Thursday, November 19, 2009

10 things that make me happy

I found this list on a scrap of paper.

1. paper (Aches 88 is my fav! It's so gorgeously thick and smooth!)
2. mechanical pencils size .5
3. swing dancing
4. baby legs
5. kettle corn
6. my morning runs
7. self help books
8. making something, anything
9. pretty pictures
10. a day of reading snuggled up with a blanket

The pic is from my booth at a local gift fair last weekend.

Going to see New Moon tonight at midnight. So excited!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Finally finished!

I finally finished chickie's quilt. Just in time for her birthday.
Truth be told, the night before her party I stayed up till 5 am trying to finish the binding. I was watching Anne of Green Gables (love!) and I think I must have been half asleep because I only got one long side done. And I was a bit grouchy for a few days. No more all nighters for me. Which means I'm going to have to make this Friday movie morning instead of movie night since I'm going to see New Moon at midnight Thurs with some crazy girlfriends of mine!
As you can she she was very excited about it (the quilt--she's not quite old enough for vampires and werewolves). Actually she really was. I don't know how many 7 yr olds would be excited for a quilt. I think she gets that it's important in our family.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

think, think, think.

Is it just me...or have you noticed that since I've become a photographer my blog has been sadly lacking in written content. Maybe because a picture is worth a thousand words?
The other night Chickie couldn't sleep. My great-aunt Jean gave her some bedtime music when she was born. My favorite was the Bedtime Bethoveen CD. So she has listened to it almost every night since she was just a baby to go to sleep. And yes, she loves classical music. Today she was looking for her ipod. She didn't want to listen to mine, she wanted to listen to pretty music with "piano's and flutes" while she painted.

Lately she has been calling me in at night asking if I will restart her bed time music. She said she forgot to listen and she apparently likes to fall asleep during the first two or three songs. She was really upset one night because she said she just couldn't stop thinking. Turns out that first graders have a lot more on their minds than babies do. In the end we decided to turn off the music so that she could devote her last waking hours purely to thought.

I had a similar experience with my Grammy shortly before she died. It was early in the morning and we were getting ready to take her to dialysis. She was all dressed and I needed to go get ready. I asked her if she'd
like to turn on the TV while I got dressed. We flipped through a few channels together and then I left. When I came back to her room it was quiet again. I asked her if she couldn't find anything interesting. She said, "Sometimes when your own life is so full, you don't have any room for that.... Do you know what I mean?" "Yes, Grammy. I know what you mean." We sat there quietly. Sometimes life is so full there are no words for such a moment.
Just a few unrelated thoughts about thought. I've had a lot on my mind lately. But none of it is conclusive. Does that ever happen to you? I think too much in general anyway. At least now I know I'm not the only one.
And I thought I didn't have any pictures for this post until I remembered our recent trip to the corn maze. Yes sometimes in life you end up at a dead end or biff it in the mudd, but it is still quite the adventure! You might as well laugh and enjoy it as much as possible.

Friday, October 16, 2009

first grade

Olivia drew this at school. It made me so happy. She has a good life. It says from left to right: I like my family, I like to watch my show, I like to play dress up, I like to go to my friends house, I like to read, I like to hold my bunny, I like to play tennis, I like to swim.

Today I'm going to her school to be the Friday Friend for the first grade. I am going to read Emily's Art by Peter Catalonotto it is one of our favorite books. And then I'm going to talk about my job. Speaking of which I just posted some new photo shoots on my blog last night. :)

Then (because I know you want the play by play of my day) we are going to buy supplies for making some pretty rockin' Halloween costumes. We have a few days off from school and I am planning on staying home and sewing. I had to go to too many places over the past two weeks and I've realized something about myself that I should have already known. I really would just rather stay home and make things.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Since I'm the Queen of getting ahead of myself...

I have a new photo blog and it's so pretty that I can't stop looking at it! And the sad thing is that I haven't even posted anything on it yet! How funny is that! But guess what! I designed my very own favicon! I think that's the think I'm most excited about!
That's enough exclamation points for one post. I'm going to bed now. And tomorrow I'm going to go to Knoxville for a fun engagement shoot! (ok just one more exclamation point)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

You just can't make stuff like this up!

Today I did something I'm not too proud of...but I'm blaming it on the cabin fever resulting from a week of solitary confinement due to Chickie's swineflu/strep combo. How's that for a long sentence?

