, "...underwear...."  Yeah.  Couldn't figure out how to make a whole post about that.

I have so many unfinished projects sitting around.  This picture shows a few.  The pink and gray diaper cover/suspenders is supposed to be part of a fireman's baby outfit, complete with a helmet and boots.  I finished the helmet and one boot and now I can't find them anywhere!  The house has eaten them!  Where could they have gone?  I need to finish that one up because I had a fireman's baby model all set up and if I don't get it done soon, she will be too big!

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 20...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "T"

One of my mom's favorite embroidery projects is tote bags!  She has made a variety of bags in a rainbow of colors with a myriad of embroidery designs.  She has even fashioned pockets on the front of some of her bags.  We have some ready made and available for immediate shipping in our Etsy shop or you can check out her embroidery options on our website and message us for a personalized tote.

~ Robin ~

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 19...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "S"

Untitled by Robin Lynn Davidson

Elizabeth stalked down the path that cut through the large city park.  She huffed and kicked at rocks and then tried to remember that the reason she had come to the park in the first place was to blow off some steam and calm down.  She forced her feet to slow their pace and took several deep, cleansing breaths.  Then she started a mental rundown of what was bothering her.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 18...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "R"

In a previous post, I talked about writing reviews for my favorite television show Once Upon a Time on my friend's Disney blog.  On her other blog, Divas Who Save, I will be writing other reviews and tips in the coming days (as she just started this blog up after splitting the content off of her other blog).  Currently, I am working on reviewing two books, both either made into a movie or in the works to be a movie.  Alone Yet Not Alone is for ages eight and up and is a true historical story.  It's a fairly short book, at 160 pages and includes full color pictures from the movie.  My 11-year-old daughter, who is an avid reader, read it in an afternoon.  Now it's my turn to read it and collaborate with her to write the review!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 17...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "Q"

Wow, I have really been slacking!!!  I apologize if you have come over from the A to Z blog challenge looking for my "Q" and "R" posts.  Between Easter, a 3-day family weekend, and a suspended child, I have been so tired by the end of the day, I haven't really cared what was on my to-do list, which never gets any shorter.

So, without further ado, my "Q" blog post is a compilation of a quick reference for beginners who are learning to crochet.  Bookmark this post and refer to it whenever you need to.  First is a list of common crochet abbreviations to help you read patterns.  Following that is a list of links to some tutorial videos I made and posted on YouTube (more to follow).

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 16...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "P"

You might think, looking around at my blog, that "P" would stand for "Photography."  But, today, "P" stands for "Portrait."  Similar, but different.

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 15...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "O"

Well, I'm a day late, but here I am writing my "O" post.  I may not even get to post it today!  I'm having slow internet issues, so it is taking me forever to get anything done.  We are getting Google Fiber very soon (they are in construction now), so hopefully this slow connection and lost connection stuff will be a thing of the past!

For today, "O" is for Outdoor Photography.  If I could narrow down my photography to three areas and do only those three for the rest of my life, they would include my "N" topic (newborn photography), my "O" topic (outdoor or nature photography), and themed shoots.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 14...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "N"

Newborn portraits is one of my favorite types of photography!  I loved it so much that when I got an email in my inbox one day from a job search company for an opening doing newborn hospital photography, I jumped at it.  I was called for an interview and met with the supervisor.  I brought my portfolio and the supervisor said that I had some of the best pictures he had seen, better than many of his veteran photographers.  He did a "group interview"--interviewing me and another woman at the same time.  I don't think the other woman had done many interviews because she was not very good at it, joking about inappropriate things, such as drug use.  The photos she brought to show her skill were mediocre snapshots.  I felt pretty good about my chances, except that he was doing other interviews that I wasn't privy to.  However, I got the call that I was offered the job.  I was so excited!  It was my dream job to cuddle babies all day and take pictures.  The job was advertised as two days a week and every other Saturday.  But, I got the bait and switch and ended up working four days a week.  I quit my other job and went full-force at this one.  I wish I could show you pictures from those precious babies!  I was blessed to be able to photograph three sets of twins, including one set belonging to a pro football player, and many other beautiful little ones.  I've been called the baby whisperer (my best friend calls me "the Anne Geddes of Raytown") many times because moms that thought their babies were too fussy for pictures, I was able to calm down and take some nice photos.  I can't say I succeeded 100% of the time, but very often.  I had to quit when my son was expelled from summer school, but I miss that job often.  I thought I would offer some tips for photographing newborns.  Whether you are a photographer or a mom, hopefully you can find something you can use.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 13...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "M"

