Christene Schaaf, Photographer

About C.S. Photography, Inc.

C.S. Photography features the unique Home.Life.Art family sessions and Bébe Firsts sessions. What is Life Art? Well...Life Art is YOU! It is the relationship that is captured between family. A moment... a portrait created by me and turned into beautiful Life Art décor that makes you smile every time you walk by it and inspires your home to greet you.

My blog is filled with the inner workings of my photography passion. I will be featuring sneak peeks, tutorial tidbits, Life Art Décor suggestions, product offerings, client gallery designs and inspiration.

If you would like more information or want to schedule a Home.Life.Art or Bébe First session, please visit or email

Archive: ‘DIY Projects’

DIY Fabric Photo Leaves | Virginia Life Art Photographer

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

I’m a huge Pinterest junky. This table I found there along with the tutorial on how to make it. And I had a few Wild Sorbet frames just laying around the house that I knew I wanted to incorporate into my entryway. So, instead of filling the frame with a print I decided to leave them open and hang a smaller print from a wire. But, what I really wanted to share with you is the idea of these fabric photo leaves that I also pinned from the site. These are so easy to make and can beautifully decorate a Thanksgiving table! I can imagine digging out old photographs of family members who aren’t able to be there with you and decorating your table with these fabric leaves. So, to make them I printed out photos onto a sheet of fabric paper. Then I took a leaf from outside and made a template from a plain sheet of paper. I traced the leaf template onto the fabric photo and cut out the picture in leaf form. From there I cut out some small strips of floral wire and used Fabric-Tac glue to glue down the floral wire. When I did this I pinched the fabric to the wire a bit so it gives it that vein look. The wire I left long enough to give me a bit of a stem at the bottom of the leaf. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration!

Photo Block Ornaments | Virginia Life Art Photographer

Friday, October 28th, 2011

As promised, I’m showcasing more ways to bring Life Art into your holiday gifts! This project idea came from a dear friend who has way too many craft supplies on hand. ;) Her hubby had cut these 1.5″ blocks out of scrap wood for us and she painted them black and predrilled holes through the middle. If you are like me and are terrified at the thought of using a saw to cut tiny little blocks, you can search your local craft store or buy some online. I found these on Etsy. Or you can repurpose your child’s ABC blocks that he no longer uses.

The finished ornament:

How to:
1) Cut blocks to suit your size. These were 1.5″ cubes
2) Paint a color of your choice
3) Predrill holes through center big enough to fit yarn, rope, ribbon, etc. through.
4) Print out and cut pictures to fit on side of block. You will need 3-4 pictures per block. You use one side of the block to write on.
5) Using Mod Podge or other decoupage product, brush Mod Podge on one side of block. Place precut picture on top of Mod Podge. Brush a final coat of Mod Podge over picture. Repeat for all 4 sides of block. Let dry

6) When blocks are dry, tie a knot in the end of your rope, ribbon, etc. You can use a large needle to thread through the hole in the block. After each block is threaded, tie another knot to keep the block above from slipping down. Do this for all three blocks and tie off with a loop on top to hang your ornament with.

Just a note: If you are writing in one of the block spaces, do that before you Mod Podge. I photoshopped out the names on the blocks above because I’m an internet safety fanatic when it comes to kids. :)

What a great and simple gift this is! I’m thinking grandparent gifts! And if you really want to go all out, then wrap it in one of the Photo Gift Bags we made!

Cotton Photo Gift Bag | Life Art DIY Photo Crafts

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

I love these bags in the Somerset Magazine. I thought they would make perfect photo gift bags with a few modifications. I’m thinking of using these in my business to wrap gifts, gift cards, etc. but you can use them to bring your own family life art wrapped up!

I bought a few yards of White Cotton Muslin fabric. It was $1.99/yd not on sale, so an incredibly cost effective way to present a unique gift. You can either use an iron on transfer paper to transfer a printed image to a piece of fabric, or follow this DIY way to print using a common kitchen item, which is how I printed the image in the picture above.

1) Using a standard sheet of printer paper, trace and cut a piece of freezer paper. Trace and cut the same size piece of muslin cotton fabric.
2) Iron the fabric to the shiny side of the freezer paper. Cut off any lose strands of material to make sure they don’t get caught in the paper.
3) Feed one sheet of fabric paper at a time through printer to print directly on fabric. I found the best way was to print the image on the bottom half of the sheet. The paper seemed to get caught when it had to print right at the top of the paper. This way it fed half of the sheet through first before printing. If I wanted 2 images per sheet, I printed the first image on the bottom, turned the paper around and fed the sheet through again.
4) Remove freezer paper backing from fabric and iron out fabric again.

I trimmed the fabric photo to size and frayed the edges by pulling at the end strings.

In the meantime I cut out two same sized pieces of the same cotton muslim fabric. Mine ended up being about the size of an 8×10 sheet of paper.

Using a brightly colored thread, I sewed the transferred image onto one of the pieces of fabric in a messy circle and went around twice.

I pinned and hemmed the top of each piece of fabric, fit them together with the image sandwiched in the middle of the two pieces and sewed around the edge of the two pieces leaving the top of the pouch open. I actually decided to add a button flap to my pouch so I cut out two smaller pieces of fabric the same width as the bag and sewed along the edges leaving a small opening to be able to turn the small pieces of fabric inside out revealing the clean edges. I sewed this piece of fabric to the top of the back piece of fabric to my bag creating that messy 2nd hem line on the top of the bag.

Then to add the button I cut a button hole in the position I wanted and started hand stitching around the button hole since my sewing machine is missing that handy feature. I sewed the button on in position and that was it! I love the way it turned out!

This bag is going to go with one of my gift certificates for a client, which by the way make for great holiday gifts coming up!


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