Melissa Kay Photography bio picture
  • Hello

    Thanks so much for stopping by! After five awesome years in North Carolina, my husband Caleb and I have relocated to McKinney, Texas, and we've welcomed a baby girl to our family. I'm not currently able to take on any additional weddings, but I look forward to getting back to doing what I love best, photographing weddings, soon. In the mean time, please look around my blog. Thanks for being here!

Peacock Costume | Happy Halloween

After perusing Pinterest, I pulled together a few ideas, then enlisted the help of my mom to create this Halloween peacock costume for my daughter. I’m posting the tutorial below.

Tail-Feather-Piece supplies:
1 large piece of blue poster board
9 pieces of aqua felt
6 pieces of bright blue felt
4 pieces of gold felt
3 pieces of dark blue felt
about 2 feet of elastic
blue faux feathers
craft glue

You can create the basic shape of your tail-feather-piece out of a large piece of poster board. Fold the poster board in half first, because you’ll need two identical pieces. Then, just cut two semicircles, suitable for the size of your child.

I needed about 18 individual felt feathers for each side of the tail-feather-piece and cut each of the felt pieces by free-handing each of the four shapes. The idea came from this tutorial. That’s 144 pieces of felt, but each one took only about a minute. It was all done in one nap time. Next, assemble each of the 36 feathers by gluing the 4 felt pieces together.

I glued blue faux feathers along the top of one of the poster board semi-circles, then glued my felt feathers in a pattern I liked. Now, the back of the tail-feather-piece is complete. For the front of the tail-feather-piece, use your second poster board semi-circle and poke two holes where you want to place the elastic arm loops to secure the costume on your child’s back. Make a loop of elastic for each of the child’s arms and tie a knot on the back of the poster board to keep the elastic from slipping out of the hole. (I held the poster board up to my daughter to get a good idea of where I wanted to place my holes and how long the elastic needed to be). Now, you can glue your remaining felt feathers onto the poster board in order to create the front of the tail-feather-piece. When you’re happy with it, glue the two pieces of poster board together, sandwiching the elastic knots in the middle. The tail feather is done!

Headpiece supplies:
a toddler-sized, plastic, aqua headband
2 aqua pipe cleaners
6 aqua pom poms

I cut each pipe cleaner into three pieces, then used a hot glue gun to attach the pom poms to the pipe cleaners, and the pipe cleaners to the headband.

(Optional) Tutu supplies:
1/4 yard of 4 different aqua/blue colored tules
comfy elastic for the waistband (we used aqua colored)
(optional) sparkly ribbon
aqua thread for sewing machine

I’m can’t accurately list the steps to create the tutu, because that’s where my mom’s came in. My skill set is limited to cutting and gluing, and she did all of the sewing. I can say that we folded each quarter-yard piece of tulle in half in order to create a bit of bubble in each layer (except the top layer of tulle which was not folded in half–it’s actually just 1/8 yard with ribbon sewn to the hem). If you don’t have a grandma to help and aren’t interested in sewing, I think this costume would be great without the tutu, or you could buy a pre-made tutu as well.

My daughter is wearing a tee from Target (I picked up both a long and short-sleeved version, since I wasn’t sure what the weather would call for) and a pair of sparkly leggings that we found at a second-hand store. Happy Halloween, friends!

Monthly Baby Photos | My Daughter

My little sugar just had her second birthday, and I wanted to share the monthly photos that I took during her first year. It’s funny to see how she’s changed from the swollen, spiky-haired, round baby ball that she was at one month to the little girl she is today.
I had a similar star wand when I was a kid, and everything is little more fun with a magic wand, right? She’s wearing different mostly-white outfits each month instead of a basic onesie. The outfits were things that she regularly wore, so they trigger good memories for me (minus the frilly dress at month 11–that one obviously didn’t get too much wear, but it was a sweet gift from grandma).

I was a little relieved when the 12 monthly photos were finished. That sofa and pink baby blanket backdrop actually moved to 3 different cities in 2 different states with us during my daughter’s first year–our homes in LA, Santa Barbara, and McKinney, TX. Also, I got off to a bad start, as the month 2 photo was actually taken at 6 weeks (the reason it looks so similar to month 1) because our belongings were packed and sitting in temporary storage for a while during that period. But, phew, I persevered and am really glad that I have them all.

In the future my hope is to take one photo with the wand on each of her birthdays. Happy second birthday, darling!

Jane + Jeff | McKinney, Texas

Yes, I’m still on maternity leave, and I am enjoying spending so much time with my new little love. We’ve moved again. We’re in McKinney, Texas now–for good. We bought a house! The great thing about Texas is that we’re closer to our friends and family in Kansas, and a few of our good friends have moved to Texas too. When our awesome friend, Jeff, who lives in San Antonio, asked me to shoot a couple of photos of him and his lovely new wife Jane before their upcoming ceremony in Taiwan, I was excited to break out my camera. Here are a few quick favorites.

2012 Year in Review

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, but I’m back to share my 2012 year in review:

January: Starting off with the biggest of the big news–Caleb and I got pregnant. Hooray!

Then we took a trip to Aruba. Also, Hooray!

February: We were living in Indianapolis and so excited that our (short-term, adopted) city was hosting the Super Bowl. Not that I’ve been to any other cities’ Super Bowl festivities for comparison, but I think Indy did a fantastic job.

March: I celebrated my 29th birthday in my PJ’s because I was just too sick to do anything else. That feeling went on for weeks. Those early days sure can knock you on your butt, but the good news is that you forget about it later…for the most part. I’ll spare you the birthday photos.

April: We moved into a studio apartment, just two blocks from the beach, West of LA. I prepped for the baby, as well as one can while living in a tiny box.

May: A weekend camping trip in Yosemite was mind-bogglingly awesome! I cannot wait to go back. If I had a redo, I would rethink my plan to “rough it” while pregnant though. Sleeping in a tent sans-air mattress made for a couple of long nights. Photos don’t do it justice, but I’ll post them, because that’s what I do.

Also, Caleb learned to surf.

June: We celebrated our five year wedding anniversary. My husband is still the most amazing man I’ve ever met.

And, I ate oodles of cupcakes. LA has amazing cupcakes.

July: We checked three major league baseball stadiums off the list (on our way to the goal of rooting for the home team at all 30 MLB stadiums). Go, Angels, Dodgers, and Padres!

August: I didn’t continue running once I was pregnant (big hats off to the ladies that do!), but we did manage to squeak out a 5K because I’m crazy about these color races. We got up at 2 am to drive from LA to San Diego to be the first in line for the day-of registration at San Diego’s ‘Color Me Rad’ race. It was worth every minute of lost sleep!

September: We celebrated Caleb’s 30th birthday with Cirque du Soleil. We just snapped this one photo of the two of us, with crazy light. Then one more of me super-pregnant. Yikes.

October: Baby Charlotte was born! She is everything that I never could have imagined my perfect baby to be.

November: We moved to Santa Barbara for Caleb’s third and final rotation, and I cannot stop myself from posting more photos of my little chunk. Yes, her hair always sticks up like this. It’s unstoppable, and I love it.

December: Enjoying our lovely little town.

Plus, Charlotte’s first Christmas.

Thank you so much for coming along for my 2012 highlights. I’m taking some time away from wedding photography to focus on being Charlotte’s full-time momma, but I plan to blog a bit more this year (after my dismal showing last year, that shouldn’t be too lofty of a goal). Hope your 2013 is off to a beautiful start! xo.