Starting a drama team at church sounds easy enough.  Except I won't just be acting and directing, but also writing most of the scripts.  The month to month skits will be short and sweet, but the major project is coming this fall.  To benefit the missions team, we will be putting on a mystery dinner theater.  So exciting, but at the same time, I am so nervous because I have to write it.  I want it to be funny and interesting and intriguing and some days I wonder if I am up to the task!  I've never written one before.  First step is to figure out a theme and a setting.  I am contemplating movie-themed, a camping trip setting, a dog show, a restaurant setting, or a game show.  I want to keep it more modern day.  I had originally thought to do a Bible times theme, but my pastor's wife, a Pinterest addict, wants to decorate heavily and there's only so much you can do with an ancient civilization.  I don't want too fancy because I'd rather keep costuming simple, so more money can go where it needs instead of props and costumes.  I was thinking a murder mystery, but she was thinking more along the lines of something stolen or a deception.  I'm thinking if we do a robbery, we could engage the audience by slipping the pilfered item in someone's purse or jacket pocket and then searching the audience members.  Once the script is written, I am going to make it available for free here on the blog for the use of other churches or persons, as well as the shorter ones for the month to month punctuation of sermons.  I'd like to create teaser videos to play during Sunday services and post on the church's Facebook page and website in the weeks leading up to the performance.  I'd also like to take pictures of the actors in costume to make posters to put up around the church or perhaps on local businesses bulletin boards.  I'm thinking we can match the food menu to the theme of the play.  Any suggestions for a theme, setting, or plot for our mystery theater?  I welcome any ideas in the comments below!

~ Robin ~

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 12...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "L"

I changed my mind at the last minute and decided for my "L" post, I'd have some fun and post some limericks (some old, some new) that I've written.  L is also for "laugh" so have a good one!

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who carried corncobs in a bucket
They laughed him to scorn
For he didn't like corn
But he sure did like to shuck it!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 11...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "K"

I have to admit, I put a lot of thought into yesterday's blog letter.  J.  What could I do that started with "J"?  So, my daughter and I were walking around, saying, "J...juh...juh...juh...."  I considered writing a "journal" entry.  Then I considered doing a journal entry that was about a fictional character.  As I sat down to the computer, I thought, "Dummy!  Your book starts with a J!"  Joy Comes in the Mourning.  Yep, could have written about that.  But, instead, I decided to put in a short story I wrote called simply "John 3:16."  I can't wait to get to X if I had this much trouble with J!

For today, I decided to write about my kiddos.  This is my business blog and I don't want to make a habit of bringing my personal life over here.  However, my kids are the reason that I work from home.  They are the reason that I try to make my Etsy shop and my photography business work and why I try to publish my books.  They are my motivation and my inspiration and sometimes my models.  They are the reason for this blog.  I can guarantee you that as much as I like to write, I would not be spending hours each day writing blog posts, promoting blog posts, learning how to write blog posts, guest blogging, stalking Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for followers if I wasn't doing this for them.  And while my husband and children probably deep down think that I am just goofing off on the computer all day, I am working for them.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 10...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "J"

John 3:16
by Robin Lynn Davidson

Emily reluctantly forced her eyes open. She blinked in the early morning light filtering through the slats of the blinds. She lay there for a moment, staring at the ceiling and arguing with her resolve, then heaved a resigned sigh and shoved back the covers. She reached for the clanging alarm, then pushed herself up to a sitting position and swung her feet off the bed and onto the floor. She stumbled like a newborn calf to her laundry basket and fumbled through the tangle of clean laundry. She silently berated herself for not folding it last night, but she'd been so tired. She pulled on a t-shirt and yanked up her sweats. Walking into the living room, she was suddenly aware of how quiet it was this morning. It was early, but still, the noise of the Bohemian neighborhood could always be heard plainly in her one bedroom, third-floor apartment. She ate her customary morning yogurt (always strawberry flavored) and laced up her shoes. She tucked her key and her cell phone in her pocket and skipped down the stairs. Pulling her hair into a high ponytail, she sat on the front stoop to stretch. Then she looked around. No cars. No people. No noise signaling the beginning of the day. Odd, she thought, but didn’t dwell on it long, as she concentrated on stretching her hamstrings. Then she began to run.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 9...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "I"


Yes!  Today we are talking about Instagram!  I used Instagram off and on, but it was never a major part of my life.  That does not mean that I do not use the camera on my phone!  Man!  What did we ever do without those camera phones!  I whip that thing out all the time!  I can't always carry around my big Nikon and all the equipment that goes with it.  But, when a moment is happening or I see something pretty, it is wonderful to be able to capture that memory.  I honestly would buy a phone based on its camera.  I would love to have one of the new Nokia Lumias that are basically a camera with a phone feature.  But, until my cell phone carrier offers it, I guess I am sticking with my iPhone.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 8...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "H"