So we're eating lunch. Bentley says, "Mommy, why is she naked?" I look out the sliding glass doors in front of our kitchen table and see a rather large woman collecting walnuts from under our tree. She is holding a grocery bag. If she had been wearing the bag it probably would have been more modest than what I was seeing. She was wearing what looked like a bra and panty set. And she was bending over. And over and over. The bra was too small and it had a hole in it. I shut my curtains to protect the innocent. I peeked out for a moment trying to solidify if what I was seeing was really and truly real. It was. I contemplated saying something, started to open the door. I stopped myself because I knew it wasn't going to come out very nicely.

At this point I should probably explain that we live in a condo with a big shared backyard. And this naked lady is one of my neighbors. We haven't officially been introduced.

I call my other neighbor and bid her to look out her window. We start laughing hysterically in disbelief. Annie points out that she probably thinks it's ok since she is wearing a sports bra and what might possibly be bikini bottoms. We discuss complaining to the homeowners association and decency laws in our town. We laugh some more and hang up.

I go to my fridge and open the door. I have the sudden thought flash through my mind. I failed the test. When I was a teen/twenty something I was obsessed with magazine quizzes. It all played out in my mind.

Question: Your unsightly neighbor decides to pick walnuts in a makeshift bikini in the fall in your backyard, you...

A. Explain that there are children present, and would she please wear some clothes. Offer her an extra grocery bag and bring her a fresh batch of pumpkin muffins to thank her for being such a great sport about the whole thing.
B. Shut your curtains and laugh it off, people are quirky.
C. Call a friend and laugh at your neighbor together. And blog about it later.
D. Take a video and post it on YouTube.
E. Call the police.

In my mind, when filling out the answers in the magazine, I would think I'd be person A. Maybe B would have been the best thing to do. But no. In actuality I chose C. I'm a terrible person. But in my defense... it was one of those moments so unbelievable that it really had to be shared.

So maybe my neighborhood is kinda worse than I thought it was. And I have never had one moments second thought about moving here. Everything has been really great. Except one thing. I miss living in a town where we can afford a really nice house. Kind of a lot.

I'm thankful for the weather today it was really nice...maybe a little too nice.

So seriously though! What would YOU have done? I really want to know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

my sweet Grammy

My Grammy with her older sister my Great Aunt Jean

My Grammy died on September 10th. We went to Moab, UT to be with family and to help with and attend her funeral services. I felt really proud of my family. The services were perfect. We had a viewing, a traditional funeral at the graveside, and a family memorial service up at Warner Lake. Warner was the place she loved. She said being there filled her soul. We told stories about her. More that made us laugh than made us cry. It seems she made everyone feel like family, and accepted us all in spite of our differences. I loved her very much. She was a huge influencing factor in my life. I feel different now. I have to be more of a grown up now. I am going to take some time and try to make my home look slightly more grown up. That sounds so funny, but I'm serious. Hopefully I'm capable of having a grown up house. I think some of the old college paintings might have to come down. Grammy was always one to get things done. I think I definitely inherited that. But I'm going to take some time to make sure I'm moving forward and getting the best things done. Move forward with a specific purpose. So I may be a little quiet here on my blog for a bit longer.

I'm thankful for many, many good memories. I'm especially thankful that I chose to live with her the summer after my freshman year in college. We had a lovely time together and she taught me to quilt, one of her greatest passions in life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

this weekend

We hunted for treasure, and found it.

We got to be a part of something wonderful! We went back to Knoxville for Addison's baptism.
I had to laugh when I was taking these pictures I told Ryan and Add to just talk to each other and interact. Ryan then gave Addison a hug and then he said in the sweetest, most natural way, "Now hug me on the other side." Now you can tell his wife (my dear friend Heather) is awesome about taking great pictures of her family.

I miss these guys! But I'm glad we live within driving distance.
And I sewed! Finally got a little done on Chickie girl's quilt.

What did you do?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

new frontiers

I just put Andrea Larsen Photo on Facebook! How exciting. You can become a fan and make my day! Right now I have 2 fans and one of them is me. Hopefully I will have a few more by the end of the day. I'm also running a special. You ready for this? If you book in September $150 for a 1 hour photo shoot with 10-15 edited images in color and black and white on a disc! Editing makes all the difference my friends. I may throw in all the un-edited images as well. I can't decide if it's more overwhelming to get a disc with 100+ images or if people would rather just have the really great ones. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


does a body good

It does a body good. And ya know what else does a body good? Drawing! And a lot of it my friends.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Aleena Jean

I love this image. It's my favorite. I love the streak of red in her hair. The color of her hair. Her amber eyes. And last but not least...thank you wind!
This is my cousin Aleena. She is a senior this year from Seattle, WA...ish. And this little photo shoot was a bright spot in a difficult week for us in UT. Our poor Grammy. I was so down in the dumps this day. But we had planned this already, and by the end we were having a total blast!

