M├Ągical June Shoot – ‘Magination Images ( maginationimages.com )

Magic Powers and some smoke bombs

Magic Powers

Here are some favorites from the June shoot with Magic – I’ll try to go back and share more of my recent sessions with y’all…you can find our business on Facebook or our homepage.

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Fun “background” for some baby photos

The handsome Sprout

The handsome Sprout


About every mom goes camera-crazy with their kiddos and I am no exception. I wanted a fun, bright, portable ‘background’ for some photos of The Sprout – something that would add the dimension that his fuzzy blankets just weren’t living up to. I scored this rug at Ross for $18. It is apparently made of recycled tee shirt strips in variegated colors. Neat-o!
Love the texture and rich colors of this rug

Love the texture and rich colors of this rug


My oldest sneaked his ukulele into his little brother's shot and it worked great!

My oldest sneaked his ukulele into his little brother’s shot and it worked great!


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ShaBAM! Digital Art ***texturize***

Texture Blend....

Texture Blend….


So, I love pretty much ALL mediums of art – photography and digital editing not excluded. I’ve been playing around with blending textures in Photoshop and have been having SOOOOO much fun! I picked out a photo I recently took of The Bean (that I LOVE) and opened it in photoshop.
I Love this photo!

I Love this photo!


The I went to this site – an amazing resource for FREE, high resolution textures – and chose this texture…I think it’s some rust….
Rust, I think...

Rust, I think…


I paste the texture into the open photoshop file where it shows up as a new layer.
Selecting the background layer – original photo of Beans – I use the quick select tool to select the area of his face, smoothing and feathering the edge of the selection. Keeping the ants marching, I jump to the layer of my texture and blur the still-open selection with a gaussian blur @ 33 pixels. This allows The Bean’s face to match the color of the texture when blending the layers without compromising his features. I blend the layers in the overlay mode and there you have it…
The texture really brings some magic to the table...

The texture really brings some magic to the table…

Sugarless Chocolate Coconut Hash

Sugarless chocolate coconut hash

Sugarless chocolate coconut hash

I wanted to do a stevia-sweetened dessert for Pesach. The Bean was being a whiner and the Sprout was all about adding to the vocal cacophony – so I whipped together this delicious bit of chocolate and coconut products and it turned out great. I used three squares of unsweetened baking chocolate. No, it wasn’t organic or free trade (it was a madhouse and I was reduced to using what was on hand in my cupboards). Add one tablespoon organic liquid Stevia and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt together on low heat in a sauce pan, stirring frequently. Once you have fully melted the ingredients, dump one cup of shredded unsweetened organic coconut in the pan. Fully incorporate. I spread the mixture out on a sheet of wax paper and refrigerated till cold.

Seder Hash

Seder Hash


After being refrigerated it was easy to break into small pieces. This treat is SO easy and an incredibly decadent treat….

Personalizing a Store-Bought Birthday Cake

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So this weekend we celebrated my sister’s birthday. I was asked to bring a cake to serve 40+. Normally I would have totally made the whole thing myself, but between a 3 year old wild-child and an attention-gobbling 5 week old I opted for a store-bought cake. A Costco cake, to be exact. However, I didn’t want to be completely generic as I knowingly poisoned people with toxic processed butter cream and commercial food dyes…. So I made a gum paste cake topper to individualize the cake….

Gum paste lady

Gum paste lady


My sister is an aires, and she’s considered somewhat of a goddess in her circles, so…..how about a nekkid gum paste Aries goddess. Yes! That’s it! I used pieces of lollypop sticks cut to size to support the arms and head onto the body. I used a paint brush and food dye to paint the color on the hair, horns and nipples.
Oh Boy!
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Sketch of the Day: Wuzzie the Flying Rat

Wuzzie the Rat

Wuzzie the Rat

The Bean has a best friend – an imaginary best friend: Wuzzie the Rat. Wuzzie became a member of our family about 5 months ago. The only rat Beans had ever seen was a dead one a cat had put an end to. It must have made quite an impression on him. When he first started talking to me about Wuzzie I thought it was a phase that would quickly pass – I mean, come on, a flying rat?!?. However, the Bean’s relationship with his imaginary friend has only grown. My son will talk to Wuzzie for hours at a time as he plays with his toys, we have to wait for Wuzzie, Wuzzie sits with us as restaurants, Beans shares his meals with Wuzzie and the best – I can threaten to send Wuzzie home as an effective form of discipline. No kidding. So I figured it was only fitting that I sketch what *I* imagine Wuzzie the Rat to look like. When I showed Beans the sketch he recognized Wuzzie right away. He then asked me why I didn’t draw him riding on Wuzzie. I guess thats the next sketch….

Garden spillover? Tomato Powder!

Tomato preservation options

Tomato preservation options

We’ve all done it. Planted two or three tomato plants and then suddenly, mid-summer, we have tomatoes coming out of our ears! Here’s another method of preserving your herculean grow efforts – Tomato Powder!
At the height of ripeness dehydrate thinly sliced tomatoes in large batches. The pictured tomato products were made from Amish Paste tomatoes; a super-tasty heirloom variety. The tomato slices need to be particularly dried. On their own they can later be reconstituted in water or oil for various applications.

Dehydrated slices of Amish Paste tomatoes

Dehydrated slices of Amish Paste tomatoes


With a blender, food-processor or (in this case) a Magic Bullet process the dried slices into powder. Reconstitute small amounts of the power for sauces, pastes or just to add rich tomato flavors to other dishes.
The variegated shades of powder in the jar pictured below is caused from the variety of dried tomato batches used in the powdering process.
Tomato Powder made from multiple batches of dried tomatoes

Tomato Powder made from multiple batches of dried tomatoes


A jar of home-grown tomato powder makes a nice gift as well…

Guilt-Free Tropical Popcorn

Double Coconut Corn

Double Coconut Corn


My oldest and I were in the mood for a ‘zert tonight (That’s Bean-speak for dessert) and I, of course, want to avoid refined sugar….what to do? What to do? Enter Coconut-corn!

3 Heaping Tbls Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Organic Popcorn Kernels
1/4 Cup Xyla
1/4 Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
2 tsp Sea Salt

In A large pot with a lid heat the oil on medium. Add popcorn kernels – cook till popped, shaking the pot regularly as to not burn the popcorn. Once the corn is popped remove pot from stove and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.

This is a lightly sweet kettle-corn-like dessert with tropical notes from the shredded coconut and the oil. Super yummy!