Friday, January 15, 2010

edited to add...

In an earlier post, I said something that could have been taken as a putdown or snarky. I made a comment about real life pictures vs photos posed in front of railroad tracks or on a couch in a field.

I'm not opposed to or turned off by any particular style of photography. I just feel silly whenever I try to do something artsy like that. I don't feel authentic when I try something different. I feel like I'm trying too hard. So, I prefer to just try to perfect the art of capturing our crazy, normal life here at home.

That being said, here's today's photo:

The kids had fun and they were great sports about me taking lots of photos. The lighting was difficult with it being cloudy one minute and then bright and sunny the next. So, all in all, no great shots, but it sure was fun trying!

I keep reminding myself that it's not the destination, but the journey!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Lighter Side


Last night I was taking some photos to try out different angles, settings, etc. I still have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm having a blast trying!

I just uploaded that batch of photos on my computer and I found this pic. Makes me laugh. I know some people aren't fond of cats, but the expression on our cat, Zeus's face is priceless. He looks annoyed, but he totally loves being played with. He just keeps coming back for more.
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If you're a scrapbooker, then you must have heard of Ali's one little word. I've never chosen a word for myself because I rarely ever stick with anything and I tend to avoid things like this. But, this year, a word just popped in my head and it struck a chord with me.

de·lib·er·ate (di-ˈli-bə-rət) adj.
1. Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects; intentional.
2. Arising from or marked by careful consideration: a deliberate decision.
3. Unhurried in action, movement, or manner, as if trying to avoid error: moved at a deliberate pace; be aware of.

I tend to fly through life with lots of loosely constructed goals but I really have trouble organizing my actions to meet my goals. For me, the word deliberate means to do everything with a purpose. Not just do what feels right at the moment.

Here's how I plan to implement this word into my life:

1. Write down my goals/projects.
2. Write down actions needed to achieve goals and/or finish projects.
3. Record successes along the way.
4. Enjoy the process or at least praise myself for completing the goals and projects.
5. Involve my family in the process because most of my goals positively affect them.

For example, one of my goals is to decorate my daughter's room. I've been putting it off because it involves a lot of painting. Ugh. Another goal is to improve my photography skills. I'm already taking the class, now I just need to practice!

Ultimately, by making my actions deliberate, I hope to avoid my common pitfalls of procrastinating and avoiding my daily tasks and projects. No more abandoned projects or avoided goals.

I won't even go into how I've been wanting/needing to start exercising more. I'll tackle that later. ugh

What's your word?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

photography class

I've got a list a mile long of things I want to accomplish this year and in my life in general. One of the items on that list was to become a better photographer. In the past, I've always had lots of hobbies and interests, but I rarely took the time to educate myself on any one of those interests. Silly really, but true.

I have a very nice digital SLR with various lenses to go with it. My husband and children grin and bear it when I announce that it's time to take some family photos. I take lots and lots of photos, and rarely get any really GOOD photos. Plenty of happy, decent photos, but nothing spectacular.

A year or two ago, I heard about Karen Russell. ( I was immediately taken by her photographs of her family. They were real photos, not fancy photos taken on a couch in a field or in front of train track, but real photos in and around her house and they all looked fantastic. When I found out that she taught a photography class online, I immediately signed up for the wait list and now I'm in her class!

We're in week two and I'm already enjoying taking photos so much more! I'm more relaxed and I'm just snapping away and I'm starting to get shots that I really like.

I'm going to share a few of my fav's from today. Do not judge me! LOL! Technically, these are not great photos, but I'm so happy to have captured a few moments that I cherish and I didn't have to bribe, yell, curse under my breath or threaten anyone to get these photos.

In my mind, that's a success.

In this first photo, my camera settings are all wrong, but I was just playing around. I got this shot of my son and our dog, Pickles. My son is good with animals. They all seem to love and trust him. I love this picture because it shows Connor's gentle touch and Pickles' totally serious, but loving look.

In the second shot, I changed the settings a bit and got this shot of my daughter, Emma and her cat Zeus. I love this shot because it shows the fun these two have together. I also love the happiness on my daughter's face. She can be a little moody and not at all interested in being photographed, but in a rare moment, she was game to play along.