She's cute, right!

Friday, August 14, 2009

making lemonade

Figuratively speaking that is....

Sometimes life hands you big fat lemons. I feel like I've been getting too many of them lately. Don't you hate it when life feels like LIFE? Do you know what I mean? Sometimes life is just day to day enjoyable everyday silly problems. And sometimes you have to deal with the big things that aren't any fun at all. Like my Dad's mom (mamaw) dying. And my Dad's mom (Grammy) has what looks like a very aggressive cancer on top of failing kidneys. (I have two great dad's and I call them both Dad. It gets confusing.) I've been baking a lot this week. It's how I deal with things like that. Not good. We ran out of flour and had to go to Gigi's today. Had to. I don't want to do any more dishes.

The lemonade...a surprisingly fun post-funeral photoshoot with my cousin Jordy. He's one good lookin dude. When we were kids he was always making movies with my little sisters. Now he's in LA doing the actor thing.
As for the lemonade in the situation with my beloved Grammy...I'm going to see her Monday. So that's good. We were made from the same cloth. Two peas in a pod. I get her, she gets me. I only wish I were by her side already. Chris is going to brave it alone with the kids. He'll probably have everything in tip top shape. Can't say the same for what they may that's a scary thought. If you see my kids please sneak them a fruit or vegetable.

More job with Lindsay Jane Photography. A super hard situation, because I love Todd and Lindsay so much and all their family. Lindsay taught me a lot and I will always be thankful for her in my life. Hopefully I'll be able to reciprocate in some way. But the job wasn't what we needed it to be. So I quit. Big fat depressing bummer. I was trying to wallow in my own pathetic situation, but no one would let me. And when my lawyer told me I needed to "move on with my life" well that was the last straw. I guess sometimes the people pleasing can be a hindrance. Who knew?

The lemonade... andrea larsen photo. Never in a million years did I see this one in my future. But people started calling me. And I have to have somewhere to put the pictures, right? So it's fun. Actually I've been having a blast. It's not quite done yet (the website, or anything else for that matter). It's pretty ghetto at this point, but it's a start. And the good news is that I've been busy. I had a newborn shoot this week, and a small family, and tomorrow I have a family of 33! Yikes. How I got this busy already??? A blessing.

Yes. Life is weird. Why can't things just work out like you planned them? Maybe this was too melancholy of an announcement? But I guess there is no helping that at this point. Too sum up: new job stuff, good. family stuff, bad. Must make lemonade tomorrow...and possibly lemon bars.

Monday, August 3, 2009

broadway babies


Today I took Olivia's first official head shots. We are lucky enough to be living in this awesome place! One of the lady's that we go to church with is donating her talents to the little girls. They have a two week Drama Camp that ends with a show this Friday! They are doing the Jungle Book this year. And I got to do their sweet little head shots! It was such a blast. I wanted to share a few. I love it when I get a genuine expression. Olivia has two little teeth hanging on by a mere thread. But she's so not about pulling them.

Isn't she darling!

Alyse is in the class I teach on Sunday's. I was worried about how her pictures turned out until I looked through them on the computer. I think they were the best ones of the day.

One of his buddies was making him laugh. Classic.

Here is our assistant-director. She is very serious about her job. Today was her birthday. She didn't want to have her picture made. But I got her to smile when I told her I heard she stayed up till 3 am playing barbies with her little nieces. This is the smile of someone guilty as charged and kinda pleased with herself about it!

Bentley had fun too. He camped out on a blanket with a movie and some fig newtons. See the crumbs! He charmed a little moth/butterfly.

I'm thankful for today. It was fun.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the elusive number four

We are all the main character in our own life story, are we not?  Well.  Here's a bit of mine.  I know, I know...this blog is all about me.  But some subjects I have kept a little mum.  I was waiting for the moment of the big reveal.  The wow factor, you know  {Surprise!  Look what I've been doing!} and all that.  But then I wonder, if the story isn't more interesting than the end result.  Especially when the end result is taking so much longer than I thought. Aye, aye, aye.

