Practicing Painterly

I love to take pictures and I love to edit them just as much.

Today Chris took Maeve to do errands for the afternoon. After doing laundry and washing windows for an hour I took a break to do what I actually like doing instead 😉

This is following the “Painterly” style as taught by Shannon Squires from

My model was not as thrilled about the arrival of this new unicorn dress as I was and this is literally the only image she let me capture.

Seeing as she lives with me and works for free, I made it work 😉

It’s Apple Orchard Season

It was 30 degrees and every bit still summer but Maeve was a trooper and wore her “fall outfit” to the apple orchard. Not because I forced her but because it was a new outfit and that meant she just HAD to wear it.  Kids are so awesome. And I am now fully convinced also don’t feel things the same way us adults do.  Long sleeves AND a VEST in 30+ degrees with ZERO complaints? Common.


A little Mermaid fun to end the summer

I am part of an awesome online community of photographers and artists that create incredible photographs and creative edited images. I have been so inspired by this group this year and have worked really hard to learn different editing techniques and push myself to try and do things I have never thought of doing in the past.

This week I took Maeve to the beach and got her to pose for a few pics. From that little session I was able to turn this,



Into this!


Maeve Mermaid.sharpened


Check our more of my work on FB at:

I am kind of over Cake Smashes

Cake Smashes are INSANELY popular to document the 1 year milestone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love icing covered toes as much as the next mama, but it’s just so over done.

That is why I did a “Strawberry Smash” for this little June baby.

Happy 1st Birthday, Miss S.


My photography

I have been working on building up my technical skills and editing skills since last fall.  I am so happy with what I have learned. It has brought me back up to the standard of images that are being taken by professional photographers these days.

I have gotten a few jobs here an there, portraits, product photography, newborn stuff.  It’s been so great to have a camera in my hands again.  I was able to upgrade from my Nikon D5100 to the Nikon D750 and I still can’t believe I own it. I also can’t believe how BAD my old camera had gotten! It needs servicing for sure but I’m not into spending hundreds of dollars and an essentially obsolete device right now.

I have been saving up for a new lens and tomorrow I am finally getting the Tamron 24-70 mm 🙂 I currently only have one lens. A Nikkor 35mm f1.8. It is a crop lens so it acts as a 50mm on the D750. It’s a beautiful lens and I have been so happy with it.  My next big purchase is already on my mind, the Tamron 70-200mm.  Why oh why is this stuff so expensive?!

Follow my work on Instagram –  @shannonmacphoto and on FB

Here are a few of my recent shots:




Gosh Yarn It! Wreaths

Awaiting Autumn reminded me recently that if you don’t promote yourself, no one else will! so i thought i would take moment for some shameless self promotion 😉

i have started making wreaths about 4 years ago.  i was looking for something to keep me busy while we entered our 2nd year of TTC.  i needed something to focus my energy on that wasn’t baby related.  i started my etsy shop Gosh Yarn It! Wreaths at that time.  let me tell you, selling on etsy is a full time job!  you can’t just throw some items in a shop and expect it to thrive.  i have a friend that has devoted a lot of time and energy into her shop and all the beautiful items she has created. check out her shop – thehouseofhemp.  she has done extremely well but for me, i haven’t sold a tonne of items out of my shop.  i have, however, sold quite a bit through christmas shows and to family and friends over the last few years.  i like to work on new styles and designs and come up with custom items when requested.

i have a fairly limited amount of items in the shop at the moment as i’m trying to move inventory.  also, a lot of my wreaths are OOAK (one of a kind) and i just simply don’t have the materials needed to recreate the wreath again.

i have been thinking about making a custom initial for the nursery but since i can’t seem to settle on a name i’ll have to just keep waiting to get started on that!

through the link to my shop (here and above) you can see what i currently have in the shop for sale.  shown here below are some of my favourite items i’ve made over the years (some can be made again, sadly, some can not).

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484042_537361892943333_837589506_n 384307_509210932425096_1670625139_n DSC_0153 (Medium) DSC_0171 (Medium) DSC_0274 (Medium) DSC_0073 (Medium) DSC_0175 (Medium)DSC_0005 (Medium)DSC_0231 (Medium) (2) DSC_0289 (Medium) DSC_0720 (Medium) initial copy (Medium)

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our trip to the finger lakes!

or at least one of them 😉 (there are A LOT of finger lakes).

we ended up travelling along cayuga lake.

first i’ll start at the beginning.  we stayed at my brother’s and i slept in my niece’s rock hard bed so as i mentioned early, i was not rested the morning we left.  i actually ended up with a raging headache, stinging eyes and the feeling of pure exhaustion the whole day on saturday.

we travelled along hwys 5 and 20 and checked out antique shops and estate sales all along the way.  there are A LOT of antique shops and if we saw it, we stopped and checked it out.  on the first day i got one small oval embroidery hoop, an oval cast iron skillet with handles, a tablecloth and an embroidered floral picture (i already have 2 similar floral pics and wanted to start a collection).