I hope you'll take the time this year to learn more about something you're interested in. Take a class, or read a book on the subject. Check out Karen's site too. She's a great photographer, and she tells great stories.

More Wedding layouts

Hello again! Here is another wedding layout. Sorry for the glare on the right side of the photo. My mom was packing up her stuff and I wanted to grab a quick photo of her layout before the sun went down.

These photos aren't my fav of the bunch, but it's fun to see the shot of us coming down the aisle, newly married. In the photo on the right I'm casting a sideways glance to someone, and I look a little odd, but my husband looks quite fetching in my opinion. : )

Another reason I am sharing this layout is to show how cute the new Stampin' Up! cut and emboss butterfly sizzlit! Here's a close up picuture.

Love those butterflies!

Again, the supplies used here are mostly Making Memories plus the SU sizzlit. Random ribbon and jewels too.

I'm still cleaning up around here now that my holidays are officially over. I've been either travelling or entertaining since Christmas Day, and I'm finally having some time to myself to clean up and get back to normal.

I'm also ready to really dive into the photog. class I'm taking. I'm totally overwhelmed by it all. I'm also realizing that I'm going to need to update my camera. I've got the old first-generation Canon digital Rebel, and although I'm happy with it, cameras have come a long way since mine was made. I'll warn you in advance that I'll be posting pics of my kids a lot during the next several weeks.

Don't worry, I'll post scrappy pics too!


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Monday, January 11, 2010

So many pictures, so little time...

Well, since it's a new year, I suppose it's a good time to finally scrap those wedding photos. Note: I've been married for almost 12 years! My mom was visiting for a week, so we sat down together and each made an 8x8 album of the big day.

Here's how we tackled this big project:

1. Gather supplies. I have been gathering silver, black, white and all sorts of glittery goodness for this album for a few months now.

2. Gather the photos. We had duplicates of many of the photos and for the rest of the photos we scanned or just divided up photos that were basically the same. Since we had a family member take the photos, we didn't need to worry about getting permission to scan.

3. Make an outline of what photos would go on which page. I'm an outline girl. I always gather my thoughts before I dive into a project like this.

4. Rather than scrap each page starting with page one, we picked the background papers for each page and slid them down in the page protectors with the corresponding photos. We did this because we were sharing supplies and I wanted to make sure that we each got to use the papers we each wanted to use. My mom's and my pages varied slightly.

5. Once each page was planned and started we dove into the fun part of putting the pieces together and embellishing. We didn't finish the whole albums, but it's all downhill from here since the hard work is done. I sent my mom home with her partially finished album and plenty of embellishments to finish her album and I'll finish my album here in the coming weeks.

I am really enjoying the 8x8 size format. I was surprised that I couldn't find as many choices in that size, though. We finally found 8x8 albums and refills at Archivers in Katy, TX. We are using Pioneer post bound albums that are covered in linen with a windown in front for a photo.

The picture above is from my mom's album. Nothing too fancy, just my portrait. On my laptop screen here, I'm noticing that my hair looks really red. It's not. I'm more of a strawberry blond. I guess my photo lightening on Picasa caused that strange coloration.

I'll post more pics over the next few weeks.

Supplies used in the album include:
Making Memories Wedding papers and embellishments. Various other brands of paper, various butterfly punches including the new Stampin' Up emboss and cut butterly (love it!), assorted ribbons, jewels, pearls and much more.

Thanks for stopping by!
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Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Few More Tags

The gifts have been opened, the New Year rung in, and fatigue is setting in. We drove 1100 miles each way from TX back to NC to visit our friends and family and I'm pooped. Too much driving.
Anyway, as I put away the Christmas wrap, I'll share a few more pics of some of the tags and gifts I made for Christmas. The tags are pretty self explanatory, but the reindeer pic is actually the top of a tin I embellished and filled with 3x3 inch holiday tags/cards for my mom. The yellow scalloped circle was cut with the cricut, the reindeer is another sizzix die and the sentiment is from Papertrey Ink.

My next project will be my wedding album. My mom was holding my wedding photos ransom, so I just took them home with me and promised her I'd make an album for her too.

I'm also starting Karen Russell's online photography class this week. I'm beyond excited about it, and I hope I can really learn how to take better photos.

Happy New Year everyone!