Remember this? Of course you don't.  That was light years ago, right.  Well,  things didn't go as planned.  Not exactly.  But I did end up with a contract with Andover Fabrics!  That's right!  A signed contract.  It was in the process for so long that when it came in the mail it almost seemed normal.  Now that's weird.  But when the word was final on the phone, I did indeed celebrate.  I was by myself (except for a sleeping baby).  So there was a lot of silent jumping up and down.  
Here I am gripping my contract tightly in my best accidental Rosie the Riveter pose.  

That gets you pretty much up to date.  The word now is that my collection has gotten mixed reviews (I don't blame them, I'm before my time).  And it's being taken around to some of Andover's best clients to see what they say.  I wonder who their best clients are?  I wonder if their best clients would be my best clients?  I would describe my work as...girly/modern (so not traditional).  But I definitely adhere to traditional values of quilting when it comes to scale and contrast.  Although I do have larger prints and one huge print.  Oh, how I wish I could really show you.  It's so pretty you guys!  

And here is the stack of designs I sent them.

I'm told it's harder for me because I don't have a name out there yet.  No patterns, etc. Hmmm.  I keep thinking that all things are possible.  That's what my husband keeps telling me.  So it surprises me that things don't just happen perfectly.  But then again it still surprises me when they do.  I know one thing for sure.  I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.  But it feels right so I'm just going to keep plugging along.  Wish me luck.  

As for my post title.  Have I mentioned this book before?  Finding Your Own North Star.  I love it.  She's so funny.  And I think she has a lot of wisdom.  So according to Martha Beck...our hero's saga consists of four steps.  

1. Protagonist sets out to achieve goal. Check
2. Protagonist runs into a mess of trouble.  Check
3. Protagonist struggles through adverse conditions.  Check, check, check.
4. Protagonist achieves the goal.  (the elusive number four!)

In the mean time I know I can do some things differently to help myself along.  I still have a lot to learn.  I just figured it's time to come clean.   Especially since I've been pulling out my portfolio for anyone to take a gander at who is nice enough to ask.  

I'm so thankful for this opportunity.  I'm so thankful for the team at Andover taking a chance on me.  I grateful for their enthusiasm for my designs and I can't wait for everyone to see them!  So next time you are talking with your rep from Andover Fabrics make sure to ask when Andrea Larsen's first line is going to come out!  Tell them you hear it's going to be fabulous!  They would be so confused. That makes me laugh just thinking of it.  That's a good happy laugh, not evil and sinister...FYI.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

baby feet

I just found this picture of my nephew Eli as I was backing up my family pictures from June.  How cute is this. Zonked out on his little doggie blanket.  And I love his little black pants.  

I'm dying-dying to paint my living room white.  Soon.... soon.


Incase you didn't know, Friday July 24th is Pioneer Day!  And since I am a faithful Mormon girl I took my kids to our local Pioneer day celebration!  It was by far the best pioneer day I have ever been to.  I'm sure in Utah they go all out, but everywhere I've lived here in the south it has always been a little more low key.  Until now...
There were sack races.
And my kids are so cute hopping around in sacks!

Who knew?

There was a handcart for kids to either ride in or pull.

We dug for potatoes, picked apples, and hunted eggs!
I want to make one  of these chickens, they are darling.  But what would I do with it?
And a petting zoo.  And that's not even the half of it!  We made our own butter, hammered nails, made necklaces, shopped at the general store. It was all very exciting.  And I got to spend some time in the temple today which is what it's all about.
Some of my ancestors left England and came to America to join the trek west.  Actually, that's not exactly true.  I think the story goes that my ancestor (Richard Bentley?- I could be remembering that name wrong and my family history book is in storage.) ANYway.  He left with his sister and her husband who were with the Mormons in order to look for work.  And then there was a girl...isn't that how the story always goes. 
 I'm so proud to have such a rich history.  My great-grandpa LeRoi Bentley put a lot of work into our family history book.  I'm so grateful to have that.  And to top the night off I watched a John Adams movie and worked on a quilt.  I was just feeling overall so grateful for all the great men and women who have gone before us and given us so many freedoms.  
I was listening to Jennifer Paganelli on craft sanity a while ago.  She was saying that she was thankful for Amy Butler who has been such a pioneer in the fabric design industry.  So true, Jennifer, so true.  Speaking of which I will have to update you all on my fabric designing journey.  It has not been smooth.  Wouldn't ya know it.