It was a smashing good time…


I personally feel like this is a brilliant idea. I mean, why not? Every adult should have their very own “smash cake” photo shoot! Why should they be for just the littles?

A friend shared this idea with me a week ago and I was instantly excited. I had never seen this done before, not with an adult. Sure, I’ve seen it done with first birthdays time and time again. I’ve even taken some of these themed photos for my clients, but NEVER, not once, for an adult.

I instantly went to Pinterest. You know the place you go to find out a million other people thought of your idea first, lol?! Well, to my surprise, very little popped up. I knew it, I knew it seemed like an amazingly unique idea.

I was chomping at the bit to do this photo shoot, but my daughter, the one that get’s rooked into most of my trial ideas had just had her birthday in January. Not long ago, but long enough that I couldn’t pull off a shoot and say the photos were from her birthday; if I planned to share them on social media, that is. But, wait a minute, my son’s birthday was just days away, and not just any birthday, but a somewhat milestone… His 25th!

I eased him into the conversation, showed him some samples, explained the concept and my ideas. He gave me that, “Mom really?” look, I promised to keep it short and painless. A few little whiny “Oh, come-ons.” later and he said, “Okay.” I mean, he’s nothing if not fun. Further more, because even though I had found a few via Pinterest, the numbers representing “the guys” were pretty much non-existent and by that I mean, I found like one. So, it was game on!

I say, “DO IT!” Bribe your teens, con your 20-somethings, throw a bottle of wine at your 30-somethings, bring back some memories for your 40-somethings, and so on and so on. Whatever it takes, this is a must do photo shoot for family and friends of all ages.

We all should take those moments to feel like a kid again and what better way to do that than with an everything old is new again idea… The “smash cake!” It will be a smashing good time, I guarantee! And, there’s no better timing or more perfect excuse for an impromptu cake fight.

A few tips: To make it all seem like a real “smash cake,” you have to think 1st birthday props (e.g. chalkboards, balloons, party hats, birthday clothes, a real cake, etc.), but don’t forget the fun twists for adults (e.g. a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, your not-so-small birthday numbers, etc.). And, plan on getting messy; that’s part of the fun.

Happy smashing!


“It was a smashing good time…”


Bibbidi bobbidi that’s not a pumpkin…

Bibbidi bobbidi that's not a pumpkin...I don’t know if it’s because the new “Cinderella” movie is coming out or if it’s my life long obsession with Disney, but for several days now all I’ve done is sang “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” and created all things princess-like, lol.

This last weekend’s project is case in point! Who says you need a Fairy Godmother? We created our makeshift carriage out of found and discarded items. A coffee table, broken mirror frame, vintage bicycle, old prom dress and some scrap wood and… “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!”

I guess you can say, just about anything can be repurposed and it’s one of my favorite things to do. We took the coffee table (which was missing the glass from the top) and added some 1/2 inch plywood for stability for a base and then built a 3 sided box on top using scrap wood. Then we removed the rims from an old bicycle and attached to the table legs by drilling holes large enough to fit the hub hardware already on the bike. At this point we spray painted the base gold.

When the paint was dry, we took an old prom dress, cut it in sections and used a staple gun to attach the lace and fabric to the inside of the box. We also, draped the fabric across the front and sides and used the ties to make little bows for extra accents. Next we used the preexisting holes to screw the mirror to the front of the box.

Some anchors were created for extra support and extra fabric was used to line the box. We tossed in throw pillows to cozy the piece up and now it’s perfect for a princess photo-shoot.

This was a fun and inexpensive repurposing project. We were able to make use of several; otherwise, trashed items.

Now get to repurposing your pumpkins people!

Even Cinderella had to do a lil’ laundry before she went to the ball…


princesslaundryI know, I know the “Princess Laundry” photos have been done. I myself have recreated the photo with a few of my nieces a time or two, but I had to remember when my children were younger the over-done studio shots were new to me and I wanted one of every thing with my precious little ones too.

This time around; however, I had a client asking and we gave the popular laundry photo our own little spin (no pun intended, lol).

Lucky for me I remembered our old small town laundromat was still equipped with vintage washing machines in the most awesomeness shades of blue-green. The rusty old exposed air ducts, chippy dingy wall paint, metal clothing rods and wire roller carts were just icing on the cake to this vintage inspired laundry shoot.

You can do it…

It’s all in the details Baby! – Clothes pins, clothes line, distressed chair, old basket, holey socks, vintage scarf, fabulous grown-up heels, a whole lot of princess dresses and a bunny!

Edited in Photoshop with “Little Luskers” actions.

Even Cinderella had to do a lil' laundry before she went to the ball...

A vintage wedding dress and an Oklahoma wheat field…

A little vintage country photo shoot... A little vintage country photo shoot...“Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…” A wheat field, a vintage wedding dress and a baby, doesn’t get much better than that for a photo shoot.

I think sometimes people spend way too much money on outfits for that perfect photo. I’ve had several photo shoots where the photos turned out okay, BUT the ones that make you feel something, now those are the special ones, and they have little to do with expensive outfits and fancy locations.

These photos were taken a few nights ago in an Oklahoma wheat field, just before the rain. The clouds were the perfect filter for the sunset and allowed us to be right out in the open for as long as we wanted.

The dad wore denim and a t-shirt, the baby was swaddled in a scrap piece of cream colored fabric, the little girl was in a simple white sundress and the mom… Well, that was the fun part. We mixed and matched her in a plain white tank top, a lacy cream button-up and the skirt from an old wedding dress. Repurposing and reusing things for random reasons is always one of my favorite things!

I used a few “Greater than Gatsby” actions and there you go.

Now, go clean out that old trunk and take some photos!

Cupid has been hard at it…

valentinekarsynAnytime I can add a vintage or a repurposed piece to my photography shoots, it’s a win win. For the most part I’m a photo prop snob. I think most are quiet cheesy and overdone and I’m just not a fan. Funny though, I never seem to mind throwing some old junk in a photo-shoot. I guess to each it’s own; I just feel the old pieces add character and whimsy, and that’s the kind of thing I can get behind.

This photo-shoot was a lot of fun, I mean what time spent surrounded by cupcakes and cookies wouldn’t be, right? I had this desk on hand, since it was just recently one of my refurbished projects, and the vintage typewriter and produce scales were also lying around my garage. I pulled some old canning jars out of my cupboard and filled them with Valentine candy, a vintage pickle jar was filled with heart shaped marshmallows, the scales held some sprinkled cookies and my Grandma’s milk-glass cake plate was topped with pink and white cupcakes. Next, I hung some garland, made just for this holiday and stuck some heart-tipped arrows in a jar.  One of my favorite parts is the red heart shaped paper rolled in the typewriter and the stack of vintage Valentine’s… If you didn’t know any better you’d swear this little Cupid had been hard at it.

The wings were leftover from one of my daughter’s old costumes and the tulle skirt was made that morning. No child was frozen in this photo-shoot, lol. I held out as long as I thought I could with snowy frigged days and I finally caved. I mean after all Valentine’s was only 5 days away. So, my daughter and I braved the cold to take pictures of this desk in a snow covered wooded field and on the following day a second round of photos were taken in my heated garage. The photos were merged in Photoshop and along with a hundred other steps, a few “Greater Than Gatsby” actions were added. As always, I watched the budget on my project, in fact the only money I really spent here was the trip to the bakery. I’m sure; however, no baked good will go to waste… And, that my friends is money well spent!

Greater Than Gatsby Actions used:
Hammers and Strings