By far, the most common object that I crochet is hats.  It's not the only thing that I crochet.  I have made scarves, mittens, diaper covers, headbands, goggles, pincushions, fingerless gloves, bags, costumes, booties, decor, and even a baby top.  But, I would guess that 75% or more of my projects are hats or include hats.  I have some sets that include leg warmers or diaper covers or booties.  One set has a Santa hat and a stocking that you can photograph a newborn in.  Another set has a turtle shell drape--another photo prop.  The one I am working on now has a pink fireman's helmet, a diaper cover with suspenders and cute fireman boots.  I have a gracious model when they are complete--the baby of a firefighter my husband works with.  Some hats I have for sale on my Etsy shop and some I haven't yet decided to post in my shop yet, though they can be found on my website.  Mostly I make them for my kids or for photo props or as gifts.  They do make adorable props!  And soon, I will be partnering with the ladies from my church to make hats for the homeless, the childrens' homes, and cancer patients.  I am very excited about this.  I have wanted to make items for charity for some time.  But, I am only one person and one hat at a time can only make so much difference.  But, a whole group of ladies can make a bigger difference!

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 7...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "G"

"G" is for "GLOW princess night."  My latest photography job was to take portraits of little girls age three up to fifth grade for a service project at our church.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 6...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "F"

There were a few ideas for the F blog, but I had pretty much settled on writing about "fiction" and how I prefer to write fictitious stories.  But, whether it's allergies or a cold, I don't know, but I feel terrible.  At the risk of sounding like I am making excuses, I had a plan for my day but I can't think straight and I can't get motivated to get anything done.  So, I am taking the easy way out, here.  Sort of.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 5...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "E"

Yay, break from blogging tomorrow, since it's Sunday.  Well, technically, I get a break today too because I have a guest blogger!  My mom, Linda, graciously agreed to write a little bit for me about embroidery since I know absolutely nothing about it.  If I were to write today's blog, it would be short and simple: "My mom does embroidery.  It's pretty.  See?"  She didn't really want to write it, but I persuaded her, as I often do.  So, give her some love in the comments!  Her work is viewable on our site and some is available in our Etsy shop and we will be adding personalized items in the future.  Please contact us if you need to commission any embroidery work and we will send you a quote and give you a custom listing.

Ultimate Blog Party!

As if the A to Z blogging wasn't enough of a challenge, I decided to join a blog party!  Ha!  My daughters are out of town this weekend for a conference, so reducing the number of kids from three to one means I have so much more time on my hands!  Yeah, right!

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 4...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "D"

The topic du jour is DEVOTIONALS, a sub-category of my writing.  A devotional is a short essay-type article that usually relates truth about God and His Word.  It can be delivered via an email subscription or contained within a collection of devotionals in a book.

I have started to write devotionals regularly on a friend's blog for her "Thoughtful Thursdays" as well as some archived posts on her other blog.  I have been writing devotions off and on since college.  I attended Bible College and majored in Bible with a concentration in Women's Ministries.  I didn't finish my degree, but I learned a lot from my Women's Ministries professor, including how to give and write devotions.  My English professor really wanted me to be a writer or a teacher, so I hope he would be proud that I am now writing, even though I politely declined when he suggested it.  In a funny twist, I met the friend that I write devotions for in an online devotional forum that I was leading and then she ended up transferring to my college.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 3...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "C"

Today's blog will be about CROCHETING.

Okay, yeah, I know that is pretty generic considering that 25% of my blog (well, possibly more) is about crochet.  I had PLANNED on using today's blog to post two instructional videos: "crocheting basics"--one covering chaining and the other covering a single crochet stitch.  However, it's been one of those days.  No, one of those weeks.  Heck, when did it start???

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 2...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "B"

My mom gets quite a few requests for baby gifts...mostly from me!  These are several of the gifts that she has made for me to give to friends for shower gifts.  She can do a shower gift blanket with just the baby's name on it or a gift for after baby arrives with baby's birth stats!  She can personalize burp cloths, which is great if baby is going to be in the church nursery or day care, so you go home with what you brought.  We also like to get creative with the bibs.  One of my best friends has quite the attitude so we came up with "My mommy doesn't want your advice" for one and "who wants to be a princess when you can be queen" because her name and her baby's were well-known queens.  Another friend was a fan of the Beatles and named her first son "Harrison", so we used that theme to come up with "He's got a ticket to cry."

We will be doing a listing on etsy for these personalized items in the near future, but in the meanwhile, you can check out her embroidery designs here and if you send us a message, we can give you a quote and set you up with a custom listing!

~ Robin ~

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April A to Z Blogging Challenge Day 1...Today's Blog Brought to You by the Letter "A"

No, today's letter is not "E"..."A" is for April Fool's Day pranks.  This blog is usually for crafts, photography, and writing, but today I'll deviate from that to show you what my kids had to look forward to today.

I love pranking my kids, especially my 13-year-old girl, who is quite gullible and good-natured.  I once scraped the frosting out of an Oreo and replaced it with toothpaste and she gobbled it up and asked for another.  She is forever trying to convince me that she did it to be polite.  Yeah, right!