we had lunch in a quintessential small town american diner. we had had a small moped following us for quite a while on the road and it turned out the gentleman riding it had the same idea we had.  he stopped for lunch at the same place and we sat at tables beside each other.  he was travelling back to maine after being on a week long road trip.  we chit chatted a bit. he was very nice.  we found out that he loved nova scotia and had gone on his honeymoon in scotland, just like us 🙂  (there’s a lot more but i’m going to get into it for your reading pleasure haha).

we decided to switch drivers and as soon as i got behind the wheel, like i’m talking seconds, this happened.  once i realized that i hadn’t been shot at and really look at what it was, i was laughing so hard i was crying.


bird poop is lucky, BTW.

we arrived in auburn around 6 p.m.  the owners of the home had decided to go to a concert in rochester so we found the key in the mailbox and made ourselves at home.  it was nice that we were alone because i had to do my shots at 6:30 and we could just sit at the table and mix everything up and do them there.

we went to dinner in skaneateles (pronounced skinny atlas).  ya, go figure!  we ended up enjoying a nice, expensive dinner.  the kind i talked about not wanting to spend money on. it was very nice none the less and i don’t regret it.  not even the hot fudge sundae we had for dessert 😉


some photos from the evening

that night i had the best sleep and felt awesome in the morning.

we had breakfast with the couple we were staying with and because she is british, i asked what brought her to the U.S?  we discovered that the she knew someone that we know in england (as she used to work for the financial times in london and transferred to work in NYC and the person we know also (currently) works for the FT).  this is such a SMALL WORLD we live in.  it’s still blowing my mind that we made that connection.


this is the photo we took to send to our friend in england showing that we met someone she knows haha

so sunday we left at 10 a.m. with the hope of golfing before the wineries opened for tastings.  we didn’t find anything BUT we did find the montezuma wildlife refuge 🙂 here are some pics


we went all the way to the finger lakes to see baby canada geese LOL



 the kid with the crossbow (one of 3 guys in a boat) was hunting? fishing? finting for carp LOL.  he said it was good as fertilizer… ummm, okay.


the went to the first winery, swedish hill, around 11:30. unfortunately their wine was nothing to write home about we and didn’t purchase anything there.  we did, however, get to meet their winery mascot Doobie.


we later found out that doobie bites.  he seemed to really like us though, so that was good.

we visited a few more wineries and i got to check out sheldrick winery, (the one i wanted to go to for the rose).  i didn’t end up liking the rose so much but i did like a pinot gris they had so we got a bottle there.



 just a couple shots from the winery’s tasting room.

we did some wineries, some antique shops then we discovered the hard cider place. yum!  we picked up a bottle there too 🙂


i don’t remember the cats name but it was a total jerk hahaha. it took me 3 separate attempts and about 15 shots to finally get this one.  it literally closed it’s eyes and turned away everytime you pointed a camera at it.  look at those eyes – so cool!

(we found out, luckily not the hard way, that this animal is also a biter).

then we came upon this natural beauty!




we stopped for lunch at another little diner. this one overlooked the lake. i had the best burger!  man i love little hole in the wall diners. the absolute best.  we headed into ithica after lunch and checked out the main street.  there was a lot of construction going on but it looked like it would have been a really cute downtown.


 there were some very cool art installments.

we headed up the hill to check out cornell.  wow. beautiful! the buildings, the grounds, the football stadium! GO BIG RED! hahaha


i’d never seen a frat house in real life before hahaha

the old homes were absolutely amazing.  i wish i could have taken a picture of every single one.  no joke.  they were incredible.  we couldn’t believe the condition some of them were in.





just one last story about POOP.  we got out of the car on the last day to check out one more antique shop and i wasn’t out of the car for a minute and i got POOPED ON!  right on the top of my forehead, all over my sun glasses.  i  took it as a sign – DOUBLE GOOD LUCK FOR ME 🙂

we had such a great time on this vacation.  not a moment where were bored or disappointed (oh, except for that time we drove to the cheese farm and it was closed hahaha).

if you’re into old homes, beautiful scenery, great people, good food, good wine and old stuff (antiques) this could be a great getaway for you too.

do good things, pay it forward

i got a mystery package in the mail this morning 🙂


it was from an “A. Hare” in Calgary, and i don’t have any close friends living there anymore, so i was super confused.  it felt like packing peanuts or easter eggs when i first grabbed it.

i drove home and got the scissors and VOILA!



then i remembered that my friend A. HALE had said she could send me corks.  the Calgary location threw me off because she had just moved to Halifax but then i remembered that her and her boyfriend had just made a move again out west this time.

these corks are for a project at work.  we have carts that we use to transport the art materials and games from the storage room to the classroom and back.  at our last staff meeting we were told we are supposed to decorate the carts and make them more interesting.  we are painting one half of the art cart on the back with chalkboard paint and the other half we are gluing corks to create a more interesting cork board to display the children’s art work


this kind gesture made my heart happy and i’m looking forward to my turn to “pay it forward” and help someone out as well